Virgin Australia has rolled out an update to its Economy fares. Under the revamp of fares, the fares are getting new names, and there are some adjustments to the features of the fares.
At the bottom end of the fares, there is a new lead in fare – Economy Lite. This replaces the existing Getaway fares, and Virgin Australia is touting these as being cheaper than the fares they replace. Indeed, they suggest that fares will start at $59 on some routes.
However, this comes at the cost of features bundled with the fare. If you buy a new Economy Lite fare, you will no longer have a baggage allowance, and there is no longer seat selection.
Going up the offerings, Economy Choice will sit in the middle of the three fare families. This is similar to the existing Elevate and doesn’t look much more expensive than the Economy Lite fare. To be fair, though, there was often very little difference between Getaway and Elevate price-wise.
Finally, there is Economy Flex which more or less replaces the current Freedom fare.
Velocity and the new fares
Virgin Australia has made some changes to Velocity Earning, particularly with the Economy Lite fares. All fares will continue to offer an earn rate of 5 Velocity Points per dollar, in addition to offering Status Credits. However, there are some important things to keep in mind with Economy Lite:
- You won’t earn Velocity Eligible Sectors. As such, these fares will not help if you are short of sectors when earning or maintaining elite Velocity status
- Economy Lite earns fewer status credits than the previous Getaway fares
- There is no ability to upgrade Economy Lite to Business. You can’t do it with Velocity Points, Platinum Complimentary Upgrades, or cash bids
- Velocity Platinum and Gold members will not receive a baggage allowance on Economy Lite,
- Velocity Platinum members will still enjoy free seat selection on Economy Lite tickets
On the flip side, if you are flying on an Economy Flex fare, you will receive slightly more Status Credits on a zone 2 flight, compared to Freedom.
In the past, I have typically chosen Elevate fares, as they offered better features over Getaway for not much extra. It looks like this will continue with the new families – when flying Economy, I will probably be on an Economy Choice ticket in most cases.
More information on Virgin Australia’s new Economy airfares can be found here.