Latest news about airlines & their loyalty programs
Major news - Alaska Airlines to acquire Hawaiian Airlines
Alaska Airlines announced yesterday that it will acquire Hawaiian Airlines. The surprise move, which is subject to regulatory approvals, would vault Alaska into international expansion with a fleet including long-haul widebody jets flying across the Pacific Ocean to
destinations in Japan, Korea, Australia and New Zealand. Honolulu will become a major hub for the combined airline.
Alaska CEO Ben Minicucci said in an interview. “We become a bigger competitor against the big four airlines, United, Delta, American and
The acquisition appears to be a good cultural fit, as Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines are both known to have a deep
commitment to caring for their employees, guests and communities.
The deal will also open up new opportunities for Alaska, through Hawaiian's membership of the Oneworld alliance.
More details are yet to be announced, but I would expect Alaska's loyalty program to remain intact, with that of Hawaiian being absorbed
into it somehow.
This is exciting news for travellers located in east Asia and the Pacific regions.
Qantas upgrading international routes
In an update to its international network, the flying kangaroo will introduce its B787 Dreamliner aircraft on the Sydney-Honolulu route for
the first time.
Replacing the current A330 used on the route, the upgauge will give passengers the broad choice of Economy, Premium Economy and Business
cabins on the popular leisure route.
The announcement comes ahead of Qantas’ return to Shanghai this weekend after more than three years of ceased operations.
Elsewhere, Qantas and Jetstar are preparing for several new and upgraded services over the next month as international demand continues to
surge. Among these are:
New routes from Brisbane including Qantas to Wellington and Honiara and Jetstar to Tokyo (Narita)
An increase between Sydney and New York (via Auckland) to four flights per week
An increase of Jetstar’s Brisbane-Auckland service to daily flights
An upgauge on QF’s Sydney-Bali flights, from a B737 to an A330
Increased frequencies on Melbourne-Hong Kong, Singapore, and Los Angeles route
Doubled frequencies to Tokyo, providing four daily Australia-Japan flights from November 26
Are you one of the many flyers disappointed by Delta's recent SkyMiles changes? Maybe Alaska would be better for you.
Fed up with the recent changes to Delta SkyMiles?
For a limited time, Alaska Airlines is offering a promo for any Delta elite who’d like to transfer their membership ( and tier status) to
Virgin Australia has launched an offer looking to attract Qantas Gold status (and higher) frequent flyers.
If you apply prior to 15 September, Virgin Australia's Velocity will match your Qantas FF status for 3 months. If you fly
only once during that period, that status is extended for a further 12 months.
To apply, email firstname.lastname@example.org with "Velocity Discover Gold trial offer" in the heading.
Perks of Velocity Gold Status include complimentary Virgin Australia Lounge access, priority boarding, preferential seating, additional baggage allowances (not available when travelling on a Lite fare), and bonus Velocity Points and Status Credits when guests book and fly with Virgin Australia.
Gold Status with both of Australia's major carriers provides a lot of flexibility. Qantas is a member of the OneWorld alliance and has
a cooperative arrangement with Emirates Airlines. Virgin isn't currently a member of any alliance, but has an eclectic collection of
partners who are, so can readily find a partner to take you almost anywhere (with good perks).
Qantas/Emirates airlines collaberation authority extended for a further 5 years by regulator
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) this week re-authorised the collaboration between Qantas and Emirates Airlines.
the ACCC said the conduct between the two parties has not materially changed since initial authorisation was granted in 2013 and that “The
ACCC considers that the conduct would be likely to result in public benefits, in the form of: increased connectivity and convenience;
facilitating capacity restoration and expansion; and, better frequent flyer program benefits. The ACCC also considers the conduct is likely
to result in limited public benefits through stimulation of tourism and trade,” the determination reads.
A little odd considering Qantas' lobbying against the granting of 3 additional slots to Qatar in mid-July resulted in the
Federal Minister for Transport (with advice received from the ACCC) rejecting Qatar's application..
Qatar was looking to add 21 flights per week into hubs such as Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth from the Middle East. The Federal
Government sought out the opinion of Qantas as part of Qatar Airways’ application process for bilateral air rights. Qantas opposed the bid
on the grounds that it would cause Australian job losses, according to The
Airways’ application rejection came amid high international airfares, which some attribute to a lack of competition.
At the time of its submission, Qatar Airways’ CEO, was amongst those criticising Qantas’ influence here. He highlighted that his
airline continued to operate flights throughout the pandemic, even when Qantas suspended all flights except government-subsidised
repatriation flights and reduced its local labour force.
If true, then this latest decision will do nothing to increase competition on key Australian routes..
There is a caveat to the approval, however. The ACCC said it is concerned that the coordination between the two carriers could harm
competition in the market between Sydney and Christchurch, New Zealand, as Air New Zealand is the only other carrier operating the route.
Because of this, Qantas and Emirates have been directed to “provide regular updates on passenger revenue and operating costs to enable us to
monitor competition on this route over the next five years,” the ACCC said.
This article originally appeared inThe
Guardian on 25 July 2023. Excerpts are repeated here to help spread the warning to users of loyalty programs, like you our readers. For the complete
article and links to related ones, you should read the original article (which has copyright owned by The Guardian).
The ACCC has issued an urgent warning to customers of some of Australia’s largest loyalty reward programs,
including Qantas Frequent Flyer, after detecting a new scam that targets valuable points. The National Anti-Scam Centre has
received 209 reports to Scamwatch in the past four months, of the scam targeting Qantas frequent flyer, Telstra and Coles loyalty
Australians lost a record amount of more than $3.1bn to scams in 2022, up from the $2bn lost in 2021, according to ACCC figures. New data
from Commbank released on Tuesday showed Australians are becoming more cautious of answering the phone because of the increase, with three
in four (76%) people only picking up if they recognise the number.
With the new scam, consumers receive a text message or email stating their loyalty points are expiring. It includes a link to a fake
website, which prompts customers to log in. Customers may also be prompted to provide credit card details to use loyalty points. Scammers
then steal customers’ points, their login details and personal information to use on other platforms and commit identity fraud.
The vast majority of reports to Scamwatch received so far are in relation to Qantas frequent flyer, Telstra and Coles loyalty
programs, but Australians should be aware that any loyalty program could be targeted, ACCC deputy chair Catriona Lowe said.“The
National Anti-Scam Centre has contacted the companies that have been impersonated by scammers and is working with web host providers to have
the fake websites taken down, to minimise harm to the community,”
Lowe said. “We are very concerned that Australians experiencing cost-of-living pressures may be more susceptible to these scams. Scammers
are deliberately panicking consumers by claiming their points are expiring soon. We urge people to immediately delete or ignore any message
regarding a loyalty program that contains a link.
We advise our readers to be vigilant and if receiving any such emails or texts, to not use those links, but instead go directly to
their loyalty program website and check there. There are details on the official sites that provide contact details should you need to
speak to anyone.
Further details on the ACCC report can be found....Read More…
Turkish Airlines debut in Australia still in a holding pattern
Expectations of an announcement last week fell flat, however the Star Alliance carrier says it aims to reach Australia soon.
Turkish Airlines could land in Australia as soon as December, but with a catch...
Turkish Airlines says it is in advanced negotiations with both Sydney and Melbourne as it aims to introduce flights to Australia, with ambitions of touching down at either airport for the first time potentially before the end of 2023.
If and when Turkish Airlines does commence operations down under, it would be the only mainland European carrier to fly to
are also no stranger to Turkish Airlines, with the carrier welcoming nearly 119,000 Aussies on board in 2022 through various codeshare
agreements it holds with other airlines
The airline is currently working through some legal loopholes before being able to add either city to its expansive network of nearly 130
destinations worldwide, however Turkish Airlines Chairman Dr Ahmet Bolat recently said in an interview that he was hoping for a final
decision by next month.
But there appear to be two main (related) catches:
1. Lack of aircraft capable of non-stop flights
While Turkish Airlines has maintained an office in Sydney for some 35 years, another major problem standing in the way is the lack of an
aircraft capable of making the non-stop journey from Istanbul to either Sydney or Melbourne.
At a flying time of at least 17 hours non-stop, the airline is banking on a future order of up to 15 Airbus A350-1000XLR or Boeing 777X as
being the missing link, however neither aircraft are expected to be ready until near the end of this decade.
For now, flights to either Sydney or Melbourne could become a reality on its ready-made fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners, with a
refuelling stop in Singapore in both directions.
“Our main goal is to fly directly to both Sydney and Melbourne every day, with the production of a new generation of ultra-long-range
aircraft,” Bolat said.
2. The need to be able to sell tickets for the link between Singapore and Australia
For now, the airline requires ‘fifth freedom’ rights to sell tickets on the sector between Singapore and both Sydney and Melbourne for
Australian flights to make economic sense. This would enable it to pick up and drop off passengers in Singapore.
Turkish Airlines operates the world’s largest network and currently holds rights to land in Australia up to four times per week
under an existing air rights agreement with Australia, however Bolat has ambitions of eventually offering daily flights to both Sydney and
“We are eager to add Australia to our network and connect Australian people to the world with our award-winning service
quality.”, Bolat said.
Turkish Airlines has won several Skytrax World Airline awards, including Best European Airline 2023 and best in both Economy and
Business cabins specifically. Miles&Smiles, its loyalty program alst has some
very attractive features.
Virgin Australia & ANA expand their alliance, boosting Japan access
Travellers can now access more of Japan on a single booking through the wider tie-up that includes 12 cities within Japan and
others around the world.
The boosted tie-up allows customers to book airfares on ANA-operated flights between Australia and Japan on VA’s website for the
first time. .
When flying ANA, Velocity Frequent Flyer (VFF) members can earn points and status credits across over 130 destinations in
the ANA network, including 12 domestic links in Japan (such as Sapporo, Fukuoka, Hiroshima, Osaka-Kansai, Nagasaki, and
Okinawa), and connections to Asia, North America and Europe.
Through the partnership, Silver, Gold and Platinum members flying on ANA planes with VA flight numbers will earn points on
miles on top of base points, accruing 50 per cent, 75 per cent and 100 per cent bonus points respectively. Gold
members on ANA flights will receive priority check-in, priority baggage and an extra checked baggage allowance among other
benefits. Meanwhile, to mark the launch, Velocity members will earn 20 per cent bonus points on eligible ANA-operated Sydney-Tokyo
flights for travel between 18 July and 31 December 2023. The member must activate this offer by 1 August 2023 to qualify for this
offer. As part of the launch of the partnership expansion, Velocity is offering a 20% mileage bonus on ANA flights between
Tokyo and Sydney through December 31, 2023, if they register for this offer by August 1.
You can access this offer on Virgin Australia’s website here and
ANA’s page for partner airlines here, where the offer's T&C's are listed.
Conclusion ANA is Virgin Australia’s fifth Star Alliance partner and Virgin Atlantic, also a VA partner, recently
joined SkyTeam. Virgin Australia used to be Delta’s Australian partner but switched to United Airlines (a Star Alliance member)
instead. While some may wish for Virgin Australia to settle on joining one of the alliances (except perhaps OneWorld of which Qantas is founding
member), but having a diverse set of partners provides VFF members the ability to access to a wide range of partners within both Star
Alliance and SkyTeam networks.
Presented in a gala ceremony held in the iconic Air and Space Museum at the Paris Air Show, the Skytrax World Airline Awards are
tabulated from more than 20 million surveys submitted by travellers from 100 countries, who rated 325 different airlines between September 2022 and May 2023.
World’s Best Airline
Singapore Airlines claimed the prestigious title of World’s Best Airline
in the 2023 Skytrax World Airline Awards,
marking the fifth time the fifth time in the 23 year history of the awards.the carrier has taken out the prestigious accolade.
The seven times winner of the prestigious Airline of the Year award, Qatar Airways, was ranked No 2 in the world for
2023, with ANA All Nippon Airways in third place, Emirates fourth, and Japan
fifth position, out of more than 325 airlines included in the survey results.
A new award was introduced in 2023, for the World’s Most Family Friendly Airline, this being won by Air Canada.
This award includes family seating policies, dedicated family check-in facilities, priority boarding, children’s meals, children’s amenities
/ toys / activity packs, child specific onboard entertainment, free checked luggage and policies for carrycot / pushchairs, and the standard
of service assistance from ground staff and cabin crew during the travel experience.
Notably, multiple award winners included Qatar Airways who scooped nine award wins, with Singapore Airlines also
receiving nine awards. In North America, Delta Air Lines was the success in North America, winning six awards. In
Europe, Turkish Airlines was dominant, receiving four awards including the highly competitive Best
Airline in Europe title.
Qatar Airways continued its domination in business class, winning the awards for World’s Best Business Class,
the World’s Best Business Class Seat, the World’s Best Business Class Lounge
(the Al Mourjan lounge at Hamad International Airport), the World’s Best Business Class Lounge Dining and the Best Airline in the
Singapore Airlines dominated the First Class travel awards, winning the awards for the World’s Best First
Class, the World’s Best First Class Seat, the World’s Best First Class Comfort Amenities
and took top position as the Best Airline in Asia.
ANA All Nippon Airways claimed third place in the global ranking, and repeats its earlier successes by winning awards
for the World’s Best Airport Services and the World’s Cleanest Airline.
Kuwait Airways wins the 2023 award as the World’s Most Improved Airline, ahead of StarLux in
2nd place and PLAY in 3rd position. This is award reflects an airline’s Quality improvement across the entire
Awards programme, evaluating an airline’s change in the global rating, and their performance in different award categories.
Cathay Pacific had a notable achievement for 2023 as they were judged as providing the World’s Best
Inflight Entertainment for
the very first time.
EVA Air won the award for the World’s Best Premium Economy Class (the travel cabin that EVA
invented more than 30 years ago). EVA Air also won the award for the Best Premium Economy Class Catering.
Japan Airlines ranks No 1 in Economy Class, winning the award for the World’s Best Economy Class as
well as the award for the World’s Best Economy Class Seat.
Fiji Airways secured the Best Airline in Australia / Pacific for the first time, and in a
double success also won the award as the Best Airline Staff Service in Australia / Pacific for the third time.
In the India / South Asia region, Vistara reigns supreme and was again named winner of the Best
Airline in India / South Asia award,
in addition to Best Airline Staff Service for the region.
In North America, Delta Air Lines was the Best Airline in North America, in addition
to Best Airline Staff Service for the region. Sun Country Airlines wins the Best
Low-Cost Airline in North America title
for the first time.
Alaska Airlines was the Best Regional Airline in North America in this very competitive
market. Air Transat were another big winner from North America after being named as the World’s Best
Leisure Airline –
an award the Canadian airline has won on four previous occasions.
For a full list of the awards and winners, you can ... Read More…
A major global airline has invested big bucks (not just lip-service) in bringing a wheelchair securement space to life.
Delta Flight Products, a subsidiary of Delta Air Lines that was “established to re-think aircraft interiors” has announced
its backing of the Air4All wheelchair securement system on commercial jets — the company unveiling its design prototype at the
Aircraft Interiors Expo 2023 in Hamburg, Germany.
Air 4 All works in a similar way to latch-type locking and securement
systems used by many wheelchair users in their own vehicles. When a wheelchair user is flying, the seat folds up to reveal the securement
space and attachments. If no wheelchair users require access, the seats function as regular airline seats.
The design has the added benefit of enabling airlines to retain the design of their cabin on every seat, ensuring a cohesive brand
experience for all passengers. Air 4 All will facilitate a smoother boarding and disembarking experience and will also
significantly reduce the number of wheelchairs that are damaged through poor handling.”
John Morris of wheelchairtravel.org tried out the seat design that has a securement system that can accommodate a wide range of both
powered and manual wheelchairs. He felt that critical reporting on this product, its advancements, features and opportunities for
improvement should come from within the disability community.
John says, “Are you ready to have your mind blown? I tested out the wheelchair securement space unveiled today by Delta Flight Products —
it's nothing short of amazing, and I'm more confident than ever that we'll see a wheelchair space on airplanes not only in my lifetime, but
soon! “ You can read and watch his demonstration here: https://wheelchairtravel.org/first-look-air4all-airplane.
Imagine the number of people whose travelling will be made soooo much more enjoyable once this becomes available from airlines.
Kudos to Delta !
Link your Qatar Airlines and Accor ALL accounts before June 10 - receive bonus points for both
In September 2022, Accor Hotels improved its partnership with Qatar Airways. Since then, members have been able to double dip on Accor hotel
stays and Qatar Airways flights. To do this, you need to link your ALL account with your Qatar Airways Privilege Club account.
You can do that with Accor Hotels or Qatar
Even better, if you haven't already done this, members now can earn a bonus through June 10, 2023 just for linking their accounts.
If you already took advantage of the ALL and Flying Blue
the ALL and Qantas partnership, you'll need to choose
which airline you want to double dip with. You can link your ALL account to just one airline at a time. If you linked your ALL account to
Flying Blue or Qantas in the past 12 months, you need to wait until the end of 12 months before you can link to Qatar Airways.
This promotion is available to members who have not linked their ALL and Qatar accounts before May 10, 2023. If that is
you, link your ALL and Qatar Airways accounts before June 10, 2023. After doing so, complete an eligible stay
and/or flight before August 31, 2023 to earn bonus points and Avios. Members will receive 500
bonus ALL Reward points on
the stay and 1,000 bonus Avios on the flight.
Terms & Conditions
Members must link accounts for the first time between May 10 and June 10, 2023 (at 11:59pm Arabia Standard Time, GMT+3) before booking a
stay or flight.
Book the stay or flight before June 10 and complete it before August 31, 2023.
Accor stays must be booked directly with Accor.
Qatar Airways flights can be booked through any channel.
Members can only claim this promotion once.
Make sure to provide the applicable membership number at the time of booking.
After completing an eligible stay, bonus points will credit to the member's account within six weeks. Regular points from the stay will
credit within seven days, and Avios will credit within 10 days.
After completing an eligible flight, bonus Avios will credit to the member's account within six weeks. Regular Avios will credit within 24
hours, and ALL Reward points will credit within 10 days.
This promotion stacks with other Accor or Qatar Airways promotions.
Stays at onefinestay are not eligible for this offer.
Stays and flights that are partially or wholly purchased with loyalty points are ineligible.
The Accor and Qatar partnership includes a fast track to elite status in both rewards programs. Accor elite status members will earn
Qatar Airways Privilege Club elite status after their first qualifying flight:
ALL Gold status members will receive Privilege Club Silver status.
ALL Platinum status members will receive Privilege Club Gold status.
ALL Diamond status members will receive Privilege Club Platinum status.
Conversely, those with Privilege Club elite status can earn ALL elite status after the first qualifying hotel stay:
Privilege Club Gold status members will receive ALL Silver status.
Privilege Club Platinum status members will receive ALL Gold status.
The Fast Track offers are available only once per person. Your complimentary ALL elite status will last until the end of
the following calendar year. To maximize this, try to get your status as close to the beginning of the year as
possible. Complimentary Privilege Club elite status will last for 12 months from the date it's received.
This is a great partnership, especially for Australians, offering better value than the Accor-Qantas partnership,
combining the same access to OneWorld partners with the wide range of Accor properties and perks available in APAC..
Get up to 30% off fares to 35 local and international destinations, including (one-way) Melbourne to Gold coast from AUD 99,
or Melbourne to Hamilton Island from AUD 139.
Return flights are available from Melbourne
to Bali from AUD 589
or Melbourne to Fiji from AUD 559.
But be quick! These prices only last until midnight
(AEST) on April 3rd. Other
T&C's also apply.
Qantas unlocks thousands of seats to book with Frequent Flyer points
Following the recently announced "million seat sale", Qantas is now releasing a huge amount of Classic Rewards space.
Qantas award availability has been notoriously hard to find, but Qantas is working on changing that perception. The Australian airline has
announced the release of thousands of Classic Flight Reward seats starting Friday, February 24, 2023, at 11:00 am. Sydney time
and and will include space in economy, business, and first class.
The release timing translates to:
London 12:00 (midnight) Friday, February 24, 2023 — as Sydney is 11 hours ahead of GMT.
New York: Thursday, February 23, 2023, at 7:00 pm — as Sydney is 16 hours ahead of NYC.
Los Angeles: Thursday, February 23, 2023, at 4:00 pm — as Sydney is 19 hours ahead of LA.
According to the Qantas
the award availability will be across its entire international network featuring over 30 destinations. Also, Qantas is
including all cabin classes in this award drop — including Classic Flight Rewards dropping in economy, business class, and first class.
Using Your Qantas Points
A quick glance at the Qantas
Classic Flight Reward Chart makes
it clear that longer awards in premium cabins are a little on the steep side. However, they are still a much better deal than the other,
more expensive awards. Qantas prices its awards based on distance and which airline you are flying.
Qantas Classic Rewards are the best way for Qantas members to maximize the value of their points. So, this is a great opportunity if you
have some upcoming travel plans involving taking a Qantas flight. Remember that although Qantas is releasing all this award space, it is
unclear if any of it will be making its way to Qantas’ Oneworld partners. So, if you see an award itinerary that works for you, you
should strike while the iron is hot and have Qantas points at the ready.so you can quickly snap it up.
Qantas and Jetstar - New One Million (!) Seat Sale
Qantas and Jetstar have launched a one million seat sale with one-way fares available from A$39 on Jetstar and A$99 on Qantas.
Business class fares are available from A$499 on Qantas.
Between Qantas, QantasLink and Jetstar, the sales span more than 170 routes around Australia including capital cities and regional towns.
Jetstar is also offering sale fares on more than 20 international routes, with fares starting from A$175 one-way.
“We’re seeing really strong demand as Australians continue to put travel at the top of their shopping list. We’ve been adding new routes to
help meet that demand, especially to leisure destinations, and we’ve put a lot of sales into the market,” said Mr Joyce when launching this
“This is the ninth network-wide sale from Qantas and Jetstar in the past six months and we have more planned,” added Mr Joyce.
This week, Qantas added tens of thousands of additional international reward seats – flights that can be booked for as
few as 8,000 Qantas points
– for its Frequent Flyers through December 31, 2023.
The airlines are encouraging customers with COVID credits – travel credit left over from the pandemic – to use them in booking their sale
fares. COVID credits received during the pandemic expire at the end of 2023, with customers needing to book and travel before then.
A dedicated hotline has been established to assist customers using their travel credit. Customers can call the Travel Credit Concierge Team
on 1300 171 505 or visit the Travel Credits Hub online.
Virgin Atlantic is part of SkyTeam effective 2 March 2023
Now we have a bit more concrete timing. From March 2, 2023, London-based carrier Virgin Atlantic (VS) will become SkyTeam’s
only U.K.-based airline. This is huge news for both U.K. and U.S. travelers, as routes between the 2 countries are the bulk of Virgin’s
route network. Specifically, VS operates nonstop routes to the U.K. from Austin (AUS), Atlanta (ATL), Boston (BOS), Las Vegas (LAS), Los
Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), New York (JFK), Orlando (MCO), San Francisco (SFO), Seattle (SEA), Tampa (TPA), and Washington, D.C. (IAD).
As Virgin already has close ties with key airline members of SkyTeam such as Air France/KLM and Delta Air Lines, joining SkyTeam is a natural progression.
What We Know So Far About Virgin Atlantic Joining SkyTeam
Here is what we know so far:
Virgin Atlantic will be admitted as a member from 2 March, 2023.
Flying Club members will be able to earn and burn points with all alliance members. However, no rates have been announced.
In terms of elite status levels:
Virgin Atlantic Silver will equate to SkyTeam Elite status.
Virgin Atlantic Gold will get SkyTeam Elite Plus perks.
Elite members will receive the usual raft of benefits associated with status. These include priority check-in, baggage handling, lounge
access, and more.
When Virgin Atlantic joins the alliance, frequent flyers will be able to spend and redeem their miles with up to an additional 15 airlines.
Perhaps even more exciting is that once Virgin joins the alliance, Flying Club elite status holders will receive SkyTeam Elite status,
opening up reciprocal benefits with the other SkyTeam member airlines — and vice versa.
Virgin Silver members will receive SkyTeam Elite benefits, which include:
Priority reservation wait list
Priority check-in counters
Priority or “at leisure” boarding
Extra baggage allowance
However, it’s Virgin Gold members who will benefit from the full perks of the SkyTeam alliance. They’ll receive automatic Elite Plus
benefits, which include:
Guaranteed full-fare economy class (Y class) bookings on sold-out long-haul flights at least 24 hours before departure
Worldwide access to lounges for the traveller and a guest, no matter the class of travel
Extra baggage allowance.
Who may benefit the most?
Virgin will soon be joining Aerolineas Argentinas, AeroMexico, Air Europa, Air France, China Airlines, China Eastern, Czech Airlines, Delta
Air Lines, Garuda Indonesia, ITA Airways, Kenya Airways, KLM, Korean Air, Middle East Airlines, Saudia, TAROM, Vietnam Airlines, and Xiamen
Airlines as part of the SkyTeam Alliance.
This development is most exciting for Virgin frequent flyers with Silver or Gold status who, until March 2, 2023, only have had some of the
benefits of their status reciprocated with Air France/KLM and Delta.
For those travelers who already have SkyTeam status through another carrier, they will also benefit from the benefits of Virgin’s Flying
Club. However, it's currently rumored that elites from other SkyTeam airlines won’t get access Virgin’s exclusive London Heathrow Clubhouse.
Potential Downsides - Will Sweet Spots Be Eliminated?
While it is great news for Virgin to join SkyTeam. Some Flying Club members will be concerned about what will happen to some of the best
Flying Club redemption sweet spots. Currently, you can use your Virgin points for many excellent awards, including:
ANA first class from Japan to Europe or Central/Eastern US for 60,000 Virgin points each way plus taxes and fees.
Air New Zealand business class awards from New Zealand to either North or South America for 125,000 Virgin points round-trip plus taxes and
Unfortunately, both Air New Zealand and ANA are members of Star Alliance. This puts them in direct competition with many of
Virgin Atlantic’s new (SkyTeam) alliance partners. Will these great deals remain, or is the time up for these excellent redemption options?
Only time will tell.
We can only hope that Virgin Atlantic joining SkyTeam leads to new excellent redemption opportunities within the alliance.
Bonza sale ! Australia's new carrier has fares starting from $49
After much fanfare around its arrival, Australian low-cost carrier Bonza is finally open for business.
Twelve destinations on 15 routes are on sale for travel until late October 2023, with fares starting from just $49 one way.
The carrier’s first flight will take place on Tuesday, 31 January, from the airline’s Sunshine Coast home base to the Whitsunday Coast.
Bonza says flights from its second base at Melbourne Airport should go on sale in the next few weeks.
Among the routes to go on sale from today are Sunshine Coast to Coffs Harbour ($49), Newcastle ($59), Albury ($69), Avalon ($79), Whitsunday
Coast ($59) and Cairns ($79).
Flights from Cairns to Mackay ($49) and Rockhampton ($59), Rockhampton to Townsville ($49) and Newcastle to Whitsunday Coast ($79) are also
on sale from today.
“The wait is over! 2023 is the Year for Australia, with low cost air travel to many holiday spots, some of which are relatively
undiscovered. It’s time to see more of your own backyard for less,” Bonza chief commercial officer Carly Povey said.
The airline’s promise
Bonza says that the flights on sale indicate “what’s here to stay” for the airline.
“It’s important that Aussie travellers know we’re on sale, not having a sale. We’re committed to low cost fares which will
in turn, stimulate new markets for Australia’s domestic tourism industry,” Povey added.
“We’re confident whenever customers choose to travel, all our fares and not just our starting fares will represent great value.”
Meanwhile, Sunshine Coast Airport CEO Andrew Brodie said Bonza’s launch into the Sunny Coast would be a massive boost to two-way tourism.
“The Sunshine Coast is a wonderful place to holiday and visit and now with Bonza, more people can experience our beautiful region,” Brodie
“Not only will people choose to holiday here, they will also use our airport to easily connect through to other regions making travel for
our regional visitors a whole lot easier.”
Bonza Receives Certification To Commence Flying
Bonza, the startup Australian budget airline on January 12 received an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) after the carrier submitted final
documents and successfully completed proving flights.
The AOC is required before an airline is permitted to fly scheduled passenger-carrying flights in Australia..
The airline is now “finalising its preparations to go on sale” with the first flights to fly out of the Sunshine Coast followed by
Bonza was cryptic about the exact date tickets would go on sale, with chief executive Tim Jordan saying it would welcome people aboard
Australians who are looking to book a flight with Bonza are urged to download the airline’s app, which is the only way they will be able to
book outside of a small group of local travel agents.
Bonvoy adds ability to convert Krisflyer Miles to Bonvoy Points
KrisFlyer have announced that you can now convert points and miles between both programs. While you have been able to convert your Marriott
points to Singapore miles for a long time, the ability to transfer your Singapore miles to Marriott points is new.
The new two-way conversion ability is a new trend from Marriott and seems to be aimed at enhancing the value of their points and program. However,
the conversion rates leave a lot to be desired.
You can currently convert points and miles between both programs as follows:
from Singapore KrisFlyer Miles to Marriott Bonvoy points at a ratio of 2:1.
from Marriott Bonvoy points to Singapore KrisFlyer miles at a ratio of 3:1.
This news is the second one in a short period of time after Marriott just recently announced new two-way transfers between its
program and Korean Air SkyPass.
Perhaps this will be a Marriott trend for 2023, but we will have to wait and see if more programs will follow.
Marriott Two-way Conversion Partners
The following programs now offer two-way conversion between themselves and Marriott Bonvoy.
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
Korean Air SkyPass
United Mileage Plus (Premier status members only)
Is Transferring Marriott Points to Singapore KrisFlyer Miles Good Value?
In short No.
Our redemption value for Singapore KrisFlyer miles is USD 24.90 per 1,000 miles. On the other hand, we value Marriott Bonvoy
points at USD 10 per 1,000 points.
At a transfer ratio of 2:1, you would exchange around USD 49.80 worth of Singapore miles for USD 10 worth of Marriott Bonvoy points. This is
a clearly not a good idea!
On the other hand, transfers from Marriott to Singapore at a ratio of 3:1can make more sense. In effect, you would exchange around
USD 30 worth of Marriott points value for USD 24.90 worth of Singapore miles value. Although this seems like a bit of a loss, Singapore
Airlines KrisFlyer offers some excellent award options that could make it worthwhile, especially for aspirational awards on Singapore Airlines' own planes.
When Should You Convert Singapore KrisFlyer Miles to Marriott Bonvoy Points ?
There are a couple of instances when converting your KrisFlyer miles to Marriott Bonvoy points can make sense.
* Singapore miles expire after 36 months, and you cannot extend their validity without paying a hefty fee.
Therefore if you have a bunch of miles that are about to expire and don’t want to use them or hand over the cash,
transferring them can be an excellent get-out.
* Another option is if you are a few Marriott points short of a redemption and need to boost your balance. Although transferring a
few thousand Singapore miles works out as a loss, it is still valuable if it lets you hit an aspirational award. Just make sure you exhaust
your other options first, as you also transfer Amex Membership Rewards points to Marriott Bonvoy at a ratio of 1:1.
There have been transfer bonus offers in the past, so you might be able to get an even better transfer rate during one of these
The news that you can convert Singapore KrisFlyer miles to Marriott Bonvoy points is a welcome. if minor enhancement. as it gives members
more options to use their points. It's always nice to gain the flexibility to ytsmsfer your points from one program to another —
even in circumstances mainly limited to the need to top up an account or avoid point expiration.
AirlineRatings.com, the world’s only airline safety, and product rating website, has announced its Top Safest Airlines 2023 from
the 385 different airlines it monitors.
The top 13 ranked airlines are the who’s who of airlines and, in order, are:
Qantas, Air New Zealand, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, TAP Air Portugal, Emirates, Alaska Airlines,
EVA Air, Virgin Australia/Atlantic, Cathay Pacific Airways, Hawaiian Airlines, SAS.
According to AirlineRatings.com Editor-in-Chief Geoffrey Thomas, these airlines are standouts in the industry and are at the forefront of
safety, innovation, and launching of new aircraft.
In selecting Qantas as the world’s safest airline for 2023, AirlineRatings.com editors noted that over its 100-year operational history the
world’s oldest continuously operating airline has amassed an amazing record of firsts in operations and safety and is now accepted as the industry’s most experienced airline.
According to Mr Thomas, the editors analyze: crashes over 5 years, serious incidents over two years, audits from aviation’s governing bodies
and lead associations; fleet age, expert analysis of pilot training, and COVID protocols in making their determinations.
“However all airlines have incidents every day, and many are aircraft or engine manufacture issues, not airline operational problems. It is
the way the flight crew handles these incidents that determines a good airline from an unsafe one,” Mr Thomas said.
“Our top 20 safest airlines 2022 are always at the forefront of safety innovation, operational excellence..."
The AirlineRatings top 20 safest low-cost airlines for 2022 are, in alphabetical order; Air Arabia, AirAsia Group* Allegiant,
Air Baltic, easyjet, FlyDubai, Frontier, Jetstar Group, Jetblue, Indigo, Ryanair, Scoot, Southwest, Spicejet, Spirit, Vueling, Vietjet,
Volaris, Westjet, and Wizz.
To see AirlineRatings Country and Airline Safety Comparison tool... Read More…
Qantas FF can now use points on Bangkok Airways
Qantas Frequent Flyers can now book Classic Flight Reward seats to more than 20 destinations across Thailand and South East Asia as a new
partnership with Bangkok Airways was launched today. The partnership expands on a codeshare agreement that was introduced in 2014
allowing Qantas customers to book commercial seats on Bangkok Airways flights.
Travellers can access Bangkok Airways flights from Australia via Bangkok, Phuket and Singapore. The Qantas Group operates more than 50
return flights each week between these cities and Australia.
Bangkok Airways is a full-service carrier, with regular flights each day out of its hub in Bangkok to some of Asia’s most popular
destinations, including Koh Samui and Chiang Mai in Thailand and Siem Reap in Cambodia.
Qantas Loyalty CEO Olivia Wirth said Qantas Frequent Flyer was excited to welcome Bangkok Airways to the program. “Thailand is one of the
most popular destinations for our frequent flyers and this partnership will make it easier for them to explore more of the region using
their points...The option to book reward seats on Bangkok Airways’ expansive network across Thailand and South East Asia will also open up
thousands of new redemption opportunities."
The Bangkok Airways partnership follows recent initiatives from Qantas Frequent Flyer to expand members’ opportunities to use their points
on flights including 100,000 Classic Flight Reward seats between Australia and Japan, and the extension of its commitment for 50 per
cent more reward seats until June 2023.
Accor Hotels just launched another partnership, this time with Qatar Airways.
Similar to the Miles + Points partnership with KLM/Air France Flying Blue , Accor
and other crossover programs (eg Marriott and Emirates; Shangri-La and Singapore Airlines; Hyatt and American Airlines), you can now
double dip on Accor hotel stays and Qatar Airways flights. Here are the details of the partnership and now to earn both
Reward points and Avios.
Accor and Qatar Crossover partnership
Accor Hotels and Qatar Airways have already had a partnership, but now this partnership is being improved. Now, members of either loyalty
program can earn both ALL Reward points and Qatar Avios on either flight and hotel bookings.
First, you need to link your ALL account with your Qatar Airways Privilege Club account. You can link your accounts either via Accor
Hotels or Qatar
If you already took advantage of the ALL
and Flying Blue partnership,
you'll need to choose which airline you want to double dip with. You can only linked your ALL account to one airline at a time. If you
linked your ALL account to Flying Blue in the past 12 months, you will need to wait until the end of 12 months before you can link to Qatar
Double-dipping between Accor Hotels and Qatar Airways
After you link your Accor Live Limitless and Qatar Airways Privilege Club accounts, you will start earning both ALL Reward points and Avios
on your stays and flights:
For every US$2 spent on Qatar Airways flights, you will earn 1 ALL Reward point, in addition to the Avios you earn on
For every €1 spent at Accor properties, you will earn 1 Avios in your Qatar Airways Privilege Club account, in addition to the
regular ALL Reward points
earned for your stay.
Make sure to provide your applicable account membership number at booking or check-in to receive points and Avios.
Once you have accrued your Avios and Reward points, you can transfer from one program to the other:
Members who do not have a Privilege Club membership account before linking accounts will need to take an extra step. You will only earn
Avios on hotel activities after performing an international activity. That can be your first stay outside of the country
of residence in your ALL loyalty program account or after your first flight on Qatar Airways (all of which are international).
All domestic stays within 12 months before the first international activity and after the account linkage will be retroactively rewarded
with Avios. Avios earned retroactively on stays in a given year will be credited no later than December 31 of that same year.
To remain eligible for the accrual of Avios on eligible stays, the members will have to perform an international activity at least every 12
Fast-track to Elite Status
The Accor and Qatar partnership includes a fast track to elite status in both rewards programs. Accor elite status members will earn Qatar
Airways Privilege Club elite status after their first qualifying flight:
ALL Gold status members will receive Privilege Club Silver status;
ALL Platinum status members will receive Privilege Club Gold status.; and
ALL Diamond status members will receive Privilege Club Platinum status.
Conversely, Privilege Club elite status members will earn ALL elite status after your first qualifying hotel stay:
Privilege Club Gold status members will receive ALL Silver status.
Privilege Club Platinum status members will receive ALL Gold status.
These Fast Track offers are only available once. Your complimentary ALL elite status will be good until the end of the
following calendar year. So, you have the incentive to try to get your status as close to the beginning of the year as you can.
Complimentary Privilege Club elite statuses will be good 12 months after being received.
What does this mean for you?
This is another great partnership from Accor. Double-dipping on points is always a nice benefit and reciprocal elite status levels are also
great, especially when you can earn Oneworld Emerald status with your ALL Diamond status.
Avios earned can also be transferred/used for other Avios programs (BA, Iberia etc.), which may suit for say short-haul rewards
But the ability to accrue rewards with Qatar, consistently rated as one of the world's best airlines, is an
outstanding attraction of this new double-dipping program. Depending upon your flying patterns and the alliance program your preferred
airline belongs to (Qatar and Qantas are both OneWorld, Air France/KLM is SkyTeam), this may very well be the best double-dipping
To learn more about the Accor Live Limitless rewards program...
Bonza names its first Boeing 737
Bonza, the new Australian Low Cost Carrier, has announced the winning name for its first B-737.
A shortlist of the hundreds of suggestions was voted on by the Bonza Local Legends – the airline’s ambassadors. The most popular name and one adopted by Bonza was "Shazza". The second most popular name was "Bazza", which may be used for the
second aircraft when it joins ist stablemate.
Shazza is currently having her interiors Bonza-ified including obligatory splashes of purple. Bonza is aloso training in-flight and
cabin crew, finalising the all-Aussie menu and stress testing the Fly Bonza App which will be the only place customers can book flights
(with the exception of local travel agents).
Virgin Australia's domestic travellers will have an easier experience at security and access to an expanded range of food and beverage
options with the opening of the redevelopment of Melbourne Airport’s Terminal 3.
The centrepiece of the upgrade is an indoor walkway linking the landside departures levels of Terminals 3 and 4, as well as the
consolidation of security screening at an expanded central location in Terminal 4.
Virgin Australia travellers will now be screened using the latest smart security technology, which allows them to keep laptops, tablets and
liquids in their bags, with an additional two lanes opened to increase processing capacity.
For the first time at Melbourne Airport the Virgin Australia lounge is located in the secure airside zone, meaning premium travellers will be able to enjoy the facilities right up until boarding time.
For more info, see the linked video from Virgin Australia... Read More…
Bonza Debut Flight Touches Down | Milestone Tick
Bonza’s first 737 MAX aircraft touched down at Sunshine Coast Airport yesterday morning marking a major milestone for Australia’s
newest low-cost carrier.
It is the first Boeing 737 MAX to be based in Australia and will be part of a fleet of aircraft based initially on the Sunshine
Coast and in Melbourne.
Additional aircraft will follow and ultimately support Bonza’s growth plans beyond its initial bases. The airline is calling out to help
name the plane by asking for comments on Bonza’s Instagram and Facebook pages
with their nicknames.
The initial network is 17 destinations on 27 routes. Ninety-three per cent of the routes are currently not serviced
(25 out of 27 routes) and 96 per cent are not currently served by a low-cost carrier.
Bonza says that flights are expected to start from around AU$50 for each hour a customer is in the air and eight
kilograms of carry-on baggage will be included in the flight price.
To achieve their low-cost strategy, Australians are encouraged to download the Fly Bonza app which will be the only place to book directly.
The airline’s ‘app first’ strategy means flights will not be available for purchase on third-party websites allowing Bonza to communicate
directly with customers about their upcoming flights. In addition to booking and check-in, the Fly Bonza app is also where customers can
order food and drink from the menu directly to their seats and enjoy the in-flight entertainment.
Congratulations to all at the Bonza team!
Malaysia Airlines Doubling Its Daily Flights To Qatar Following High Demand
Malaysia Airlines is adding a second daily service to Doha (DOH),
saying the route it launched in May has high demand.
The carrier started a daily Airbus A330-300 Kuala Lumpur (KUL)-DOH
route in late May, building on the expanded codeshare agreement inked with Qatar Airways earlier this year and covered on by us 18
July 2022. Both airlines are Oneworld members.
Malaysia Airlines’ second daily frequency on the DOH-KUL route will commence from Aug. 10 and also be operated by an
The carriers said in a joint statement that their codeshare relationship gives passengers access to 96 destinations.
“The arrival and departure times of the double daily Malaysia Airlines flights offer customers full access to Qatar Airways’ unrivaled
network to the Middle East, Europe, Africa and the US via the world’s best airport, Hamad International Airport, while simultaneously
building perfect connectivity to Malaysia Airlines’ network to states within Malaysia, as well as southeast Asia, north Asia and also to
Australasia,” the airlines stated.
Singapore Airlines' KrisFlyer Spontaneous Escapes are back! After returning from hiatus in spring 2022, Spontaneous Escapes are back again
for another month.
These monthly promotions offer KrisFlyer award bookings with a discount of 30% on selected routes, meaning you
need fewer miles to book than normal. Typically you must book by the end of the month, for flights the following month.
The latest list includes flights in August 2022, for which you need to book by July 31, 2022.
Some key points are that:
Bookings must be made at singaporeair.com as other channels won't reflect the discount.
The promotion is valid for economy, premium economy, and business-class redemptions.
Cash and miles+cash bookings are not eligible for discounts.
For example, one-way flights between Singapore and Australia's east coast (Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane or Cairns) are only
21,350 Krisflyer miles.
So, act fast to grab these price-busting award bookings !
Further T&C's apply. For more information...
AirlineRatings Announces 2022 World's Best Airlines Awards
The world’s Best Airlines for 2022 have been named by AirlineRatings.com, the world’s only safety, product, and COVID rating website, and
the airline of the year is … Qatar Airways.
The Doha-based airline nudged out Air New Zealand, Etihad Airways and Korean Air for the top spot in AirlineRatings.com
Best Airlines for 2022 followed by Singapore Airlines, Qantas and Virgin Australia. Taiwan’s EVA was rated 8th followed by Turkish Airlines in the 9th spot. Turkish Airlines is also named the Best Airline in Europe.
In 10th position is Japan’s All Nippon Airlines.
Qatar Airways also took out Best Business Class. “The airline’s Qsuite is a first-class experience in business class
and our judges rated it as the best overall business-class product they had seen,” said Mr Geoff Thomas of AirlineRatings.com.
As well as taking out number 2 position in the Top Twenty Airlines rankings, Air New Zealand won Best Airline in
the Pacific, Best Premium Economy, and Best Economy. The
airline has just unveiled a major make-over and new products that will be introduced in 2024, so it should continue to rank highly in years
Singapore Airlines won the prestigious Best First Class award for its unique Suites product and
also Best Lounges. The six Suites in this stylish cabin at the front of the upper deck of the airline’s flagship
Airbus A380s are designed to be the equivalent of small hotel rooms.
Virgin Australia won Best Cabin Crew and Emirates was awarded Best
Excellence in Long Haul travel was awarded to: jetBlue (Americas), Turkish Airlines (Europe), Qatar Airways
(Middle-East/Africa), Korean Air (Asia) and Air New Zealand (Pacific).
Best Low-Cost Airlines are: Southwest (Americas), easyjet (Europe), Jetstar (Asia/Pacific) and Fly Dubai (Middle-East).
Our congratulations to all the winners !
Turkish Airlines Now Rated Among The Best For Safety
Turkish Airlines’ incident record over the past five years has been outstanding and has resulted in the airline’s safety rating being lifted
from five-star to the highest possible seven-stars by the global rating agency AirlineRatings.com.
" With Turkish Airlines, we found an extremely low incident rate and virtually none attributable to pilots...That performance and its
COVID-19 compliance for passengers gained Turkish Airlines the top safety rating of seven stars,” said Geoffrey Thomas of AirlineRatings.
Under AirlineRatings' system, 159 of 357 (44.5%) of Airlines currently have the 7-star rating.
The airline also has a seven-star rating for its onboard products making it a seven-star rated airline for safety, product and COVID
Prior to COVID Turkish Airlines operated 374 aircraft to 331 destinations in 127 countries, including 52 domestic, and 13 in the United States and 11 in Germany.
Our congratulations to Turkish Airlines - top rating for all 3 areas tested (safety, product and COVID compliance) is a great
achievement in protecting its passengers and staff.
Star Alliance First To Expand Network To Rail With New ‘Intermodal’ Partner
Lufthansa (a Star Alliance member) customers are already able to buy a combined ticket for Deutsche Bahn (DB) trains and Lufthansa
flights in one booking step, including seat reservation.
Star Alliance, the world’s largest airline alliance with 26 member airlines has historically been specifically for airlines. However, that’s changing.
In an industry first, starting 1 August 2022, all 25 other Star Alliance member airlines will be able to include DB’s ICE
high-speed trains as flight numbers in their booking engines and customers will benefit from the following advantages:
In just one booking, airline customers will receive a combined ticket for the flight and train journeys, including seat reservations
Upon check-in, which is possible until soon before departure (not hours prior), travellers receive their boarding
passes for both the flight and the train journeys.
Customers will benefit from priority baggage handling and other services in the AiRail check-in area in Frankfurt
For bookings of combined train & flight journeys via Lufthansa Express Rail, travelers can collect points or miles in their
preferred Star Alliance program
First & business class Star Alliance airline passengers will receive additional benefits, such as access to Deutsche Bahn
The move makes German rail operator Deutsche Bahn the Star Alliance’s first intermodal, non-airline partner, and signals that airlines are
looking to broaden the scope of their networks to include other modes of transport such as railway, bus, or ferry. Under the new
partnership, DB customers and passengers of Star Alliance member airlines can start or end their journey by train.
Star Alliance’s intermodal partnership model is designed to link loyalty systems and facilitate seamless airport / rail station / port
While Germany is the first market where the alliance’s intermodal concept is being trialled, Star Alliance plans to expand its intermodal
partnerships in the future.
The DB-Star Alliance partnership is expected to make a significant contribution to reducing CO2 emissions
in the transport sector, as well as boosting traveller convenience.
A welcome, positive move reflecting a more eco-conscious time.