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FREQUENT FLYER STATUS MATCHING – VIRGIN FIGHTS BACK

Hot on the heels of Qantas’ frequent flyer fast-track offer, Virgin Australia has hit back with an attractive counter offer.

The airline announced that its Velocity Frequent Flyer program will reward its Gold and Platinum members for their loyalty, and give eligible Qantas Frequent Flyer members (and their companion) a taste of flying with a ‘fun and vibrant’ airline.

Speaking at Brisbane Airport, Virgin Australia Group CEO Jayne Hrdlicka said domestic airline competition was alive and well.

“Virgin Australia was the first airline in Australia to bring genuine competition to the domestic market, and that competitive spirit is in our DNA, so we’re happy to offer a more compelling loyalty offer than what is currently in market,” said Ms Hrdlicka.

“We’re pleased to welcome Qantas members to Velocity who are interested in taking advantage of cheaper fares, award-winning cabin crew, and great rewards for ongoing loyalty. We look forward to welcoming them onboard this summer season,” she added.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

By simply filling-in a short expression of interest form by 21 December 2020, Qantas Gold status and above members will receive a three month ‘Velocity Discover Gold Status’ trial membership.

That membership offers complimentary Lounge access, priority boarding, preferential seating, higher checked baggage allowances, and lucrative bonus points when customers book and fly with Virgin Australia.

To retain Velocity Gold status for 12-months and receive an additional Velocity Gold membership for a companion, they are only required to take one eligible flight and earn 80 status credits during their three month Discover Gold Status trial period—something previously only awarded to the most active Velocity members.

STATUS EXTENSIONS FOR EXISTING VELOCITY GOLD AND PLATINUM MEMBERS

Not to be outdone by the national carrier, Velocity Frequent Flyer is also offring eligible Gold and Platinum members a status extension of up to one year or until 31 March 2022, as long as they take one (1) eligible flight with Virgin Australia before 28 March 2021.

This is the second time Velocity has granted eligible members a Status extension this year. This will enable Gold and Platinum members to continue accessing benefits like Lounge access, priority boarding, and higher Velocity points earning ability when they return to the skies.

For more information, simply leave us a note in the form below, or CALL US [1300 935 669] to discuss your specific requirements.

We’d love to hear from you!

QANTAS FAST-TRACKS LOYALTY PROGRAM SWITCHERS

In a perhaps not entirely surprising (but bold) move, Qantas Frequent Flyer is offering top tier members of other airline loyalty programs the opportunity to fast track their flying status when they switch to Qantas.

The offer also includes a very attractive bonus of 90-days of complimentary lounge access.

According to a statement from the national carrier, this is the first time it has made such an offer. It comes on the back of significant enquiries about joining the program from members of other domestic and international airline loyalty programs – the consequence of changes in the local market as well as restrictions on overseas travel.

So, how does it work?

People holding an eligible loyalty status with a qualifying airline program are invited to switch and take advantage of the Qantas Status Fast Track – an offer to earn 100 status credits in 3 months to qualify for Qantas’ Gold tier.

What does earning 100 Status Credits look like?

  • 5 x return economy trips Sydney to Melbourne.
  • 1 x return business class trip Melbourne to Cairns.

In addition to helping expedite their status, the offer also includes 90 days of complimentary access to Qantas Club lounges, and extra checked baggage.

Gold tier benefits with Qantas include lounge access across Qantas and oneworld airline lounges globally, preferential seating and priority access to reward seats, as well as priority check-in, boarding and upgrade requests.

Those wishing to transfer from a higher flying tier – Platinum and Platinum One equivalents – will only be able to transfer to Qantas’ Gold status, rather than have their status matched. Reaching a higher frequent flyer status requires members to earn the normal requirements within a Membership Year.

“With so much uncertainty in the market, we’ve seen a spike in requests from people wanting us to match their status with other airlines. If they are willing to bring their travel across to Qantas, we will fast track them to Gold status,” said Qantas Loyalty CEO, Olivia Wirth.

By early December, eligible Qantas Frequent Flyers will have access to 30 of the 35 domestic and regional lounges across the airline’s network.

Registrations for the Qantas Status Fast Track close 18 December 2020.

For more information, simply leave us a note in the form below, or CALL US [1300 935 669] to discuss your specific requirements.

We’d love to hear from you!

EXCHANGING Miles for Smiles

We’re all looking for feel-good travel stories at the moment, right?

Here’s one.

The Travel Authority Group’s CEO, Peter Hosper, brought a smile to his dial by making the most of an Aegean Air—a Star Alliance Member—program that encourages frequent flyers to donate miles to referral hospitals in Greece.

And to increase the impact of gestures like this, the airline triples the miles contribution. Not only that, it offers two round-trip tickets to medical staff so that, when this is over, they can take a break with their plus-ones in any Greek destination on the Aegean Air network.

“I didn’t have a huge miles balance. But I know those miles can be better utilised by others and work much harder than they would for me.”

The Travel Authority Group’s CEO, Peter Hosper.

“I know many other people doing similar things with their miles and points. It’ll be a while before any of us are in the air again, and it feels nice to have made a contribution those working at the COVID coal face,” Hosper added.

Aegean Air isn’t unique in offering ways for customers to put their miles to work charitably.

Here are some more examples.

Qantas Frequent Flyer

Qantas’ program supports a range of organisations from the Australian Red Cross, Unicef, The Fred Hollows Foundation, Royal Flying Doctor Service and more.

More info here.

Singapore Airlines and KrisFlyer

Singapore Airlines supports Make-A-Wish Singapore to help fulfill the wishes of children with life threatening illnesses.

More info here.

The Emirates Airline Foundation

If you’re a Skywards member you can donate your Miles to the Emirates Foundation to sponsor the travel of doctors and volunteer professionals serving on humanitarian missions.

More info here.

Etihad Guest

Abu Dhabi’s Etihad enables flyers to donate to the UNHCR through its Etihad Guest frequent flyer program to support the prevention and response efforts in view of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in refugees settings.

Etihad Guest contributions can be made in any number of miles.

Marriott Bonvoy

The Bonvoy loyalty program covers 30 hotel brands, and is currently encouraging members to donate points and aid crisis relief efforts for COVID-19 and more worldwide.

Donations can be directed to a number of organisations including:

  • World Central Kitchen
  • UNICEF
  • American Red Cross
  • International Federation
  • The Marriott International Disaster Relief Fund

More info here.

There are, of course, many more.

If you’re interested in doing something similar, be sure to check-in with your preferred frequent flyer program and see just how much good you can do with your miles and points.

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 Ties Up With Air France – KLM

Qantas Frequent Flyers can now access reward seats, earn Qantas Points and receive tier benefits across the entire Air France – KLM Royal Dutch Airlines network.

The program tie-up allows members to access reward seats and earn points on all fares across all Air France and KLM marketed flights globally.

“Qantas Frequent Flyer members will now have access to hundreds of thousands more reward seats in popular destinations including Paris, Amsterdam, Rome, Barcelona and Athens, as well as new destinations across France, Italy and Northern Europe.” 

Qantas Loyalty CEO Olivia Wirth.

Frequent flyers with Gold status or higher will also be able to access tier benefits including priority boarding, priority check-in and extra baggage allowance on any Air France and KLM operated flights.

The agreement between Qantas Frequent Flyer, Air France and KLM Flying Blue means members will be able to earn points when they travel on eligible flights across each airline. Members will also be able to redeem Classic Flight Reward seats across Air France and KLM’s economy and business cabins.

To earn Qantas Points with Air France or KLM, members simply need to enter their Qantas Frequent Flyer number when booking their next flight.

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 Double Points!

It’s a busy time of year for 2020 Europe specials.

Airlines are trying to lock in as many bums-on-seats as they can right now for 2020, and they’re offering early-bird airfare sales and other incentives to get you on-board like this one from Qantas.

Earn double Qantas Points on eligible flights to more than 50 European destinations.

All you have to do is:

  • Register by 11:59pm (AEST) 1 October 2019
  • Book an eligible Qantas or Emirates operated flight by 11.59pm (AEST) 1 October 2019 for travel between 1 March 2020 and 30 September 2020.
  • Include your Qantas Frequent Flyer membership number in your booking.

Eligible flights include:

  • Qantas operated flights with a QF flight number between Australia and London
  • Emirates operated flights with a QF flight number between Australia and Europe

You must be a member of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program to earn and redeem Qantas Points and Status Credits.

We have a great range of 2020 Europe early-bird airfares that are on sale for a short time only.
Be sure to ask us for details!

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.

GET TO KNOW: China Eastern Airlines

Have you ever flown with China Eastern Airlines?

Did you know that they’re a Qantas Frequent Flyer airline partner and codeshare partner?

An Airbus A350 in China Eastern livery.

Get to know them a little better here.

FROM SYDNEY

China Eastern operates 10 weekly non-stop Airbus A350 services from Sydney to Shanghai Pudong Airport. In addition, the airline operates 7 weekly codeshare services with Qantas.

Into Beijing, the airline operates 3 weekly services via Hangzhou, 3 via Nanjing, as well as 5 weekly codeshares on Qantas.

To Xian, China Eastern operates 3 weekly services via Wuhan

The airline’s new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner is already operating services between Melbourne and Shanghai, and commences Sydney–Shanghai services from 27 October 2019.

A China Eastern Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

FROM MELBOURNE

China Eastern operates 10 weekly direct, non-stop Boeing 787 Dreamliner services into Shanghai Pudong.

FROM BRISBANE

China Eastern operates 4 weekly direct, non-stop Airbus A330 services into Shanghai Pudong.

Shanghai skyline.

EUROPEAN DESTINATIONS

China Eastern’s European network includes:

  • London Heathrow
  • Paris
  • Frankfurt
  • Amsterdam
  • Budapest
  • Rome
  • Moscow
  • Saint Petersburg
  • Stockholm
  • Prague
  • Madrid

SAMPLE FARES
PARIS
Economy Class: $1112 ex Sydney return
Premium Economy: $3657 ex Sydney return
Business Class: $4807 ex Sydney return

Fares were correct at 17 July 2019, but are subject to change and availability. Business Class was priced using a departure date of 04NOV19; Premium Economy and Economy Class fares were priced using a departure date of 29AUG19.

The airline’s key codeshare partner in Europe is Air France KLM.

WHAT’S ON BOARD
Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners

BUSINESS PLUS

  • The first 4 private suites, complete with closing doors
  • Larger (32 inch) LCD TV screen along with the lengthier cabin
  • Direct and uninterrupted aisle access
  • Seat can stretch to a fully-flat bed
  • Convert the middle seats into ad-hoc meeting room
  • Seatbelt equipped companion bench
  • HPUSB & AC Power
  • Mini bar
  • Amenities Kit
  • Complimentary WIFI

BUSINESS CLASS

  • 1-2-1 seat configuration
  • Uninterrupted aisle access for every guest
  • XL suites complete with closing doors
  • 18 inch HD touch screen display
  • Fully flat bed (196cm)
  • HPUSB & AC Power
  • Mini bar
  • Amenities Kit
  • Complimentary WIFI

PREMIUM ECONOMY

  • Separate cabin
  • Extra space for leg rest
  • Priority check-in and boarding
  • 2-3-2 configuration with 28 seats
  • Leather Seats
  • Seats pitch 38 inch, width 19 inch, recline 7 inch
  • 13 inch high definition touched screen
  • Individual AC+USB power
  • Amenities kit & Slippers provided

CHAUFFERED AIRPORT TRANSFERS
China Eastern Airlines (CEA) is delighted to offer complimentary Limousine transfers from/to Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane Airport and from/to Shanghai Pudong Airport or Beijing Capital International Airport to eligible First and Business class passengers whom purchased tickets in Australia.

TRAVEL WITHOUT A VISA (TWOV)
Australian citizens normally need a pre-arranged visa to enter China, but the country’s Transit Without Visa (TWOV) program allows foreigners to enter the country for up to six days visa-free, provided their travel plans meet certain requirements like having a valid onward ticket to another country.

  • Stay up to 144 Hours
  • Available in Shanghai, Nanjing & Hangzhou
  • Entry through Shanghai, and exit through Hangzhou or Nanjing is permitted
  • Applies to entries by air, exit by cruise
  • Eligible for passport holders from more than 50 countries including Australia and New Zealand.
  • Stays in China on the TWOV program are permitted in both directions

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 Frequent Flyer Program Overhauled

In what the airline claims is the biggest ever overhaul to its loyalty program, Qantas Frequent Flyers will soon pay significantly less fees for international reward flights, have access to more seats, and enjoy more rewards for earning points on the ground.

The changes represent a $25 million investment, and are designed to improve how members are recognised and rewarded as well as how they earn and redeem points.

“The changes are significant, with a number of benefits”, says The Travel Authority Group’s Managing Director, Peter Hosper.

“For example, redemption fees are down by up to 50%, and fewer Qantas Points will be needed to book an International economy seat. And across the board more redemption seats will be made available. You will, however, need more points to secure a redemption seat in premium economy, business and first. And more points to upgrade, too”, noted Hosper.

Here are some sample changes to the program:

The major initiatives, to be rolled out to members over the next 12 months, include:

  • Adding more than 1 million extra reward seats available annually on Qantas and new partner airlines.
  • Cutting carrier charges and fees by up to 50% on international bookings.
  • Changing the points required for reward seats on domestic and international flights including an up to 10% reduction in the number of points required for international economy Classic Reward seats.
  • Increasing the points required for upgrades and Classic Reward seats in premium cabins.
  • Creating a new tiered Points Club for members who earn most of their points through on-the-ground transactions.
  • Introducing Lifetime Platinum status, the ultimate recognition for the airline’s most loyal flyers.

Lifetime Platinum launches in August this year. Eligible members who earn over 75,000 Lifetime Status Credits will enjoy the benefits of Platinum Status for life, regardless of how often they fly.

New to the mix: a Qantas Points Club to recognise members who earn most or all of their points on the ground as ‘frequent buyers’ rather than frequent flyers.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the changes are about strengthening Qantas Frequent Flyer to keep delivering for its almost 13 million members.

“We know the majority of our members want to use their points to take a dream trip overseas, so we are adding more reward seats including First, Business and Premium Economy, to places like London, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Singapore as well as slashing carrier charges.

“While the points required for business class seats on international and domestic flights will increase slightly, it is the first increase in 15 years and the product has improved a lot in that time”, he said

Qantas Loyalty CEO Olivia Wirth said they conducted extensive research into the habits and behaviours of frequent flyers to create a program that brings value to all types of members.

“There’s a lot about the Qantas Frequent Flyer program that our members tell us they love but there are also areas of the program that have increasingly come under pressure as a result of rapid expansion. What we’re announcing today is all about investing more into the heart of our program, the member experience,” Ms Wirth said.

A full breakdown of the program changes, including interactive tables showing the before-and-after pricing and new reward seat options on partner airlines is available HERE.

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 Frequent Flyer Cards Go Digital

In addition to physical cards, Qantas Frequent Flyers now have access to digital versions to make their check-in and lounge experience more convenient by using their mobile device.

The cards will help streamline check-in at domestic self-service kiosks and make it easier for Gold Frequent Flyers and above, as well as customers with Qantas Club membership, to access domestic lounges on the day of travel.

“The digital card will save a fair bit of fumbling about with your wallet at the airport, which is great”, says  The Travel Authority Group’s Managing Director, Peter Hosper.

To access the digital card, they simply need to open the Qantas app, go to the ‘My QFF’ tab and tap ‘My Card’. Members will need to download the latest version of the Qantas app to see their digital card.

The digital cards show the colour of the member’s tier, changing automatically as the member moves up or down program tiers. It also has an expiry date which corresponds to the date on the member’s physical card. It will be updated automatically on the Qantas app at the same time the physical cards are posted during the expiry month.

The digital cards can also be used to redeem Qantas Points when purchasing tickets and candy bar treats at HOYTS cinemas.

The digital card is available on the Qantas mobile app on both Android and iOS devices.

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.