Virgin Australia boosts points, status credits on Singapore Airlines

By Chris Chamberlin, March 19 2014

Members of Virgin Australia’s Velocity Frequent Flyer program can now earn points and status credits on the lowest-priced Singapore Airlines fares.

However, the number of Velocity points needed to redeem a 'free' Singapore Airlines flight between Australia and Singapore has increased.

Here's a breakdown of both changes and how they'll affect you.

Earn more Velocity points, status credits on SQ

The cheapest Singapore Airlines tickets – sold under the Super Deal and Sweet Deal banners – previously earned no Velocity points or status credits.

Effective immediately, the Velocity earning rates on SQ-coded flights mirror those awarded to Singapore Airlines' own KrisFlyer members.

Super Deal fares in the T and V categories, also known as 'fare buckets', now earn 0.1 Velocity points per mile, while Sweet Deal fares (in the N and Q buckets) earn 0.5 points per mile.

(The same earning rates are also now available on SilkAir flights with an MI code.)

Passengers travelling from Sydney to Singapore could earn an abysmal 391 Velocity points on a Super Deal fare, while the same flight on a Sweet Deal fare would yield 1,956 Velocity points.

In both cases, 30 Velocity status credits would be awarded, which is probably the better part of the deal.

Spend more Velocity points for some Singapore Airlines flights

Changes have also been made to the cost of Singapore Airlines redemption flights with Velocity, with Australia to Singapore seeing an increase while further afield now requires fewer points.

Using your Velocity points to a hop a Singapore Airlines (SQ) flight from Brisbane to Singapore will now cost 80,000 points in business class and 37,500 points in economy.

(For Brisbane residents, there's also a daily Etihad flight to Singapore and Abu Dhabi from Brisbane, which can be booked for 57,800 in business and 28,900 in economy on the EY or VA code if travelling only to Singapore.)

However, if travelling onwards to London, the overall cost has decreased to 175,000 points in business class and 75,000 points in economy.

That said, flights from Brisbane to London with Virgin Australia's other partner Etihad are available for 125,000 in business and 62,500 in economy – a respectable saving.

The full Velocity table for all Singapore Airlines flights is below:

Booking tips and tricks

If you’re booking a flight directly with Singapore Airlines, the airline's website helps to identify which fare class you’ve selected during the booking stage. Here's where to look:

You can match this letter to Velocity’s Singapore Airlines table to estimate how many points you’ll earn on your travels:

The new earning rates are made sweeter when travelling with Singapore Airlines or SilkAir, but on a Virgin Australia flight number – the cheaper T, V and Q class fares now earn 0.5 points per mile, along with the same 30 status credits and any applicable points bonuses:

While the changes work out well for travellers on corporate-sponsored fares, you’d best do your homework if making your own arrangements – Virgin Australia codeshares can often be more expensive than buying the flight directly from Singapore Airlines.

On a quick trip from Sydney to Singapore in May, we were able to find flights for $804.26 return with Singapore Airlines (V class), although booking those exact flights under the VA code priced out at $1,195.66 in S class – quite a price difference if the goal is to increase the earn rate to just 0.5 points per mile.

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Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Nov 2011

Total posts 246

SQ is a great partner boasting superior products. But really devaluing seat availability and number of points/miles for redemption overtime for partner frequent flyers. Don't think the Star Alliance partners even get first dibs on redemption seats besides VA.

I like the days when they were still partnering with MH with lots of seats availability.

Why take up Velocity, switch to Krisflyer as giving member better value.

Star Alliance has a gap in the Australian domestic market. Velocity is part of the solution but it is a half caste.

12 Jun 2013

Total posts 744

Obviously if you're flying exclusively (or largely) on SQ this is the better option. If you're flying largely VA then Velocity works better.

For instance, flying discount economy from SYD-MEL it'll take 40 flights to maintain gold status on VA, but two hundred and twenty-eight to maintain gold on SQ by my calculations.

09 May 2011

Total posts 294

You can redeem SQ reward flights to Singapore on VA codes; this should net you the cheaper VA redemption rates in most cases.

Interesting! I'd been tossing up between SQ and Etihad for a trip to Singapore on VA points, so I'll definitely have to look into that.

(Unfortunately, neither award is available on the VA website, even with a VA code...)

RR
RR

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 64

One catch with Velocity - there are really only 3 options to Europe - Etihad, Virgin Atlantic and Singapore Air.  VS shortly won't fly to Oz; SQ charge 350,000 points, 100,000 points more than Etihad (250k). But when trying to book seats to Europe, the Velocity phone room told me that they have only 2 business seats per Etihad flight available to them each day (which would make only about 8 or 10 seats per day out of all of Oz), and the availability for 10 months forward was nil. From Abu Dhabi onwards, because of the numerous cities served by Etihad it was relatively easy to get seats. But getting in or out of Australia was difficult. Now that VS have withdrawn, it makes it almost imposible to redeem to Europe, unless you want to burn another 100,000 points.

(and from BNE SQ operate a regional aircraft, horrible wedgie sloping seats, hardly worth the extra)

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 279

ADL is in the same class as BNE with the aircraft type.You can still book VS but it will be operated on a SIA plane soon.


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