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Virgin Australia cuts Status Credit earn rate by up to half from 30 January

Virgin Australia cuts Status Credit earn rate by up to half from 30 January

Customer's flying on Virgin Australia's cheapest Getaway fare classes from 30 January will see their Status Credit earn rate drop on all domestic routes, some by as much as 50%, as part of changes announced in September 2016 finally coming into effect. The Status Credit changes were announced alongside a raft of changes to Virgin's fare types.

Let's take a look at exactly what these Status Credit changes are on the domestic routes and how they compare to Qantas' offering. The results may surprise you!

Virgin Australia Domestic

The following table shows the new Status Credit earn rate for Virgin Australia Domestic flights.

Miles Previous
Status Credits
New
Status Credits
Reduction
0-750 10 5 50%
751-1500 15 10 33%
1501+ 20 15 25%

The changes are not good. The worst affected routes are the shortest, including the popular Sydney-Melbourne route, along with Brisbane-Sydney and Melbourne-Adelaide. Fortunately, the longer routes have been reduced by less, the likes of Perth-Sydney and Brisbane-Sydney will only see a 25% reduction.

So what does this mean for customers? Well, those flying on the shortest routes with Getaway fares will need to fly twice as much to quality for Gold.

 Velocity Frequent Flyer cards (Source: Virgin Australia)

Velocity Frequent Flyer cards (Source: Virgin Australia)

Qualifying for Velocity Gold

I've compiled a selection of Domestic routes offered by Virgin Australia showing the milage and the number of flights requried to quality for Gold status with Velocity Frequent Flyer.

From To Miles Before Jan 30
Flights required
After Jan 30
Flights required
Sydney Melbourne 456 50 100
Brisbane Sydney 465 50 100
Melbourne Adelaide 396 50 100
Melbourne Brisbane 874 33 50
Adelaide Brisbane 1004 33 50
Melbourne Cairns 1453 33 50
Perth Brisbane 2240 25 33
 Qantas A330 (Source: Qantas)

Qantas A330 (Source: Qantas)

So how does this compare to the Kangaroo carrier? Great question, I was wondering this too, and produced the following table that shows how many Qantas flights per route are required with a comparison to that of Virgin's new Getaway fares.

Comparison to Qantas Gold

From To Miles Flights required Comparison
Sydney Melbourne 456 70 30% less
Brisbane Sydney 465 70 30% less
Melbourne Adelaide 396 70 30% less
Melbourne Brisbane 874 47 7% less
Adelaide Brisbane 1004 47 7% less
Melbourne Cairns 1453 47 7% less
Perth Brisbane 2240 35 5% more

Surprisingly, for the lowest domestic fares and shortest routes, it actually takes less flying on Qantas to quality for Gold status than it does on Virgin Australia. The significance of this discovery is lessened by the fact that Virgin Australia is often a fair bit cheaper for the same particular route. As of the date of publication, the best promotion rate from Brisbane to Sydney is $92 on Virgin Australia and $119 on Qantas, a 30% difference. In addition, Virgin Australia offers family pooling of Status Credits (as well as points) which effectively enables you to double your earn rate when travelling with your spouse/partner.

Overall, it's an interesting comparison and I'm sure Virgin will be watching closely to see how their customers respond to this change. One positive side effect is that it may make some of the more congested lounges (Sydney) a little quieter during the evening rush.

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