6 Episode results for "Adelaide Alice Springs"
Frequent Flyer Points & FBT AIR061
"I twenty strenuous frequent flyer. Podcast is boiling step on board for the latest news. Tips entrance for spraying triplets. You'll captain on graham now invites you to sit back. Relax and enjoy the episode. Get i and welcome to episode sixty one of on air. The podcast teaches you how to maximize your frequent flier points. It's saturday the twenty ninth of may two thousand and twenty one coming up in this episode. I'll give an update on the trans tasman. Travel bubble velocities generous new bonus status credits alpha and other any fringe benefit tax implications associated with frequent flyer points. But first let's begin with around of the latest airline and frequent flyers from the past fortnight. And sadly we've had yet another reminded this week that the pandemic is not over yet. With melvin backing lockdown for seven days as a result most is trillion states territories except new south wales as well as new zealand have re imposed border restrictions on travellers from melvin from victoria. Despite this domestic travel in australia overrule has recovered pretty well and infect over the past fortnight all of the majors trillion airlines have announced even more new domestic flight routes from august qantas will had direct flights from adelaide to townsville cans and hide as well as sydney and know when to townsville and gold coast quotas will also resume its own flights from sydney to larou- From march next year adding a second option of and jetstar in addition quotas will soon be flying more airbus dahlan during the peak upcoming dry-season qantas will fly three cities from sydney and brisbane dow up to twice a day. And once a day from melvin stone and that means that. If you're flying from darwin to sydney oh been on one of those overnight red eye flights for business class he might get a life flatbed qantas also upgraded one of its daily sydney to perth. Flights to a boeing seven. Eight seven from this week. The seven eight seven has forty to lie flat business class seats that a normally used on international long haul flights and the planes are also fitted with premium economy cabin now qantas point be selling the premium economy seats so instead they going to be available to select for free as long as they're still available by gold platinum and platinum one frequent flyers. So that's nice little upgrade if you flying on q. f. six four five from sydney to perth or q. F. six eight from perth to sydney this week also the launch of quotas embraer one ninety flights operated by alliance. Eight lines on the adelaide. Alice springs at darwin and adelaide routes and if member goes by the handle of fly doc was on the inaugural flight from adelaide alice springs and they described as perfectly adequate. The one thousand nine hundred ten business class seats in one to lay out and eighty four economy seats with two seats per on each side of the virgin. St will also launch five new domestic routes from july with cans perth. Sita townsville adelaide. Two cans and melvin towns. He'll flights as well as a seasonal daily sienese dow and flight little operate during the dry season and rex has announced. Another be new boeing seven. Three seven jet root for itself with two daily flights between melvyn in cambridge said to stop from the tenth of june rex's launch phase on the route. I just sixty nine dollars. One way which is significantly lower than the one hundred and eighty five dollars vision astronomy phase over two hundred and eighteen dollars qantas phase that had been the cheapest available over recent months and the wrecks phase doing include checked baggage register alia immediately matched. rex's seeks to nine dollars and on the day that rex announced its competing services quotas also dropped its prices on some melvin camera. Flights to ninety nine dollars speaking of rick's that looks like the regional carrier attend jet operator may now be rolling out in flight wifi earlier. This week and a posted live updates. While on border rex flight from adelaide to melbourne using the in flight wifi which is available on the aircraft. According to the fifth member fortunate crew wrecks in flight wifi could be accessed at no cost by finding the wi fi network internet capture code accepting the terms and conditions and the services provided by going in flight internet. While the seems like it would be a great service for rex. Passengers is not clear whether the free wi will be rolled. Out to all other expelling boeing seven three seven or whether this is just a short trial. Rex has not provided any information about in flight wifi on its website and in fact one of the flight attendants on board that flight from adelaide to melbourne. Wasn't even aware that wi fi was available. Rex never responded to curry's either say we're not really sure but who knows maybe we'll be saying why find more seven three sevens in the future vision trailer. Flights all over the country lost friday evening. That was the twenty first of may say last week suffered significant delays as an extended global outage the airlines. it provider brought it systems off line. Some australian frequent flyer members because in the out and the outage and described chaotic scenes at airports on friday night as airline staff scrambled to manually checking passages and get as many flights away. They cook it late. But with the computer systems unavailable passengers needed to be manually checked in and they bags manually accounted for over. Thirty flights were cancelled and almost every virgin flight scheduled to pot after four. Thirty on that friday afternoon were delayed. The delays continued into saturday morning. The delays caused by global it outage affecting sabre which is troubled technology. Company used by many airlines including virgin australia and rex as well as many overseas airlines american airlines and jetblue for example. We're also caught up in the same outage has overhauled. its coal santa. In an effort to improve the quality of the service provided by they have spent some teething issues with platinum members reporting waiting hours on hold and others that the new menu is not user friendly a few weeks ago the coroners call and implemented a new interactive voice response manual ivy arm. You with more options for customers to choose from when calling up. In addition kohl's relating to certain types of issues and now being sent to dedicated specialised teams so for example calls relating to more complex lost baggage or international award bookings and now being sent to the harbaugh premium coal center west office specifically trained to take these kinds of kohl's inquires relating to qantas frequent flyer or qantas business. Awards generally being directed to stop in manila while simple requests like domestic flight. Reservations could be put through to any of the coal sanders in either hyderabad. Oakland okay town. The good news. Is that the temporary issue causing platinum member wages on hold have been now resolved and going platinum. Frequent flyers should continue to get cold picked up by the premiums. Tough who a highly trained. The menu options have also changed recently when he co quotas and instead of putting your frequent flyer number numbering straight away. You now have to listen to a long recorded message and then select the options first before you put in your frequent flyer number but to make things easier for you. We did put together a quick guide to the new quotas close menu options. And you can see. The new mini mapping in an article which is called magic qantas coal santa changes and that's linked in the episode of this podcast. A ryan flight traveling from athens to vilnius has been effectively. Hijacked by the government of belarus. This week his air force intercepted the plane and forced to divert to minsk the capital of belarus. While the plane was flying over belorussian airspace the belarus authorities claimed they had received an email detailing a bomb threat which they claimed required the plane to divert to minsk but the real reason for the division was to arrested journalist who has been highly critical of the government of belarus which is widely known as europe's lost dictatorship. The gentlest was detained. After the plane landed and there have been reports that he may have been tortured in the meantime in in an attempt to justify the false division the belarus government produced an email sent from a proton mail account which they claim is a bomb threat sent by a terrorist organization but proton mail has since confirmed that the email was actually sent off to the plane was redirected to minsk the european union has banned european airline since then from overflying belarus airspace and in retaliation the a you is also banned belorussian from entering a u. s. space or flying to europe on a more positive night now the law city frequent flyer has launched its new partnership with seven eleven petrol stations and convenience tools. Philosophy members can now in one velocity point leader of petrol at seven eleven petrol stations increase into two points per on premium fuel. Varsity members can also an one. Point padilla on instore purchases at seven eleven to win velocity points at seven eleven simply link lost the account to your mind seven account which he can do in the my seven eleven app and until the twenty eighth of june. You can also end seven hundred and eleven bonus velocity points on your first seven eleven purchase. Went skinny card velocity. Frequent flyer used to ponder with be pay but this punishment was ended by pay in early. Two thousand and twenty With ap now pondering instead with qantas frequent flyer qantas's added new benefits for points club and points close members in addition to all the existing benefits quotas points club now comes with quotas. Hotels vouches qantas wine vouchers and exclusive offers the first of which was an exclusive double status credits off ofa points club members last week the also introducing a new milestone dinosaur award at the halfway point between points club and the high points club plus sent off to ending two hundred and fifty thousand quotas points with any quantities giving two thousand five hundred ernest points. It's the first time quotas made changes to its points club program since loggia majd thousand and twenty quantum will reduce the commission paid to travel agents on international tickets from five percent to just one percent from next year and quotas already pays no commission to travel agents fo- domestic af as the airline expects that this change will quote here accelerate the growing industry trend towards a fee for service model. That has already taken place in many markets overseas among several agency chains. In australia which compensates travel agents for the added value. They provide customers. And then that's the end of the quite of course travel agents changing their business models is one possibility here but and other outcome could be that. If other airlines don't fully the same train travel agents could just push the clients to with other airlines. He pay high commission. So we'll see what happens there but not good news for travel agents and the most expensive domestic flights in australia have been revealed of course with some domestic flights much longer than others and airlines selling both economy and business class tickets on many rates. It's difficult to say that any one single read is the most expensive so instead we used a range of different metrics when calculating this looking at roots in terms of both most expensive ticket price and the cost per kilometer flame that regardless of the metric us. All of the most expensive routes had one thing in common that was qantas the most expensive economy class ticket price is a qantas flight from sydney to broom which costs starting at five hundred ninety seven dollars one way economy and he business closed. The most expensive ticket was a Again qantas from perth to sydney. Which cost two thousand five hundred seventy two dollars for normal business claw say now if we look at things columbia flying the most expensive economy class f fair was again with quotas from clone. Curry to mount is on where it's going to cost one dollars. Eighty seven perk kilometer Fully by corners from adelaide to kangaroo island and the most expensive business class if it per kilometer flying was again with qantas from canberra to sydney where. It's cost three dollars. Fourteen per kilometer the normal price now for the purposes of these comparisons we check the lowest readily available if on direct scheduled passenger flights outside of limited time sales and promotions. Like the half price as deal and immediately some flights all the roots may be more expensive than they some some days but they do have lowest standard phase available on the dates. That's what's making news on australian frequent flyer dot com dot. Au this fortnight. You can stay up to date between podcasts. By subscribing to these trillion frequent flyer gazette gain the latest frequent flyer news straight to your inbox for free. Every monday and thursday morning. Well i'm very pleased to say. Last week i was able to take my first international flight. In fourteen months out it was just to new zealand of kohl's taking advantage of the trans tasman travel bubble that launched last month but after four hundred and twenty days. Talk in australia in tells have family in new zealand. It was great to be able to fly. Oakland and i can honestly say it was one of the most surreal travel experiences. I've ever had. It wasn't quite as we as in march two thousand and twenty when i flew from europe to truly right at the start of the pandemic in certainly was not as stressful as that. But i have never seen the international terminal at sydney airport so quiet in my life. I had some spare time before my flight. So i walked from one. End of the terminal at the international terminal to the other and in most parts of the airport could quite literally hear a pin drop e was empty. The duty free stores where opinion for some reason. Sumo salad was open to the tourist refund scheme office but most of the rest of the sl shops were aborted. Even mcdonalds was closed. both of them. So we're most of the airline lounges. Except for the new zealand lounge. And the quotas. I land which were open but yet it was a wednesday afternoon in the only flights leaving where there were a couple of oakland. One to wellington and then a few very lightly loaded flights late in the evening to seoul and ada. Dubai abu dhabi. Doha and colombo there was also supposed to be a corners charter flight to channel. I leaving but that had been cancelled. I booked a business class ticket using my quantum's points since the qantas business lounge is still closed in sydney. I was able to use the first lounge and i did arrive ailey to maximize the lounge time for a while. I was the only customer in the lounge canoeing and our actually a needless to say the service was excellent and even though the ellicott may new at the lounge has been cut back a little bit. The food on offer was very good and now and there's no shame pain on the menu. But if you ask really nicely and specifically for champagne they do have some available on request. I can confirm now booked and a three thirty flight across to oakland. Unfortunately it was one of the few a three thirty flights last week. Which wasn't downgraded to a boeing seven thirty-seven and the three thirty business. Class product is significantly better with lifelock. Sweet spent more privacy direct access for every passenger so i was very grateful for that on board business class around half full. I'd say an economy was just over a quarter full. That i hope for cornices sake that there was lots of cargo because otherwise i'm not sure how they're going to be making much money out of that flight but some yeah. The service on board was pretty good. They were not pillows blankets or many kids. They've all gone since start of covid. Hopefully they'll come back sometime and the meal services also been simplified quite a bit. There's no longer any printed may news and there was no entree or anything like that with everything served on one tray and they're also nice spirits at the moment on any qantas flights but they was at least champagne again in the meal choices. Were pretty much the same. As what you get on a qantas domestic flight there was no real differentiation. Being an international service and the meal was with brewer bread and little take. It was alright ford. It's worth i believe. All of the qantas flights from new zealand back to australia at the moment are also being double created out of australia. Meaning probably get pretty much the same thing on the return trip except for one flight the morning flight. Q one two from auckland to sydney the meals for that flight are being prepared in new zealand. I believe before flying over. Its neonatal have to complete a new zealand travel declaration foam and there are also a few announcements on the plane about covid. Nineteen in new zealand customs. They have a new customers video zealand and the new zealand inbound immigration cod is all say now got some extra questions about covid nineteen says actually now a bit of a booklet rather than just to double sided cod. Now honestly the form did seem to. This is just my personal opinion. A little bit over the top one of the questions require you to take yes or no to having had all sorts of different symptoms during the past fourteen days which included all the covid symptoms like loss taste and smell. Coughing and ellen bennett. Also i'll see things like have you had symptoms like sneezing and having a runny nose. During the last fourteen days which i thought was more of a feeling covid but i mean anyway like can honestly remember whether they've sneezed in the lost fourteen days anyway and question asked and i quite have you been tested for covid nineteen not. Have you been tested in the last fourteen days. Just have you been tested and like most people. I have been tested a few times but the most recent time was more than two months ago. So i'm not sure why new zealand would be interested tonight that anyway. It's hardly big deal and as it happens. The arrival in new zealand was actually pretty seamless. It was very very quick from getting off. The plane to getting into a taxi would have been less than ten minutes honestly and even had to check bags. Say full marks to auckland. Airport there so that was my experience. It was pretty positive experience. And i'm definitely happy that the bubbles opens so were all of the airport staff and the airline crew. Even the taxi drivers at at the airports on both ends are very very happy that it was up and running. So it's it's really good to see but some house the trans-tasman bubble going more. Generally tens of thousands of australians and new zealanders have already traveled across the tasman taking advantage of the bubble. So i guess you could say it's success from that point of view and many families have been able to be reunited. Some people have being able to take overseas holidays with trump for business as well which is also a great news but it does seem unfortunately the demand for trans tasman flights to the car and conditions is not as high as the airlines had initially hopeful at the moment qantas jetstar only operating about sixty percents of the pre covid capacity across the tasman and according to qantas demand is particularly low at the moment from new zealand is coming to australia over the past week. Also qantas has unfortunately had to react to this demand and it has cancelled many of the trans tasman flights that had been jewel prayed over the coming three months other flights being retired. And some that were originally scheduled to be operated by the lodge airbus. Three thirties having switched to smaller seven three sevens including for example on the city to christ church since the trend has been bubble was launched on the nineteenth of april queenstown has been a very popular destination for trillions though and infect qantas's now operating one hundred and seventy percent of its pre covid capacity between sydney brisbane. Melvin and queenstown but yeah bookings on other routes particularly ones like gold. Coast auckland brisbane. Oakland and sydney decries change have fallen short of expectations. Unfortunately the confidence in the travel bobble took another hit this week with the new zealand government posing flights between victoria and zealand until next at least next friday While melba remains in lockdown and this is not the first time flights being paused they have been poor poses previously with the state of western australia and new south wales on their have. Those have been relatively short-lived which is good news. And i would also point out. The recent changes to qantas schedules. Cancellations actually happened before the melvin outbreak. This week the new qantas read from goa coast oakland which launched for the first time a month ago. It's actually cornices first. International service from the gold coast has been unfortunately a bit of a fisa. Corners has actually just cancelled all of the flights on this route between now in the july school holidays except for some reason. The first week in june that year a lot of customers have been disrupted because of that quantities. Hyping the will become more popular during winter and during winter quantities. Also going to be launching for the first time of flight from auckland cans so for this to work down. Qantas will be relying on pretty much on. Zealand is looking to go to a destination during the winter which has more sun and beaches. But they've got competition now. Queensland is no longer the only option for new zealanders with the new zealand government low and she and nava travel lost week with the cook islands. just on site. It's bit of a shame that australians onto also allowed to travel to the cook islands and i mean frankly. There's no reason that we shouldn't be allowed to go to our toll. No there's there's no covid cases there but the australian government continues to palestinians from travelling now for some reason anyway said the lack of demand for new zealand. Travel seems to have caught us a little bit by surprise. They were very optimistic. When the travel bible was announced tint added lots of trans tasman flights to their schedule back in april but virgin australia said right from the start when the bubble was announced that they didn't think it was with relaunching flights new zealand just yet especially when the border situation was so volatile. Instill leads virgin. Australia has now actually suspended. The sale of all flights to new zealand indefinitely with the exception of flights from sydney and brisbane to queenstown which geeta commenced on the eighteenth of september. So again virgin is saying that Demand for flights to queenstown being quite strong at this stage. The only other international flights virgin selling is to ninety de-emphasi which are scheduled to the moment to resume in early december. You'd have to say that those seem rather optimistic. At this point they could be pushed back yet again is no longer selling tickets on. Its flights to auckland. wellington christchurch port. vila up. Here or honiara right now and on the other side of the pandemic virgin has no plans at all to review regime international flights to dunedin as well as moore's be raton and nukualofa tongue vision also has no immediate plans to resume flights to los angeles. Hong kong tycoon as it no longer has any suitable long-haul aircraft in its fleet to serve those destinations although it may eventually returned to los angeles and tokyo in the distant future with new aircraft type. If been enjoying this podcast. You may be interested to know that. I also host eight webinars per year. Sister website frequent flyer solutions each interactive along online. Webinar covers a timely topic of interest to frequent flyers. And anyone in australia looking to travel seles the next webinar. We held at eight pm. Australian eastern standard time on wednesday the sixteenth of june. Two thousand and twenty one and the topic will be understanding australian credit card rewards programs. If you'd like to attend any frequent flyers leashes webinar. You will need to register in advance for more information visit frequent flyer dot com donahue for the past few weeks qantas. Frequent flyer has run who double status credits. Promotions one. Four ninety guy which covid bookings to new zealand it was open for everyone and another one last week which is exclusively available to points. Clemens covid both domestic and new zealand. Or now it's virginis. Charlie's ten virgins latest offer which is running right now isn't exactly a double status cut itself but it is still very interesting instead of giving double status credits. Veggies giving twenty bonus status credits per flight regardless of length of the flight or the class of travel provided that yearbook any fair type of event economy getaway which is the cheapest cafe category. So there's no bonus credits on getaway phase but on the surface he might think that twenty bonus status credits pie flight. Isn't that great. But if you look closer it could actually be very lucrative offer now. A short virgil trailer. Economy costs flight booked in the elevate degree. So that's the cheapest fake had agreed. That will count towards the offer. And that's the middle category normally ends fifteen status credits so twenty bonus status credits flight means the actually getting more than double status credits and because it is per flight segment. This means that you get forty. Bonus status credits. If you're a tinari has one stalled or sixty bonus status credits for to stop by tannery. And of course he can double that. If it's return booking with this in mind. I did some calculations and discovered that by taking advantage of this promotion it would be possible to earn enough velocity status credits to own gold status for just over one thousand three hundred dollars and if you already have gold velocity status ye could renew it for another year full less than one thousand dollars hill so it normally costs one hundred eighty two dollars. Seventy two book and elevate ticket from melbourne to gold coast via camber vice versa. By using a vision of trade discount. Hide like see avi fifty nine which is a current working code. You can get ten percent off that and it reduces the fair price down to one hundred and sixty six dollars sixty one so for that price you'd be earning fifteen bay status credits plus twenty bonus status credits per flight. Because there's two flights here's via camera that seventy status credit in total with this offer and if he can retain ticket that's one hundred and forty status credits for a price of three hundred thirty three dollars. Twenty two if you do this three times. Three round-trip bookings for melvin to the gold coast via camera. Udon four hundred twenty velocity status credits with this. And that's more than the four hundred eight need to renew your velocity status at a cost of just under a thousand dollars and if that fourth time you'd get about the five hundred status credit threshold for any gold status for the first time now if you currently had for example velocity platinum status and he wanted to renew it. Ye could do six. Melvin to go case troops via cambra just on two thousand dollars so just double what you needed to do for gold and platinum. You get eight hundred status credits. He needed for that. And if you needed to get a thousand status credits to end platinum for the first time you could do. Eight trips for mel. Wouldn't go and christ him back for it. Works out to be around two thousand six hundred and sixty six dollars now. of course. That's the only status ron available During this offer although it's the best value that we could find using that promo code it'll say book for example elevate fair from melbourne to marito via me in the elevate category. One hundred and seventy six dollars forty-three and also seventy status credits or you could. For example hoban to brisbane via melbourne in the elevate category and that costs one hundred ninety nine dollars. Twenty five and seventy five status credits or if you just needed a small number status credits. He could book from sydney to balance in the elevator. Category four ninety six dollars. Sixty five with that code one way and that ends thirty five status credit say the fifteen base and twenty bonus status credits to take advantage of this alpha. You'd need to activate it on the velocity website. I or in the velocity app and then book the second of june this offers valid for travel dates up until the nineteenth of two thousand twenty two units valid on overages truly marketed and operated. Domestic entranced has been flights although trans-tasman as we just discussed his over to queenstown at the moment for more information. See the af article link the episode nights. It's called velocities. Bonus status credits. Alpha in may two thousand and twenty one and for current promo codes echinacea audit. Cu it's linked in the episode note. So it is have a look for it on australian frequent flyer. Don't come to you. It's cold current virginis. Charlie discount codes and by the way the virgin primary codes they There's new ones coming up all the time. We do regularly updated article and you can use that on pretty much any fan type to get a discount. If yearbook trivia flight had some feedback from the last episode where you might remember the episode sixty aspect of a lady who was able to successfully redeemed points to get back from europe to ustralia last month in business class despite the arrival caps and the other issues of getting into australia at the moment it looks like someone else is also being successful on the iphone. Eight discussion thread There's some feedback from sue cobol. He says my husband. And i managed to get back to australia. Loss november points. We had an american airlines points ticket using cafe london. Hong kong to perth. Admittedly we had some flight cancellations in may and then in august before the november flights came through fourteen days before the first flight. I had a coal from cathay head office in hong kong confirming that we wanted the seats on the flight and after that the price was very smooth the cost us three hundred and fifty dollars agent taxes and eighty five thousand miles. H i that would be for business class and we were very lucky. Says that's yeah that's really great to hear It's certainly rare. I have to say that People of able to come back to australia. From europe on points During this time because the availability of seats is limited by. Its really plays. That worked out. really really glad about that. I do think unfortunately because cafe pacific now is just doing one flight. A week to see me from hong kong. It's schedule is being really paid right back. I doubt this is going to work with cafes with cafe pacific specifically right now but The great to hear that it worked for you. Then and as as we as i discussed with seven in the last episode It is difficult and unlikely to wake but it is possible so something to keep in mind if If you're having trouble getting back to australia. I guess and you've got lots of points. Although differently with having a backup now i also received A question by email offer the lost episode from pater. Who says interesting point you made regarding qantas business or woods in the podcast. I was never sure as to whether the kate them separate and paid has a follow up question. He says Given that these points and as part of the business and have value on the books according to pay all the fringe benefits tax implications or. Say if you dissolve the business and transfer the points to accompany directo. Would they be saying income. This is a difficult question. And not one that i'm a hundred percent. Sure about and opri prefight this by saying that. I'm not an accountant and definitely not be considered financial advice. And this doesn't seem to be any one-size-fits-all answer here. So you should definitely talk to an accountant for individual advice. But i have done a bit of research and this is what i found the best of my knowledge and the short answer is quite possibly yes it could well have fringe benefits tax implications in some such some situations. But here's the long answer now. It's generally considered that frequent flyer points owned te'o personal frequent flyer account from work travel on not classified as income and on the basis of a relationship between the employee and the airline not between the employer and the employee say in this case fringe benefits tax. Wouldn't really apply so for example. If your if your employer pays futile wet troop you put your frequent flyer number on the booking and steal personal account from the airline. I mean that's something that you've decided today. That's not a that's not an arrangement between the employer said there's no real. Fb tame locations however they could be some fringe benefit tax implications if for example an employee was ending points by putting business expenses. Three their personal credit card if there was no reason for them to be doing this office than say the employees economic points for personal use. Now this could also be an issue. If for example an employee was ending more than two hundred and fifty thousand points a year for business expenses Or if the points were awarded to the in under an arrangement between the business and the employee as a substitute for income. What about the case In paid is question of transferring quantities. Awards points to an employee or a company director. Well i had a look at the qantas business or woods. Tens and conditions and actually have In section fifteen actually have a section on taxation implications and all read this quite woodfull word so fifteen point one says qantas business rewards loyalty recommends that members and they nominated quotas points recipients consult accountant or tax advisor to ensure that they understand possible tax implications for example fringe benefits tax applicable for which they may be liable in relation to the membership of qantas business awards and earning and use of quotas points or other corners business rewards benefits and then section fifteen point two says members should consider should consult their tax advisor with any queries regarding the eligibility to reclaim australian. Gst with respect twenty membership fees taxing places will be electronically generated accessible through the membership account so that section fifteen of the key beatify conditions now to be honest. I don't find that all that helpful. But i did find another article written by cupid partners in two thousand nineteen which does reference this issue directly and be more helpful. And i've put a link to that article in the episode nights but basically that article says that based on a recent private binding ruling issued by the is confirmed that way frequent flyer points transferred twenty employees frequent flyer account under an airline business rewards so such as quotas business or woods. This will give rise to a fringe benefit at a time. The points transferred to the employees subject to the minor benefits exemption and the article says that way the employees uses the frequent flyer points for work related travel. The taxable value of the benefit may be reduced under the otherwise deductible rule however practically this may not be able to be determined until long after the frequent flyer points have been transferred to the employees. And so there's a few exemptions this for example if if the Amount of points is subject to the minor benefit exemption. Then you might not have to pay the bt or if you're redeeming the points for work travel offer for business expenses now had a look the mind. Benefits exemption is basically for benefits with the value of less than three hundred dollars and which are unreasonable to treat as a fringe benefit. Now if we assume that a point is worth half a cent each which is roughly what you'd get if redeeming for a gift vouchers. So i think that's a reasonable valuation. Then that would be equivalent to around sixty thousand points being with three hundred dollars in. The episode nods also put a link to some guidance directly from the eight year on these kinds of issues and that basically says that if an employer is rewarding employees with points then that would probably be considered a fringe benefit although if their points being regained full business expenses like business travel than probably not which is basically what cape upon is a said as well now if if it is the case that the points are considered a fringe benefit. How is this calculated though well crew pot. His says that the taxable value of the benefit is to be determined using the national value of the property. I e the amount that the employees could be expected to pay under an arm's length transaction and the story says that it's based on the market value of the points up to you to workout now. Interestingly i had a look at At the corners frequent flyer terms and conditions and in section nineteen point four which is the section quotas top points. It says and i'll quote qantas points. Do not have monetary value and cannot be converted to money and also it says that the prices for additional qantas points so top points do not represent a monetary value quotas points and most frequent flyer programs have a similar clause stating that. The points have no monetary value. Although in this case. I think that's more day to limit the liability of the frequent flyer program if they were to sell you the points and then you for example you found that you weren't able to redeem them or that you couldn't get value out of the points to cover the cost of the paid for them but to work out the market value. I suppose there's a few things he could do like for example you could work at. How many dollars gift. 'cause you're getting if you with into if you were to redeem the points straight away he could work out the value of the reward that you redeem them for. I guess that's another Possible method pilots. But i guess it would be up to you to where cattle and indefinitely Talk to your accounts. And if you're not sure realistically though i think if it's just a one off in a very small amount of points or and defusing the points to cover business travel and things like that. I think it's unlikely to be too much of an issue. So that's the situation to the best of my knowledge. But as i said before i'm not an accountant. I'm not an expert on this so definitely get some independent advice if that's of concern and if you happen to be an accountant and you disagree with anything i've said please feel free to get in touch as well. Well that's all for episode sixty one of af on thank you so much for listening for more information about anything disgusting. Today's episode check out the episode nights. Hilo say finally linked to the af and discussion thread on the australian frequent flyer way. Welcome to discuss the podcast or ask me a question to be answered in a future episode. If you've enjoyed this podcast. I'd really appreciate if you take just a minute to review af only on apple podcasts. And if you haven't already don't forget to subscribe on your favourite podcasting platform to receive every episode. As soon as it's released i met graham. He'll be back next fortnight with more news tips and tricks forest raylene travels. And until vince save chuckles.
Virgin Australia Sold to Bain Capital AIR044
"WHO This is I F-? Strain frequent, flyer podcast bringing you the latest news tips and tricks for stranded travelers. In. Welcome to episode forty four. AF ON. Unmet Graham, and it Saturday the fifth of September, two thousand and twenty. I hope you're safe and well, the big news. These four night is that creditors have voted to approve the sale of vision Australia to Bain capital. Paving the way for the airline to emerge from voluntary administration by the end of October. I'll have lots more on this story and the Future Virgin Australia later in the episode. But first, let's have a look at what else is making news in the world of Airlines and frequent flyer points for nine. And I the Israeli government this week extended its outbound travel ban by another three months in a move that was widely predicted. The ban on Australian citizens and permanent residents from leaving the country without an exemption was due to expire on the seventeenth of September but it will now be in place until at least the seventeenth of December and the ban is likely to continue getting extended until visit vaccines. But there is some harp, a recent federal government budget update cited and suction that Australia would be allowing some international travel again from January two thousand and twenty one albeit with two weeks of mandatory quarantine upon returning. Currently Australians can only leave the country if they qualify for an exemption on one of six grounds though is being that travel is part of the response to the kind of nineteen outbreak that it's essential for the conduct of critical industries and businesses for receiving agent medical treatment, not available in Australia agent and unavoidable pestle business traveling on compassionate grounds oil traveling in the national interest. Today to around seventy five percent of applications to leave the country have been rejected by Boorda photos but it does seem that more people are now getting approved then a few months ago. An indefinite ban on leaving this country is highly unusual among Western democracies even during the pandemic, some legal experts have argued that it could even be a violation of Australia's human rights locations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. And Lynn payday Shamir who is part of the car and government has described the travel ban as a pretty extraordinary restriction on people's liberty. Meanwhile Australian prime. Minister Scott Morrison said yesterday following a national cabinet meeting that they are investigating the possibility of international flights to camera and hot to help bring back more of the twenty thousand trillions currently trying to get home. The government is also looking into the possibility of no longer requiring people arriving from overseas test nations without covid. Nineteen cases such as Christ's Church New, Zealand to quarantining hotels, and this could free up space for more arriving travelers at the hotels and Australia's major cities. Since July, the number of daily and weekly inbound passenger arrivals have been limited at all five Australasia's major international airports. A maximum of five, hundred, twenty, five, international travel is permitted to arrive in Perth. Each week we end just five hundred per week can fly into Adelaide Brisbane. Sydney has somewhat more generous limit of three hundred and fifty passengers per day or two, and a half thousand per week and entitled Total beds around four thousand people per week that can come to Australia. Meanwhile Melvin is not accepting any international arrivals at the moment they haven't seen July and there are no scheduled flights into Darwin camera or bought from overseas. On the seventh of August National Cabinet extended the imposition of those arrival caps until at least the twenty fourth th of October. and. They're announced specific limits also on the number of passes that can be transported on any single international flight into astray. These thirty to fifty people in into Sydney forty to forty five passengers per flight into Perth just twenty five per flight to Brisbane and sixty flights. Adelaide. Of course, none to Melbourne the moment. Catcher railways has been bringing back a lot of people because they they all one of the lines that is still operating most of their flights to Australia but they have been criticized for charging up of ten thousand dollars for a one way ticket and with such restrictive numbers allowed into Australia. Has Pretty much been selling business costs tickets. It doesn't make sense otherwise if you can only have thirty passes on a plane that seats over three hundred. I mean, you have to charge the highest possible fair otherwise how to make money. I did ask Qatar Airways this week. If there was any restrictions on them, transporting passengers camera, of course, cutter aways did in tool Elliott his he fly to camera via Sydney and they actually weren't sure way. This would be allowed under the current arrangements so. Watch this space. I guess. After announcing six thousand permanent job losses back in June. The Qantas Group has revealed that a further two thousand four hundred jobs will be lost as it outsources ground handling services at major trailing airport's. Qantas jetstar currently directly employ around two, thousand, three, hundred, seventy ground handling staff at eleven airports. With people working in roles such as baggage handling and fleet presentation and in addition quotas employs around fifty staffed up bus services at Sydney Airport. Qantas is now proposing to out says all of this work as it does at fifty five smaller Australian airports and the change would affect had a having stuff Adelaide Alice Springs Avalon Brisbane Cans Camera Darwin Melbourne Perth Siemian Townsville Airport's. Qantas Domestic Sea Andrew David said that outsourcing this work would save the and around one hundred million dollars per year in operating costs, and he said that drastic action would be needed for Qantas to be able to compete into the future. Unions though are now preparing a legal challenge against quotas. They claim that they weren't consulted about the proposal. The Boeing seven, four, seven queen of the skies was once a mainstay of commercial airlines. It's not long ago. That seven four seven easily spotted at most major international airports around the world. But fast forward to September two thousand, twenty, this month and the Boeing seven four seventy s operating just a small handful of scheduled passenger flights for only four airlines. This month Boeing seven, four, seven will serve just seventeen passenger routes worldwide, and in fact, many of those flights I'll be running once per week or a couple of dates with seven, four, seven, all parading. Around half of this month, seven, four, seven flights will be operated by Lufthansa, which still has both the seven, four, seven, four, hundred, and the dash eight's the newer I across in its fleet. And the of seven full seven flights operating this month with China ASEAN and Russia ailines. Backing July Boeing quietly pulled the plug on its Boeing seven, four seven program the final orders Boeing seven, four, seven, desk eight a now in and lost plane will roll out of its Seattle factory in around two years after this, no more seven forty sevens will ever be built at decision that sadly Mary's the recent closure of the a three, hundred, eighty program. The good news is that the Boeing seven four seven, not quite dead yet though there is still a relatively, very boss Calgary Market for the freight division of the seven, four, seven, nine eight, which continues to fly and even as airlines phase out there older Boeing seven, four, seven, four hundreds as many have already done this year there are still three airlines with relatively young seven, four, seven, Dash, eight passenger fleets these being Lufthansa Ed China and Korea and these airlines will continue to fly these aircraft on demand picks up. Regional Express Airlines commonly known as REX has hit back off to Qantas accused of using common wolf grants to fund its expansion into capital city routes despite rex receiving significantly more federal funding than both Qantas Virgin break says that it plans to fund the acquisition of ten Boeing seven three sevens which it will use to launch flights between the trillion capital cities from next month's using external investment. At the same time rex accused of using government funding to engage in predatory behavior against it by launching loss-making routes that a directly competing with the independent regional airline. Exclaims that Qantas's newly launched flights from Sydney, to Orange which started in, July have only had four five passengers per flight on average and the quantity launched the read at this time specifically to hurt rex, which previously had a monopoly on the route and has scenes had to draw as. These kinds of accusations from rex and nothing new though rigs has a long history of angry and at times frankly amusing press releases that attack Qantas and bullets management. The mariette Bosch. Hotel Low T. program launched a brand new status match and challenge this week for members with existing core Hilton hide or I. H- H G rewards, club status. If, you currently hold status with one of these four competing hotel loyalty programs. You can now receive an equivalent status t with mariot bone void for ninety days at no cost just have to apply online and prove your existing status. And once you'll match prices you'll have ninety days from then to also complete a challenge to retain your status until February two, thousand and twenty two. For the merit boy goat challenge, you just have to stay five nights within those ninety days and for the platinum challenge, you need to stay fifteen nights within the ninety days. Airlines has announced that it will extend the status of its pay PS club members while providing renewal support for Chris fly elite Menendez tornadoes status between. March next year and February of two, thousand and twenty two. Singapore Airlines like my style lines has already extended the status of its members this year. Singapore Airlines will also offer a range of new ways full Krisflyer, elite movements, and pay PS club members to an elite qualifying miles flying. A bit like Qantas done here in his trailer with the status credit off is on the ground. and. All the verge airline. The UK based Virgin. Atlantic will live to see another day after creditors accepted a rescue deal to save that airline. And finally Qantas. Says that his airline will not follow the lead of the major US airlines in permanently eliminating change fees. Last, Sunday United Airlines announced that it is getting rid of change phase all fair types except basic economy for domestic travel within the United States. Predictably within days. American Airlines Delta Electric Allies and now also Hawaiian airlines have oh copied with their own variations of this policy and all of these airlines are now saying that they are never ever going to bring back change fees at claim which seems highly believable. They haven't. United see Scott Kirby said that removing change fees was one of the requests from customers. But Ellen Joyce says that quotas will not be doing this. Hey, believes that high change fees and other restrictions on tickets such as ready ready Dale and CEO phase aren't important revenue management tool and without that the revenue management system breaks down. If you allow for changes on cheap tickets according to Joyce fuel paper will buy up to the more expensive flexible F as. This principle is also why Qantas adopted a much more hardline approach several years ago in refusing requests to fly Ford on non flexible tickets. That's what's making news these four nine for more regular news updates and deals subscribed to the Australian frequent flying or follow us on facebook. Find all the details at Australian frequent flyer dot com donate. This week in Australia mocked different milestone. It's now being twenty years since Virgin Blue as the airline was nine, I took to the skies in Australia. Virgin Blue's first flight from Brisbane to Sydney took off at nine thirty five am on the thirty first of August two thousand. All seats on this flight and all flights between Brisbane and Sydney for them. After that was sold for forty eight dollars, which was incredibly low price compared to what quotas and and set which aging at the time. Jet Style wasn't around back then so Blue was really the only low cost carrier of time and it fundamentally changed the way the trailing aviation market wicks. This week of course, also marked another huge milestone for the line we which is now called Vision Ustralia with creditors voting to approve its sale to Bain capital, and these arguably marks the third new chapter for Australia's second largest airline. I'm going to talk about next for Virgin, Australia in a moment but first, how do we get here? Well. When it was launched Virgin Blue had just two aircraft one route from Brisbane see and about two hundred employees. But over time it has, of course, growing significantly to become his trailer, his second largest airline and as it's growing, its business model has also changed. Originally Virgin Blue with a low cost carrier. Heating domestic flights in the mid-2000s then launch subsidiaries like Pacific blue and Polynesian blue in summer to operate flights between Australia New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. It. Didn't large long-haul flights into two thousand and nine when Virgin acquired Boeing triple seven three, hundred eighty hours and launched international flights under the Australian airline's brand. V Australia began operating in February two, thousand nine with a three weekly see to los. Angeles. Service. It soon also added flights from Brisbane and Melbourne to Los Angeles, and these flights still existed up until much the even though the Mel went to Los Angeles did not pray between two, thousand, fourteen, and twenty seventeen. But the airlines later routes from Brisbane in. Melbourne to Puke hit as well as from moments Johannesburg with short lived and the semi to Abu Dhabi route has also been canned. Vision also struggled later on to make a profit on international long haul flights to Hong, Kong before exiting that read entirely and. Plan to launch flights, from Perth, to Abu Dhabi never got off the ground literally. Virgin, canceled the before its first flight even took off and Si- frankly within Los Angeles. Whole Network has always been bit of a mess. In December two thousand and eleven virgin blue and. These other various brands became Virgin Australia under vision of the new CEO John Borghetti. Book T. had previously worked for many quotas but was pipped at the post for the see your role at Qantas by. Who've called is still busy of Qantas today. Bugatti then set out to transform virgin bleed into a full service airline competing head to head with. Countess some say he was trying to do at Virgin One. He had planned to do at Qantas in order to get back to Ellen. Joyce. With the new Allied Vision Ustralia came a new frequent flyer program velocity rewards which was launched in two thousand and five became velocity frequent flyer and host of changes were made to improve the program. With the launch of Venice trailer and it's game change program, the airline introduced new airport lounges and built private clubs to compete with Qantas. Chairman's lounges the top into the market. And it will introduce business. Class. Vision Australia invested a lot of money into its move upmarket. For Short. While this was profitable, it launched for example, a very successful status match in two thousand eleven that managed to attract a lot of once-loyal Qantas frequent flies over to virgin. Virgin estimates that around a third of those who took up the status match kept flying longtime with Virgin. Virgin walls of course, also hoped by a few goals from Qantas in those first few days, particularly as its rival faced major industrial relations issues, and at point in two thousand eleven grounded its entire fleet stranding thousands and standing a lot of customers over division by fault. Fitness Talia did make a small profit in its first year after the relaunch in two thousand twelve. But on the whole the decision to rebrand his trailer and compete head on with quotas has been a bit of failure. The company hasn't made a fool you prophet sense two, thousand, twelve. Quotas, of course, responded to the threat. It's from from and by massively increasing capacity dropping F as and investing in a better product for its customers which causes great for the traveling public and for you know people using Australia's airlines. But I guess for Virgin, it hasn't been a successful business. In its recent report to credits, his deloitte labeled versions decision to change to full service carrier as misconceived, which is quite extraordinary really and Otis quite this paragraph from the report it says. Eight sight says one of the reasons for virgins failure as a misconceived business strategy to change its business model from a low cost carrier to a full service saline. This ultimately resulted in virgin increasing its capacity on certain routes. Qantas responded by taking action to protect its roots Maka Shea customer base, and ultimately it's business model corners was able to significantly reduce its cost base but veggie did not have the size and financial strength to sustain this capacity increase without suffering significant losses and that's an quite. So. When Paul Scour was appointed as the new CEO of Virgin Australia Lost Year. He then said about ten the airline's fortunes around and in his words ten, a great airline which it was into a great business. And he may well have succeeded if it wasn't for COVID. Nineteen Voluntary administrators. Now, estimate that Virgin Australia may have been insolvent since around the twenty second of March and still is. Around that time in much drastically reduced the amount of flights it was operating. This happens gradually but also quite quickly as Boorda's shot and then it became quite clear that Australia was getting into lockdown. it also around the end of March canceled tiger flights indefinitely and the loss-making Tiger brand which Virgina quiet between two, thousand, twelve, and two, thousand fourteen is now being put out to pasture it won't be coming back. Demands in the domestic market deteriorates it around the end of March. So quickly that at one point vision was down to operating just one flight day on the Sydney to Melbourne route. They would simply lost too much money by operating anything else thankfully at around that time, the federal government stepped in with support for minimum domestic network on Qantas as well as. Agreeing to cover any losses incurred by Australia's aliens in maintaining minimal central service to key destinations around trail. So from late April, until the middle of June, one, hundred percent of Venice trae Leah's domestic flights were backed by the government. After this point as lockdowns began to as in some states, Virgin did began to add more flights back and it has been able to make a profit on some of them. At the moment it's managing to break even on around half of flights with the rest being backed by the federal government, but still virgin is nowhere near back to operating a full schedule. Back in late March and early April shareholders indicated they were unwilling to invest more money individual Trivia. The lines management set out to lobby the federal government but no assistance with forthcoming in the airline Wayne team voluntary. Administration on the twenty first of April at this point administrators were appointed from Deloitte. In, even doubt seeing how this played out over the past few months after a competitive process Bain capital was eventually chosen in June as the preferred by. Ben signed a binding agreement with the administrators in late June baynes being basically funding the airline now since July. Yesterday's meeting of Virgin. Australia. Credit was the final hurdle in getting this over the line. Faced with few other alternatives other than liquidation creditors voted ultimately to approve the sale of visionary to Bain capital for three point five, billion dollars. Under the proposed sale, ovarian employees and secured creditors will receive comments. But unsecured bondholders which tried to put forward a counter-proposal yesterday's meeting but were ultimately blocked by the courts will only receive between nine and thirteen cents on the dollar. Overall, this is good news for customers. customers will have the travel credits on it by bank capital and oversee frequent flyer points will remain valid. And no doubt will be seeing more redemptions opening up in the coming months. But later, this month existing travel credits, we'll be converted into what virgin is now calling future flight credits and these will come with some restrictions. For example, will only be a limited number of seats in Virginis Trivia flights, which can be booked using these future flight credits. And it's not exactly clear how this will work. But of course, I'm sure we'll find out in the coming weeks. There's also still no word about refunds for customers, who's flights were cancelled by Austria, which is particularly unfair customs that had booked expensive tickets to Tokyo Los. Angeles. Given veg and has no plans to operate any of those destinations in the coming years. Around three thousand. Nine thousand employees will unfortunately lose their jobs. That's a sad reality of the current crisis wearing, and of course, the job as we heard on the news earlier was is not unique division. Australia. Sadly also the current management can't rule out more job losses given the changing nature of the global. Travel Downturn. But many good. Industry will at least get to kate they jobs, which is a far better outcome than if the airline went into liquidation, which was also a possibility after yesterday's meeting, if the credit is didn't agree to the sale. So. WHAT'S NEXT FOR VIRGIN AUSTRALIA? It began its life as an ultra low cost carrier then pivoted to becoming a full service, carry a competing directly with Qantas. Virgin now plans to simplify its fleet and become what it's calling a value carrier offering lower fares than Qantas, but a better experience than Jetstar in a sense it's adopting a middle ground, a hybrid model. IFFY will. Say is this. A case of goldilocks is verging creating a new airline that's not too cheap not too expensive. Just right not too big not too small just right is the time the Chom or could the new version just get squeezed out of the trillion market by F. Amenable competitor? Time will tell and ultimately, it'll be the trillion flying public that decides. But here's what we do now about what's going to happen over the coming months. Bain capital now has fifteen days to sign the various days of company arrangement, which will begin depressive transferring ownership of the various entities are paying capital. Virgins existing shareholders, which included Singapore Airlines Eighty as the hate group Nanchang Group Richard Branson's Virgin. Group and private shareholders will get nothing in the way of the administrators they'll get. The change of ownership could see some changes in the foreseeable future to vision Australia's partner airlines. Currently. Virgin, Australia partners with various airlines that used to be shareholders and earn part of the airline including the like Singapore Airlines. And Hainan, airlines, which is owned by the hatred angry. If. These airlines no longer have any interesting virgin. WILL THEY STILL BE PARTNER AIRLINES? Maybe they will is they'll still rely on in for domestic feed in. Australia. But if Singapore Airlines no longer owns any part of Virgin Ustralia I sadly think it's highly unlikely. We'll ever see for example, a possibility to transfer velocity points Chris Flyer miles ever again. Wind velocity removed this popular back in April amid a run on velocity points they said that it would be restored once flying returns to normal but we'll see I'm skeptical. Finale administrators will retain control of edginess trailer until CEO processes completed, which is expected to happen by the end of October. After that the administration period will end and Bain capital will be in charge. Eventually Virgin will reopen its lounges although we don't know win and it will become an old seven three, seven online the say three, Thirties Eight, seventy, two, and Boeing triple seven's will O. Guy. But Virgin says it will cape it's CHATA and regional flying. It remains to be seen whether the New Vision of Tralee, we'll be able to retain the majority of its frequent flyers the suddenly being some chatter on the Israeli flyer for him with among the flies about. The. Distaste of agents treated them in the last few months and also that they not really inspired by virgins vs vision for the future and a lot of people are going to be looking at jumping ship over to Qantas. Virgin does plan to resume long haul flights eventually, but it's might be for some time. Say for international travelers, they may be better options going forward. My personal opinion is that Virgin Australia should seriously consider joining alliance. Star Line. So Sky Team, there are many potential benefits of this both to customers Nicole's to the airline. Ansett. Collapsed Australia has not had a star Alliance airline and we've never had a sky team members based here. If Virgin doesn't join Alliance alliance I think the airline risks becoming relevant international travelers. Virgins Patchwork of international partners was already pretty confusing in Messi inconsistent even when virgin did having national flights. Finale I guess we'll just have to wait and see how the next few months pat regardless of what happens from here though it is definitely good to say the virgin it has managed to survive to fly in a day. Sterling's would have been much worse off if they had been forced to liquidate. So let's see if the new version three point zero prices competitively and continues to offer the excellent customer service it's known for. At least with a fighting chance I, think. Although international travel is sadly still some months away now is the perfect time to start thinking about exploring your backyard right here in Australia. That's why the next frequent flyer solutions webinar is all about domestic travel around Australia. How'd you find the best domestic travel deals? What are the best frequent flyer programs to redeem points for domestic flights and how can you get great deals on higher accommodation and train travel industry? All of these questions and lots four will be answered in the upcoming frequent flyers, leashes Webinar Australia, domestic travel tips and tricks. I'll be hosting this Webinar on Wednesday the ninth of September at Eight PM Esther in eastern. Standard Time. Pre Registration is essential. So visit frequent flyer, dot com year, or click through on blinking the sites to lean more water registered Webinar and I'll see they're. Just finally today I wanted to talk briefly about an audit. Kuban attracted a lot of attention yesterday in yesterday's frequent flyer gazette not a cool code goodwill lost customers have long memories which attracted a lot of comments and chairs. Over this whole covid nineteen period it's been really interesting to see how businesses have responded differently to the crisis. Many have done the right thing by customers communicating properly and refunding when necessary it's been really good to see. But some businesses have frankly traded their customers like absolute did refusing to refund money customers legally entitled to or charging unfair face to do so may help business survive in the show at Tim? The customers. Stupid. They have long memories. No remember how business is treated them. In that article, I highlighted a few examples of businesses that have treated their customers really poorly, for example, Beira moldable airlines that have refused to refund people's money or have simply stopped answering emails and phone calls. there. Are also some travel agencies which have insulted their customers by legally charging them fees to access refunds from supplies that they illegally entitled to. Who could forget when Flight Center for example tried to charge its customers three hundred dollars age to access refunds from supplies like aliens even when the cancellation was not the customers fold and the airline was refunding in full. The, travel agency finally had a change of heart after the triple C. threatened legal action if they didn't. The outcome flights tend to head to refund all of those cancellation fees but now also has tens of thousands of angry customers that will never ever book with again. In the article I did not mentioned luxury escapes but in the comments, a lot of people say that they'd also been down by that company customers have been saying that they simply weren't provide refunds for canceled stays. One person in the comments throat and I quote, could you add luxury escapes to those who treat customers with? No respect, no empathy and block them. If they post negative reviews, there are thousands who have been fighting to get the money refunded for troops since the start of the pandemic many are more than ten thousand dollars and some have multiple trips amounted to over twenty thousand dollars. Another person either call. Anyone from luxury escapes reading this after our experience with luxury escapes. Just. Never use them again, we'll never use a travel agent he hit. Ouch many eventually, customers have also expressed their frustration at not being given refunds. Vision hasn't given any refunds since it went into voluntary administration in April, but it was already refusing to give refunds castle flats well before this. Equally though many companies that have done, the right thing have received praise from customers and these customers will likely not hesitate to book with them again when they can. Although many have complained for example of long waiting times. Qantas has generally at least refunded people's money eventually when required to do so. And even though it's taken months in some cases, they are generally processed in the end in costumes have been getting their money back from quotas. Other communists in that article praised airlines including Vietnam Airlines, China Airlines Baltic Air, and others full promptly refunding the money for canceled flights as well. If trust if customers getting treated badly though remember this next time, they book a trip. Why would anyone give more money in the future to accompany? That's completely screwed them over in the post. Perhaps desperate times call for desperate in some businesses simply can't afford to do the right thing by the customers right now. But customers are exactly what these businesses again today on the other side of this crisis in treating your loyal existing customers really poorly is a great way to ensure the beginning to take their money elsewhere and feature. This crisis may be temporary, but the reputational damage for some businesses might not be. What's your experience been with getting refunds? Have you received some really good service patsy beans screwed Iva. You can let me know in the Commons of that article it's called goodwill lost customers have long memories, and that is linked in the nights for this episode. In the episode nineteen say finally t the AF on discussion trade on the Australian frequent flyer for him we can provide feedback or ask me a question for each episode. I met Graham and I'll be back next fortnight with more news tips and tricks I or I mean travelers until then stay safe.
800,000 Half-Price Domestic Flights AIR057
"I strenuous frequent flyer. Podcast is boiling step on board for the latest news. Tips entrance for spraying triplets. You'll captain on graham now invites you to sit back. Relax and enjoy the episode. Get a and welcome to episode fifty seven fifty on air and happy easter. It's saturday the third of april. Two thousand and twenty one coming up eight hundred thousand half price. Domestic flights have gone on sale to fifteen regional destinations across australia. As part of the federal government's tears and support package what to do about expiring singapore airlines chris flier miles and later in the episode. We'll meet sam heathfield. Here's responsible for australian frequent flyer member support and does a lot of. It related work behind the scenes that af thames also being an active member of the eighth community since two thousand nine pricing onto the handle of sam hates double a. Four but first. Let's begin with the roundup of the latest airline. Infrequent flying in australia from the past fortnight and physically has removed complimentary snacks in economy class replacing them with the by onboard and drinks many instead of a free snack along with water or jeez economy passengers on beijing will now just receive complimentary water tea or coffee. Additional snacks are available for purchase. Now include packets of chips kid. Cats will muffins for five dollars each or instant noodles seven dollars. Fifty drinks including soft drinks beer. Wine and spirits are now available for purchase customers who had booked economy tickets invasion prior to the twenty fifth of march. When this change came into effect have been notified by that they can still receive a complimentary snack by showing a copy of that email to the cabin crew. Flies who've done. This have reported receiving a free packet of mixed seeds and nuts in the pointy end of the plane. Division has relaunched its business class product with a brand new fresh menu. Instead of prepackaged snack boxes business class passengers now enjoy choice of proper houghton code meals which include things like lamb and rosemary pies ham and scrambled egg brioche holy in qena salad or smashed avocado on saturday. Vision has also brought back. Pre-departure sparkling wine which is saved in pro losses invasion is also now the earliest trillion airline to offer spirits in business class which are available alongside a range of other premium. Drinks qantas stopped saving spirits when covid nineteen started and has not received during this in their business clause visions frequent flyer program velocity. Meanwhile also revealed this week that gold and platinum members who qualified for a status extension by looking at least one. Virgin australia fly. Before the twenty eighth of march will now receive up to an eighteen month extension instead of twelve months version originally promised to extend the status of eligible members until the end of march. Two thousand twenty two but those members who now receive another extension in september meeting. They'll get cape they've lost status until at least the end of september. Two thousand twenty two alaska airlines has joined qantas and many other airlines in the one world alliance officially joining this week. Alaska airlines was already a qantas frequent flyer patna but you now able to in qantas status credits when flying with alaska airlines in addition to just qantas points and quanta silver gold platinum and platinum. On one man this will now receive. Reciprocal one road status benefits. When flying with alaska airlines ula be able to use alaska airlines flights as part of a one world classic flight reward booking which is commonly known as the world war. And that's the one that can be used to fly around the world using quotas points but there are still a few teething problems. For example alaska airlines sells its premium. Cabin is first class on domestic flights and although it is has been reclassified as business clause in terms of the reshuffling of fe classes qantas asto charging full first class prices when redeeming awards on alaska airlines on qantas website. This will eventually be fixed. But it hasn't had happened just yet eventually. You'll also be able to redeem alaska airlines mileage plan miles on ole one wound flights but this won't be implemented for another few months. Alaska airlines has quite low of panmure lines outside of the world alliance including emirates. And it looks like these will remain however alaska airlines miles can no longer be used to book emirates. I class would flights as of this week. Alaska airlines is largely domestic and regional airline based in seattle in the united states east coast and as well as obviously a lot of flights to alaska. The airline does serve many mainland. Us domestic routes and flies to a few destinations in hawaii. Canada and the caribbean alaska is the second. Us airlines joined the one world alliance off to american airlines and the to us members will also introduce additional reciprocal benefits including upgrades for frequent flyers. If both of those airlines when traveling on either carrier low cost airline jetstar revealed last month that it's now back to operating up to ninety percent of pre covid domestic capacity in australia prior to the brisbane locked down this week it even predicted that it could exceed one hundred percent of pre covid passenger numbers during the upcoming to travel period with dimond retaining jetstar. See gareth evans told a capital live events in much that. There's a renewed level optimism now in australia. One of the first things people want to do is visit loved ones will take holiday. Jetstar has observed that the demand for flights to leisure destinations within australia. Where borders rope and is now actually higher than it was before covid nineteen demand for business. Travel has not yet returned to pre covid though in maine for some time gareth evans also noted that way borders closed or whether a travel restrictions bookings practically zero but with jetstar probe dominantly targeting leisure travelers. Anyway and boorda's now starting to reopen the spokeswoman for the low cost carriers business model as well as increasing flights on existing routes jetstar is launching three new routes. And it's actively looking to add even more destinations in line with demand. Direct flights from melvin. Hamilton island started this week and in mejet style will start to harvey bay direct flights no-bid busselton flights will commence in june jetstar. Also considering bringing a few of its boeing seven eight seven dreamliner out of storage to operate on domestic routes where demand is particularly high. This would not only add capacity but also allow some of jetstar seven eight seven pilots engineers and cabin crew to return to work in preparation points. National voters reopening qantas expects to be operating around eighty percent of its pre covid capacity ovaries to meanwhile and virgin is up to around seventy percent. Unfortunately or perhaps positively depending on your point of view the ramp up in domestic flying very has seen the return of domestic red eye flights over the posterior israelis aliens and had a surplus of planes. They didn't really need to use them. Twenty four hours a day but with more flights now back in the air and roughly the same number of planes available to operate them aliens and now under pressure to increase their fleet utilization and that means that those dreaded short overnight flights from perth and east coast destinations that depart between around eleven pm and two. I am a back. A three day lockdown in brisbane. This week has unfortunately disrupted many easter holiday plans and sadly saw the end of a twelve day streak with no domestic border closures anywhere in australia as all states and territories rush to impose some new level of restrictions on travel from reason western. Australia went a step further by imposing a border. On the entire state of queensland western. Australia's hod border with queensland does to remain in place in probably woo for a few weeks. But at the time of recording this podcast some of the states have now eased travel restrictions again for people arriving from brisbane at the time of recording there no longer any restrictions on travel from brisbane to new south wales the a. c. t. or the northern territory and brisbane is now being downgraded from a red zone to an orange zone for the purposes of travelled to victoria. Meaning you can now into victoria. If you've been to brisbane in the last fourteen days but you won't need to get a covid. Nineteen tests and self isolate just until you receive a negative result. Rex will challenge the qantas monopoly. The sydney to very by launching up to seven return flights per day from the nineteenth of april. Rex will fly from sydney to canberra using a saab. Three forty turboprop aircraft which have about thirty four seats in feser on sale from one thousand nine dollars. Rex also says it plans to build a new lounge at canberra airport laid z. Prior to covid nineteen virginis. Tralee ahead operates up to nine daily return flights between cameron sydney using its regional. Eight seventy two planes but virgin has since retired. It's seventy twos and has now left with boeing. Seven three sevens which largely to being to serve the cameras seaney route at least at the same level of frequency that it used to vision had previously planned to restart cameras sydney flights. In february with two daily boeing seven. Three seven seven hundred sevices but that route relaunch has since being pushed back multiple times virgin schedule now indicates the direct sydney hammer. You to start again at the end of july and economy tickets on this route on allen ceo but virgin is currently scheduling nine daily. At l. seventy twos to operate this route from the end of july. Which obviously isn't going to happen. Because has those planes in its fleet. This way corrects has also command spending seven three seven flights from melbourne adelaide melbourne to go coast and sydney to the gold coast as well as saab three forty flights from sydney to port macquarie and coffs harbour. The sydney to coffs harbour. It was already served by both qantas link and virgin australia. Virgin australia will next week withdraw from coffs harbour just a week after rex entered the market. If that's any indication of what's to come for the city to cameroon virgin may not return to that either. A group of australian still stranded overseas have filed legal action against the australian government with the un human rights committee these australians who are represented by geoffrey robinson key see say the federal government has arbitrarily breached. They right to return to the land of their birth or citizenship. The group says that a willing to comply with old quarantine requirements but that the low international arrival caps have made it impossible for them in tens of thousands of other trillions to actually board flights home. It comes queensland javier it's intake of overseas arrivals alia this week initially for two weeks while a deals with the local outbreak in brisbane victoria next week. Resume accepting international arrivals for the first time since february and the howard springs quarantine facility in the northern territory is in the prices of being expanded but the current quarantine capacity in australia is still tightly inadequate compared to the number of australians trying to return home american express has placed it's limited time shopsmall promotions with a year round initiative which it says will further support small businesses amex shopsmall will now be available every day but it will work differently. Instead of getting a limited number of cashback offers. When spinning at participating small businesses amex card holders will instead be offered three extra points. Padilla spanta all participating small businesses. Over the next year thousands more businesses are also participating shopsmall including all mentions that price transactions using square payment terminals entitle amex card holders be to end up to forty thousand extra points until the thirty first of march two thousand and twenty two by spending it small businesses through the new shopsmall program but supplementary called white able to register for this offer. Virgin australia has resumed actively weighing hand luggage to ensure passengers on flouting. The seven kilogram carry limit veggies now randomly checking carry on bags at boarding gates at some airports including moment in sydney as well as when passengers check in and business class passengers and velocity platinum and gold members. And not mean as these checks are also taking place in the priority queues. The new procedure appears to have caught some passengers by surprise but was praised the line for enforcing the rules. Although some calls a lot stay lines use baggage. Texas an nco lary revenue opportunity including jetstar. There are some genuine. She's passengers bringing on carry on luggage. Has the allowance qantas in two thousand and eighteen for example implemented a similar hand luggage. Crackdown citing workplace health and safety Issues for the cabin crew and as overhead lockers spacey's limited is simply isn't enough room. Everyone's bags when passes blatantly flat of fool in cases where virgin customers carry on bag is found to exceed the limit. It will need to be checked in if the customer hasn't yet fully used their for checked baggage allowance. That's not for this. However next fee may apply to passengers who've already used their full checked baggage allowance. Jetstar is sad's also actively weighing passages hand luggage and finds passages were over the limit rex's also actively weighing passengers hand. Luggage at chicken qantas ran. Its first double status credits promotion for the year. Loss tweak with double status credits offered on qantas domestic flights for bookings made between the twenty fifth and the thirty th of march this year. By the time you'd be listening to this. The author has unfortunately expired. So i'm not going to run through the offer details here but we did highlight the offering the israelian frequent flags lost weeks. And you can find all the details if you're interested by clicking through to that article which you'll find in the episode nights major changes to the malaysia airlines enrich frequent flyer program came into effect this week enrich miles have been renamed to enrich planes and announced and based on the amount that you pay feel if fair in general this means you'll earn far few appoints when flying with malaysia airlines but the number of points required for reward. Surprise surprise has not changed malaysia. Airlines has also changed the way status end with elite points now required and status elite points based on the class of travel and the length of the flight. But under the new enriched program. You want anymore. Elite points for buying a more expensive flexible f. and quotas has launched eight limited edition. Saint henri beer brewed by james. Squire the quanta centennial edition. Australian laga is now available for free. In quotas lounges and on qantas flights including an economy close and it served either in a commemorative souvenir can or with a special costa containing four point two percent alcohol af if members have described the beer as drinkable and slightly bitter. But nothing special. That's what's making news on australian frequent flyer dot com dot. Au this fortnight. You can stay up-to-date between podcasts by subscribing to these trillion frequent flying. Is it today the latest frequent flyer news straight to your inbox for free every monday and thursday morning night on the festive april. The first batch of eight hundred thousand half-price flights to be subsidized by the federal government went on sale. It's all part of the tourism aviation network support program or tens and so far. The town's program has proven popular which is short make struggling tourism prayed wanna dance more than one hundred thousand tickets were sold in the first day alone under this game and it doesn't really surprise me much because when i looked onto the corners invasion websites just after midnight on thursday morning those websites clearly struggling with the huge volume of traffic and the jetstar website in fact had so much traffic going into it that it kicked me out and put me into a queue a few times indeed there are some exceptional deals available at the moment t for example jetstar is now selling flights on the avalon to adelaide route. Thirty two dollars. One way jared has seen to avalon phase for thirty four dollars snapped sending to launceston forty nine dollars. Hurry bot adelaide for fifty four dollars brisbane to and for eighty two dollars and sydney two cans of eighty three dollars. You can even go from one side of the country to the other two cans for one hundred and eight dollars on jetstar. Just give you a few examples of what's available. At the moment jetstar bundles board. As part of the half of flight sailor also now being sold a half price and that means that you can book a ticket from avalon to adelaide for thirty two dollars and add on max bundle for just forty to fifty and as well as all the other benefits he get and the flight adelaide eat own one thousand. Two hundred quotas points and twenty status credits. That's quite a low price to get twenty status credits. quotas also has some pretty decent full service. F.a.s.t available at the moment and such as adults to kangaroo island for eighty dollars. Nobody to devonport eighty nine dollars campbell to the gold coast for ninety five adelaide. Alice springs one hundred thirty five dollars and perth to her. About four hundred. Ninety dollars. virgin australia also has for example nob- into launceston fifty five dollars cd to the sunshine. Coast seventy dollars. Adelaide gold coast for nine hundred dollars. Melvin to hamilton island. Four hundred and three dollars in qantas's also launched in everywhere else ceo to all of the domestic destinations. That are not covered by the government's half price flights game. Now that's running till the eighth of april and it means until then the entire countries basically on sale. So now's a great time to be buying domestic tickets. So how exactly does this tens programme work. And how can you get one of the half price tickets while the half priced tickets. Firstly a being sold directly through the airlines websites. Say and you can also book your travel agent if you prefer but if you go onto the vigil jetstar websites the half of flights being quite clearly mocked when you book online so and how it works basically you pay half the cost to the airline and the federal government will give the other half directly to the airline and this is designed to be a bit of a subsidy for the airlines but also to help struggling tourism operators in the targeted regional destinations. And these tickets will be on sale until the first of july or until sold out and what i suspect will happen. Is that the the the most interesting destinations who soda quite quickly. But they might still be a few tickets left up until the end on the thirty first of july to some of the most popular destinations and the scheme covers travel dates up until the end of september this year. Now only interstate. Flights are eligible. Although there is one exception nets flights from adelaide to kangaroo island which are half price under this game. So as i mentioned it covers fifteen specific regional destinations basically flights to or from the flights to from these destinations. All available for half price as long as they seats available and those destinations are in queensland. Say we we have cans. Go cursed with sunday's which includes prosser pine and hamilton island and the sunshine coast in the northern territory. We have darwin. You'll ruin alice springs. Tasmania has launceston. Devonport and burnie. Ovo rex's the alan flying to bernie. And i haven't actually seen any off price flights available to bernie. Although rick says that they'll be coming soon in victoria we have avalon. Just need you along in westphalia. Brooms of is included. A new south wales marine bulow on the south coast to coast and in salvatore we have adelaide and kangaroo island so i mean there's a few big cities in adelaide darwin cans go curry stew included but also a lot of sort of regional destinations and quite a few interesting places as well. I mean they're all quite worthy Destinations for holiday. Of course there are a few catches. Firstly as i said only a limited number of half price seats are available on each flight and some flights might not have any available at all and they could be flying away. The seats were available. But they now already sold out in the case of qantas for example. Flights would need to have e-class availability. That's if acre folders half-price seats be available. So there's there's half of flights and booking into eighth 'cause now that's the lowest fare class and is the first one to sell out if the flight is in high demand there's also another slight catch with e. class which probably won't affect most people but i'll just mention it e-class phase on qantas do not generally any point smiles all status with frequent flyer programs other than qantas frequent flyers. Say if you're for example. A qatar airways member or american airlines vantage member will british airways executive club. You anything for quantity consulates now. There's also the question of whether these flights half price because some airlines seem to have increased their regular phase on some of the roots just as the half price alpha came into effect if we take rex's melbourne to adelaide root for example Which is eligible. Even they wreck san leandro flying the route this week and before the first of april rex was selling tickets on most of its melbourne adelaide. Flights from studying from fifty five dollars one way for an economy class seat on the first of april. Rex started selling seats which were supposedly half price. Full fifty nine dollars. One way and qantas qantas also. His is now selling half-price phased from melbourne adelaide. They're priced eighteen nine dollars in half price but lost week. Quotas was selling tickets on that route for one hundred nine dollars. It's really only a twenty dollar discount. Offer it was. I lost week and veggies. Supposedly half price phase from melbourne adelaide. Seventy dollars which is three dollars more than the sixty seven dollar tickets virgin selling last week at least version has been transparent though in letting us know how they've calculated discount with virgin. The fifty percent off office based on the leading elevate fair price that was available lost february fair enough. Still there are plenty of good deals to be found even for example with the two hundred nine thousand nine hundred one way qantas phase from sydney to broom that bad compared to the usual price of five hundred and nine dollars or even more for a direct service on that route one to land how to maximize the value in frequent flyer programs. You're new to the frequent flyer points game. Or perhaps he'd like to perfect your travel hacking strategy. You may be interested in the frequent flyer training program offered by our sister website. Frequent flyer solutions the frequent flyers leashes training consists of ten easy to follow online courses with topics including credit cards ending buying and renaming points airline status hotel and supermarket loyalty programs. And how to find cheap flights if you don't have hours to seep through online forums between explained clearly all of the tricks and strategies you need tonight to make the most of your frequent flier points and most programs more information visit frequent flying dot com on you. If you're an australian frequent flying than by an you have a problem with your account so you need to get in touch with af support. You probably be communicating with sam heathfield. Who is not only the if support guy on fifth that he's also an ffa member who goes by the handle of sam. Hey ch- aa four and he joins me now on a f- on air woken sam to the podcast. Thank you so samuel. The us support will have on fifth ad been and editor kill me and i sometimes people get us confused. Maybe you could just run through what your role is and how that's different Well i mean i suppose. First of all basically different user accounts So support an admin about administrators on the site we can access all the back end systems And as editor yourself you you deal with all the articles and and those sorts of things. Yeah that's right. So you know i. I deal with front facing community matters. If there's life people want to sign up for qantas club if they want deals expert flyer stuff like that but i also try and keep remember database up to date and not a big miss in the in the back. Yes so you're kind of. It grew and of course the qantas club and expert fly discounts available to eighth goal members. Which your friend today. I'm quite quite good. Deals there but a of people quite regularly send send me emails. Which is to sam and i know you often get emails address to map the way different people that we yes and we live in different places and sometimes even different countries. That's right so where do you live. I'm currently actually based difficult. I've just moved. I used to live on the gold coast. But in the southeast queensland area now so in between the gold coast and brisbane alabama. That's a long way from cambria. Where i live in quite a long way. From clifford his admin leaves as well. So sam how you initially get involved with the streaming frequent flyer quite a few years ago as i understand it. Yes so i discovered in two thousand nine like quite a lot of members that i've come to the site of the is i was looking to score. Daelim qantas club membership I saw upcoming travel in my life. And i want to be in the lange and i didn't want to pay for breast. I think that's the same story. Is moderated jessica tam who initially came from corners clubs. Cannon stayed for the community. You've got a bit of a british accent. I'm sure people have noticed. What's your background way to grow up in teddy. Come to australia low. I was born in london. I'm moved across to hong kong. One was one and a half my data job the university then on my mom's a lawyer in hong kong and i've lived in hong kong for most of my life i grew up there Went to school there. did did a bit of schooling in the uk and in the middle and then my parents wanted to emigrate to australia in that lacy is so i was sort of the the first wave. I got citizenship. I i did schooling here towards my later years and i've pretty much been in australia ever since say for two thousand six when was new zealand as i understand it like we didn't get it quite a lot of travel as a child as well Which might have had something to do with your interesting flying now yes. I've probably looked a lot of errands in the air. All over the world many many countries. Not as many as you though. I might add But i certainly been exposed to allen lounges and frequent flyer schemes from a young age and being in australia with no status and no qantas club access sort of spent me to purchase that first membership and take me down a different journey australia. Yeah and he d now by natty have lifetime gold status with qantas yes so i cheered lifetime gold last. Yeah just the start of the pandemic. I am i i pre- books some some flights to vietnam Taking one of the most direct routes possible which oracle was something like brisbane to melbourne to singapore to kuala lumpur to hanoi to william and ann had lovely had a lovely few days in vietnam as the world was slowly looking down. Got back just before the borders closed but crucially long as qantas continues flying. I've got my lifetime. Goal lifetime of the airline. Not of your lifetime as we've from quite a few of the airline's who've gone defunct over the last little while but yeah. Hopefully it'll be around for quite a long time. And you mentioned you originally came to af for the qantas club. Discount believe obviously stayed. What do you enjoy most about paying pot of ethnic community from the very beginning. I was eager to meet new people. And the really is the heart of f. Once you start to get to know members in in different cities and attend a few social events you really discover does a lot more than just the best credit card and good hotel deal quite often. The best deals might not be type. Tom line just because they seem to vanish very quickly. If they are and you eat you attended social event and you'll end up hearing about something that maybe has been going on for a long time but because it hasn't been revealed online disappeared. Yeah and i think the network those af social events is is really excellent as well and they haven't been too many events obviously over the last year but there are some studying come comeback. They'll be winning. Cameron in adelaide in may and i believe the gathering this year is going to be in newcastle. And that'll be in october. I believe there are. They are starting to come back now as we get into the hopefully out of the pandemic sam When i wrote on the motors in fifth staff members i've vast them all the same group of questions about your favorite airlines and frequent flyer programs and things like that. So i wanted to ask you the same quickfire questions. You're ready so firstly. What's your favorite airline. It's difficult i had. I have thought about this having heard or read other interviews. The one i'm flying. The most is qantas. So i'm tempted to say qantas but prior to pandemic i'd flown on malaysian airlines a few times Just just a few shells and their service has always been incredible and and even better in the land so it's sort of a mixed bag it's either qantas will malaysian. Malaysia does have really good saute. it's tough ones end. What's your favorite frequent flyer program again. It's kind of like a slam dunk for qantas. Just because they're my main comply program. I i don't really collect any points with anyone else so it would be silly to to name one of the others that i'm just not going to fly with. Yeah i understand. You also had platinum one status for a little while fees. Catchy in that that was that was a fun time. That was back in the time of jessica's which business any seat ward quirk of the old qantas website where you can book a classic flight award at could book award traffic fighter rates and and an an and points in status credits on it and i maximize to its full potential doing some double status credit commissions and ended up going on a few runs to qarafa for abandoned our time and from the east coast and i i had a great time at p one i i went to some quantities have been. They gave me a free simulator. Ride on i like go tons of upgrades. It was good. Yeah and i believe you'll say you'd comfort seats to an extra status credits. Indeed comfy seats were probably a few years before classroom. While i was flying around regional queensland on shades and i found that i could phone up comfort seed which is an extra seat that you were four points and the status credits song for bound. Fifty percent of the base fare and during sales it became incredibly lucrative. If i call. I think it was at the time. Where there was a bit of a price. War between qantas virgin so prices were in- insanely good and it's less expensive than by afflicts fair and you still get the twice as many status credit and a free seat next year so it's definitely can work out well when there's a sale on now the next question for you is. What's your favorite destination to visit. I'm always loved family. today's in queenstown new zealand. Absolutely dave you ever been down skiing there. Yes we always used to go. Dan and winter My parents have some rental properties. Ed they whenever and when we were in town we get to use them and skiing has been a big part of my life when once in the summer which was very beautiful as well into more fun. Nice and you have a favorite credit card. Yes it's my american express platinum judge unfortunately not everywhere takes the the amex. I try to use it as many places as i can and cream as many points as they can. And is there a particular align all frequent flyer program promotion. That you've used which i think was the most lucrative. Yes a few years ago. I think around twenty fifteen also but there was a mistake. Fan to japan from brisbane appoints booking and I believe it was twenty four thousand points one way. Forty eight thousand ten or their rebounds plus very low taxes in business and qantas on it and it was really good hit. Twenty four thousand quotas points for business class from brisbane. Excellent teal and unfortunately it was available for about. I think an evening in the nickel taken down the next morning because there's obviously a mistake tonight that they honored that and finally d have just a number one team in general for triplets. The tip goes straight back to f f. Been such a special place when you attend events and get to know the various members from around the country. This border restrictions. You know notwithstanding you quite often retold deals that they haven't posted online because they don't want them to disappear and it's it's through those social gatherings that you're gonna you probably gonna find the best information. Well sam heathfield. He's also support on f. It's good to know bit more about you. And thanks for coming on the podcast. Thank you have. You found that interview interesting before i go this fortnight. I've been getting a lot of questions. Lately from australian. Frequent flyer is with singapore airlines chris flier miles who are worried about their miles. Expiring the singapore airlines. Chris fly programming moisture. Specs is a great frequent flyer program. But unfortunately it's also one of the few remaining frequent flyer programs around the world with a fixed. Hod three year expire if miles. That means that old. Chris flier miles expire three years after u. N them now. That's not really a long time anyway. But it makes the program almost unusable. If you live in australia at least during a pandemic win closed and most pacino's to redeem chris flier miles and not available at the moment so yeah. I've received a lot of questions from members. Who have chris flyer miles that a g. to expire and they wondering what to do of course it would be extremely helpful as singapore airlines changed. Its policy so that miles expired. If you're account has no activity going under the current system it would even without the pandemic. it would be almost impossible. Average chris flying to save any sort of meaningful reward because the miles. Just keep expiring. Every three is but failing. This is what. I would suggest if supplies to you now. Firstly singapore airlines has at least been extending the validity of miles g to imminently expire throughout the pandemic at the moment miles that g to expire by the end of june two thousand and twenty one having validity extended by six months. Say this may apply to you. If you have. Miles g to expire in july though will be on then. This isn't all that helpful. Given that international borders are unlikely to be open again by then but there is a reasonable chance that singapore airlines mites nounce further extensions in the coming months. so far. they've been doing this throughout the pandemic just month by month though every few months announcing a little bit of an extension at t at a time so when june comes around or towards the end of june i would just check to see if there's been any further announcements made by then a singapore airlines does offer the possibility also to pay to extend the validity of expiring miles by six months. The price is You can pay one thousand two hundred crease flyer miles or twelve usdallas for every ten thousand crease flyer miles that you pay to extend now the get that as for six months so they if you happen to have krisflyer lead suva or gold status. That same fee applies but you get to extend your miles for twelve months now. Wouldn't recommend doing this just yet because as we as i just said that singaporeans may extend them anyway and they'll say he had a lot of miles. It could get quite expensive to pay this. It's not exactly cheap. Although this can be used as a last resort failing all that they could choose to booker award. Flyers travel up to a year in advance singapore airlines. Let's he redeemed. Chris flier miles to travel up to three hundred and fifty five days in advance. That just on a twelve months out and heartfully twelve months from now to borders will be open again so that could be an option. Oh tentatively it is also possible to redeem chris flier miles full trae elliott domestic flights and in fact award availability on business trailers generally pretty good and the number of chris. Flier miles needed. Many is quite reasonable. In fact there's even a sweet spot. If you happen to leave in some way like adelaide harbaugh all the way to cans and back for forty two thousand chris flier miles in business. 'cause and you can even get a free stopover on around trooper would booking so that could absolutely be an option. If you're looking for a way to easy crease. Flier miles within australia so for now. I wouldn't panic too much charm as i said. No chris fly miles going to expire before the thirtieth of june. And it's still too early to know yet whether there'll be another extension. Hopefully they will be singapore. Airlines might change its policy because at the moment and it really is out fair and unfair now dated and it's a huge disadvantage first trillions using what is otherwise an excellent loyalty program by. We'll see what happens over the next few months before i gary. I also just want until you know about the qantas wine. Easter easter sale. That's on this long weekend regular listeners to this podcast or redesign affair full. Probably not that qantas wind bonus. Point office are a great way to accumulate. Lots of quotas points until he tens of thousands of points for quite a quite a low cost and quickly because the parents the points post within a few days generally and so basically buying quotas Wine with the bonus point offer. Attached you get the points at low cost also get some quality wine to go with them Depending on which way you look at it now this weekend qantas wine is also giving twenty percent off store-wide now at the moment there aren't as many generous bonus point off running concurrently with the twenty percent off. Sale is as imagine but there are still a few for example a case of six bottles of delicious alien evo grenache thereto temper neo two thousand and nineteen. I've pronounced that correctly would normally cost four hundred thirty two dollars and that case comes with twenty thousand bonus qantas points now. I haven't quite like that wine. That even if he didn't twenty thousand qantas points. Four hundred. thirty two dollars is a pretty good deal if you needed some extra points and if you can if you think about it that twenty thousand points. He's moylan enough to boca qantas flight. Rewarding business class from sydney to melbourne sydney brisbane or any of domestic route under six hundred miles. And it's also more than enough for a return economy class trip on any of those breeds with some points leftover in fact and with the twenty percent discount. It's now three hundred and forty five dollars and fifty five cents for that case of six bottles of good red wine and you still get the twenty thousand bonus points and that that mind you is on top of the one point pinole get anyway with qantas wine as well as any other bonus points he might get as a qantas wind premium member or if you are qantas business rewards member plus as the cases over three hundred dollars. You'll get free delivery. Say if twenty thousand quotas points in the case of six quality red wine for three hundred and forty five dollars not might wanna have a look at the current quotas on sale and that brings me to the end of episode fifty seven. Thanks again to my guest. Sam heathfield and thanks very much for listening for more information about anything disgusting. Today's episode check out the episode episode's hilo say find linked to the af discussion thread on the australian frequent flyer forum where you welcome to discuss the podcast or ask me a question to be answered in future episode. If you've enjoyed this podcast. I really appreciate if you take just a minute to review af only on apple podcasts. If you haven't already don't forget to subscribe on your favourite podcasting platform to receive every episode. As soon as it's released graham he'll be back next fortnight with more news. Tips and tricks forest raylene travelers. And until vince save charles.
How to Fly to Australia Without Getting Bumped AIR054
"I hit one year. The australian frequent-flyer podcast is boarding step onboard for the latest news. The entrance for straight travelers. Your captain matt. Graham now invites you to sit back. Relax and enjoy the episode. Get a welcome to episode fifty four of af on. It's saturday the twentieth of february. Two thousand and twenty one full many tens of thousands of australian stuck overseas still getting home in a timely manner and affordable. Price has become a huge challenge. This was made even worse last week. By the victorian government's decision to suspend all international arrivals into that stage yet again which is effectively reduced the capacity of hotel quarantine minister alia by one thousand three hundred ten people a week later in this episode travel agent allan lamb shea his tips and up-to-date advice the people trying to fly to stray beer. At the moment. There are some flight options available including travel next month. But you do need to know where to look also coming up. There's a new way to earn points. Quinn paying tax with an american express credit card panga charge of just one and a half percent. But first let's begin with a roundup of the latest airline and frequent flyer news from the past fortnight and fiscally wrecks and virgin. Australia have become embroiled in a bitter price. War ahead of wrecks launching. Boeing seven. Three seven flights between mellon. See in just over a week from monday. The first of march rex will fly five times a day between siemian. Melvin using least ex. Virgin australia boeing seven. Three seven eight. Hundred's rex had started selling economy seats for seventy nine dollars. One way and business class from two hundred ninety nine dollars but last week. Rick steves candidates prices even further to forty nine dollars in economy or one hundred ninety nine dollars for business costs which is kind of unheard of that price includes checked baggage for all passengers and a snack and drink onboard including for economy. Close now that sale ends on the twenty eighth of february and covers travel dates throughout much virgin australia quickly matched with forty nine dollar economy costs and one hundred ninety nine dollar business clawsf as as well traveled during much. Jetstar is now selling nobody flights from thirty nine dollars one way which is even cheaper. Although that price does not include checked baggage qantas meanwhile has reduced. Its economy class ticket. Prices on that rejoicing. Much to one hundred and ten dollars although business class fares during much still quite high at nine hundred twenty three dollars said clearly not matching on price at the moment and pats qantas feels like it doesn't have to match on price because it recently introduced hot meals during Meal times on many domestic routes in economy class and it will bring them back on old remaining routes from next month in addition alcoholic beverages. Complimentary on all qantas flights previously. They were free on. Some routes like sydney to perth or any route of camera. But on other routes like the fullness city fly routes in brisbane to melvin for example that will only free off to four pm on weekdays. The change means that you no longer need to grab six dollars from your wallet. If you'd like a glass of wine or a beer on conan's flight even if you're flying in economy quantities also bring out a limited edition. Centennary henry beer which is brewed by james squire qantas. This week announced three domestic routes which will begin operating on the first of april. The regional subsidiary qantas link will operate the new direct flights between melbourne and coughs. Haba brisbane in coffs harbour and camera to balance byron bay vision. Australia also announced two new routes this week which will be operated over the easter school holidays and maybe extended as long as state borders remain. Open his demand. Those flights will be from melvin to ballerina and from adelaide to the sunshine. Coast qantas invasion astray. We have also both extended the flexibility available on new domestic flight. Bookings with both airlines bookings made any time. Until at least the thirtieth of april can be changed and unlimited number of times without paying any feats until the end of january next year. He can say cheese to cancel for credit voucher without paying any extra fees. Similar flexibility also applies to reward bookings made using frequent flyer points except the e channel say cancelled as for a full refund of the points and taxes without paying any fees overseas now in the national carrier of namibia and was placed into liquidation. Last week all flights were cancelled and bookings were taken down on the namibian government decided that the airlines mounting debt had become unsustainable although covid nineteen has worsened enemy is financial problems. It was already in financial trouble for quite a fees before now there were media reports that any maybe a could immediately declares insolvency back in september of two thousand and nineteen although those were denied by the airline at the time and it continued to operate until now despite fifteen of the airlines. Nineteen routes being estimated to be loss-making enemy. Be a will compensate. It's six hundred and forty four employees with one year's worth of salaries meanwhile in south africa which neighbors nubia south. African airways could emerge from bankruptcy in the coming weeks after receiving repeated government bailouts and now securing a equity partner. Any zealand has been forced to fend. It's refund policy after it. Initially refused refunds food passengers affected by the airlines. Recent norfolk island flight cancellations past month. The sterling government has twice had to temporarily suspend quarantine free arrivals from new zealand. Gt new covid nineteen outbreaks in oakland. Each time this has happened. New zealand has cancelled its flights between mainland australia. And norfolk island because it says that its crew would be unable to operate these flights without first quarantining australia for two weeks. Any zealand currently has the licensed flights from sydney. And brisbane to norfolk island. And it's the monopoly operated on this route now. The first time an easy one had to cancel its norfolk island. Flights passengers were initially told they could not get a refund. Only a credit or a date change any zealand later. Agreed to refund those specific norfolk island passages as a gesture of goodwill but it stands by its policy that it's not legally required to refund passengers whose flights are affected by government restrictions like border closures. This has been a new zealand's policy since the beginning of the pandemic and it's What it's part of their conditions of carriage and there are still many thousands of new zealand customers. Who haven't received refunds as result for canceled flights. This issue has been quite controversial in new zealand over the last year. According to new zealand's komo's commission any zealand was the most complained about company in new zealand. Lost now last year and is indeed eventually agreed to refund tickets. Covered by united states laws after they complete from consumer ended and the airline also says issues. Some refunds on compassionate grounds but customer advocates in new zealand have recently been pushing any zealand to review. Its call it's hotline refund policy and also to clarify how long passengers travel credits will be on it. Unlike amy's zealand qantas policy is to refund flights canceled by the airlines. Say once new zealand's international border reopens. This is certainly going to be something with considering. When you're thinking about booking trans tasman travel. I would point out a win. Zealand did have to cancel flights to offer colony. And this week passes where this time. Quickly rick re-accommodate on special replacement costs flights which were put up quite quickly. The first isis of the pfizer biontech vaccine to arrive in australia have touched down at sydney airport last monday. The vaccine doses which must be stored at a temperature of around minus seventy degrees celsius arrived on a singapore airlines flight. The covid nineteen vaccination rollout. We'll begin in australia next monday. Vision australia will open. Its new lounge at adelaide airport. Next tuesday qantas frequent. Flyers can now save up to thirty thousand qantas points. When booking classic rare awards for travel on mcgann between adelaide. Alice springs darwin until the thirty first of march and finally. He's a bit of traveling separation. For when the pandemic zyppah it takes around nine hours to fly from delhi to london. But you wouldn't see anywhere near as much just on a direct flight between india in the uk as he. Woody fuel booked a ticket on the new adventures overland bus to a from daily to london. Over seventy days up to twenty two participants will visit eighteen countries across southeast asia china central asia and europe taking insides. Along the way. Like the great wall of china moscow's red square and the ancient city of some condie news becca stone. The journey takes place aboard a luxury modified boss or they travel is do get to sleep in hotels or guest houses on each night and there's a mixture of plans sightseeing and rest as throughout the journey to a participants can choose to take the full seventy day journey or join one of four legs which it's broken up into the food journey from delhi to london vice versa would cost around twenty six thousand australian dollars. Say it's not exactly budget travel but this does include a combination and most other expenses. Actually for seventy days is not too bad and adventures orlando takes care of many of the visa applications that you need to make the first trip from delhi to london was scheduled to depart in. May two thousand and twenty one minutes probably going to be delayed due to the pandemic. That's what's making news on australian frequent flyer come to you this fortnight now. Normally at this point. I'd ask you to follow us on facebook to keep up with the latest frequent flyer news and updates but like most disturbing and publishes. We have been caught up in facebook's recent dummy spit against the sterling governments proposed media boggling card as a result you may have noticed that access to the content on our facebook page has been restricted and facebook is no longer allowing its uses to share our articles. So with that in mind. I'd like to take this opportunity to remind you that you can still get all the latest articles and guides directly to your email inbox for free every monday and thursday morning by subscribing to the australian frequent flags it so if you haven't already subscribed i'd really encourage each take a moment to do. Say right now. There is a link in the episode night to this podcast directly to the page. We can sign up or alternatively if you visit australian frequent flyer qamdo you scroll down the page a little bit. You'll see there's a box on the right hand side of the page. We can put your name and email address to subscribe to the cassette by the way. If you've been enjoying the konta website or in this podcast pleased retail a friend. And if you'd like to also support this podcast. It would really help us out a lot if you take just a minute to leave. Review on apple podcast. Those reviews make a huge difference to apple's algorithm the more get the more people apple will tell his podcast about saying really appreciate that well. If you're currently overseas in china. Get back to australia. United very well. How much starlets fiend. Joining me on this episode of the podcast is travel. Agent extraordinaire allan lamb who is also known as mad restore on the trillion frequent flyer for him and allen is being on this podcast previously the lost episode thirty two bit. I thought it'd be good to bring him back. Owns talk about the current situation. What people can do. They're trying to come back to australia now. Welcome alan i'm good. Thanks so i guess first of all. What are the rules at the moment if you are overseas and you do want to come back to australia. It's not just as simple as getting on a flight. Like he was in pre covid times. It uses a number of changes that have happened in the past months. Where you now need to have a negative test to get into the country you can also get in Generally as a permanent resident or is obviously some exemptions that also plied and a number of other rules and regulations along the way in terms of what countries he can transit. What airlines he can fly. And this is changing Scenarios as well you know we've had a number of changes even in the last three or four weeks and you need to get covid test. I believe within seventy two hours of departure in an in pre produce negative result. That's correct You do need to obtain a negative test results with the sample taken though early than seventy two hours before your first flats pop up. So if you're flying from say london to debiasi by to a straight. The potch time at a london is the time that is used for the seventy two hours and in terms of actually getting on a flight and actually securing a setback strove. That's probably the hottest part of the moment. I mean we've had so many stories about people. Getting bumped from flights that they've booked they had confirmed tickets and gala bump them off their flight and a lot of airlines also selling tickets for travel. You know in in the coming weeks and months which they probably going to cancel and then leaving people possibly without a refund as well. So how'd he know like which airlines are actually running in which tickets You know most likely to actually get you a seat back to australia. That's a tough question. Met set by state lines. To be honest have stood up the pre covid. An airline shaped will still loaded. Flagship store loaded In in the in the systems around the world and so they fall. You know for example. Obviously qantas's started listing their flats from festive july on its international which i think most people think that's popping upright but airlines are any really cancelling and changing foaming dishes about one or two months out from the flat of time. And so you know you. You can vary book flat for citing november later in the year. But at that moment you know what you see you said you is and you'll see united. They might be two three five two day visa. Flights are actually the same as what was what was pay-cuts back in nineteen. The early twenty twenty said these Obviously quite likely to quite unlikely should to operate in because of all The governor has in place seemingly a lot of other countries around the world have seen restrictions in these shows can change very wealthy between say now in there for example yet of course we saw even just in the last week. Melvin stopped accepting international arrivals so anyone with an international ticket into melbourne and over the last week would have been bumped from their flight at at quite short notice. I guess are there any particular airlines or also transit countries. Some most of the flights wisteria do prayed via third countries which are particularly reliable or unreliable at the mine. This number of airlines are Have also made threats about near pulling out of a strategy to the and there's not enough passengers and revenue enough cargo. Full you know Restrictions that were recently placed For pot of january and early february. we've been number of passengers and adding in caps being reduced. There was some airlines like american airlines. I think was possibly thinking about reducing reducing this emphasis at possibly even pulling out I think delta was supposed to be considering the same emerets oversleep quite publicly. Hold the dummy spit and decided to pull up for few days and then came back a week later. Came back a week later absolutely And so you know some of these airlines This some of to more of an egypt reaction than others Some quite reliable. You know at the moment yeah. Cathay pacific is otherwise beaten for example. Been quite reliable up until When the hong kong government decided to impose a fourteen day quarantine on crew and ultimately that is quite drastically affect kathy pacific to australia. Just doing now one week to see me great at the moment. It's they still operating some kagera flights as well on top of that one flight per public to sydney but that one flight this evening at the just the the only one that's operating passenger services actually taking passengers A big issue with that The moment at one flat week may possibly completely disappear That's that's always a big risk with the way things going And it's a big risk with a lot of catholic pacific crews potential choline zeke and deliberately to avoid having to do the fourteen day quarantine and basaltic potentially affect reliability with cathay pacific. And so at the moment. I would actually. Even though previously i would pacific was quite reliable. They probably would be knelt. The least reliable as contrariwise been pretty good. The husband generally pretty good they Were definitely known to have a quite some drastic procedures as far as pumping early on in the piece but yet they seem to have reduced a desist from happening these days auction who had a lot less dumping going with guitar wins Although i have also seen cases but cancelled some services but definitely not as many as Airlines and definitely not as sudden as site in for example. Now and coming up in the us. i think also united cancer very few passenger flights. I would say You they'll delta's got less services than united but delta has been quite reliable so as united american airlines have some issues for a little while But i think i think sorted then outs them. They seem to have been reasonably reliable. Wigan zealand any sealants happy to be an interesting one that they they have definitely operating services and quite reliably sorry especially from these elands except I have heard of Worried about a number of situations where people have tried to checking in zeeland services. It's say they were flying a routing from A to oakland. Oakland seek me Way they've been denied checking that l. los angeles because apparently easy. It's not taking transit passengers. 'twas striding more which i believe he's actually correct If you are acting strengthening citizen so there's been some issues with an easy and checking agency incorrectly. Denying people boarding izzo I've heard of it happening in hong zoll so even though they've been quite reliable this there's been some tv. She's checking staff. And you mentioned before that a lot of airlines are just operating calgary flights so if you're looking on flight radar and he say that a flight is a piece to be operating. it could just be a kagera flight. So it doesn't mean that the actually operating flights with passengers to strata. That's correct that because of the fact that governments have to approve a plan So that got stand to every little detail like flight numbers and taken stops along the way and so forth and all of these have to obviously still conform with the services agreements between the various countries as a result. You know it's a lot easier for nealon's operate a coggeshall under what used to be a passenger flight number and this is simply because they don't have to reapply for approvals and refile planes and so forth and so for them For the airlines. It's easy to get a flight going if they said you re using existing platinum but that they would already have people Unfortunately what that means is a lot of fat websites like five away flats that's Even of airport websites are not quite correct when it comes to looking for information at bats with actual flight is actually operating as a passenger service or not For example with the With effective victorious currently not accepting any international rivals. If you have a look at the mobile april website you'll see that they flat system coming in as the passenger flying but they absolutely not taking any passengers. So i guess for anyone listening here. He is Trying to book a flight back to australia. Do you have any advice for the more tips on what they can do to reduce the chances that they will get bumped off the flight. I've seen the birth situation that people will say a take a quite early cyanide. If they're not planning coming back to australia. Until say later. In the for example september and i might go look at ticket now and book a now There's a trip to key issues with this. The first issue is that obviously as i mentioned earlier Most airlines have not found that michels. And say what you're seeing a line in terms of the flat you can pick from Is definitely the pre ritual and when it's a pre coverage you also don't know what's gonna actually operating the slots may completely get cancelled. The slats a upright. Some flight numbers are more likely to operate than others So this is something that may well entire sorry intel affair amount of research And evidently a lot of risk as well The second issue is when you really are. Obviously the prices below may laid south as they may a lot of the cheaper advanced purchase phase. The ones that you have to say more than more than ninety days before departure these phase would generally be available out far out in japan when you book based sort of face these phase quite low as far as The the ranking is fries revenues consent at any airline and sorry b.'s ultimately going to be bottom of the pile Come closer to departure date and even airlines looking on passengers. The fest wants to talk The cheapest tickets. And unfortunately that means that people get bumps and i have seen this number scenarios where people So i booked quite hit For flight sooner they may six out and these flat out me wants there being bumped from as a result of booking alien getting. It's nice to get a bag but at the same time if it's not going to get you home it's going to take you back even more time because you know. The knicks fought off. That maybe not for another three months. And that means you'll pay from the three minutes with and cycles and the us and it may well become quite expensive off of yeah and we have seen quite a few times where governments have quite short notice reduced the number of passages that the aliens are allowed to bring on the flights and then obviously the passenger the will have said number of passengers booked on flights and they have to choose which ones they gonna take and which ones are going to leave behind and so you're saying the price. The price of the ticket is the main consideration when the lines side Huda bump in who to actually bring onto the plane definitely is the main consideration but also not the only consideration. I have some aliens taking into account status. So if you've got a status with a particular lines align that may be hopeful and they hope from help you from being bumped and seemingly if you've got multiple passages Ideally if he can have ever own one booking they one of these passages status than you will be protected whereas if you've got separate bookings you know they may. They may see one booking passengers status but the doesn't yellow make it the email. Get spit up as far as the price fact that Somebody lines look at the price of the mold and others and some airlines. Don't even look at it. All a varies a lot and ultimately what it comes down to is the cheapest ticket sternly get bumped regardless and that seems to be the patent at every single waylon. Yes i guess to get not guaranteed save at a higher chance of getting a seat back to australia you would need to be booking a more expensive ticket possibly a business class or even a first class ticket. How much do you think you would need to spend. Say coming from europe to australia to actually have a decent chance of getting on the plane. I don't think i personally don't think i classes absolutely necessary. I i personally have not been one of us to come back to australia. And i have been quite successful in booking. People in economy and premium economy comeback. Think of any one passenger and businesses to come back so spy a lot of what he's posted on the incident east entirely possible to come back into konami and it will release possible comeback payment economy. I strongly strongly strongly recommend coming back in premium konami. It means that you are definitely not the bottom of the ranks and you won't truly a white trim from the bottom of the ranks as a result that means that you're coming back a high i would say hundred percent but i've generally found at least with my passengers has been well and truly over ninety five percents As far as pricing economy generally runs for a one way ticket. It's about two thousand two thousand five hundred to Get a flexible economy ticket. And these are the top of economy fare rankings. These quite likely to fly unless the airline has to drastically reduced in the people and they've lots premium economies again. That's generally about three thousand three decimal poverty depending on the podge poured out of europe But it's generally pretty consistent. Okay so if you do get bumped off the flight i'd airlines. He said that your passengers mostly have been successful in coming back to australia. Which is really good. But i don't know if you've heard the people getting pumped are they getting informed of this Very short like with with much notice before the departure time. And if you do get bumps like what can you do. Unfortunately the the biggest issue is that time. Sometimes they'll you'll get plenty of warning you could get three or four months warning the ellen cancels qualifier head. But i've also seen a number of cancellations happened even less than four weeks away And so even yet you might have take at six weeks out. Eight weeks out You may have a situation where you know. The looks good in a little crazy. But come three weeks before you get you cancellation and a lot of assisted with caps paying firmed up by the government and some of it's also weeknight. They can't find sufficient low. There's no kogyo there's enough revenue so they just canceled the flat because Financial reasons and it's it's tough to really you know about that. Reasoning may be but it could be a holy stories As far as airlines helping and helping the rape off not wasting. So it'd be. It'd be more proactive Lately about rape people particularly people who are supposed to find the mobin. The heart restrictions marines national rivals in melbourne. Other airlines is we say to the cancellation email than you. It's up to you disorder. Which is unfortunate. And say. I guess it depends on. The airlines have been sending people to our cities of melbourne yes. I've seen a number scenarios where people being sent to brisbane not so much. cd And fifty seven at light in a couple of as they think there'd been distributed way a lot of it's a lot of happening twenty four hours forty eight hours and that's that timeframe he's roughly when the gun does actually fill up the exact caps. A lunch will be subject to. So there's a there's a general cap that there's a general number that's given to felines and the wep that onto about forty eight hours before departure and that's when the governor will say okay you have exactly thirty seven spots on thirty nine spots in that exact number may be and that swing the airline rule though exactly okay we have spot lifted president and so we can fill those spots with people that were reaching building. Okay i guess for other people though. It probably means getting to the airport and being told actually they don't have a seat which is probably bit annoying. If you've just paid several hundred dollars for taste in the in the last seventy two thousand intel. Toby actually returned to australia. And in the case of other airlines it could just mean that you you might be fighting for months to get a refund if at all maybe you get credit and and then you're stuck trying to book another flight which might not be available for months. So it's it's not a great situation for exciting is definitely one of as there's been the briefcases way people will not receive cancellation emails and so they didn't realize that the flight was cancelled. So i absolutely would recommend that people check they bookings actively To make sure that their flights is still confirmed and If you look at your booking on on the website you obviously see that the floods came towards still confirms generally if you a foster you get him to be able to revoke yourself the possibly get. Yeah now this hierarchy of we talked about the fact that airlines gained more likely to take you higher fair or premium cabin ticket. What about award seats. Is there any chance at all that. You're going to get back to australia. You know using points to say. To the moment i actually did see a cutoff line into melbourne becky. Last month in january that actually had You class which is a business class awards Which was a massive surprise to be on honestly. Didn't expect that to happen. But maybe that was something. But i didn't really would not recommend booking seats the really not the top of this nine. That's right so would it be beneficial if you trying to come back to australia. Typically the travel agent like would there be any benefit working directly with the line through an online travel agent as much as an online try when Travel agent may. We'll be my competitor. First thing i would not recommend is typical with an online travel agent. Unfortunately a lot of these widens have call centers in places like india. The philippines and so forth and lot of these colson agents not very well equipped to handle such a unique scenario troubling to a straightaway the simonyi restrictions and the rival caps. And things like that. A lot of money been aware of these these particular restrictions as that's definitely definitely something that ought to avoid is the book with a lie. Waging another another thing to avoid these to avoid using sites like sky scanner flat compare aggregate or capacity websites these ultimately ascending you to To the sign on. I travel agents and i number of scenarios where your skin throw a lot of Flight options that just possible like for example. If you flying home from europe trains the us get up. Seen a number of Results from sky scanner way. Show you flying from london to los angeles. Los angeles australia. It's not decide scanner. Actually i was reading a couple of weeks ago in the city morning herald. I think it was. They had an article explaining how difficult it was for people coming back from europe and trying to demonstrate how expensive the flight square and say they were showing that the next available like how much the next available flight swear and they're all of the flights they suggested from europe with the united states which calls people could ease even even Like people that should realize. I do actually recall that particular article in there were a number of examples in that particular article. That were very very very police. A law the figures that we are in their in the adequate quantity as well. and so. there's a lot of these sort of catches tippy. Well aware of your people can go online As far as booking there's nothing wrong with booking directly when they learned on facebook groups. I've seen a lot of people who recommend that people directly with the london. It does make it a lot easier and you cut out. Cut out sam having with abc's colson a in regards issues particularly if you do get bumped although some Some ankles can talk to get through to his all booking with an travel as the next human and from yeah particularly independent. travel agents can be advantageous We do have access to most. Sometimes we do have a number of contacts at airlines. We often a lot of internal taxes and the public wouldn't have access to and sometimes these these can be very Getting on higher ed particularly. If you've got a more complex situation apathetically families families it's a can be great benefit because children are exempt from the arrivals caps if you've got a if it's to adults in the key director dunk count towards arrivals caps and so if you've got a scenario where you're actually looking for full seats online. Where we them with nealon website. You may not realize that we can potentially as we can actually push a case to the line. We know we can get through sates for adults but we need to. We'll seats for the kids but the kids. We know don cancel the rivals caps. Can we get these approved. And these scenarios we travel agents at least you the brecon malta. Independent agents can be very useful because they sort of scenario. Maybe we'll get you home much sooner than if he simply tried to poke yourself so just retracing travel agents like yourself might have access to a few extra seats that might not be available to the general public. Quit on top of that. We have other Other things that we can possibly do You know we. Some agents may have automation tools to look for seats To if they find they find the seat they can grab it for you. You know it could be three in the morning whilst to sleeping. They might find that very well may may will be a ticket hard There's all this nour's way you know we can We can get on Can i put you on a waiting list for states. And these ultimately klay before they pay to the general public By being on whiteley potentially get the seat before someone wanted on the night website. And that's really good tonight. Say i mean. I know a lot of people who probably don't use travel agents time but if you are trying to cut back to his tail it sounds like a really good idea to. It's a human being in helping with debt out now. just just finally allen. I wanted to ask you. It's obviously been a pretty tough year for the travel industry and that includes travel agents. How how's the let's be very interesting actually Early twenty twenty years processing got refunds like crazy but I've only got one outstanding refund now. Actually which is a fantastic in our. Fortunately that airline is Surprise when it's pretty widely known that the quantities taking six months plus for refunds at the moment tonga actually was At funnily enough it's actually lufthansa refunds as much faster at the moment tonight so yes Surprisingly they they looked lufthansa's actually going back going back to allowing Travel agents prices refunds again. And so you know we can. We can do that quickly now. In comparison to cornerstone requests manually sending applications for a refund. Otherwise it's been. It's been very different. You know domestic travel overseas. Been quite the down because the internal border restrictions Internationals obviously Pretty much people coming in. That's virtually a we're getting at the moment We have some people will also leaving the country racing. Some people relocating for what will the C. loved ones forth but again very few because you have to have an exemption to leave the country. Yeah that's right many crease bookings at the moment. The i haven't seen a cruise booking fiber year. I keep seeing the ads like in the in the weekend travel sections in the newspapers book a cruise now fixed to your often but not take his own at least feel business. I guess now. I think a lot of my passengers pretty. Yeah pretty saying about expectations of occurs. And i certainly wouldn't even recommend booking crews in them. If i was to get someone come and ask about booking crews i would probably st them away from going so at the moment in a fair enough. Well if there's anyone that would like to get in touch with you. Perhaps they are an australian trying to get back from overseas. How can they contact you They can contact me by email. My email addresses Allen i l. a. n. at wave travel consulate in e. t. w. a. v. e. t. r. a. v. e. l. dot com and in different essien inquiry. Soon as possible. And you can also message me on this railing for could fly. Vr already a member and can send private messages my username on starting to fly mad restock. So that's m. a. d. a. s. t. e. r. k. I can vouch for allen because he did help me get back from europe when the lockdowns began last year and that was a great help. Say if you're having trouble getting back you might want to get in touch allen. Thanks once again for coming on. The eighth put caused appreciate your insights. Think you'll get by the way. If you'd like any more information about this interview or how allen may be able to help you to get back to australia days. Lincoln the episode nights to australian frequent flyer foreign post by allen which has some more details. And if you are right now in trying to get back. I do realize how tough it is to get back to his trivia at the moment how much stress. You're probably on the and certainly not a great situation for anyone. And i really do hope you are able to get home very soon. If you're enjoying the fifth one podcast. An easterly and frequent flyer. Website please consider becoming an air fifth supporter for fifty dollars a year. Silver support is seen ads on the australian frequent flyer website and for seventy five dollars. Gold supporters also get additional benefits including generous discounts on travel goods and services. And we your contribution. You'll also get an af supportive banner beside your foreign posts. Plus for a limited time. V has a special offer for first time members. If you'd like just to get a taste of air fifth membership you can also become a bronze support of thirty days. This normally cost six dollars for thirty days but is now available for a short for two dollars. So what are you waiting for. Become an eighth to support now for as little as two dollars by visiting australian frequent flyer dot com dot u for its upgrade and have caused by becoming an af supported. You'll also be supporting this podcast and helping cape may in a job and if you already do have a payday if membership. Thanks very much on behalf of all of us. It is teri and frequent flyer ongoing support. We really do appreciate it. He might recall at the end of two thousand and twenty in episode. Fifty of these podcast. I discussed at some length how to continue owning points for tax payments made to the by credit card often. George became the last major bank in australia to stop awarding points for payments to the tax office. The main trick going forward now. That might credit cards and his yet don't award points for government. Payments is to use a business to business payment service. Those are things like betabi pay reward peyot yak pay basically with these services. You do have to pay a small payment fee but you can pay the year using one of those services and you'll still get the full points for your credit card. Spend and when i recorded episode fifty last year the payment service with the lowest fees for american express payments in australia was credit rewards and they charge a one point eight one percent payment surcharge plus a fee of one dollar per transaction. But since then a new play has entered the market and become an even better option for amex payments to the government snip. Now that's spelled s. n. double. I pay charges a one and a half the sand payment fee for all credit card payments and that price includes gst. And there's no other fees involved that i'm aware of now one and a half percent is not that great. If you're paying by mastercard or visa you can pay using service like yet pay in that case in. It's a bit cheaper but it's now the best rate in the market in australia anyway. For american express payments as a point of comparison the eighty yo itself charges a one point four five percents amic surcharge. So when you pay the directly with an amex card is one point four five percent and only points potentially at a reduced rate or not at all so one point five percent with snip and the ability to earn. Full points from your credit card. Spend is pretty good now. A few members have already tried using sniper recently and some some my mention have had a few issues for example with getting an invoice. And there's a few other sort of teething problems like that but overall it seems to we working pretty well and if you have an american express card you might wanna check them out. Well that's just over this episode of af on ed thanks. Again to my guest allan lamb and thank you so much for listening for more information about anything disgusting. Today's episode out the episode nights hilo say finally to the afl discussion thread on the frequent flyer forum. Where you welcome to discuss the podcast or ask me a question to be answered in a future episode. If you've enjoyed this podcast. I really appreciate if you take just a minute to review af only on apple podcasts. And if you haven't already done forget to subscribe on your favourite podcasting platform to receive every episode. As soon as it's released i met graham and he'll be back next fortnight with more news. Tips and tricks forced early travelers. And until vince save chuckles.
Can You Fly to Australia on Points During COVID-19? AIR060
"I twenty strenuous frequent flyer. Podcast is boiling step on board for the latest news. Tips entrance for spraying triplets. You'll captain matt. Graham now invites you to sit back. Relax and enjoy the episode. Get any welcome to episode. Sixty of af on the podcast. The teaches you how to maximize your frequent flier points. It's saturday the fifteenth of may two thousand and twenty one. Many australians who have been stuck overseas over the past year have found it extraordinarily difficult to fly home because of the government's low international arrival caps in hotel quarantine capacity limits. Many australians have been bumped from flights that they've been booked on even some passages on expensive paid have been kicked off their flights. That alone people who've booked or tried to pull keesing frequent flyer points but it seems that it is possible to return to australia using points. After all it's definitely not easy and the risk of getting bumped is very high but later in the podcast. I'll speak to an australian who did manage to successfully broken award ticket for her partner to fly back to australia from europe last month and also coming up. I'll take some questions from the audience. About singapore alliance chris flier miles and qantas business rewards points but first we begin with a roundup of the latest and frequent flyer news from the past fortnight. End in news. That shocked many australians. The federal government has predicted in this week's annual budget that is truly as international borders not reopen to most countries until the middle of two thousand twenty two. That's more than six months later than previously predicted and more than two years after international borders to australia with closed in march two thousand and twenty as a result of the revised forecasts corners has pushed back the plan to restart of its international flights other than new zealand until at least the nineteenth of december two thousand twenty one since february quotas had been selling international tickets starting from the thirty first of october this year and vision ustralia now says that it will not resume any international flights into at least december two thousand and twenty one. Either the only exception being virgin flights to queenstown in new zealand which is scheduled to resume in september. There is still a possibility of more travel bubbles opening with individual countries before two thousand twenty two and there are plans underway to bring back a limited number of international students before then as well bubbles with countries in asia or the pacific islands could be next although they have not yet been any specific announcements the australian government's budget documents also night. That the rate of international arrivals will continue to be constrained by state and territory. Quarantine caps are a two thousand and twenty one and the first half two thousand twenty. Two with the exception of passages from safe travels zones such as new zealand which indicates that the federal government plans to continue using quarantine for at least another year but the federal government other than expanding capacity of the howard springs quarantine facility in the northern territory has not putting any new measures in the budget or any new funding for additional quarantine facilities and tens of thousands of australians is still stuck overseas more than a year into the pandemic the tourism sector is hit out at what. It's coaling border roulette. Simon west away from the australian tourism industry council said that the federal budget outlook indicates no foreseeable international market recovery for australia's visitor economy and that is sadly spells fair the tourism business and job losses but on the domestic aviation front things looking a lot better if there's one silver lining from the budget. The federal government now believes that the worst of australia's internal state border closures on our behind us and cornices set to expand its new embraer e one nine hundred jet fleet from three to eight aircraft. Put on more regional. Flights qantas were welcomed. The first of the hombre jets which will be operated by alliance airlines but painting qantas link colors in just a couple of weeks. Those jets based in adelaide and darwin. The jets will initially several between adelaide. Alice springs darwin but quotas now says that it will. They will also fly. Direct between cameron johnson and between adelaide in the gold coast with more a ninety routes from adelaide to be announced in the coming weeks. The qantas link nineties will have ten business class seats in a one to lay out and eighty four. Connie seats in a two two configuration meaning are no middle seats on the plane. The mid size regional jets capable of flying for up to five hours making them perfect for long. Thin routes like dow into camera. Where the boeing seven. One seven doesn't have the range and there's not enough. Demand to fill entire boeing seven three seven quantities also continuing to expand into other regional routes with a new dash eight service from melbourne t burnie in tasmania launching in june. For the past fifteen years. These fruit had been served exclusively by rex. Qantas link is also adding second daily frequencies on some of its new routes like to orange sydney to griffith and sydney to bend guy. And it's putting mobile seven one seven on the sydney to coffs harbour which now also has business class available. Meanwhile rex has dropped f.a.s.t on its melbourne to sydney route to his low. As thirty nine dollars one way excluding booking fees virgin. Australia has matched the low fares which include checked baggage on both airlines and virgin necessarily passengers departing from melvin. Now have access to a second tempera lounge which opened last week to relieve overcrowding at the our temporary lounge at melvin import until the renovations of the main lounge completed around the middle of this year until that happens the temporary club lounge which was the existing one mellon will remain available to velocity platinum members and business class passengers but velocity gold members. Virgin australia lounge members flying seizing complimentary. Lounge passes and frequent flyers of eligible partner. Airlines will now instead have access to a pop lounge located between the afl kitchen and bar and mcdonald's in terminal three of melbourne airport. I've visited the pop up lounge on its first day of operation last week and it seemed like a pretty good temporary solution. I thought it's not the kind of lounge you'd get to the airport early four but think of it as a nice april restaurant where all of the food and drinks off free. The food options including things like toasted sandwiches croissants salads wraps and cheese and crackers and there was a fully stocked by and barista coffee station. There are seats in the back of the lounge with charging outlets and a good you across the field although there are no toilets in the land. So you'd have to walk over to the public toilets nia. Mcdonald's velocity frequent flyers. Six monthly transfer offer is back for may two thousand twenty one with fifteen to thirty percent. Bonus points available when you transfer points to velocity from participating australian credit card rewards program. You'll end fifteen percent bonus points when transferring points division. Australia's frequent flyer program from moist australian bank operated loyalty programs except for the commonwealth bank. There is an additional fifteen percent bonus available when transferring from an said rewards or an did business rewards bringing the total bonus for a customer to thirty percent and american express platinum century and cardholders can transfer to lafayette a twenty percent bonus to coincide with the launch of this promotion ended and haggis bc have now finally resumed allowing. There were woods prime members to transfer points out to city frequent flyer. This is just over a year. Now since the option was suspended you divergent entering voluntary administration and aims at an hejaz spec- where the lost who banks in australia. That were blocking transfers. Still to velocity the hr will see has proposed to reject the request by qantas and japan airlines to form a joint venture on flights between japan and australia and new zealand. Qantas had promised that it would add a new service from kansas to toe care when an eight three thirty in addition to the existing jetstar service if the joint venture was approved by the triple c. That the idea of qantas. In japan airlines qantas also ending jetstar. Kohl's being allowed to coordinate on pricing and schedules to japan when they have such large combined market share between the two destinations. But the triple c. Has this week proved a partnership between velocity frequent flyer and seven eleven quotas club has changed its pricing significantly reducing the joining fee but increasing the cost of membership renewables. It now costs ninety nine dollars for australians to join qantas club which is down from three hundred ninety nine dollars but the annual renewal fee has now increased to six hundred dollars qantas club discounts are still available to australian frequent flyer gold members via the af corporates game and the discount af members is now one hundred and fifty seven dollars on a one year newell or two hundred ninety six dollars on a two year renewal and if members can also save thirty seven dollars on the one off joining fee american express platinum card holders will lose access to their complimentary digital subscription of the australian financial review from the thirtieth of and today is the final day to book qantas flights to a from new zealand in double status credits bonus points quantities giving double status credits on trans-tasman qantas flights booked between the tenth in the fifteenth of may two thousand twenty one for travel between the seventeenth of may and the twenty eighth of february next year. Not only that but with these promotion you'll get five thousand bonus quotas points just for booking a flight to a from new zealand to take advantage of this offer. You would need to register on the qantas website before booking in you can find a link to the registration page in the australian frequent flyer article about this which is in the episode notes or does have a look website. That's what's making news on. Australian frequent flyer dot com do this fortnight. You can stay up to date between podcasts by some subscribing to these trailing frequent flying today the latest frequent flyer news straight to your inbox for free. Every monday and thursday morning as anyone who's tried to travel to. Oh from australia. The past he would know all too well. Getting into or out of the country is no longer just a simple matter of buying ticket intending up at the airport. Australians nowadays an exemption to leave the country and coming back is proving especially difficult due to the low inbound arrival caps in the risk of getting bumped off your flight with so many people getting bumped from flights into his trailer and airlines generally prioritizing passengers who paid the highest f. is for their tickets trying to come back to australia from overseas on a frequent flyer award ticket at the moment is particularly risky proposition. But at least one person has managed to do it when devon digs partner needed to travel to the netherlands earlier this year. She managed to book her partner tickets to amsterdam and back using frequent flyer points. It required a lot of thorough. Planning and devin made sure they were plenty of backup options but in the end it did work out and to tell me about it. Devon joins me now on the one podcast welcome. Hi matt how you doing good. Thanks thanks for your time. Firstly and i guess to start with the fica just let listeners know why did yo part need to go to the netherlands. This year So shall any was Basically offered a redundancy at her work so she knew she was finishing up work in december and her mother was showing increasing signs of dementia Just in harlem. Just outside of answered them and So she you know the combination of knowing she was going to have a break basically with work and it was just before christmas. Meant she said. Oh it's a perfect time for me to try and travel to see my mom and spend some time with her. We were supposed to be there for your vision. In twenty twenty eight in may but obviously that got cancer the covid so was quite a gap and like her mom's eighty six and she really wanted to see her and shalini originally from the netherlands. Right correct yes. Yeah yeah on harlem. Yes so it's important to be there for mother. I guess and it was a difficult for her to get an exemption from the trailing government just to leave the country in the first place. You look. it's been such a moving feast that you know when she really decided she wanted to go. She did a lot of the research about exemption categories and so she went and laboriously got all the paperwork from her mother's doctor. You know demonstrating her kind of compassionate grounds and got her own. You know very detailed letter of washington wanted to go and just you kinda did all the compassionate grounds steps but then I don't know if it came up in the news that things have changed. I think the whole category of going for three months kinda became clear as a basically an easier pathway. And she i don't know if she'd read it or Basically she applied and within twenty four hours. She was approved to go on the condition that she goes for three months. Yeah and i think if you take that option like if you apply on the basis he going for more than three months which is one of the newer options. It was introduced novosti. I think you have to sign a step dick saying that. You understand the risks of coming back right. i think. I don't remember. But i'm sure she must've done But the main thing is we were tasmania on a little holiday and she put an application like the day before we left and within twenty four hours. She got prove okay. I really understood that. It was a junior officer approving three months applications but as opposed to when you go to compassionate grounds it goes to a more senior person. That's why you're getting rejected. Is there much more scrutinized when you say you're going for less So ironically it didn't seem like no one ever followed it up to know if she was gone for three months or check flights. Because they know that you can't book your flights approval so they never actually seem to check flights to know if she was going for three months. Okay i mean in this case when she was of course it once he got the exemption. I mentioned the booking. The outbound ticket to the netherlands shouldn't be too difficult. What did you end up looking for. Get amsterdam. She was quite. I mean the nevins is having a huge spike in covid in December january. Actually shut down for the first time so she was very worried about traveling without health. Insurance travel insurance. You know which obviously didn't wanna catch yourself so one of the factors when we're looking at tickets and everything was you know which airlines actually who'd insurance and emerets you know. We happened to find an emerets. First class Working and And it came with this thirty days covered insurance as well which is like a double selling point. Not only that. We first class seat came with this insurance that none of these other airlines. I don't know maybe some are now but it was a nice bonus to have that little bit of security. If you catch it on routes so i kind of looked into all the different There were quite a few flights. Because this post christmas january she decided she wanted to go around mid-january and so this is about new december late november when i was looking at tickets so there's a good six months notice i guess for aiming to come back mid april ideally was the plan So getting the tickets out wasn't hard I booked about six flights with a couple of days in between on as many images could with like emirates qatar. it's he had an cafe And at that time if you recall emerets stopped flying astray for a week. Yeah and Things like that like you just can't predict. Yeah no i mean so So i had. I have points in. We both have clinton like american airlines and qantas and and some singapore airlines malls and we don't have status then either their lines or any airline at all But i knew having all those different currencies through your podcast and live in ours. And all the learnings. I've been doing trigon. Flyer would be helpful and basically having options and they're all refundable so When her the ticket first class to became available you know and that was the first flight. I just cancelled all the other ones on. Yeah so these are would bookings using frequent flyer appoints and of course the lines of being generous. It's letting accounts for free. Say i like the idea of just booking flights on you know a few days apart and just Saying which which which one works and nuggets in this case i tweaked out using quotas points. That's right yeah. It was actually cheaper than normal for qantas emerets. I like it was. I don't know if changed him of their ticketing but but i was like four hundred dollars in texas and usually is super expensive and i was like. Oh that's worth it. Yeah they did actually decrease the taxes on imports. It would bookings around the middle of last year. I think that no one's really notice because no one's booking amherst we'll tickets at the on almost nobody but so that that worked out fine to get to the netherlands but then three months later of course. You need to come back to australia and as we all know. There's a huge risk of getting bumped from flights especially for an award ticket. Or even if you're on just pay ticket and it's not one of the sort of top full fare business or communists sort of fake losses. So did you use the same strategy to get back to spooking. Lots of different tickets. That are refundable. Yeah look i Definitely did you end up ten Different tickets home. Eight of which were frequent flyer Awards and then to pay tickets. And i had just booked eight kind of frequent flyer to get switch. We're starting mid april through kinda late may And you know it's just about what was available. Because i had six months notice really. There was quite a bit available. But i really diversified like which hub's going through hong kong going through all the kind of emerets se hat in qatar. Like all the. He's how the main thing that she really didn't wanna transit more than once so wanted one hub one hop from sydney to amsterdam which was not always easy. Obviously that limits your choices. And i don't have any star alliance Besides chris it only meant i had to kind of one world plus singapore And so it was enough diversity that Yeah we were able to book many. But i started to read some of these facebook groups like a stray and stuck around the world of So many people being bumped coming home. That i started to freak out. And that's when i booked some tickets. 'cause i thought okay it's actually when i'm if my fiftieth birthday coming up next week and i don. I wanted to be home So i actually Paid for first class. Emerets ticket Which would've got her out of quarantine on my birthday. Last resort as old as the other cancelled right about the eighth in line of all the other tickets that i had booked before i was kind of a last resort yet and so used qantas points. american airlines advantage miles in singapore airlines chris flier miles to book. There is eight award tickets and then as he said paid for two refundable business and first class tickets just in case none of the words over fundable so with a book sort of few days apart so that if the if the first one cancer then you could just try the next one and so on. Yeah pretty much. I mean it really depended on what was available and sometimes i was checking constantly in on this group. And there's you know these sort of groups constantly seem people's experience and learning things like I knew that it would be really bisky to book. Two different airlines but qantas came up with this. Klm malaysian airline combination on points. Once and i was like i'll give it go. You know and of course. The malaysian airline. Like got out. And then of course made the ticket on viable. So i think sticking with one airline all the way through is definitely the way to go Which already limits me. Because i don had you know how so many airlines from amsterdam that would fly to sydney australia. So you into your ended up getting back. She ended up getting back rather on the fifteenth of april on singapore airlines. So you ticket. So i'm i'm only new to playing around the singapore airlines Thanks to your podcast and things that should encourage you to Play with beyond qantas and beyond you know and i was actually a virgin credit card and luckily had been reading the tea leaves and saw that you know version was not gonna survive and moved on my points in singapore Just before that all collapsed. So i had plenty of points in. You can book your partner randy. Actually anyone i think on chris. Flyer like You get five redemption nominees any. Yeah that was really helpful because qantas. i mean. she's my wife you know. We're fine in terms of being family. But you know when you're trying to help a friend or your other family. Sometimes it'd be tricky to prove. You know that sort of thing. Yeah and so. It was one hundred. Sixteen thousand chris flier miles and fifty seven years in taxes in the end to actually successfully get from sydney on in singapore airlines business class. Yeah and that was the very first flight that ibooks which is because she left on the fifteenth of january literally three months and she was gone and that was I've been reading the blogs. You know the facebook groups saying that. Singapore is really reliable but no one had ever talked about points like whether they're reliable come home on point. So i had no you know no way of knowing whether it would be you know viable or not in the m. When she was on that plane she said the amsterdam to singapore. Like was one other person in business with yourself. Everyone of say twenty or thirty people on the whole seven eight seven or whatever it was. We're going to australia new zealand. Basically well and and So only one other person that i like and then coming home. From singapore to sydney. She says twelve but So again just the thirty people sort of next plane kind of idea. Yeah it's all well and so so that was That that ticket was actually decided. That's really. It's a really handy tape tom. I mean of course. It's not a guarantee that it's going to work for everyone every time but It has worked view that singapore airlines he's actually booking to the caps in overselling the flights which is really handy tonight. And i understand the You had quite a few award tickets that had already been cancelled by this point though as well. That's right so that was a book that one in november and You know 'cause. I'm new to for. I'm not familiar with this systems in but when i saw it i grabbed it and then And then i thought oh i better keep looking as many backups. In so i kept looking over the subsequent weeks and weeks before she left and found I think one other qatar qatar business That everything is a business basically because there's no first class anymore. I think from australia Amsterdam at least destroy. Maybe emerets. But i couldn't find any those 'cause he wouldn't book economy on an award not not necessarily because you don't wanna fly connie but just because there's no way you're going to get back into his trailer on an economy. Exactly no that's right so So yeah books guitar using american airlines points because then you get Much less checks is in qantas. Oh i think only paid less than one hundred. Us dollars in texas whereas qantas would be like five hundred dollars in texas for the tar on key sweets That was two days after the singapore. Then i found a whole bunch of cathay pacific flights Like the day after that guitar. One in april and then a couple of ones in may and because cafes quite cheap on american airlines and qantas i just you know used one or the other currencies is pretty much the same cost in terms of points in malls and texas But all those pretty much got cancelled by cathay at least a month or more in events i think partly because of the whole hong kong fourteen day quarantine yeah in cafes massively scaled back their flights to trade adding that his have one flight a week to cd now is something. Yeah but i think that a couple of ones that i'd booked later in may which ended up canceling myself. Because of the she she was already home They had just changed the date on me but they hadn't actually fully cancelled them. So i think that i maybe could've tried to get to. I think it was a monday that they were flying on. What is that much sydney that it could have been possible. But i just didn't need to so i. I canceled them. The the writing is probably on the wool. Anyway yeah that's right Home so it was lucky but having a love. This backups. Just made me feel more secure But then there's also an it head Flight i books on the american airlines Which changed originally from a nice twenty four hour connection to then a sixteen hour layover and eventually than they cancelled like two months. Later so Yeah that didn't go anywhere. So what happened when they consider the like. When when all these bookings have hannity get notified. All your tickets cancelled. We're gonna re. Oh no a lot of times. They don't notify. You really have to be vigilant like we had to keep checking like and we both did it like because it wasn't only like some of those cafe flights depending on whether it was quantity americans. They don't always get ticketed so my book and think oh good that's all sorted and then there are actually sitting in a system and they hadn't actually been ticketed so we have to keep checking all that stuff and then do that process. We'd see oh wait a minute. This is no longer kind of schedule change. And you're like oh wait. A minute is still viable and then you realize not and so. You couldn't take anything for granted you had to keep checking it and Seeing defined flying out of your hobday leaving from So there's a lot of work. I think all the time. Yes so in the end. It's obviously wiped out for you but as you say quite a lot of work and do you think just the average person would be able to use the same strategy of booking multiple different awards and a few paid flights on successive days. That are refundable. I think i mean what what we ended up doing. In the end. I mean having the ten points go was A luxury that you know. I could do because we had all these different points but the two things that gave me security was buying a paid qatar business and then in the nfc paid emerets first quest to get a couple of days apart after about four or five. That's in florida tickets. Because then i felt like okay. Look they're gonna look after a ten thousand dollar ticket and was doesn't euro those dollars. Yeah for the emerets. First class to get one wife meant stem sydney. And i thought at least i can rest easier if all the ones don't work So that's the kind of security blanket for me that i kind of worked hard to make sure that we can fire. You did work but couldn't control anything to answer your question. It's not easy but it's sort of actually got nothing to lose so i posted to that Strange around the world group for example. My my whole experience in my success story for like of Flying her both ways on points. And i kind of peppered it with look. i know. this isn't normal. Most people don't have points and you know. But i'm just trying to help because if you do have points. He's got nothing to lose to try and book on these flies family member which might have points exactly so you know and i think people who are soccer really in you know. They're obviously a lot of them. Very hard financial positions and a lot of them. Don't know anything about this stuff so But yeah if you do have founding members stuck you can help you can help them these tickets and you have nothing to lose because your points with your funded gave. The flights cancelled and so other than the very low number of passengers on the flights back at the ec two passes business class for stamp to singapore then very light laid to see. Was there anything in particular that shalini noticed that was unusual about the travel experience. Well look a lot of things were cut back. I mean flying over. She flew emmerson. I and even i it was Very minimal contact between herself and the crew so they would bring out a big thing of snacks. Just give her the whole ball basically and played everything up in one. You know one meal. I've every course on one plate rather than having multiple dealings She didn't get any pre champagne. You know pre departure champagne No no pajamas I don't think. Singapore gives them any kits anyway. But like you know so a lot of the substandard business class. Trappings lounges like In sydney there was No launches open at the time she got like a tiny voucher for you. Know the two. Eateries there are open and Answered them as well. There was one not very nice lounge. But you know she was. I think it's dreadful. Yeah exactly so. Yeah i think it was. Is you know. Singapore is known for its service but she couldn't experience any of it because they were so careful and she didn't mind she was just happy to be playing. Yeah that's good tonight. Tissot expectations as you say. I think that to be just thrown to been able to travel anyway so wouldn't be too much of an issue but it's good to know like if if that's what you're going in expecting the usual immigrants first class is tackling not quite what you're getting it. Yeah and the other thing about Flying business which Was beneficial particularly coming home is she. You know was obviously first off the plane and like she had read through other kind of facebook groups like the mandatory fourteen day. Quarantine group about Being first on the bus so that you can ask for an upgrade once she gets quarantine Shoes lucky in probably jumping ahead and your question but she got At the sheraton grand sydney hyde park. Which is a nice five star hotel but She wanted to air and you know to see if she could upgrade and they basically said sure you can have an upgrade for twice the price so six thousand dollars for a balcony. That's interesting so she ended up in quarantine at the sheraton which was allocated to her by whoever does on arrival and ensure well she's offered it and she decided she didn't wanna pay dollars per window. You know on some air so it wasn't a fun fourteen days but they catered to her vegetarian very well. She had a bath and kind of her main and she's able to rent an exercise bike Through people who basically are posting to the facebook group about you know this person will get a bike delivered to your room. And so you know maybe experience very manageable and you know we just tolerated for fourteen days. Oh that's really good. I've had very mixed experiences about hotel. Quarantine some said. It was a k- some said that it was the worst thing they've done in they live. Say that that's really interesting. You've mentioned a couple of facebook groups if if sterling's they coming back from overseas what are the groups that they should be joining ticket help from other people in similar situation yeah So the one. I guess that i started with was trillion stuck around the world. Which is really. It's so many sad stories of people but also They post a lot of travel agents as well so for people who really wanna like not able to do the work that i did. I guess you just want to pay ticket of these experienced. People know which hubs are flying which not flying and you know all those kinds of things that just put on a online travel agent or something. You don't realize that that's a ticket that actually doesn't exist. You know and and people are not getting refund refund so that was helpful tips and information on that and And i actually posted to the group back in december. When i was planning all this and said has anyone had an extension luck with points and absolute nothing like no one had had any one basically had any luck and everyone was saying yeah. Good luck yet. You other person. I've heard from his being able to book tickets coming back from europe in during the last year really on points and be successful. Say yeah he just goes to show your holidays. It's not hard to leave. I think on point so. I checked for a friend who wants to london in the next couple of months and it's actually a lot less than it was back in december january But also that's london. It probably depends on your hub where you wanna go to and all those. I think i had heard of one person. He came back from the united states on points. But that would have been. I think it was on delta or united and it was one of the more expensive like flexible awards which cost like three hundred thousand four hundred thousand miles one of the saver awards so yeah i guess it depends on where you're coming from as well and the program that it yeah quite quite difficult but it can be done and you've been able to prove that say that's really really interesting. Thanks a lot for joining me on the podcast and all the best race and if you're an australian stock overseas or in her toe quarantaine and you're interested in either of the facebook groups that devon mentioned during the interview there are links to both of those in the episode nights. Did you know that you can get more from your australian. Frequent flyer membership upgrading to silver or gold membership for his fifty year. Silver members see no advertisements on most af website pages and fernley seventy five dollars a year. In addition go members can receive discounted travel woodson services valued at over four hundred dollars. Pay including discounts on qantas clump expert flyer nord. Vpn and more gold members also receive in a fifth supporter anna besides the forum posts as a way of saying. Thank you for supporting the website. And supporting this podcast for more information visit us trailing frequent flyer dot com to new ford slash upgrade. This night i received a common tend to question. I guess from melwood on the discussion. Thread mel welsh says firstly matt. I'm still enjoying the podcast. There are valuable summary of the latest news. Thank you so much for that. And no world has one comment and one question so firstly this person says there has been much negative commentary around the singapore airlines crease. Fly policy of having a time limit on points. My wife is affected. So i'm not in favor of expiring points but solution is to fly enough to gain pbs. And then the points whenever expire as long as you can maintain this level of recognition. Our which mohan says is not easy. They'd the borders closed more. Yes that is that is true. That is a fact a few our club member. Your chris fly. miles indeed do not expire. And even if you then Lose your pay. Ps club status. Your entire balance will then reset for another three years from the time they lose it so that is a way to stop one a very very few ways of stopping your singapore airlines chris flaws from expiring that. Yeah i think you've hit the nail on the head and you said that you admitted it's not easy with the borders closed now. I mean just a bit of context for people who might not be familiar with pay. Ps club singapore airlines has sort of two elite programs. They have the elite souverain gold status which is kind of equivalent to star line silver and gold but then they also have a separate status program code club which stands priority passenger service. And it's kind of like the qantas platinum one nor the champs lounge of singapore airlines to own aps club. You'd need to spend at least twenty five thousand singapore dollas on singapore airlines business. Or first class. He gets within a year and airport taxes. Don't count towards that so in reality it's probably like twenty six or twenty seven thousand dollars on s q business or first class tickets now if you can get there. It's you know it's worth having like you. Miles expire and of course as many other benefits and if you have millions and millions of chris flier miles at risk than it is an option for however i would suggest that this is probably gonna be quite difficult for most raelians while the borders remained closed in several tourist. Singapore is restricted. If at point we Do open up a trouble with singapore and actually flying singapore airlines business. I take it is an option. Then kuby settling to look into Although that's not looking like it's going to happen anytime soon. Nelson oppose unfortunately just going into another lockdown. Now melwood also says you discussed points being lost on the death of a member in the last episode if one had a terminal illness and could not fly anymore or otherwise us up the points. Could you book flights for your redemption nominees. Even travel may occur after the members death and with the nominees be able to use the tickets I believe sir as the points usually leave your account as you book the itinerary service Yeah now as as you say yeah. I'm pretty sure that would be fine. I don't see any reason you couldn't do this As long as the award bookings would take. It hid before the man died. If it's one of those programs where the point so the miles get forfeited upon the death of the member. I'm saying you could do that. Absolutely however what. I would probably suggest if If this is a family member and the program allows family points transfers so qantas in velocity. Do allow these for example Look into transferring the points into other family members accounts before this person passes away if the program does allow. That would be my suggestion now. I received a question by email from james. who asks. can you think of any reason to leave. Quotas points as business rewards points if you have business rewards points in their account rather than transferring them to stand quotas points now slouched give a bit of context here for people who might be familiar with the qantas business or woods program. So it's the it's the business to program. I guess qantas an abyan together. A business awards account and basically You can earn your or your business can increase business rewards points and then one business rewards point is worth one quotas point you can transfer out you quotas business reward points to quote free can fly member be yourself or a family member or maybe a staff member or a friend or anyone else but you just have to transfer at least three thousand points at a time. Now i have a qantas business rewards account and a regular transfer points from that to my account. And i mean they don't really worth anything in your business awards account so i don't see much point really in keeping them in there although if you don't need to use them right away there is no harm really in keeping them in your business awards account and Points transferred business awards. Do not count towards points club anyway so that might be. That could have been one reason that you might keep them in your account so that maybe if you've already qualified for points club this year you might want to save them and then transfer them in the next year but they don't count anyway towards that so it's not much point in not transferring the machines you have enough to transfer out. There are a couple of reasons they might keep them in business awards So in particular. Because you do need to trance have at least three thousand business rewards points in your account To transfer the night. You wanna make sure you might wanna make sure we always have three thousand points in the say that They on stock. If you end up having a low balance and keep in mind that business rewards points do expire after eighteen months of accounting activity just like qantas frequent flyer points so you don't want to risk having expired without being able to transfer them out although it's not that difficult earned more corners business rewards points for example by buying wine. If you're not yet sure also if who you want to transfer the points you might also want to create the menu. Conus business awards account for now so that whenever you ready to transfer the now you can transfer them to someone other than your family member so remember like i was saying if we can transfer qantas frequent flyer points between family members. Can't transfer them or not within the program conditions anyway to transfer them to people outside of your family so if you wanna keep some points that you can transfer all the paper. We might want to keep them in your business. Count for example. If you have a question that you'd like to ask me feel free to posted in the air faith on air discussion threads. That's the best place to do it. And you'll find a link to that thread in the nights for this episode. And that's just about all that. I've got time for this guy but before i go just a quick shout out to luch g nineteen seventy-three who kindly left to review on apple podcasts. In this four night saying that They find the podcast fantastic resource. Thank you so much for that. Says in the review that he moved from sydney to sydney robert from checks. I guess that would be birmingham in the uk. Four years ago and that af has helped him on a journey of switching from accumulating british airways avalos to qantas points. Really glad to hear that. Thanks a lot leak. And if you'll also enjoying this podcasts or even if you're not please do take a moment just to review it on apple. podcasts. I'd really appreciate it and if you haven't already don't forget to subscribe on your favorite podcasting platform to receive every episode. As soon as it's released i met graham and i'll be back next fortnight with more news. Tips and tricks for australian travel isn't until then safe troublesome.
Hotel Loyalty Programs AIR053
"I hit one year. The australian frequent-flyer podcast is boarding step onboard for the latest news. The entrance for straight travelers. Your captain matt. Graham now invites you to sit back. Relax and enjoy the episode gain. Welcome to episode fifty three of a five phone. It's saturday the sixth of february. Two thousand and twenty one coming up in today's episode. How you can get more than twenty thousand qantas points plus a case of excellent red wine under four hundred dollars and later in the episode. We'll take a deep dive into the world of hotel. Loyalty programs for that. Discussion will be joined by someone who knows a lot more about hotels than i do. James green from frequent flyer solutions. Be back but first. Let's begin with a roundup of the latest airline and frequent flyer news from the past fortnight and fiscally moist ustralian states will restore their international arrival caps to pre-january levels from monday. The fifteenth of february following a decision at yesterday's national cabinet meeting but western australia will retain its reduced arrival cap of just five hundred twelve passengers per week until further notice as perf emerged yesterday from its five day. Covid nineteen lockdown from the fifteenth of february new south. Wales will again double number of passengers at takes per week to just over three thousand queensland will restore its capacity from five hundred to a thousand a week and victoria will increase slightly as well as the stralia. The increase in rival caps is welcome news of course for the many trillion. Still desperately trying to return home from overseas but even with lost months capacity increase out the howard springs facility near darwin. The new arrival caps as of february are still below the old caps that were in place before January when the government temporarily half those caps in in many of the states prior to lost month's reduction australia had the capacity to accept around six thousand nine hundred weekly arrivals overseas including three the howard springs facility. The number right now is about four thousand five hundred fifty per week and this will increase from the fifteenth of february to around six thousand. Eight hundred weekly arrivals which is still just below what it was a ago. The government recently said that around thirty six thousand trillions currently registered with dave fat as being stuck overseas and this number has been repeated many times in the media as representing the number of australians. Trying to return but the tree number is likely far haya as many of the papal trying to come to his trail. You have not registered with fat qantas will wet lease up to fourteen embraer. One hundred ninety regional jets from alliance airlines for the next three years qantas plans to take delivery of. Its first three least jets in june this year for use on routes between adelaide. Alice springs and darwin the jets will be crewed by alliance airlines pilots and flight attendants but flights will be marketed by qantas in have accused flight. Number corner says that the nineties which have ten business class seats and four economy seats are the right size for flights between some of australia's regional centers and smaller capital cities. Lie ellen routes like alice springs to adelaide while also offering a great range. Then qantas links. Boeing seven one seven. The nineties can fly for up to five hours. Singapore airlines full service regional subsidiary silkair has been merged into the singapore airlines brand. Singapore airlines will gradually take over service on suk's existing routes starting with flights between singapore and pikit from the fourth of march. Nine of silk as boeing seven three seven eight hundred will eventually be transferred to the parent company and although the merger has been finalized at the moment with many of the airlines. Flights grounded covid nineteen. This was already planned a well before the pandemic began soak it has been a full service. Regional airline since it began operations in nineteen ninety-two but it had been viewed by some as the poor cousin of singapore airlines singapore airlines is now addressing some of these concerns by reupholstering. The seats on its silkair planes. It will also introduce a singapore airlines dining experience on regional flights including book the cook in business clause and on routes over five hours saute skew is fascinating business clause including on routes like hands to singapore which was previously so k. Route these seven three seven flights will also now be stopped by singapore airlines trained cabin crew wearing these singapore airlines uniform. And chris whoa in-flight entertainment will be available to stream on passengers. I devices these flights will also now be part of the star alliance which is great news for frequent flyers with star alliance partner airlines. He previously got no benefits when they were put onto a silkair flight. Although there's no change velocity members because velocity already made a upon of both silkair and singapore airlines qatar airways emirates and cathay pacific are among the latest group of airlines to provide a second year of t. Status extensions to their frequent flyers. Almost every airline gave as you probably know. Twelve months status extension to top team embassy in two thousand and twenty g to the covid nineteen pandemic and the associated travel restrictions which made it difficult for people to retain this status otherwise. But it's now quite clear that the travel restrictions and get lost in some form for longer than one year and so many airlines on out. Granting a second year of status extensions all existing silver gold and platnum members of qatar airways privilege club will have this status extended until the thirty first of december this year and that includes velocity members who took advantage of lost status match meanwhile all emirates skywards and kc receiving mockery polo club. Members will get another fool twelve month extension malaysia. Airlines has announced a range of so-called enhancements to its enrich frequent flyer program to take effect from the thirty first of march unfortunately the changes not all that enriching enrich miles will be renamed as enriched points which is innocent enough But there are a range of changes to the way that points will be ending the feature for malaysia airlines flights number of points needed to redeem for reward. Flight isn't changing but many customers will now end. Few appoints win flying malaysia. Airlines earned right is going to be based on the ticket. price the amount of distance flying and your status earning status will also become more difficult for many customers under the new enriched program with a new system of owning elite points as they're going to be seen cold based on the class of travel and the category over the distance flaine but the status will actually have nothing to do with the ticket price. Malaysia airlines says that the new program will make it simpler but quite frankly the changes are rather confusing and anything but simple and it makes me wonder if i heard tim's like simplifying enhanced before when describing changes to a frequent flyer program that neither simplifies nor enhances it. Certainly not the first time. I've heard that qantas operated five rescue flights from brisbane. Nc need to norfolk island and back over the last week it came off to a new zealand which normally has a monopoly between australia. And norfolk island had to cancel all of its flights. Leaving hundreds of travelers stock any zealand said it was unable to operate. Its usual flights because of the temporary suspension of the one way trans-tasman bubble last week. Stralia stopped allowing quarantine free arrivals from new zealand for six days. After three nineteen cases where to take an oakland ave the trans tasman quarantine for flights have since been reinstated. any zealand. Said that operates flights to norfolk island. It's crew have had to quarantine in australia for fourteen days. virgin australia. Ceo jane hood leaker has worn that. Three thousand jobs at the airline could be at risk if the federal government doesn't extend job kepa continue providing some sort of support for the aviation industry will international borders remain closed and domestic borders remain fragile misheard lake had told the abc's the business program that the airline was now only operating about thirty five percent of it's normal domestic capacity when it had planned to be at back at about sixty percent by now if not for the border closures misheard lakers said that the airline will have to make tough decisions on how many people they can afford to keep on the books going forward when they don't have any guarantees of the borders being open her consent echo many similar statements from qantas ceo. Alan joyce over recent months and the airline see. I do have a bit of a point about border closures. They do remain unpredictable. And we still have situations where state governments that closing. Their borders twins highest states. Not just hot spots hall states over one colonel virus case and then white weeks to reopen over the past week. We've been in a ridiculous situation where there are more restrictions on people travelling from sydney to perth than their off from perth to sydney or even though perth was in lockdown most australian states and territories did put some restrictions on travel from perth western australia this week and the northern territory also declared ten. Melvin suburbs hotspots after there was an outbreak announced the during the middle of the week but queensland and the northern territory reopens to sydney lost. Monday leaving western australia. Now is the only state that requires quiz. Fourteen days of quarantine for people arriving from new south wales qantas is reportedly considering expanding its sizeable portfolio of non airline related businesses with the launch of qantas. Moyale the service would utilize the optus mobile network and qantas would likely offer generous amounts of points to attract customers to take out a twenty four month plan. The idea is still under consideration from qantas qantas. Frequent flyer members can free points everyday throughout february up to two hundred. Eighty quantites points in total by completing the qantas frequent woke challenge on the qantas wellbeing app app uses. Ken completely challenged by taking at least seven thousand five hundred steps each day and get ten points per day that they do even if you don't actively collect qantas points. These free points are hannie way to prevent the rest of your existing quotas points from expiring as though count as activity on your account and of course they free quotas point state expire as long as you own dame at least one point every eighteen months qantas bowl being appeases. Ken end points for completing the daily challenges including asleep challenge and even for completing around the house as checking a smoke alarms clearing god his. Oh checking your car. Tires and american express is also currently running also customers with an american express explorer or qantas amex premium credit card. If you have one of those cons you can get an easy five thousand bonus points by adding an additional cod by the twenty six february. That's what's making news on. Australian frequent flyer dot com this for nine. You can stay. Up-to-date between podcasts by following australian frequent flyer on facebook or subscribe to the as jove frequent flying to get the latest frequent flying you straight to your inbox for free every monday and tuesday morning before we get onto the main topic of today's episode. I wanted to draw your attention to a cart sale with qantas wine. If you ever need a few more qantas frequent flyer points For example if you just short of a particular award ye can of course by top points from qantas but these can be quite expensive a much more cost efficient way if if you are a very tain of course is to buy a case of wine from qantas wine. Qantas coin regularly runs deals. We can get ten thousand and fifteen thousand or even sometimes twenty thousand bonus points just for buying a case of pretty good wine and that's on top the one point per dollar that you earn any way which increases to three points padilla full quanta spine premium members and five points. Padilla if you'll also a qantas business rewards member now here's the thing. The amount of money you be spending on a case of wine is often less than it would cost you just to buy top-up points directly from qantas and of course when you buying points. Don't get any line with that. So by buying wine you spend less overall and get the same amount of points or more and also a nice case of pretty good wines is an added bonus and even if you don't drink wine bottles could be nice gifts for example now qantas winds bonus point officer often pretty lucrative but with the current ceo which expires on the eleventh of february. It's probably the best. I've seen for a long time. There's one particular case of red wine which costs you ninety nine dollars in comes with twenty thousand bonus points and that includes delivery because oh desire three hundred dollars come with free delivery or if your premium member than odors Free delivery if you were to buy twenty thousand points from qantas it would normally cost you six hundred and forty five dollars. At the moment you can actually get a twelve percent discount on top points but the price is still a five hundred sixty seven dollars sixty which is a lot higher than the three hundred ninety nine dollars. You'd be spending on that case of red wine and there's various other cases available for like four hundred and eight dollars and and Not that much more expensive than that. Twenty thousand quotas points is more than enough just to give you an idea for a return economy class flight or a one way business class flight on any route under six hundred miles so that includes reached like sydney to melbourne camera to brisbane. Or even see me to load. How islands in you might a return ticket to lord howe island only cost you over wallover thousand dollars if you're paying for regular if at the moment there are also a few cases which cost two hundred and ten dollars and come with ten thousand. Qantas points is a bias. Have a look at the article linked in the episode nights. If you're interested or jump onto the swine websites and this is not a paid promotion. It's just a really good deal. That i thought i'd like to share with you. Want to learn how to maximize the value in frequent flyer programs. If you're new to the frequent flyer points game or perhaps he'd like to perfect your travel hacking strategy. You may be interested in the frequent flyer training program offered by our sister website. Frequent flyer solutions the frequent flyer solutions. Training consists obtain easy to follow online courses with topics including credit cards. Earning buying in redeeming points airline status hotel and supermarket loyalty programs and how to find cheap flights if you don't have hours to seep through online forums. The training explains clearly all of the tricks and strategy need tonight to make the most of your frequent flier points and most programs for more information visit. Frequent fighting dot com donahue. Well off often on this podcast. We talk about airline loyalty programs. Frequent flyer programs how you can earn points. Hey can redeem points and how you can take advantage of status. But of course airlines don't have a monopoly on frequent flyer programs in hotels are also important part of the travel experience joining me again on the podcast today. Talk about hotel. Ot programs is james green from frequent flyer solutions. Welcome back to af owner. James thank you. That's be it's nice to have you back. It's been a little while. So i guess first of all can you just explain for ellison's he might not be familiar so much with hotel loyalty programs just an overview of how they wick. Sure as you alluded to it. It's not that much different to airline loyalty programs in some ways. Basically you join up online with the hotel program of your choice or firstly with a number of them and you book a room pay you money. Stay at the hotel in for that. You see points. Depending on the hotel program those points can be redeemed for benefits. Perhaps the most common inefficiencies i free night or free nights and they also have status label. Same as ayla pregnant. Do so when you join you become a member or club member of ice right member. Whatever is gold in the particular program and then depending on how often you stay or in some programs much money spent if regrets after the slightest levels. Amicus the beneficiaries At increase as you get the higher status levels instead. What are some of those benefits of status with a hotel. Loyalty program will in general things such as Free upgrades upgrades to a high class of a couple of wendy's free wifi as you get the highest status liberals fast wifi of a great limit on how much intimate eakin news for some programs at the highest levels you get a guaranteed earn availability of things. You get complimentary breakfast beverage. Credits will discounts welcome drinks. Welcome gifts discount on rights is a common one and of course you get points for nights and if your highest status little usually get bonus on top of it some of the premiums give you the fifth night free when you booking on points free bottle voters common one while the others these some china have results where you have access to maps canoes and that sort of thing for free you might have had resort judged if you're of so status and some programs rather than give you free nights. I have a little experience with. I might give you something around the around that particular area that would be reasonable benefit to one of the benefits. I think find the most useful in. It's just a basic thing that i have some status with a few different hotel lousy programs and the early checking late checkout quite often If you have some sort of status with a chain though they'll each checkout sort of in the afternoon and white charge you an extra for that system basically and that's something that i personally find quite useful and so you mentioned that status the hotel loyalty program. It's generally based on nights or how much money you spend or does that exactly. It depends on the program all have their own different ways of doing it peps. A couple of examples might help him on his program. For example they have four levels silver gold diamond and with that program you can qualify for the high levels on number nine. She stayed over the number stays. You have so for example to get the level with hilton which is diamond only need to stay sixty nights or thirty state staving. Were you only at a particular hotel so if you stay for three nights at a hotel. That's three nights or wednesday so you only need half the number of stays as you do not now. I should mention in passing that for this year. I've reduced those qualification levels by fifty percent so diamond is currently only thirty nine to fifteen stays. Compare that to marry it. It's based on nine hundred ninety so for platinum liberal with mary which is sort of similar to dominate some ways You need fifty nuts and it doesn't have any you have got to be fifty one day fifty dollars for fifty states one. Yeah and as you mentioned a lot of the hotel loyalty programs have lost you. They extended the status of their existing members of for an extra year and then in twenty twenty one. Most of them are reducing the number of nights or stays the you need to own this year to renew the status for next year. Or they've it. Alternatively gifted some nights or or stays at the beginning of the year like i believe marriott has useless correct mariot infect gave me twenty five nine credit this morning which was greatly appreciated that halfway to towards requalifying platinum. Yeah that's right. And i guess the thing tonight about the different qualification criteria for nights i stays with hilton. Is that that leaves The opportunity for a mattress ron open. Is this correct. And this. an interesting to impose. It doesn't mean that you pick up the mattress from one till it take it to another vis. Some people may have thought but you basically change from what had until to another side for example. If these i see that has to hilton's problem staying five nights one who told you could stay one night. At the i. I told they moved to the other hotels. Move back and do that every night. So you get up five stays rather than just walk met. I did that in beijing. We moved every morning. We got up packed bags and move from one to the other. It's a bit inconvenient. Having to pack up and move it right it says is my wife. Hates it heavy to do it. If i need to do that to get the donald status which which was why we did when we were in beijing. Yeah and i guess. The benefits of that status are quite valuable and we touched on some of those earlier. And i would leave with hilton diamond. You also get lounge access executive lounge access and there's a whole bunch of other one benefits. So i guess if you're a little bit short could be quite a while. I think we should also mention. There are some benefits. Even if you don't have status with the hotel program just by joining the program and booking director of the hotels some hotels d give you things like free wifi right. Most of them. If you free wi fi as a member some until. I think i think there are still some that you have to be the next level up but generally speaking it suddenly four five nights do progress from the entry level to the next level as wifi has become an. It's become a much more common thing most of them. Now give it free just when you when you first join. Yeah and. I'm just having a low key. Hilton bloomberg's said blues the pace level. Also get like check out So that doesn't cost anything to join. So that's quite a nice feature out nate. You mentioned at the beginning that tha points with a hotel. Oh program grammy we. You can end points obviously by staying at the hotel but other other ways to end points. Yes there. are you You'll find that. Most of the programs allow you to all points and various times of the year. They'll have a promotion especially nail with all the travel restrictions in place the hotel programs episode of the income that i have intrigue. So they giving quite generous benaissa's in many many instances that might be balanced with a number of points that you in entails and points and get another ten thousand five thousand what the case might be or they'll give a discount on the price of buying those points and occasionally they'll give both discount and about us. Yeah and that can be even. If you're not staying at hotels just buying the points can be quite lucrative if you were deeming them for something that obviously has a high value than what you pay to buy the points And intensive redeeming points obviously can redeem them to stay at hotels and it varies by hotel chain. It's a lot of the hotel. Chains like aliens have award shots. Hotel chains have categories and then. The price of a night has a different category. When i talk about that yeah. So that's that's great if you look at some of the bigger chains such as married and have a range of hotels from what they turn blustery to meet range to buy seek a much overuse of turn by secret pepsi's budget or something like that. Obviously the number of points that you would pay for something like old office story. Ah you might expect to pay more points than something like a hampton goal by slipped a high tolls with mary. For example they have eight levels depending on where it fits in the show luxury department in custody more points and i guess the sweet spot there is defined hotels that are in kind of a lower category than what they might be actually worth right. Yes whether it's done by categories will if some other published method you can often find some interesting comparisons way. A cash rightly points right just seem to be completely yet whack. The one that comes immediately to mind is the intercontinental head a chance agape where To pay cash is expensive. Not sure exactly what it is at the moment with both travel restrictions when the a few years ago was ran four hundred and fifty dollars a not but only twenty five thousand points which with it a continental alliance g pregnant. It's very easy to come up with. Twenty five thousand points for outlay the absolutely. That's a really good example of a time. Where a hightower loyalty program is coming out very handy. Of course redeeming for hotel nights is probably the most common way he kennel say. Transfer points for many hotel. Ot programs to airlines. You would imagine that the best value would be within the her delete program itself so basically for you to spend money and and you'll points at that her total within that hotel program using a brand. But i do also to transfer you'll points to a marietta A large number rail lines that you can transfer point stood but most of the other quite some any but that's generally not as good a value as getting a free night at the hotel especially if you pick the hotel undervalued on points relatives of the cash right. Yeah and the mary. It is interesting because as you mentioned before you can buy points. He can say by points with mary. And i think he can also transfer american express membership rewards points to the mariot bonvie program. That's what they call it. And mary upon with a thirty different airlines including qantas indigenous trailer and and many overseas airlines which have quite valuable frequent flyer programs but where. It's not so easy to earn points in australia. The marriott convoy program can be quite useful for that. I'm also a good option for deemed voto nights g say that you've got a bit of choice there now at staying at hotels not the only way to an status with a hotel loyalty program various different airlines including vision australia right here in australia. Pa with a range of hotel loyalty programs and with the vision velocity program for example if you have velocity gold status you can get an instant status match to hilton on his gold. Or i hitched e rewards club gold philosophy e platinum status. That is going to get ye ida heaton on his diamond status or is platinum elite status. So you can pick yom between the hilton. And i hate steve programs to get a status match to an equivalent. Here and that's available wants. Which do you think is the better program. If any velocity members listening between hilton on his end i had steve rewards club. Well it comes down to what you're actually looking for a thing now. What are the things lead. I use of being a member of of strong. Frequent flyer is that we're all different. Little different aspirations needs different budgets. And so on so it depends on what you actually asked about in general. I would say that if you're looking for free nights the program would be the way to go and if you're looking more for benefits when you actually studying the dough such as lounge Than hilton honors is a better program. Yeah that's a really good point So which hotels i h. There's sort of eight to ten main hotel. Ot programs but within those hotel ot programs there are a lot of different brands. Sort of come under that umbrella of the program. What what what are the main ones that A part of the hilton program. Sure well we filled in the main ones that australia would be aware of. Would be old office story. Hilton doubletree a curio collection is another one hilton gardening. Which is the slight the mac version of of hilton still very nice hotels in the us. You get hampton and there are a few other brands which we really would need mucho. Venus drive yeah and what am i. H rewards club. I h j insight into continental. I told groups have imagined to clinton italy's premium brand and it is brian's under that umbrella region ground plaza indigo holiday inn and holiday inn express. And then you get a few others which again. We don't see token australia. But you see the in europe in the us and american airlines partners with willed of hyatt. Which is the low t. program of hyatt hotels as well so if you have american airlines advantage status he get various benefits with it and and vice versa. And i know that one of the motorola's australia frequent flyer that i've spoken to is. He has top tier status with high it. I think it's cold globalist. And he's very happy with the service that he gets when he stays it At high titles. There aren't so many of those in australia and also united airlines and emirates. Both partner with marianne void bone visa program. We spoke about earlier say For example i have united gold. Status now is able to get a match across to marry a gold When i that united status. And i believe there's also some rain in the in the other direction between mariot end united mileage plus bit so what are the main brands in the program. If you look so you'll see. They've got dozens and dozens of different brands. But might be familiar with a married itself. By marian renaissance autograph collection luxury collection wasting meridian sheraton hotels. J w merits enrages w ritz. Carlton four points by sheraton. Moxie is a new one that they brought out in some parts of year again to southern africa. Then you've got the tis and there's many many more and we should point out the mary at bonville as kind of a Edging of the old mary. It rewards program. It'll say the style would provide guest in ritz-carlton programs. So marian install would midge a couple years ago and all of those different brands came under the mary. A bonfire pana. Said if that's going to at least twenty five or thirty different hotels now. You got a status challenge with mary. Bono way recently. I believe did was actually not that recent. It was two years. And i think that's a lifetime guy. Then it seems like this to affect the beef. I joined the mary a program. And i think they still do this. With most if not all eu members way they off you know sort of a welcome challenge of staying two nights and getting one for free. So i did that when we're reading the southern africa a few years ago and then bidding sti- again because i was using hill so the following year. They offered me to stay odd and get married angle. Which is now actually chinese. The night statistic confused when they merged with a j. so did the twelve laws mckay letting them with merit the following year. They said well. Because i want solid qualified. I i actually stay very often again. Because i tend to waddle too big trips a year on much between the following year. They said well. We haven't seen you wanna come back and again we'll give you twenty five knots towards fifty. You need to average platinum again. So that's what did that just happen to get that. When i was a year for a couple of months i was quite easy to do. And since then they've extended that abs- status twice so of done pretty well out of it. Yeah was also able to get a status much to hilton on the basis of the platinum status with mary and close hilton of extended. That couple talks with me as well. So it's been fairly good except for the fact that we can't go anywhere. Yeah that's the big bummer. Isn't it that A lot of a lot of the hotel programs as we've discussed be more generous with giving out status challenges a status matches then than most of the airline programs. The suddenly hilton end and mary at both. Have the status matches and challenges. You've just discussed and Best western wyndham rewards choice privileges and radisson have various status matches which have publicly available office. So there are suddenly once you've got status with one of the Was one of the hotels. It is not that difficult to leverage that and get a match with another hotel chain now one program. We haven't spoken about yet. Is the coal program which stands for a call leave limitless which we named it anyway qantas frequent flyer announced at the end of last year that from around mid two thousand twenty one day going to have the quite an in-depth partnership with a core so first of all what are the brains that are under the core hotel loyalty program. Yeah well again. The him quite a number Being a fairly large program the ones that we'd be most familiar with the rebels fame up in australia. You've got soffitel m gallery at series which used to be part of reaches a swiss until movenpick which is opening mature in grand mcvay novato. And you've also got paper. It was a sable break free and then they based budget styles. Yeah say quite a lot of different brains in a lot of a core properties. Birth stranded overseas really. You're not a huge fan of the program. I believe why is that. To the relations ago they program. I thought it was quite it was actually platinum. Little with them changed a couple of times. And i just i think the value is they basically you get points which when you get two thousand points you get a forty euro voucher for forty years discount for state but you had done actually earned that many points so getting the two thousand points takes while to add up if you're on the base level because he points earning based based on the amount of years you spend the equivalent at you in europe and you'll status label so if you're Tastes quite a while to get. And then the forty euro discount basically comes off the well direct right but they basically the highest challenge for the room so often i find that the discount rate you get online actually be cheaper than what she can get if you usual. Forty year discounts for. They free pregnant. I don't see a great deal of value in it. Although they also have. I i should go to col- plus which for those who stay until squad to be could be could have some value but the busy program then i think the value say for me and yellow thing met. This doesn't wear you too much. But i'm like most of the other programs. They don't have a senior citizen discount. So go get some good value into some of the other programs. Because i had to be able to qualify for the senior discounts Right now that's not something i've ever looked at and probably white have the privilege of doing for some time. It's good to know. And i believe yeah with the with the echo programme. So they don't have the hotel award charts so any categories of that kind of thing is just. The two thousand points is with a forty year. I discount off your bill. I believe he can also transfer two thousand points to various programs. And you get one thousand for example one thousand qantas points for two points transferred which is also pretty pull value when you consider the low and rate points but one of the things that comes up with the loyalty programs in choosing all program is way the heavy hotels i have available in a coal does have quite a few hotels and industry. They have three hundred thirty. One that gives us the opportunity to use the programming a lot of regional citizen country towns way. You might not be able to with some of the other programs for example. Not only have twelve high tells in australia. Most of those are in capital cities. Go coast canes effect. I think they're any outside of those. At major centres married has twenty eight but compare that to a cool with over three hundred. The benefits do the opportunity to use their programs. Yeah and i guess that's a good point the best program you also depends somewhat on way. You're traveling to france now. Typically ziprecruiter's a caller is a french company He compare event in france. There are fifty eight merits seventeen hilton of which he live in paris. One thousand nine hundred So in that part of the world. Love europe a colon. despite the fact that program doesn't have a huge amount of value. At least they're also you can use and just on that point if you're traveling around regional areas especially you know maybe country towns in the major hotel chains are probably gonna have very few if any properties but then programs like choice privileges choice hotels group will best in which has the best western rewards program might have a lot of options thing. Yes that's correct choice program which you know you have hotels like a country comforted. Call it again. Those sorts of things are quite a few of those in a regional town so they can be useful. Yellow other one is reaches which has hotels in the capital cities. Strive at all so in some of the regional areas for example yousef wiles. You've got ten with bathurst at mount panorama ovary enrich quality in regional queensland and also a couple in victoria and disadvantages. Off a bit of a lack of consistency. Some of their hotels are very very lesson. Some very todd and there's not really much why finding out which are the good ones. John alvin styling. They were looking up something like tripadvisor way. Who knows with a genuine comment on your obviously of the reaches Program is while the nets priority guests rewards that good. I do have a hot expiry on. They points expired thirty six months. Or if you have no activity within eighteen months. So i must talk programs the points to expire if you have no hey now activity but only a couple of at hot expiring with the hot expiry depending on how often use you may find your points expire before you can use them for a free night you do have the option of using some other thing like free drink a bottle of wine or something on the other hand it does have some good benefits such as if you become a black member. Which is the highest here. You get fifty percent discount at the food beverage outlets staying in hotels want to sydney airport at lighted Airport survey quite handy. isn't he. international airport. Reduce high tell is generally pretty good. Endive stayed there a few times. Get if you re looking the airport you can see all the runway action that we know which is also the moment. I believe it's being used as a quarantine hotel like like many of the hotels around the major cities but just going back to the echo programme. They also have you alluded to before this pay program code a core plus. This cost three hundred ninety five dollars a year. Or you can get it free if you have an american express platinum card. It's one of many benefits. I should point out that. Come with the american express platinum card in terms of hotel programs. If you have the american express prem call now that's that is the kaaba costs one thousand four hundred and fifty years so it's not cheap but it comes with among the many other travel benefits yet hidden gold status. Mary gold status radisson rewards gold and until the thirty first of march anyway. You also get shangrila. Jade status now. American express is going to end its punish with shangrila on the thirty first of march. They see so you've got until then take advantage of that status if you have shangrila jade status already from your american express card. As over thirty first of march that will be valid until the end of two thousand and twenty one. now that's interesting because shangrila jade status. If you have that you can then get a status match. With singapore airlines over to krisflyer silver status and then complete a challenge by taking three singapore airlines flights in four months to to singapore airlines kristi gold status. So something to keep in. Mind if you have an american express platinum card. So i think i know the answer to this it to wrap up. Do you think that hotel loyalty programs overall the with it. Yes oh into. But i think you need to do homework. And she's the program that suits your needs. You need to travel as we mentioned before a budget level. You that you'd only stay at willie free to to a paid membership in what you get for those paid memberships and how often you actually get to take advantage of it. What do you think is the most worthwhile benefit of joining loyalty programs. If i tells well for me It's interesting because this is a couple of things. Which i i like and i actually mentioned on the websites sites. What are the benefits. High finds woken cancel without penalty. Most of the talk so for example. You'd just joined. You can book a hotel in europe. You don't have to pay a deposit to have to put your credit card details on your costs but if you through quotas tells you pay for the hotel upfront app quoted. She can't cancel that. You have to wait to get. Your refund may or may not come fairly quickly with with the hotel program you can book without a deposit and then you can cancel without penalty. I up to a certain time depending on the terms and conditions and they keep an eye on the rights and if the hotel gets busy the right scale up and you'll go to your booking fine if the prices come down because Half empty which sometimes a couple of weeks before or a couple of days before you judo arrive. You can reboot at the trade. Right can cancel without penalty but always read bookfest. Before you cancel your the other the other thing. I find which is a good benefit is the consistency of the offering. Most of them to have reasonable consistency. Such as if you book a holiday or a pretty good idea what you're going to get and with the whole of you probably know what the phone is. Just going to look like. Yes i like. It is up lounge axis. Which get you your breakfast. Let's face a break can be expensive hotels when traveling and goes afternoon canapes and drinks if the hotel has alleged and i guess we should also point out to Take advantage of the hotel loyalty programs and actually be able to earn points and xs status benefits when he stay generally need to book directly with the hotel rather than through a travel agent or an online travel agent. One of the aggregate is like qantas hotels booking dot com. And so him. Can it be worthwhile to there. Is hotel only benefits and book with third party. Well it can be a couple of very high end luxury travel agents who can negotiate special deals with some of the hotels on the basis of they have a high neighbor with clientele. And some of those times you can actually get winston status credits with the hotel even though you have gone through a third party but there are few and far between i think is one is all beliefs have and unfortunately most of the hotels right outside my budget little. I guess if you're booking for example. I've three qantas high tells e can earn three quarters points pedalo sometimes more if there's a sale on few in points club and so on and then there's also the hotels dot com website. Which has its own reward programs. Hotels dot com rewards. They can be quite liquid. Even it's also quite handy wayne used in a hotel. The doesn't have any of the names that your member of. yeah. I guess if there's Chain hotel available way. Guiding the hotels dot com rewards program would be my pick because with hotels dot com. You basically by ten nights at anyway. Any any of the hotels that they sell across any of the different brands or even affiliated hotels. And then you get one free night which is based on the average value of what you paid for the previous ten nights. I believe that there is free nights expire after twelve months. If you don't have any stays quite often jig. A few of the options lie told her to laudi programs in some of the third party at. I get looked after very well. I have talked status so that would be much of a choice. Well it's it's obviously a huge topic hotel loyalty programs and we could talk all day about this but we're out of time i would mention if you're a frequent flyer solutions business class bamba You will have access to the frequent flyers leashes training program in that training program. There's a whole lot of quite detailed information about the different hotel loyalty programs we've discussed today and even a few that we haven't had time to discuss as well as tapes on ending status with the different hotel loyalty programs and in the frequent flyers leashes training as well. We've just added a couple of new units one of those on nineteen status extensions that the airlines and hotel loyalty programs have been giving out over the last little while and also some of the office We discussed a couple of the milia of for example where the hotel programs the giving fifty percent of the knights or stays required instead of see but all of that information is available on the frequent flyers leashes website so encouraged. Have a look at that if you'd like to learn more about this james green from frequent flyer solutions. Thanks very much for joining me today. It's been a pleasure anytime. Well that brings me to the end of this episode of af on. Thanks again to my guest. James green and thank you so much for listening for more information about anything disgusting. Today's episode check out the episode nights. He'll also find a link to the discussion thread on the australian frequent flyer forum way. Welcome to discuss the podcast or ask me a question to be answered in a future episode. If you've enjoyed this podcast. I had really appreciate if you take just a minute to review a if only on apple podcasts. And if you haven't already don't forget to subscribe on your favorite podcast platform to receive every episode. Soon as it's released i met graham and i'll be back next fortnight with more news tips and tricks for australian travelers. And until vince save charles.