WE LOVE: Connected Partners

Our business is built on deep connections with our clients, staff and our supplier partners. Some of our deepest connections lie with our technology partners who, mostly behind the scenes, super-power our offering and our people.

We were thrilled recently to bring one of those technology partners—an Australian one, no less—out from behind the scenes and into the limelight at our annual conference in Brisbane. Tramada is our engine-room, an advanced platform that streamlines our operations, data management, document production and travel accounting.

Sharon Levingston (right) overseeing the action at The Travel Authority Group conference in Brisbane, May 2019.

And we also loved it when the Tramada team popped in to visit The Travel Authority Group bearing a prize they donated to our conference, a prize that was awarded to Sharon Levingston – Head of Events at the Events Authority.

Tramada’s Country Manager, Susan Enners, and Alan McCartney, Head of Sales & Account Management, generously presented Sharon with an iPad.

“I’m so chuffed”, said Sharon Levingston.

“We’ve had a massive few weeks with our exciting win at the National Travel Industry Awards, and now this. We will put the iPad to good use. It will be a brilliant tool for presentations and for showcasing event spaces to our clients”, added Sharon.

We thank the Tramada team for their ongoing support and partnership with The Travel Authority Group.

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 QANTAS Brisbane-USA Flights Now Selling!

Australians can now book direct flights from Brisbane to Chicago and San Francisco for the first time.

We reported on Qantas’ new services from Brisbane to Chicago and San Francisco back in June 2019, and now we’re delighted to advise that those services are now selling.

The new routes will be operated by Qantas’ Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, offering next-generation seating and built-in jet lag reducing features, and see the national carrier grow its United States network from one to three non-stop destinations from Brisbane.

The airline has had to expand its International Brisbane Lounge by 25 percent this year in response to the popularity of flights from the Queensland capital.

The new Qantas services from Brisbane will fly to:

SAN FRANCISCO from 9 February 2020 – three days per week
CHICAGO from 20 April 2020 – four days per week

By flying direct to Chicago, Qantas flyers will save more than six hours on a return trip compared to current non-direct routes. The service also opens up a new Qantas gateway for Australians into North America, with access to onward destinations across American Airlines’ extensive network including to Canada and the North Eastern United States.

“This is the first time Australians will have a direct link to Chicago, the third-largest US city. We expect the flights will be popular with corporate travellers looking to do business there, but also with tourists wanting to experience some of the culture and history that Chicago is famous for,” said Qantas International Acting CEO, Naren Kumar.

The 14,326km flight from Brisbane to Chicago will be the fourth longest in the world, and the second longest flight on Qantas’ network, and take approximately 16 hours and 20 minutes (depending on winds).

The new routes will see a total of 14 weekly services year-round between Brisbane and the US, including the daily 787 Brisbane to Los Angeles service that continues to New York.  In addition to the new routes, Qantas will increase flights between Brisbane and Los Angeles from ten to thirteen per week during the peak season from 2 January to 8 February 2020.

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.

AIR FRANCE’s Business Class Michelin Stars

Air France has mapped out its Business cabin menu design right through until February 2020, and it probably won’t surprise you to learn that airline’s in-flight menus are in very capable, star-spangled hands.

From July to October 2019, Savoyard chef, Guy Martin, a groundbreaking chef of his generation, will treat Business Class customers to his renowned gourmet creations.

Air France chefs Andrée Rosier, Guy Martin and Julien Royer.

Awarded two Michelin stars, Martin’s cuisine has multiple and surprising sources – memories of trips, colours, smells, sensations and emotions, which have inspired him.

Martin’s Seared Pike perch on an Air France business class menu.

From November 2019 to February 2020, martin hands the Business class apron strings over to Andrée Rosier for the first time. The first female chef to be awarded the title of Meilleur ouvrier de France in 2007, and a Michelin-starred chef herself, Rosier delivers authentic, innovative cuisine based on Basque culture, predominated by fresh seasonal produce.

The airline’s Singapore departures will be handled by another French chef with two Michelin stars, Julien Royer. Like Singapore, Royer offers a cosmopolitan cuisine with carefully selected seasonal products.

We have some brilliant Business Class airfares with Air France in conjunction with Qantas.

Sydney to Paris return from just $5999!

Fare shown was correct at 16 July 2019, but is subject to availability and change. It is based on a journey departing Sydney on 20 October 2019, and routes via Hong Kong.

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

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POWERBANKS: Checking in or Carrying On?

A reminder from our friends at Qantas about the importance of checking that your baggage is packed correctly and adheres to the dangerous goods regulations to ensure safety aboard its aircraft.

“Dangerous Goods regulations do change and evolve over time, so we encourage all of our clients to check with their Travel Authority Group travel advisor if they have any concerns before they fly”, said The Travel Authority Group’s Managing Director, Peter Hosper.

Dangerous Goods Regulations define items that may endanger the safety of passengers or an aircraft as ‘dangerous goods’. These include obvious things such as petrol, butane gas, mace and the like.

There are, however, a number of common items like aerosols, cigarette lighters, portable battery powered devices and portable medical oxygen that are considered dangerous goods. These can be carried provided certain requirements have been complied with.

If you’re travelling with powerbanks, portable chargers and spare or loose batteries, please ensure they are packed into your carry-on baggage.

CLICK HERE for full details and the most up-to-date regulations when flying with Qantas.

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

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HOTEL HIGHLIGHT: The Standard London

Housed in the former Camden Town Hall Annex in London’s thriving King’s Cross neighbourhood, the 1974 Brutalist building has been meticulously restored and sets the perfect stage for The Standard’s first hotel outside America.

The hotel has 266 rooms in 42 unique styles ranging from Cosy Core rooms to terraced suites with outdoor bathtubs overlooking St Pancras station.

“The Standard London has made quite an impression in the few weeks it has been open. It’s Shawn Hausman interiors look expectedly remarkable”, said Sarah Bush, Director of The Travel Authority Group.

Shawn Hausman first made his name by overseeing the creative direction of Area, the most experimental, outlandish, art-plus-fashion, uptown-meets-downtown nightclub of 80s New York City. Since the early 90s, his eponymous design company has brought a uniquely idiosyncratic approach to the interiors of The Standard hotels in the US.

One striking feature of The Standard London’s exterior is its bright red external elevator.

“In one sense it’s like this lipstick, moving up the front of the building. The red is an acknowledgement of London buses and also a contrast to the concrete building. It was intended to not be a subtle thing, said Hausman.

All rooms feature huge TVs, Bang & Olufsen Bluetooth speakers, bathrobes, custom bath amenities, 24-hour gym access, mini bar, 24-hour room service, and complimentary Wi-Fi.

Executive Chef Adam Rawson’s street facing bar, Double Standard, offers lunch, happy-hour and casual drinking and dining, while Rawson’s garden restaurant, Isla, serves a seasonally-driven, coastal inspired menu.

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.

QANTAS Preferred Seating trial

Qantas has announced it is trialling a Preferred Seating product, giving Silver, Bronze and non-Frequent Flyers the option to purchase seats towards the front of the Economy cabin—the core advantages being they’ll be among the first to disembark and to be served a meal.

Gold, Platinum and Platinum One Qantas Frequent Flyers will continue to be able to book these seats with no fee, as per their tier benefits.

The cost of Preferred Seats ranges between $5-$45, and they’re available in one Economy row on all Qantas aircraft, excluding the turboprop fleet. Qantas Frequent Flyers can also use Qantas Points to purchase their Preferred Seats.

Please see details (correct at 12 July 2019) below.

Within the check-in flows, Preferred Seats are complimentary and will just appear as standard seats.

For voluntary flight changes made by the customer, where the same seat category is not available on the new flight, no refund of the Preferred Seat fee will be available. For involuntary changes made by Qantas, where the same seat category is not able to be offered on the new flight, a refund may be requested.

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.

QANTAS 747s: No Passport? No Problem.

Before the national carrier retires its iconic fleet of Boeing 747 aircraft, it will be operating a number of domestic services between November 2019 and February 2020, giving customers the opportunity to fly on the ‘Jumbo’ without the need for a passport.

“The Jumbo has a special place in the hearts of so many Australian travellers, and we love the idea of a final short-haul jaunt or two aboard these aircraft before they leave the fleet for good by the end of 2020”, said The Travel Authority Group’s Managing Director, Peter Hosper.

The Boeing 747, also known as the Queen of the Skies, has been an integral part of the Qantas fleet for almost 50 years. If you’d like to grab a seat on one of the upcoming Qantas Boeing 747 domestic flights, these are the flight details you need:

  • 09 Nov 2019 SYD-BNE flight QF524
  • 23 Nov 2019 SYD-ADL flight QF743
  • 31 Dec 2019 SYD-MEL flight QF417
  • 15 Feb 2020 SYD-MEL flight QF439
  • 11 Nov 2019 BNE-SYD flight QF529
  • 25 Nov 2019 ADL-SYD flight QF736
  • 01 Jan 2020 MEL-SYD flight QF438
  • 17 Feb 2020 MEL-SYD flight QF400

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.

ANA: New Premium Cabins

Japan’s largest airline, All Nippon Airways (ANA), has collaborated with renowned architect Kengo Kuma and leading British designers Acumen to create its new cabin products “THE Suite” and “THE Room”.

Inspired by Japanese heritage and Western design principles, and five years in the making, the new cabins will be featured in First Class and Business Class respectively for the first time on completely redesigned Boeing 777-300ER aircraft on the Tokyo-London route.

The first redesigned aircraft will serve the Tokyo (Haneda)-London route (NH211/NH212) from 02 August 2019.

“The design process is just as much about what we decided to include as what we decided to omit,” said architect Kengo Kuma of his involvement in the project.

“My work is about understanding how space is used and creating the most comfortable conditions in any environment.”

New First Class Seat – “THE Suite”
Designed with impeccable attention to detail, THE Suite is inspired by luxury Japanese hotels and is the most spacious fully enclosed seating ever seen on an ANA aircraft.

New features include the addition of privacy-enhancing doors as well as a crystal-clear 43 inch monitor that is the world’s first 4K personal monitor on a commercial airliner. THE Suite also boasts a movable partition which can be adjusted upon request to pair seats as well as a universal PC and USB port.

New Business Class Seat – “THE Room”
Inspired by modern, multifunctional Japanese living spaces, THE Room offers for the first time flexible doors for personal privacy that can also be adjusted to share the space with fellow travel companions – from dining together with the family to conducting meetings with colleagues.

With its forward and rearward layout, THE Room offers one of the world’s largest Business Class seating environments. With a design focus on minimisation and de-cluttering, the Business Class seat offers a ‘place for everything’ including discreet areas for all personal belongings.

New Interior Cabin Design
Complementing these comfort-boosting upgrades to seating areas, ANA has also revamped the entrance area of the aircraft to create a hotel like reception complete with welcome monitors.

ANA has also designed a new food service area to embody the Japanese ‘Omotenashi’ philosophy of hospitality with a redesigned self-service bar area, which now boast mini-fridges stocked with beverages and snacks for customers to enjoy at any time.

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

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A NEW WA GATEWAY: Kununurra

A new direct air service from Australia’s east coast to Kununurra is set to slash flight times and unlock new tourism opportunities for the Kimberley region of Western Australia.

Exploring the Gibb River Road.

Alliance Airlines will operate a minimum of 40 direct flights between Melbourne and Kununurra in a code-share arrangement with Virgin Australia.

“We’re really excited about Alliance’s Melbourne-Kununurra services. The Kimberley region is an astonishing part of Australia”, said Lisa Byers, General Manager of The Travel Authority Corporate & Resource in Fremantle.

The flights will begin in May 2020, to complement the start of Kununurra’s tourism season, including the 20th anniversary of the annual Ord Valley Muster.

Image: Lake Argyle. Credit: David Bettini.

The area is renowned for its natural wonders including Lake Argyle, the waterfalls of the Mitchell Plateau, the landscapes along the Gibb River Road, and the World Heritage listed Bungle Bungle Range in Purnululu National Park.

The flights will help boost visitors to this unique part of Western Australia with up to three return flights a week operating between May and August.

Image: Helicopter joy flight over Lake Argyle. Credit: Tourism Western Australia.

A one way flight between Melbourne and Kununurra is expected to take approximately four hours with flights on sale in the coming months.

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

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HOTEL HEADS-UP: The Fullerton Sydney

The final countdown is on until the official opening of Sydney’s The Fullerton Hotel.

The luxury property, slated to open on 18 October 2019, will be located within Sydney’s historic GPO building at No. 1 Martin Place—a location occupied by The Westin Sydney. The new Sydney hotel will be the Fullerton brand’s first international expansion beyond its home of Singapore.

The Fullerton Hotels and Resorts presently owns and operates two award-winning hotels in Singapore: The Fullerton Hotel Singapore (opened in 2001) and The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore (opened in 2010).

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to present The Fullerton Hotels and Resorts’ award-winning style of hospitality and hotel to Australia,” said Cavaliere Giovanni Viterale, General Manager of The Fullerton Hotel Singapore.

Curiously, built in 1928, The Fullerton Hotel Singapore’s building was previously home to the country’s General Post Office (GPO).

The Fullerton Hotel Singapore.

“We really look forward to seeing the Fullerton brand make an impact in Sydney. Many visitors to Singapore will be familiar with what Fullerton stands for, and appreciate the quality of guest experience at a Fullerton Hotel”, said The Travel Authority Group’s Managing Director, Peter Hosper.

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.