FOUR SEASONS Taking Luxury Private Jets to the Next Level

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has unveiled plans for an all-new Four Seasons Private Jet that will take flight in early 2021, evoking the bygone glamour of air travel and delivering an elevated take on five-star service in the sky.

The new A321LR aircraft, part of the new Airbus NEO family, is being customised by Four Seasons and tailored to the evolving vision of its Private Jet experience. The concepts embodied in the current Four Seasons Jet, with its luxurious comforts and amenities, are being taken to the next level with even more space for guests and staff to mix and mingle, or simply relax and enjoy the ride.

With only 48 leather custom seats designed by Optimares, the spacious interior will also allow guests to socialise more easily while seated. New purpose-built personal ottomans at each seat will enable comfortable face-to-face connections.

“The Four Seasons Private Jet experience defines modern luxury air travel, encouraging meaningful connections between people and places while delivering a seamless and highly personalised journey,” says Christian Clerc, President, Worldwide Hotel Operations, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.

Offering the widest and tallest cabin in its class, key features include a new spacious lounge area that invites socialising among guests. Guests will also have the opportunity to meet and learn from Four Seasons master chefs and mixologists, wellness experts, and arts and culture aficionados for an enriching in-flight experience.

The on-board Four Seasons Executive Chef will enjoy an expanded galley area in which to prepare menus that are inspired by the journey itself, with the opportunity for spur-of-the-moment culinary surprises along the way.

Since launching the hospitality industry’s first fully branded and customised private jet in 2015, the Four Seasons Private Jet experience has transported hundreds of guests on bespoke journeys around the world, opening doors to extraordinary adventures and memorable destinations, while staying in complete comfort and luxury with Four Seasons along the way.

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WE KNOW: Emirates Business Class

Director of The Travel Authority Group, Sarah Bush, recently returned from Dubai in business class aboard an Emirates A380.

Here are Sarah’s trip notes.

Flight EK412 DXB so SYD
Business Class
Seat 12B (aisle/window)

My journey started with the Emirates Chauffeur Drive service picking me up on time from my hotel for a seamless journey to Dubai International Airport.

I was checked in swiftly and made my way to Emirates’ First Class lounge—an open, airy space where my personal waitperson, Chris, found me a seat and took an order of a very healthy breakfast of kale and salad, and fresh prawns accompanied by a glass of Moët. Healthy and sparkling. The lounge is a wonderful, relaxing place to escape the madness of the airport’s buzzing public areas, and to prepare for the 14 hour journey home.

I chose seat 12B. Being a few rows back from the front of the business class cabin, helps with avoiding galley noise. It’s also far enough from the bar at the rear of the aircraft providing a good stretch of the legs and enough distance to reduce any bar sounds.

After my sumptuous breakfast in the lounge, I was handed a food and a drink menu and was content to select just two small plates option rather than the full 4 course meal.

Emirates’ renowned in-flight entertainment system, ICE, has more than 4,000 channels of entertainment. You can’t go wrong and there is something for all ages and tastes.

My gorgeous complementary Bulgari amenity bag came in very handy for re-hydration, socks, toothbrush and other generous goodies you don’t always find these days in business class on other carriers.

I did wander down to the bar for a stretch and a chat with the lovely cabin crew. It’s the perfect excuse to move around and enjoy a bit of human interaction after a few hours comfortably seated.

My seat was made up into a very comfy bed with a thick mattress that provided enough support for a great sleep.

I woke for a cup of tea and, next thing, we were preparing for landing. I loved watching the live footage of our landing from the cameras on board—there is nothing better and more welcoming than landing at Sydney Airport on a beautiful warm sunny day to really make you feel like you’re home.

My Emirates chauffeur was waiting for me in arrivals and whisked me home in next to no time.

For more information about Emirates business class and special offers, simply leave us a note in the form below, or CALL US to discuss your specific requirements.

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QANTAS Perth-London Flights: One Year Down

Qantas’ landmark non-stop Perth-London services have been operating for more than a year now, and the airline reports that they’re exceeding expectations, breaking speed records and supporting more than $100 million in visitor spending in Western Australia.

“Qantas’ direct Perth-London services have really changed the way travellers and airlines think about long-haul”, says The Travel Authority Group’s Managing Director, Peter Hosper.

Business Class cabin aboard Qantas’ 787 Dreamliner. Image credit: Qantas.

“The very-near future of ultra-long-haul aircraft and flights promises to be very exciting indeed. We look forward to new city-pairs, and innovative offerings that take these services to new heights. We thrilled to see an Australian airline leading the way and inventing the future”, added Hosper.

Visiting Perth recently to mark the first anniversary of the service – which remains the only direct connection between Australia and Europe – Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce released a report card showing what Perth-London has achieved so far.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce. Image credit: Qantas.

Key among the insights was an independent analysis by Deloitte Access Economics, which found the non-stop 787 Dreamliner service had in its first year:

  • Facilitated more than $100 million increase in spending by visitors, 92% from international stopover passengers.
  • Supported creation of 601 full-time equivalent jobs, particularly in the tourism and hospitality sector.
  • With 71% of international visitors on the route choosing to stopover in Perth, helped to drive more than 1 million visitor nights spent in WA.

Other insights included:

  • UK residents make up the majority of overseas passengers at 31%.
  • Qantas has seen a 30 per cent increase in the total number of passengers travelling between Australia and London via Perth – including a 7% increase in visitors from the UK travelling to Perth.
  • Interestingly, 25% of outbound passengers on the new services start their journey in Melbourne.

Mr Joyce said, “The work we put into managing passenger jetlag and designing a comfortable cabin has paid off. It’s the longest flight on our entire network but it has the highest level of customer satisfaction.

“We didn’t plan to regularly break speed records in both directions. The current title holder arrived into Perth from London a full hour ahead schedule thanks to prevailing winds and our new flight planning system.”

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WE KNOW: Oahu, Hawaii

Kylie Nukanuka from The Travel Authority Resource was invited to Hawaii recently by our friends at Hawaiian Airlines.

The purpose of the trip was to get to know the island of Oahu, its hotels and resorts. Over the course of a week, Kylie got to know four hotels across the island, and enjoyed a number of Hawaii’s essential holiday experiences.

Kylie’s summary?

“Oahu is a relatively small island, and you can drive around it in a couple of hours. It is an ideal spot for all travellers as you can either join in on the hustle and bustle in Waikiki or chill out on the North Shore where it feels more like a chilled-out surfers’ town.

“I definitely recommend Hawaii as a holiday destination. Visitors could easily spend a few weeks exploring Oahu and some of Hawaii’s outer islands.”

Trip Notes

Kylie flew from Sydney with Hawaiian Airlines in Economy Class, enjoyed transfers and transport provided by Executive Chauffeur Hawaii, and stayed at:

  • Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach
  • Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort
  • The Kahala Hotel & Resort
  • Turtle Bay Resort

Day 1
On arrival into Honolulu on flight HA452 at 10.40am, Kylie transferred directly to Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach to check in.

“I was very lucky to have a room on the top floor with the most amazing views over Waikiki Beach”, said Kylie.

Kylie’s room with a view at Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach.

Later that afternoon, Kylie met with the hotel’s Sales team, and was taken on a top-to-bottom hotel inspection followed by cocktails by the pool.

“The hotel is a 5-minute walk to the hustle and bustle of Waikiki. It’s in a great location, and I would definitely stay here again”, added Kylie.

Day 2
The following morning after breakfast, Kylie and her travel agent companions walked to Waikiki beach to ride the waves in an outrigger canoe—a quintessential Waikiki experience.

“This was so much fun. I loved it!”, reported Kylie.

The Kahala Hotel & Resort

The group checked out at Midday and were transferred to The Kahala Hotel & Resort—the only beachfront resort in Kahala, Oahu’s most prestigious residential area, just 15 minutes from Waikiki.

Overlooking both Diamond Head and Koko Head craters, Kylie described the resort as feeling really secluded compared to the hustle and bustle of nearby Waikiki.

Ocean Front Room at The Kahala Hotel & Resort.

“In the afternoon, we met with Jacob the Hotel Manager and were taken on a site inspection of the property. The wall of fame of famous guests was seriously impressive, and we took a look at the penthouse that the Obamas stay in”, said Kylie.

The day concluded with dinner at the resort’s Seaside Grill.

Day 3
Kylie was impressed with breakfast at Kahala which included a number of non-dairy and Gluten free options.

E-bike tour at Kualoa Ranch Private Nature Reserve.

The group then checked-out and was transferred to Kualoa Ranch Private Nature Reserve for an E-bike tour. This leisurely adventure sets off from the Visitor Center and into the valleys of Kualoa’s 4000 acres of natural beauty, and
through movie locations from Jurassic Park and Jurassic World, Kong Skull Island, Godzilla, 50 First Dates, LOST and Hawaii Five-0.

“After Kualoa Ranch we headed to the Polynesian Cultural Center which was a highlight for me”, said Kylie.

The Polynesian Cultural Center has 6 island villages representing the unique island cultures of Hawaii, Fiji, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Samoa, Tahiti, and Tonga.

The group was then transferred north to Turtle Bay Resort located on Oahu’s legendary North Shore.

“In the evening we were met by Lauren, the resort’s Sales Rep, who showed us through the property. Then we had a great meal at Kula Grille. Turtle Bay Resort is quite remote, so the hotel offers their own tours and excursions”, reports Kylie.

Ocean View Junior Suite at Turtle Bay Resort, Oahu.

Day 4
Unfortunately for Kylie, inclement weather meant that scheduled snorkeling with the turtles and horse riding activities were cancelled.

Surfing is also popular at Turtle Bay Resort.

After checking-out, the group travelled along the North Shore coast to a little surf town called Haleiwa where the first Hawaiian shave ice shop was opened. Now an iconic Hawaiian treat, shave ice was introduced by Japanese immigrants when they came to Hawaii to work in sugar plantations.

Enjoying shave ice in Haleiwa.

In the afternoon, Kylie returned to Waikiki and checked-in to the famous Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort.

“This truly is the best spot right on Waikiki beach”, says Kylie.

The iconic Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort.

Day 5
With a morning departure for the airport, the group met early with Cassie from the Outrigger for breakfast in the hotel’s Voyager 47 Club Lounge followed by a site inspection.

The Outrigger’s Voyager 47 Club Lounge.

Then it was off to the airport to meet Hawaiian Airlines flight HA451 to Sydney.

For more information about Hawaiian Airlines or Kylie’s Oahu experience, simply leave us a note in the form below, or CALL US to discuss your specific requirements.

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Introducing Spectrum of the Seas

Departing from Shanghai and Hong Kong from June this year, Spectrum of the Seas is the first of Royal Caribbean’s Quantum-Ultra Class ships.

From skydiving in the middle of the ocean to catching the perfect wave and custom drink creations crafted by robots at the Bionic Bar, Spectrum of the Seas brings back all the Quantum Class favourites. Plus more new adventures in Sky Pad to revolutionary Golden Suites accommodation and the two stories of awesome in the Ultimate Family Suite.

If you’re looking to amp up the way you stay and play, get ready to experience two stories of awesome thrills in the Ultimate Family Suite. From your very own in-suite slide to table tennis on your private balcony, it has plenty of space for the whole family.

Enjoy new dining offerings focused around authentic ingredients and dishes that cater to the local market. Enjoy a kaleidoscope of flavours at new restaurants including Teppanyaki, The Hot Pot and Sichuan Red.

Experience the exhilaration of skydiving without ever leaving deck, courtesy of RipCord by iFLY and take in breathtaking views 90 metres above sea level in North Star. Or hop into the Sky Pad for an out-of-this-world bungee trampoline adventure.

Choose from two-tiers of luxury and unlock exclusive access to the Golden Suites. Enjoy exclusive floor access, elevator, private restaurant and lounge plus access to The Balcony – a private outdoor space offering the best sunset views.

Shanghai Sailings: Okinawa, Nagasaki, & Fukuoka
4-nights ‘Best of Nagasaki’ cruise from $790 per person, twin share in an Interior Room.

Hong Kong Sailings: Vietnam, Japan, Philippines, & more
4-nights ‘Best of Okinawa’ cruise from $757 per person, twin share in an Interior Room.

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Air France working with Triple Michelin-Starred Chef, Arnaud Lallement

From April to June 2019, the triple Michelin-starred French chef Arnaud Lallement will be offering new gourmet dishes in Air France’s Business class cabins.

Arnaud Lallement always wanted to be a chef. From the earliest age, he would watch his father, Jean-Pierre, at the stoves in the kitchens of the family restaurant in Châlons-sur-Vesle.

The airline asked Arnaud Lallement to design two Business class dishes, renewed each month, and available on board long-haul flights on departure from Paris as well as to destinations in its medium-haul network.

What’s on the menu? Well, depending on when you fly you might find any of these being served.

Guinea fowl with turnips; Cod and artichokes; Lamb Parmentier with green curry.

Or these.

Prawns and quinoa, cauliflower medley and gingerbread crumble; Beef chuck in red wine, stuffed conchiglioni pasta shells and carrot purée; Crab and prawn ravioli, lobster and vegetable sauce.

Yum.

For more information, simply leave us a note in the form below, or CALL US to discuss your specific requirements.

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Qantas Says ‘Konnichiwa’ to Winter in Sapporo

Qantas has just announced direct flights from Sydney to Sapporo for the Japanese ski season, so it’s even easier to hit the famous slopes in Hokkaido.

Economy class fares from Sydney to Sapporo on the new Qantas direct services start from just $1026 return.

The new Qantas seasonal service will operate three times per week to Sapporo’s New Chitose Airport departing Sydney on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays between 16 December 2019 and 28 March 2020.

Flights are scheduled to be operated by Airbus A330-200 aircraft.

Qantas will be the first airline to fly direct between Sydney and Sapporo and the service will be the national carrier’s fifth route between Australia and Japan.

“The number of Australians travelling to Japan has more than doubled over the past five years, with almost 500,000 Australians visiting Japan in the last 12 months alone. We expect Japan’s popularity to continue with the country hosting a number of major international sporting events in the next two years”, said Qantas International Acting CEO, Naren Kumar.

OUTBOUND: Qantas flight QF39 departs Sydney at 09:30, arriving into Sapporo at 18:35 same day.
INBOUND: Flight QF40 departs Sapporo at 20:05, arriving into Sydney at 09:05 the next day

Famous for its thriving food scene and annual snow festival, Sapporo sits on the doorstep of one of the world’s best ski destinations. From the finest powder at Niseko Ski Resort to the hot springs in the Hokkaido mountains and the fascinating culture of Japan’s fifth-largest city, Sapporo will be a magical winter holiday to remember.

Start planning your Sapporo snow holiday today and take advantage of Qantas’ all-inclusive fares and exceptional service along the way. Fares shown are based on 09 March 2020 departure, returning on 18 March 2020. Pricing was correct at 30 April 2019, but is subject to availability and change without notice.

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WE KNOW: Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts in London & Paris

Emma Dalton, Senior Corporate Travel Consultant at The Travel Authority Corporate Sydney, recently returned from an educational (and luxurious) trip to Singapore and Europe.

Emma was invited by The Travel Authority Group’s friends at British Airways and Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts to inspect their luxury offerings first-hand. As she travelled, Emma also put BA’s Club World Business Class and airport lounges through their paces.

Click Here to read about Emma’s British Airways immersion.

On the ground at the far end of the journey, Emma spent a great deal of time getting to know a pair of iconic luxury hotels:

  • Shangri-la Hotel, Paris
  • Shangri-la Hotel at The Shard, London

La Bauhinia, Shangri-La Hotel Paris.

In Paris, Emma sampled fabulous cuisine at breakfast in the Shangri-la Hotel’s La Bauhinia where she was joined by the hotel’s Sales and Marketing team beneath the restaurant’s stunning glass cupola. Another culinary highlight was dinner in the hotel’s Shang Palace restaurant—the only Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant in Paris.

Shang Palace restaurant, Shangri-la Hotel Paris.

Having inspected the property from top to bottom, and enjoying an unforgettable serving of French Toast, Emma recommends a morning swim in the hotel’s indoor pool.

“It is best in the morning as the indoor pool is bathed in the day’s early light. You’ll only manage this, of course, if you can drag yourself out of your spectacular room with a view”, says Emma referring to the hotel’s stunning accommodation.

She also recommends Shangri-La’s Chi The Spa.

“If you want to spoil yourself, the spa is also wonderful! A massage and facial is the perfect pick-me-up after a long flight! Just 30 minutes is all it takes to revive and get out to enjoy the city of love”, says Emma.

Chi the Spa.

Returning to London with British Airways, Emma transferred to the stunning Shangri-la Hotel at The Shard.

Once again, she caught up with the hotel’s Sales and Marketing team for lunch, this time at TING. Derived from the Chinese word for ‘living room’, TING is on the hotel’s 35th floor and serves the best of British fare with an Asian twist and views to die for.

TING at Shangri-la Hotel at The Shard, London.

From all reports, Emma was even more taken by the views a few floors up at GONG Bar—the highest hotel bar in all of Western Europe.

“Sunset drinks at GONG are a must. Situated on the 52nd floor of The Shard with uninterrupted views of London, GONG is the perfect place to watch the sun slowly slip away”, says Emma.

GONG at Shangri-la Hotel at The Shard, London.

The views are, perhaps not surprisingly, a real highlight of stays at Shangri-la Hotel at The Shard.

“Breakfast in the clouds is the perfect way to start your day in London. The view is postcard perfect, gazing down over London landmarks such as the Tower of London and Tower Bridge, all in the shadow of the Shard. If you have spare time (and need to walk off the bountiful breakfast) there is a lovely nearby walk along the Thames”, notes Emma.

Emma’s pics from Shangri-la Hotel at The Shard, London .

ON the ground in London, Emma partook in a gin tasting at Jensen’s Distillery, Bermondsey, and explored the cultural scene of the city’s South Bank area on a walking tour escorted by a Blue Badge Guide. The Blue Badge is recognised internationally as the qualification of excellence in site and heritage interpretation, and in communication skills.

For more information about Shangri-La’s brilliant portfolio of luxury hotels, leave us a note in the form below, or call us to discuss your specific requirements.

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Virgin Atlantic Raises the Bar with its First A350-1000

Virgin Atlantic has unveiled details of its first, long-awaited Airbus A350-1000 aircraft, which includes an entirely new Upper Class cabin featuring a brand new suite and social space.

Ready for sleep in Virgin Atlantic’s new Upper Class suite aboard the A350-1000.

As the first airline to introduce an on-board bar, Virgin Atlantic has taken its customer proposition to the next level, as customers can now enjoy a social space known as The Loft. As the largest social space in the airline’s fleet, it’s designed for customers to gather, chat, enjoy a drink or dine with friends.

Virgin Atlantic’s ‘The Loft’ social space aboard its new A350-1000.

The Loft extends the airline’s renowned Clubhouse experience to the skies, offering a wide range of cocktails, and the option for customers to dine together and enjoy a Mile High afternoon tea.

The Loft is not the only innovation to the Upper Class cabin, as passengers will also experience an entirely new suite designed in collaboration with a number of Virgin Atlantic’s most frequent flyers.

Upper Class aboard Virgin Atlantic’s new Airbus A350-1000 aircraft.

Stand-out Upper Class features include:

  • Every seat now faces towards the window and offers deployable privacy screens.
  • Laid out in a 1-2-1 configuration, every suite has a 44” pitch, with a fully flat bed length of up to 82”
  • All suites will transition seamlessly from an upright seat, straight to a bed.
  • It boasts Virgin Atlantic’s largest ever in-flight entertainment screen
  • In line with the rest of the fleet, every customer will still have direct aisle access.

Premium Economy aboard Virgin Atlantic’s new A350-1000.

The first A350 will take to the skies in August, as it flies from London Heathrow to New York JFK, followed by other services to JFK later in the year. Virgin Atlantic has ordered a total of 12 Airbus A350-1000, with them all scheduled to join the fleet by 2021.

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Complimentary Hotel Stay when Flying on Emirates EK415

Some Emirates First Class and Business Class customers who book and travel on Sydney’s morning service, EK415, can enjoy a free overnight stay at the Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel before they fly.

This offer is available for any customer whose pick-up address is outside the complimentary Chauffeur-drive service radius of 80km.

Rydges Hotel Sydney Airport.

Once aboard the airline’s iconic A380, First Class and Business Class passengers will experience Emirates’ style and comfort with Shower Spas in First Class, fully flat-bed seats in Business Class, and the Onboard Lounge on the upper-deck.

Business Class cabin, upper deck, Emirates A380.

“This will be really popular with many of our clients, particularly luxury leisure travellers”, said The Travel Authority Group’s Managing Director, Peter Hosper.

“Offering the convenience of a comfortable night right beside the airport, combined with chauffeured transfers is a great move by Emirates”, added Hosper.

First Class cabin aboard an Emirates A380.

Offer details include:

  • Customers who have purchased a Mixed Class fare to Europe are also eligible to redeem this offer.
  • For customers arriving via a domestic flight, a free transfer on the Rydges Hotel shuttle from the airport to the hotel is also included.

Offer valid for all new bookings for travel up until 31 December 2019.

Scroll down for basic terms and conditions.

For more information, simply leave us a note in the form below, or CALL US to discuss your specific requirements.

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Terms and conditions:
This offer cannot be used in conjunction with Emirates complimentary Chauffeur-drive service. Accommodation is subject to room availability at the time of booking and will be made available on a first come, first served bases. Incidental costs (minibar etc) are not included. This offer is only valid for Emirates bookings originating from Sydney that are ticketed on Emirates (176) documents. Codeshare flights or other airline documents are not permitted. Emirates will be partnering with Hughes Chauffeured Cars as the preferred chauffeur service provider in Sydney and Brisbane.