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Here are 8 travel and frequent flyer launches happening in 2020 you should know about

Sharon Masige
  • Point Hacks has listed 8 new travel launches and frequent flyer schemes landing in 2020.
  • These include additional flights to Tokyo, Qantas' new Points Club and Oneworld's new airport lounge network.
  • It also includes a new trial that could see eligible Australians get fast tracked entry into the US.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

As we dive into a new decade, a number of travel launches and offers are on the way to give travellers more for their money.

Point Hacks, an independent platform that offers deals and tips for more frequent flyer points in Australia, identified eight major offers and launches coming out in 2020, including new airports, bonus frequent flyer schemes and the potential for expedited flights.

Point Hacks spokesperson Daniel Sciberras said in a statement, "The start of a new decade brings with it a number of exciting new products, launches, or programs that will help Aussies travel with more convenience and comfort, and have greater opportunities to earn frequent flyer points on the ground and in the air.”

These are 8 travel and frequent flyer related launches for 2020:

1. Qantas Points Club

In the first quarter of this year, Qantas is set to launch a new tiered loyalty program called Points Club. It is designed to reward members who earn most of their Qantas points through non-flying related transactions like retail purchases. Members can get access to the program if they earn a minimum of 150,000 points on the ground annually, while members with higher points can be eligible for the ‘Points Club Plus’ tier. Member benefits include perks such as lounge access, bonus status credits, and exclusive offers with Qantas Frequent Flyer and partners.

2. Qantas's new partnership with BP

Qantas' new partnership with BP – previously a Velocity-BP partnership – begins in February and will let Frequent Flyer members earn Qantas Points directly through BP Rewards. BP Rewards is a new customer loyalty program where you can earn points on fuel and eligible purchases in-store.

The new BP-Qantas partnership is another way Qantas Frequent Flyer members can earn points at a petrol station, as the airline already has an existing partnership with selected Caltex outlets. The current Velocity-BP partnership will continue until 31 January.

3. Oneworld's new airport lounge network

Oneworld, an airline alliance with members including Qantas, Cathay Pacific and British Airways, is expected to announce where it's first branded business class airport lounge will be located this year. While Oneworld members can access various partner lounges around the world, these are run by member airlines rather than the alliance itself.

According to Point Hacks, the alliance CEO hinted that the focus for the new lounge could be on airports or terminals where member alliances don't have a presence. For example, Australians flying to and from airports without a Qantas lounge.

4. Berlin's new airport

Berlin's Brandenburg Airport will open on 31 October – nearly a decade later than the proposed 2010 completion date. A range of issues such as faults with installed cables and incorrectly numbered doors led to five of the grand opening dates over the years being missed.

The new airport is expected to replace two of Berlin's small and crowded airports.

5. ANZ Frequent Flyer Black and its bonus point scheme

The ANZ Frequent Flyer Black card gives new cardholders 120,000 bonus Qantas Points, $275 back to your new card, two Qantas Club lounge access passes per year and complimentary Qantas Frequent Flyer membership. But to be eligible for the bonus points, you have to spend a minimum of $4000 on eligible purchases in the first three months of approval.

This is one of the most popular credit cards among Point Hacks readers because of its high point earnings of 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent on eligible purchases and currently has no offer end date. You could choose to redeem the bonus points on a Sydney-London return economy flight on Qantas, which requires 110,400 Qantas Points.

6. More flights to and from Tokyo

From 29 March, there will be four additional daily flights from Australia to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, with Qantas, Virgin Australia, Japan Airlines and ANA each allocating one. Some airlines will be redeploying current routes – such as Japan Airlines switching its Sydney to Tokyo Narita Airport to instead land in Tokyo Haneda Airport.

Meanwhile Virgin Australia will start a new route from Brisbane to Tokyo Haneda using an Airbus A330. The added routes to Tokyo Haneda are partly in the lead up to the 2020 Summer Olympics which will be held in Tokyo between July and August.

7. The Uber app is set to bring us Qantas Points

With the Uber Rewards loyalty program, customers earn points through the four tiered-membership program – Blue, Gold, Platinum and Diamond – in Australia and overseas. Gold status members and above will be able to convert their rewards into Qantas Points.

Uber Rewards earn rates are different depending on the booking. You get 1 point per $1 spent on UberPool and Uber Eats, 2 points per dollar spent on UberX, UberXL, Comfort and Assist rides, and 3 points per dollar on Uber Premier rides. For every 750 Uber Rewards points you have, you can choose to convert them into 200 Qantas Points.

8. Global Entry for expedited entry into the US

Eligible Australians will soon get a fast-tracked entry into the US under a new trial. The Department of Home Affairs is launching a trial in the coming months to let 500 travellers to apply for Global Entry, a US program that permits fast clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travellers entering the US.

This will cut down the one-to-two hour wait times at passport control to a few minutes. Applications for Global Entry will involve background checks and an in-person interview – both done by the US – and requires approval from the traveller’s home country. If the trial is successful, Australia will be among 10 other countries whose citizens and permanent residents are already eligible for the program, such as the UK, Germany, Singapore and India.