One of the advantages of the Velocity program is that it has not had a fuel surcharge (or carrier charge) when redeeming seats. This is set to change from January 1, 2019, as it introduces carrier charges on award bookings.
Carrier charges were initially introduced as a ‘fuel surcharge’ when fuel prices spiked. As fuel came down in price, many carriers held on to the practice, but renamed the charge as a carrier charge.
Velocity has previously removed the charge altogether. It seems the recent increases in fuel prices have lead to the re-introduction of the charges.
Carrier Charges in Detail
The charges will apply across the Virgin Australia operated network. It will also be applied to redemptions on Delta Airlines flights between Sydney and Los Angeles.
The additional payment will be charged per sector – with multiple sectors attracting multiple fees. The charges range from $3.50 for a domestic redemption, all the way up to $230 for a trans-pacific Business award.
The following table shows the Carrier Charges that will apply to Award bookings.
|Domestic Australia||$3.50 ex GST
$3.85 inc GST
|–||$5.50 ex GST
$6.05 inc GST
|Flights between Australia and Hong Kong||$35.00||–||$50.00|
|Flights between Australia and Los Angeles||$60.00||$145.00||$230.00|
|Flights between Sydney and Los Angeles (marketed and operated by Delta Air Lines)||$60.00||$145.00||$230.00|
As an example of how this will work, consider an economy award between Adelaide and Hong Kong, via Sydney. For the return journey, you will be up for an extra charge of $77. This will consist of the following:
- Adelaide to Sydney – $3.50
- Sydney to Hong Kong – $35.00
- Hong Kong to Sydney – $35.00
- Sydney to Adelaide – $3.50
At this point, the change only affects booking on Virgin Australia and the specified Delta Airlines flight.
It is a bit unfortunate, coming on the heals of a devaluation of transfers to Krisflyer. Fortunately, Virgin Australia has given two months notice of the change.