Travelling Business Class using Velocity points with a family of 3 - tips on the best way to go about it?

First time poster, and just heading down the points accumulation path, and getting educated. Go easy…! :slight_smile:

We are a family of three (son is aged 10 now, will be 11 at time of travel) and we are planning an overseas trip for Sept 2018 to Italy & UK. My wife works for Virgin so we can travel to any port in Australia cheaply, even some overseas options eg Melbourne - Hong Kong.

Currently I am on 250K Velocity Points and my wife 110K. We have accumulated that by a mixture of Credit Cards (Amex & Virgin Money Flyer & High Flyer Visa) and travel - I travel a bit for work, although that is decreasing. We aim to keep increasing our points tally by hunting down offers - credit cards, points purchases, clever household spend etc.

We are celebrating a significant event so I want to fly business class. I have been reading about the Kris Flyer RTW Business Class ticket for 240,000 Kris Flyer Miles. We are flexible about our travel dates, direction of travel etc.

So my first thought is to accumulate as many points as I can between now and Sept next year and see if we can accumulate enough points to redeem the Kris Flyer RTW option. My aim is to get close to a million Velocity points to account for the redemption ratio of 1.35 Velocity = 1 Kris Flyer.

Am I on the right track?

My other concern/question is when to book? Am I leaving it too late if I run the accumulation gauntlet, get to my point requirement and try and book close to our intended departure date? I have been reading about how booking this RTW can be an ‘exercise.’

Also, because of my wife’s Virgin connection, are we better off flying out of a different port, even international eg Hong Kong, and start and stop there? Are there better or worse ports to fly from?

Finally, am I better of say booking economy seats through a Virgin Partner airline (through my wife) and using our points and Expert Flyer to find Business Class upgrades?

There is a bit there I know, but any help/tips would be sincerely appreciated.

Thank you

Hey there,

First addressing your question about when to book, I would really advise against holding off booking to try and run up your points balance, just as business class award seats on long-haul flights into Europe are sought after because they represent the best value for your points and consequently go quite quickly.

Award seats aren’t made available on all flights or all dates, and airlines usually make few or no seats available during times of peak demand such as the September school holidays, as they would rather sell these seats for cash which they know they will than to offer them for points. Given that you want three seats during a peak season and you’ll be wanting all of those seats on the same flight, I think it wouldn’t be wise to wait and I’d be booking the first seats I can - even if that means doing premium economy if the points balance doesn’t stretch to 3 x business award seats. Still a steal over 3 cash tickets and very comfortable on Singapore.

Also in regards to possibly booking tickets with a partner and then seeking upgrades using your points, I think you may not be aware but velocity points aren’t able to be used for upgrades on anything other than a Virgin flight with a Virgin flight number (Virgin’s actual own aircraft). Since Virgin don’t fly their own craft to London that’s not possible for you, but you can transfer them to Krisflyer and use them to request upgrades to paid Singapore airlines fares. I would also call Krisflyer to confirm, however I’m 99% sure that if you used your wife’s connections to purchase an industry fare at a discounted rate through a VA partner, this ticket would likely be unable to be upgraded using points. The vast majority of my adult life I have flown on staff tickets with Qantas through a family connection and I know that interline and ID/AD tickets are normally not eligible for upgrades using points, so I suspect Krisflyer and VA would probably have a similar condition.

The bottom line is that getting three seats in a premium cabin during a peak season is always going to be complicated. I don’t think your chances would be substantially different going via Hong Kong, as at the end of the day your routing into Europe doesn’t change substantially; you’re still going to be connecting with the same Etihad, Singapore or Virgin Atlantic flights to go long-haul into Europe as everyone else. My concern would be that too much time waiting and trying to accrue more points to better your position will actually do the opposite, and the availability of award seats will go before you accrue the points you need to book your seats.

Does that make sense?