Small and medium-sized businesses that join Virgin Australia’s Accelerate program can now save up to 15% on business class flights booked until mid-December and a still-impressive 10% on tickets purchased beyond that date through the airline’s new ‘Fare Advantage’ scheme.
For flights booked in premium economy, the savings amount to 10% year-round, while selected economy fares are also slashed by up to 10% until mid-December and by up to 5% thereafter.
Accelerate, geared towards businesses that spend over $20,000 a year on air travel, is free to join for companies registered with ASIC and which hold a valid ABN. Individuals without business interests or business owners who have an ABN but aren’t ASIC-registered can’t join Accelerate.
Assuming your business makes the cut and books its own travel directly with the airline rather than using a travel agent, here’s how to pocket your savings when next you or your employees are travelling for work.
Step one: obtain your username and password
Once your Accelerate application has been approved, you’ll receive a username and password to access Virgin Australia’s corporate travel portal.
It’s important that you always log in here and book your business’ flights through this portal, otherwise you won’t receive any discount. Forgetful flyers can’t claim back the difference later, so don’t skip this crucial step.
Step two: booking your journey
Simply click ‘book a flight’ after logging in, and key in your desired journey as you’d expect to do on any travel booking website:
You’ll then be presented with your flight options and pricing. The costs displayed include any Fare Advantage discounts, but the system doesn’t make this obvious.
To compare, we ran the same search through Virgin Australia’s regular booking site, and the discounts became apparent: on the outbound, Sydney-Perth was reduced from $1999 to $1701.78 in business class, while Flexi fares were cut from $635 to $573.25.
On this date, no Saver fares were discounted for Accelerate members as the commercial fares were already reduced, although on the return the more expensive $299 Saver flights were trimmed to $284.93.
You’ll see a breakdown of your journey on the next screen, again with the total cost of the booking – in this case, $3,361.05 for a return trip in business class:
Again, your Fare Advantage saving isn’t made clear, although quoting the same flights on Virgin Australia’s regular site returned a cost of $3948 – almost $600 more than offered to Accelerate clients.
Next up, you’ll get a ‘Search for Travellers’ screen. Unless you’ve restricted your account to only allow bookings for listed travellers, just click the ‘complete registration’ button to skip this page.
Then you’ll fill in the name and details of the traveller, and will have the opportunity to enter their Velocity Frequent Flyer number here too. Velocity members continue to earn points and status credits on all Virgin Australia flights, even those purchased at a discount via Accelerate.
Finally, plug in your credit card or UATP account details to complete the booking, or pay directly from your business bank account via POLi.
Virgin Australia’s usual credit card payment fees of $7.70 per passenger, per booking – boosted to $10 on shorter international flights and $30 on longer international flights – continue to be payable by Accelerate members, and indeed anybody booking flights on VA’s standard site.
For more information on Accelerate, Fare Advantage, the other benefits of the program or to join, head to the Virgin Australia website.
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