Velocity Frequent Flyer just announced a price increase to its carrier surcharges which will kick in from January 8, 2020. The surcharges will effect Virgin Australia operated flights booked with points and also Delta flights between Sydney and Los Angeles.
What are carrier charges? It’s the “taxes” an airline levies on award bookings. While they are for the most part unavoidable, in Velocity’s case they are pretty reasonable.
Is the world ending?
No. The current charges are pretty competitive and relatively low anyway, so even though some prices increased by almost 200%… it’s all relative. From $3.50 to $10 isn’t that big a deal in my humble opinion.
What’s not changing?
Current redemption rates remain the same, and so far Velocity hasn’t indicated it will follow Qantas when it comes to devaluing the program. One of the unaffected routes is LA, which remains at the same price and is pretty much in line with the direct competition (Qantas).
This change also doesn’t effect partner redemptions such as Singapore Airlines, Etihad or Virgin Atlantic (to name a few).
I can see why Velocity is increasing these prices; it’s an easy win and can boost their revenue from award bookings. Personally, I would rather pay a few bucks more on carrier surcharges then a 10-15% points increase in redemptions. And if it means that this can help the airline from going bust, I’m happy to pay!