Velocity points can now be redeemed on Tigerair Australia, and can be used for add-ons as well, such as baggage, food, beverages and seat selection. Note that the travel insurance component of a fare can’t be paid for with points.
A minimum of 3,100 Velocity Points are required, and can be used to pay in full, or as points + pay. The booking process is done through the Tigerair website, with the points value only becoming evident in the very last step before payment.
Note that you cannot earn Velocity points by flying with Tiger, even on a fully paid ticket. You also can’t use the Virgin Lounges when flying Tiger, even if you’re a Lounge member.
Comparison of using Velocity Points on Tigerair and Virgin Australia
To see how this stacks up, I decided to do a quick comparison. When looking to book a midweek flight from Melbourne to Brisbane in a fortnight’s time, I came up with the following:
On Tiger, using a base fare with no inclusions, I’d be looking at $79 or 12,154 Velocity points.
For a similarly timed flight on Virgin Australia, the cost would be $149 or 14,300 points (or 10,900 pts + $21.47).
Once you add the ‘extras’ on Tiger that come as part of a Virgin fare, such as seat selection, 1 x 20kg bag (23kg on VA) and a basic meal, then the Tiger fare ups to $105 or 16,154 points.
These numbers will obviously vary depending on availability, and how far ahead you’re booking, but it does suggest that using Velocity points on Tiger mightn’t be the greatest value, at least for domestic travel.
At this stage, the booking processes of both airlines is completely separate (unlike that of Qantas and Jetstar), so doing case by case comparisons on points cost will take a bit more effort.
When should I use my Velocity Points on Tigerair?
In some instances, such as availability, timing, and destination, this arrangement could serve you well. I’ll admit that most of my Tiger experiences have been last minute flights when the major two players have been far too expensive to consider or have had limited points options.
If I theoretically had to fly today, a base fare on Tiger (MEL-BNE) would be $99 or 15,231 points, whereas a comparable fare on Virgin Australia is slightly more than double that in both currency and points. Even in that situation, I think I’d be paying cash for the Tiger flight and saving my points.
Using Velocity points on Tiger gets more attractive when looking at further distances, and more passengers. As an example, a flight from Melbourne to Denpasar in a fortnight’s time, with baggage and a basic meal is around $200 / 32,000 points on Tiger. Again, a comparable ticket on Virgin Australia is more than double that ($500 / 76,500 points). For a family of 5, this difference is significant, and could certainly tip the scales for a ‘free’ family trip overseas.