Singapore Airlines and Virgin Australia announced yesterday that they’ve launched the worlds’ first loyalty programme conversion for frequent flyer points.
This is quite unusual but not unheard of, British Airways, Iberia and the Avios Travel Reward program do allow you to transfer between accounts.
You can find the press release below:
What will the benefits be?
This new conversion will be available from November, but we don’t know exactly when or what the conversion and process will be. A new and improved online booking system will be introduced for Velocity Frequent Flyers for redeeming on Singapore Airlines and SilkAir.
We’ve already seen some improvements over the last twelve months:
- redemption across all classes of travel on Virgin Australia with the inclusion of premium economy and the ability to earn Status Credits on domestic, Trans-Tasman and Pacific Islands codeshare flights operated by Virgin Australia for KrisFlyer members
- Reduction in the Velocity Points required for Reward Seats on Singapore Airlines and the ability to earn Points on all fare classes with Singapore Airlines and SilkAir for Velocity Frequent Flyer members.
Extra Spending Options – Specifically for KrisFlyer members this will open up lots of opportunities to earn and burn with Velocity Frequent Flyer partners including non-flight redemptions:
- Velocity Rewards Store
- Car Hire
- Holidays and Travel
Converting could be a way to use up some spare KrisFlyer Miles in the future.
Extra Earning Options – Both Velocity Frequent Flyer members and KrisFlyer members will be able to benefit from a larger range of earning partners to – if you are savvy with it you could really improve your earning rate. For KrisFlyer members Velocity Frequent Flyer has a large range of earning partners that would be worth you checking out – especially if you are based in Australia.
The Downsides of the Alliance
There is as one might expect no sharing of elite miles or status credits so you can’t swap Virgin Australia status credits or KrisFlyer Elite Miles, which are used to achieve frequent flyer status.
In addition to that you can’t swap you status between the programs, but you’ll still be able to use the reciprocal benefits including the priority check-in and lounge access.
I also think that this is going to mean that the previously exclusive redemption’s for KrisFlyer members is now being opened up to a much larger population. Velocity Frequent Flyer has 4.7 Million members and they’ll now be able to convert and redeem using the availability that KrisFlkyer members had previously been exclusive to (obviously excluding what Star Alliance members benefit from).
Finally this is probably only going to benefit KrisFlyer members in the regions that you can actually sign-up for the Velocity Frequent Flyer program which is limited to the following countries:
- New Zealand
- Pacific Islands
So if you are based in Singapore then this is going to be a no-go unless you can get an address in Australia to use.