Book now: Increased Singapore Airlines carrier charges with Velocity start tomorrow

While the Velocity and Singapore Airlines partnership goes from strength to strength, if you hold a pile of Velocity Points, there’s an upcoming charge that bears knowing about.

From 5 October 2022, Velocity Frequent Flyer members will be stung with a ‘carrier charge’, applicable for all Singapore Airlines reward seats booked with Velocity Points.

Fortunately, there’s still a few days left to lock in your Singapore Airlines redemption with Velocity Points, thereby avoiding this fee. Here’s what you need to know:

Velocity’s new Singapore Airlines carrier charges explained

Virgin Australia offers a longstanding partnership with Singapore Airlines – with many recently reinstated features. However, the announcement of impending carrier charges for Singapore Airlines award seats we reported on several months back is set to cast something of a shadow.

From 5th October 2022, using Velocity Points to redeem Singapore Airlines reward seats will attract carrier charges, levied in US Dollars. This new charge is applicable per flight segment, with the schedule of fees set out in the table below:

As can be seen, the carrier charge cost depends on both the route and the cabin of travel.

Travellers can expect to pay from $30 USD for a flight segment of up to 4,200 miles in economy, up to $150 USD for a business or first class flight segment over 4,200 miles in distance. 

Under the new charges, a one way business class reward seat from Sydney to Singapore, for example, would just scrape in to the 0-4,200 miles segment, attracting a payment of $90 USD in addition to other fees and taxes.

Travellers looking to redeem a return reward flight to Europe from Australian East Coast cities in business or first class, on the other hand, would need to fork out an eye-watering $480 USD ($705 AUD at the time of writing).

How to avoid the Singapore Airlines carrier charge

If you currently have access to a stash of Velocity Points, and you’re able to identify a redemption you wish to book, it’s possible to lock in a reward seat on Singapore Airlines right now, in order to avoid being slugged this new fee.

Singapore Airlines reward seats can easily be booked via the Velocity website, and also by telephoning the Velocity call centre.

Digging into carrier surcharges levied by Velocity Frequent Flyer

A carrier charge is a surcharge for using points to book a reward seat. Carrier charges exist in addition to the standard airport fees and taxes that passengers also have to pay. 

Velocity isn’t alone in slugging frequent flyers with this fee, but it does levy some of the highest around.

As far as carrier charges go, Virgin Australia’s own are quite modest.

However, reward seats on airline partners Etihad and Qatar Airways attract hefty carrier charges, with these set to apply to Singapore Airlines next month. An overview of the carrier charges applicable to these airlines can be found here.

The two tables below set out the applicable carrier charges for both Etihad and Qatar Airways. Both these airlines spread their carrier charges out over five distance-based zones, and both attract payments in US Dollars.

As seen, a carrier charge on a one way Qatar Airways business class reward seat under 1,000 miles can theoretically come in at just $85, while for Etihad, a similar journey attracts a carrier surcharge of $150 USD.

For a one way business class reward flight of 3,001 – 4,000 miles duration, both Etihad or Qatar Airways attract a $200 USD carrier charge.

Velocity carrier charges on Etihad-operated flights:

Velocity carrier charges on Qatar Airways operated flights:

qatar carrier charges

In conclusion: Velocity carrier charges on Singapore Airlines operated flights have the potential to add significant cost outlay to a points redemption. That said, there’s still time to lock a redemption now, thereby avoiding this fee.

How do you feel about Velocity’s new carrier charge for Singapore Airlines reward seat bookings?

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