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.
Harnessing the nbn™ Sky Muster™ satellite service, the faster connection speeds on-board these flights represent an upgrade over older satellite technology that is offered by most airlines around the world. This service employs an idle data capacity, with the signal reaching the aircraft as it flies through the satellite’s 101 spot beams across Australia. This fast, free internet will open up a huge range of in-flight options for customers.
While Foxtel, Netflix and Spotify are all paid subscription services, they will offer free access to Qantas customers on and off the aircraft for between three days and one month after their Qantas flight. Specifically:
- Foxtel will offer three days free access to its Foxtel app every time a customer flies, allowing customers to stream live sports, news and TV shows as well as its full range of on-demand content. No sign-up to a subscription is required.
- Netflix will offer new customers access to the entire Netflix service as part of a 30-day free trial. Existing Netflix members only need to log in to continue watching at no extra charge.
- Spotify will offer a 30 day free trial of its Premium music service, which has no ads, shuffle play and unlimited skips.
Customers will log on to the Qantas in-flight Wi-Fi via their own devices, and will be greeted by a landing page with a range of options (see attached images). As well as links to access Netflix, Spotify and Foxtel, this page will feature real-time flight data; hotel, restaurant and transport options at your destination; the latest weather; and personalised information linked to your itinerary and Frequent Flyer account. Streaming of Sky News Australia will also be available.Qantas is in discussion with a range of content partners on ways to improve the on board experience using Wi-Fi. In November 2016, Qantas installed ViaSat satellite-receiving equipment on its first 737 to be Wi-Fi enabled. Hardware and software testing is underway on this aircraft, ahead of the service being switched on for customers soon.
A brand new codeshare agreement between Singapore Airlines and the Latin-America carrier Avianca that is set to go live in September 2017 will see wider connections to Bogotá, Colombia, Avianca ́s major hub location.
When Singapore Airlines first unveiled the 70th Anniversary Amenity Kit back in May 2017 (but only started handing them out from July 2017), it took frequent flyers by surprise - known for providing amenity kits only in First Class and Suites Class, Singapore Airlines announced that it will be giving out limited edition amenity kits for all Business, First Class and Suites Class flights exiting Singapore (with the exception of Kuala Lumpur). Passengers in First Class and Suites Class who are eligible for the far more impressive Salvatore Ferragamo amenity kits will receive both the Salvatore Ferragamo branded one as well as the special anniversary amenity kit.
As you may already know, flying to Hong Kong from Singapore is one of the cheapest ways to experience the Suites Class product on Singapore Airlines - just 37,500 KrisFlyer miles one-way. Since I have previously experienced the Suites Class product and have another one planned towards the end of the year, I have decided to check out the A350-900's New Business Class product on SQ856 instead.
I have grown to love Beijing quite a bit despite spending only less than a week there. Contrary to popular belief, the people were genuinely nice, the city is amazing in terms of technology (e.g mobile payment is available even at a roadside store) and the food is delicious. On my way out of Beijing, I was booked onto an Air China flight (my very first!) from Beijing to Singapore. I got to the Beijing Capital International Airport ahead of time (at least 2.5 hours prior to the scheduled time of departure) and was slightly startled by the number of people at the check-in counter. Check out my review of Air China CA969 in Business Class!
I traveled to Beijing in China for the first time recently and was booked in a codeshare flight on Singapore Airlines (SQ802) from SIN to PEK in Business Class. Since it operated out of Terminal 3 of Changi Airport, I took the opportunity to pick-up a StarHub prepaid card (which is great for roaming overseas for cheap) before heading to the SilverKris Lounge for some breakfast and Champagne (even though it was 7:00AM in the morning). Check out my trip review of SQ802 from Singapore to Beijing in Business Class.
As Japan Airlines (JAL) continues to roll-out the impressive Sky Suite III across the B787-9 Dreamliners and 777-200ERs, there is only two more days left to take advantage of the 35% off Starpoints sale with an eligible Starwood Preferred Guest account.
Emirates will be operating daily flights between Dubai and Moscow on the airline's iconic Airbus A380 commencing 01 October 2017. The twice-daily flights will see an increase in seat capacity in order to meet the growing customer demand and it will also enable multiple connections to both leisure as well as business destinations like Bangkok, Singapore, Sydney, Auckland, Shanghai, Tokyo and Sao Paolo.
I do not travel on SilkAir often as the product is in no way comparable to the Singapore Airlines product (especially on Business - even on regional routes!). There are however some routes that are operated by MI-metal only and therefore it is impossible to take an SQ-metal alternative (e.g. HKT, DAD and REP). As of 01 January 2017, SilkAir operates 31 aircraft: 17 Boeing B737-800, 11 Airbus A320-200 and 3 Airbus A319-100 aircraft.
The Qantas Singapore Lounge was one of the first airport lounges that I have ever stepped foot into - I used to have access to it on all my Australian flights as I was once a Gold Frequent Flyer on the Qantas Frequent Flyer program. While I did a small review of this beautiful space back in 2014 when it first opened, I felt the need to revisit this lounge since I actually do prefer it over the famous SilverKris Lounge which more Singaporeans have seen and grown to love.
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.