‘VA, UA, let’s go!’ That’s the uplifting chant uttered by the cheerleaders at Virgin Australia’s launch party at Sydney Airport. United Airways is now officially a partner of Virgin Australia. The US-based carrier boasts a large network in the States and also has the most comprehensive flight connections to Australia.

If you’re a Velocity Frequent Flyer member, you can now use Velocity Points to book United flights through the Virgin Australia website. United replaces Delta as Virgin’s US-based partner, with Delta to exit the partnership on 13 June 2022. Until then, you can use Velocity Points to book either airline.

Until 13 June 2022, you can book both Delta and United with Velocity Points. United’s co-payments are cheaper.

And until 19 June 2022, you can activate an offer with Velocity Frequent Flyer that will reward you with bonus points and Status Credits when you take a United flight out of Australia by 31 December 2022.

  • Economy: 2,500 bonus points and 25 Status Credits.
  • Premium Economy: 5,000 bonus points and 50 Status Credits.
  • Business: 7,000 bonus points and 70 Status Credits.

Next up for Virgin Australia is a new partnership with Qatar Airways, set to start ‘sometime’ in 2022.

How to use Velocity Points with United

Great news – United will sit on the Virgin Australia reward table, which requires fewer points than most other partner airlines. So whether you’re soaring from Sydney to Los Angeles or from Milwaukee to Chicago, you’ll enjoy favourable reward seat rates with Velocity Points.

Distance travelledEconomyPremium EconomyBusiness
1 - 600 miles7,800 pts11,700 pts15,500 pts
601 - 1,200 miles11,800 pts17,700 pts23,500 pts
1,201 - 2,400 miles17,800 pts26,700 pts35,500 pts
2,401 - 3,600 miles22,300 pts36,700 pts49,500 pts
3,601 - 4,800 miles27,800 pts44,700 pts59,500 pts
4,801 - 5,800 miles34,800 pts53,700 pts71,500 pts
5,801 - 7,000 miles39,800 pts62,700 pts83,500 pts
7,001 - 8,500 miles44,800 pts71,700 pts95,500 pts
8,500 - 9,500 miles54,800 pts83,700 pts111,500 pts
9,500 - 15,000 miles59,800 pts95,700 pts127,500 pts

Both the Sydney-Los Angeles and Melbourne-Los Angeles routes will require 95,500 Velocity Points + taxes in Business Class. United’s unique Sydney-Houston flight – which recommences at the end of October 2022 – commands 111,500 Velocity Points in Business.

United Polaris Business
Fly United Polaris Business Class with Velocity Points in 2022.

Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to locate any Business reward availability between Australia and the USA, yet. But you will have better luck on other routes including domestic USA and trans-Atlantic routes.

How to earn Velocity Points with United

Like most of Virgin Australia’s partners, you can earn Velocity Points on United based on the fare you book and the distance you travel (in miles). If you’re booked on a Virgin Australia codeshare (VA flight number operated by UA), then the following rates will apply:

  • Business (J, C, D): 2 Velocity Points per mile
  • Economy (Y, B, W, H, K, L): 1 Velocity Point per mile
  • Economy (R, E, O, N, V, P, Q, T, I, S): 0.5 Velocity Points per mile

If you’re booked on a UA flight number operated by United, then a broader range of earn categories will apply.

UA Fare TypeUA Fare ClassesVelocity Points
BusinessJ, C1.5 points per mile
Discount BusinessD, Z, P1.25 points per mile
Premium EconomyO1.25 points per mile
Discount Premium EconomyA, R1 point per mile
Flexible EconomyY, B1 point per mile
EconomyM, E1 point per mile
EconomyU, H0.75 points per mile
EconomyQ, V, W0.5 points per mile
EconomyS, T, L, K, G, N0.25 points per mile

If you hold a Virgin Australia Travel Bank, you should be able to apply the value of your credit to any United flights bookable on the Virgin Australia website (including codeshares with the VA flight number).

Velocity Points status bonus with United

Good news if you hold Velocity Silver status or higher – you’ll earn even more Velocity Points when flying with United on a UA or VA flight number.

  • Silver members: 50% more points
  • Gold members: 75% more points
  • Platinum members: 100% more points
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How to earn Velocity Status Credits with United

Get ready to turbocharge your Velocity Status Credits balance with United. When flying on a VA flight number with United, you’ll earn:

Distance flownChoice fareFlex fareBusiness fare
0 – 750 miles152040
751 – 1,500 miles 203060
1,501 – 3,000 miles 254080
3,001 – 5000 miles 3560120
5,000 – 8,000 miles 4580160
8,001 + miles55100200

And if you’re just flying United with a UA flight number, be sure to include your Velocity membership number on the booking to earn:

Distance flownDiscount EconomyEconomyPremium EconomyBusiness
Fare classesU, H, Q, V, W, S, T, L, K, G, NY, B, M, EO, A, RJ, C, D, Z, P
0 – 750 miles10203040
751 – 1,500 miles 15304560
1,501 – 3,000 miles 20406080
3,001 – 5000 miles 306090120
5,000 – 8,000 miles 4080120160
8,001 + miles50100150200

Don’t forget to consider using Velocity’s excellent Family Pooling benefit if you’re travelling with a family member or children who share the same address as you. You could collect everyone’s points and Status Credits into your account, reaching your status goals even faster!

Velocity Frequent Flyer Status | Point Hacks
Velocity Gold will earn you 75% more points on United. And it’s easy to pick up with Family Pooling.

Earning United miles on Virgin Australia

Are you a member of United and want to earn more miles while dashing around Australia? You’ll earn miles based on either the fare you paid or the distance flown, depending on how you bought your ticket.

For United tickets starting with ‘016’

MileagePlus Premier statusAward miles earned
Member5x the fare
Silver7x the fare
Gold8x the fare
Platinum9x the fare
1K11x the fare
‘The fare’ is base fare and carrier-imposed surcharges in USD, excluding government taxes.

For all other tickets on Virgin Australia

VA Fare TypeVA Fare ClassesUnited miles earned
BusinessJ, C150% of mileage
Discount BusinessD125% of mileage
Full Fare EconomyY, B100% of mileage
EconomyW, H, K100% of mileage
Discount EconomyL, A, R, E75% of mileage
Deep-discount EconomyO, N, V, P, Q50% of mileage
Deepest-discount EconomyT, I, S, F25% of mileage
Basic EconomyM25% of mileage
GroupsG25% of mileage
Reward seatsZ, U, X0% (not eligible)
Percentages are based off the miles flown on Virgin Australia per flight.

Reciprocal elite perks

Elite status members of both programs can enjoy reciprocal perks when flying with the other airline.

United Premier Gold, Platinum and 1K members are eligible for:

Meanwhile, Velocity Gold and Platinum members will have these perks on United:

  • Priority check-in, boarding and security.
  • One additional complimentary checked bag.
  • Limited United lounge access depending on the itinerary booked (more below).

Velocity lounge access with United

Velocity Gold and Platinum members enjoy access before some United flights, although access has been somewhat trimmed compared to the Delta days.

  • If you’re departing Sydney or Melbourne in Economy or Premium Economy on a United flight, you’ll have access to the Singapore Airlines SilverKris lounges before your flight. If you’re flying in Business Class, you may be able to access other Star Alliance lounges as well.
  • Domestic lounge access within the USA is restricted to Gold and Platinum members holding a ticket with an international leg in conjunction with the domestic leg. Access is only given to United owned and operated lounges. Flights on separate tickets won’t be eligible. Flying USA domestic First Class won’t get you in either – but that’s standard across all airlines in the States.
  • International lounge access is limited to United owned and operated lounges with a same-day international boarding pass. Access to other lounges, such as Star Alliance lounges, is not included unless you fly Business Class.
Except for Sydney and Melbourne, Velocity elite members can only access United-operated lounges.

Summing up

As the Virgin Australia and United Airlines partnership gets ready to soar, we now know all the details of how Velocity Frequent Flyer members can benefit. Remember, the most important step is to make sure your Velocity membership number is attached to your United flight booking.

The points earning rates are a little on the lower side for Business Class, but it’s fairly standard in all the other cabins. At least Velocity elite status members will enjoy bonuses from 50-100% bonus points. The Status Credits earn rate is good across the board, particularly if you’re using Family Pooling.

Everything you need to know about the Virgin Australia-United partnership was last modified: May 24th, 2022 by Brandon Loo