What happens to your points, tickets after Virgin buy out

Millions of dollars worth of Virgin credit notes and Velocity frequent flyer points will be honoured after the airline was successfully purchased by a private equity firm. It comes as the airline foreshadows changes to its refund freeze.

The troubled airline was on Friday handed a lifeline after American investment giant Bain Capital won its bid months after Virgin collapsed into voluntary administration.

In a shock move, rival company Cyrus announced it had withdrawn its bid to purchase the company, leaving Bain Capital victorious.

But the equity firm isn't the only one with good news today as the new owner confirms it will honour an estimated $100 million worth of prepaid tickets purchased by customers.

In an announcement confirming the purchase, the company said it would "carry forward" all travel credits, purchased both directly and with travel agents once the purchase is complete.

It also said it would invest in and see the closer integration of Virgin with its Velocity program.

Digital art for the tele
Digital art for the tele

It comes after the company told The Daily Telegraph it would continue with the Virgin Velocity program.

The news is a major win for the program's 10 million members, who in April had their frequent flyer points redemption placed on hold as the company fell into voluntary administration.

Since April, the airline's administrators have paused issuing most refunds and have instead been issuing conditional credits to customers.

A source close to the Bain purchase said this would remain the case, at least until the company purchase is finalised and Virgin is placed out of administration.

A spokesman for Virgin Australia said an announcement would be made next week about customer refund entitlements.

What happens to your Qantas frequent flyer points

As Qantas announces thousands of job cuts as part of a major shake-up of the airline, travellers are left wondering whether their frequent flyer points will be impacted.

The national carrier on Thursday announced it would axe almost a fifth of its workforce as part of a three-year plan to slash $15 billion in response to the pandemic.

Now, Australians with loyalty points are worried they could be affected and while there will be some minor changes, customers can rest assured their points will remain valid.

While the announcement won't have a direct impact on people's ability to claim frequent flyer points, there could be indirect impacts.

Qantas has announced it will cut 6,000 jobs from ground operations to pilots, leaving some wondering about its frequent flyer program. Photo: Liam Kidston.
Qantas has announced it will cut 6,000 jobs from ground operations to pilots, leaving some wondering about its frequent flyer program. Photo: Liam Kidston.

With at least 100 aircraft - including most of the international fleet - grounded for the next year, the carrier will be operating fewer flights and bare bones international.

This means frequent flyer members will have fewer flights to choose from when looking to redeem their points.

Quentin Long from Australian Traveller said while there will be fewer flights to redeem points, there's no need for customers to rush to redeem as the restructure is unlikely to impact its frequent flyer program in other ways.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce today announced major changes to the national carrier that will see millions saved over the next few years. Photo: AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce today announced major changes to the national carrier that will see millions saved over the next few years. Photo: AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi

"With a depleted capacity, particularly on international flights, it would suggest it might be harder to redeem but they've done a really good job by allowing to use points on other things."

The good news is, Qantas has told The Daily Telegraph it is looking at ways to boost the number of redemption seats across the airline and its partners, so customers can expect exciting new deals to appear in their inbox.

The airline also recently made reward bookings more flexible, allowing those who use their points to book a Classic Flight Reward Seat on Qantas or Jetstar to change or cancel the booking free of charge until 31 October 2020.

 

Originally published as What happens to your points, tickets after Virgin buy out


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