Airline Update: Battle of the domestics

Find out the latest updates from the air and on the ground this week.

SJ is a regular travel contributor to YourLifeChoices. Her favourite place in the world so far is Positano, where she spent most of her time enjoying the view from her balcony at Hotel Buca Di Bacco.

New routes and air alliances can mean more travel options, so what’s new in the air and on the ground this week?

Coles and Virgin buddy up
In the cutthroat world that is frequent flyer programs, Virgin’s latest announcement may put them ahead for once and all.

Having already partnered with BP so members can earn points when they buy petrol, the airline is now allowing frequent flyers with a flybuys card to transfer those points into Velocity Points.

Allowing up to 138,000 points per year to be transferred, you can also earn Status Credits when you shop, in order to boost your level of membership more quickly. If you shop at Coles this is a bit of a no brainer and all you need to do is link your membership up and then swipe your flybuys card at Coles, Coles Online, Liquorland or First Choice Liquor.

Find out more at flybuys.

Qantas charges excess for excess
If you’re not good at packing light this may finally be the motivation that you need. Qantas have increased their excess baggage charges on domestic flights by up to 75 per cent.

Passengers who are travelling with more luggage than their ticket allows will find themselves faced with a $70 fee, up from $40 previously. If you have any additional suitcases on top of this they will incur an extra $90, as opposed to the $60 that was charged beforehand.

If any single piece of luggage exceeds 23kg you will be hit with a ‘heavy charge’ of $50 (this was previously $30), unless your ticket indicates a higher allowance.

And if you were thinking about avoiding the fee by pre-paying for excess baggage online before you fly, while this is still the best plan of attack, you won’t quite avoid the increased costs with Qantas now charging $35 instead of $30. Still, in the scheme of things five dollars seems a lot more reasonable than paying the full excess fee.

Read more at Australian Business Traveller. Do you purchase excess baggage before you fly? Or wait to deal with it at the airport?

RELATED ARTICLES





    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login
    MICK
    19th Nov 2016
    9:19am
    Horses for courses. Having flown both Qantas and Virgin overseas I know which is the better, and it ain't Virgin.
    Excess baggage fees are a rort everywhere. The irony is that if I weighed over 100 kg I'd be paying the same ticket price as somebody weighing 60 kg, so I cannot see the justice in ripping travellers off on luggage as currently occurs. I have been waiting for a fairer 'total mass' system to be implemented but the fat lady has not yet sung. Maybe.....
    HDRider
    19th Nov 2016
    11:37pm
    the only overseas virgin do apart from short haul is USA, so, why are they no good Mick. I have also flown both, in fact I am in KL right now and it wasn't Jetstar that delivered me!
    Take a look at the ratings, the cards and the overll service and I think you will find that Virgin come out on top everyime mate!
    I surely concur with you on excess baggage, having worked i the industry, and me ex did for Qantas also, it is a rort, and the skinny lightweight people pay! The average weight system is dated, but, if you have say, gold class on virgin you get extra allowance.
    Having said that, I fail to understand how the hell people go overweight!!!

    19th Nov 2016
    11:01am
    I've had enough of Qantas and their higher prices, and old aircraft.
    Flew Bris-Perth with them and got a clunky old 767 that didn't even have an entertainment system!
    I can fly with El-Cheapo carriers and get that level of service.
    On another Bris-Perth flight (supposed to leave at 8:30PM), we got to within half an hour of boarding when we got a message that a crew member (pilot or first officer) had called in sick.
    That was O.K., we all get sick - but then came the news that there would be a 2 hr delay while the replacement crew drove up from Surfers!
    This would have to be the poorest piece of management I've encountered in a long time, and it made for a very long night and arrival in Perth at around 2:00AM, instead of midnight.
    There's a world of difference in trying to get taxis at 2:00AM as compared to midnight, when there's still usually plenty around.
    Qantas lost our luggage on a Perth-Bris flight. We were staying at the Gold Coast and had to wait for them to find it and deliver it.
    Virgin have been the cheapest carrier for us, and their aircraft are more comfortable than Qantas aircraft.
    Virgin staff have to be the most pleasant airline staff around, and their service has been exceptional.
    Virgin entertainment systems are better than Qantas, and right up with the latest technology.
    Finally, when Woolworths stopped giving us Qantas FF points, that really killed off any remnant interest we had in Qantas.
    Qantas may be Australias favourite and most recognised airline, but its levels of pricing and customer service fall well behind Virgin for us.
    MICK
    19th Nov 2016
    2:04pm
    Interesting experience Aaron.
    On international routes I would always prefer to fly with a carrier which has Airbus A380s (Qantas does) as this is the most comfortable aircraft I can think of. After several years flying in Virgin's Boeing 777 with its rock hard seats and no legroom I left. As for high prices Virgin refuses to look after its regular flyers and does not care and Qantas is offering some pretty competitive prices on long haul flights.
    It's a no brainer for us but we do not generally fly internally so can appreciate horses for courses.
    johninmelb
    19th Nov 2016
    3:04pm
    You presumably travelled Business Class on your QF A380, and not down the back in cattle class.

    It is a comfortable plane to fly, BUT not crammed up in 31" seat pitch on Qantas.

    Singapore Airlines A380's are miles ahead of Qantas in terms of comfort, service, and any other metric you care to name. They have 32 inch pitch.

    The last time I flew on a QF A380 was London to Melbourne in a plane that was just 3 weeks old. On both landings in Singapore and in Melbourne, the pilot thumped the plane down on the tarmac with an almighty shuddering bang. This is how they treat a brand new aircraft? Going over to the UK, I flew one leg of the journey on a Singapore A380. The difference was remarkable. More space, and a way more pleasant flight. And on EVERY single Singapore Airlines flight I have ever taken, the pilots just gently glide the plane in, for an almost perfect touchdown.

    I've never flown Qantas since.

    On two recent flights to Sydney, I decided to try Virgin for the first time. Nothing remarkable I will grant you. No food, just a snack etc. What happened to the good old days? BUT, on my recent flight, one of the crew must have noticed I was struggling a bit, as I have some mobility problems now. When we arrived in Sydney, he came to tell me to wait till the other passengers had gone, as he had organised a wheelchair for me. I would never get that sort of service from Qantas.

    19th Nov 2016
    11:01am
    I've had enough of Qantas and their higher prices, and old aircraft.
    Flew Bris-Perth with them and got a clunky old 767 that didn't even have an entertainment system!
    I can fly with El-Cheapo carriers and get that level of service.
    On another Bris-Perth flight (supposed to leave at 8:30PM), we got to within half an hour of boarding when we got a message that a crew member (pilot or first officer) had called in sick.
    That was O.K., we all get sick - but then came the news that there would be a 2 hr delay while the replacement crew drove up from Surfers!
    This would have to be the poorest piece of management I've encountered in a long time, and it made for a very long night and arrival in Perth at around 2:00AM, instead of midnight.
    There's a world of difference in trying to get taxis at 2:00AM as compared to midnight, when there's still usually plenty around.
    Qantas lost our luggage on a Perth-Bris flight. We were staying at the Gold Coast and had to wait for them to find it and deliver it.
    Virgin have been the cheapest carrier for us, and their aircraft are more comfortable than Qantas aircraft.
    Virgin staff have to be the most pleasant airline staff around, and their service has been exceptional.
    Virgin entertainment systems are better than Qantas, and right up with the latest technology.
    Finally, when Woolworths stopped giving us Qantas FF points, that really killed off any remnant interest we had in Qantas.
    Qantas may be Australias favourite and most recognised airline, but its levels of pricing and customer service fall well behind Virgin for us.

    19th Nov 2016
    11:01am
    I've had enough of Qantas and their higher prices, and old aircraft.
    Flew Bris-Perth with them and got a clunky old 767 that didn't even have an entertainment system!
    I can fly with El-Cheapo carriers and get that level of service.
    On another Bris-Perth flight (supposed to leave at 8:30PM), we got to within half an hour of boarding when we got a message that a crew member (pilot or first officer) had called in sick.
    That was O.K., we all get sick - but then came the news that there would be a 2 hr delay while the replacement crew drove up from Surfers!
    This would have to be the poorest piece of management I've encountered in a long time, and it made for a very long night and arrival in Perth at around 2:00AM, instead of midnight.
    There's a world of difference in trying to get taxis at 2:00AM as compared to midnight, when there's still usually plenty around.
    Qantas lost our luggage on a Perth-Bris flight. We were staying at the Gold Coast and had to wait for them to find it and deliver it.
    Virgin have been the cheapest carrier for us, and their aircraft are more comfortable than Qantas aircraft.
    Virgin staff have to be the most pleasant airline staff around, and their service has been exceptional.
    Virgin entertainment systems are better than Qantas, and right up with the latest technology.
    Finally, when Woolworths stopped giving us Qantas FF points, that really killed off any remnant interest we had in Qantas.
    Qantas may be Australias favourite and most recognised airline, but its levels of pricing and customer service fall well behind Virgin for us.
    MICK
    19th Nov 2016
    2:05pm
    Boy Aaron...you really are fired up. Chuckle.....


    Join YOURLifeChoices, it’s free

    • Receive our daily enewsletter
    • Enter competitions
    • Comment on articles