With partner changes announced by Velocity Frequent Flyer this month, you’ll have more opportunities to use and earn your points on travel to Asia and beyond but lose some in New Zealand and the US.
Since we last published this guide in August 2016, Qantas have dropped Alitalia as a partner and added Canadian airline WestJet.
Why this guide is important
Knowing your airline partnerships in advance of making firm travel plans allows you to consider and explore the best ways of getting yourself from A to B.
Doing a little research on the specific partners of both Velocity and Qantas can help you to understand where you can use your frequent flyer points in future.
If you are new to the frequent flyer world (or need a refresher), you may consider signing up to our free email course to access expert information and tips.
The list of partners each program has is fairly extensive, so I’ve tried to list them all but also give a brief comment on their utility. Here is the full overview:
Velocity Frequent Flyer partners
Virgin Australia have the following airlines as their primary partners for Velocity earn and redeem opportunities:
- HNA Group airlines: you can now earn Velocity points on all flights operated by Hong Kong Airlines, and flights between Australia/New Zealand and Hong Kong/Greater China as well as domestic Chinese flights operated by Hainan Airlines, Beijing Capital Airlines and Tianjin Airlines; you can redeem your Velocity points online for Hainan and Hong Kong Airlines flights but you need to call Velocity for Beijing Capital Airlines bookings; you cannot currently redeem your Velocity points for travel on Tianjin Airlines
- Singapore Airlines & SilkAir: for travel to Singapore and onto Asia, Europe and North America; effective immediately, you can now redeem your Velocity points for travel in First and Suites Class (instead of having to transfer them to KrisFlyer); from 31 August 2017, you will also be able to redeem your Velocity points for travel in Premium Economy (meaning that all classes are available for redemption)
- Etihad: to the Middle East and Europe; Velocity’s only partner that allows First Class redemptions but beware of the Etihad Airways Reward Seat Carrier Charge
- Delta: to and within the US; from 31 July 2017, Velocity status holders from Silver above will earn bonus points not only on Delta-operated flights with a Virgin flight number but also on Delta- and Virgin-operated flights with a Delta flight number
- Air New Zealand: from 1 November 2017, Velocity members will no longer be able to earn or redeem points on or for any Air NZ flights except those within New Zealand and between Australia and New Zealand; that means that their services to places like the Pacific Islands, Asia and The Americas will become ineligible for points earn and redemption
- Virgin Atlantic: long-haul travel to/from London and the US, Caribbean, Dubai and some Asia and African destinations. Read more in our guide to using Velocity Points for Virgin Atlantic award flights
- Hawaiian Airlines: to Hawaii and onto North America
- airberlin: to Europe from Abu Dhabi, and within Europe from their German hubs
- Virgin America: from 30 September 2017, Velocity members will no longer be able to earn or redeem points on or for Virgin America flights and elite status holders will lose reciprocal benefits
Other partners include Virgin Samoa, Alitalia and South African Airways.
Qantas Frequent Flyer partners
oneworld partner airlines
The programs below are all oneworld members, and as a result you can use your Qantas Points to fly with them.
It is also worth remembering the same is true of other oneworld member programs, specifically Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles, which you can also accrue points with from credit card spend in Australia.
The most used oneworld partners are:
- Qantas: naturally
- Cathay Pacific & Cathay Dragon: to Hong Kong and onto Greater China, Europe, North America and Russia
Cathay Pacific offers a good premium product and flies from six Australian cities to its hub in Hong Kong
- American Airlines: to Los Angeles and onto and within North America; between North America and Europe
- Japan Airlines: to Tokyo and onto Asia, the US and Europe
- Qatar Airways: to Doha and onto Europe, North America and Africa
- Malaysia Airlines: to Malaysia and onto Southeast Asia and London
- Finnair: has connecting operations with Qantas, Cathay and British Airways via Southeast Asia to Helsinki and onto Europe
- British Airways: to Singapore and London for a wide range of onward connections into Europe; watch high fuel surcharges
- LATAM: for direct flights from Melbourne to Santiago and from Sydney to Santiago via Auckland and onto South America
Lesser-known oneworld partners are:
- airberlin: serving a wide range of destinations in Europe from German ports, and also into Germany from Abu Dhabi (due to filing for bankruptcy, from Qantas: “effective for travel on or from 16 November 2017, Qantas Frequent Flyer Members will no longer earn Qantas Points or Status Credits on flights with an airberlin or affiliate airlines flight number”)
- Royal Jordanian: some intra-Asia flights, e.g. Hong Kong to Bangkok, plus Middle East and into Europe from Jordan
- Iberia: for travel from Spain to The Americas
- Sri Lankan: direct Melbourne – Colombo flight recommences 30 October 2017; access to South Asia and some other light intra-Asia routes
- S7: connections into Russia from Frankfurt
Bilateral partner airlines
Qantas also partner with a few non-oneworld airlines:
- Jetstar: of course, as a Qantas-owned airline; Qantas points is the only way to use and earn points to fly on Jetstar
- Emirates: for flights to New Zealand, Southeast Asia, Dubai and onward throughout its very extensive network
Redemptions in Emirates Business (or First) Class is a great use of Qantas points
- Fiji Airways: to Fiji and onto Los Angeles, San Francisco and Hawaii
- Alaska Airlines: from Hawaii to the US mainland and within the US
- China Eastern
- Air Niugini
- Air Vanuatu
- Aer Lingus
- Jet Airways
- South African Airways
- EL AL
In all cases for the above list, this means they allow points redemptions on these airlines, and sometimes also codeshare with them – where your flight number will begin with QF, but operated by the partner, not Qantas. This is helpful as you’ll earn more Qantas Points and Status Credits on these flights, but potentially at an additional cost when booking through Qantas.
It’s not surprising that Qantas have a wider range of partners than Velocity, given their long-standing oneworld membership.
Having said that, using points on partners is still a great way to get good value out of your points in either program.
Some routes and classes of travel are only available if you redeem on a partner, and knowing the partners and their route networks will stand you in good stead when you come to researching availability and looking for opportunities to use your points down the track.
Earning Points: First Principles
- Getting Started with Frequent Flyer programs
- Earning by Flying
- Buying points and miles
- Earning from Credit Cards
- Earning from Offers & Partners
- Ask Questions & Keep in the Loop
- Earning and Using Points – First Principles
Using Points: First Principles
- Who, What, When, Where and How?
- Flexible Points Programs
- Maximising Points value
- Qantas and Virgin Australia Key Partners
- Searching for points seats