Many Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer members are being warned to take action on their point balances by the end of the month or risk expiry.
From 1 July, point balances on Velocity Frequent Flyer accounts will expire if the account has been inactive for two years, as the airline ends an expiry freeze that was put in place due to COVID-19. The two-year time limit was Virgin’s previous standard, compared to 18 months for Qantas Frequent Flyer.
A Virgin Australia spokesperson told Australian Aviation that it is standard for loyalty points to expire, and that the airline sends reminder messages to members at 60 and 30 days before expiry.
“In July 2022 we announced a decision to protect the Points balances of our members, extending validity to at least 30 June 2023. This was an acknowledgement of the difficulties that many members experienced trying to earn or spend Points during the pandemic,” the spokesperson said.
“Those impacted by the upcoming expiry will have had no activity on their accounts for three years. Members can extend the validity of their balances by earning or redeeming as little as a single Point, which will automatically renew their balances for another two years.”
Members can preserve their point balances by earning points through shopping at linked outlets such as 7-Eleven, as well as transferring Flybuys points, or by redeeming points on flights or other rewards. Transferring points between members or earning status credits, however, will not preserve point balances.
Rival Qantas did not extend customers’ point balances during the pandemic, but did offer members the chance to keep their existing status level by booking at least one flight before their membership was due to expire. This freeze was also planned to end this month.
Announcing the move in 2021, Qantas Loyalty chief executive Olivia Wirth said it would allow customers to retain their tier levels while domestic and international travel remains on hold.
“We know how important tier status is to our members and many of them have built it up over many years of flying with us,” she said.
“Our members have remained highly engaged with the program even in the midst of a global pandemic.”