Virgin reopens points redemption on partner airlines

Get ready to turn your mountain of Velocity points into an overseas flight.

By David Flynn, October 27 2021
Virgin reopens points redemption on partner airlines

Virgin Australia frequent flyers can again use their Velocity Points to book ‘reward seats’ on international partner airlines.

The move to offer redemption bookings through partners such as Singapore Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Etihad Airways and its newest partners Qatar Airways and United Airlines comes as Australians reignite their love affair with travel and reunite with family and friends following the worst days of the global pandemic.

Velocity Points can now be redeemed on flights with the following partners:

  • Air Canada
  • Delta Air Lines (only until June 12)
  • Etihad Airways
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Singapore Airlines
  • South African Airways
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Qatar Airways
  • United Airlines

In recent months, Virgin Australia has reactivated points redemptions on Singapore Airlines, which includes the welcome return of Velocity Points transfers to SQ’s KrisFlyer Miles.

The airline has also inked brand new partnerships with Qatar Airways and United Airlines which allow travellers to earn and burn Velocity Points on the extensive networks of both carriers.

Likewise, Hawaiian Airlines has resumed direct flights between Honolulu and Sydney, while Air Canada has also restarted its Vancouver-Sydney service.

Virgin advises that “travel dates will vary for each carrier, and reward seat and route availability is expected to grow in line with international travel demand returning to the market.”

With that in mind, Velocity members are encouraged to move fast and book their points-based reward seats owing to the limited availability on offer. Passengers on paid tickets with each partner airline will also earn status credits to help with their ascent up the Velocity status ladder.

Also on the rebound: Velocity status perks with partner airlines such as lounge access, additional checked baggage, express immigration screening and priority boarding.

For more information on the status of international partner redemptions, click through to this update on Virgin Australia's website.

Still missing from Virgin's partner network is ANA, which initially joined the roster in the lead-up to Virgin's planned launch of Brisbane-Tokyo flights in March 2020; newly formed Italian carrier Italia Trasporto Aereo (ITA), which emerged from the ashes of defunct national airline Alitalia; and Hong Kong Airlines, a beleaguered member of bankrupt Chinese conglomerate HNA.

“After being grounded for so long, many of us can’t wait to reunite with family and friends and experience new places” enthused Velocity Frequent Flyer CEO Nick Rohrlach. “Now Velocity Points will once again make it possible.”

To help would-be travellers turbocharge their points balance, Virgin Australia is also offering a bonus of between 10-30% extra Velocity Points when transferring reward points from selected credit card partners between May 1-31.

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 830

Wonder if VA does a similar travel insurance as Qantas on these flights as well.

Good news.

SIA to Europe in mid-22 here we go. Some ANA action wouldn't go amiss either.

However can't think there are that many people with a hefty velocity balance. There was the rush to move to Kris, then the rush to cash in, then for most of 20/21 very few opps to earn esp with sign up bonus.

I'm doing OKish as I HODL during the times when the program could of gone either way. But my QFF balance is 3x as much.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 May 2013

Total posts 63

This is great news. I have a wad of points awaiting to be used on 2 return business flights to Europe (maybe even first) as well as 2 return business flights to Canada.

12 Aug 2014

Total posts 15

A topic that we are all interested in but Virgin haven't really said anything at all here. No rough timeframes on when this will happen or which partner airlines you'll be able to book on.

20 Oct 2015

Total posts 235

Well apart from this being a welcome dose of good news because finally something is happening on this front after months and months of 'radio silience', this website has a very good track record so when it says it expects those airlines to be SQ, Etihad, Delta and Air Canada, you can pretty much bet those will be the ones!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 May 2013

Total posts 63

I agree with you Gold4Life. I think David must have been having a few lychee martinis with Jane ( whilst socially distancing of course via zoom) :)

Really good news, very happy to once again be able to spend my Velocity Points with SQ, just a shame if ANA isn't part of this, maybe it'll come later.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

07 Dec 2015

Total posts 52

I've cashed most of mine on domestic business class flights over the last 9 months. I felt holding them was and is still far too risky. Ceasing the flights to LAX was also another reason. Definitely not transferring into Velocity either at the moment. Need to figure out my next move!

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

29 Jan 2011

Total posts 160

What also will be a factor is airlines such as Singapore & Etihad reinstating flight capacity existing prior to the pandemic or increasing the capacity that they presently operate with.

04 Feb 2016

Total posts 5

Now if they just relaunch the points transfer to SQ …..  Shut up - don’t say it ;)

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

12 Apr 2017

Total posts 195

Great, I have to return to Singapore again in a couple of weeks. Probably too soon for this trip, but bring it on! I have travelled internationally a few times in the last year (amazing how many people I travelled with), but this will bring even more out with me.

11 Nov 2020

Total posts 5

..which goes to show, those who held their nerve & didn't cash out the points on gift cards etc, will benefit... 

16 Aug 2017

Total posts 23

Great, I still have a bunch I wasn't able to move to Kris as they were a refund.

Any sign we can also use Future Flight Credit? 

I was stranded in Europe early-Covid and had both points and FFC returned to me, struggling to use it all. 

It's great to see so much 'good news' lately after what we have been through since March last year! This is really something to look forward to, the list of airlines ET has tipped are really good ones, especially SQ for both Singapore and the rest of the world, and Air Canada adds Vancouver and other parts of Canada as a great new way to not only use current Velocity points but a solid incentive to keep earning them here in Australia.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Aug 2013

Total posts 4

Good news hope they don’t hike up the points required for overseas flights compared to what they were pre Covid

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 May 2017

Total posts 80

What about point transfer to SQ.  Chances of redeeming via VA was very limited.  Best way was transferring to SQ and redeem via Kris Flyer

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2017

Total posts 318

Chances of KF transfers resuming is extremely low.   The program was a reported money loser under the old VA.

Bain won't be keen on paying KF/SQ $$ for points unless if "there's something in it for them" - they are a PE investment firm first and foremost.

04 Sep 2019

Total posts 31

not according to the ET article, so I would be betting on it returning.

06 Nov 2017

Total posts 4

Website still says 

Velocity Frequent Flyer and Singapore KrisFlyer are temporarily suspending conversion of Points and Miles between the two programs.
We're looking forward to providing you with this program feature once flight schedules return to normal. 

couldn't see a date when we can start booking using virgin points on USA domestic sectors.

08 May 2020

Total posts 75

Looking forward to it to travel again Melbourne-Singapore to Europe under my Virgin PL card privileges. 

Not interested in these non stop trips to London. which are most-likely to stop in Darwin,Perth anyway and diminish the saving time.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

26 Jun 2011

Total posts 79

It looks like the ties have been severed with Alitalia after their "re-birth".  They're no longer listed as a partner airline.

16 Oct 2021

Total posts 1

any updates on this? Hoping to use VA points to fly to Europe in May 22. What would be the best options?

Nice to see this back. Nature is healing.

Sure ANA is missing, but fingers crossed they are back in line with Japan being open to us Gaijin

I imagine so, most of the airlines listed from November 1 are from countries that accept fully vaccinated travellers, Singapore will also do so from November 8 under the VTL with Australia which is why Virgin would be saying SQ will follow very soon, SQ is probably already flat out with this and needs to make partner reward seats available. I'm sure that once Japan is looking like it will open to Australians, VA and ANA will get things sorted too.

16 Aug 2017

Total posts 23



Any news on using travel bank?

I got mine for an Etihad flight booked on VA which was cancelled by them. 

04 Sep 2019

Total posts 31

VA to KF transfer, thankgod its back! 

so a cheap way to get to Canada or any USA city is to get a cheap ticket to LAX or SFO & get velocity tickets from there. Seamless, no, but a stopover option.


Loooking at fares to Vancouver at start of January on nonstops in scary. $3-$5 rtn in economy. Can get to LAX or SFO early January for $1k, using points from there & make a huge saving. To save $2-4K per person I cna put up with a lot of inconvenience. That $12-$24k for family of 6 & still earn ff pts on flights Australia to LAX or SFO & back.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

11 Dec 2016

Total posts 70

This is so strange. They've opened up points redemption for bookings, but I want to book some cash paid flights which aren't offered. So stupid. If they're offering it why restrict paid bookings? I would have thought they would accept all options.

Any news on when paid bookings are coming?

14 Nov 2015

Total posts 41

Any updates to this?  Keen on SQ redemption in Dec22.  VA call centre didn't know anything.


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