Virgin Australia Moves to a 3-Tier Domestic Award Chart Virgin Australia Moves to a 3-Tier Domestic Award Chart

Virgin Australia Moves to a 3-Tier Domestic Award Chart

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Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer has moved its domestic awards to a three-tiered pricing structure. The new pricing came into force on July 5, 2023. The new tier structure is based on demand and availability, not the award travel date. This isn't your typical peak or off-peak pricing model, either. Here are the details on the new Virgin Australia Velocity award prices.

3-Tier Domestic Award Pricing

Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer now uses a three-tier pricing structure on domestic awards within Australia. The new pricing came into effect on July 5, 2023.

One-way miles (zone)Economy Tier 1Economy Tier 2Economy Tier 3Business
1–600 (1)
(e.g. Sydney to Melbourne)
6,200`7,8009,90015,500
601–1,200 (2)
(e.g. Melbourne to Sunshine Coast)
9,40011,80014,90023,500
1,201–2,400 (3)
(e.g. Brisbane to Perth)
14,10017,80021,90035,500
2,401–3,600 (4)17,60022,30027,50049,500
3,601–4,800 (5)21,00027,80033,90059,500

Interestingly, the chart includes distances beyond the length of the airline's longest domestic flights.

Related: Do Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer Points Expire?

Is There a Tier Calendar?

Sadly, the new pricing from Virgin Australia is not a peak/off-peak calendar like that used by British Airways or Virgin Atlantic. Instead, it is more like the Saver and Advantage Awards used by Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer or United's Saver and Standard awards. Another similarity would be the price ranges in Aeroplan‘s award chart for Air Canada flights. Virgin Australia, in its wisdom, chose to have three award tiers.

The award price you see will depend on factors like demand and availability. Per Virgin Australia's award webpage:

“Based on the availability of & demand for Economy Reward Seats for a particular flight at a given time…. The lower Tier Points prices indicated above cannot be guaranteed or reserved without making a Points redemption booking and can only be secured on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.”

Reading between the lines, this means tier one awards will be like unicorns, tier two awards will be like blue moons, and tier three awards will be the relative norm. Remember that Virgin Australia will always be able to say it has sold all the tier one and two awards. However, the available tier three pricing is due to the demand for its outstanding award flights.

Our Take

Ultimately this is a devaluation of Virgin Australia’s Velocity Frequent Flyer award chart. While Virgin is spinning the news as more flexibility with cheaper pricing coming down the line, that is very unlikely. In all probability, you will be paying more for your Virgin Australia domestic awards in the long run.

On some shorter flights, the price differential between business class and a tier three economy award is inconsequential, and you might as well fly business. Although Virgin hasn't given any indication, we suspect it is only a matter of time before this new pricing model spreads to Virgin Australia’s short-haul international and trans-Tasman awards.

What do you make of these changes to Virgin Australia’s domestic awards? Let us know in the comments below.

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