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Plan your over­seas get­away now

Time Out (Melbourne) - - INSIDE -

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.

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