Effective immediately, you will now be able to check-in to your next Emirates flight 48 hours (up from 24 hours) before departure via desktop or your mobile devices. Online check-in will close 90 minutes before flight departure but having that increased lead time means you will now have greater flexibility in choosing the seats you want (and more importantly, to beat that snaking queue at the airport)! Upon checking-in online and printing your boarding passes, passengers can proceed to drop their luggage at the online check-in counters (usually much shorter queues!) before heading down to immigration and security. If your Emirates flight does arrive and depart from the United States, boarding passes will only be issued 24 hours in advance (even though you can still check-in 48 hours prior to departure).
This extended check-in time will mean better availability of upgrades for Emirates Skywards members. Should there be any unexpected flight delays or disruptions, the 48 hour window will also allow these to be better communicated. Emirates has also introduced the "Hold My Fare" option which gives ticket-hunters the opportunity to lock in the fare for a nominal fee - this has now been extended to 72 hours!
Additionally, Emirates also operates car park check-in facilities around the clock at the famous Dubai hub. Flyers will have the option to check-in and drop off their luggage at the car park check-in facilities from 24 hours to 6 hours before departure. If you are traveling out of Dubai, you may also drop off your luggage at one of the 46 dedicated bag drop counters in Economy Class or separate counters in First Class and Business Class at Dubai International Airport from 6 hours to 90 minutes prior to departure.
After a few impressive first experiences with the Plaza Premium Group (in terms of the beautiful Aerotel Singapore in Changi Airport as well as the Plaza Premium Lounge in Singapore), I was very curious to check out the Plaza Premium Lounge in Taipei Taoyuan International Airport - it is worth noting that at the time of writing, there are four different lounges that travellers may gain access to. Since I had an OCBC VOYAGE Card with me, I could bring a guest to enjoy unlimited access to all participating Plaza Premium Lounges around the world.
On my latest trip to Taipei in April 2017, I tried out the famous Royal Laurel Class on EVA Air - this is essentially the airline's signature business class cabin. Ever since the devaluation of KrisFlyer Miles in March 2017, redeeming KrisFlyer Miles for partner airlines seem to make more sense as it allows you to try a different product without any penalty (you used to be able to save 15% off required miles for redemption on Singapore Airlines and SilkAir metal). Since Singapore Airlines operate the A330-300 (with a 2-2-2 arrangement) from Singapore to Taipei, I have decided to redeem my KrisFlyer Miles on EVA Air's Royal Laurel Class (1-2-1 arrangement) instead (find out how ExpertFlyer can help you find award space effectively).
The SilverKris Lounge in Changi Airport is reserved for Star Alliance passengers travelling on Business and First Class (there are separate lounges within the lounge itself) as well as esteemed Solitaire PPS Club members. If you are a KrisFlyer Gold Elite (or Star Alliance Gold) member traveling in Economy or Premium Economy class, you will have to make your way down to the KrisFlyer Gold Lounge (which does not stock Champagne) instead. Check out my review of the SilverKris Lounge in Terminal 3 of the Singapore Changi Airport.
Following the strategic alliance between Virgin Australia and HNA Aviation, Virgin Australia has just announced plans to introduce its first flights to Hong Kong from Melbourne starting from 05 July 2017. The airline company will operate five flights per week on an Airbus A330-200 with 255 seats with a 2-4-2 configuration in Economy cabin.
There are no lack of flights out of Singapore to Bali but I wanted a short weekend getaway last minute and the fares were pretty astonishing for a 2.5 hours flight. Since the KrisFlyer miles devaluation is imminent, I have decided to fork out some miles to redeem for a flight from Singapore to Denpasar even though I generally do not like to use them on short-haul flights. Check out my experience on Singapore Airlines's Business Class on-board the A330-300 below!
In case you have not been in tune with what's happening at the ITB Berlin exhibition, Qatar Airways has just unveiled the highly-anticipated new Business Class which is known as QSuites. This never-before-seen standard in Business Class travel enables a customisable private suite which is perfect even for a family of four.
Emirates which has been voted as Skytrax's World's Best Airline 2016 will be unveiling a series of new cabin products and enhancements in 2017 for both its flagship Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 fleet. As part of this multi-million dollar cabin interiors upgrade programme, a brand new Onboard Lounge has been released for the A380 fleet.
Qantas has just unveiled the next generation of Premium Economy seats which will debut on their Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners from October 2017. The new Premium Economy cabin will feature 28 seats with a 2-3-2 layout to improve aisle access for middle passengers.
Customers traveling on WiFi enabled domestic flights on-board Qantas will soon be able to enjoy their favourite shows, live sports and listen to a playlist of their choice with Netflix, Foxtel and Spotify respectively in 2017. Offering speeds up to 10 times faster than conventional in-flight WiFi, Qantas will offer passengers video and audio streaming from late February this year.
Japan Airlines (JAL) has just announced the opening of a newly-renovated lounge in Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International Airport. The Bangkok Sakura Lounge is slated to open on 01 March 2017 and it will feature a brand new layout with more shower suites. The lounge which also be accessible to oneworld alliance elite members and eligible premium cabin passengers will join the Cathay Pacific's designer lounge which was opened in June 2015.