Virgin Australia has launched a new fare family – Economy Light – on its Long Haul International network.
At the same time, Virgin’s partner, Delta Air Lines, has also rolled out Basic Economy fares on flights to Australia. These fares have similar restrictions to Virgin’s Economy Light fares.
The changes will ripple through to the Velocity Points and Status Credits earning tables. This sees a reduced earn rate for those choosing to purchase a Light fare. On the other hand, Velocity will be increasing the earn rate on their Elevate fares.
Economy Light fare
Virgin Australia has introduced the new Economy Light, which align with Deltas new Basic Economy fare.
At present, the fares are only offered on long haul services. As a result, you will see the fares appear when booking flights to North America, Hong Kong, and Japan.
The following table shows the various Economy fare families on offer on Virgin Australia’s long haul network. Basically, M is moved from the Getaway family into the new Light Family.
|BOOKING CLASS||M||S T Q||V N E L||K H B Y|
While the fares for Economy Light are cheaper than the Getaway fares, you will need to make sure you will actually travel. This is because the rules are quite restrictive. Basically, you are buying a “use it or lose it” ticket.
- You are locked into the flights that you book, and will not be able to change them
- There are no refunds if you have to cancel the booking. In addition, there is no option to get a Travel Bank credit
- If you no show, then you lose everything
- You are unable to upgrade
- Name changes are not permitted
- Fares cannot be combined with other fare brands
- Advance seat selection is not permitted. You will only be able to choose a seat during the check-in process.
- A reduced baggage allowance of a single piece weighing no more than 23Kg is included. In addition, Platinum, Gold and Silver members will continue to to receive their allowance
- Reduced Velocity Points and Status Credit earn rates for Velocity member
Having said all that, the onboard product is the same as on offer for all other Economy passengers. For example, you will still have the same food and beverage inclusions. In addition, you will still get the same In flight entertainment and Wifi inclusions.
Economy Light Points and Status Credits Earning
Velocity will also be making some adjustments to Points and Status Credits earning following this change. Fortunately, it’s not all bad news – if you buy Elevate fares, you will end up earning more.
While Velocity has updated its tables, the changes do not take effect until 23 April 2020. As a result, your actual earnings will be determined by your booking date, and your travel date.
If you booked prior to 23 January, then you will earn at the existing rates, regardless of the travel date. On the other hand, If you book between 23 January and 23 April, you will be affected if your flight is on or after 23 April.
Points Earning Changes
First off, let’s look at the effect the changes will have on earning Velocity Points. If you buy an Economy Light fare, you will see the number of points you earn drop to 0.25 Velocity Points per mile. At present, Getaway fares earn at 0.5 Velocity Points per mile. As such, Light fares will only earn half the points of a Getaway fare.
Elevate fares a seeing a slight increase, from 0.5 Velocity Points per mile to 0.6 Velocity Points per mile. In contrast, Getaway fares are remaining at 0.5 Velocity Points per mile.
Status Credit Changes
The changes to the Status Credit tables follow a similar pattern. The basics are that Status Credits earn on Getaway fares will remain as they are now. If you are travelling on a Light fare, however, you will see a decrease in Status Credits.
Once again, if you are travelling on an Elevate fare, you are in for a boost.
The following table shows the changes.
|One-Way Miles (Zone)||Earning Until 23 April 2020||Earning From 23 April 2020|
|0 – 750 (1)||10||20||7||10||15||20|
|751 – 1,500 (2)||15||30||10||15||20||30|
|1,501 – 3,000 (3)||20||40||15||20||25||40|
|3,001 – 5,000 (4)||30||60||20||30||35||60|
|5,001 – 8,000 (5)||40||80||30||40||45||80|
To put that all into numbers, let’s look at a few examples.
For members flying between Australia and Hong Kong or Tokyo, Velocity will award 20 Status Credits if you are flying Economy Light. In comparison, the same fare to Los Angeles will get 30 Status Credits.