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7 new frequent flyer perks you can expect in 2019

Qantas First Class Lounge, Singapore Changi Airport. <em>(Source: Qantas)</em>
Qantas First Class Lounge, Singapore Changi Airport. (Source: Qantas)

Back to work after the new year break, but planning your next holiday already?

If you’ve been coveting your frequent flyer points, you should know about the new lounges, upgrades and cabins that are set to take off this year and next.

Here’s a look inside the seven new perks that frequent flyers will be able to enjoy in the near future, courtesy of Point Hacks:

1. Multimillion-dollar upgrade to Qantas’ Sydney International Business Lounge

Brisbane’s International Business Lounge (Sydney’s Lounge will open later this year). <em>(Source: Qantas)</em>
Brisbane’s International Business Lounge (Sydney’s Lounge will open later this year). (Source: Qantas)

Qantas has been upgrading its lounges across the country. Its lounge in Sydney is currently undergoing refurbishment, following in the footsteps of its Brisbane, Perth and Melbourne counterparts.

The lounge is inspired by Sydney’s lifestyle and geography, with a dining experience designed by Neil Perry. It will also feature a full-service bar, a dedicated family zone, and at least 30 per cent more seating. The upgrade will be completed at the end of 2019.

2. Premium entry at Virgin’s Melbourne domestic terminal

Virgin Airlines Premium Entry: Sydney. <em>(Source: Point Hacks)</em>
Virgin Airlines Premium Entry: Sydney. (Source: Point Hacks)

Once it opens in mid-2019, Virgin Australia business travellers and Platinum and Gold Velocity Frequent Flyer members will have Premium Entry at Melbourne Airport’s domestic terminal. Premium travellers will have areas for check in and bag drop as well as a dedicated security screening point ahead of the lounge. Sydney and Brisbane already have Premium Entry facilities.

3. New Qantas first class lounge at ‘the world’s favourite airport’

Qantas First Class Lounge, Singapore. <em>(Source: Qantas)</em>
Qantas First Class Lounge, Singapore. (Source: Qantas)

Singapore Changi Airport has been crowned the world’s best airport for six years in a row – and at the end of 2019, Qantas travellers will love it even more for its new multi-million dollar Qantas First Lounge.

With development to begin in April this year, the designer space will offer seating for 240 customers as well as an Asian menu for its premium a la carte dining. The lounge will also come equipped with a cocktail bar, shower facilities and an open kitchen.

Not only that, but the existing Qantas Business Lounge will be expanded to add at least 50 more seats. Both lounges together will offer seating for more than 800 travellers.

4. Qantas Airbus A380 premium cabins get a multi-million dollar revamp

Qantas A380 Premium Economy. <em>(Source: LifeShareTravel)</em>
Qantas A380 Premium Economy. (Source: LifeShareTravel)

In order to improve comfort on long-haul flights to Europe, Asia and the US, Qantas’ Airbus A380s will undergo a major cabin upgrade. The upper deck will see 30 economy seats scrapped and replaced by six business class and 25 premium economy seats, while the original business class sky beds will be replaced by the latest Qantas Business Suite and a 1-2-1 configuration. The first class suites will also be fitted out with contoured cushioning and larger HD entertainment screens.

Work on the first plane to begin around April 2019 and all 12 aircrafts to be upgraded by the end of 2020.

5. New major terminal at Abu Dhabi International Airport

Artist’s impression of Midfield Terminal. <em>(Source: Abu Dhabi Airport)</em>
Artist’s impression of Midfield Terminal. (Source: Abu Dhabi Airport)

Abu Dhabi International Airport will be unveiling its new state-of-the-art terminal, Midfield Terminal towards the end of 2019, meaning Aussies travelling with Etihad will have a better travel experience during connections. The new terminal will be able to handle 84 million passengers each year, who will be able to kill spare time with 35,000 square metres of duty-free shops, dining and entertainment options.

6. Three major US airlines launching premium economy cabin

Delta Air Lines Premium Economy. <em>(Source: Delta Air Lines)</em>
Delta Air Lines Premium Economy. (Source: Delta Air Lines)

American Airlines, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines are all launching premium economy cabins across selected flights into Australia:

  • United Airlines’ Premium Plus will introduce the new cabin across selected flights, including the Boeing 787, in “early 2019”.

  • From 16 April 2019, Delta’s Premium Select will roll out across some international routes, including its A350 flights from Los Angeles to Sydney.

  • American Airlines will continue to roll out premium economy on selected flights. Its Dreamliner planes flying into Australia already have the premium economy cabin.

7. Gold Coast Airport terminal gets a $300 million expansion

Artist’s impression of the Gold Coast Airport Terminal Redevelopment. <em>(Source: Airport Technology)</em>
Artist’s impression of the Gold Coast Airport Terminal Redevelopment. (Source: Airport Technology)

The new multi-million dollar upgrade means travellers will see a three-level terminal with advanced facial recognition systems and full-glass panels that allow for more natural light.

On top of this, travellers will have closer access to the new $50 million four-star Rydges hotel set to open near the airport’s major terminal this year. The first stage of this project is expected to be completed “by 2019”.

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