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Virgin Australia's Velocity Frequent Flyer program is easy to overlook. However, the little-known program has lots of sweet spot-related reasons to pay attention to it.
For those who live in a country eligible for creating a Velocity Frequent Flyer account, we've assembled a list of sweet spots that are well worth your Velocity points. Wherever your travel goals take you, there's likely a sweet spot contained in the Velocity program that can get you there.
Here's what you should book with Velocity points.
- About Velocity Frequent Flyer
- Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer Sweet Spots
- Earning Velocity Points
- Final Thoughts
About Velocity Frequent Flyer
Virgin Australia is part of the broader Virgin Group, meaning it's in the same family as the more recognizable Virgin Atlantic, However, Virgin Australia is its own entity.
Virgin Australia's loyalty program is called Velocity Frequent Flyer. Like other Virgin brands, the program branches off Virgin Red — Virgin's central loyalty program. Virgin Red is a familiar name for many of us, but we'll need to pause here. Just because you have a Virgin Red loyalty number doesn't mean you're entitled to accessing Velocity Frequent Flyer.
One of the major caveats we'll need to point out is that you can't join Velocity Frequent Flyer unless you live in one of the following countries:
- Christmas Island
- Cocos Island
- Cook Island
- New Zealand
- Papua New Guinea
- Solomon Islands
If you can't create an account, you won't be able to build a stash of Velocity points. As such, the redemptions discussed in this post will only benefit a small segment of AwardWallet readers.
Virgin Australia's partner airlines
Like many other loyalty programs, partner airlines are the key to unlocking incredible value from your points and miles. While it would be nice if the airline whose award charts we're analyzing had the best value for flights on its own metal, that's rarely the case. Unfortunately, Virgin Australia is no different.
For reference, here's Virgin Australia's complete list of partners:
- Air Canada
- All Nippon Airways (ANA)
- Capital Airlines
- Etihad Airways
- Hainan Airlines
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Hong Kong Airlines
- Link Airways
- Qatar Airways
- Singapore Airlines
- South African Airways
- Tianjin Airlines
- United Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic
Based on the Virgin Australia award flight data points we analyzed, only a small subset of the broader list of 15 partner airlines yields true sweet spot value. So, from here on out, we'll be focusing on:
- United Airlines
- Qatar Airways
- Etihad Airways
And to make these sweet spots a little sweeter, all the awards we cover are bookable online, so you don't have to worry about the hassle of calling Velocity Frequent Flyer to book.
Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer Sweet Spots
Sweet spots are typically known as flight awards that provide outsized value for your points — or are bookable for fewer miles than an award chart might otherwise suggest is possible.
The majority of Virgin Australia's sweet spots are confined to economy-class itineraries on airlines such as Qatar, Etihad, and United. Sure, you can redeem Velocity points for Qsuites and luxe cabins on ANA and Singapore Airlines flights, but the rates aren't good enough that we wouldn't classify these redemption opportunities as bona fide sweet spots.
It's easy to find those flights, especially if you use a tool such as Seats.aero or scroll the Velocity award website, but you won't get them any cheaper than the award chart species as saver-level — nor is Virgin Velocity the best way to book those tickets.
With all of the housekeeping out of the way, we're ready to dive into the sweet spots.
Quick flights across North America on United
If you're looking for another way to travel domestically in the United States on points and miles, we've got another angle for you to book those flights. Virgin Australia offers some compelling award fares for domestic travel on its partner, United Airlines. Rates depend on how far you're flying.
For flights under 600 miles, you can expect to redeem 7,800 points for one-way economy tickets and 15,500 points for one-way domestic first class. For inspiration, here are a few routes that fall into this distance category:
- Raleigh-Durham (RDU) to Orlando (MCO)
- Washington, D.C. (IAD) to Savannah (SAV)
- Toronto (YYZ) to Columbus (CMH)
If you booked these tickets through United, you're looking at paying double the mileage price — for the same dates.
Longer United flights across North America
Longer flights between 601 and 1,200 miles in total flight distance are also sweet spots. At the low end, you can expect to redeem 11,800 Velocity points in economy and 23,500 points in domestic first class. For example:
- Detroit (DTW) to Austin (AUS)
- Vancouver (YVR) to Denver (DEN)
- Orlando (MCO) to Cleveland (CLE)
Hop the pond on United
Continuing with the United theme, Virgin Australia has a few transatlantic sweet spots that present quality uses of Velocity points. Flights under 3,600 miles deserve the most attention here, as you'll get the most mileage out of your points — and you won't regret not using United MileagePlus to book these itineraries.
European flights under 3,600 miles start at 22,300 Velocity points in economy and 49,500 in business. Compared to what United charges in its own currency, these rates are far more favorable.
A few routes that fall under the 3,600-mile threshold include:
- Washington, D.C. (IAD) to Dublin (DUB)
- Newark (EWR) to London (LHR)
- EWR to Lisbon (LIS)
- IAD to Brussels (BRU)
Business class award availability on United is traditionally more complicated to find using Velocity points, but it's a great deal when it's available.
Explore Africa and the Middle East on Qatar
We'll spin the globe and focus briefly on Qatar Airways award flights under 2,400 miles. From its hub in Doha (DOH), you can fly to:
- Cairo (CAI)
- Dar es Salaam (DAR)
- Kilimanjaro (JRO)
- Malé (MLE)
- Nairobi (NBO)
- Seychelles (SEZ)
And the best part is that you can visit these places for just 20,000 Velocity points in economy class or 38,000 in business class. Qatar offers a comfortable product in all classes, so you're in for a great ride no matter where you're going.
Fly across Asia and the Middle East on Etihad
Like Qatar Airways, Etihad offers a few sweet spots throughout the Middle East and Africa, but that's not all. If you've got a stash of Velocity points, you can use them to book itineraries on Etihad up to 4,800 miles long for just 31,000 points in economy.
Here are a few examples of routes that qualify for this sweet spot:
- Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Manila (MNL)
- AUH to Seoul (ICN)
- AUH to Osaka (KIX)
- Beirut (BEY) to Bangkok (BKK) via AUH
Earning Velocity Points
Outside of flying Virgin Australia or crediting partner flights to Virgin Australia's Velocity Frequent Flyer program, there are a few key ways to earn Velocity points. You can buy Virgin Velocity points outright (sometimes with a bonus), but there's a quirk to this process.
Additionally, you can transfer to Virgin Velocity or Virgin Red via a short list of transfer partners:
Our Australian and Oceania-residing audience will have a few more unique opportunities to earn Velocity points. If you're reading from abroad, here are some other ways for you to earn points:
- Sign up for a Virgin Australia co-branded credit card with a welcome bonus.
- Shop the Velocity e-Store.
- Reserve hotels through a travel partner or book a cruise through Cruisepilot.
Virgin Australia's Velocity Frequent Flyer program has long flown under the radar, but plenty of sweet spots are worth taking advantage of — if you live in an eligible country where you can create an account.
If you've got travel goals that touch on some of the destinations named in this post, comparing Velocity pricing with other loyalty programs will be well worth your time. Virgin Australia's sweet spots span the globe, and the pricing is extremely competitive.
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