How to use Velocity points for business class trips to Europe?

Hi team,

I have posted a similar thread before so please accept my apologies for being a little repetitive but this is all a little confusing haha
I am wanting to take a trip to Europe with my wife and 2 young kids in 2025. We currently have about 750K velocity points.
Has anyone booked any business rewards flights to Europe (any country) recently and how many points did it cost?
I have read some older posts on the forum here and people suggested 140K one way from east coast of Australia is roughly the cost, but when i make up dates as far into the future as the website allows, it seems closer to 240K is the going rate at the moment.
Are people booking direct to European cities, or is it easier/more efficient to break the trip up eg melb to dubai-dubai to london etc?
or am i better off transferring my points to Krisflyer?
Any help would be appreciated!

Hi @souheilelkhoury

No apologies are necessary for the confusion – it is confusing!

I’ve linked to a couple of Point Hacks articles below which will answer some of your questions, and forgive me if I miss anything. But in a nutshell…

If you’re booking Velocity Reward seats, it’ll cost you 139,000 points per person, one way, to fly to Europe in Business class (plus fees and taxes). So, doing the sums, to fly four people in business class (assuming your kids aren’t under 2 years old) to Europe and back will cost 1,112,000 points. I have to say that it will be very difficult to find four Business reward seats on any flight to/from Australia, and you might want to consider splitting yourselves so you’re only looking for 2 reward seats on each flight.

Yes, I have recently (ish) booked Business reward flights to Europe and back, using Velocity points, on Qatar Airlines. I did it by being up at 12am AEST, 330 days before the flights I wanted, when the reward seats were released. Certainly at the time I booked (late last year), more often than not the reward seats were taken by breakfast. So be prepared for some late nights if you want those flights…

When you see that “the going rate” is 240,000 points each way, you’re looking at the number of points required when you use points to pay the fees and taxes. If you pay those carrier charges with money, the number of points required should be 139,000 points.

When you use Velocity points to fly to/from Europe, your main options are Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways, and Etihad (for some routes you could also go via USA on United). The number of points required is the same (139,000), but the carrier charges are very different. Singapore Airlines’ carrier charges are cheaper than Qatar and Etihad.

You will need fewer points if you do not break the trip up and instead fly direct to Europe (via either Singapore, Doha or Abu Dhabi, depending on the airline).

See the article below for advice on whether it’s worth transferring to KrisFlyer.

I hope this helps!

1 Like

Thanks @sixtyeight that does help! A couple of follow up questions if you don’t mind.
How did you know they would be released 300 odd days in advance?
What site are you booking them on, sorry if this is completely silly but is it through the velocity website and then it tells you which carrier is available?

Hi @souheilelkhoury

If you want to know when airlines release seats, this article is a great place to start!

And yes, to use an airline’s frequent flyer points, you need to book through that airline’s website even if you’re booking a partner airline. So to book, for example, a Singapore Airlines flight using Velocity points, you need to book through the Virgin Australia website.

At this stage my advice would be … spend some time practising making a booking on the Virgin Australia website. See what’s available and get to know how the website works. Practice makes perfect!

Thanks, i think i am getting a bit of an understanding now! One last question, i am on the virgin australia site and found some test flights. I can see what you said about it being 139K points plus $764 cash each way or 266K points with no cash charge. When i select the flights it defaults to the 266K points option, do you know how i can change it to the 139K points and pay the rest in cash option?

Hi again @souheilelkhoury

As you make your way through the booking process and to the payment section, at that point it’ll give you the option of choosing whether to use points to pay the carrier charges, or money, or a combination of both.

@sixtyeight thanks so much, that really helped a lot!

I have enough points to book 1 business class flight at the 139K each way price. I’m doing some dummy quotes just to get an idea of what the taxes and charges are. It wont allow me to go ahead with the next step because its saying i don’t have enough points to book the flight because its defaulting to the 266K points and no cash option. Is there a work around for this? i am worried when the time comes next year to book my flights properly, i wont be able to select them and get to the booking stage because i will have the same problem

Hi @souheilelkhoury

I’m afraid I’m having trouble replicating what you’re seeing. I’ve found a booking which I don’t have enough points to pay the carrier charges for, and it’s taking me to the page with the slider where I can select how many points I want to use to pay the carrier charges.

In any case, if all you want to do is “get an idea of what the taxes and charges are”, you can do that on the search result screen: in the case of the search result below, that $568.38 represents the taxes and charges.

@sixtyeight sorry i think that was my mistake, it must have logged me out at some point. Just out of curiosity, does the amount you have to pay change depending on the date/airline? i found a flight that was the same number of velocity points at 139K but the cash part was $918.88

Hi again @souheilelkhoury

The amount you have to pay in taxes and charges doesn’t generally change according to date, but it does change according to the airline (some charge higher fees than others) and departure airport/country (some charge higher departure taxes than others).

[The clearest example is NZ: if you look for flights from Australia to NZ, the carrier charges are well over $100, but with flights from NZ to Australia the carrier charges are generally about $50. That’s because departure taxes are higher from Australia than from NZ].

The articles below are in need of revision (looking at you here @brandonloo and/or @cchamberlin !) but you’ll get the drift.

Thanks again @sixtyeight. Seems like 4 business class flights with points will still cost me $1500-1800 each in taxes/fees!
does that match your experience?

As a general rule, Etihad and Qatar both charge on the higher side for carrier charges. This means that the amount you’re required to ‘co-pay’ on a trip to Europe (which will airways be at least 2 flights) will be around $750 each way. This is unfortunate as these are probably the main 2 airlines you’ll find availability with to Europe using Velocity points. I’ve found less availability lately with Singapore - their fees would be closer to $450.
$918 on the return leg from CDG to MEL seems a little high, but it came up with the same amount when I looked myself. Some airports (mainly in UK that I’m aware of) will charge an additional fee for business/premium tickets (including reward seats) departing their country, so perhaps France is going down this track too.
I think your fees will also be slightly high (i.e. a bit more than approx $750) on the way over due the additional stop, so you’ll be paying fees to transit through and depart from an additional airport, but this may be unavoidable.

@seandebooy thanks for confirming. I guess it is what it is, i just wanted to make sure i am not doing it wrong and this is the best option. I had originally counted on the 4 flights being a lot cheaper. A friend of mine was telling me that he and his wife flew melb-london via perth last year in business with Qantas but it only cost $500 each

So the big question becomes: are the high carrier charges on Qatar worth it? Only you can answer that question, but for me, the answer is yes, mainly for the following reasons:

First, Qatar is one of those “aspirational” redemptions that everyone talks about. It’s great to do at least once, so you can experience what the hype is all about for yourself.

Second and more importantly, I find I simply get more sleep on Qatar (compared with Singapore Airlines which is cheaper), because of the timings – with Qatar it’s a late-evening departure followed by a 14 hour flight, meaning that I can have a great night’s sleep and arrive at Doha relatively refreshed (on the way back from Doha it’s likewise an evening departure followed by a 13-14 hour flight). Singapore Airlines provides outstanding service but unfortunately, more often than not, I’m transiting in Singapore at the exact time that my body is pleading for sleep.

Qatar’s dine-on-demand meal services also make it easier to sleep, in the knowledge that you’re not having to wait for, or miss, a meal service.

But really it’s a matter of personal preference. On two occasions I’ve been in the fantastic position of being able to choose between Singapore (cheaper) or Qatar (more expensive). At the moment the score is 1-all!

thanks @sixtyeight did you manage to fly on the qsuites business class with Qatar? i have researched it a little and it looks amazing, apparently the best in class when it comes to business class travel

Yes, I flew in the Q-suites (for 3 out of 4 legs on a return trip to Europe – I had one flight on the 787-8). It was good fun!

Just to chime in with my own preferences as well!
A380 on Singapore with bulkhead business class was HEAVENLY. I personally prefer the Singapore Airline style of service than Qatar’s but that’s purely personal preference. Catering fits more to my East Asian palate as well!
Q-suite is an experience I suggest everyone try once because it does ‘look cool’. I do think it is a bit tight for me personally though compared to the width of Singapore.

Hi there,

Total newbie to this forum, but loving it already.

I’m doing as suggested above, and practising on the Virgin website , looking at biz class reward flights, for two people, to Europe (I entered Berlin, as it was the first place that sprang to mind).

I have found one, but it’s slightly different to what @sixtyeight has suggested above. I’ll try and attach a screenshot.

It’s 154,500 points + $793.60

Couple of questions

  • Any idea why the points required would be higher than your suggestion of 139k? Perhaps it has gone up in the last month?
  • Is the $793.60 for one person or for both?

Thanks so much!

Hi @claireylane2

I’m so glad you’re loving this forum – welcome!

To answer your questions…

  • You’re seeing the higher points figure because you’re being charged 15,500 points for the Sydney-Melbourne leg on Virgin, and then 139,000 points for the Melbourne-Berlin leg (via Doha) on Qatar. If you were flying on Qatar only, you’d be charged the 139,000 points but (this is where it gets a bit complicated) Qatar and Virgin are on different Velocity Reward tables, so they can’t be combined.

  • Yes, I’m afraid that $793.60 is for one person. Qatar’s carrier charges are very high, as are departure taxes out of Australia.

Hope this helps and feel free to ask any other questions you may have!