Virgin America ends Virgin Australia frequent flyer partnership

By David Flynn, June 17 2017
Virgin America ends Virgin Australia frequent flyer partnership

Virgin America will pull down the shutters on its frequent flyer partnership with Virgin Australia in September 2017, as the Branson-backed US carrier makes ready to be swallowed whole by new owner Alaska Airlines.

The last date for booking Virgin America flights using Velocity points is September 30 2017, with travel no later than January 15 2018.

Virgin America's own Elevate frequent flyer scheme will cease to operate as of January 1, 2018.

Using Velocity points to snare stateside travel with Virgin America has been an appealing option for some Aussie flyers, with around 50,000 Velocity points landing you a business class ('first class', in US parlance) seat on Virgin America's cross-country flights between the US east and west coasts – although Virgin Australia's US joint venture partner Delta Air Lines offers a superior experience with its Delta One class.

The partnership proved more fruitful for many Virgin America frequent flyers, who were able to book Virgin Australia's superb Boeing 777 business class from Los Angeles to Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane for just 45,000 Elevate points, or 80,000 points for a return ticket.


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.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Oct 2013

Total posts 704

At the end of the day, Alaska had to pick between their existing alliances or keep the Virgin ones.

It's not is if we didn't see this coming. VA Gold and Plat also lounge VX lounge access earlier this year.

I'm guessing it'll also mean that Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Hawaiian Airlines will also get the chop?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Jul 2012

Total posts 117

Yes, Alaska is ending all Virgin America's partnerships at the same time.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1192

This isn't surprising but it also raises the question as to why Alaska are so keen to destroy the goodwill they purchased when they acquired VX.  

VX had a loyal customer base who were attracted to its hard and soft products and service levels.  Alaska seems intent on alienating this base.  

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Oct 2013

Total posts 704

That's often the case with large airlines.

It's just like saying the British Airways is looking a buying Air Alitalia. BA have no interest in the fleet, frequent flyers or anything like that. Their primary interest is in the routes which the airline operate.

For Alaska getting into the East/West flights would have been difficult without gates, terminals, aircraft, ground support, airport slots and so they've purchased another airline to consume theirs.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

07 Dec 2015

Total posts 53

Inevitable but a shame. I really enjoyed my LAX-EWR flights on VX. 

26 Jul 2011

Total posts 12

Yet another loss for VA FF members. As a Plat, I'm having to look harder and harder for reasons to stay with them and not jump across to OneWorld. Yet another one for the "Reasons to ditch Velocity" file

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