Virgin Australia’s Velocity Frequent Flyer partnership with South African Airways will be revised in June to exclude codeshare flights operated by SAA’s partner airlines Airlink and South African Express.
Currently, Velocity members can earn points and status credits on these flights when booked under a South African Airways SA flight number, with Silver members entitled to priority check-in and a boosted baggage allowance, joined by priority boarding and lounge access for Gold and Platinum flyers.
But from June 12 2018, these benefits will cease – as will the ability to book Airlink and South African Express reward flights using Velocity points – although bookings made prior to June 12 will still earn Velocity points and status credits for travel after this date, even though the other benefits may not be available.
This change impacts flight numbers SA8000 through SA8999 operated by Airlink, and flights SA1000 through SA1999 operated by South African Express, but does not affect passengers travelling on South African Airways mainline flights, including between Perth and Johannesburg.
That said, Velocity Gold and Platinum cardholders currently don’t receive lounge access in Perth prior to these flights, and this will remain so under these changes.
Instead, Velocity elites enjoy access only to SAA’s own Baobab lounges in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and East London in South Africa, along with lounges in Lagos (Nigeria), Harare (Zimbabwe) and Lusaka (Zambia) when travelling with South African Airways.
The ability to earn points and status credits when travelling with South African Airways and to redeem points on SAA flights also remains unchanged, as do status benefits afforded to Silver, Gold and Platinum Velocity members when travelling with SAA.