Featured image – (essential travel.co.uk)
A very interesting article has arisen on the popular Australian travel forum ‘Australian Frequent Flyer’ talking about Qantas selling whole rows of seats on it’s Dallas flights.
The original source of the article can be found here:Enjoy a Whole Row to Yourself on a Qantas Flight.
To recap these are the main points,
- The full cost is $250 per row
- The rows can be requested at check-in
- Currently only available on the Sydney – Dallas – Sydney flights
- The rows depend on economy loads
- 4 Seats equal the row
The rows are fantastic for people not wanting to upgrade to premium economy or business class. Considering extra leg room seats can cost up to $180 for non status passengers this is a fantastic offer. There currently isn’t any information regarding the topic of which high status passengers will be able to get these for free or at a cheaper rate.
As soon as I heard this I immediately thought of Air New Zealand’s ‘Skycouch’. This is quite a move from Qantas and I’m interested to see if Virgin will follow.
Air New Zealand ‘Skycouch’ (Image – Snowsbest.com)
Hong Kong has always been a big market for Qantas. They have flights from multiples cities and have usually the routes are very profitable. Hong Kong is a Oneworld hub with 11 member airlines currently flying out of the airport.
- American Airlines
- British Airways
- Cathay Pacific
- Japan Airlines
- Malaysia Airlines
- Royal Jordanian
- S7 Airlines
- SriLankan Airlines
Qantas have been slowly upgrading some of their international and domestic lounges for months now. The same design for the Hong Kong lounge is used or will be for the Singapore lounge, Brisbane international and domestic lounges.
To get entry into the lounge you have to meet these requirements:
- Qantas Club
- Qantas Gold, Platinum and Platinum one
- Oneworld Sapphire or Emerald
- Emirates skywards gold or platinum on a Qantas flight
- Oneworld Business or First class passengers
Entry To The Lounge
Boarding Pass Check
Newspapers And Various Articles
The lounge has very large amount amounts of seating, it can get very busy at peak nights.
Seating Behind The Bar
Self Serve Beverages
At 9 in the morning the lounge was completely empty. The lounge was split in half so unfortunately I wasn’t able to get photos of the full lounge. There would have been 20 people max in the lounge.
The Qantas lounge Hong Kong is a great lounge to spend a few hours in. Would I use it over the Pier or Wing First no, for a business class lounge it ticks all the boxes and Qantas have done a great job with the lounge.
An interesting partnership today has risen with the Australian back Westpac the major ride sharing service Uber. Uber is a company that is excelling in the travel world with benefits such as earning points with Starwood preferred guest.
The benefits are that you’ll get every 4th Uber ride free (Up to $25) until the end of 2016 when using a Westpac altitude card as the main form of payment. For some this will prove to be quite valuable.
All the information can be found at Westpac and Uber partnership and on the Australian Uber site.
As well as earning free Uber’s you also be earning points each time you spend.
The earn rate for the cards are as follows:
Points earned on eligible purchases – American Express Card $1 = 2 Altitude Points $1 = 1 Qantas Point
Points earned on eligible purchases – Visa Card $1 = 1 Altitude Point $1 = 0.5 Qantas Points
Altitude rewards can also be transferred to 5 other airlines programs:
Virgin Australia – Velocity
Singapore Airlines – KrisFlyer
Malaysia Airlines – Enrich
Air New Zealand – Airpoints
Cathay Pacific – AsiaMiles
It’s nice to see Uber partnering with Australian organisations. Uber it currently legal in all states but Queensland, not sure why. This promotion will be very useful for westpac card holders and regular Uber uses.
I’ve flown this product now extensively but never reviewed it so I decided I finally would on my flight from Sydney yesterday. The Boeing 737 is the workhorse for Virgin Australia, it covers over 80% of all domestic and short-haul Trans Tasman flights. The airline also has Embraer 190 aircraft which are currently being pulled out of the fleet. The 737 MAX aircraft will replace Virgin’s current 737’s which will go to it’s LCC Tigerair.
Virgin Australia Domestic Route Network – (image: Virgin Australia)
Virgin Australia business class has a configuration of 2-2 with only 8 seats in the cabin, this means less seats but more space. The competition has 12 seats.
Row 1 And 2
Space Under The Seat
Personal In Seat Power
Before the flight took off the friendly crew came around and gave me a Samsung tablet loaded with hours of entertainment.
Samsung Tablet IFE
Virgin Australia serve a full meal on all domestic business class flights at any time which is quite impressive. I find them to be very consistent with the quality of the food they provide.
For this flight I departed at 11 and had a Quiche which was very nice. All they meals onboard are designed by the very well-known chef Luke Mangan.
It was a beautiful day to fly. The flight tracks along the cost line passing Balina, Byron Bay and the Gold Coast before descending into Brisbane.
View From 2A
Virgin Logo Planted On The Seat
As someone who fly’s Virgin Australia very often I very rarely have a bad experience. The crews are always very friendly and provide good service, the ground experience is painless with mobile check-in and premium entry curbside at the lounge and the aircraft are always clean and look fantastic with the purple mood lighting.
While my layover waiting for my flight to Tokyo I was very interested in going and having a look at the newly renovated Pier business class lounge. While visiting Hong Kong on my previous trip the lounge was closed getting last finishes for the opening a few days after I left.
As you can by the entry photos the Pier lounges are almost identical.
After entering the lounge you get an idea of how big the lounge is, it’s massive!
Entry Into The Pier Business
Bar Seating Area
Noodle Bar Seating Area
Self Serve Bar
Self Serve Bar
Relaxation Room Entry
The lounge is spilt into 2 parts. The first part consists of all the various bars, dining areas etc. The second part of the lounge facing the windows are all seating areas. The lounge with it’s size wasn’t busy at the front but the same can’t be said about the 1st part of the lounge.
I think Cathay have done a brilliant job renovating this lounge. I would love to spend time in it next time instead of 10 minutes rushing around taking photos.
So yesterday I arrived back from my semi around the world non stop trip. I learnt many things along the way and thought I’d write about what happened while taking this trip.
First of all this is the routing:
So far I’ve reviewed the Etihad A340 first class and the Cathay Pacific first class flights. The rest should be done over the next few days. The whole purpose of the trip was to review Etihad’s A340 and try Cathay Pacific first class.
Things I learnt…
- Cathay suck at priority boarding.
This isn’t a very important thing for some but when trying to get photos of the onboard product before the flight it’s very useful. I’ve flown Cathay 3 times now and it’s happened every flight. It’s not as bad as Qantas however…
- You still need to sign to purchase things with a credit card in Japan.
This really surprised me. As a country of developing technology I would have thought they at least use pin or pay-wave etc, this wasn’t the case. In Australia its now pretty rare to sign now its pin or NFC payments. I know japan isn’t the only country to still use signature but it defiantly surprised me.
- Etihad have a VIP room as well as the Residence room.
This also surprised me when I visited the Etihad first lounge in Abu Dhabi. When I first visited the lounge and given a tour It was never pointed out but this time I was told the purpose of the room and it made perfect sense. The VIP room is for very big celebrities, passengers in the Residence if the Residence room is full and large groups of Residence and guests. Unfortunately no picture’s as the room is to be kept exclusive.
- Your Sinuses can play up badly.
This one maybe just myself but after landing in Melbourne my nose was quite sore and irritated. To make it worse it bled 3 times within 2 hours, not a good look inside of an airport lounge… I’d say the pressure and weather changes would have caused it and today it’s fine. Anyone else had something similar?
My trip was a great success and enjoyed every minute of it. I hope to do something similar again in the future months.