Velocity has announced that it is increasing the carrier charges on Reward Flights on 8 January 2020. The increase comes almost exactly one year after they were introduced on Virgin Australia flights.
What are Carrier Charges?
You may have noticed that when you redeem a flight, the airline often asks for a cash payment as well. This is on top of the points and covers a range of fees.
Some of these are genuine taxes and charges that the airline is simply passing on. For example, you could find departure taxes, airport levies, and so on.
Into that mix, airlines can also throw in their own surcharge. Basically, it’s a fee that the airline itself chooses to charge.
Rather inventively they call it a Carrier Charge. Which tends to suggest its a bit of a ‘because we can’ type of fee. They once carried names such as Fuel Surcharge, but airlines have given that charade away.
What are the Changes?
The changes affect most services, with only travellers to Los Angeles being spared. The changes the Velocity are making are as follows:
- Domestic and Trans-Tasman
- Economy Class changes from $3.50 to $10.00 (ex GST)
- Business Class changes from $5.50 to $10.00 (ex GST)
- International Short Haul
- Economy Class changes from $25.00 to $35.00
- Business Class changes from $50.00 to $70.00
- Hong Kong
- Economy Class changes from $35.00 to $45.00
- Business Class changes from $50.00 to $98.00
- Los Angeles
- No changes
If you look at the changes on a percentage basis, it is the short flights that have fared worst. For example, the Carrier Charges on a Domestic Economy ticket are almost tripling.
Virgin Australia carrier charge is payable per sector, per person. So, if you have connecting flights, you could end up paying multiple carrier charges.
Any increase in charges is always disappointing, but it is not surprising given the airline’s financial performance, and increasing costs that it faces.
Fortunately, these changes only affect Virgin Australia operated services – there are no changes when flying on partner airlines.
For further information on the changes, visit the Velocity Update page.