Velocity brings Hainan, Hong Kong Airlines reward bookings online

By Chris Chamberlin, February 13 2018
Velocity brings Hainan, Hong Kong Airlines reward bookings online

Virgin Australia’s Velocity Frequent Flyer members can now use their Velocity points to book Hainan Airlines and Hong Kong Airlines reward flights via the Velocity website.

From Sydney, travellers can fly business class aboard Hainan to Changsha, Haikou or Xi’an for 78,000 Velocity points plus a payment of $91.28, one-way, while economy class can be had for 42,000 Velocity points + $91.28.

Out of Melbourne, you’d also need 78,000 Velocity points to jet to Changsha or Xi’an with Hainan Airlines – plus $84.95 on the side – with economy seats costing that same $84.95 plus 42,000 Velocity points.

Queenslanders could instead fly from Brisbane to Shenzhen with Hainan for 65,000 Velocity points + $91.89 in business class or 35,000 Velocity points plus $91.89 in economy:

There’s also the option of Hong Kong Airlines business class from the Gold Coast to Hong Kong for 65,000 Velocity points + $76.10, or economy class for 34,800 Velocity points with the same co-pay of $76.10.

AusBT review: Hong Kong Airlines business class, Gold Coast-Hong Kong

Cairns residents aren’t forgotten either, with Hainan’s Cairns-Shenzhen services and Hong Kong Airlines’ Cairns-Hong Kong flights both bookable for 53,000 Velocity points + $91.58 in business class or 28,000 Velocity points + $91.58 in economy class.

On many of the flights Australian Business Traveller searched, availability on Hainan Airlines was strong, with up to four business class seats and eight economy class seats open for points-based bookings.

Availability on Hong Kong Airlines also appears to be reasonable with business class seats available on many of the dates we searched – although availability in economy is more limited.

Velocity points can also be used for flight bookings further afield, such as Hong Kong to Los Angeles with Hong Kong Airlines at a cost of 104,000 Velocity points + $76.90 in business class aboard the airline’s Airbus A350 jets.

AusBT review: Hong Kong Airlines’ Airbus A350 business class seat

This update marks the next stage of the partnership between Virgin Australia and HNA Group, the parent company of the airlines above and of Beijing Capital Airlines and Tianjin Airlines, which are also partners of Virgin Australia.

Australian Business Traveller understands that talks are still progressing between the two entities to establish reciprocal frequent flyer benefits such as priority check-in and airport lounge access for Velocity Gold and Platinum frequent flyers travelling with these partners, and vice versa for Fortune Wings Club members taking Virgin Australia flights.

While Virgin Australia declined to provide an updated timeline on these developments – after previously announcing they’d begin “in the coming weeks” some seven months ago – it’s understood the airlines are working on these partnerships as a matter of priority.

It’s also understood that the complexity of these arrangements, which involve five airlines all working together rather than a typical one-to-one airline partnership, are causing the process to take longer than anticipated.

Until the next stage of the development, Velocity members can continue to earn points and status credits on Hong Kong Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Beijing Capital Airlines and Tianjin Airlines flights – and redeem their points with the same carriers, except for Tianjin Airlines.

While Hong Kong Airlines and Hainan Airlines reward flights can now be booked online, points-based bookings with Beijing Capital Airlines can continue to be made over the phone, by calling Velocity on 13 18 75 between 7:30am and 10:30pm (Sydney time), seven days a week.

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

I looked for an economy reward flight in October for Hong Kong airlines Hong Kong to Tokyo on the Virgin website and it shows no flights available on all the dates. Am I searching this right?

You are, but as noted in the article, the availability of economy rewards on Hong Kong Airlines is very limited: you're much more likely to find business class seats instead. You could always try giving Velocity a call to see if there are any other options available, as not all reward flights can be booked online for all airlines.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

21 Mar 2017

Total posts 3

Hi Chris,

Any news when they might start selling VS online?

Nope. As always, when there's news to report, we'll report it.

Thanks Chris. Founds heaps of business availability.

Brilliant (assuming you have the points, of course)!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Mar 2016

Total posts 27

I used Velocity points to book flights for 2 people on Hong Kong Airlines for October but there wasn't any Business Class reward seats on the date we wanted to travel. I tried to get an upgrade by paying difference from Economy to Business Class but that is not possible despite contacting Velocity & Hong Kong Airlines.

If you booked an economy reward seat using points and a business class reward seat becomes available on the same flight, the thing to do would be contact Velocity and ask them to change your booking from one cabin to the other, for which you'd pay the difference in points between an economy and a business class reward, and a change fee in points or cash.

Alternatively, you could cancel your original ticket, receive a refund of the points you'd paid (less any cancellation 'fees'), and rebook in the new cabin.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Mar 2016

Total posts 27

Yes thought of that, I keep checking back but since I made booking with velocity points, there are no reward seats available for that date.
Although I will keep going back, just in case.

Need to be thankful of what I have I suspect.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

13 Feb 2016

Total posts 8

Just trying to book Xian to SYD on Hainan for 3/8/19 thru VA website but coming up No flights available J or Y. Any ideas??

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

13 Feb 2016

Total posts 8

Just an updated the above post......

Hainan has actually cancelled the route between Xian and SYD and visa versa. Must not have been popular enough.

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