MY WIFE and are booked to fly business class Brisbane to Barcelona via Singapore and Zurich, and return Porto to Brisbane via Frankfurt and Bangkok. We will fly with Qantas and Swissair, then return with Lufthansa and Thai. My question is about our luggage. Will it be booked all the way through or will we have to recheck it in Singapore and Bangkok? Doc:
Qantas have what is called an “interline” agreement with Swissair, meaning they work together on certain things including your fare and baggage. Your baggage will be checked right through to your destination.
For your return, Lufthansa and Thai Airways are both part of the Star Alliance program, which again means they work together with “through checking baggage”.
As long as you are not coming via Sydney or Melbourne on your return and are travelling direct Bangkok to Brisbane, your baggage will be through checked. If you did happen to be coming home via another port then travelling domestically to Brisbane, you would need to claim your bags there and clear customs before proceeding to your domestic flight.
As a tip, I always ask the question as I’m checking in. This guarantees the check-in agent is seeing the whole booking in their system and knows to through check my bag.
Sometimes if the reservations are on two separate bookings this will not show, so you must notify them. As a final double-check, I always take note of the baggage tag they place on my bag and the destination printed on it.
AN EMAIL from Emirates Airlines has alerted me that some of my frequent flyer points are due to expire soon. What about Qantas? Do they expire also and how do I check so I don’t miss out on using them? Doc:
Most frequent flyer points will eventually expire after a certain amount of inactivity on the account. Some take years for this to happen, others have quite short time periods.
Your Qantas points will not expire as long as you continue to either use them or earn them at least once every 18 months. This includes earning or using them through program partners.
This does not apply to points earned before June 2010. Any points you may have had in your account before this date will automatically expire if and when there has been no activity for three years. Family transfers will not be considered as account activity.
If you’re not a frequent traveller but have managed to accumulate a stash of points you’re saving for a rainy ainy day, it is important to look for alternative ways of keepingg your account active.
Linking your credit card is one option – this way each spend will also accrue points – and most banks offer this facility. When you shop, stores including Apple, David Jones es and some online companies offer points. Hiring a car, booking accommodation plus dining out at a restaurant also can.
Some other point-earning activities you may not be aware of are movie tickets, parking, foreign exchange, power bills, health insurance and the Qantas Golf Club.
Head to qantas.com.au for a full list of participating companies. Use the meter when in a taxi for the
WE ARE about to travel over the Christmas holiday break. What’s the best way to take our spending money these days? Doc:
As we head into the busiest time of the year for travellers, financial advice company Mozo (mozo.com.au) has put together a guide to travel cards and who they regard as providing the best deal at the moment. This will help you avoid high fees and a sad bank account on your return.
For prepaid travel cards they prefer these three: NAB Traveller Card – no overseas ATM fees, load up to 10 currencies, a 1 per cent reload fee; Velocity Frequent Flyer Global Wallet – no purchase fee, no foreign exchange fee, load up to 10 currencies, no reload fee; Qantas Frequent Flyer Qantas Card with Qantas Cash – no purchase fee, no foreign exchange fee and no reload fee.
Fee-free travel credit cards: Bankwest Zero Platinum – no foreign exchange fee, no annual fee, complimentary travel insurance and concierge, 17.99 per cent standard interest rate with 55 interest free days; 28 Degrees MasterCard – no foreign exchange fee, no annual fee, 20.99 per cent standard interest rate with 55 interest free days.
Zero per cent credit cards: NAB Premium Card – zero per cent purchase rate for 15 months, reverts to 19.74 per cent and $90 annual fee, concierge, complim complimentary insurance inclu including travel insurance; Co Coles No Annual Fee, Low R Rate and Rewards MasterCard – zero per cent purchase rate for 1 15 months.
Their top two rew rewards-earning credit cards cards: ANZ Rewards Platinum – three uncapped points for every $A1 spent on AMEX and 1.5 points for every $A1 spent on Visa, plus 50,000 bonus points when you spend $5000 on eligible purchases within the first three months; NAB Qantas Rewards Premium Card – 1.5 Qantas points for every $A1 spent on AMEX and 0.5 points for every $A1 spent on Visa up to $50,000 a month, 60,000 bonus Qantas points when you spend $1500 on eligible purchases in the first three months.
For debit cards, the Citibank Plus Visa debit has no overseas ATM fees and no foreign exchange fee on purchases or withdrawals; RAMS Action Account – Visa debit, $A5 overseas ATM fees, $A1.75 overseas purchase fee and no foreign exchange margin.
Here are a couple of tips for managing your money while you are travelling. If your card does attract withdrawal fees, take out enough each time to make it worth it. Use a credit card for hotel and cruise security bonds then pay with your debit card to keep your funds accessible.
Have a back-up card in case of loss or theft. Pay in local currency for a better exchange rate. Don’t use your credit card to withdraw cash because you will be charged a high cash advance fee. Keep your eye on interest-free terms as when the offer expires, they usually revert to high interest rates.