We’ve received some tip-offs that Virgin is charging double the price for the same flight for people using their Future Flight credits*. We’re investigating if this is the case but we need your help.
If you have a Future Flight credit and have a spare 2 minutes, please help CHOICE Campaigns by doing the following:
Head to the Virgin Australia website and select a flight.
Tick the purple box that says ‘I would like to use Travel Bank to pay for some or all of this booking’ and enter your username (the number you received via email from Virgin confirming your credit note).
Screenshot the pages that show the time, date and price of the flight.
Cancel the booking.
Using the same flight details, try to book it without selecting the Travel Bank option.
Screenshot the pages that show the time, date and price of the flight. Close the page.
You can send these through to me directly via Community direct messages.
Thanks for your help on this one!
*A Future Flight credit is a type of credit provided if your original flight booking was made on or before 20 April 2020.
This is true. Late last year I thought I’d use my credit for our flights to Darwin. I had already checked prices so knew there was a great special on Xmas day, yet when I went to use my credit, that price didn’t show up but a higher one (it wasn’t quite double). So I went with the cheap fare and still have my credit. I tried to use it again recently but there weren’t any seats I could use it on for my preferred dates.
It is not just Virgin. I had the same thing happen with Qantas recently.
I don’t have a current credit to try, unfortunately.
My recollection of using flight credits in Feb 2020, from a cancelled booking nearly 12 months prior.
The lowest cost ticket offers were only available if you searched anonymously. You however cannot use your flight credits when it comes to payment for the booking.
To use the credits, you first need to log into your account using the link Virgin provided or select that initial option. Only after providing that advice do you get to search for flights. The priced options exclude any cheap seats that may be available for a normal booking. That’s what I observed at the time.
The original one way economy booking made on short notice was from Townsville to Brisbane. The Credit was barely enough to pay for a flight one way from Brisbane to Newcastle, approx half the distance. Townsville air fares are always a premium route for some reason, IE more expensive than Brisbane - Cairns which is 25 minutes further. In comparison Brisbane - Newcastle has been highly competitive.
Different rules apply depending on when the credit arose. The original post relates to credits for bookings made before 20 April 2020 i.e. prior to the administrator being appointed. Examples of higher fares for rebooking relate to those credits.
Did the credit that you used relate to an original booking made before or after April 2020?
I have a Virgin Australia credit for $1600 from a flight for 2… from Melb to Broome that was cancelled due to Covid 19. Trip was to be from 20/6/21 to 27/6/21, these tickets had been purchased on the 31st March 2021 with the 50% government discount on flights around Australia…V.A advised if tickets are cheaper at time of purchase, that I will not get a refund on the difference, and if price is more expensive will have to pay difference. I did as Amy from Choice advised, I booked flights to Broome for Aug 2021 with the “flight credit” and then with out the flight credit, and both prices came to $2273.02…still $673.02 above. I believe V.A are double dipping, and that they should honor the $1600 flights
I had credit with Virgin from a flight to and return from Sydney May last year which I was able to use to fly to Brisbane at the start of this month but had to come home through Adelaide for the most convenient time and price I was willing to pay. I had to pay a bit more but expected to with going to Brisbane rather than Sydney.
(Apologies for the length of this rant.)
My mother turned 91 in October 2020. She lives in Dunedin (New Zealand) and so we booked a one-way Qantas flight from Sydney to Christchurch (to catch up with other family members) prior to mum’s big day. For our return flight we booked a one-way Virgin flight from Dunedin to Brisbane. All bookings were for two people and were Business Class. We paid for the Qantas flight with points, and credit card for fees and charges in $A. The Virgin flight back was paid via bank transfer being NZ$959.48. At that time the exchange rate was A$1=NZ$1.0639 giving us a net payment of A$901.85.
When we cancelled due to Covid, Qantas refunded points immediately - but it took 7 months for a refund to arrive for the fees and charges.
Virgin issued a Travel Credit for A$886.14 with an expiry date (?) of 16/8/2022. We tried to book the same one-way flight for this October but it was unavailable. However Queenstown to Sydney Business Class was quoted (without applying the Credit) as $NZ 1993.66. When I tried to used my travel credit - there were NO flights available for the exact same flight. I would support any Choice investigation into Airlines’ shonky practices!
I booked a Virgin Flight today using my credits in Travel Bank and I checked the price of flights independently before before I logged into the Travel Bank. I was charged the same price so if there was an anomaly previously I suggest that the fact you were looking into it may have rectified the issue.
Hello Amy. This is a pet hate of mine. I have a theory. Just like frequent flyer points, Virgin allocates a limited number of travel bank seats for customers, per flight, per class. As the cheaper classes fill up the customer is forced to buy a more expensive class/seat. If they compare this price to buying a seat outright, of which there are more available, they will feel ripped off. And we are being ripped off. Because unlike FF points we have paid for these seats with cash. They already have our money and they have done nothing for it.
There are plenty of people trying to call in their TB credits after last year’s mass cancellations. Leading up to holidays this rort is more obvious. I have a travel bank, when I go through the motions of booking both TB then cash for flights months away the price difference is less frequent.
Let me know if you read this and need more examples.
On the attached example I was forced from a Getaway class to a Business Saver
In Nov 2019 my family spent $13500 on Airfares to the USA for our ‘dream’ holiday together. Now it’s a nightmare.
COVID meant that Virgin Australia cancelled our flights. No refund!
Then the company was sold and restructured.
During the process the Federal Court made a decision that the sale was dependent on ALL existing tickets be honoured with future flight credits.
Yet the buyers at that time must have known that they would not honour international flights in the future because they were going to restructure and not offer international flights for a very long time.
Future Credits can only be used for DOMESTIC FLIGHTS that must be booked before 31st Jan 2023. Furthermore, the Credits ca only be used on certain Flights with certain Fares and not the cheaper ones.
So instead of getting future credits for a Widescreen TV that we purchased and was not supplied, we’ve been given credits towards 30 toasters and not the cheaper ones, we have to buy the most expensive ones and within a very short time frame.
This must be against the ‘intent’ of the FEDERAL COURT ruling that enabled the sale of Virgin Australia.
Repeated attempts to contact Virgin Australia has met with NO REFUNDS! The company did not declare bankruptcy, it was sold under legal conditions that the new owners never intended to meet.
We have no way to use the Credits offered as I’m sure is the case for possibly hundreds of others. Virgin could arrange for those credits to be used towards US flights on code sharing partners like United Airlines, but won’t.
All that Virgin Customer Service can say is that ‘it’s better than getting nothing!’
I view this as a well-orchestrated ‘theft’ by Virgin Australia.