WE KNOW: Hong Kong Whistle Stops

David Thompson, Manager – Sales & Client Experience at The Travel Authority Corporate in Sydney recently breezed through Asia’s Big Apple on a literal whistle-stop visit. He packed plenty into just a few hours.

Here’s how he did it.

Cathay Pacific’s Airbus A350 aircraft.

I flew aboard Cathay Pacific’s brand new A350 aircraft, a fantastic product with state of the art technology and immaculate service.

After a comfortable 7 hours sleep, I touched down in Hong Kong determined to turn a rather lengthy transit into a chance to explore one of my favourite cities.

Hong Kong’s Airport Express train.

The Airport Express train from Hong Kong International Airport to Kowloon takes just 22 minutes. It departs from directly outside the arrivals hall at the Airport.

With only six hours on the ground, I had done my research on the excellent Hong Kong Tourism Website and had all the information I needed. So, following one of their suggestions, I focused on the emerging area of Sham Shui Po which Time Out Hong Kong describes as ‘a district of simple pleasures’.

Previously a blue-collar suburb, it is now a foodies and shoppers paradise, offering plenty of cheap but cheerful experiences that can’t be found anywhere else in the city.

I went straight to Tim Ho Wan, purveyors of Hong Kong’s most famous dim-sum. Humble, unpretentious, Tim Ho Wan is, remarkably, Michelin starred and serves delicious dumplings, noodles and rice dishes.

With dishes from just HK$28 (AU$5-ish), Tim Ho Wan is considered the most affordable Michelin-starred restaurant in the world.

So Tim Ho Wan deliciously ticked-off, I followed the ‘Simple Flavours‘ foodie walking tour through Sham Shui Po as suggested on the Discover Hong Kong website. This delivered a mobile feast of amazing bites to eat, and a kaleidoscope of eclectic local designer and up-cycled clothes at the open-air street markets.

Exploring the culinary delights of Kowloon’s Sham Shui Po neighbourhood.

with my senses satisfied, it was time to return to the airport for my onward journey to New York with Cathay Pacific. The super-efficient Airport Express train did it job once again, and I was in the air in no time.

Flying to the East Coast of the U.S. via Asia might seem like the long way around, but apart from tasty explorations of your transit city, there’s another benefit: You avoid the notorious immigration and connection nightmares that can strike at Los Angeles or San Francisco.

Touchdown at JFK.

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

We’d love to hear from you.

MALDIVES: 5 Nights from $1799 per person. SAVE $588!

On Sale Until: 12 July 2019
Valid For Travel: Between 21 July and 31 October 2019

We’re super excited about this great value Maldives holiday offer from Oblu by Atmosphere at Helengeli!

INCLUSIONS

  • 5 NIGHTS in a Beach Villa
  • Buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner at THE SPICE restaurant daily
  • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages at HELEN’S Bar
  • In-villa minibar replenished daily with a selection of non-alcoholic beverages
  • Evening hors d’oeuvres service daily
  • One sunset fishing excursion per stay
  • One local island excursion per stay
  • Use of non-motorised watersport equipment+
  • Return speedboat transfers from Malè Airport to resort

UPGRADE to a Deluxe Beach Villa from just $290* per person twin share!

A Deluxe Beach Villa.

Oblu by Atmosphere at Helengeli, Maldives offers everything you’d expect in an exotic island getaway.

From perfect white beaches to sparkling clear seas and an indulgent all-inclusive plan, you’ll enjoy high quality cuisine, and a seriously good selection of activities here.

This superior resort delivers the ultimate Maldivian Beach holiday experience.

Scroll down for terms and conditions.

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

We’d love to hear from you.

Terms & Conditions
On sale until 12th July 19. VALID FOR TRAVEL: 21 Jul – 31 Oct 19. Offer is subject to availability, and ^Must be booked a minimum of 30 days prior to arrival. +Use of 3 non-motorised watersport equipment per stay. The Viva! Holidays general bookings conditions apply, available at vivaholidays.com.au/terms-and-conditions. Other conditions apply – ask for details. Qantas Holidays Limited trading as Viva! Holidays ABN 24 003 836 459.

QATAR AIRWAYS is Bringing its Qsuite to Perth

The 2019 Skytrax World’s Best Airline Qatar Airways, has announced a temporary change to the aircraft its operating into Perth.

Between September and December 2019, Qatar Airways’ Perth-Doha services will be operated by a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft fitted with the airline’s award-winning Qsuite business class product.

“We’re really excited about this, even if it is only temporary”, says Lisa Byers, General Manager of The Travel Authority Corporate & Resource in Fremantle.

“Whilst the Boeing 777 lacks First Class and the A380’s spacious bar and lounge, our clients will love getting a taste of the Qsuite’s unique a face-to-face ‘party of four’ configuration and flexibility”, added Lisa.

Qatar Airways’ Qsuite was named World’s Best Business Class at the 2019 Skytrax World Airline Awards.

Clients of The Travel Authority enjoyed it first-hand with an exclusive invitation to experience the Qsuite on a day trip to Canberra in early 2019. Read more about that experience HERE.

In-flights pics from The Travel Authority’s Qatar Airways day trip in February 2019.

Qatar Airways is one of the fastest growing airlines, operating one of the youngest fleets with an average age of five years. The airline has daily flights from Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth to over 160 destinations worldwide via one stop at Doha.

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

We’d love to hear from you.

EXCLUSIVE RATES: Crown Towers Perth

Enjoy an overnight stay in a Deluxe King room at Crown Towers Perth from $240 per night, Sunday to Thursday. Available for stays until 30 December 2019!

At the pinnacle of luxury of Perth’s hotel offerings, Crown Towers Perth offers incredible guest rooms and suites with unparalleled city views, all just a short stroll from Perth’s impressive Optus Stadium.

The Crystal Club is also stunning addition which offers a private lounge located on the 15th Floor with check-in and concierge services as well as incredible view overlooking the sparkling swimming pools, the city’s new Optus Stadium, the Swan River and Perth CBD.

Crystal Club terrace.

“We love the Crown complex as, in winter, it’s just a 10-minute walk to Optus Stadium for the footy. We love the game and, as a treat, will often stay overnight in a beautiful City View Room at Crown”, says Craig Webber, Manager – Sales & Client Experience for TTA Corporate & Resource.

TWR at Crown Towers Perth.

“Treat yourself or someone you love, and stay at Crown Towers Perth for a weekend and make the most of the pool and Crown Spa Perth. Start your night with pre-dinner drinks at TWR (The Waiting Room) and round it out at the fabulous Nobu restaurant for dinner”, recommends Craig.

The Ballroom at Crown Towers Perth.

The Travel Authority Group can offer you exclusive hotel rates, so please contact your team member today for a quote or leave us a note in the fields below.

We’d love to hear from you.

Terms & Conditions
Available for stays Sunday to Thursday until 30 December 2019. Friday and Saturday night surcharges apply. Some blackout periods or limited availability may apply to special event periods and public holidays. Advanced bookings required. No further discounts apply. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer. A 24-hour cancellation policy applies. This is an exclusive offer for TTA members. Rates are per one night stay in a Deluxe King room for a maximum of two adults or a Deluxe Twin room for a maximum of two adults and two children under 12. Service fee of 1.2% applies to accounts settled by credit card.

QANTAS Aims for Brisbane-Chicago & San Francisco Flights

Qantas is set to grow its network in the United States, with the airline confirming it will fly directly from Brisbane to Chicago and San Francisco should its joint business with American Airlines be approved by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT).

The new routes, to be operated by Qantas’ Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, are expected to launch by the end of April 2020 and will add more than 170,000 seats across the Pacific each year.

“These are exciting times for Qantas flyers”, said The Travel Authority Group’s Managing Director, Peter Hosper.

“Brand new routes operated by brand new aircraft opening up new destinations attractive to both business and leisure travellers is a smart move, indeed”, he added.

Directly linking Australia and the third-largest US city for the first time, Qantas would operate the flights four times per week between Brisbane and Chicago. The city is one of American Airlines’ major hubs, giving Qantas customers access to 30 additional unique one-stop destinations from Australia. With the added gateway, Qantas customers will be able to connect to more than 200 onward destinations from Chicago, Los Angeles and Dallas/Fort Worth.

The direct service from Brisbane will save customers flying between Australia and Chicago more than six hours of travel time on a return trip.

Brisbane – Chicago

  • The 14,326km flight will take approximately 16 hours 20 minutes (slightly more or less depending on winds).
  • When it launches, it is expected to be the fourth-longest passenger flight in the world.

The new three-times-per-week Brisbane to San Francisco service will complement Qantas’ existing flights from Sydney and Melbourne – meaning customers could choose from double daily Dreamliner services from Australia’s east coast to San Francisco.

Brisbane – San Francisco

  • The 11,367km flight will take approximately 12 hours 40 minutes (slightly more or less depending on winds).
  • 14 flights per week from Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney to San Francisco.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the launch of 787 flights from Brisbane to Chicago and San Francisco would be a win for customers and tourism.

“This will give Qantas and American Airlines customers unprecedented access. These flights will make it one stop from Chicago to Hamilton Island or San Francisco to Townsville”, he said.

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

We’d love to hear from you.

NEW VIBE Hotel Sydney Darling Harbour

Opening Soon – Stay from 1 November 2019

The new Vibe Hotel Sydney Darling Harbour will feature a heated infinity rooftop pool, vibrant rooftop bar, and an enviable location on Sussex Street – close to one of Sydney’s top entertainment precincts.

Just a 5-minute walk from Town Hall Station, and 10-minutes from the International Convention Centre (ICC), the 145-room hotel will open at the upper end of Sydney’s Chinatown as a neighbour to the redeveloped entertainment precinct, the Darling Quarter.

“We look forward to Vibe Hotel Sydney Darling Harbour welcoming its first guests later this year”, said The Travel Authority Group’s Managing Director, Peter Hosper.

“It’s well located for guests conferencing at ICC in Darling Harbour, as well as business travellers and visitors looking to see a different side of Sydney”, added Hosper

With architecture and interior design by the experienced hotel design team at WMK Architecture, Vibe Hotel Sydney Darling Harbour will boast communal spaces typical of the Vibe Hotels brand as well as an all-day dining restaurant, fully equipped gym, and infinity edge rooftop pool.

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

We’d love to hear from you.

NEW RAFFLES HOTELS in China and the Maldives

Raffles Shenzhen and Raffles Maldives Meradhoo continue the brand’s tradition of setting new standards for luxury hospitality.

Raffles Hotels & Resorts, renowned for bringing old world elegance, first class experiences and charm to the world’s most fascinating cities and holiday hot spots since 1887, has announced the opening of two important new landmark hotels, Raffles Shenzhen and Raffles Maldives Meradhoo.

Raffles Shenzhen Deluxe Sea View Room

“The Raffles collection now includes 14 properties across 12 countries, with a carefully curated list of distinguished addresses in leading markets around the world,” said Chris Cahill, Deputy CEO, Accor.

“With a storied history spanning more than 130 years, Raffles is currently experiencing a renaissance, with a robust project pipeline that will see the portfolio add an additional 8-10 hotels over the next few years.”

Raffles Shenzhen brings luxury and service to the modern metropolis of Shenzhen. An extraordinary urban oasis on the top floors of a 72-storey tower in the One Shenzhen Bay complex, Raffles Shenzhen offers 168 spacious guestrooms and serviced residences with views of Shenzhen Bay and Hong Kong.

Raffles Shenzhen Long Bar.

On the remote southern tip of the Maldives archipelago, Raffles Maldives Meradhoo is surrounded by sparkling Indian Ocean waters and unspoiled reefs. The resort is a haven of 21 island beach villas and 16 ocean overwater villas.

Long Bar, Raffles Maldives Meradhoo.

Adding to the recent openings in China and the Maldives, Raffles has also developed a smart and strategic growth plan which will see the luxury brand add a number of new and exciting hotels, resorts and mixed-use projects to its global portfolio over the coming years.

  • Scheduled for opening in 2020, 101-room Raffles Udaipur will be the brand’s first hotel in India.
  • Scheduled for 2021, Raffles The Palm Dubai, with 125 hotel rooms and suites, will enjoy a coveted position at the tip of the Palm archipelago, providing 360 degree views of the Jumeirah coast and the Arabian Gulf.
  • Raffles Boston Back Bay Hotel & Residences is scheduled to open in 2021. Located in the historical heart of the city in a new 33-story building, the hotel will have 147 rooms as well as 146 branded residences.

Raffles Maldives, Beach Villa.

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

We’d love to hear from you.

SKYTRAX 2019 World Airline Awards announced

The annual Skytrax World Airline Awards have been announced with Qatar Airlines re-taking the no. 1 mantle from Singapore Airlines, and Qantas the big mover returning to the top 10. See the full list below.

Airline leaders from around the world recently attended the 2019 World Airline Awards held at Paris Air Show to receive their accolades as voted for by customers.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Mr Akbar Al Baker, accepting the Airline of the Year award.

“We love seeing how airlines fare at the annual Skytrax World Airline Awards. The awards are a great indication of quality and, importantly, passenger experience. We’re really pleased to see Qantas return to the top 10”, said The Travel Authority Group’s Managing Director, Peter Hosper.

Qatar Airways scooped the top award being named the World’s Best Airline, and also winning awards for:

  • The World’s Best Business Class
  • The World’s Best Business Class Seat
  • The Best Airline in the Middle East

The Travel Authority Corporate recently hosted some clients about Qatar Airways, experiencing the airline’s new Qsuite business class product first-hand. CLICK HERE to read more.

Singapore Airlines won a top accolade as the World’s Best Cabin Crew, and was honoured with awards for the World’s Best First Class, the Best Airline in Asia and the World’s Best First Class Seat.

Here’s the list of the World’s Top 10 Airlines of 2019:

  • Qatar Airways
  • Singapore Airlines
  • ANA All Nippon Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Emirates
  • EVA Air
  • Hainan Airlines
  • Qantas Airways (11th last year)
  • Lufthansa
  • Thai Airways

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Mr Akbar Al Baker, said: “We are thrilled to be globally recognised by our customers by winning these four prestigious awards. Becoming the first airline to be named as ‘Airline of the Year’ for the fifth time is a landmark achievement and, combined with three other major Skytrax awards, it is testament to the tireless efforts of the entire Qatar Airways team.”

“To be named as the World’s Best Airline is a great recognition of Qatar Airways high standards, and recognises the hard work and dedication from every member of staff to satisfy customers”, said Edward Plaisted of Skytrax.

“All of today’s award winning airlines are voted for by customers, and the focus of our annual survey is for travellers to make their own, personal choices as to which airlines they consider to be best”, added Plaisted.

About the World Airline Awards
Celebrating their 19th anniversary, the World Airline Awards are independent and impartial, introduced in 1999 to provide a customer satisfaction study that was truly global. The awards are frequently referred to by media around the world as “the Oscars of the aviation industry”.

Over 100 customer nationalities participated in the survey with 21.65 million eligible entries counted in the results.

For more information, simply leave us a note in the form below.

We’d love to hear from you.

QATAR AIRWAYS Summer Stopover Special

4-star hotels from US$23 per room per night
5-star hotels from US$28 per room per night

It might not be right at the top of your bucket-list, but if you’ve ever wondered what Qatar is like in summer, then here’s a great-value way to find out and get to know this fascinating part of the world a little better.

So, what’s the deal?

If you’re flying long-haul with our friends at Qatar Airways, and have a transit in Doha longer than 12-hours, you can turn that stop into a relaxing one-night luxury stopover from just US$23 per room.

You can, of course, choose to stay longer than one night. Please see options and pricing below.

Combine that with some sight-seeing, shopping and indulgence, and make your Qatar stopover a truly memorable one.

Doha’s top experiences include:

Souq Waqif
Doha’s cultural hub; shop for souvenirs and enjoy a variety of dining options.

The Museum of Islamic Art
A world-class landmark; browse through centuries-old collections of Islamic artefacts.

The Inland Sea
A natural wonder of seawater in the middle of the desert. Take a dip or enjoy a desert safari in the sand dunes.

This offer is on sale for a limited time and is subject to availability. Scroll down for terms and conditions.

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

We’d love to hear from you.

Terms & Conditions
The Stopover Summer Offer is a hotel offer which does not include airport transfers. Hotel Booking validity: Book by 28 August 2019.
Hotel Stay validity: For stays until 31 August 2019. Valid for Qatar Airways confirmed ticket holders with a minimum transit time of 12 hours in Doha. The Stopover promotion allows passengers to check-in any time of day (according to their flight itinerary) and check-out at any time within 24 hours (= 1 night stay) up to 96 hours (= 4 night stay). Each “night stay” equates to 24 hours.
Bookable minimum 3 days prior to check-in date. Confirmed bookings under this Stopover package are non-transferrable.
Changes, amendments, and cancellations up to and including 6 days prior to arrival will incur a QAR 100 administration fee. Changes, amendments, and cancellations within 6 days prior to arrival will be treated as a no-show and the booking is non-refundable.
Valid for Qatar Airways e-ticket numbers starting with 157. This ticket number is required on the payment page.
Valid for a maximum of one Stopover Offer booking per e-ticket number. Conjunction tickets are considered part of the one original ticket. All hotel bookings are subject to availability. Offer is not applicable for any codeshare flights. This offer is not valid for passengers where Doha is their first departure point, or final destination. A valid visa is required to enter Qatar. Nationals from 80 countries, including Australia and New Zealand, can take advantage of visa-free entry into Qatar. Entry into Qatar is at the discretion of immigration authorities. Neither Discover Qatar nor Qatar Airways will be responsible for the decision taken by immigration authorities.
Check-in dates at the hotel must match the flight arrival date into Doha.

WE KNOW: Qantas Ultra-Long Haul to London

Emma Crawley from The Travel Authority Corporate & Resource recently trialled Qantas’ non-stop Boeing 787 Dreamliner services from Perth to London. After having some pre-flight hesitations about flying for 17-hours or so, she was pleasantly surprised by the experience.

Image: Qantas Dreamliner Economy Class cabin.

Here’s what she had to say.

I must admit I had been dreading the long haul flight on the lead up to our trip to Europe in May. The thought of being cooped up in Economy Class for 17 hours did make me a little anxious. I was sure the novelty of Qantas’ sparkling new aircraft would wear off fairly quickly and I’d be uncomfortable at 40,000 feet for longer than I ever had before.

It turned out that I needn’t have worried as the flight far exceeded my expectations.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS
Upon boarding Qantas’s new Dreamliner, I was pleasantly surprised by how spacious and modern the interior was.

THE SEAT
Even in the last row of the Economy cabin, the leg room and seat pitch was generous. The footrests that resemble small hammocks for your feet allow you to stretch out and lift your legs a bit, adding to overall passenger comfort.

These features combined with the mood lighting and quietness of the engines meant that we comfortably managed an eight-hour sleep.

ENTERTAINMENT
The seat-back entertainment provided on board was exceptional, with a wide selection of new release movies, TV shows, music and games on offer.

Even if you are unable to sleep, most passengers would be hard-pressed to be bored.

DINING
We were served dinner just after take-off, and breakfast a few hours before landing. The meal selections were tasty and healthy and it was obvious that Qantas has put a lot of thought into their meal choices on board.

In between meal services we were offered pizza, fruit and chocolate with a wide variety of snacks also on offer in the galley at the back of the aircraft, just in case you get hungry.

ON ARRIVAL
Normally, coming off long-haul flights I feel dehydrated and jet-lagged, however we were surprised at how wide-awake and refreshed we felt.

The early morning arrival of the flight into London, allows for great connections to the UK and Europe. We had ample time to change terminals, do some duty free shopping and check in for our onward flight to Nice.

The flight really was a fantastic start to our month long Mediterranean adventure through Italy, Croatia and Greece and I would have no hesitation doing it all over again.

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

We’d love to hear from you.