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.