This week is a big one for Qantas and Oneworld frequent flyers with Cathay Pacific shaking up its Marco Polo Club loyalty program from next year and Qatar Airways planning non-stop Sydney flights: a new opportunity to earn and redeem points and enjoy perks along the way.
Virgin Australia travellers aren’t forgotten in this week’s wrap either, who can pick up a whopping 250,000 Velocity frequent flyer points with a new NAB home loan, can relax in a new Air New Zealand lounge in Auckland and soon new AirNZ lounges in Brisbane and Melbourne too.
Rounding things out for another week, we catch up with Qantas Domestic CEO Andrew David on what’s new and upcoming for the nation’s domestic business travellers, particularly on the lounge front.
Air NZ’s big plans for Aussie airport lounges
Air New Zealand will open upgraded lounges at Brisbane and Melbourne international airports next year for Gold and Elite Airpoints members, Virgin Australia Velocity Gold and Platinum cardholders and Star Alliance Gold guests, complementing its new Auckland and Sydney lounges.
First up at the start of 2016 is the all-new Brisbane International Lounge, which will be significantly larger than the current facility.
A similar make-over for Melbourne is also on the cards, with that lounge being relocated to new space within the international terminal.
NAB: 250,000 Velocity Points with new home loans
In the market for a new home? Take out a home loan with NAB and you could pocket a swell 250,000 Virgin Australia Velocity frequent flyer points: enough for a return business class jaunt to London or New York (plus taxes and fees), or two return economy trips to the same.
Closer to home, 250,000 Velocity points could also buy a whopping 36 one-way economy flights between Sydney and Melbourne with change to spare, or a still-impressive 18 business class flights on the same route.
Targeting owner-occupiers, it’s the largest-ever serve of Velocity points from a major bank in the program’s history, and rewards travellers for their hard work in saving for that all-important deposit, which often means clamping down on otherwise-costly holiday plans.
For more information, head to the NAB website.
What’s new and next for Qantas domestic travellers
Following the opening of the new Qantas Business Lounge in Perth, frequent flyers can look forward to an impressive three new domestic lounges at Brisbane Airport, slated to open in 2016-17.
On the agenda: an expanded business class lounge, a refreshed Qantas Club facility and a revitalised Chairman’s Lounge for the VIP crowd.
Cathay Pacific overhauls Marco Polo Club
Oneworld alliance member and Qantas partner Cathay Pacific will make sweeping changes to its Marco Polo Club frequent flyer scheme from April 15 2016, impacing how elite status is earned as well as the perks it provides.
It's a mixed bag, with an all-new points-based qualification system, a loss of ‘anytime lounge access’ privileges for Diamond guests but free confirmed upgrades for both Gold and Diamond members.
Here's how the changes will affect you.
Qatar Airways to fly to Sydney from March 1st, 2016
Qantas frequent flyers and other Oneworld members have a new way to reach Qatar, the Middle East and Europe from March 2016 with the launch of non-stop Qatar Airways flights between Sydney and Doha.
As a Oneworld member airline, travellers can earn both Qantas Points and status credits on Qatar Airways flights, while Sapphire and Emerald members – that’s Qantas Gold, Platinum and Platinum One – can enjoy their usual perks including priority check-in, boarding and airport lounge access.
In Sydney, Qantas Gold and Oneworld Sapphire members can relax in the Qantas business class lounge prior to a Qatar Airways flight, while Qantas Platinum and Platinum One cardholders plus Oneworld Emerald members can cool their heels in the Qantas First Lounge.
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