Other travel tips and hacks2018-01-15T12:13:42+10:00

Other travel tips and hacks

How to purchase Virgin Australia lounge entry with money or points

Having access to an airport lounge can be a godsend when travelling. Not only does it give you somewhere comfortable to work or relax, but if for some reason your flight is delayed it makes waiting so much more bearable. Virgin Australia operates a network of domestic lounges in Australia, with spaces in all state and territory capitals except Hobart, and in Alice Springs, Cairns, the Gold Coast and Mackay. The only lounge for international travellers that Virgin operates [...]

Your best airport lounge option may not be the one your airline directs you to

If you have status with an airline or fly in business or first class, you'll typically have access to a lounge at the airport - and, sometimes, you'll have a choice of several lounges. When you check in for your flight, the airline will direct you to a specific lounge, which will be one that it operates or has a special arrangement with. But not all lounges are havens of comfort and glamour - in fact, some are barely [...]

Join the Qantas Frequent Flyer program for free

Qantas is one of the few airlines in the world to charge a fee for joining its frequent flyer program. Or to be more precise: Australians and New Zealanders have to pay to join. The rest of the world gets in for free. Crazy! It's a testament to how popular and dominant the loyalty program is here. The cost is $99.50 for Australians and $60 for New Zealanders. But the good news is, there are several ways to get around [...]

Need to get in touch with Qantas? Try using SMS

Although you can largely make and manage flight bookings online these days, occasionally the need still arises to contact an airline directly to resolve an issue. With Qantas, this can be a frustrating experience. There are often long delays in getting phone calls answered (especially if you don't have elite status), plus the quality of the help you receive can vary a lot depending on the knowledge and experience of the person at the other end. There are several [...]

Velocity members now get 20% off lounge entries with No1 Lounges

Virgin Australia's Velocity Frequent Flyer program has added No1 Lounges as a partner, allowing members to get 20% off lounge entries in various cities while also earning Velocity Points. The No1 Lounges network includes 'The House' at Sydney and Melbourne international terminals, which were until recently operated by Etihad Airways. Eligible Etihad, Virgin Australia and British Airways passengers, like those in business or first class or holding elite status, still get complimentary access to the spaces, while everyone else [...]

‘The House’: a new pay-to-enter lounge option for Sydney and Melbourne

Travellers in Sydney and Melbourne have another pay-to-enter lounge option when jetting off abroad, with ‘The House’ now offering entry to paying customers. The House was until recently the Etihad Airways lounge before being taken over by the independent lounge operator No 1 Lounges. Eligible Etihad, Virgin Australia and British Airways passengers still get complimentary access to the space, but now anyone with a valid boarding pass can also enjoy it for a fee. That fee is $80 per adult [...]

Saving money with Amex Offers: regular discounts for Amex card members

One of my favourite perks of being an American Express card member is regular discount offers with some of Australia’s biggest and best brands. Called Amex Offers, the program is very easy to take advantage of: you simply log into the Amex app on your smartphone, browse the list of available offers and save the ones you want to your card. Some (but not all) offers are also listed on Amex's website and can be saved to your account there. [...]

How I scored $1000 of complimentary benefits at a Hilton hotel thanks to my Amex Platinum Card

A few weeks ago my partner and I visited Tokyo - one of our favourite cities in the world - and chose to stay at the Hilton hotel in Shinjuku due to the location, amenities, stylish fitout and excellent customer reviews. Another reason we decided to try this hotel was so I could put my newfound Hilton gold status to the test. I recently acquired gold status as a complimentary perk with my new American Express Platinum Card. Status with [...]

My experience booking accommodation through Amex’s Fine Hotels & Resorts program

Earlier this year I added the American Express Platinum Card to my wallet because it’s the most rewarding card on the market for travellers - and this year I’m doing a hell of a lot of travelling. One of the Platinum Card perks I was most looking forward to trying was booking accommodation through Amex’s Fine Hotels & Resorts (FHR) program, which promises benefits at over 1,000 five-star properties worldwide like daily breakfast for two people, a property amenity [...]

How to improve your seat on a Qantas flight 80 hours before departure

Selecting the best possible seat on a flight is an important part of travel preparation for many frequent flyers. Those of us who spend a lot of time in the air tend to have a strong preference for where we sit (unlike the occasional traveller, perhaps), and that's typically near the front of the cabin next to the aisle or window - and never in a middle seat. When you fly with Qantas, you can choose a seat as [...]

How to pay for a Qantas flight with a credit or debit card and avoid Qantas’ card payment fee

When you pay for a Qantas flight with a credit or debit card, you have to cop Qantas' annoying card payment fee, which is up to $11 for a domestic flight or $70 for an international flight, per passenger. While these fees aren't huge, they do add up - especially if you travel often or in a group - and although Qantas does provide fee-free payment options, many customers want to use a card because of the convenience, to earn [...]

You can pay to enjoy the Emirates lounges at Dubai Airport

Are you flying through Dubai International Airport but stuck without lounge access? It can be a nightmare dealing with that busy airport, especially when you’re exhausted after a long flight – which is probably the case if you’re flying economy! The good news is that Emirates allows weary passengers to pay their way into the airline's lux business and first class lounges, regardless of status or class of travel. The price isn’t cheap - US$100 for four hours' access [...]

Google Flights officially takes off in Australia

Google has this week formally launched its handy flight booking tool, Google Flights, in Australia. Google Flights allows users to compare flights and prices, with options to search by destination, airline, time and class. This tool has been available for Australians to use for a while, but it appears Google has added some new features for the official launch here. One of these new features is that you can now search for flights simply by googling things like “flights to [...]

How to get cheap oneworld business class seats with purchased American Airlines miles

Last week I flew Qantas business class from Melbourne to Perth and it only cost me $500: a quarter of the usual price of $2000 one-way. I love the business class product Qantas flies on this route, so for me this was a great deal. The hack I used to score the cheap seat was using purchased American Airlines frequent flyer miles to book. Many airlines don’t let you purchase miles, but American does, and you can use them to book [...]

Save thousands on business class trips by stopping over in Asia

It costs so much more for Australians to fly international business class compared to people in other countries. I’m constantly amazed at some of the cheap business class fares people can get in Europe, North America and Asia with full service airlines. But there is a way that Aussies can get in on some of the action. The trick is to use Asia as a stopover before continuing on to Europe, Africa or North America. You can save thousands [...]