A week in review for Qantas, Virgin Australia, SQ frequent flyers

By Chris Chamberlin , February 9 2015
A week in review for Qantas, Virgin Australia, SQ frequent flyers

Woolworths Money cardholders will soon amass fewer Qantas Frequent Flyer points than they are today with their earning rates taking a dive after spending only $2,500 in a single month, so if the Woolies credit card is your ‘go-to’ for spending, you’ll want to see if it still fits the bill.

Also in this week’s wrap, the fuel surcharges on Qantas Frequent Flyer award tickets – long scorned by travellers as bolstering the co-pay amount when redeeming their hard-earned points – have dropped, making award bookings and frequent flyer points slightly more valuable.

We also dive into Platinum One status and the paid-up Qantas Club scheme and examine the perks that the cards bring and how to get one of your very own, and take a look at the free car hire status choices afforded to Virgin Australia Velocity Platinum members.

To wind things up, we chat with the CEO of Singapore Airlines’ low-cost offshoot Scoot on how KrisFlyer miles will be earned on the budget airline and whether KrisFlyer Gold and PPS Club status benefits will come into play.

Qantas lowers fuel surcharges on frequent flyer award tickets

Fuel surcharges imposed on Qantas Frequent Flyer award tickets have fallen by up to $130 as the airline rolls the cost of fuel into the base fares on international flights.

As a result, travellers trading their frequent flyer points on an overseas ticket won't need to pay as much in additional fees.

For frequent flyers, the savings cut up to $110 from the cost of selected return economy award bookings and up to $130 in premium economy.

Read more: Qantas cuts frequent flyer fuel surcharges

Frequent flyer points slashed on Woolworths Visa

Woolworths Money Qantas Platinum Visa cardholders will earn fewer frequent flyer points from next month, with the per-dollar earning rates cut in half for the card’s highest spenders.

Currently awarding one Qantas Point per dollar spent with no limit, the changes will see a new $2,500 transaction ceiling introduced for each monthly statement cycle.

Spends up to that level will earn the same point-per-dollar, but beyond that the earning rate will be slashed to half a point per dollar until the cardholder’s next statement period begins.

Read more: Woolies halves credit card frequent flyer points

Qantas Platinum One: the unofficial guide

Platinum One status in the Qantas Frequent Flyer program is only within reach of Australia’s most highly-travelled road warriors, but with comes with significant perks to make it worth your while.

Among them, a free Platinum card for your partner or significant other, no fees for extra-legroom seating in economy and same-day flight changes at no charge.

Here’s what’s on offer to the country’s most frequent travellers, and how to reach the lofty heights of Platinum One status.

Read our unofficial guide: Qantas Platinum One

Aer Lingus set to re-join Oneworld as part of BA take-over

Qantas will pick up a new alliance partner if Ireland's Aer Lingus re-joins Oneworld following a £1 billion (A$1.9 billion) takeover by British Airways’ parent International Airlines Group.

IAG's billion-pound play has been given the thumbs-up by the Aer Lingus board, although the proposal will also need approval from shareholders Ryanair and the Irish Government, which together hold 55% of the Dublin-based carrier.

Qantas Frequent Flyer members can already earn and redeem frequent flyer points on Aer Lingus flights, although Oneworld membership would see that extend further to include creature comforts such as lounge access, priority check-in and boarding and the ability to earn status credits.

Read more: Aer Lingus set to re-join Oneworld

Scoot flights to earn Singapore Airlines' KrisFlyer miles, not status

Scoot’s forthcoming tie-up with Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer frequent flyer scheme won’t extend to earning elite miles, accruing ‘PPS value’ or the usual tier benefits such as lounge access and priority boarding.

Scoot passengers will be able to purchase a KrisFlyer add-on with their fare to enable them to earn KrisFlyer miles, which Scoot CEO Campbell Wilson says will be based on the price paid for the ticket rather than the distance travelled.

Even if you’re jetting about in ‘ScootBiz’, the airline’s premium travel class, you'll have to buy the optional cost-extra bundle to pocket those KrisFlyer miles, Scoot CEO Campbell Wilson confirmed to Australian Business Traveller.

Read more: Scoot flights to earn SQ KrisFlyer miles, not status

Virgin Australia Velocity Platinum: get Europcar, Hertz VIP status

Virgin Australia’s Velocity Frequent Flyer Platinum status is about more than airport lounge access – you’ll also drive away with a free elite membership with Europcar or Hertz.

On reaching Platinum for the first time, you’ll be invited to accept either a Europcar Privilege Elite or an impressively-worded Hertz Gold Plus Rewards President’s Circle card.

Both schemes afford basic benefits such as an upgraded rental car and priority assistance at the airport, but which is best for business travellers?

Find out now: Virgin Australia Velocity Platinum: Europcar or Hertz?

The ultimate unofficial Qantas Club guide and FAQ

Qantas Club membership gives travellers a nice mix of the usual Silver and Gold-grade Qantas Frequent Flyer perks, but in exchange for an upfront membership fee rather than being earned through frequent travel.

Among them – access to Qantas and selected partner airline lounges, priority check-in, a boosted baggage allowance and the ability to upgrade to business class at the airport.

If you’re not familiar with the Qantas Club, here are the basics to get you started.

Read more: The ultimate unofficial Qantas Club guide

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Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!


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