You can book Singapore Airlines reward flights with Velocity, but beware!
Virgin's reward flights are still missing some key features.
Pre-pandemic, Singapore Airlines was arguably the most important global points partner Virgin Australia's Velocity Frequent Flyer scheme had.
A business or first-class seat on Singapore Airlines was one of the very best ways to spend your Velocity Points, offering a top-notch flight experience from a destination within relatively easy reach of Australia.
But that all stopped when Virgin went into administration in mid-2020. Redemptions with Singapore were paused, along with every other airline partner.
And while several other international partners – including Virgin Atlantic, Air Canada and Etihad – came back into the fold last November, Singapore remained conspicuous by its absence.
That changed this week, with Velocity redemptions for Singapore Airlines seats resuming from midday AEDT on Monday.
"We know how much our members value the incredible service and expansive network of destinations across Asia and Europe that Singapore Airlines offers, and we are really thrilled to have their seats back in the program," said Velocity Frequent Flyer CEO Nick Rohrlach.
But there's one big catch. You can only book economy reward seats. Those aren't shocking value, but they're nowhere near as desirable as those pointy-end prizes.
According to Velocity, the ability to book in premium cabins will resume "shortly".
Also still not back is the ability to transfer Velocity Points directly into KrisFlyer, Singapore's own scheme. That has always been a popular choice for people who reside in Australia and have longstanding KrisFlyer memberships since it's much easier to earn Velocity Points on a credit card.
That's likely to take even longer than business and first availability. "We also know how much Velocity and KrisFlyer members value the ability to transfer points between the programs and we are working to restore this feature within the next few months," Rohrlach said. That means you're unlikely to be looking at a redemption flight until 2023.
So what to do? Me, I'd hang onto your Velocity Points and wait until there's a better range of redemptions on offer.
Sure, if you're really keen to head from Singapore to Melbourne, 70,000 Velocity Points plus around $226 in taxes looks like a cheap flight. But at current flight prices (around $891 return), you'd only get around $10 in value for each 1,000 Velocity Points. That's well below my $20 benchmark, so I'm hanging tight.
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Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more.