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Airline news

Airline Business: Qantas & American alliance, LATAM departs Oneworld, Emirates Suites & Top Flying Credit Cards

Private suites in the sky, frequent flyer credits, new alliances and more – this airline update brings you the latest industry news for business travellers.

More for Qantas & American frequent flyers

Qantas and American Airlines are rolling out significantly improved frequent flyer benefits, including higher earn rates for points and status credits on their networks.

Qantas frequent flyers can now:

  • Earn up to 3.5 times more Qantas Points on American Airlines flights between Australia and the United States.
  • Earn up to 4.5 times more Status Credits on American Airlines flights between Australia and the United States
  • Earn up to 4 times more Status Credits on American Airlines flights for travel within the United States/Canada.
  • Use Qantas Points for Classic Flights Rewards on American Airlines flights in Premium Economy for the first time, in addition to Economy, Business and First.

Qantas customers will also benefit from the new codeshares across North America, with access to almost 30 new destinations.

LATAM departs Oneworld for Delta

Oneworld will lose its only South American member as a result of a landmark strategic pact between LATAM and Delta Air Lines. Delta is due to take a 20% stake in the airline and invest $350 million in LATAM to help cover the costs of leaving Oneworld and its American Airlines relationship.

LATAM commercial chief Roberto Alvo has indicated that travellers can expect LATAM to continue its partnerships with the likes of British Airways, Qantas Airways and Qatar Airways – but for how long is uncertain at present . The main impact is expected to be felt by American, though commentators are speculating that as we see more carriers consider ‘unaligned’ status, the split could have greater significance for the overall value of airline alliances.

LATAM and Delta aim to initiate a codeshare agreement by the end of this year and are hoping to establish a full joint-venture within two years. If permitted by regulators, this partnership would enable the airlines to act seamlessly between the United States and South American countries.

Emirates first class private suites get a thumbs up

If you have ever wanted to fly in your own private space, then you are going to need to experience the world’s only first class cabin with walls, closing doors and plenty of room to stretch out.

Emirates new Boeing 777-300ER have taken first class to the next level on selected routes, with stylish private suite designs inspired by the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

In addition to your own little cocoon of luxury, you can expect to enjoy dining on demand with premium beverages and being able to control your own temperature and lighting.  If you happen to be seated in the middle of the aircraft, there’s even a ‘virtual window’ on view from the centre suites.

The only drawback that Executive Traveller could find was that the suites don’t allow space to socialise or share meals with companions. You can read more of their recent review here.

Best new Qantas credit card offers

It doesn’t get much more competitive than the battle between credit card companies. It’s no surprise that the likes of Visa, Mastercard and American Express are all desperate to get Qantas frequent flyers on board, so here’s a quick look at some of this month’s top sign-up deals that come packed with points and perks for new card holders.

1. Qantas Premier Titanium Mastercard
Apply by: 31 October, 2019, and spend $5000 within 90 days of approval to earn 150,000 bonus Qantas points.

Rewards: Earn 1.25 Qantas Points per $1 spent in Australia up to $12,500 per month, lowering to 0.5/$1 thereafter until the next statement period. Plus, an extra two Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible Qantas charges. International spend provides a flat earn rate of 2 Qantas Points per A$1.

Annual Fee: $1,200, plus $100 per year per additional cardholder (up to four additional cards).

2. Citi Signature Qantas Credit Card
Apply by: 31 January, 2020, and spend $5,000 within 90 days of approval to earn 100,000 bonus Qantas Points. Plus, get an extra 50,000 bonus Qantas Points after your first anniversary of holding the card: that’s up to 150,000 bonus Qantas Points in total.

Rewards: You can earn 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent on eligible international transactions, as well as purchases made in Australia directly with major airlines, hotel chains and restaurants, all uncapped. You can also earn 0.75 Qantas Points per $1 spent at major Australian supermarkets, petrol outlets and national retailers: also uncapped. Everywhere else, the earn rate is 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent up to $20,000 per statement period, except on government transactions where no points are earned.

Annual Fee: Pay a total of $248 in the first year, and $444 in subsequent years, including on the first card anniversary to earn the second part of that welcome bonus. These prices include the $49 annual charge levied for participation in the Citi Qantas Rewards Program.

3. Qantas Premier Platinum Mastercard
Apply by: 31 October, 2019, to receive 20,000 bonus Qantas Points per month for the first six months, when spending at least $1,500 in each of those months: up to 120,000 bonus Qantas Points after month six.

Rewards: Earn 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent in Australian dollars up to $10,000 per month, reducing to 0.5/$1 thereafter – except on government transactions which earn no points. Collect one bonus Qantas Point per dollar spent on selected Qantas products and services in Australia, over and above the applicable ‘everyday’ earning rate. All foreign currency transactions provide 1.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent, uncapped.

Annual Fee: Reduced to $199 in the first year, $299 thereafter. A $50/year charge also applies when having an additional cardholder on the account.

4. NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card
Apply by: Open, but NAB warns this offer may end any time. Begin with 90,000 bonus Qantas Points when you apply and spend $3,000 within the first 60 days, plus, 30,000 bonus Qantas Points when you keep your card for over 12 months, for up to 120,000 bonus Qantas Points all up.

Rewards: Earn one Qantas Point per $1 spent up to $5,000 per month, and 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 on monthly spends of $5,001-$20,000. No points are awarded on monthly spends exceeding $20,000, or on ATO payments at any time.

Annual Fee: $295 in the first year, and $395 every year thereafter: including on the first card anniversary, which is payable in order to receive the second part of your sign-up bonus.

Note: This credit card information is in no way an endorsement of the financial institutions or their products and we recommend fully investigating the options depending on your personal financial situation. Credit card application conditions and eligibility criteria vary.

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