How you can get free flights with Virgin Airlines

Sally McMullen 12 February 2016

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Why Virgin flights are more expensive (and how you can still get free ones).

Virgin Australia flights are getting more expensive. Its financial results reveal that the airline charged an average of 9.1 per cent more for its domestic fares and 12 per cent more for fares with Tiger Australia, helping it reach an underlying profit of $81.5 million and a net profit of $47.5 million in the first half of this financial year. This is the airline’s best result in six years, and reflects a strategy to target business and government travellers, who typically pay more.

Another reason the fares are up? According to Virgin chief executive John Borghetti, weak consumer confidence meant passengers were booking their flights closer to the date of travel, and paying more as a result.

That's good news for Virgin shareholders, but it's less pleasing if you're seeking out a bargain. If you're keen to get a cheaper flight on Virgin, there are some tactics you can follow.

How can I fly for free with Virgin Australia?

Use your Velocity Points

If you belong to Virgin Australia’s Velocity Frequent Flyer program, you can use your Velocity Points to cover the cost of your flights. If you don’t have enough points in your account, you can also use a mix of points and cash to cover the cost of the flight. So now you won’t miss out on your reward and you can still take advantage of the savings. Learn how to use your Velocity Points to book flights with Virgin Australia.

Virgin Money's Exclusive Flight Benefit for credit card holders

If you have a Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer or Velocity High Flyer card, you can take advantage of up to four complimentary flights with Virgin Australia each year. When you and a friend travel together on a Virgin Australia domestic Saver fares flight, you can receive 50% off the base fare component for you and your guest. While you can take advantage of this offer up to four times in a year, note that the offer is only available up until 31 March 2016.

From mid-2016, cardholders will receive a $129 Virgin Australia Gift Voucher and two complimentary single entry Virgin Australia domestic lounge passes each year instead. Compare Virgin Money credit cards here.

Complimentary flights with an American Express credit card

Two American Express credit cards currently offer cardholders complimentary domestic flights with Virgin Australia: the American Express Platinum Edge and the American Express Velocity Platinum.  You could take advantage of one complimentary flight each year, either using it for yourself or for booking the flight for a loved one.

For example, if you have the Platinum Edge you can fly to Adelaide, Melbourne, Albury, Canberra, Launceston, Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour, Ballina Byron, Coolangatta, Brisbane, Maroochydore and Hervey Bay from Sydney. If you’re located in Adelaide though, you’ll only be able to fly to Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne. See our American Express Platinum Edge Points Guide and the American Express website for full terms and conditions of the complimentary flights.

If you’re planning a holiday within Australia, the American Express complimentary flights offer could be a beneficial way to cut your costs with Virgin Australia. Learn how you can get your complimentary flight here.

Just because Virgin Australia is profiting on higher airfares, that doesn’t mean that you can’t make gains of your own. Using your Velocity Points, American Express complimentary flight and keeping your eye out for special offers are all simple ways you can get more for your money the next time you travel with Virgin.

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