Velocity Frequent Flyer is raising carrier charges
After being introduced in January this year, charges for rewards flights are increasing by up to $48.
Velocity Frequent Flyer has announced it will be raising its carrier charges on rewards seat redemptions from 8 January 2020, citing rising airline operating costs.
The changes only impact Virgin Australia operated flights, and are effective for bookings made on or after 8 January 2020.
Charges are increasing by up to $6.50 on domestic and Trans-Tasman flights, and by up to $48 for business class flights to Hong Kong. This represents an overall increase of between 29% - 186% depending on the routes and seat classes.
This change follows on from Velocity's introduction of carrier charges earlier in 2019.
There are no changes for flights to Los Angeles, nor are there any changes in fees for premium economy seats or partner flights.
You can see the full list of increases in the table below:
|Route||Economy||Economy (from 8 Jan 2020)||Increase||Business Class||Business Class (from 8 Jan 2020)||Increase|
|Domestic and Trans-Tasman||$3.50||$10.00||+$6.50 (186%)||$5.50||$10.00||+$4.50 (82%)|
|International short haul||$25.00||$35.00||+$10 (40%)||$50.00||$70.00||+$20 (40%)|
|Hong Kong||$35.00||$45.00||+$10 (29%)||$50.00||$98.00||+$48 (96%)|
Source: Velocity Frequent Flyer
How do Velocity Frequent Flyer's current extra charges compare to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program?
When booking a rewards seat you'll have to pay a certain number of frequent flyer points plus extra fees and charges. These can vary depending on the route and class.
The Velocity Frequent Flyer program has traditionally had lower extra charges compared to Qantas. Below is a comparison of the current amounts you'll pay for different flights on top of the required points for a selection of flights.
|Route||Class||Velocity points required + extra charges (current)||Qantas points required + extra charges|
|Brisbane to Perth||Economy Class||17,800 + $29.19||18,000 + $42|
|Brisbane to Perth||Business Class||35,500 + $31.39||41,500 + $42|
|Sydney to Auckland||Economy Class||17,800 + $126.88||18,000 + $139|
|Sydney to Auckland||Business Class||35,500 + $128.88||41,500 + $139|
|Melbourne to Hong Kong||Economy Class||27,800 + $120||25,200 + $131|
|Melbourne to Hong Kong||Business Class||59,500 + $135||68,400 + $141|
Source: Velocity Frequent Flyer and Qantas Frequent Flyer websites, 4 October 2019
Assuming Velocity makes no other changes to the points and costs of reward flights, the total cost to book a flight with points from 8 January 2020 compared with Qantas might look like the table below:
|Routes||Class||Velocity points + carrier charges from 8 Jan 2020||Qantas points + carrier charges|
|Brisbane to Perth||Economy Class||17,800 + $35.69||18,000 + $42|
|Brisbane to Perth||Business Class||35,500 + $35.89||41,500 + $42|
|Sydney to Auckland||Economy Class||17,800 + $136.88||18,000 + $139|
|Sydney to Auckland||Business Class||35,500 + $148.88||41,500 + $139|
|Melbourne to Hong Kong||Economy Class||27,800 + $130||25,200 + $131|
|Melbourne to Hong Kong||Business Class||59,500 + $183||68,400 +$141|
The Points Finder Take
This fee increase brings Velocity closer to Qantas in terms of total cost for flight redemptions, and will be significant for some more than others e.g. those travelling to Hong Kong. Fortunately, frequent flyers planning to use points for flights in the near future can avoid the increase in fees by booking before 8 Jan 2020.
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Image: Virgin Australia