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View From the Wing
(Program Reviews - Side by Side Comparison - Website Reviews)
Rated: October 2012- Visit the Virgin Australia Velocity website and you'll immediately be shown the program's top offers. A prominent box at the top of the page contains rotating images and text describing five featured offers, including ways to earn bonus points and an award sale.
The airline's predominant colors, red and gray, are used throughout the site and information is well-organized. A horizontal menu bar at the top has links to the main topics and a box to the left contains links to all the different categories for redeeming points, including car hire and charities. You'll also find links to special offers at the bottom of the page.
You can join or log in to the program via a box at the top. Online registration is a short, one-page form, but you must be a resident of Australia, New Zealand or one of several nearby islands to join Velocity.
Click Specials from the main menu to view all of the ways to earn bonus points. Special offers are listed by category. After clicking a category, such as Hotels, you'll be taken to a page that lists all of the hotel offers. Each offer has a link to the terms and conditions that will open another window with the details for that promotion. Because the terms and conditions are hidden from view, the site has a cleaner look, but you may be doing a lot of clicking if you want to know the fine print for all of the promotions.
The Earn and Redeem sections are similarly organized by category. To figure out the number of points needed for an award flight, Velocity publishes a table of the most popular award routes, including the taxes and fees for each route. There is also a points table that lists the number of points for award flights on all routes, including flights on partner airlines. The number of points required for an award redemption is based on the flight distance. Members can type in their origin and destination into a calculator to view how many points are needed for an award flight. The tool will display a Points + Pay option or an all-inclusive option, where the taxes and fees can be paid for with points.
Members can redeem points online for award flights on Virgin Australia, Virgin Samoa, Delta Air Lines and Etihad. For all other partner award flights, you'll need to call reservations.
The Status tab will take you to information about the elite program. Click benefits-at-a-glance for a quick overview of all elite benefits. For more information, there are tabs for each individual elite level.
Links to the Terms & Conditions and FAQs can be found at the bottom of the page. The FAQ list only has answers to five questions so you will need to refer to the T&C for answers to additional questions.
Virgin Australia Velocity is a relatively small program and the website is clear and concise. Navigation is intuitive and the program even offers online award booking for some, but not all, airline partners.