Virgin Australia is halving the number of Velocity Frequent Flyer points required for upgrades from economy to business class.
The promotion applies to all Flexi Fares, which have already proven very popular with business travellers -- but it runs for two months only, through to April 30, so look sharp and move fast!
The revised upgrade rates start at a mere 2,450 points for short hops like Sydney to Melbourne, through to 14,500 for the longest flights (examples in brackets):
- 0-600 miles: 2,450 points (such as Sydney-Melbourne)
- 601-1,200 miles: 3,700 points (Melbourne-Brisbane)
- 1,201-2,400 miles: 4,950 (Melbourne-Perth)
- 2,401-3,600 miles: 7,450 points (Sydney-Denpasar)
- 3,601-4,800 miles: 12,450 points
- 4,801-5,800 miles: 14,500 points
Those last two are longer than any Virgin Australia route but will work a treat if you're making connections between Virgin flights to get from A to B (unfortunately the promo isn't valid for Virgin Australia's international services).
As any frequent flyer knows, upgrades make for the best points-to-dollars value -- and at half price, it's even better value.
How to upgrade, plus terms & conditions
The offer is in place from 1 March 2012 until one minute to midnight on 30 April 2012.
But before you book, bear in mind that there's also a great 15 percent point transfer bonus from banks and credit cards through the end of March which could help boost your Velocity balance to reach the amount needed for an upgrade.
You'll need to ring the Velocity Frequent Flyer contact centre no later than 24 hours before your time of departure to get your upgrade sorted. That's 131 875 in Australia, 0800 230 875 from New Zealand, and +61 2 8667 5924 from abroad.
Availability will depend on "availability of seats assigned for upgrades", Virgin's terms say, rather than purely on seats available. So expect some to be left over for paying business class customers.
Once you've booked, you won't be able to change your mind or your flight details: "If you make any changes or cancellations to your flight after you have redeemed an Upgrade Using Points, the Points deducted from your Velocity Frequent Flyer Membership Account will be forfeited," Virgin's terms highlight.
And, entirely reasonably, you'll earn miles and status points for the Flexi Fare rather than the business rate.
Alas, the half price upgrade offer doesn't come with exciting news about finally being able to redeem Velocity points for international upgrades, a much-requested and currently lacking option. Only domestic and international short haul (the old Pacific Blue) flights are included.