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Qantas Adelaide lounge redevelopments set to begin

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Qantas passengers traveling through Adelaide Airport are poised to enjoy an enhanced airport experience with the announcement that the lounge precinct redevelopment is set to begin this month.

The redevelopment project will introduce a brand-new Domestic Business Lounge inspired by the natural beauty of Kangaroo Island’s Flinders Chase National Park. Additionally, the existing Qantas Club and Chairman’s Lounge will undergo comprehensive refurbishments.

The first phase of this project involves the fit-out of the Qantas Club, scheduled to open in mid-November.

New Adelaide Qantas Club

The new Domestic Business Lounge is expected to welcome its first guests by mid-2025.

New Adelaide Business Lounge

Although the lounge space footprint will remain unchanged, the redesign will optimise currently under-utilised areas, resulting in a more than 10% increase in total seating capacity.

The new lounge interiors will celebrate South Australia’s stunning landscapes, rich culture, and culinary delights.

The lounges will feature South Australian-sourced furniture, lighting, and natural materials, alongside fittings curated by the Jam Factory and artwork created by local Indigenous artists.

This redevelopment is part of Qantas’s broader $100 million investment aimed at upgrading and enhancing its global lounge network.

According to Phil Capps, Qantas Executive Manager for Product and Service, the lounge upgrades are designed to meet the needs of customers flying from Adelaide while showcasing South Australian architectural and interior design excellence.

“Our local design philosophy means the new Adelaide Lounge Precinct will celebrate the best of South Australia. From the furnishing and artworks through to the premium food and beverages, we want to give our customers a taste of South Australia every time they fly with us. Our customers can also expect to see more of the features they’ve told us they value the most,” said Capps.

“We’re installing extra seating throughout the precinct to provide more space to work, and around 80% of seats will have access to power stations and device ports so customers can easily charge up before their flight.”

During the construction phase, the existing Qantas Club will continue to operate for eligible customers from one hour prior to the first Qantas-operated service until the last departure.

Additionally, a ‘Grab and Go’ service with premium breakfast options and barista coffee will be available during busy morning peak travel times if the lounges reach capacity.

Qantas Introduces New Boarding Process to Streamline Domestic Flights

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Qantas is launching a new boarding process for domestic flights at four of Australia’s largest airports, aiming to reduce the time passengers spend waiting at the gate and to expedite seating onboard.

The initiative, termed Group Boarding, marks the first adoption of this system in Australia, although it is already employed by various international airlines.

Following successful trials in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth, the new process demonstrated a significant improvement in punctual flight departures.

Group Boarding will allow passengers to board in smaller, more organized groups instead of queuing all at once, a common pain point in air travel.

Passengers will be assigned to one of six boarding groups, indicated on their boarding passes. These groups are determined by factors such as cabin class, Frequent Flyer status, and seat position on the aircraft.

Passengers’ boarding groups will be displayed on their boarding passes.

Signage and gate announcements will inform passengers when it is their turn to board.

The boarding pass scanner will only permit passengers to board once their group has been invited.

The phased rollout of Group Boarding begins today in Brisbane, followed by Perth on June 10, Melbourne on June 17, and Sydney on June 25.

The new process will initially apply to domestic flights operated by Qantas’ Boeing 737 and Airbus A330 aircraft.

Markus Svensson, CEO of Qantas Domestic, highlighted the significance of this change, describing it as the most substantial update to the airline’s boarding procedures in a decade.

“We’re continually seeking ways to address customer pain points and enhance their travel experience,” Svensson stated. “Group Boarding is designed to minimize the time our customers spend waiting to board and allows them to get settled more quickly.”

Qantas plans to familiarise passengers with Group Boarding before extending it to other aircraft types or airports.

Get up to 90,000 bonus Qantas Points plus an annual $450 Travel Credit with the Qantas Amex Ultimate Card

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Customer notice: we may receive a commission from Amex if you apply for a card via a link in this article (read more in our Cards Disclosure). This income helps keep the site running, and we thank you for your support.

Points lovers, for a limited time you can earn up to a generous 90,000 bonus Qantas Points with Amex’s most popular and rewarding Qantas card, the Qantas American Express Ultimate Card.

This is our top pick of Qantas cards on the market. Not only does it let you accumulate points fast thanks to a very strong points earn rate on spend, but you can also enjoy range of valuable travel perks.

These include a $450 Qantas Travel Credit each year that fully offsets the card fee, four airport lounge entries per year, comprehensive travel insurance, and more.

Our readers can also receive up to 90,000 bonus Qantas Points: that’s 70,000 bonus points when you apply online via our Amex partner link by 3 September 2024, are approved, and spend $3,000 on your new card within the first 3 months, plus an additional 20,000 bonus points in your second year upon fee renewal (new Amex Card Members only).

Points don’t expire so long as you keep your Qantas Frequent Flyer account active by earning or redeeming at least one point every 18 months. Plus, reward bookings are refundable if your plans change.

Here’s an overview of the card benefits you can enjoy.

1. Earn piles of points and fly with top airlines

You’ll turbocharge your points balance by earning 1.25 Qantas Points per $1 spent on everyday purchases – one of the highest Qantas Points earn rates in Australia.

You’ll receive 2.25 Qantas Points per $1 spent on selected Qantas products and services in Australia, and 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent with government bodies.

After a total of 100,000 Qantas Points is earned in a calendar year, the everyday earn rate will change from 1.25 to 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent. (For Card Members who applied between 1 July 2023 – 9 January 2024, this change will come into effect from 10 July 2024.)

Hundreds of thousands of merchants accept Amex in Australia, and that number is growing, so there’s no shortage of places where you can earn points with this card.

There’s no limit on the number of points

You can use those points to fly with Qantas and an array of international partners, including top airlines like American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Japan Airlines, Qatar Airways and more.

With so many partners to choose from, the whole world is within reach.

2. Take off with a $450 Qantas Travel Credit every year

You’ll get a $450 Qantas Travel Credit at the start of each card membership year, including when you first receive the card, which effectively offsets the card’s $450 annual fee.

The Qantas Travel Credit is redeemable for Qantas flights online at American Express Travel. It’s valid for 12 months and you can book any available flight in the future.

The Qantas Travel Credit is very flexible. While you need to use it in a single booking, that can be for one or more people, travelling one way or return, and on domestic or overseas flights. Plus, the booking can be in anyone’s name and doesn’t have to include you.

Eligible flights are standard Qantas flights with a QF flight number, so you’ll have plenty of routes to choose from.

Take off with a $450 Qantas Travel Credit every year

3. Enjoy four airport lounge entries each year

Relax before your next flight in style, even if you’re flying economy.

Each year, you’ll receive two Qantas lounge invitations valid for both domestic Qantas Clubs and Qantas International Lounges in Australia and overseas. These invitations will be activated in your Qantas Frequent Flyer account after your first card spend on selected Qantas products and services, such as flights.

You can use one of the Qantas lounge invites to bring in a guest, or transfer one or both invites to another Qantas Frequent Flyer member.

Relax in the lounge before you fly

You’ll also receive two entries each year to Amex’s exclusive The Centurion Lounge at Sydney Airport international or Melbourne Airport international, which are the two airports in Australia that have Amex lounges so far.

Simply present your physical card at the door to get in, and you may use one of the entries to bring in a guest (children under the age of 17 get in for free).

4. Travel securely with domestic and overseas travel insurance

You’ll receive comprehensive travel insurance cover when you pay for a domestic or international return flight with your card or use Qantas Points or the $450 Qantas Travel Credit to book.

This cover extends to your domestic partner and dependent children up to the age of 25 when they are travelling with you.

You’ll receive cover for:

  • inconvenience – flight delays, cancellations or missed connections, and delayed luggage
  • medical emergency expenses
  • damaged, destroyed, lost or stolen baggage, money or documents
  • trip cancellation and amendment costs
  • personal liability
  • COVID-19 related changes and costs.

If you’re currently paying for travel insurance and this cover meets your needs, you can save money by relying on it.

5. Enjoy a range of other benefits

There are many more perks to enjoy with this card, including:

  • up to 4 complimentary Additional Cards for family members or friends – an easy way to earn points faster
  • complimentary premium membership to Qantas Wine (worth $99) – get free delivery Australia-wide and earn 3 points per $1 spent
  • up to 44 days interest free on purchases
  • ‘buy now, pay later’ with American Express Plan It™ Instalments: pay off your card balance in equal monthly instalments with 0% interest and a fixed monthly fee
  • use your card with Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay
  • Amex Offers: save money and earn bonus points via regular offers with top brands
  • American Express Experiences: access sought-after events like music, theatre and film, including via pre-sale tickets, and enjoy exclusive lounges at selected events.

Plus up to 90,000 bonus Qantas Points

Receive 70,000 bonus Qantas Points when you apply online via our Amex partner link by 3 September 2024, are approved and spend $3,000 on your new card within the first 3 months, plus get an additional 20,000 bonus points in your second year upon fee renewal (new Amex Card Members only).

Not only can you use those points to travel, but they’ll also help you become a member of Qantas’ Points Club. Membership is automatic when you earn 150k points in a year, and benefits include two extra Qantas lounge passes, a $50 hotel voucher, a $50 wine voucher, the ability to earn Status Credits on reward bookings, and more.

This offer is only available to new American Express Card Members. That means you must not have held an American Express card in the last 18 months. However, you are eligible if you’re an Additional Card Member on someone else’s account (including a corporate account).

It’s very simple to apply for this card, including on mobile devices.

We’re delighted to partner with Amex to bring our readers this offer. It ends soon, so don’t miss out – you could be booking a holiday in no time!

To read more and apply on Amex’s website, click here.

Important: This article is not intended to suggest that you should apply for a card. You should seek independent, professional advice and consider your personal circumstances before deciding to apply for a card.

If you apply for a card via a link in this article, we may receive a commission from Amex. This income helps keep our site running, and we thank you for your support.

Read more in our Cards Disclosure.

Earn TRIPLE Velocity status credits on new Virgin Australia bookings

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Virgin Australia has launched a triple status credits offer that gives customers a fast track to higher tiers of status with the airline’s Velocity Frequent Flyer loyalty program.

To take advantage of this offer, you must activate it and then book an eligible flight with Virgin Australia by 29 May and fly by 31 July 2024.

An eligible flight is any Virgin Australia operated flight with a VA flight number that normally earns status credits.

You can book as many flights as you like, but make sure every person on the booking activates this offer and includes the Velocity membership number in the booking.

You need to earn 250 status credits to reach the silver tier (200 to renew it in subsequent years), 500 to hit gold (400 to renew) and 1,000 to reach platinum (800 to renew).

All the perks of status are explained here, but in short:

  • silver status provides priority check in, additional baggage, two lounge passes each year and 50% bonus points on flights
  • gold status provides priority check in, baggage and boarding, lounge access, guaranteed economy award seats and bonus points
  • platinum status provides even more perks including complimentary upgrades.

If you’ve been chasing status with the airline, this is a great opportunity.

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Rex Airlines launches Melbourne-Perth route

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Rex Airlines has unveiled its latest addition to the domestic route network, a new Melbourne-Perth service – the first to connect the east and west coasts.

Starting from June 28, 2024, the new flights will be operated by a Boeing 737 five days a week, offering fresh competition on the popular route.

The flight timings aren’t great, however: Flight ZL873 will depart Melbourne at 8:15pm and land in Perth 10:40pm, while the return journey Flight XL874 leaves Perth at 11.55pm and arrives in Melbourne at 5:30am.

Travelers will shortly be able to book economy seats for as low as $299 each way and business class for $999 each way. All fares include checked baggage and refreshments.

Rex 737 Business Class

Rex’s General Manager Network Strategy, Warrick Lodge, emphasized the benefits this new service brings. The addition of close to 90,000 seats annually on this busy route is good news for business, trade, tourism, and travelers.

This new route marks Rex’s 11th domestic jet service, adding to its network of major capital cities and popular destinations, also including Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Canberra, Hobart, and the Gold Coast.

Further route expansions are expected to be announced soon.

How to purchase a Virgin Australia lounge entry pass [2024]

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Having access to an airport lounge can make a huge difference when travelling.

Not only does lounge access give you somewhere comfortable to work or relax before your flight, but if for some reason the flight is delayed, it makes waiting for it so much more bearable.

If you’re flying with Virgin Australia domestically, you can enjoy one of its lounges at major airports.

Currently, the airports with Virgin Australia domestic lounges are Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra and Gold Coast airports.

Passengers in business class and those with Velocity Gold or higher status (or the equivalent partner airline status), as well as customers with paid lounge membership, always get access.

Access is also complimentary for holders of the ultra-rewarding American Express Platinum Card, and they can also bring in a guest.

Many Velocity-branded credit cards also come with complimentary single-use passes, such as the American Express Velocity Platinum Card.

But if none of these options is available to you, you may still be able to get in by stumping up some cash.

That’s because Virgin Australia permits passengers to buy a single-entry lounge pass at reception on the day of travel.

The cost is $65, and it’s available from 2 hours before departure. The same price applies to children, but from 1 July 2024 this will be reduced to $45 for kids aged 2 – 17 years. (Presumably, infants get in for free).

Whether this is a good deal really depends on your personal circumstances.

As well as getting a stylish space to relax before your flight, the lounges offer guests complimentary food – typically a modest selection of hot and cold dishes – as well as bar service from 12pm.

Guests can also enjoy all-day barista coffee, complimentary wifi and shower facilities.

Virgin Australia Lounge, Adelaide

Virgin Australia Lounge, Melbourne

Be aware that Virgin no longer operates international lounges, so these spaces are only open to domestic travellers. However, guests travelling with Virgin Australia internationally from Adelaide and the Gold Coast can use the domestic lounge as the international and domestic departures are located within the one terminal.

For more information about Virgin Australia lounges and buying a pass, visit the airline here.

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Receive 60,000 bonus Velocity Points with the Amex Velocity Platinum Card

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Customer notice: we may receive a commission from Amex if you apply for a card via a link in this article (read more in our Cards Disclosure). This income helps keep the site running, and we thank you for your support.

Our favourite card for earning Velocity Points and enjoying travel perks with Virgin Australia is Amex’s most rewarding Velocity card: the American Express Velocity Platinum Card.

It comes with a complimentary domestic economy return flight every year, a very strong points earn rate on spend, four airport lounge entries each year, comprehensive travel insurance, and the opportunity to earn 100 Velocity Status Credits each year.

New cardholders can also pick up 60,000 bonus Velocity Points when you apply online via our Amex partner link by 26 June 2024, are approved, and spend $3,000 on your new card within the first 3 months (T&Cs apply; new Amex Card Members only).

Here’s an overview of the benefits you can enjoy with this card.

1. Earn piles of points and fly with top airlines

Turbocharge your Velocity Points balance by earning 1.25 points per $1 spent on purchases: one of the highest Velocity Points earn rates in Australia.

You’ll earn 2.25 Velocity Points per $1 spent with Virgin Australia and 0.5 points per $1 spent with government bodies.

Hundreds of thousands of merchants accept Amex in Australia, and that number is growing, so there’s no shortage of places where you can rake in the points with this card.

There’s also no cap on how many points you can earn.

You can use those points to fly with Virgin Australia and an array of partners, including:

  • Singapore Airlines
  • United Airlines
  • Etihad Airways
  • Qatar Airways
  • Air Canada
  • All Nippon Airways (ANA)
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • South African Airways
  • Virgin Atlantic.

With so many partners to choose from, the whole world is within reach.

2. Take off with a complimentary domestic return flight each year

You can book a complimentary Virgin Australia domestic economy return flight when you first receive the card and make a purchase with it, and then again on each anniversary of your card membership.

This gives you an opportunity every year to enjoy a holiday, explore somewhere new, or visit family and friends.

Best of all, this perk can offset most or all of the $375 annual card fee.

There are many eligible routes to choose from, as you can see in the table below.

Departure CityEligible Destinations
AdelaideAlice Springs, Brisbane, Canberra, Coolangatta (Gold Coast), Melbourne, Sydney
BrisbaneAdelaide, Cairns, Canberra, Darwin, Emerald, Hamilton Island, Hobart, Mackay, Melbourne, Newcastle, Proserpine, Rockhampton, Sydney, Townsville
HobartBrisbane, Melbourne, Sydney
MelbourneAdelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Coolangatta (Gold Coast), Hobart, Launceston, Maroochydore (Sunshine Coast), Newcastle, Sydney
PerthAdelaide, Kalgoorlie, Melbourne, Sydney
SydneyAdelaide, Ballina/Byron, Brisbane, Canberra, Cairns, Coolangatta (Gold Coast), Hamilton Island, Hobart, Launceston, Maroochydore (Sunshine Coast), Melbourne
Other citiesClick here to see the routes from other cities.

It’s simple to book the flight online or over the phone, and you can reserve it for yourself or any person you choose.

3. Enjoy four airport lounge entries each year

Relax before your next flight in style, even if you’re flying economy.

Each year you’ll receive two passes to a Virgin Australia Lounge, which gives you access to stylish spaces around the country to relax in before your flight.

These passes will be automatically loaded onto your Velocity membership card, and you can use one of the passes to bring in a guest.

Virgin Australia Lounge

You’ll also receive two entries each year to Amex’s exclusive The Centurion Lounge at Sydney Airport international or Melbourne Airport international, which are the two airports in Australia that have Amex lounges so far.

Simply present your Amex card at the door to get in, and you may use one of the passes for a guest (children under the age of 17 get in for free).

4. Earn 100 Velocity Status Credits when you spend $50,000 in a year

Attain elite Velocity status faster by receiving 100 Status Credits when you spend $50,000 on eligible purchases within a membership year.

Eligible purchases are all spend made by you and additional card members, except cash type purchases like travellers’ cheques and foreign currencies, and interest, fees and charges on the account.

This is a very handy perk for frequent flyers chasing status, as you only need 250 Status Credits to attain Silver (200 to keep it in subsequent years) or 500 Status Credits to attain Gold (400 to keep it in later years).

The higher your status, the more perks you enjoy – like additional Virgin Australia lounge passes when you hit Silver and unlimited lounge access when you reach Gold.

5. Travel securely with domestic and overseas travel insurance

You’ll receive comprehensive travel insurance cover when you pay for a return trip with your card or use Velocity Points to book.

This cover extends to your domestic partner and dependent children up to the age of 25 when they are travelling with you.

You’ll be covered for:

  • inconvenience (flight delays, cancellations or missed connections, and delayed luggage)
  • medical emergency expenses
  • damaged, destroyed, lost or stolen baggage, money or documents
  • travel cancellation and amendment costs
  • personal liability
  • COVID-related trip change and cancellation costs.

If you’re currently paying for travel insurance and this cover meets your needs, you can save money by relying on it.

6. Earn more points, save money and enjoy lifestyle benefits

There are many other perks to enjoy with this card, including:

  • up to 4 complimentary Additional Cards for family members or friends over 16 years of age – an easy way to earn points faster
  • up to 55 days interest-free on purchases
  • ‘buy now, pay later’ with American Express Plan It™ Instalments: pay off your card balance in equal monthly instalments with 0% interest and a fixed monthly fee
  • use your card with Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay
  • Amex Offers: save money and earn bonus points via regular offers with top brands
  • American Express Experiences: access sought-after events like music, theatre and film, including via pre-sale tickets, and enjoy exclusive lounges at selected events.

Plus 60,000 bonus Velocity Points

Receive 60,000 bonus Velocity Points when you apply online via our Amex partner link by 26 June 2024, are approved and spend $3,000 on your new card within the first 3 months (new Amex Card Members only).

This offer is only available to new American Express Card Members. That means you must not have held an American Express card in the last 18 months. However, you are eligible if you’re an Additional Card Member on someone else’s account (including a corporate account).

It’s very simple to apply, including on mobile devices.

We’re delighted to partner with Amex to bring our readers this offer. Remember, it’s only available for a short time via our partner link below, so don’t miss out – you could be booking a holiday in no time!

To access this offer and apply, click here (mobile friendly).

american-express-velocity-platinum

Important: This article is not intended to suggest that you should apply for a card. You should seek independent, professional advice and consider your personal circumstances before deciding to apply for a card.

If you apply for a card via a link in this article, we may receive a commission from Amex. This income helps keep our site running, and we thank you for your support.

Read more in our Cards Disclosure.

Qantas launches Brisbane-Manila flights, suspends Sydney-Shanghai

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Qantas has unveiled a series of updates to its Asia network, including the suspension of the Sydney-Shanghai route and the launch of a new Brisbane-Manila service, as well as increased frequencies to Singapore and India.

Suspension of Sydney-Shanghai Flights

Starting 28 July 2024, Qantas will suspend its Sydney-Shanghai flights due to ongoing low demand. Despite resuming the service in October last year after a COVID-19 pause, the anticipated recovery in passenger numbers has not materialized. The airline will continue to monitor the Australia-China market and may reinstate the route once demand improves.

Customers affected by this suspension will be contacted and offered a full refund or assistance in rebooking on alternative flights. Qantas will redirect the aircraft used for the Sydney-Shanghai route to other Asian destinations with higher demand and emerging tourism opportunities.

New Route: Brisbane to Manila

Qantas is set to launch a new international route from Brisbane to Manila, starting 28 October 2024. The new service will operate four days a week using Airbus A330 aircraft, marking the airline’s return to this route after more than a decade. This addition complements Qantas’ existing daily service from Sydney to Manila and will provide an additional 100,000 seats annually between Australia and the Philippines.

Increased Services to Singapore and India

In response to growing demand, Qantas will increase its flights to Singapore by approximately 10%, adding more than 2,500 seats per week. The Sydney to Singapore route will see an increase from 14 to 17 return flights per week starting 11 December 2024. Similarly, Brisbane to Singapore flights will rise from seven to nine return flights per week from 27 October 2024, optimizing connectivity with Qantas’ daily service from Singapore to London and reducing travel time to Heathrow by around four hours.

Additionally, the Sydney to Bengaluru route will expand from five weekly flights to daily services between mid-December 2024 and late March 2025, adding over 12,000 seats during the peak holiday season.

Tickets for these additional flights are now available for sale through qantas.com and travel agents, while bookings for the new Brisbane-Manila route will open in the coming days.