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Use it or lose it: The Virgin Australia credits expiring in December

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I'm about to lose $296 in Virgin Australia flight credit – are you at risk too?

Virgin Australia Future Flight credits expire on 31 December 2023.

This type of credit was issued for bookings made on or before 20 April 2020 and then cancelled.

What's important about this date is that it was just before Virgin Australia went into voluntary administration.

That process means the funds are treated differently to flight credits issued after 20 April 2020.

And because of that, anyone with Future Flight credits now has around 2 weeks to use them.

The author's Virgin Australia Travel Bank account summary, showing $296 due to expire on 31 December 2023.

My Virgin Australia Travel Bank account summary, with $296 of Future Flight Credit due to expire at the end of the year. Image: Finder (Amy Bradney-George)

How I tried (and failed) to use this travel credit

I had 2 Virgin Australia Travel Bank accounts set up, and managed to successfully use the funds in one of them.

But then Virgin Australia stopped flying to my nearest airport (Coffs Harbour).

It also extended the expiry date for Future Flight credits, so using them became a problem I planned to deal with "in the future".

When I got an email reminding me about the definite expiry on 31 December, I considered a few ways to use them, including:

  • Asking for a refund (I also tried this in 2020)
  • Asking friends and family if they could use them for upcoming trips
  • Booking a flight from a different airport
  • Booking a flight and then cancelling it

The last two options seemed to be my best bet – and I got close to booking flights from Sydney to Perth to visit friends next year.

Then I realised the 31 December 2023 deadline was for both the booking and the actual flight.

So I started looking at flexible flights that I could book and then cancel.

I was hoping to get a credit with a later expiry date.

But when I checked the Future Flight credit terms and conditions, I discovered cancelling would only get me a new "Future Flight credit".

And this particular type of credit would still expire on 31 December 2023.

So now I'm resigned to that fact that the $296 in credit is going to expire.

Getting myself to Sydney or another airport to make use of them would cost more than they're worth.

How to check when your Virgin Australia flight credit expired

Virgin Australia has 2 types of flight credit:

  1. Future Flight credit: For bookings made on or before 20 April 2020. These expire at the end of this year.
  2. Standard credit: For bookings made on or after 21 April 2020. These credits expire on 30 June 2025.

You can view details about your flight credit by logging in to your Virgin Australia Travel Bank account.

These accounts are set up when credit is issued, with login information sent by email.

You can also enter your Travel Bank username on Virgin Australia's booking page to check the type of credit and (hopefully) use it.

The Virgin Australia booking page details for someone who has entered their Travel Bank username.

You can view and redeem your travel credit by entering your Travel Bank username on the Virgin Australia booking page. Image: Finder (Amy Bradney-George)

In October, the ABC reported that Virgin Australia had $270 million in Future Flight Credits.

So if you have any credits, make sure you check the expiry to avoid losing them at the end of the year.

Planning your next trip? Check out our frequent flyer tips for ways to earn points and use them for flights instead of cash.

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