Matt Graham Australian Frequent Flyer Editor public
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As 2020 draws to a close, there’s finally some good news. Australian state borders are reopening, planes are back in the air, and more pilots are returning to work. One of them is Virgin Australia 737 pilot Chris Bournelis (a.k.a. AviatorInsight on AFF) who is now doing simulator training and flight checks ahead of returning to the skies later this…
 
In 2009, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) began accepting payments by credit card. Many Australians have to pay tax anyway, so they took the opportunity to pay by card and earn frequent flyer points in the process. Since then, the banks have slowly but surely removed this loophole by excluding government payments from earning points. Next week, St G…
 
On 16 November 1920, Queensland And Northern Territory Aerial Services (or QANTAS for short) was incoporated. This makes next Monday, 16 November 2020, the airline’s 100th birthday! But the story of the birth of Qantas goes far beyond the signing of a piece of paper in 1920. In this episode, Qantas Founders Museum curator Tom Harwood joins Matt to …
 
Many Australians have used the travel downturn to work on projects around the house. Canberra-based Andrew Newnham, whose AFF handle is harvyk, is no exception. But instead of reseeding his lawn, installing a new kitchen or painting the house, Andrew decided to build a life-size Boeing 747 flight simulator in his garage! In this episode, Andrew tel…
 
Flybuys Chief Operating Officer Phil Hawkins knows a thing or two about loyalty. He was with Flybuys right back when the Australian loyalty program launched in 1994! In this episode of AFF on AIR, Phil joins Matt to discuss all aspects of the Flybuys program including its partnership with Velocity Frequent Flyer and why targeted offers are so criti…
 
Ever wondered what it’s like being an Air Traffic Controller? In this episode Ian Robinson (a.k.a. iRobbo on AFF), who has been an Air Traffic Controller for almost 30 years, talks to Matt about what the job involves, the training required and what it’s like dealing with a mid-air emergency from on the ground. Also in this episode, Matt discusses R…
 
Next week, the Australian government will increase the number of Australians that can arrive each week from 4,000 to around 6,000 people. This is a welcome step forward and will definitely help to clear the backlog of Australians stranded overseas. But with at least 24,000 Australians currently registered as stranded – and perhaps closer to 100,000…
 
On 4 September 2020, Virgin Australia creditors voted to approve the airline’s sale to U.S. private equity firm Bain Capital for $3.5 billion. This was the final major hurdle in bringing Virgin Australia out of voluntary administration and avoiding liquidation. The sale is expected to be completed by the end of October. So, how did Virgin Australia…
 
2020 has been a tough year for many Australian tourism businesses. But few parts of Australia have been affected as badly as Kangaroo Island in South Australia. The island was still recovering from a disastrous summer bushfire season, which destroyed almost half the island, when the coronavirus crisis hit. With borders now closed, the island’s econ…
 
Qantas may have retired its last active Boeing 747, but there are still two of the “queens of the skies” on display in Australian aviation museums. One of those, a Boeing 747-200, can be found at the Qantas Founders Museum in Longreach, Queensland. Qantas has a long and proud association with Longreach, the town where it first started its operation…
 
This week, Australia said farewell to a national icon: the Qantas Boeing 747. Over the past 49 years, Qantas - once an all-747 airline - has operated almost every Boeing 747 variant that has existed. The "queen of the skies" has transported millions of passengers to destinations all over the world, including Olympic athletes and stranded Australian…
 
Imagine discovering that your available credit card balance is suddenly over $28 million! That's exactly what happened to AFF moderator JessicaTam recently after Qatar Airways accidentally refunded her in Australian Dollars instead Indonesia Rupiah. JessicaTam joins Matt on this episode to talk about the story that has gone viral over the past week…
 
For frequent flyers, noise-cancelling headphones are the ultimate travelling companion. But have you ever wondered how they actually work to cancel out noise?In this episode, aerospace engineer Hossein Seif Zadeh (a.k.a. hossein_au on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum) explains how noise-cancelling headphone technology works and the difference be…
 
With Queensland and South Australia having now announced dates when their borders will reopen, James Green from Award Flight Assist joins Matt in this episode to discuss travel around Australia.James also explains how to maximise opportunities for Qantas Points Club members to earn status credits from Qantas Classic Flight Rewards. And in a rare re…
 
As the coronavirus crisis continues, many airline passengers are still waiting for refunds from cancelled bookings. Meanwhile, some passengers have discovered that they would have to pay extra - thousands of dollars, in some cases - to rebook their cancelled flights for a different date.Recently, a Lufthansa customer in Germany was asked to pay aro…
 
Chris Bournelis (a.k.a. AviatorInsight) is a Boeing 737 First Officer for Virgin Australia. As the voluntary administration process continues and many flights remain grounded, Chris joins Matt in this episode of AFF on AIR to talk about life behind the cockpit door. Episode contents: 0:56 - Fortnightly news round-up 12:42 - Maximising frequent flye…
 
When Peru suddenly went into lockdown in March, hundreds of Australians were stranded all over the country, unaware of what was going on or how many others were in the same situation. Within days, Gus Higgins created the "Aussies in Peru" Facebook group which has been credited with connecting most of those Australians and aiding the work of repatri…
 
As Virgin Australia suspends share trading on the ASX and considers the possibility of voluntary administration, many Velocity Frequent Flyers are watching the news nervously. What will happen to Virgin Australia, and are Velocity Frequent Flyer points safe?In this episode, Phil Gunter from New World Loyalty shares his insights with Matt. Phil is a…
 
Last week, Matt was able to return home to Australia. But some Australians that are still stranded overseas have not been so lucky. In this episode, Matt chats to Australians in Peru and India who have been in lockdown and unable to depart - or even get to an international airport - for several weeks.This episode also covers the latest news and dev…
 
It has been a tumultuous few weeks for the airline, tourism and hospitality industries. As the coronavirus outbreak spreads exponentially, many airlines have stopped flying and international borders are being closed at unprecedented rates.In this extended episode, Matt looks at the implications of the past few weeks on travellers and the airline in…
 
The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is having an unprecedented impact on the travel industry - and the world in general. Thousands of flights have been cancelled, travel bans are being introduced and millions have had their travel plans disrupted. In this episode, Matt takes a detailed look at what this all means for travellers. Episode contents: 1…
 
Qantas Frequent Flyer surprised everybody this week by releasing a new Qantas Double Status Credits offer! In this episode, travel agent extraordinaire Alan Lam from Netwave Travel (a.k.a. "madrooster" on AFF) joins Matt to discuss the best Qantas status credit runs, as well as recent changes to the popular Finnair Business class round-the-world fa…
 
Buffalo Airways is not your typical airline. Based in Yellowknife, Canada, Buffalo Airways operates an incredible variety of historic aircraft such as the Douglas DC3 in some of the world's harshest flying conditions. It's no wonder Buffalo Airways was the subject of the popular television show Ice Pilots NWT.In this episode, Matt sits down with Bu…
 
Ever wondered what it's like to be a road warrior, flying from Melbourne to Sydney every week or internationally multiple times each month? On this episode, AFF member "Sprucegoose" - a Qantas Platinum One frequent flyer - joins Matt to discuss the ins & outs of frequent travel, from airline lounges to tackling jetlag. Episode contents: 1:06 - Fort…
 
In this episode, we take a brief detour from the aviation discussion to talk about train travel! There's something nice - perhaps even romantic - about long-distance train travel. Around the world there are lots of famous train journeys such as the Orient Express and Trans-Siberian Railway, but there are also a couple of famous trips right here in …
 
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