With the news that Virgin Australia has gone into voluntary administration, their online Velocity rewards store has crashed as customers scramble to cash-in their points.
Virgin is carrying about $5 billion in debt and had sought federal help to keep operating but the Morrison government rejected a $1.4 billion bailout, AAP reported.
Up to 16,000 jobs are now at stake.
According to University of New South Wales School of Aviation professor Tony Webber, a huge $2 billion worth of points are currently in circulation.
“You can write off Velocity Points, say goodbye to that,” he said on Monday, adding that customers could try “burning the items online”, meaning hitting up the Velocity rewards store and “just try and get a product out of them, get yourself a frying pan,” he said.
Problem is that everyone’s had the same idea.
Not only is the Velocity Frequent Flyer rewards website currently down, the Velocity Wine Store, is also unavailable.
Thing is, the Velocity Frequent Flyer arm, while owned by the group, is a separate company and is not in administration, however it’s still not entirely clear what’s gonna happen to those points, going forward.
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
We’ll soon see.