Why does the Virgin Australia website ask me to pay one million Velocity Frequent Flyer points to book a business class flight from Sydney to Los Angeles, one-way?
This is a questions we’re frequently asked by readers hoping to use their Velocity points on a flight to the United States, only to find the Virgin Australia website is quoting more than 10 times as many points as expected.
For example, a one-way business class flight from Sydney to LA should cost you 95,500 Velocity points plus a small payment to cover government taxes and fees.
But what often appears instead is an option to pay a staggering 1,017,000 points to secure that same one-way ticket – or a combination of 997,000 points and $129.67 in fees.
The answer here is simple: Virgin Australia offers two main kinds of flight options when using your frequent flyer points: ‘Reward Seat’, and ‘Any Seat’.
‘Reward Seats’ are those coveted tickets which come at the most favourable rates (such as for 95,500 Velocity points on this route), but where availability is strictly limited.
Alternatively, ‘Any Seat’ allows you book, quite literally, any seat on any Virgin Australia flight using your points – and instead of being charged at that much lower rate, your points are used to ‘buy’ a paid ticket at face value as in the screenshot above.
You’ll have also noticed two ‘sold out’ columns in that earlier screenshot with no further description. That’s where the great value ‘Reward Seats’ will appear when available on a particular flight, so keep searching and they might just appear when you want them to:
Again, the words to look for are ‘Business Reward’ – if the box you’re clicking says anything else, you’re likely paying too much.
AusBT review: Virgin Australia 'The Business', Sydney-Los Angeles
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