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Virgin Australia: Changed Status Credit earn rates on top and bottom fare categories

Virgin Australia: Changed Status Credit earn rates on top and bottom fare categories

These changes were introduced a couple of weeks back when some domestic fare categories were changed by Virgin Australia.

  • Economy Lite was Getaway
  • Economy Choice was Elevate
  • Economy Flex was Freedom
  • Business was either Business Saver or Business – now only one category

The name changes also changed some of the entitlements of the categories, like luggage, status earn and seat selection.

a reception desk in a building
Virgin Australia lounge, Adelaide 2021

Change, change change . . .

Earn rates roughly map between the old and the new categories, except, for Economy Lite, you get fewer status credits on short flights:

  • <750 gets you 5 instead of 7 points
  • <1500 gets you 7 instead of 10 points
  • >1500 gets you 10 instead of 15 points

Choice and Flex rates get you the same number of status credits as they did before the rebrand. On the other hand, Business fares get a little boost:

  • <750 gets you 55 – same
  • <1500 gets you 80 instead of 70 points or 60 for Business Saver
  • >1500 gets you 105 – same, although a boost over the old Business Saver earn rate of 90

If you are after Status Credits, then it’s probably a good idea to pay roughly AU$20 extra to boost your from a ‘Lite’ to a ‘Choice’ fare. As well as getting around triple the status credits, you also get a heap of extra benefits – everything from seat selection to more baggage.

As in most discount airline cases, buying the lowest fare category can be a false economy.

Trans-Tasman earn

Similar to domestic fare changes, the same is true for flights to New Zealand – even though they are suspended at the moment. You will earn fewer points on the lowest fare, and slightly higher points than before if you fly in business class – all depending on the milage you fly. For detailed information, head to the Velocity Status Earn page.

So the lesson is – Economy Lite tickets might cost you more in benefits and status than you wish. Consider heading up to the next Choice category if status credits, seat selection and included baggage are important. If you usually travel at the pointy end, then Business Class fares will earn you more status in most cases than they did before 19 August 2021

a group of people sitting in chairs in a room
The Club Lounge, Melbourne, 2021

2PAXfly Takeout

This is another timely reminder to wear your seatbelt when seated. Holding you close to your seat will protect you from the sort of injuries sustained on this flight, when unsecured passengers flew to the ceiling of the aircraft, and then came crashing down once the ‘drop’ ceased.

The hope will be that this is an anomaly – a ‘freak accident’ in casual parlance. If it is a systemic error either mechanical or electronic, then this is a larger concern for the airlines that fly Boeing Dreamliner 787 aircraft. Let’s hope it isn’t. If it is, it will pile on the woes to Boeing’s existing stack.

These changes are a mixed bag. You lose on the swings – ‘Lite’ fares – and win on the roundabouts – ‘Business’ fares.

These changes are from the low-cost playbook. If people want the cheapest airfare, then loyalty is not important to them, or the airline. If people pay for more, then the benefits of loyalty to the passenger, and the higher income per seat to the airline will be rewarded.

Same as it ever was.

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