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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