Virgin Australia and United Airlines have finally activated their partnership, including the ability for members of Velocity Frequent Flyer and United MileagePlan to redeem their points for flights on both airlines.
The United partnership replaces the previous alliance with Delta and opens up a huge network of domestic and international routes for both airlines.
In this post:
- How To Use Velocity Points on United flights
- How Many Points Do I Need To Book United Flights?
- Can I Use Velocity Points To Upgrade United Flights?
- Best Velocity Earning Credit Card?
- How to find United Airlines Award availability
- How to earn Velocity Points when Flying United Airlines?
- Velocity & United Reciprocal Status Benefits
- Velocity Frequent Flyer Lounge Access With United Airlines
- Summing Up United Airlines Virgin Australia Partnership
How To Use Velocity Points on United flights
Using your Velocity Frequent Flyer points to book United Airlines flights is very easy and can all be done online via the Velocity Frequent Flyer website. Here’s how you can search and redeem your Velocity Points step by step:
- Log in to your Velocity Frequent Flyer account here
- Visit “My Velocity” and click “book a flight.”
- Tick the “use Velocity Points” toggle
- Select your dates and enter the number of passengers
- Click “let’s fly” and wait for the results to show.
- In the search results, look for the purple label that reads “Reward Seat Available”. If this label doesn’t show, it means there are only points + pay rates available, which are essentially cash tickets converted to points.
- Once you click the fare, you will be able to see both pricing for Economy and Business.
- Select the class you want and proceed to payment. Here, you will choose to either pay the total amount in points or pay the taxes in cash for a reduced amount of points.
To see all the points costs, you can refer to the table below. To calculate the number of miles your flight is, you can use GCMap and enter your departure and destination.
How Many Points Do I Need To Book United Flights?
Velocity Points required to book United Airlines flights depend on the distance. To work out how many miles a flight is we recommend using a tool like GCMap to calculate.
|✈️ Distance One Way||United Economy||United Premium Economy||United Business|
|1 - 600 miles||7,800 pts||11,700 pts||15,500 pts|
|601 - 1,200 miles||11,800 pts||17,700 pts||23,500 pts|
|1,201 - 2,400 miles||17,800 pts||26,700 pts||35,500 pts|
|2,401 - 3,600 miles||22,300 pts||36,700 pts||49,500 pts|
|3,601 - 4,800 miles||27,800 pts||44,700 pts||59,500 pts|
|4,801 - 5,800 miles||34,800 pts||53,700 pts||71,500 pts|
|5,801 - 7,000 miles||39,800 pts||62,700 pts||83,500 pts|
|7,001 - 8,500 miles||44,800 pts||71,700 pts||95,500 pts|
|8,500 - 9,500 miles||54,800 pts||83,700 pts||111,500 pts|
|9,500 - 15,000 miles||59,800 pts||95,700 pts||127,500 pts|
Can I Use Velocity Points To Upgrade United Flights?
No, it’s not possible to upgrade United Airlines flights using Velocity Frequent Flyer Points.
Best Velocity Earning Credit Card?
Our favourite Velocity Earning card is the American Express Velocity Platinum which earns up to 2.25 points per $1, has an uncapped earn rate and comes with a complimentary domestic Virgin Australia flight each year you hold the card. This card also comes with a huge sign-up bonus, you can check the current offer on this card by clicking here.
How to find United Airlines Award availability
United Airlines Mileage Plan is no longer a distance-based frequent flyer program which means that prices fluctuate based on availability and other factors. However, there appears to be a correlation with United’s cheapest business fares being available with Velocity as well.
Here’s what I mean, when you use the United Airlines award search engine (which is much better than Velocity for finding flights), you will see the cheapest rates listed as 80k in green when checking Sydney to LAX. When comparing these results with the Velocity award search engine, I could see that the availability did appear to match.
To summarise, when a United Saver award (I) is available, it also appears to be available to Velocity Frequent Flyer members. This means we can use tools such as Expert Flyer to set alerts for dates in the future, and when they open up on United, we can then go ahead and snap them up using Velocity before they are gone! You can learn how to use Expert Flyer in our guide here.
How to earn Velocity Points when Flying United Airlines?
One of the benefits of this new partnership is that Velocity Frequent Flyers will be able to earn points and status credits on flights operated by United Airlines (and visa versa).
For a limited time, Velocity Frequent Flyer members can earn a points boost when they activate this offer and book a United Flight by June 19 for travel up until December 31, 2022. Note that this promo only applies for flights departing Australia.
In addition to the regular earn rates, members will receive the following bonus depending on the booking class:
- 7,000 Points and 70 Status Credits in Business or First Class
- 5,000 Points and 50 Status Credits in Premium Economy
- 2,500 Points and 25 Status Credits in Economy Class
The earn rates for Velocity Frequent Flyer members booking a VA flight number operated by United are as follows:
- Business class fare type J, C, D: 2 Velocity Points per mile
- Economy class fare type Y, B, W, H, K, L: 1 Velocity Point per mile
- Economy class fare type R, E, O, N, V, P, Q, T, I, S): 0.5 Velocity Points per mile
If you’re booking a flight which a UA (United Airlines) flight number operated by United Airlines, you will earn points according to the following fare types:
- Business class fare type J, C: 1.5 points per mile
- Discount Business class fare type D, Z, P: 1.25 points per mile
- Premium Economy class fare type O: 1.25 points per mile
- Discount Premium Economy class fare type A, R: 1 point per mile
- Flexible Economy class fare type: Y, B: 1 point per mile
- Economy class fare type M, E: 1 point per mile
- Economy class fare type U, H:0.75 points per mile
- Economy class fare type Q, V, W: 0.5 points per mile
- Economy class fare type S,T,L,K,G,N: 0.25 points per mile
- Velocity Status Bonus Multiplier
If you’re a Velocity Frequent Flyer with either Silver, Gold or Platinum, you will earn bonus points at the following rates:
- Velocity Silver: 50% bonus points
- Velocity Gold: 75% bonus points
- Velocity Platinum: 100% bonus points
Earning Velocity Status Credits With United Airlines on a VA flight number:
|✈️ One Way Distance flown||Choice fare||Flex fare||Business fare|
|0 – 750 miles||15||20||40|
|751 – 1,500 miles||20||30||60|
|1,501 – 3,000 miles||25||40||80|
|3,001 – 5000 miles||35||60||120|
|5,000 – 8,000 miles||45||80||160|
|8,001 + miles||55||100||200|
Earning Velocity Status Credits With United Airlines on a UA flight number:
|✈️ One Way Distance flown||Discount Economy||Economy||Premium Economy||Business|
|ℹ️ Eligible Fare classes||U, H, Q, V, W, S, T, L, K, G, N||Y, B, M, E||O, A, R||J, C, D, Z, P|
|0 – 750 miles||10||20||30||40|
|751 – 1,500 miles||15||30||45||60|
|1,501 – 3,000 miles||20||40||60||80|
|3,001 – 5000 miles||30||60||90||120|
|5,000 – 8,000 miles||40||80||120||160|
|8,001 + miles||50||100||150||200|
Velocity & United Reciprocal Status Benefits
Both airlines will be offering reciprocal benefits to their frequent flyer elites.
If you’re a Velocity Gold or Platinum frequent flyer, you will receive the following benefits:
- Priority check-in, boarding and security.
- One additional complimentary checked bag.
- United lounge access (this is limited, see the lounge section for more details)
Meanwhile, United Premier Gold, Platinum and 1K members will receive the following benefits when flying with Virgin Australia:
- Priority check-in, boarding and security (if available)
- One additional complimentary checked bag.
- Virgin Australia domestic lounge access.
Velocity Frequent Flyer Lounge Access With United Airlines
Velocity members get limited lounge access with united when flying on a United Airlines operated flight. The access rules will depend on where you are flying to:
- International departures out of Australia will have access to the Singapore Airlines SilverKris lounges in Melbourne and Sydney. This is for those travelling in economy/premium economy and hold Velocity Gold or Platinum. Naturally, business class passengers can choose any Star Alliance lounge they wish to visit.
- When travelling domestically in the USA, Velocity Gold and Platinum members can only access United Airlines operated lounges if their ticket has an International segment attached to it.
- On international United flights, lounge access is limited to United Airlines owned and operated lounges only if you are travelling in economy/premium economy as a Velocity Gold or Platinum member.
Summing Up United Airlines Virgin Australia Partnership
This partnership adds a lot of value to Australian Velocity Frequent Flyer members opening up an excellent connection to the USA and beyond. With attractive redemption rates and great connections from Australia to the US, we’re definitely excited to see how this partnership evolves. As an added bonus United will be flying its latest Polaris Class to Australia which is an excellent business class product.