Another day and another reduction in reciprocal frequency flyer benefits between Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand. From 1 November 2017, Velocity Frequent Flyers will only earn Velocity Points, Status Credits, receive lounge access and other frequent flyer benefits on flights within or between Australia and New Zealand.
This means Velocity Frequent Flyers will no longer be eligible to earn status on Air New Zealand’s fantastic flights to North and South America. This is a real shame given Air New Zealand’s direct flights to Buenos Aires from Auckland. Without this connection, Virgin Australia lacks any solid airline partners flying to South America – with the exception of Delta but that means flying to North America first.
Thankfully, any bookings made prior to 10 July 2017 for travel after 1 November 2017 will still be eligible for Velocity Points and Status Credit earn.
It’s pretty clear the relationship between Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand is continuing to move south and it appears this is unlikely to change anytime soon. At least Trans-Tasman services are okay for now.
I would really like to see Virgin Australia join Star Alliance so we can get rid of the distruptive and difficult to follow weekly lounge access updates. This is one of the main reasons I’ve switched all of my personal domestic and international travel to Qantas and Oneworld. The simplicity of Qantas’ international partner network is a breath of fresh air.