FEATURED MARCH NEWS

Now that autumn has begun, we’ve rounded up the important travel news stories that have captured our attention this month to keep you up to date and in the loop.

Posted On March 28, 2017 Posted By Isabella Medalle

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PLATINUM OPEN ALBURY OFFICE TO SERVICE LOCAL BUSINESS NEEDS

Platinum Travel Corporation (Platinum) Director Sarah Szubanski has announced the opening of a new office in Albury to service corporate travel and event management requirements of the rapidly growing business travel market in Albury and the surrounding region.Platinum's newest location is the result of a strategic partnership with Albury based travel professional Jacqui Nelson, with the new business office centrally located for ease of access by clients. Read more here.

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STAR ALLIANCE INTRODUCES EXPRESS GOLD TRACK SYSTEM

Star Alliance have introduced their express Gold Track System at over 100 airports around the globe to help fast track their gold status members through security. Eligible members include: Gold Status Holders and travellers in First or Business Class on a member airline. For more details click here.

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QATAR AIRWAY'S NEW BUSINESS CLASS OFFERING

Qatar Airways have revealed their new Business Class Cabin named 'QSuite' which includes a group of four seating configuration that will allow direct aisle access for each passenger as well as middle seats that turn into a double bed. The QSuite will be rolled out on Qatar's Boeing 777-300ER Doha - London Heathrow route in June.

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QANTAS PUT THE BRAKES ON INFLIGHT WI-FI LAUNCH

Qantas have announced that they will be halting the launch of their inflight Wi-Fi due to 'stability' issues that need addressing. The Wi-Fi rollout was previously meant to have launched in February but has faced a number of delays. Qantas have said that they still 'remain on-track for a broader roll out...from mid-2017.'

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EMIRATES RESPOND TO THE US' LARGE DEVICE CARRY-ON BAN

In response to the US' large device carry-on ban, Emirates have introduced a new handling service for customers travelling from Dubai to the US, allowing them to use their laptops until just before boarding. Once devices have been declared and handed over the security staff, they will then 'be carefully packed into boxes, loaded into the aircraft hold, and returned to the customer at their U.S destination.'

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VIRGIN'S MELBOURNE-HONG KONG FLIGHT TO LAUNCH 5 JULY

Virgin will start flying direct between Melbourne and Hong Kong as of 5 July 2017. The services will run five days a week: VA87 will depart Melbourne every Monday and Wednesday, VA89 will depart Melbourne every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and on the return VA86 will depart Hong Kong every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday to arrive in Melbourne the following day.

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AIR NEW ZEALAND PLAN MAY OPENING DATE FOR MELBOURNE LOUNGE

Air New Zealand have announced plans to open the doors to its Melbourne Airport lounge in May 2017. The new lounge will mark the completion of Air New Zealand's lounge network across Australia and New Zealand. The new lounge will feature the same decor as its counterparts in Auckland, Brisbane and Sydney and is expected to have a 'live cooking station' within it.

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LAX LOUNGE ACCESS REINSTATED FOR VIRGIN'S VELOCITY GOLD MEMBERS

Virgin Australia have announced that their Velocity Gold Members will once again be able to access the airport lounges at Los Angeles Airport. Velocity Gold Members (regardless of cabin) as well as Virgin Australia Business Class flyers will be directed to the Etihad lounge while Velocity Platinum Members (regardless of cabin) will be directed to the Emirates lounge.

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FACIAL RECOGNITION TRIALS

Brisbane Airport have started a facial recognition technology trial for Air New Zealand passengers. The trial is an Australian first and will be trialled with other airlines in the next few months. British Airways have also begun a similar trial at London Heathrow Terminal 5 using biometrics to scan traveller's faces to confirm their identity.

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PAID LOUNGE ACCESS WITH GULF CARRIERS

Emirates have now extended their paid lounge access for top-tier travellers -paying for guests at US$100 each- to lounges in Auckland, Frankfurt, Milan, Los Angeles, New York, Paris Charles de Gaulle and more. In a similar vein, Etihad will now let travellers in economy pay to access its lounges in Melbourne, Sydney, Paris and London Heathrow. The cost will depend on the lounge facilities and access to lounges are subject to availability and capacity restrictions.

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SINGAPORE'S A380 SUITES MOVED TO UPPER DECK

Singapore Airlines have announced that their new A380 first class suites will be relocated to the upper deck. The 'premium' upper deck will allocated to first and business class whilst the lower deck will be dedicated to economy and premium economy.

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