Latest news about airlines & their loyalty programs
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.
Virgin Australia Updates Awards Tables for its Partners - From October 2022
Velocity is introducing changes to the Points required for Reward Seats on Etihad Airways, Air Canada, Singapore Airlines,
Hawaiian Airlines and South African Airways for
tickets issued from 5 October 2022.
Velocity noted that the amount of Points required to redeem an Economy Class or Business Class Reward Seat will change for some routes. We
looked more closely at the changes and found that:
Points required for travel in Premium Economy or First Class were unchanged;
Points required for trips of up to 2,400 miles (one way) are unchanged for all cabin categories;
Points required for trips of more than 4,800 miles (one way) are unchanged for all cabin categories;
For trips between 2,401 and 3,600 miles, the category has been split into 2,401 to 3,000 (requiring 3,000 fewer points than
currently for Economy but 2,000 more for Business Class) and 3,001 to 3,600 (requiring 1,000 fewer points than currently
for Economy but 4,000 more for Business Class);
For trips between 3,601 and 4,800 miles, the category has been split into 3,601 to 4,200 (requiring 6,000 fewer points than
currently for Economy but 2,000 more for Business Class) and 4,201 to 4,800 (requiring 4,000 fewer points than currently
for Economy but 6,000 more for Business Class).
So, no change for travellers booking Premium Economy or First Class, but for travellers flying in Economy, the changes
will result in either the same or fewer points being required.
For Business Class travellers, the increases could be hefty – more than 14% for the new 3,001-3,600
category and more than 17% for the 4,201-4,800 mile category.
Impact on some popular routes:
Unchanged - PER-DPS, MEL-AUH, SYD-AUH
6,000 fewer points (saving 17.1%) for Economy but 2,000 (+5.7%) more for Business Class
* MEL-SGP 3,765 miles
* SYD-SGP 3,915 miles
3,000 fewer points (saving 10.7%) for Economy but 2,000 (+7.1%) more for Business Class.
* PER-SGP 2,435 miles
* LHR-AUH 2,982 miles
* MEL-DPS 2,750 miles
* SYD-DPS 2,875 miles
1,000 fewer points (saving 3.6%) for Economy but 4,000 (+14.3%) more for Business Class
* MEL-KUL 3,405 miles
* SYD-KUL 3,555 miles
for Australians vacationing in Bali, award redemptions will be the same or as much as 17% less for Economy, but Business Class will be
7% more from the east coast;
the amount of points required for flights between Abu Dhabi and Australia;
for flights between Abu Dhabi and London, flying Economy will be cheaper but Business Class will require more points than prior to
flights between Australia and Singapore will be treated more kindly than flights between Australia and Malaysia.
A carrier charge for Reward Seats on Singapore Airlines will also be introduced for tickets issued from 5 October 2022. These charges are
less than the carrier charges introduced for Etihad Airways.
Any voluntary changes (by travellers) to Reward Seats ticketed up to 4 October will, from 5 October 2022, require
cancellation and refund (if applicable) of the original ticket.
So make any changes you need to make prior to then because...
Any new Reward Seat ticketed from 5 October 2022 (including those from voluntary changes noted above) on the above mentioned airlines, will
be according to the new
Points redemption table.
The ability to transfer your Velocity Points and KrisFlyer miles between programs is due to restart on 19 July 2022!
If you are also a member of KrisFlyer, the loyalty program of Singapore Airlines, you can set up a link between your Velocity Account and
KrisFlyer Account and convert Points and Miles between both programs.
For every 1.55 KrisFlyer miles you transfer, you will earn 1 Velocity Point. A minimum transfer amount of
5,000 KrisFlyer miles is required. This is the same rate that applied just prior to the covid-19 crisis (but the minimum transfer has been
reduced from 10,000 to 5,000 KrisFlyer miles).
Note that transfers cannot be reversed once made.
You will also be able to redeem
Velocity Points for
Reward Seats in Economy, Premium Economy and Business Class on the Singapore Airlines network
(T&C's and exclusions will apply).
Great news for members of both programs, reopening opportunities that were available prior to February 2020.
It also provides an opiton for holders of larger KrisFlyer balances to "save" miles that are close to expiring, as KrisFlyer miles
have a "hard" expiry of 3 years, whereas Velocity points do not expire as long as there is some activity every 2 years. Note that
miles transferred cannot be transferred back again.Read More…
Air New Zealand set to relaunch 14 international routes
Air New Zealand is about to relaunch 14 international routes in 16 days and this will bring its international capacity up to 60% of
The Boeing 777-300ER aircraft will be back helping to ensure that from July 9, the airline will have three-quarters of its
international and domestic routes back up and running with popular destinations like Honolulu, Houston and Tahiti restarting after around 820 days of not operating.
“We are seeing first-hand how keen people are to travel again, particularly across the Tasman. Come July, we will double our services across
the Tasman and restart popular direct services like the Sunshine Coast, Hobart and Adelaide. By July 9 we will be
back at all nine Australian ports
which is an important milestone for us.” Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran said.
Great news for travellers to Australia and its near neighbour.
Turkish Airlines Targets Nonstop Australia Flights
Turkish Airlines is considering the launch of non-stop services to Australia using either Airbus A350-1000XWB or Boeing 777X
aircraft. Australia is a whitespot in the carrier’s network of more than 300 destinations worldwide. The only other major
exception is Greenland.
The airline already operates 777-300ERs, as well as A350-900s. However, Turkish Airlines may go for an additional version, such as the
A350-1000XWB for the ultra-long-range services from Istanbul to Sydney and Melbourne.
“Australia is the last continent which Turkish Airlines is not flying to,” Turkish Airlines chairman Ahmet Bolat said at the 2022 IATA
annual general meeting in Doha.
For Turkish Airlines, the nonstop flying time from Istanbul (IST) to Sydney (SYD)
and Melbourne (MEL) would be approximately 17 hours. Services could
start in 2026 or 2027.
In the meantime, until the ultra-long-range capacity is available, the Istanbul-based carrier already has codeshare connections to
Australia. The airline is also looking for partnerships in Australia and is talking with nations like Malaysia or Indonesia for fifth
“If we would have that [fifth-freedom], then we could share the markets with the home carriers,” Mr Bolat said. “With the existing
fleet we cannot do nonstop flights. We are talking with our codeshare partners, because it is more comfortable to operate Australia with
the same aircraft.”
Turkish Airlines has an interesting loyalty program Miles&Smiles, so direct flights to Australia may open up some interesting
opportunities with Turkish Airlines and other Star Alliance members.
Virgin Australia Building Its Short-Haul International Routes
Virgin Australia announced this week that it is resuming more short-haul international destinations and is also planning
for further expansion of its international network later this year and in March 2023.
The carrier operated an extensive network to New Zealand before the pandemic, and intends to return to this market in November 2022
with flights to Queenstown (ZQN).
Virgin also operated long-haul international flights, primarily to the US. However, it cut all the long-haul routes when it decided to
dispose of its widebody fleet as part of its restructuring as a primarily domestic operator in 2020.
Currently, Virgin’s only current international route is between Sydney and Fiji.
However, Virgin is now resuming flights to Bali (DPS), Indonesia—an important leisure destination. Flights between Sydney (SYD) and
Bali start June 15,
and routes from Melbourne (MEL)
and Brisbane (BNE) to Bali are due to relaunch on June 17.
Virgin has scheduled a wave of short-haul international routes in March 2023. This includes a service between Bali
and Gold Coast (OOL),
Australia, which it has not operated before. The flight is set to launch on March 29, 2023. Virgin Australia said the announcement of
the Gold Coast-Bali route reflects increasing demand for flights in and out of Gold Coast, and the airline’s growing presence at the Gold
Coast airport for domestic flights. The carrier currently operates up to 180 domestic outbound flights per week from Gold Coast, and
bookings on Gold Coast flights were up by 55% in May versus 2019 levels.
Samoa (APW) and Vanuatu (VLI) will be added back to Virgin’s network during the same month. Flights from
Brisbane to Vanuatu are due to begin on March 10, from Sydney to Samoa on March 21, and Brisbane to Samoa on March 23.
For the immediate future at least, Virgin will offer long-haul connections via its international partners. It is continuing its relationship
with partners including Air Canada, All Nippon Airways, Etihad, Hawaiian Airlines and Singapore Airlines, and in May announced it will also partner with Qatar Airways. Earlier this year it also replaced Delta by United as its US partner.
(Virgin Australia is one of our advertisers and we may receive a small compensation from them)
Singapore Airlines Upgrades Its Lounge Offerings At Changi
Singapore Airlines (SIA) is positioning itself for a potential shift in traveling patterns of premium and high-net-worth customers through
Singapore Changi airport, as the market shifts toward Southeast Asia. The Star Alliance member has unveiled an upgraded and expanded
SilverKris and KrisFlyer Gold lounge at Changi Terminal 3. The project cost the airline S$50 million (US$37 million) and took nearly three
years to complete.
The four lounge areas, known as Private Room, the First-Class section of the SilverKris Lounge, the Business Class section of the SilverKris
Lounge, and the KrisFlyer Gold Lounge, can collectively accommodate around 1,150 customers within 6,100 sq m, an 30% increase.
The business-class section of the SilverKris lounge can host 570 travellers, including 200 in the dining area.
All areas have a dedicated dining area, food service counters, restrooms, and showers, as well as baby care and accessible facilities.
Singapore Airlines boosts services to Australia
Singapore Airlines will increase its operations to four times daily to Melbourne, while Cairns and Darwin will increase to five times
weekly, as travel demand continues to grow.
The increase in services to the two Northern Australian destinations aligns with the region’s peak visitation period and will support the
recovery efforts of local tourism and travel operators.
The airline will roll out the airline’s newest narrowbody aircraft, the Boeing 737-8 (pictured) from June 2 on services to
Singapore Airlines has invested around S$230 million in the development, design, and installation of the new cabin products, which elevate
the standard for short- and medium-haul travel onboard narrowbody aircraft. The 737-8 is fitted with 154 seats across two classes, 10 in
Business Class and 144 in Economy Class.
From June 2 onwards, the changes will be:
Cairns services will increase from three to five-times weekly, with SQ203/SQ204 to operate every Monday, Wednesday, Friday,
Saturday and Sunday.
Services to Darwin will increase to five-times weekly, with SQ251/252 operating every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
Victorians will have four-daily flight options between Melbourne and Singapore when SQ207/SQ208 begins operations. The
fourth-daily service will be operated by SIA’s Airbus A350-900 medium-haul aircraft, fitted with 40 lie-flat Business Class seats, all with
direct aisle access and 263 ergonomically designed Economy Class seats in a 3-3-3 layout.
After these changes,, Singapore Airlines will operate 113 weekly flights between Singapore and seven Australian ports, while low-cost
subsidiary Scoot will operate 23 weekly flights across four Australian ports for a total of 136 weekly services.
Virgin Australia / United Airlines partnership officially launched
Virgin Australia and United Airlines celebrated their new partnership with a launch at, Sydney International Airport, yesterday.
The partnership between Virgin Australia Group and United Airlines was struck in December last year and it will triple the airline’s reach
into the Americas, with flyers able to access more destinations across the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, and South America.
The partnership establishes code-share co-operation, as well as reciprocal loyalty benefits for Velocity Frequent Flyer members to earn,
redeem and receive tier benefits when traveling on United’s domestic and international network, connecting from the carrier’s multiple
Australian gateways, including daily direct flights from San Francisco and Los Angeles to Sydney, with flights from Houston and direct
services to Melbourne expected to resume later in 2022.
The United deal which replaced the airline’s former relationship with Delta Air Lines, is critical to Virgin Australia which no longer
has its long-range capable Boeing 777s that used to ply the Pacific to the US.
The partnership is a coup for Virgin Australia as United Airlines is a dominant Pacific player and the partnership will also extend United’s
large Australian presence, as United offers more flights to Australia than any other U.S. carrier.
Virgin Australia’s CEO Ms Hrdlicka said that “Virgin Australia customers will have significantly more options for travel from Australia to
the States, with more than three times as many services available to them, which is great news for Australian travelers”.
Qatar Airways expands its strategic partnership with Malaysia Airlines
Qatar Airways and Malaysia Airlines today unveiled details of the next phase of their strategic partnership, following Malaysia
Airlines’ announcement to launch a non-stop service from Kuala Lumpur to Doha from 25 May. The two partners will significantly expand their codeshare cooperation, allowing passengers to travel the world and enjoy seamless connectivity via their leading hubs in Kuala Lumpur
The codeshare expansion, which adds 34 destinations to the existing 62 codeshare destinations, marks another milestone in the long-standing
relationship between the two countries’ national carriers and Oneworld partners.
In linking their route networks, the partners are striving to develop Kuala Lumpur as a leading aviation hub in the Southeast Asia
Region connecting Malaysia, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand with the Middle East, Europe, the Americas, and Africa.
We would expect Singapore Airlines and Singapore's Changi Airport to have a different view, so developments in this space will be
ACCC grants interim Authorisation for Virgin Australia/United code-sharing
On May 12th, the Australian ACCC
granted authorisation for Virgin Australia
to operate a "virtual global network" of routes using partnerships with other airlines, the first of which is United Airlines, but
now subsequently Qatar Airways.
Virgin Australia intends to align with other “former and new partners” to expand its reach beyond short-haul routes, to which it is
limited due to its existing fleet of narrowbody aircraft. Virgin Australia ceased all long-haul international flights and ended its lease agreements for its wide-body fleet during the pandemic. It has recently restarted flights to Nadi, Fiji and is planning to resume
Bali, Indonesia flights in mid-June 2022.
The codesharing arrangements with United and Qatar airlines will provide Virgin Australia access to long-haul routes to Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Americas.
Qatar Airways currently operates daily flights into Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, and Perth as well as three weekly flights into Adelaide continuing into Auckland, New Zealand. The codeshare agreement will enable Qatar Airways’ passengers to travel seamlessly to 35 destinations
on Virgin Australia’s extensive domestic network on a single booking. QR’s passengers will also have access to Virgin Australia’s recently
relaunched short-haul international markets, including Fiji and Queenstown, New Zealand.
United Airlines is flying the SYD - LAX and SYD - SFO routes and is keen to return to the Sydney - Houston (IAH) sector later this year. It
recently confirmed the restart of its Melbourne (MEL) - San Francisco (SFO) flights from June 5, making it the only US carrier flying direct Mebourne to the US.
UA60 will take 15 hours and 45 minutes to make its way down to Melbourne, while the return flight UA61 will take 14 and a half hours to fly back to San Francisco. United is eyeing resuming the MEL - LAX flights later this year. United's 787-9 Dreamliner will operate
the Melbourne flights, which for the 48 passengers in business class will have the latest United
lie-flat Polaris seats, which considerably reduce the pain of long-haul flying.
Virgin Australia confirms start date for United Airlines partnership
Further to the announcement made on December 14th, Virgin Australia today confirmed that its new strategic frequent flyer and codeshare partnership with United Airlines will commence in two weeks on Tuesday 24 May 2022.
Velocity members will be able to earn Velocity Points and Status Credits, and eligible members will receive tier benefits when travelling with
United. Reward Seat availability is another significant benefit of the partnership, as members will be able to use Velocity Points to
redeem seats on United’s vast domestic and international network.
United offer the most flights between Australia and North America out of all US-based carriers. The partnership with United will triple
Virgin Australia's network reach into the Americas, which means that Velocity members (and other Virgin Australia customers) will have access to new destinations when flying from Australia to the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean and South America.
Virgin Australia's surprise partnership with Qatar Airways | Velocity members easy access to Q-suites?
Virgin Australia today announced a new partnership with Qatar Airways, which will commence later this year. More details, including a
commencement date, are expected to be released soon.
Qatar Airways currently operates daily flights from Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth as well as three weekly flights from Adelaide with
one-stop connectivity from these ports to over 140 worldwide destinations, including 54 cities in Europe.
Once the partnership starts, Virgin Velocity members will be able to earn Points and Status Credits whenever flying Qatar Airways.
Eligible members will receive their status benefits such as lounge access, higher checked baggage allowances and priority boarding.
Reward Seat availability will be another benefit of this new partnership, as Velocity members will be able to use their Velocity
Points to book Economy, Business and First Class seats, including Qatar’s renowned Q-Suite
(available on select flights).
This could prove very attractive to Australians, by combining the ease of earning Velocity points and using them for Q-suite
bookings (depending on the awards table, when released).
For others, Avios earned on Qatar flights (or transferred from BA and Iberia, which also use Avios as their rewards currency),
could be redeemed for connections using short-haul or domestic Virgin Australia flights.
Qatar joins Virgin Australia's global family of international airline partnerships, including Virgin Atlantic, Air Canada, Etihad
Airways, Hawaiian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways and United Airlines.
Air Canada, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways and United are members of Star Alliance, while Hawaiian
Airlines and Virgin Atlantic are unaligned and have individually agreed partnerships. Qatar is the only OneWorld
alliance member that has a partnership with Virgin Australia. So Virgin Austalia's Velocity could be a bridge between Star
Alliance members and Qatar Airways.
Also interesting is the fact that Virgin Australia has a partnership with 2 of the 3 large Middle East airlines (Etihad and now Qatar). Is
this strategic? - Rhetorical question...
Qantas and Qatar are both members of OneWorld, yet Qantas chooses to have a codeshare agreement with Emirates (the 3rd of the
Qantas confirms ultra-long haul flights from 2025
Qantas confirmed that an order for 12 new aircraft (Airbus) will enable it to operate the world's longest flights, linking Australia's east-coast cities to both London and New York commencing late-2025.
This means that any city in the world will be just one flight away from Australia.
The ageing domestic fleet of Boeing 737's will also be replaced by Airbus AA321XLR's and A220's from late 2023.
Virgin Australia permanently slashes premium class fares + limited time boost to status earning
On Thursday March 31st, Virgin Australia announced that it has permanently slashed its domestic business class fares by up to
across Australia which is expected to prompt a premium class fare war.
Importantly, Virgin Australia insists that its business class will continue to include all of the usual amenities including lounge access,
priority check-in and boarding, higher checked baggage allowances, priority overhead luggage, in-flight entertainment, plated meals and
Australian beer, wine and spirits, plus priority baggage delivery. So no cost-cutting from reduced benefits, genuine savings.
To promote the initiative and reward Velocity members, they will also earn 45 per cent more status credits on eligible
Virgin Australia business class flights for travel by June 30, 2022, as part of an extended loyalty promotion.
Virgin Australia has also made significant reductions to fares on its short-haul international network with business class
fares from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane to Bali, Fiji and Queenstown currently available to book for travel later in 2022
with fares on these routes 30% to 50% per cent lower than pre-COVID.
Australia seems to be 6 - 12 months behind the US in terms of recovery in travel, where travel bookings have surged, especially for luxury
and bucket-list travel.
Perhaps Virgin Australia is anticipating the same here for 2H2022.
If they are right, now may be the time to lock in flights and accommodation to ensure you get the trip you have dreampt about...
Qatar Airways Shock Move - Replacing Qmiles by Avios
In a surprise move, Qatar Airways and IAG
Loyalty announced overnight that effective from late March, Qatar's mileage currency will be Avios, replacing
Qatar will join BA, Iberia, Aer Lingus and Vueling, but will be the first airline not owned by IAG using Avios. Qatar will be no
stranger to Avios though, as it a key shareholder of IAG with approx 25% ownership.
While more details are to be provided in early March, key points revealed so far are:
Qpoints (used to determine tier status) and Qcredits (offering free upgrades on Qatar Airways flights for elite Gold and Platinum tier
members) will remain unchanged.
Existing Qmiles will transfer 1:1 into Avios in your Qatar Airways Privilege account “by the end of March” 2022.
Qatar Airways promises that the number of Qmiles/Avios you need to redeem for flights will remain the same - no devaluation (at least for
Rules for expiration of Qatar Avios will remain the same as for Qmiles, as will those for attaining tier status. The tier validity of all
Silver, Gold and Platinum members due for renewal this calendar year was recently extended to 31 December 2022.
For Qatar Privilege members, it opens the possibility of earning Avios in far more many ways, which can be then redeemed for flights on not
only Qatar Airways flights, but also BA, Iberia etc (or other OneWorld members).
While not explicitly stated, there are hints that Qatar Avios will be able to be transferred to other Avios programs on a 1:1 basis without
cost. This would open up the potential to earn Avios on (say) BA and redeem them on a Qatar flight (or vice versa).
Privilege Club allows for sharing miles with your family, and, British Airways allows for points pooling, so if we see the ability to
pool Avios together and then transfer them to other programs, this could make the programs very flexible.
If Avios can be pooled, or transferred freely, then potentially a member could select whichever carrier best suits their redemption
goals. BA’s distance-based redemption table is known to favour short-haul flights, while Qatar’s redemption table offers greater
opportunities for (surcharge-free) travel between say UK and Asia or Australia.
For Australians, Avios earned on the more plentiful Qatar routes could be redeemed (as BA Avios) for domestic Qantas flights,
for approx 2/3 the number of Avios vs Qantas points.
The greater options to earn Avios (say from spending or credit-cards sign-up bonuses or transfers) will provide more travellers with access
to redemptions for Qatar’s famed Q-suites.
Could this be the start of Avios becoming the mileage currency for all OneWorld alliance members? Imagine the possibilities !
As always, the devil is in the detail. More will be revealed in the next few weeks...
Alaska Airlines launched its latest innovation on 16 February 2022 - a subscription model for people who fly regularly (not necessarily
By committing to one year of a monthly subscription, passengers will get credits to put toward roundtrip flights on eligible daily
routes within the selected west coast region, which includes California airports in Sacramento, Sonoma, San Francisco, San Jose, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, Fresno, Santa Barbara, Burbank, Los Angeles, Orange County, Palm Springs, and San Diego. There are also flights to nearby Reno, Las Vegas, and Phoenix.
Under the program savings average approx 20% to 30% across the 100 daily flights between the 16 airports.
way it works is that travellers who agree to pay a monthly fee will receive credits to fly a fixed number of round-trips through the
subscription year. A basic subscription starts at $49 a month and requires booking tickets at least two weeks before travel. A more flexible subscription starts at $199 a month and allows booking up to two hours before flight departure time. Both plans allow flight selection as early as 90 days ahead of the travel date. Once travellers have selected a plan, they
can choose their volume of flights, such as six, 12, or 24 a year. A basic plan with six flights typically costs $763 a year — after taxes and fees.
Two caveats are that:
(1) you can only subscribe through the Alaska Airlines website and
(2) that the booking credits do expire and must be booked for a flight within 90 days before the next set of credits will be deposited. If
the credits haven't been used at the time the next credits are added, then they’ll be forfeited.
Once the booking process is complete, Flight Pass passengers will receive the same class of service Alaska Airlines normally provides,
including main cabin seat selection, no change fees, and earned miles on every flight.
To ensure passenger safety, the airline continues to enact its Next-Level
that includes 100 pandemic-era health and safety checks, including a hospital-grade air filters and a partnership with Clorox.
I am sure we will see many more post-covid era changes to the ways we travel.Read More…
S&P Global's Sustainability Yearbook 2022 considered over 7,500 companies across 61 industries around
the world and selected 716 companies for this year’s edition based on their S&P
Global ESG Scores
using this Yearbook Methodology. Prize winners in the 2022 edition
Airlines Gold: ANA Silver: China Airlines, EVA Bronze:
LATAM Airlines Honourable Mention: Air France-KLM, JAL, American Airlines
AirAsia X to resume flights between KL & Australia
Following a restructure, AirAsia X is resuming its full commercial service post-pandemic between Kuala Lumpur and Sydney commencing from February
The airline said it will prioritize full redemptions for its passengers affected by the restructuring with passengers able to reinstate
their flight booking and utilize their credit account to book the flights.
Flights will initially be operated weekly on Mondays from Kuala Lumpur to Sydney and returning on Tuesdays, starting February 14, 2022, to
March 22, 2022.
Schedules for the autumn/winter session will be announced in mid-February.
It is understood that a resumption of flights to other Australian destinations including Perth will be reviewed over the coming months.
AirAsia X is a low-cost affiliate of the AirAsia Group operating an all wide body A330-300 fleet.
Vueling launches new routes from/into UK
Vueling, the low-cost sister airline of British Airways (BA) and Iberia, has announced an expansion of routes as part of its summer 2022
The Spanish carrier plans to operate 12 short-haul routes from London Gatwick (LGW), five of which are new additions. Three
of its aircraft will be based at Gatwick from April.
The latest expansion will see Vueling begin flying to Granada (GRX), La Coruña (LCG), Malaga (AGP), Menorca (MAH) and Seville (SVQ).
These new routes are in addition to the 28 services from Paris Orly it ANNOUNCED LATE IN 2021 following approval by the European Commission for 18 slots as part of the recapitalisation of Air France. Six UK airports—Belfast (BFS), Birmingham (BHX), Cardiff (CWL), Edinburgh (EDI),
Glasgow (GLA) and Newcastle (NCL)—were among the destinations to receive new routes.
Benefits include discounted flights and Qantas Club membership with Qantas and for Accor, discounted rooms, food & beverages at
participating Accor properties in the APAC region.
Better yet, for a limited time there is a promotional offer where you can receive 5,000 bonus Qantas points when you join
Accor Business Plus and Qantas Business Rewards. You can receive a further 5,000 Qantas points by making purchases.
You must purchase an Accor Business Plus between 17 January and 13 March 2022 to receive the bonus Qantas points. Other
T&C's also apply.
This is a very attractive promotion if relevant to you. Like to learn more?
Qatar Airways (advertiser) is celebrating its 25th birthday with a host of special offers for the next 7 days (book before 18
Global Sale 25th Anniversary Campaign is valid on all Qatar Airways flights for travel until October 31, 2022.
There are great savings on flight tickets (economy and business), seat selection, extra baggage allowance, hotel
bookings, and car rental.
If not already a member, join
using the enrolment promo code FLYQR22 to instantly earn an additional 2,500 bonus Qmiles.
To take advantage of this offer, travellers must book on qatarairways.com/25Years or visit their preferred travel
Qatar Airways has won numerous awards during its 25 year history, including Skytrax 2021 Airline of the Year (the sixth time), Skytrax
2021 World's Best Business Class, Skytrax 2021 World's Best Business Class Seat, as well as AirlineRatings.com Airline of the Year for 2021.
Until 20 January, Skywards members can buy miles at a 35% discount to their usual price, when purchasing 5,000 miles or more.
Members can buy up to 100,000 miles per calendar year (200,000 for Gold and Platinum elites).
This is a very useful discount if you have a particular redemption in mind. Just be aware of the fixed expiration of Skywards miles (3
years from date of purchase - which should provide flexibility).
Virgin Australia suspends 10 routes due to covid-19
Virgin Australia will suspend 10 routes from Jan. 24 through at least the end of February citing high COVID-19 case
Together with reducing the frequency of flights on other routes, it is expected to lower capacity by 25%.
Routes affected are:
From Sydney (SYD) flights to Fiji (NAN) will be dropped, the lone international route that will be shelved. Also from SYD,
domestic flights to Townsville (TSV) will be paused.
From Melbourne (MEL), Virgin will also suspend routes to TSV, together with Coffs Harbour (CFS), Hamilton Island (HTI) and
From Adelaide (ADL), the airline will pause routes to Cairns (CNS), Darwin (DRW) and Sunshine Coast (MCY).
From Gold Coast (OOL), Virgin will suspend routes to Hobart (HBA) and Launceston (LST).
It appears that Virgin Australia is targetting the period immediately after many schools will have returned for this year. If you are
planning to travel during February, you may need to adjust your planned flights...
Top 20 Safest Airlines for 2022
Airline Ratings has announced its 2022 rankings of the Top 20 Safest Airlines, taken from the list of 385 different
airlines it monitors.
Qantas lost its long-held spot at number 1. This year, the winner's prize travels across the Tasman sea to Air New
When announcing the results, Airline Ratings noted that “there is very little between the top 20, they are all standouts.” So
all of these 20 are excellent choices from a safety perspective.
Two of the ME3 were in the top 5 with Singapore Airlines and TAP.
Qantas dropped to 7th spot. The Virgin cousins ranked 10th.
The full list of rankings are:
Air New Zealand
TAP Air Portugal
Cathay Pacific Airways
Air France/KLM Group
Delta Air Lines
United Airlines; and
Congratulations (and thanks) to all these airlines for their ongoing commitment to safety !
Alaska Airlines has extended the status of its elite tier members. Current tier status will now expire on 30 April 2022 (rather than
tomorrow) - a 4 month extension.
Not as good as the 12 month extension given by some other airlines, but there is also a status challenge to help elite tier members
re-qualify for their current tier (nb you can't move up tiers).
If you earn the following amounts of base miles betweenJanuary 1 and April 30, 2022, you will
retain your 2021 status through the end of 2022:
MVP members: 5,000 miles
MVP Gold members: 10,000 miles
MVP Gold 75K members: 20,000 miles
These amounts are roughly 25% of what you would normally need, meaning you must earn 1/4 of the usual requirements in 1/3 of a year.
On the face of it, this looks to be a more relaxed pace than usual. It is if your flying patterns are spread evenly through a year, but if
it is concentrated in say the summer months, you may miss out.
T&C's apply. The next 4 months are ok, but beyond then you may need to plan ahead.
Qantas Airbus A380's | early return to commercial service in January
Qantas’ flagship the Airbus A380 superjumbo will return to service in January, three months ahead of schedule and almost two years since
last flying commercially.
The service provides the flexibility now needed to replace flying that was scheduled to be performed by the airline’s Boeing
787s. About 70 Qantas 787 pilots are Queensland-based and are required to undertake 14 days isolation after each international service, reducing their availability to operate.
The Queensland Government has indicated it will relax restrictions on international travel when 90 percent of the state is double vaccinated, currently estimated to occur in late January, enabling 787 flying to normalize from then.
From January 11 the Sydney-Los Angeles service will be reduced from a daily 787 service to three weekly A380 services and one weekly 787
The changes will commencing from January 11 will be
* Qantas Sydney-Los Angeles service will be reduced from a daily 787 service to three weekly A380 services and one weekly
* Qantas Melbourne-London route will be reduced from daily 787 services to up to four weekly services
* Qantas Melbourne-Los Angeles service reduced from four weekly 787 services to three.
Additional A380 aircraft will progressively return to Australia in early 2022 for maintenance checks and crew training before being returned
A great step forward - I much prefer the A380 for the long-haul flights needed to get almost anywhere from Australia.
Singapore Airlines Supporting its Corporate Customers with Carbon Offsets
Singapore Airlines continues to be invested in conducting business responsibly and integrating sustainability in
To help its corporate customers (through its HighFlyer loyalty program) it has launched a program where In partnership with Tasman
Environmental Markets (TEM) and its BlueHalo® digital solution, businesses can
calculate and offset carbon emissions
associated with the travel of their employees.
Perhaps not as good as SIA offsetting it themselves, but a step in the right direction and every little bit helps.
Once you have calculated the amount to offset, businesses can offset them using Paying.Green's CarbonEasy
Saint Lucia has celebrated the return of Virgin Atlantic flights to Hewanorra Airport (UVF).
The airline first started flying to Saint Lucia in 1999.
Following an 18-month break, the service is back with three weekly direct flights from London Heathrow. This takes direct flights from the
UK up to 11 per week.
Investment in UK marketing steps up this winter with consumer advertising planned for a new winter campaign called ‘Let Her In’ starting today and running through mid-February. This includes TV, digital and social media.
Sant Lucia Tourism Authority is also working with 15 tour operators to provide offers to travellers from their main website.
The Tourism Authority will also participate in VS & other airline partner campaigns.
Search for or book flights via Virgin
(advertiser), or to check current travel restrictions for Saint Lucia,...
Taj Hotels is inviting members of its Inner Circle loyalty program to "Toast to the season with special stay packages and celebrations
curated exclusively for you at the resplendent The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai."
The #ToastToTomorrow offer is a very attractive package and something to celebrate:
25% savings on room rates at Palace Wing
breakfast and set meal for two at a designated venue
special savings on signature treatments at Jiva spa
Special in-room festive amenities.
Built in 1903, the beautifully ornate & historic Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai is India's first luxury hotel. Offering panoramic views of the
Arabian Sea and the Gateway of India (pictured), is a near neighbour. The hotel offers a total of 543 rooms including 54 suites, each
adorned with original paintings and period furniture that exude an aura of old-world charm and elegance.
The Palace wing is the more upmarket section, consisting of 285 rooms and suites. Palace Services in the Palace Wing of the hotel add to the experience, where the butler plays the all-important role of guide and assistant (think – your own personal Concierge).
Taj Inner Circle members should snap up this offer for a mesmerising experience - so much more than only a stay.
If you're not a member, it's free to join (hint). Select Inher Circle from the drop down "membership" menu near the top
of the page when you read on for more details.
Bookings must be made by January 5th and stays completed by 31 March 2022.
Other T&C's also apply.
When looking to book your flight, Etihad (advertiser) are also offering a promotion to Explore
India- well worth a look. Read More…
Virgin Australia switches partners | United Airlines replacing Delta
Virgin Australia today announced a long term strategic frequent flyer and codeshare partnership with United Airlines which will be
phased into the Virgin Australia family from April next year.
Velocity members will earn Velocity Points and Status Credits, and eligible members will receive tier benefits
when travelling with United. Reward Seat availability is another significant benefit of the partnership, as members will be able to use
Velocity Points to redeem seats on United’s vast domestic and international network.
United offer the most flights between Australia and North America out of all US-based carriers. The partnership with United will triple Virgin Australia's network reach into the Americas, which means that Velocity members (and other Virgin Australia customers)
will have access to new destinations when flying from Australia to the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean and South America.
strategic partnership will replace a long-term one held with Delta Air Lines and will be phased-in before it fully launches in
April 2022 to minimise disruption to Virgin Austalia and Delta customers.
Velocity has an offer of up to 6,000 bonus Points and 60 Status Credits when you book and fly with one of its partner
airlines departing Australia.
An Eligible Flight is a flight marketed and operated by Delta Air Lines, Singapore Airlines, Etihad Airways, Air Canada or Hawaiian Airlines departing from an Australian city for travel to or via Los Angeles, Singapore, Abu Dhabi, Vancouver, Honolulu between December 2021 and 30
Bonus Points and Status Credits are a one-time bonus and awarded only on the first international flight segment out of an
While you can book and fly through 30 June 2022, you must activate the offer in your Velocity account by the end of 12 December
- only 2 more days.
Other T&C's also apply, which you can read when you register.
Etihad lanches its "green" loyalty program
Etihad Guest has introduced a series of sustainability-focused initiatives to reward members for making ‘green’ choices and providing
options to reduce their own carbon footprint.
Conscious Choices, a new range of sustainable initiatives offered by the loyalty programme of Etihad Airways, has been created
to support Etihad’s overarching sustainability ambition to halve 2019 emissions by 2035 & achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
Etihad Guest members wishing to fly and spend more consciously and sustainably can now earn Tier Miles, and other rewards, for making
sustainable choices, such as:
* carrying less baggage on board
* offsetting their flights’ carbon emissions using Etihad Guest Miles
* offsetting everyday emissions such as driving, or cooling their home
* donating miles to a green cause; and
* by purchasing sustainable products from the Etihad Guest Reward Shop in partnership with Collinson and CarbonClick (launches January
Members can also choose to ’go green’, by opting for a digital membership card instead of physical.
In October 2021, Etihad operated its most sustainable flight ever, leveraging the learnings and efficiencies developed over the last two
years to reduce carbon emissions by 72 per cent in absolute terms compared to the equivalent flight operated in 2019.
The EY20 Sustainable
is an example of what the future of commercial air travel looks like and is now bookable through Etihad's website.
Flying Blue (Air France & KLM) has two promotions currently running for its members, that if combined result in hefty savings.
1) Until 23 December, members can purchase
Flying Blue miles (advertiser) and receive 100% bonus miles. Elite tier members can receive a maximum bonus of 300,000 miles, while
for Explorer tier members it is limited to 100,000 miles.
2) The other is part of a monthly promotion campaign for selected routes. This month there are 22
routes, all with 25% discount
to the points usually required. Book before 31 December for flights through 31 May 2022. Next month the routes may be different and the discount typically lies between 25% to 50%.
While the effective discount of 50% from the first offer is good, by combining both offers, Flying Blue members this month can save
up to 62.5%
if the routes suit you.
At that saving, it is worth looking to make new plans !
Note that T&C's apply to both offers and points.com is an advertiser and should you use our link to purchase miles, at no additional
cost to you we may receive a small remuneration.
Alaska adds Awards Table for Iberia
Alaska is slowly further integrating with its Oneworld partners.
Following the increase in code-shared routes with Iberia announced in early October, Alaska has now released its Partner Awards Table for
At first glance it doesn't offer the exceptional value obtainable with other partners (especially for business and first class).
Alaska seems to be retaining individual tables for its partners rather than a single unified table for all partners. So the program may continue to offer gems of redemptions.
There are still a few Oneworld partners that do not have tables in place, so keep watching this space.
Royal Air Maroc
Buy Alaska miles with up to 50% discount
Alaska has an offer for Mileage Plan members to purchase miles with up to 50% bonus miles. This 50% bonus offer
runs until 23 December, 2021.
This is one of the better buy miles deals comes that Alaska Airlines has offered.
We don't recommend speculatively buying miles, but it can make sense if:
you need to top off your balance to complete a specific redemption.
the cost is considerably cheaper than paying for the product you want outright and you will make your reservation fairly soon, even if the
flight is further down the track.
Alaska mileage sales have been known to be targeted, so different members may see different bonus levels. You will need to login to your
account to see what applies to yourself.
We like Alaska Mileage Plan for international travellers, due to the great redemptions under its Partners Awards rates. This may change to a unified awards table now they have joined Oneworld, but currently there are great redemptions for long-haul flights on Qantas and especially
for business/first class fares with Cathay and Fiji Airways.
Historically, if you flew Qantas return Melbourne to London and assigned your points to Alaska, then redeemed Mileage Plan miles for a later
Qantas flight to London, your spend to earn & redeem those miles was cut by around 40%.
Should you buy Alaska miles using our link, at no additional
cost to you, we may earn a small remuneration.