Our Easter Thursday wrap-up for frequent flyers

By Chris Chamberlin , April 2 2015
Our Easter Thursday wrap-up for frequent flyers

If you’re planning a detour via the duty-free stores at Sydney Airport on your next journey abroad, pack your Etihad Guest membership card and collect points on your purchases – whether that’s fragrances, alcohol or anything else in the store.

Likewise before your next trip, why not take your Gold or Platinum frequent flyer status with one airline and turn it into the same with another by way of a ‘status match’, giving you the creature comforts such as lounge access and priority check-in if you’ll be straying from your usual airline.

Wrapping things up this week: how to score cheap business class tickets on Qantas and Cathay Pacific by buying AAdvantage miles, and Virgin Australia’s new lounges for frequent flyers in the Northern Territory.

Earn Etihad Guest miles at Sydney Airport duty-free

Travellers can now earn Etihad Guest miles on their duty-free purchases at Sydney Airport, whether jetting abroad or returning home.

As duty-free operator Heinemann is headquartered in Germany, the number of miles you’ll earn isn’t based on your spend in Aussie dollars, rather the value once converted to Euros at the rate of one mile per €1.

Using today’s exchange rate, that’s roughly one Etihad Guest mile per A$1.41 spent at Sydney Airport's Heinemann duty-free zones plus the A Little Something and National Geographic shops, with double miles also up for grabs on all purchases through the end of May.

Read more: Earn Etihad Guest miles at Sydney Airport duty-free

Buying AA miles for cheap business class flights

Fancy jetting to the likes of Singapore, Hong Kong or Shanghai for just over $2,000 return in Qantas or Cathay Pacific business class?

Hmm... quite the bargain indeed...
Hmm... quite the bargain indeed...

That’s one of the great deals you can get when buying American Airlines AAdvantage miles, which can be redeemed for flights on airlines right across the Oneworld alliance.

Here’s how it’s done: Low-cost Qantas business class buying AA miles

Oneworld, Star Alliance and SkyTeam status matches

Take a Gold or Platinum frequent flyer card from one airline and, like a magician's trick, a 'status match' deal will make a matching shiny card from another airline appear in your wallet or purse.

If you've chosen your status match partner wisely, that new card will unlock prized perks such as lounge access, priority check-in and higher checked baggage allowance with not just one other airline but dozens of them via the Star Alliance, Oneworld and SkyTeam groups of airlines.

Here are three current status match deals – one for each of those alliances – so if you play your cards right, you'll quickly be a VIP traveller on most of the world's leading airlines.

Read more: Oneworld, Star Alliance, SkyTeam frequent flyer status match deals

New Virgin Australia lounges in Darwin and Alice Springs

Virgin Australia’s new airport lounges in Darwin and Alice Springs are now open, welcoming Gold and Platinum frequent flyers either before or after their journey with Virgin Australia.

Up in Darwin, you’ll find the lounge adjacent to the Qantas Club and with seats for 130 guests, along with a plethora of power points and the now-expected sandwich toaster.

There’s also a convertible meeting room that can be opened up to create extra seating space for all guests, or partitioned off for those private chats.

Read our review: Virgin Australia's Darwin Airport lounge

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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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