Weekly News Recap – 25 May

Status Match with Star Alliance by joining Turkish Airlines, Thai Airways Experience, PATraveller Member Exclusives, Qantas Points Upgrade “at-the-gates” Update, Chinese Airlines Business Class fares

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Hi, there. Jake Hower from Pan-Australian Travel with another weekly news update. I’m going to start with an offer to upgrade your status level with Star Alliance. If you’re currently a One World member with a high tier status, you can actually get a status match with the Star Alliance. So that’s great. If you need to actually fly with one of the Star Alliance carriers, it may be a really good option for you.

Now, I’ll post all the details on how you can do that below. But it effectively means you’ve got to sign up to the Turkish Airlines frequent flyer program and just send a quick email with your status of your particular airline. Now, it’s available for obviously Qantas, but any other One World Alliance partners as well. So it’s a really good option, particularly if you’re flying someone like Singapore Airlines or something like that. You can match your status, get access to lounge and some of the better features you have with the upgraded status there.

Now, Maureen working in the office here has just come back from Thailand with a group of Rotarians. She flew with Thai Airways and has had fantastic feedback on their service. She mentioned that the food on board was absolutely sensational. The aircraft are really nice. The cabinet staff are great as well.

They’re one of the biggest airline partners. So if you haven’t consider Thai previously, you might want to consider them, particularly on their flights to Europe. They’ve got some really great fares out. And yet, the feedback we get on them is really good. So well worth considering.

Now, on Thai Airways, you may have received– if you’re a PA Traveler member, which is our frequent flyer program– you may have received an email from us last week regarding a Qantas companion business class fare through to Europe, which was priced around $6,000 per person, which is a really great offer. I know it’s for travel all the way through to March next year.

Now, that’s actually expired. But Thai Airlines have got a similar deal in place at the moment as well. Now, you have to book and pay by the end of this month, so the 31st of May. But you can travel all the way through to the 27th of October. So travel to Europe with Thai Airways in business class for under $6,000. It’s a really great offer. So if you want any further details, hit reply to the email I’ve sent you or use the Contact Us page on our website.

Now, those emails are going to come straight to me. And I will be the one responding to those as well. So any further details, shoot me an email. I’ll get out those to you straight away.

Now, if you’ve ever requested a points upgrade with Qantas, you’ll know that you can sometimes be declined your upgrade and then, on boarding the aircraft, find that there are actually spare seats available in the business class cabin, which is really frustrating. The great news is that Qantas have just announced that they’ve changed– they’ve upgraded their system which allows them to offer at the gates upgrades.

So if you’ve got a request in place and, for some reason, some of the confirmed seats no show in business class, there’s still a chance to be upgraded to business class. Now, what that actually means for free upgrades is that essentially they’re going to disappear because Qantas is going to give preference to their frequent flyer members and those who are requesting upgrades. So what I’d suggest is if you want to travel business class or in a higher cabin to put in your request early with Qantas. And you’re going to be hopefully a better chance of actually receiving that now as well.

Now, in previous episodes and in this episode, I’ve spoken a lot about business class travel. Now, it’s not actually suitable for everybody. The price can sometimes be a barrier for actually choosing business class.

But sometimes, economy class is pretty cramped, particularly on super long journeys, like those to Europe. So if you’re looking for some higher levels of comfort but don’t want to be paying $7,000, $8,000 for a business class air fare, you might consider one of the Chinese carries.

Now, the routes through to Europe are pretty good. The connections are really good as well. Someone like China Southern have fares through to Europe for under $5,000. So that’s in line with a Qantas premium economy. Now, they’re not fully flat beds. So the product isn’t as good as, say, a Singapore Airlines or an Emirates. But it’s a really great option if you’re usually an economy class traveler but just want to raise the comfort levels a little bit more.

So $5,000 is roughly twice an economy class fare, which is really good value. You can transit through China without having a visa. But if you wanted to stop at Guangzhou or Canton, which China Southern hubs through, is a great shopping city. So you could spend a couple of days there, pick up some bargains on the way to Europe or on the way back. It’s a good option. So that’s something to consider. If you want, though, the details of any of the Chinese carriers, again reply to the email I’ve sent you or just use the Contact Us page on this forum.

That’s it for this week. If you’ve got any queries at all, please let us know. If you’ve got any feedback, I’d love to hear it. What can I include in this that will help you, or what sort of news do you want to actually hear about? Let me know.

The responses so far I’ve had from you have been excellent. It really help to improve it. So I thank you. And I thank you for your business as well. And I’ll see you next week.

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