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Virgins Hook Up

The long awaited day is here. Virgin America and V Australia have finally entered into an interline agreement. It’s a V Australia and Virgin America Start Interliningfairly limited set-up right now thanks to technical limitations, but eventually it will become a full-fledged interline and codeshare agreement.

So what do I mean when I say it’s fairly limited? Well, as of now, it can only be booked via V Australia’s call center or a travel agent. Starting June 8, you can also book on on the V Australia website. But nothing can be handled from the Virgin America side of the house.

There is also no frequent flier reciprocity at this point. You can only earn frequent flier points in the program of the operating carrier. That means Velocity points for the Transpacific flight and eleVAte points for the domestic US run.

So why is this so limited? It’s the same thing that prevented this whole thing from getting off the ground until now . . . technical issues on Virgin America’s side. According to Virgin America spokesperson Abby Lunardini, Virgin America and V Australia are “working towards reciprocal interline and codesharing agreements ultimately. We hope to have that functionality in our VX systems sometime in 2010.” The timeline is similar for reciprocal frequent flier earning, though that should be in early 2010.

Until then, at least you’ll be able to transfer your bags directly.

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