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Monday 7 October 2019

Virgin Australia finds a new way to alienate frequent flyers

Virgin Australia's Velocity Frequent Flyer scheme is designed to reward regular flyers for their loyalty to the airline.

As regular readers of this blog will know, I am very critical of Virgin's attitude to its customers and have allowed my status to drop from platinum to sliver over the past two years. 

Now Velocity members are about the find their reward flights (the ones they save up points for years to book) are about to get more expensive.

The airline is lifting its carrier charges for reward flights - another slap in the face for regular flyers. 

From January 8, 2020, loyalty members will pay $10, up from $3.50, for a domestic booking. And a business class seat to Hong Kong will almost double from $50 to $98.

The increase is down to rising airline operating costs, Virgin says. I say it is probably down to previously loyal flyers looking at options that offer a better deal. 

Virgin boasts that its Velocity members can redeem points for flights on Virgin and partner carriers to hundreds of destinations worldwide.

Members redeem tickets with points or a mix of points and cash.

Virgin recently announced it will take full control of the Velocity loyalty program again by buying out private equity firm Affinity Equity Partners which acquired a stake five years ago.

Virgin's carrier charge increase follows a recent major revamp of Qantas' Frequent Flyer program.

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