In the latest edition of ‘Things That Australians Are Panic-Buying,’ Virgin’s Velocity rewards store has crashed after thousands of frequent flyers tried to cash out their points amid the airline entering administration.
Earlier today, Virgin Australia announced it would be entering voluntary administration, leaving thousands of jobs in limbo after the Federal Government refused an emergency bailout, The Guardian reports. The airline is the first major corporate company to collapse amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis continues to wreak havoc on the Australian economy.
Virgin boss Paul Scurrah is yet to comment on exactly what will happen to the billions of dollars worth of Velocity points, but that hasn’t stopped countless flyers from trying to cash them out ASAP.
At the time of publishing, the Velocity Frequent Flyer rewards website is currently down, likely as a result of a huge influx of users. The Velocity Wine Store, which can also be used to spend points, is also unavailable.
If you spent your Monday evening trying to redeem your precious points for a bottle of Champagne or a new toaster, you’re not alone.
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
In addition to flights and purchasing goods on the Velocity store, points can also be used to hire cars through Europcar and to book hotels through the Velocity Hotels website.
It’s currently unclear what will happen to the estimated $2 billion worth of Velocity Frequent Flyer points in circulation.
More to come.Image: Getty Images