I spent the previous weekend indulging in a uncommon break in Noumea (even enterprise travellers want some downtime) bookended by 2 days of pinballing across the east coast on Qantas flights.
The cause: a strategic quest to retain my Platinum standing the Qantas Frequent Flyer scheme.
The set off: a uncommon planetary alignment which noticed Qantas launch a $1000 enterprise class sale between Sydney and Noumea similtaneously it ran a ‘double standing credit’ promotion.
By reserving the Sydney-Noumea enterprise class flight as a part of a extra advanced itinerary involving flights to Canberra, Melbourne and Brisbane, I paid solely $500 extra for these connecting flights however netted 920 standing credit – adequate to lock in my Platinum standing to 2020 – plus an extended weekend enjoyable on this tropical French idyll.
After 10 flights, 10,511km, this is what I realized.
Catch a home Dreamliner
A handful of Qantas’ every day flights between Melbourne and Brisbane now run on the Boeing 787, bringing an international-grade expertise to the journey.
This is to assist Qantas pilots prepare up on the Dreamliner earlier than begins every day flights from Brisbane to Los Angeles and New York in September (with doubtlessly a brand new US vacation spot to comply with – we’re listening to whisper of Chicago).
For passengers, the ‘home Dreamliner’ service not solely helps you to take pleasure in Qantas’ greatest enterprise class seat. It additionally supplies a possibility to improve from financial system to the Boeing 787’s premium financial system cabin for gratis.
Get the great seat
Qantas would not promote premium financial system on home flights, so savvy Qantas Platinum and Gold frequent flyers booked in financial system on a Dreamliner flight can select a seat in row 20 by 23 to snare themselves a premium financial system seat.
You’ll have the identical meals and repair as financial system, in fact, however a extra comfy and better-appointed seat with additional width and legroom.
The flight numbers to observe for are QF609, QF611, QF614, QF625, QF627 and QF634.
Where WiFi is super-fast
Gone are the times after I’d use my 4G iPhone as a private hotspot quite than be a part of the sluggish and congested lounge WiFi community.
Speeds on the Qantas lounges are insanely quick, averaging 50-100Mbps and as excessive as 150Mbps – that is anyplace from 5 to 10 occasions what most houses and places of work get from an ADSL2+ broadband connection.
Upload speeds had been typically in the identical vary which implies you possibly can effortlessly fling the most important of information to firm servers and cloud backup techniques whereas ready to your flight.
“All-day battery life”
Today’s machines have loads of grunt however nonetheless fall brief on the go, at the least in my expertise with my circa-2017 MacBook Pro.
It’s alleged to be good for “up to 10 hours wireless Web”, in response to Apple. But “up to” is the catch, and it’s a must to permit for the same old manufacture exaggeration.
There’s no means you possibly can name this ‘all-day battery life’
My MacBook began the day at 100 per cent battery cost. Three hour of working in 2 airport lounges plus 3 extra hours in flight noticed the battery meter within the purple zone.
I would love to have the ability to depart my laptop computer’s AC adaptor at residence after I’ve bought a day of conferences and work, however proper now I’ve 0 confidence that this manoeuvre will not depart me excessive and dry earlier than I clock off.
Inflight WiFi remains to be a roll of the cube
Three of my eight home Qantas flights had been on Boeing 737 jets – the workhorse of Qantas’ home fleet – and 2 of these had been outfitted with WiFi.
That’s on par with Qantas’ operating tally of getting virtually 1/2 its Boeing 737 fleet upgraded to the satellite tv for pc tech, with many of the relaxation being kitted out by yr’s finish.
So proper now, you do not need to depend on being linked above the clouds.
But when the connection is there, you possibly can anticipate a zippy 12-15Mbps: once more, as quick as many residence networks.
Australia’s greatest home lounges…
Courtesy of an intensive improve in early 2017, the Qantas Club and Business lounges at Brisbane’s home terminal now price as Australia’s greatest.
(There’s additionally an all-new Chairman’s Lounge with the invitation-only digs sporting a up to date design constructed round impartial tones of walnut, timber and brass.)
When I visited the Business lounge’s Mexican Cantina eatery was serving up scrumptious spiced pork tostadas and chipotle rice, with the menu rotating fortnightly. Cocktails are served from 5pm and altered up every week.
The enormous home windows, spacious format, considerate composition of furnishings and circulation plus beneficiant greenery brings a contact of sunny Brisbane into the lounge, and even the neighbouring Qantas Club is the very best of its breed.
… however Melbourne is catching up
Melbourne’s lounges are subsequent within the queue, and purpose to boost the bar once more.
The Qantas Club is already half-done and the primary stage of a made-over Business lounge as a consequence of open in September.
The Business lounge’s eating characteristic can be Asian noodles and idea photographs present a sublime and ‘very Melbourne’ house.
(That stated, Qantas Club members aren’t happy about shedding their former runway view and certainly any view – the very best they will get can be home windows into the terminal itself.)
Few folks spend extra time on planes, in lounges or mulling over the very best methods to make use of frequent flyer factors than David Flynn, the editor of Australian Business Traveller journal. His unparalleled data of all features of enterprise journey connects strongly with the pursuits of Executive Style readers.
David Flynn from executivestyle.com.au