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Virgin Australia Velocity members will soon pay significantly more cash in conjunction with Etihad Airways flight bookings made using Velocity frequent flyer points.
For reservations made on and after June 18 2016, economy flights attract a new US$50 (A$68) ‘Etihad Airways Reward Seat Carrier Charge’, while business class tickets see an extra US$205 (A$279) added to the bill.
Using your Velocity points to fly in Etihad first class will set you back US$300 (A$408), and in all cases, these charges apply per passenger, per flight.
That means on a return first class trip from Australia to Europe via Abu Dhabi, you’d be stung US$1,200 (A$1,632) – or US$2.400 (A$3,264) for a couple – in addition to the taxes and charges already payable under today’s rates.
Reduced charges of US$5 in economy, US$20.50 in business class and US$30 in first class apply to infants not occupying their own seat, representing a 90% discount, although the full charges above apply to child passengers of all ages occupying their own seat, and to all adult travellers.
These new fees immediately follow an increase to the number of Velocity points needed to book an Etihad flight, rising from 187,500 to 203,000 in first class, from 125,000 to 139,000 in business class and from 62,500 to 75,000 in economy each way between Australia and Europe, which came into effect on June 1 2016.
Travellers can avoid the new ‘Etihad fee’ by booking their journey on or before June 17 2016, even if travelling after this date.
Reward flights booked on Virgin Australia’s other airline partners such as Singapore Airlines and Delta aren’t affected by this change, nor are flights operated by Virgin Australia, including between Australia and Abu Dhabi.
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