Singapore Airlines revamps Velocity points, status earn rates

Singapore Airlines revamps Velocity points, status earn rates

Virgin Australia’s Velocity Frequent Flyer members will now earn points and status credits aboard Singapore Airlines and SilkAir flights at new rates, closely mirroring changes made by Singapore Airlines for members of its own KrisFlyer program back in January.

It’s pleasing news for first class travellers, who will now earn two Velocity points per mile flown on all first class and Suites Class tickets, up from 1.5-1.6 Velocity points before – boosting the total haul by up to 5,336 Velocity points on a single return trip between Sydney and London.

Business class passengers booked on higher-priced Z, C and J tickets will also be happy, with these fares finding a similar bump from 1.25 to 1.5 points per mile flown: again adding approximately 5,336 extra Velocity points to the kitty, over and above the previous earn rates.

Further back in premium economy, the costlier S and T tickets are nudged from earning 1.1 to 1.25 Velocity points per mile flown – providing around 3,200 extra Velocity points per return London trip – although passengers booked on the more affordable P-class fares face a small reduction from 1.1 to 1.0 Velocity points per mile flown, or of around 2,134 on a return Sydney-London trek.

There’s no change to the number of status credits travellers can earn in Suites Class, first class, business class or premium economy, although economy flyers may now earn up to 50% fewer Velocity status credits on Singapore Airlines and SilkAir flights.

That’s because SQ’s mid-range M, H, W and L fares have been reclassified from ‘full fare economy’ to ‘discount economy’ in the Velocity program, and ‘discount economy’ earns only half as many status credits per flight.

On that same Sydney-London journey, that cuts your tally of status credits from 280 to 140: and given you could previously earn Velocity Gold status with just two return economy trips to London on those fare types, which were often only $100 more than lower-tier tickets, this strategy now requires taking twice as many trips to achieve the same.

(To reach Velocity Gold for the first time, you’ll also need to have taken at least four Virgin Australia flights during your membership year, and this requirement remains unchanged.)

The number of points earned on economy flights is also changing, with M, H and W fares reducing from 1.0 to 0.75 Velocity points per mile flown, and L-type fares slashed from one point per mile to a mere 0.1 points: a 90% drop.

To avoid short-changing passengers who had already booked one of these affected fares for future travel, a Virgin Australia spokesperson has confirmed to Australian Business Traveller that flights booked before March 13 2018 will earn points and status credits at the previous rates.

However, some economy fares will also now earn more points than before, such as those corresponding to the V and K fare letters: now earning five times as many points, increasing from 0.1 to 0.5 Velocity points per mile flown.

Also read: Singapore Airlines overhauls fares, fees, upgrades, award flights

Chris Chamberlin
Chris Chamberlin is a senior journalist with Australian Business 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!
 

17 comments

  • henrus

    henrus

    12 Mar, 2018 06:01 pm

    It's not like anyone didn't see this coming. But now it's time for Virgin to pull through with the remainder of the changes Singapore Airlines made at the same time as their own changes.

    Velocity Gold and Platinum members should be able to get seat selection just like their fellow members on Krisflyer.

    Interesting about the dates though because the Velocity seems to indicate it's based on date flown and instead refers to 1 March instead of 13 March.
    No member give thanks

  • bagpuss

    bagpuss

    12 Mar, 2018 06:14 pm

    Luckily when selecting a Premium Economy fare, if a flight doesn't have Premium cabin (IE Perth - Singapore) you now receive a "B" class fare instead of "W". Would have been annoying to get rewarded in line with discount economy for part of the journey when paying a premium economy fare.
    No member give thanks

  • Neil R

    Neil R

    12 Mar, 2018 09:29 pm

    I totally agree with henrus, I think as part of these enhancements, SQ needs to open up seat selection for velocity gold and platinum. The process of booking a flight with VA, then ringing VA to get the SQ PNR number, followed by requesting either Window or Isle, is a turn off when booking a VA flight on SQ aircraft. It is so much easier on EY/DL...
    No member give thanks

  • Mr Miyagi

    Mr Miyagi
    Banned

    13 Mar, 2018 12:46 pm

    That’s the problem with not being an alliance. SQ doesn’t ‘need’ to do anything. There is no obligation to treat the VA flyers at the same level as their own elites.

    No member give thanks

  • Luke Spence

    Luke49

    13 Mar, 2018 11:00 am

    I love flying SQ. But yes it should be easier then what it is booking through VA. I just hope SQ and VA partnership doesn’t go bust.
    No member give thanks

  • Sonny K

    sonnykt

    13 Mar, 2018 12:32 pm

    "a Virgin Australia spokesperson has confirmed to Australian Business Traveller that flights booked before March 13 2018 will earn points and status credits at the previous rates" - It's not true. I booked my round trip MEL-SIN-SGN/HAN-SIN-MEL in Dec 2017 with SQ and it was affected by the new changes.

    The MEL-SIN leg (T class) and SIN-SGN (B class) were in Feb and respectively accrued 90 credits/4,127 Velocity points and 20 credits/679 points (the old rates).

    However, the HAN-SIN (W class) and SIN-MEL (P class) were on Mar 11-12 and got me 15 credits/1,025 points and 90 credits/3,752 points (new rates).
    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    13 Mar, 2018 12:41 pm

    Hi Sonny, we suggest waiting a week or so to see if Velocity runs a script to automatically adjust these to the higher rates by crediting the difference. If not, simply contact Velocity and ask for this to be corrected.
    No member give thanks

  • Sonny K

    sonnykt

    13 Mar, 2018 12:44 pm

    Thanks Chris, let's wait and see.
    No member give thanks

  • bcworld

    bcworld

    11 Apr, 2018 05:01 pm

    Hi Chris...any chance of an update from your Velocity / Virgin spokesperson? It's very clear now that there is no script and no intention on Velocity's part to carry out a correction. For most of us the concern is status credits, not velocity points. Even though Velocity is blaming SQ, while I accept that is true for Velocity points, I am not sure that SQ compensates Velcoity for status credits?
    No member give thanks

  • Sonny K

    sonnykt

    11 Apr, 2018 05:04 pm

    Velocity Customer Support came back to me couple weeks ago and said that they were waiting for SQ's approval to rectify the status credits/points. I haven't heard any updates since then.
    No member give thanks

  • kpkazzie

    kpkazzie

    18 Jun, 2018 11:28 am

    Hey there, just wondering what happened with the earning of the status points, as Im flying out on H class on Sunday? :)
    No member give thanks

  • Sonny K

    sonnykt

    18 Jun, 2018 11:31 am

    Velocity manually amended the points and status credits upon approval from SQ, but it took them 2 months since my request.
    No member give thanks

  • bcworld

    bcworld

    18 Jun, 2018 11:45 am

    We got there in the end however there is certainly no automated process on behalf of Velocity or SQ to make this happen. You will only receive the original SCs / points if you ask and even then you may be told 'No' along the way until you ask the right person / threaten the involvement of the airline consumer advocate!
    No member give thanks

  • puppy79

    puppy79

    13 Mar, 2018 07:25 pm

    still better than you think.I wish I was flying Singapore Airlines to Europe later this year.Points are more generous than say any middle eastern carrier and you do not have to pay the extra for the better class fares.
    No member give thanks

  • Leigh Bentley

    mutley

    19 Aug, 2018 11:02 pm

    So there's no status credit benefit to booking a QFare over booking a W fare from Sydney to Europe?
    No member give thanks

  • DiveTravel

    DiveTravel

    30 Sep, 2018 04:22 pm

    "...a Virgin Australia spokesperson has confirmed to Australian Business Traveller that flights booked before March 13 2018 will earn points and status credits at the previous rates."

    Just returned from a trip that was booked before the change. It seems that I have been given status credits at the NEW rate, rather than to what the rate when they were purchased.
    No member give thanks

  • DiveTravel

    DiveTravel

    11 Oct, 2018 07:50 pm

    Just to follow up on this. On the Velocity website, it says, if there are any errors, please allow 14 days before you communicate it with them. It was around 10 days after the completion of travel that I can see adjusted status credits being added. Well done Velocity.
    No member give thanks

Guest

15 Dec, 2018 01:53 pm

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