Similar to a recent post re Qantas redemptions, I’m finding the Velocity business rewards seats sold out 11 months in advance for Mel-Lon route by both Etihad and Singapore Airlines. I’ve made several calls to the call centre but would like opinions on the following: 1. I will be looking for 2 Business Rewards seats Mel-Lon and returning Ams-Mel. I was told this can’t be booked online as it’s multi-city so has to be booked via the call centre. I suggested booking 2 x one way online flights but was told this could result in higher taxes. Is this right given the charges, taxes etc are part of the price when booking online? 2. Are the available business rewards seats on Velocity’s website allocated for general public only and other seats are allocated for purchase by travel agents, call centre on behalf of customers? It would make my life easier if I used a travel agent to book the flights for me! Thanks
I’ve just done a very quick look at availability from Melbourne to London in May 2020 on the Virgin Australia website. There’s reward availability just about every day. However, it’s too early to book flights for most of June. Which dates are you looking at?
Re your questions: (1) Just do two one-way bookings. I’d be surprised if this resulted in higher taxes. (2) Reward seats are rarely, if ever, allocated to travel agents instead of the general public. There are companies which (for a fee) will help you find and book flights using frequent flyer points, but to my knowledge all they do is help you find what’s already out there.
However, airlines will often allocate extra reward seats to their own frequent flyers. There are far more business award seats available on Singapore Airlines if you book with Singapore’s own KrisFlyer points than if you book with Velocity points, for example.
What the call centre might be useful for is helping you to find seats to London using the Virgin Australia/Virgin Atlantic route via Hong Kong.
Don’t be surprised if you find the process finicky and frustrating. That’s the same experience that all of us have! Hang in there and it gets easier!
Thanks for the informative reply. When you say there’s plenty of availability in May are you including all business classes? I’m only able to buy business rewards which is the cheapest on points and they’re not surprisingly going the fastest!! My dates are July 4th, 2020 for Mel to London. Cheers!
I’m just including business rewards. For example, if you do a search on the Virgin Australia website for MEL-LHR on the 19th of May, 2020, you’ll find reward availability on EY463 and EY11 for 139,000 Velocity points plus taxes. The bad news is that Etihad’s fees/taxes are just about the highest of any airline out there. Singapore Airlines’ taxes/fees are much lower, but availability via Velocity is much harder to find.
It’s too early to book for July 4, 2020. As this article shows, Velocity releases reward seats 330 days in advance. If you have enough points to convert to KrisFlyer, you should find that July 4 flights via the KrisFlyer website will be available within the next few days.
All the best!
Thanks again, I wish I was flying May not July!!! Anyway, the Kris Flyer option is a great one and I’ll consider swapping points across and booking via Singapore Airlines website.