Back in March I wrote about Virgin America’s new partnership with Singapore Airlines. While I don’t typically take interest in revenue based frequent flyer programs like Virgin America’s Elevate, having partner carriers with fixed value redemptions sure makes them more interesting.
For example, 35,000 Elevate points is enough for a roundtrip coach ticket between the US and Asia. In theory the premium cabin redemptions looked great as well, though as I later uncovered Virgin America didn’t have access to Singapore Airlines longhaul premium cabin award space.
But what’s disappointing nonetheless is that between then and now they seem to have raised award costs without so much as an announcement. For example, using the mileage calculator, here are the new award rates for travel between New York and Singapore:
Meanwhile here are the previous rates:
So the price went up by 10,000 points per person in coach (which is the only one that matters since Virgin America didn’t have access to any premium cabin award space), while the cost in business and first class went up 15,000 and 30,000 points, respectively.
It seems other redemptions went up in price as well, though the amounts vary. What’s concerning and disappointing here is that not only didn’t they provide any advance notice, but they also didn’t even make an announcement at all, at least as far as I can tell. They just raised redemption rates and hoped no one would notice, I guess.
Changes without notice seem to be a trend in this industry lately, and it needs to stop.
(Tip of the hat to AJ)