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The Frequent Flyer Gazette

Monday, 27 September 2021

12 New Overseas Airlines Launched Since 2020
When Australians are finally able to travel overseas again, many airports will look quite different.

This isn't just due to the new COVID-19 arrival and transit protocols in many countries that have made usually excellent airports like Singapore almost unrecognisable. Plane spotters may also notice that the some of the aircraft tails at airports around the world look unfamiliar.
The Ultimate Qantas Business Class Seat Guide
Across the airline's long-haul and short-haul fleets, there are seven different types of Qantas Business Class seats. Some are lie-flat suites, while others are recliners.

Should You Pay Reward Flight Taxes with Points?
While the taxes & carrier charges are quoted in dollars, both Qantas and Virgin provide the option to cover these amounts using additional points. But should you?
Updated Overview of State Border Restrictions
NT has declared all of regional Victoria as hotspots, SA removed its test requirement for arrivals from Brisbane, and WA will move VIC to its "extreme risk" category.
Popular Threads from the AFF Community
Is anyone brave enough to book December int'l flights?
How to get expiring Asia Miles extended
Up to 6,000 bonus Accor ALL points on hotel stays
$1,000 fare difference between Expedia & Qantas website
AFF Community Round-Up
Featured AFF Member Trip Report
The top & bottom of New Zealand
Trip report by Mattg | Earlier this year, when the trans-Tasman bubble first opened, I headed over to the land of the long white cloud to visit family that I hadn't seen for over a year. Unfortunately, the trans-Tasman bubble was since suspended and Auckland has been in lockdown for the past 5 weeks. But back in May 2021, when this trip report is set, it was a happier covid-free time with relatively unrestricted movement across the Tasman and around New Zealand! read more...
AFF Member Profile
This week we interviewed AFF member jgm from Geelong. jgm joined Australian Frequent Flyer in 2007 and has so far made 378 posts.
Q: Where did you go on your last trip?
A: Kalispell, Montana in January 2019, for a month's skiing at Whitefish. My outbound trip was with Cathay Pacific via Hong Kong to SFO and then with Alaska Airlines to SEA, all on points purchased through Alaska. From there I went with Amtrak to Whitefish. The return was with Alaska to LA via Seattle using Qantas points. From there I took the direct Singapore Airlines A350 ULR flight from LAX to SIN and from there to MEL, all on Velocity points transferred to KrisFlyer.
Q: Where will you go when the current travel restrictions are lifted?
A: Manchester, UK. We have a narrowboat booked at Silsden for 3 weeks in September 2022. This was supposed to have been Sept 2020, but has been postponed twice due to Covid.
Q: Favourite airline?
A: Singapore Airlines. I love the whole experience with them. My first trip with them was in economy from MEL to MAN with my wife's choir. Since then we've had several trips to the UK in business, and then my return from the US in business. All the staff I've encountered have been unerringly cheerful and helpful. We had an issue with improperly issued tickets overseas, and the SQ check-in agent immediately took charge of it, and had everything sorted out very quickly. I compare that to a similar issue in PER with a Qantas ticket where we were told to sort it out ourselves, and the agent wouldn't even provide a phone when our mobile went flat.
Q: What's one piece of advice you would give to a new AFF member?
A: Sign up to a frequent flyer program that has regular bonus points sales (especially if you travel to North America). You can regularly get a business class award for not much more than you would pay for economy - especially when the domestic flights are usually a zero cost add-on. My current preferred program is Air Canada Aeroplan as the CAD/AUD exchange rate is close to 1:1 and they have had 100% and better bonuses in the past.
Q: Favourite forum on AFF?
My favourite forum is the Airlines & Their Loyalty Programs forum. As retirees with plenty of time and limited cash who don't like economy seats, we use a lot of awards. This forum is invaluable for helping to research different frequent flyer programs, and for alternate routes. It has also been a great resource for finding out what steps to take when things go wrong. The advice on the way to get Avianca LifeMiles awards has helped us on a number of occasions.
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The Australian Frequent Flyer, 2021
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