When news broke that Virgin Australia was on the brink of going into voluntary administration, there was only one thing on many people’s minds… SHOPPING.
Thousands of Velocity Frequent Flyer members scrambled to the rewards store to cash-in their points on everyday items. So much so, the site had crashed.
Thought I’d try and redeem my velocity points given the ~current situation~ and apparently I’m not the only one!
— Christine (@Chrissaayyyyy) April 20, 2020
— Jorden Teo (@JordenTeo) April 20, 2020
Velocity store crashed. Looks like people were waiting to hear about Virgin going into voluntary admin before redeeming their points for a toaster.
— The Idiot Tax (@TheIdiotTax) April 20, 2020
Wondering how much wine I get with my virgin velocity points. Headed off to the webapp and hit a 504 (gateway time out) what’s the odds that half of Australia is thinking of cashing in all points?
— ashul (@ashulz) April 20, 2020
Now, the unfortunate news that the airline has indeed collapsed, the question of what happens with points is up in the air.
Despite the Velocity Frequent Flyer arm being a separate company and not actually in administration, points are currently frozen and are unable to be claimed for at least four weeks.
“We know how much our members love to plan their travel and use their Points to redeem flights, however the ongoing travel restrictions and reduced flights have limited the options for them to use Points for flights,” Velocity said in a statement.
“We’re seeing more members use Points to shop online for items such as gift cards, electronic goods, and wine. This unexpected demand has made it difficult for our suppliers to provide these offers and limits the availability for all members to redeem their points.”
Velocity has confirmed that customers will not be losing any points they have accumulated and they won’t expire. Customers are also able to continue to earn points through Velocity’s partners.
According to University of New South Wales School of Aviation professor Tony Webber, a huge $2 billion worth of points are currently in circulation.