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Virgin Australia launches new Velocity frequent flyer program

25/08/2011

Virgin Australia today launched the first stage of its new Velocity frequent flyer program, offering Australians global coverage, exciting new partners and Australia’s best flight rewards and benefits.

Using months of research and feedback from frequent flyers, Virgin Australia has re-built Velocity from the ground up to create a program that now offers:

  • Global flight coverage with over 600 services1 around the world
  • Enhanced flight rewards, with more options to redeem Points for seats
  • Improved Points earn rates and status earning methods
  • Transformed status privileges and unique benefits for travellers and their families
  • A new Platinum level of membership with exclusive benefits
  • Over 380 program partners including credit cards and retail partners

Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti said the first stage of Velocity was about delivering a program that recognises Virgin Australia’s most valuable frequent flyers and provides them with excellent rewards.

“In reviewing the Velocity program, we were keen to make it easier for frequent flyers to earn Points and Status Credits and use them in a way that suits them. The changes that go live today do just that and more – providing unique benefits that make it truly world-class”, Mr Borghetti said. Mr Borghetti said that research on airline frequent flyer programs demonstrated that Reward Seats were becoming harder to find and more expensive.

“Our new Velocity program will change this, charging fewer Points for Reward Seats and allowing members to redeem their Points for Any Seat2 with Virgin Australia, our international airline partners, and other airlines around the world.

“Members also want to be able to earn and redeem Points and enjoy status privileges wherever they fly. With our international alliances in place, I’m pleased to say that our program provides global coverage, allowing members to travel on more than 600 services internationally with some of the best airlines in the world. Mr Borghetti said Virgin Australia was also introducing new benefits designed to support families.
“Families will soon be able to automatically pool their Points and Status Credits, as well as pause their membership for six months for parental leave without losing their status.

“There are also plenty of other benefits for eligible members, such as the ability to earn free companion membership for their partners and complimentary lounge passes. I know this is very important to our customers who spend time away travelling and want to share their benefits with their families”, Mr Borghetti said.

Virgin Australia also officially launched the new Platinum level of membership today, providing new frequent flyer benefits, including:

  • Guaranteed Reward Seats for international travel
  • Complimentary fare upgrades
  • Priority treatment with Virgin Australia and its international network of airline partners including access to some of the world’s best lounges and priority check-in, boarding and baggage
  • Platinum membership with our car hire and accommodation partners
  • 100% Points bonus on spend with Virgin Australia group of airlines and many of our travel partners
  • Ability to earn Gold or Platinum membership for a companion

“We introduced the Platinum tier to recognise those members who travel with us frequently and to reward their loyalty with the ultimate travel experience and extra benefits”, Mr Borghetti said. Virgin Australia has also added a range of new partners to the program.

“We know that partners are particularly important because people want to be able to earn Points for their everyday spending. Velocity now has Australia’s broadest range of credit cards, the largest range of car hire partners and will soon introduce Points earn on electricity with Lumo Energy, one of Australia's largest electricity suppliers. We have also brought on Westfield.com.au as an Online Mall partner, meaning Velocity will have the widest retail offering with the ability to earn and redeem Points online with retailers in Australia and overseas.

The new program goes live around Australia today, with most benefits available immediately.

"To celebrate the launch of our new program, for a limited time, we will match the status of tiered members of any competitor frequent flyer program, providing them with the equivalent Velocity status for 12 months3. We're confident that once travellers get to experience all of the benefits of the new Velocity program, they will want to continue flying with Virgin Australia”.

Mr Borghetti said the launch of the new Velocity program was a key milestone in Virgin Australia’s strategy to become the airline of choice in Australia.

1 Includes alliance with Singapore Airlines, currently awaiting regulatory approval

2 If a seat with any airline is available for purchase, Velocity members can purchase it using Velocity Points. The number of points required is determined by the price of the seat.

3 Members need to provide proof of tier with another airline. Members of our strategic airline partner programs (Air New Zealand, Delta, Etihad, Singapore Airlines & Virgin Atlantic) will have access to equivalent Velocity status through our alliance agreements and therefore are not eligible for the tier match.