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1 The on-board bar
Virgin Australia, Virgin Atlantic, Emirates, Qatar Airways and Korean Airlines have been offering Business Class passengers flying’s most glamorous experience: Martinis, 15-year-old Single Malts and reserve Champagnes alongside canapés and, during breakfast, fresh espresso coffee.
2 Combination airfares
There’s an affordable secret to getting to long-haul destinations in good shape: combination airfares. Call the airline, and ask for a combination: for example, economy to Singapore and then premium to London, and so on. The trick is to book an economy or premium ticket for the day flight, then premium or business when you need to sleep. On recent trips with Air New Zealand and British Airways, we found the combination tickets to London a great way to get to the destination well rested.
3 The low-cost effect
With the proliferation of low-cost airlines, the flow-on effect is massive. Not only can you score no-frills tickets, the major carriers have had to reduce their own fares to compete. This is evident with airlines now offering sub-$1,000 airfares to London as Scoot get set to launch flights to Athens for under $500 via Singapore and Air Asia X plans to resume flights to London Gatwick via Kuala Lumpur.
4 Free high-speed Wi-fi on domestic flights
Qantas is in the process of kitting out its domestic Boeing 737 and Airbus A330 aircraft with free Wi-fi capability that will run off the nbn Sky Muster satellite service, meaning speeds ten times faster than conventional inflight Wi-fi services. Qantas will also allow access to Foxtel, Netflix and Spotify.
5 Lounge makeovers aplenty
Qantas debuted its new Brisbane domestic Business Class lounge in March, something Virgin Australia also introduced recently in the Queensland capital. Air New Zealand upgraded its Brisbane and Melbourne international lounges after a massive makeover at Sydney Airport. Globally, Qantas’s new Heathrow lounge is set to debut in the coming months.