Virgin Australia offers more points and Wi-Fi on NZ flights
Virgin Australia announces a raft of upcoming changes for trans-Tasman flights.
Virgin Australia today announced they will be offering Wi-Fi on all of their flights to Auckland, Queenstown, Christchurch, Wellington and Dunedin from 28 October 2018.
Each passenger will get a free 15 minutes of Wi-Fi during their flight, with the option of paying for additional time. A Virgin Australia spokesperson confirmed to Points Finder that pricing is AUD$6.99 for one hour or AUD$12.99 for the duration of the flight. Speeds will be adequate for emails, social media and streaming, the spokesperson said.
Also announced as part of this shake-up of the trans-Tasman route are some other improvements to Virgin’s service. All fare types will now include at least 23kg of baggage and a “substantial” meal.
Of most interest to points enthusiasts is the increased points and status credit earning potential as part of the changes.
New points earn rates for New Zealand flights
From 28 October 2018, flights to and from New Zealand will now earn a minimum of 5 Velocity points per dollar spent on fares. If you have a status level in the Velocity program, you’ll still receive your regular bonus points too, so you could effectively earn 10 points per dollar spent if you’re a coveted Platinum-status flyer.
This differs from the current system for these flights, where points are earned based on the distance flown.
To illustrate how this will affect you, below is an example of an economy class Getaway return flight from Sydney to Auckland in the existing system vs the new system starting in October:
|Red status||Silver status|
|Platinum status (100% bonus)|
|Existing distance-based system||1,342 Velocity Points||2,013 Velocity Points||2,349 Velocity Points||2,648 Velocity Points|
|Upcoming dollar-based system*||2,770 Velocity Points||4,155 Velocity Points||4,848 Velocity Points||5,540 Velocity Points|
*Based on return flight on 14 Sep and 17 Sep 2018 totalling $554. Source: Virgin Australia
Status credit changes
The status credit tables for these routes are also being changed, with the following new rates being introduced from 1 August 2018 for travel on or after 28 October 2018.
|Zone||One-way miles||Getaway||Elevate||Freedom||Business Saver||Business|
|1||0 - 750||10||15||25||40||45|
Source: Virgin Australia
This replaces the existing chart for flights made before the changes come into effect:
|Zone||One-way miles||Discount economy||Full fare economy||Premium economy||Business/First|
|1||0 - 750||10||20||30||40|
|2||751 - 1,500||15||30||45||60|
|3||1,501 - 3,000||20||40||60||80|
|4||3,001 - 5,000||30||60||90||120|
|5||5,001 - 8,000||40||80||120||160|
Source: Virgin Australia
Based on our return Sydney to Auckland example above, you would earn 40 status credits, up from 30 using the old system.
Picture: Virgin Australia