This week

By Chris Chamberlin, March 6 2015
This week

Fancy earning 5,000 Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles without leaving your lounge room and another 5,000 bonus miles on your first Singapore Airlines flight?

How about a boosted checked baggage allowance on the cheapest Virgin Australia economy tickets for Silver, Gold and Platinum members of Velocity, plus free checked baggage for every traveller, even Red-level members?

That’s all in this week’s wrap, along with our analysis into the costs of airport lounge membership and if it’s really worth the outlay – and if it is, five paid airport lounge schemes Aussie travellers should know about.

Finally, we take a look at the Europcar Privilege loyalty program and the benefits and perks that frequent travellers can unlock when they hit the road.

Earn up to 10,000 bonus KrisFlyer miles

If you’re not yet on-board with Singapore Airlines, now is the time to join its KrisFlyer scheme with 5,000 miles on the table just for signing up.

You’ll earn another 5,000 miles after your first return trip with SQ, on top of what you’d otherwise pocket along the way.

See how it’s done: Grab up to 10,000 bonus KrisFlyer miles

Virgin Australia frequent flyers get more checked baggage in economy

For travellers both stuck in economy and in the cheapest seats on a ‘best fare of the day’ policy, there’s some good news coming your way.

All domestic fares on Virgin Australia will include a free checked bag every traveller, while the free allowance doubles for Silver and Gold members from one to two bags.

Platinum members also see a boost from two to three checked bags on the least-expensive tickets, with Saver Lite fares merged with Saver to include free baggage for all.

Read more: Free checked baggage for all VA domestic travellers

Is paid airport lounge membership worth the cost?

Whether it’s free Wi-Fi, complimentary food and drinks or just a secluded place to wait for your flight away from the hustle and bustle of the terminal concourse, there’s no denying that airport lounges are a godsend for frequent travellers.

But the question remains – are they worth paying for? Qantas, Virgin Australia and Priority Pass would certainly have you think so, with one-year unlimited memberships on the block for $895, $750 and A$520, respectively, inclusive of any joining or initial fees.

The irony being, of course, that if you fly frequently enough to justify paying for lounge access, you’ll generally get it for free from your airline and its frequent flyer program…

Read more: Is paid airport lounge membership worth the cost?

Five airport lounge schemes you should know about

There’s no denying that free airport lounge access is the Holy Grail of frequent flyer perks, but there’s no reason that less-frequent travellers should be left sitting out in the terminal.

Passengers in economy can still pony up cold hard cash for their spot in the lounge by finding an annual membership scheme that best suits their travel habits, or even by buying a short term pass to cover a month of frequent travel.

Here are our top five picks of the airport lounge schemes for Aussie travellers.

Read more: Five paid airport lounge schemes you should know about

Europcar Privilege for Aussie business travellers

Whether it’s a complimentary weekend rental, an upgrade to a better hire car or even free airport lounge membership, the Europcar Privilege program packs quite a punch for the frequent road warrior.

Unlike Hertz or even your typical frequent flyer scheme, Europcar does away with points entirely – instead rewarding travellers in line with how often they loan a car rather than how many points they manage to accumulate.

That sounds like a bad idea at first, yet it serves to make the program easier to understand in that you don’t earn points that have to be swapped for a reward: you just earn rewards.

Read more: Europcar Privilege for Aussie business travellers

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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 not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.