Virgin Australia offers flight discounts for small businesses

By Chris Chamberlin, November 9 2015

Members of Virgin Australia’s Accelerate program for small and medium-sized businesses can now save up to 10% on the cost of domestic and international flights year-round, and up to 15% for bookings made until mid-December.

Similar to ‘Aquire Flight Deals’ which competitor Qantas recently debuted for SMEs and members of its own Aquire program, Virgin Australia’s ‘Fare Advantage’ delivers the following savings:

  • Business class: 15% discount on the base fare on selected domestic and international flights booked by December 16 2015, and 10% discount on the base fare thereafter.
  • Premium economy: 10% discount on the base fare of international ‘Premium Saver’ tickets, regardless of booking date.
  • Flexible (‘Flexi’) economy: 10% base fare discount on selected domestic and international flights for bookings made by December 16 2015, later reverting to a 5% discount.
  • Restricted (‘Saver’) economy: 5% saving off the base fare on selected domestic and international flights only for bookings made until December 16 2015 after which all Saver fares will continue to be sold at full price.

Fare discounts are available for travel not just on Virgin Australia, but also on Delta Air Lines and Etihad Airways when the journey is booked through Virgin Australia and the flights carry a VA flight number, with the heightened promotional savings available for flights taken until March 31 2016.

Also, unlike Aquire Flight Deals which only discounts bookings made up to 10 days in advance in business class and premium economy and seven days early in economy, Virgin Australia’s Fare Advantage discounts are offered right up until departure.

Accelerate members can access Fare Advantage flight discounts by logging into their business travel account on the Virgin Australia website or by booking through their preferred travel management company.

Virgin Australia Fare Advantage: eligible fares

Importantly, not all fares will be available at a discount. In domestic business class, only D-type fares will enjoy savings while internationally both the D- and I-types are covered, which means that when a flight is close to full and fares are already more expensive than usual, you won’t receive a discount.

In premium economy, only the least expensive O booking class – or ‘Premium Saver’ fare type – is discounted, while the more pricey premium seats will still sell at full fare.

Read: Virgin Australia’s new premium economy seats, service revealed

Down the back of the bus, Fare Advantage covers all commercial booking classes under the Flexi and Saver banners, although only Flexi fares will continue to enjoy discounts after the initial promotion period.

“We understand that businesses have to be more agile and flexible than ever before, and that includes their travel plans,” said Virgin Australia Chief Commercial Officer Judith Crompton.

“As a proud Virgin brand, we share a sense of entrepreneurialism with the thousands of small and medium businesses who choose to fly with us, and today’s announcement reinforces our commitment to making their travel experience more effortless and rewarding.”

Virgin Australia Accelerate: eligibility and benefits

Fare Advantage discounts are available only to members of the airline’s longstanding Accelerate scheme, so if your business isn’t already a member and spends at least $20,000 a year on air travel, head to the Virgin Australia website and complete an application.

There’s no fee to join, and when your spend does pass that $20,000/year mark on Virgin Australia, Air New Zealand, Delta and Etihad flights you’ll begin to receive travel credits of 2-5% of the value spent, in addition to any savings pocketed through discounted flights.

Further, your business can also assign two Velocity ‘Pilot Gold’ memberships to employees after spending at least $2,000 on flights in your first three months of membership, which provide lounge access, priority check-in and boarding privileges as a kick-start for a further three months.

Pilot Gold members who earn at least 80 status credits in that time and fly at least once on a Virgin Australia flight number will see their membership expanded to regular Velocity Gold for a further 12 months, and can then nab elite status with a car hire and hotel partner of their choosing.

Accelerate members also receive discounts on Virgin Australia airport lounge memberships, while all travellers continue to earn Velocity Points and status credits on their travels, even when flights have been booked at a discount.

For more information, head to the Virgin Australia Accelerate website.

Also read: Qantas discounts flights for Aquire members

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ChrisCh
ChrisCh

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!

cheynejonstone

cheynejonstone

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Nov 2012

Total posts 23

Just be aware that Virgin have gone and increased many domestic business fares to compensate for some of this 'discount'. For example, the base Sydney<>Melbourne fare today went up to $720 from $699. They are slowly but surely closing the gap on Qantas which is $750. Virgin was selling business fares on this same route at $549 less than 18 months ago.

Propofol88

Propofol88

QF Platinum

24 Jan 2013

Total posts 141

I have noticed that too. Now most flights in J differ my $50 one way. Not as good value as before. VA needs the competitive price edge or will lose premium customers to QF. 

JPMasters

JPMasters

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Dec 2012

Total posts 37

Any reason why SQ is excluded - that is their partner that I use?

 

"There’s no fee to join, and when your spend does pass that $20,000/year mark on Virgin Australia, Air New Zealand, Delta and Etihad flights you’ll begin to receive travel credits of 2-5% of the value spent, in addition to any savings pocketed through discounted flights."

ChrisCh

ChrisCh

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2916

Singapore Airlines is a shareholder, codeshare and frequent flyer partner to Virgin Australia, but doesn't participate in the Virgin Australia Accelerate program and thus, no discounts or travel credits.

cheynejonstone

cheynejonstone

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Nov 2012

Total posts 23

Be warned that there is an unpublished caveat with this offer that makes it very limited for international travel, and it is now being looked in to by Virgin Australia’s legal and fares departments. All of the literature says that the promotion applies to Business D and I class, Premium Saver O class and Flexi Fares L, K, H, B, Y class. However, what they have since found is that there are actually subsections of the Business D and I class and the Premium Saver O class which are indistinguishable unless you go to the normal web site and check to see if you’re getting a discount, most of which are not eligible for this discount.

I checked every flight from Sydney and Brisbane to Los Angeles in February and March and there is not a single D, I or O fare that is discounted! I also checked a number of other short haul international destinations (Bali and Nadi) and was unable to find a discounted fare there either. I did find a couple of fares to Abu Dhabi from Sydney on Etihad metal that were discounted but that was it.

I’ve been speaking with the Accelerate department since Monday regarding this and they seem to be very frustrated by this as well.

So to re-cap, Virgin’s amazing ‘fare advantage’ offer has given us a price hike on most domestic business fares and it not being available on most premium international fares. What a way to win corporate customers!

Meanwhile, I can go to the normal web site, enter a certain promo code that can be found with a quick Google search, and I can book pretty much any fare I want including all of the US ones and get a 10% discount. Sure, I don’t get the 2% corporate rebate and it doesn’t go toward our yearly travel, but I’d rather the 10% discount then the 2% rebate!


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