This week

By Chris C., December 12 2014
This week

Fancy skipping the lines at the boarding gate and heading straight to your seat? Qantas Gold frequent flyers can now do just that thanks to their newfound access to the priority boarding lanes ahead of domestic flights.

And it’ll be even easier for Brisbane residents to keep their shiny Gold card each year, with the Red Roo launching direct flights to Tokyo’s Narita Airport from mid-2015.

The full details are in this week’s wrap, along with our review of Cathay Pacific’s new lounge in Tokyo Haneda Airport for Gold and Platinum-grade travellers.

To wind things up, your Velocity points can now be swapped for Virgin Australia business class flights to New Zealand, with the airline ditching premium economy across the pond from early next year.

Qantas extends priority boarding to Gold frequent flyers

Qantas Gold frequent flyers can now use priority lanes to skip the boarding gate queues on Australian domestic flights.

The priority boarding benefit will also cover equivalent Sapphire members of Oneworld partner airlines such as British Airways Executive Club Silver and Cathay Pacific's Marco Polo Club Gold.

The change aligns Qantas with the rest of Oneworld, with priority boarding one of the published alliance-wide benefits for both Sapphire and Emerald-level travellers stuck in economy.

Read more: Qantas extends priority boarding to Gold frequent flyers

Earn points and status credits non-stop from Brisbane to Tokyo

Qantas will launch Brisbane-Tokyo flights next year, providing a direct service between the Queensland and Japanese capitals and allowing frequent flyers to earn those all-important points without having to fly via Sydney.

The flights will run four times a week into Tokyo's Narita Airport from August 1st 2015 on an Airbus A330 fitted with the airline's new Business Suite business class and upgraded economy seats.

Qantas’ existing Sydney-Narita services will switch to Haneda Airport the following day, which is preferred by many business travellers as it’s closer to the city centre.

Read more: Qantas to start Brisbane-Tokyo flights

Also read: Qantas switches Sydney-Tokyo flights to Haneda Airport

Redeem your Velocity points for Virgin Australia trans-Tasman business class

Virgin Australia kicks off trans-Tasman business class flights from late February next year, which can now be booked using your Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer points.

A one-way hop across the pond from Sydney to Auckland comes in at 33,800 points, or 67,600 for a return journey – plus a small payment to cover the taxes and surcharges.

That’s a boost to the current 25,400-point rate, which currently gets you a seat up the front in premium economy between the same cities.

Read more: Virgin Australia starts selling trans-Tasman business class

New Cathay Pacific Haneda Airport lounge opens for Qantas Gold, Platinum frequent flyers

Cathay Pacific’s Haneda Airport lounge showcases a new direction for the airline’s lounge network in line with its recent brand refresh.

Other Cathay Pacific lounges – including Hong Kong flagship The Pier – will take on a similar design, so in many ways Haneda affords a preview of the shape of CX lounges to come.

Join us as we give the new lounge a hands-on review.

Lounge Review: Cathay Pacific Haneda Airport lounge

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Chris C.

Chris is a a former contributor to Executive Traveller.

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