Qantas operates dedicated Business Lounges in its Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane Airports in addition to its Qantas Club lounges at these airports and occasionally I am asked the difference between the Qantas Domestic Business Lounge and their Qantas Club lounge, so on a recent Qantas Business Class Flight between Sydney and Adelaide I took the opportunity compare both lounges side by side. Qantas Club Lounge | Qantas Business Lounge In Sydney at Qantas’s Terminal 3 building both the Qantas Business and Qantas Club lounges are located right next to each other and to the left of the terminals security screening point, with the Qantas Business Lounge being the first lounge on the left and the Qantas Club second on the left, both lounges roughly opposite gates 4 & 5. As you approach both lounges you will notice the first difference between the lounges, with the Qantas Business Lounge sign indicating the lounge is for Business Class, as well as first Class Qantas Platinum and Oneworld Emerald Frequent Flyers. In addition the Qantas website states additional access as follows: Emirates Platinum Skyward Members “Next onward flight that day must be on a Qantas or Emirates flight number. One guest allowed and must be travelling with the member on the same flight.” International First oneworld Customers “Eligible if travelling on a Qantas domestic flight connecting to or from a oneworld flight in International First on the same day. One guest allowed and does not need to be travelling.” International Business oneworld Customers “Eligible if travelling on a Qantas domestic flight connecting to or from a oneworld flight in International Business on the same day No guest allowed.” The Qantas Club Lounge sign indicates Qantas Club Membership, Qantas Gold as well as oneworld Sapphire or higher frequent flyers with the additional access as follows: Emirates Platinum Skyward Members “Next onward flight that day must be a Qantas or Emirates flight number. One guest allowed and must be travelling with the member on the same flight.” Emirates Gold Skyward Members “Next onward flight that day must be a Qantas or Emirates flight number. One guest allowed and must be travelling with the member on the same flight.” International First oneworld Customers “Eligible if travelling on a Qantas domestic flight connecting to or from a oneworld flight in International First on the same day. One guest allowed and does not need to be travelling.” Qantas Club Lounge After clearing the security screening point my first stop was the Qantas Club lounge to enter I was asked to show my boarding pass and immediately the lounge staff said you’re welcome to use our business lounge if you prefer, I said that’s fine I will head over there later. At 6:30am the lounge was starting to get busy with roughly half the tables occupied with at least one person per table, food options were quite limited with the usual selection of cold cuts of sliced meat, chesses, breads cereals and juices. Heading around the corner I found the bar […]
Air New Zealand recently released a seat map diagram for its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner that will make its inaugural paying flight from Auckland to Perth on 14 October 2014. The seat map clearly shows 3 classes with Business Premier, Premium Economy and Economy with a sections dedicated to their innovative Economy Skycouch seating. Also see the Air New Zealand Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Seat Photos The class and specifications break down for the seat map is as follows: Class # Seats Seat Pitch Recline Seat Config Inflight Power IFE Screen Business Premier 18 na Lie Flat 1-1-1 1 / seat 11”(27cm) Premium Economy 21 (104cm) 9” (22cm) 2-3-2 1 / seat 11”(27cm) Economy 263 (79-81 cm) 5” (12.5 cm) 3-3-3 2 / 3 seats 9″ (22cm) Economy Skycouch 42 (79-81 cm) 5” (12.5 cm) 3-3-3 2 / 3 seats 9″ (22cm) The seating number for Economy class above includes Skycouch numbers, also Skycouch seats are marked in Blue/Aqua in the seat map below.
Air New Zealand recently revealed photos of its seating options for its upcoming Boeing 787 Dreamliner which will be launched on the Auckland to Perth route from 15 October 2014. As expected the Air New Zealand’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner will be a three class cabin with Business Premier, Premium Economy and Economy. Click to navigate to the relevant section: Business Premier Seats | Premium Economy Seats | Economy Skycouch Seats | Economy Seats Also see the: Air New Zealand Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Seat Map Diagram Business Premier Seats Laid out in an angled 1-1-1 seating configuration from rows 1 to 6 there are a total of 18 seats Business Premier Seats which convert into a full lie flat beds. All seats feature inflight power and USB as well as an 11” Capactive Touch Screen Premium Economy Seats Air New Zealand’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner Premium Economy seating is located in rows 23 to 25 and feature 21 seats in a 2-3-2 seating configuration. Seats have a 9” (22 cm recline) and a 41” (104 cm) seat pitch. All seats feature inflight power and USB as well as an 11” Capactive Touch Screen Economy Skycouch Seats Air New Zealand’s Economy Skycouch seats are an innovative design which allow the back rest part of the seat to be folded down as seen in the pictures below. If you are travelling with kids it’s great and gives you more options and room for sleeping. Air New Zealand’s Skycouch Seats are located in Rows 36-43 ABC and 36-41 HJK see the blue/aqua coloured seating in the following Air New Zealand Boeing 787 9 Dreamliner Seat Map for the exact location. Economy Seats In total there are 263 Economy Class seats on Air New Zealand’s 787 Dreamliner laid out in a 3-3-3 seating configuration. Seats have a 5” (12.5 cm) recline and a seat pitch of 31-32″ (79-81 cm) Entertainment wise each Economy Class seat features a 9” (22 cm) touch screen in addition to inflight power 2 plugs for every 3 seats, as well as USB power in every seat.
One of the benefits coming out of the Qantas Emirates Partnership for Skywards members is a new membership tier ‘Skywards Platinum’. This new elite tier to be introduced from 1 April 2013 will be awarded to Skywards who have flown at least 150,000 tier miles the members 12-13 month earning window, the great news for existing members is those who have hit the benchmark in the past 12 months will be automatically upgraded to Skywards Platinum. How Much Flying to Obtain Skywards Platinum As mentioned a Skywards member will need to have flown 150,000 tier miles within their 12-13 earning window, so providing you travel on the full Skyward Flex fare Platinum could be achieved with 8 Sydney to London return flights. The great news is that if you travel in Business or First the 150,000 mile mark a lot easier with just under 5 Sydney London return flights needed in business or for First Class just under 4 return Sydney to London flights. Skywards Platinum Benefit Overview The media release says for the first time Platinum members will receive exclusive benefits usually reserved for First Class passengers, which equates to the following benefits. First Class check-in and baggage delivery – Allowing Platinum members to check an additional 20kg of checked luggage, check-in at first class check-in counters with checked baggage with the same high priority as first class passengers luggage Emirates First Class Lounge Access in Dubai and London – This is a first in the past not even gold members had access to first class lounges, now Platinum members have access in both the Dubai and London First class lounges and what’s better is that a guest flying in any class is also invited 75% bonus Skywards Miles when you fly with Emirates – When you fly Emirates you will receive an additional 75% miles Gold ‘Partner’ Card for a spouse or partner – Another great benefit that will further benefit members a partners of platinum members, Guaranteed Business Class revenue seats – Guaranteeing the availability of Business Class seats for purchase ‘Last Seat’ Flex reward tickets even on high-demand flights – Allowing Platinum members the ability to use miles for seats even on high demand flights The Skyward Platinum tier is long overdue and while these benefits go a long way to filling the gap that Emirates had in its Frequent Flyer program there is still a long way to go to catch up with the leaders.
Virgin Australia has unveiled details on the interior re-design of its Boeing 777 fleet that will to appear across their fleet from 12 April 2012 with the entire fleet to be completed throughout this year. The redesign is mainly aesthetic with re-design of seat fabrics, carpets and curtain dividers, however seats in Business, Premium economy and Economy have been given improved to increase comfort as well as new fabrics and head rests. Virgin Australia Group Executive of Product and Guest Services, Martin Daley said the redesigned international fleet would deliver exceptional style and comfort for guests along with a fresh and ontemporary look and feel renowned across Virgin Australia domestic aircraft. “Virgin Australia’s cabin refresh of the Boeing 777 has been designed by experts in their fields. The redesign provides guests with a fresh interior, plus the comfort and style found across all our aircraft, whilst maintaining the service and inflight experience suited to all guests,” Mr Daley said. Virgin Australia’s Boeing 777 cabin refresh will feature: Newly designed custom fabric covers for Business, Premium Economy and Economy Seats Fabrics manufactured by world renowned fabric manufacturers Rohi, in Munich, Germany. All seat covers feature enhanced cushioning for extra comfort Newly designed Curtain dividers New carpet throughout cabin The Virgin Australia Boeing 777 cabin re-design has been led by the companies’ creative director Hans Hulsbosch and is inspired by the ceiling and flooring leaf designs found in Virgin Australia’s lounges
Virgin Australia launched its trial of airlines future in-flight entertainment system based on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, passengers lucky enough to be travelling in Business Class on select Boeing 737 and Embraer E90 flights will have the chance to trial the enhanced inflight experience the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 will deliver. Virgin Australia Group Executive Product and Guest Services, Martin Daley, said the trial signalled the beginning of an enhanced inflight experience for guests. “The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 has developed a reputation as a leader in the tablet space. This state of the art device will provide guests with a wide range of pre-loaded movies, television and audio programs, delivered with high resolution graphics and superb sound.” “It also represents a step closer to Phase Two of our in-flight entertainment plans, which is the roll-out of the leading Wi-Fi system developed by Lufthansa Systems, scheduled to take place later this year.” “This Wi-Fi system will allow guests to stream video and audio directly to their own personal electronic devices, Wi-Fi enabled laptops or the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.” “This latest product release, combined with our new Business Class and Economy Class cabin environment, will allow us to offer a first-rate travel experience to guests”, Mr Daley said. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 device features include: The 16:9 screen aspect (which means that the Galaxy is one of the best devices to view movies); Excellent screen sharpness with 149 pixels per square inch; and Easy to hold, lightweight (565g) and slim design (8.6mm thick). The second instalment will begin in May 2012 with full commencement from June 2012 upon which Galaxy Tab 10.1’s will be offered to Flexi Fare guests travelling on flights over 3 hours, where available. In addition, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 will be offered to Economy guests for a fee for flights over 3 hours, subject to availability.
Qantas will commence trials of its inflight internet connectivity solution from tomorrow, on six of its Airbus A380 aircraft that service Sydney/Melbourne to Los Angeles routes, as reported here back in December (Qantas to trial Inflight Wi-Fi Internet from Feburary 2012) the the OnAir’s solution which piggybacks off of Inmarsat’s SwiftBoadband. Qantas Executive Manager Customer Experience Alison Webster said customers will be able to access the Internet via their Wi-Fi enabled laptops and personal electronic devices, such as iPhones, iPads and BlackBerrys, on Qantas for the first time. “The eight week trial will give customers the opportunity to access the Internet in exactly the same way as a terrestrial Wi-Fi hotspot in which customers can pay with their credit card and surf the Internet, including the use of email,” Ms Webster said. “Qantas is the first airline in the world to trial this service on direct flights between Australia and the US. “Over the past week Qantas has conducted some preliminary testing and is pleased to now trial the service with customers flying between Australia and Los Angeles.” The connectivity service, provided by OnAir uses Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband and global satellite based connections to transfer data between the passengers in the aircraft to the ground. The trial will initially be available to customers travelling in the First and Business cabins and will form part of Qantas’ ongoing strategic evaluation of connectivity options, including the review of next generation technology platforms.
Emirates Lounges across Australia will be serving gourmet dishes from the critically acclaimed Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa, with Emirates travellers being offered a different dish each month. The menu will consists of starter, main course and dessert menu options, designed by Wolgan Valley’s Executive Chef Anston Fivaz that will refresh and delight the most discerning palates. I have personally stayed at Emirates Wolgan ValleyResort and Spa back in 2009 and can testify to the superb quality and taste of the dishes on offer at Wolgan Valley, Emirates Airlines passengers will be in for a re111al treat, another great reason to fly Emirates. Picture 1: Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa Yabbie Asparagus and Fennel Starter to be Served in Emirates Lounges Across Australia Picture 2: Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa Beef Fillite with Leek Fondue Baby Turnips and Asparagus Main Picture 3: Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa Apple & Mascarpone Trifle Dessert to be Served in Emirates Lounges Across Australia “Emirates has always been very attentive in delivering a dining offering on the ground and in the air that meets the highest standards in quality – ensuring an extraordinary culinary experience while maintaining the authenticity and seasonality of the products,” said Mr Mohammed H Mattar, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President, Airport Services. “Choosing Wolgan Valley, its luxury Australian conservation-based property and first hospitality development outside Dubai, to design some of the dishes offered in the lounges was a natural decision for Emirates,” concluded Mr Mattar. “We’re thrilled to extend our gourmet cuisine from Wolgan Valley to Emirates lounges and showcase our seasonal, regional and organic food philosophy,” said Joost Heymeijer, General Manager, Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa. “We look forward to delivering a uniquely Wolgan Valley gourmet experience for travellers.” A selection of the gourmet dishes include appetizers such as yabby salad, with shaved baby fennel, broad beans, pea puree, with asparagus spears; main courses including E Beck lamb rump, ratatouille, roasted tomato coulis, with candied basil leaves; and desserts of apple trifle, made with mascarpone cream, apple puree, caramelised apple, roulade sponge, and crème patisserie.
Virgin Australia will be adding additional surcharges to tickets in response to European and Australian Carbon Pricing schemes, which will see an average increased per sector of $3.00 for its domestic services, the domestic surcharge will be added to tickets purchased from 1 March 2012 for flights on or after 1 July 2012. Virgin Australia will use the following Zone/Distance Surcharge table to calculate the appropriate surcharge: Zone Dinstance KMs Surcharge AUD 1 1-900 Km $1.50 2 901-2000 Km $3.00 3 2001+ Km $6.0 For Virgin Australia code share services that operate into and out of Europe via codeshare partner Etihad a European surcharge will apply Therefore from 1 March 2012, there will be a surcharge of USD$3.00 per passenger for all Virgin Australia codeshare flights into and out of Europe, which will apply to flights on/after 1 March 2012. The surcharge is applicable on flights into and out of EU countries only and includes Athens, Brussels, Dublin, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, London, Manchester, Munich and Paris Note these prices may change from time to time as the above prices are based on an estimated carbon usage and because carbon prices fluctuate
With the upcoming release of the Thai Airways A380 the airline has released Thai Airways A380 interior cabin photos, which clearly shows a three class configuration The class and configuration details of the Thai Airways A380 is further backed up by a press release from the company last year that details 507 seats in total with 12 compartment style Seats in Royal First Class, 60 Seats in Royal Silk Business Class and 435 seats in Economy Class.
Qantas have commenced the pilot of its inflight entertainment streaming system called Q Streaming which allows passengers to stream entertainment options to Qantas supplied iPads. At the moment the initial pilot is being ran only on a dedicated Boeing 767-300 with aircraft registration VH-OGH and offers over 200 hours of entertainment. Durin the pilot the Q Streaming inflight entertainment solution developed by Lufthansa systems will only be available to Qantas supplied iPads, however a Qantas spokesperson said that from mid feburary the Q Streaming system would be available for passengers personal Laptops, smartphones, iPads and iPhones. To Q Streaming on a passengers device you will either need to download the Qantas Q Streaming app from the Apple App Store or for PCs ensure that Microsoft Silverlight is downloaded prior to take-off. Executive Manager Customer Experience Alison Webster said the trial which commenced in mid-January has been exceptionally popular with Qantas customers. “The Q Streaming trial has been well received by our customers and the feedback from the trial has been overwhelmingly positive. Customers have enjoyed the flexibility and ease of use of the Q Streaming programming and the wide range of content available,” said Ms Webster. Olivier Krüger, SVP Regional Management Asia-Pacific at Lufthansa Systems, said Qantas is one of the world’s most experienced and innovative airlines and is taking Lufthansa System’s BoardConnect wireless IFE system to the skies. “We are proud to work with Qantas to bring to market such a unique passenger experience,” Mr Kruger said. Q Streaming utilises cutting edge wireless technology that enables customers to connect to the Qantas on demand IFE system, with their WIFI devices, providing Qantas customers with a greater variety of choice from a wide range of content. Given the great customer feedback received to date, from the end of February, Qantas will continue to enable customers to access the Q Streaming content via their own WIFI enabled devices on the dedicated B767-300 whilst finalising plans to extend its application across the wider fleet.
Qantas Inflight WiFi Internet connectivity trials will be kicked off on six of its Airbus A380 aircraft from February 2012, the pilot will only be on select flights between Sydney/Los Angeles and Melbourne/Los Angeles, and will allow passengers to access the internet and other online services from Wi-Fi enabled personal devices such as iPads, iPhones, Blackberrys and personal laptops. Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said “From February next year our customers travelling between Australia and Los Angeles will have the opportunity to participate in our inflight connectivity trial and communicate online from the 35,000 feet,” Mr Joyce added “Our customers will be able to access the Internet via their Wi-Fi enabled personal electronic devices, such as iPhones, iPads and BlackBerrys, on Qantas for the first time.” Qantas will piggyback off of the OnAir inflight connectivity solution which uses Inmarsat’s SwiftBoadband to transfer data between the from the ground to satellite and then to the passengers aircraft, this solution is already being used by a host of mainly European and Asian airlines, see our Airline In-flight Wi-Fi Internet Connectivity Guide for more information. The trial will initially be available to customers travelling in the First and Business cabins and will form part of Qantas’ ongoing strategic evaluation of connectivity options, including the review of next generation technology platforms. Earlier this year Qantas also announced it would commence a trial in which it will deliver over 200 hours of inflight entertainment options to passengers via iPads provided in each seat of a dedicated B767-300 aircraft. Customers travelling on the dedicated B767 will also be able to watch Qantas’s in-flight entertainment on their laptop computer, smartphone, tablet or other WIFI enabled device later in the latter part of the trial. Q Streaming utilises cutting edge wireless technology that enables customers to connect to the Qantas on demand IFE system, with their WIFI devices, providing Qantas customers with a greater variety of choice from a wide range of content. The trial is set to commence mid January. We are excited and proud to be the first airline worldwide to pilot this ground-breaking technology. Following the trial, Qantas will assess opportunities for the application of Q Streaming across both the domestic and international fleet.
British Airways recently announced a relaunch of their Executive Club Frequent Flyer program and has also added a new Bronze tier, which in the BA Executive Club hierarchy will sit in between BA Executive Club Blue and Silver. Along with the British Airways Executive Club re-launch and new Bronze tier the airline has totally re-designed all Executive Club Membership cards. The new British Airways Executive Club Membership Cards are as below: The new Bronze tier has been created to reward frequent flying blue members who will be promoted to Bronze with just half the tier points they would need for Silver membership Executive Club members Bronze members can expect the following benefits from this new tier: Business class check-in Seat selection at seven days before departure Earning a 25 per cent tier bonus – that’s 1.25 Avios for every mile flown Dedicated telephone number (UK & US) Bronze tier luggage tags Frank van der Post, British Airways’ managing director for brands and customer experience, said: “The re-launch of our award-winning Executive club reinforces the huge importance we place on customer loyalty and emphasises that customers are at the heart of everything we do. “We have created a new Bronze tier and stylish new identities to bring a greater range of rewards and increased recognition. “The re-launch of the British Airways Executive Club, which now has over seven million members worldwide, is part of a massive £5bn investment we are making across the whole airline on new aircraft, lounges, and technologies for our customers.” Full details of British Airways Executive Club membership benefits at each tier level are as follows: BENEFITS Oneworld equivalent tier Blue Bronze Silver Gold Collect Avios Priority waitlist Seating preference stored and delivered where possible Meal preference stored and delivered where possible Household Account Collect Avios with Executive Club partners Purchase Avios Gift Avios Transfer Avios Combine Avios Reward Flight Saver Mobile apps Priority check-in at business class desks Free seat selection (*excludes exist rows) 24 hours before departure Seven days before departure At time of booking At time of booking Priority boarding Additional baggage allowance Reservation assurance Avios Tier bonus 25 per cent 100 per cent 100 per cent Lounge access when flying with British Airways or our partner airlines Use of British Airways First and other oneworld first class check-in desks No booking or service fees on reward flights, hotel stays and car rental Additional reward available in economy Gold upgrade for two Silver Partner […]
Qantas has received the first of its brand new Qantas 737-800 aircraft that includes a new Domestic Business and Economy seat as well as the Boeing Sky Interior, and a new Panasonic on demand in-flight entertainment system. We got to see the first Qantas 737-800 at the recent Qantas 91st birthday come Qantas 787 Dreamliner event in Sydney last week, and I was fairly impressed with what I saw. Qantas 737-800 Boeing Sky Interior The Boeing Sky Interior on board the Qantas 737-800 is the same that is seen in the big brother 787 Dreamliner. Sky Interior incorporates LED mood lighting (with 6 different lighting moods) which Qantas say will enhance the sense of spaciousness on your journey, as well as the mood lighting the aircraft has enlarged window surrounds, 787 Dreamliner style overhead cabin bins and LED reading lights. Qantas 737-800 Business Class The Qantas 737-800 features 12 newly designed Recaro seats with Marc Newson designed leather seat covers. Business Class seats have a 37 inch (93.9 cm) seat pitch and are 22 inches (55.8 cm) wide. The 12 seats are spread out over 3 rows with seats configured in a 2-2 seating configuration. Qantas 737-800 Economy Class The Economy Class the next generation Qantas 737-800 features 156 seats each with have a 30 inch (76.2 cm) seat pitch, 5 inch (12.7 cm) recline and 17.2 inch (43.68 cm) seat width. The seat back In-flight entertainment LCD screen measures 9 inches (22.86 cm) and is fully touch screen Both Business and Economy seats feature PC power as well as USB ports for charging iPhones/iPads and other USB type devices. Qantas have 24 Boeing 737-800 on order which will operate both Tasman and domestic routes
With a Qantas/Jetstar 787 Dreamliner not expected until late 2013 at the earliest the next best thing is bringing a Boeing 787 Dreamliner to Australia for a promotional visit. The reason behind today’s event was the 91st anniversary of Qantas the main attraction was the Qantas 787 Dreamliner, Qantas also had on hand their factory fresh Boeing 737-800 that features a new business seat for this type of aircraft as well as Boeing’s Sky Interior. The day began out the front of Building C at Qantas in Mascot, where media, VIP and Staff were picked up for transport to Hanger 416 at the Qantas Jet Base. On arrival media and VIP guests mingled around the Boeing 787 Dreamliner before the formalities kicked off, after this there was a tour of the Dreamliner as well as factory fresh Boeing 737-800. A close-up of the tail of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner The tail of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner The setup in front of the Qantas 787 Dreamliner prior to the Qantas 91st Birthday speeches The front of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner The mighty wing and Rolls Royce Engine Dreamliner Logo pictured on the outside of the aircraft One of the two Rolls Royce Engines on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner Qantas CEO Alan Joyce Jetstar CEO Bruce Buchanan Boeing 787 Vice President Mike Sinnett Following formalities Qantas CEO Alan Joyce (pictured on left), and Jetstar CEO Bruce Buchanan (Pictured on right) were presented composite window cutouts from the 787 Dreamliner, by Boeing 787 Vice President Mike Sinnett (Pictured in Center) The stairs up to enter the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, on the opposite side of the aircraft from where the Qantas/Jetstar media event was just held One of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner test engineers who was on hand to answer any questions, this guys was a wealth of information. The cockpit/flightdeck on board the Boeing 787 Dreamliner A plaque inside the Boeing 787 Dreamliner that reads: Certificate 787 Dreamliner Flight Crew Participant of the flight program of the 10th International Aviation and Space Salon Maks – 2011 Chairman of Organizing Committee Signed Khristenko Moscow, Zhukovsky, Airdrome “Ramensky” August 16-21, 2011