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Emirates to restart Adelaide flights

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Emirates is finally returning to Adelaide, with the announcement today that flights to Dubai will resume later this year.

From 28 October 2024, the route will be serviced by Emirates’ Boeing 777-200LR offering passengers business class (in a 2-2-2 layout) and economy class.

The flight will operate daily, with a 10.35 pm departure from Adelaide and arrival in Dubai at 5.15 am. The return leg departs Dubai at 2am and land in Adelaide at 8.50 pm.

These timings will enable easy connections to Europe, Africa and elsewhere.

SA Premier, Peter Malinauskas, welcomed the announcement, saying: “Reinstating Emirates flights to Adelaide has been a key priority for the State Government. Emirates once again flying daily direct into Adelaide will further drive South Australia’s economic growth – set to deliver an estimated $160 million in tourism expenditure and freight exports and create more than 315 full-time tourism-related jobs for South Australians.

“The Emirates service has been very much missed by South Australians – recommencing daily flights will make Adelaide easier to reach from key long-haul markets and make doing business with our state easier.”

Qantas Frequent Flyers will be able to earn points and status credits (moreso if booked as a QF codeshare) and use points to secure reward seats.

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How to fly round-the-world in business class with Qantas Points via the oneworld award [2024]

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Many people dream about flying round-the-world in business class but believe it’s a goal that’ll forever be out of reach.

In fact, this ‘bucket list’ experience is more attainable than you may think, thanks to a unique and highly rewarding way of using Qantas Points.

The ‘oneworld award’ is a special type of booking that allows you to fly with oneworld member airlines up to 35,000 miles. That’s enough for a round-the-world journey (though you don’t have to fly RTW if you don’t want to – more on that later).

This booking costs a relatively modest 132,400 points in economy, 249,600 points in premium economy, 318,000 points in business class or 455,000 points in first class, plus taxes and fees.

Business class is the sweet spot, as it’s a higher-value use of points than economy.

Premium economy isn’t available on many airlines, so it’s quite difficult putting together a full itinerary in this class of travel.

As for first class, that’s also very hard to book because the number of routes with this cabin is small.

Since you can spend up to 318,000 Qantas Points on a return business class fare from Australia to Europe or the USA, flying 35,000 miles with 5 stopovers for a similar price is superb value.

The main ‘catch’ is that it can be time consuming and difficult to research and book flights, so here are some tips to make the job easier.

The rules

Here are the specific rules you must follow for a valid booking:

  • maximum total distance of 35,000 miles
  • maximum of 5 stopovers (a stopover is when you have 24+ hours between flights; if you land in one city and depart from another, it counts as just one stopover)
  • a maximum of 16 individual segments – a segment is each individual flight AND any journey you make over land yourself. These land segments are also counted towards the 35,000 mile maximum
  • no more than one stopover and two transits through a single aiport
  • you must fly with at least two oneworld airlines that are not Qantas (in fact, you don’t have to fly Qantas at all – just two or more other oneworld airlines – see below for the list)
  • you have 12 months to complete the travel
  • once you return to your country of origin you can’t leave it again
  • you must finish booking all flights in the itinerary before the first flight takes off.

The oneworld member airlines are:

  • Alaska Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Fiji Airways
  • Finnair
  • Iberia
  • Japan Airlines
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Oman Air (joining in 2024)
  • Qantas
  • Qatar Airways
  • Royal Air Maroc
  • Royal Jordanian
  • S7 Airlines (currently suspended)
  • SriLankan Airlines

Possible itineraries

You can fly anywhere and in any direction you want, so long as you comply with the above rules.

There are no restrictions on how many continents you can visit or regarding backtracking (which are limitations in most paid round-the-world fares).

If you make some land segments on your own, you can actually visit more than five destinations. That’s because when you land in one city and take off on your next flight from another city, it doesn’t count as two stopovers – just one. The land segment is counted towards the 16 maximum and the distance towards the 35,000 mile maximum.

To illustrate: here’s an example where you fly from Sydney to Tokyo (first stop), make your own way to Hong Kong, fly to Helsinki (second stop), make your own way to Paris, fly to Marrakesh (third stop), make your own way to Casablanca, fly to New York City (fourth stop), make your own way to Montreal, fly to Lima (fifth stop) make your own way to Santiago, and fly home.

Also, there’s no requirement to fly round-the-world, though that’s how most people use this award. You could do a loop around a specific region or criss-cross between continents – it’s totally up to you.

For example, here’s one of my past itineraries, which started in Singapore and took me to the USA, followed by Australia, Japan and back to Australia.

oneworld award itinerary

How to book

Now, here’s the catch: it can be very time consuming to book this award because finding business class seats on popular routes is often tricky and the booking process usually requires several phone calls to Qantas.

Here are some tips:

  • start planning early – ideally more than a year in advance – and research which specific flights you want to book, and when you can expect the seats to become available for the dates you want (more on that below)
  • be flexible with your dates
  • explore the different flight and route options at the oneworld alliance route map here
  • use Qantas’ website to search for award seats for each individual leg. Use the multi-city tool (yes, it’s designed for multiple flight searches, but it works for single flight searches as well and has the advantage of giving you results in a handy monthly calendar view unlike the default search tool on Qantas’ homepage.) Make sure to select “Use points – Classic Flight Rewards only” and “Flexible with dates for all flights”.
  • be flexible with cities in Australia for departures and arrivals – ie. if you can’t find a long-haul flight ex-Adelaide, try Perth or Sydney. Don’t assume that the search results on Qantas’ site will have considered this option along with a domestic connection from your home city
  • book the initial flight(s) online yourself on the Qantas site. Use the multi-city tool if you can book multiple flights. It’s very unlikely all the flights in your itinerary will be available to book at the same time, since airlines release reward seats at different times. Also, Qantas’ site isn’t capable of handling complicated itineraries, and you may get an error message.
  • once you’ve booked what you can online, to add more flights, you’ll have to call Qantas on 131313
  • you cannot make a series of individual bookings online with different reference numbers and then ask for them to be “stitched” together
  • you’ll be charged 5000 points per person each time you make a change via the Qantas call centre, like adding flights – this is an extra cost to factor into your planning
  • if you call Qantas to make a change, make sure you receive a new e-ticket within 24 hours. If it’s not in your inbox by then, it’s essential to call Qantas to get the ticket issued properly otherwise you may lose your seats.
  • to calculate the total miles flown to make sure you don’t exceed the 35,000 mile limit, use this mapping tool. Just type in the airport codes separated by hyphens (for example, MEL-LAX-JFK-LHR-HKG-MEL). You can search for the codes on the site or use google.
  • you don’t have to finish in the city you started, but the booking system will calculate the distance back to the original departure airport in determining whether you’re within the 35,000 mile limit
  • book seats as soon as they become available, otherwise someone else may snap them up. Airlines release award seats at different times, usually 330-360 days ahead. They also sometimes release them in batches. You’ll need to keep your eye out.
  • you can only fly with oneworld member airlines, which does not include some Qantas partners like Emirates – so be careful when looking at search results on Qantas’ site
  • airlines have varying taxes and charges they levy on reward fares, which must be paid with money, not points. Airlines with lower charges include Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, SriLankan Airlines and Japan Airlines. On the other hand, high charges are most often found with British Airways, Qatar Airways and Royal Jordanian.
  • if you mix different classes, the highest class will be used to calculate the cost – i.e. just one first class flight in an otherwise all-business class itinerary will make the cost jump to the first class level. You can include lower classes if you wish with no price change
  • if you decide to cancel your itinerary, you can get a full refund of points and money paid less the cancellation fee of 6,000 points per person.

Summing Up

The oneworld award is easily one of the best uses of Qantas Points. While booking it is complex, it’s definitely worth the effort given what you get to experience: flying in style, visiting a range of destinations and having bragging rights for years!

Remember to plan carefully, be patient, and familiarise yourself with all the rules. That way, the booking process will go as smoothly as possible.

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American Airlines launches Brisbane-Dallas flights

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Competition is set to heat up over the Pacific with the launch of a brand new Brisbane-Dallas route by American Airlines.

The oneworld carrier and Qantas partner will start flying between the two cities on 27 October, initially as a seasonal route – though hopefully we’ll see that extended if successful.

The airline will use a brand-new Boeing 787 Dreamliner on the route, which features its latest economy, premium economy and business class seats.

The plane’s premium-focused configuration means there will be just 244 seats, including 51 in business class, 32 in premium economy and 161 economy seats.

American Airlines new 787 business class
American Airlines new 787 business class
American Airlines new 787 premium economy
American Airlines new 787 premium economy

Dallas is a major hub for American Airlines and provides easy connections to cities across North America.

Qantas already flies from Melbourne and Sydney to Dallas, and from Brisbane to Los Angeles.

Queenslanders can also take advantage of United Airlines’ flights from Brisbane to San Francisco.

Qantas Points holders will be able to book reward seats on American’s new Brisbane-Dallas route if the airline makes them available. Tickets go on sale on 5 February, so we’ll find out then!

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Earn triple Qantas Points at Qantas Wine until Monday

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Qantas has launched a special promotion offering triple Qantas Points on purchases through Qantas Wine. 

That means regular customers will earn 3 points per $1 spent, while “premium” members will score a handy 9 points per $1 spent.

This offer runs until 5 February 2024 11:59pm (AEST).

Buying wine from Qantas Wine is one of the best ways to earn Qantas Points. There are so many wines to choose from, at all price points.

They also sell beer and spirits, and zero alcohol beverages – so there’s something for virutally everybody.

It’s worth checking out the products on sale and especially the bonus points offers on select products.

You can stack any bonus points offer you find with the current promo.

Qantas Wine Premium Membership is complimentary for Points Club members as well as certain credit card holders, such as our favourite Qantas card: the Qantas Amex Ultimate Card.

Otherwise, premium membership costs $99 per year.

It gets you free delivery, 3 Qantas Points per $1 spent, and access to special offers, products and events.

Without premium membership, delivery is free only if you spend at least $300.

For more info, visit Qantas Wine here.

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Virgin Australia expands baggage tracking tool across entire network

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Virgin Australia has today announced a significant expansion of its baggage tracking tool to include all domestic and international routes as well as additional tracking notifications for guests.

As part of the expansion of the tool, which previously only included a portion of the airline’s domestic network, customers can now track their baggage end-to-end via the Virgin Australia app, receiving push notifications when their baggage has been checked in, loaded onto the aircraft, transferred to a connecting carrier, and upon arrival.

The tool also advises the baggage carousel for collection once the guest is at their final destination.

The new ‘loaded’ feature, confirming the baggage has been loaded onto the aircraft, gives customers further visibility and peace of mind when travelling.

The tool is already proving to be popular, having been used more than 1.3 million times since it was first piloted in May 2023.

For passengers keen to use this feature, the process is:

  1. Download the Virgin Australia mobile application.
  2. Activate push notifications within the app.
  3. Once enabled, a series of push notifications will be sent to your phone throughout the journey.

Virgin Australia Chief Customer & Digital Officer, Paul Jones, said: “Australians find comfort in the ability to track food deliveries, postal deliveries, technology, even their heart rate, all via apps, and it made sense for travellers to be able to do the same thing when flying Virgin Australia.”

“By further enhancing our Australian-first baggage tracking technology to include all international services and additional notifications, we are giving guests the peace of mind to know where their baggage is at every step of the journey,” said Mr Jones.

Love Velocity Points? Don’t miss the huge offer of 100,000 bonus points plus a complimentary Virgin flight every year with our favourite Velocity card, the Amex Velocity Platinum Card – ends soon!

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Earn triple Velocity Points on hotel bookings

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Velocity Frequent Flyer is currently running a promotion offering triple points on hotel bookings – that’s a handy 9 Velocity Points per $1 spent.

Velocity Frequent Flyer members can book both hotels and cars worldwide thanks to Virgin Australia’s partnership with Rocket Travel.

Rocket Travel is owned by the same company as Booking.com and Agoda. The partnership marks the first time Virgin Australia has offered hotel and car rental services through the one partner.

For hotel bookings, Velocity members normally earn a base rate of 3 points per $1 spent.

But if you book by 18 February 2024, you can earn triple points for stays until 30 June 2024.

For car hire, Velocity members earn 2 to 4 points per $1 spent depending on the booking, plus bonus points for elite status holders (Beyond, Platinum, Gold and Silver members). Again, you can pay with points at a 0.6 cents per point rate.

If you’re a Velocity Points collector, these opportunities are worthwhile to consider.

By the way, if you love Velocity Points, don’t miss the huge offer of 100,000 bonus points, four lounge passes and a complimentary flight every year with our favourite Velocity card, the Amex Velocity Platinum Card – it ends soon!

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Earn up to 125 bonus Velocity status credits on new Virgin Australia bookings

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

Unlike previous promos where travellers could earn 50-100% extra status credits per flight, this time the offer is linked to the number of flights you take.

You need to book and fly at least twice between 29 January and 28 March 2024, and will earn bonus status credits as follows:

  • Fly 2 flights = 45 bonus status credits
  • Fly 3 flights = 65 bonus status credits
  • Fly 4 flights = 85 bonus status credits
  • Fly 5 flights = 105 bonus status credits
  • Fly 6+ flights = 125 bonus status credits

To take advantage of this offer, you must activate it in the Velocity app or via the link included in the email Velocity is sending out.

Velocity app screenshot

An Eligible Flight is any domestic or short-haul international Virgin Australia marketed and operated flight that normally earns status credits (i.e. it excludes reward bookings and codeshare flights operated by other airlines).

Make sure to include your 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.

And by the way, don’t miss the huge offer of 100,000 bonus Velocity Points, a free flight each year, and the opportunity to earn 100 bonus status credits each year, available with our favourite Velocity card, the Amex Velocity Platinum Card – it ends soon!

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Virgin Australia and Link Airways announce codeshare partnership

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Virgin Australia and Link Airways have announced a new codeshare partnership that will significantly expand Virgin Australia’s reach into regional Australia.

Seventeen new regional codeshare services operated by Link Airways, the equivalent of 90 flights per week, will be added to Virgin Australia’s domestic network under the partnership.

The flights will go on sale today through Virgin Australia’s travel agency partners and will be available to book directly on the Virgin Australia website from March.

The new routes are:

  • Brisbane <> Coffs Harbour (BNE-CFS)
  • Brisbane <> Bundaberg (BNE-BDB)
  • Brisbane <> Biloela (BNE-ZBL)
  • Brisbane <> Inverell (BNE-IVR)
  • Brisbane <> Narrabri (BNE-NAA)
  • Brisbane <> Dubbo (BNE-DBO)
  • Brisbane <> Orange (BNE-OAG)
  • Brisbane <> Tamworth (BNE-TMW)
  • Brisbane <> Armidale (BNE-ARM)
  • Brisbane <> Wollongong (BNE-WOL)
  • Sydney <> Narrabri (SYD-NAA)
  • Sydney <> Inverell (BNE-IVR)
  • Melbourne <> Dubbo (MEL-DBO)
  • Melbourne <> Orange (MEL-OAG)
  • Melbourne <> Wollongong (MEL-WOL)
  • Canberra <> Hobart (CBR-HBA)
  • Canberra <> Newcastle (CBR-NTL)

Velocity Frequent Flyer members can earn points and status credits on these routes, with elite frequent flyers enjoying status perks like additional baggage allowance and lounge access.

Virgin Australia Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer, Alistair Hartley said: “Today’s announcement in partnership with Link Airways underscores our commitment to delivering great value, flexibility and choice to Australians, and boosting connections for customers living in regional Australia,” he said.

“Importantly, the partnership is also set to support regional trade and tourism in destinations like Inverell, Wollongong and Biloela, which are not currently serviced by any other major airline.

“Together, our networks will be operating up to 365 daily flights across Australia, offering 42 domestic destinations for guests to explore, all while ensuring guests can enjoy seamless connectivity and loyalty benefits under our award-winning Velocity Frequent Flyer program when they travel.”

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