Qantas Wi-Fi update - so how is it panning out?

Since April, our first internet-enabled aircraft has let passengers stay connected as it flies up and down the east coast of Australia. The free and fast Wi-Fi has been a nice surprise for up to 3,500 passengers a week who happen to step on board VH-XZB on their way somewhere.

The free and fast Wi-Fi has been a nice surprise for up to 3,500 passengers a week who happen to step on board VH-XZB on their way somewhere. Their experience has also given our team working to rollout Wi-Fi to the rest of our domestic fleet a lot of useful information about how the system is performing.

That’s important, because in choosing a Wi-Fi system (and there are several to choose from), Qantas selected ViaSat’s Ka-band satellite system so we could tap into the wide coverage and high speeds of the nbn. And because it’s quite new, there is a lot of testing involved to make sure we get it right.

By the time our domestic B737s and A330s are all fitted in late 2018 – around 80 aircraft in total – an estimated 15 million passengers a year will be able to stay connected in the air. That’s a whole lotta emails, selfies and streaming.

Source: Qantas


Crystal Gives Guests VIP Access to Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Formula 1 Race

Adrenaline rushes are inevitable for Crystal Symphony guests in Abu Dhabi this November, as Crystal unveils three exclusive ways for travelers to experience the most glamourous international event in the United Arab Emirates. During the “Indian Ocean Discovery” voyage, the ultra-luxury ship will arrive in Abu Dhabi on November 25 for an overnight stay just in time for the capital city’s Formula 1 Grand Prix at the famed Yas Marina Circuit. The 55-lap, approximately 190-mile race draws drivers from around the world to compete for the pole position. Crystal guests will enjoy VIP views for each lap, heightening the thrill of the event.

The most exclusive Crystal package for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix transports guests by luxury coach from the ship to Yas Island, where the Marina is located, and positions them in the heart of the action with Formula TEAM One Paddock Club™ access, with either Team Red Bull or Team Ferrari. Participants will walk the pit lane and enjoy premier seating in the air-conditioned upper floors of the pit building, as well as fine cuisine and beverage service throughout the day, open bar and access to the roof terrace to mingle with fellow VIP guests. Fares for this option are US$9,999 per person.

In addition to Abu Dhabi, the 17-day voyage begins with an overnight in Dubai and a maiden call in Doha, Qatar before cruising the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean en route to Mahé/Victoria, Seychelles; Nosy Bé and Maroantsetra (maiden call), Madagascar; and Mauritius/Port Louis, Republic of Mauritius. All-inclusive cruise only fares start at US$3,995 per person.

Source: Crystal Cruises


A Jet Lag Cure Near? Qantas and Researchers From the Charles Perkins Centre Hope So!

Qantas passengers are set to benefit from a world first collaboration between the airline and one of Australia’s leading academic institutions to reshape the travel experience. I ventured to Sydney University to hear about the work that is about to be undertaken in order for feel better, pre, during and post any long haul fllying.

The University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre will work with Qantas to help develop the airline’s new approach to long haul travel ahead of the first Boeing 787 Dreamliner flights later this year. The centre brings together researchers across a variety of fields from nutrition to physical activity, sleep and complex systems modelling.

Qantas and the Charles Perkins Centre are looking at opportunities to involve some Qantas frequent flyers in trials that involve wearable technology in the measurement of existing biorhythms during travel, enabling future products to be developed and designed with the insight of robust data.

Professor Steve Simpson, Academic Director of the Charles Perkins Centre, said the partnership is hugely exciting as it’s the first time there has been an integrated multidisciplinary collaboration between an airline and a university around in-flight health and well-being beyond medical emergency.

Source: Qantas


Skytrax Hat-trick For Etihad Airways First Class

Etihad Airways has once again been presented with three coveted awards for the World’s Best First Class, Best First Class Onboard Catering, and Best First Class Airline Seat at the annual Skytrax World Airline Awards. The event was held at the Musee de l’Air et de l’Espace, as part of the bi-annual Paris Airshow

The prestigious World Airline Awards are widely considered to be a global benchmark of airline excellence. Winners are chosen based on the votes and findings of a ten month survey of over 19 million air travellers from 105 countries. The survey covers over 325 airlines, from the largest international airlines to smaller domestic carriers, measuring quality standards for 41 KPIs across front-line product and service factors in the airport and onboard environments.

In recent years, Etihad Airways has won numerous accolades for its First Class service and cabin designs. This also marks the third time the airline has won all three First Class award categories at the World Airline Awards.

Etihad Airways’ three-class configured longhaul fleet of Boeing 777s and Airbus A330/A340 family aircraft also feature private First Class suites, with Poltrona Frau leather seating and cutting-edge features and amenities.

Edward Plaisted, Chief Executive Officer of Skytrax, said: “Etihad Airways continues to be a market leader in first class air travel, illustrated by their excellent performance in this First Class section of the awards. It is a remarkable display of consistency to yet again secure this very prestigious set of awards and we congratulate them on this achievement.”

Source: Etihad


Seabourn Offering New Cruise Itineraries for the 2018 & 2019 Season

Having experienced the sheer delight of one of these Seabourn cruises, I can tell you how five-star and simply brilliant the whole experiences is!

From the food to the sensational suites, the service, and brilliant destinations, it is certainly the perfect way to get into ‘cruise mode’ – especially if you have been toying with the idea of getting your sea legs for the first time.
Sure, Seabourn is at the high end of the cruise scale but the attention it to detail is seriously spectacular.
So here are some of the highlights of the cruising schedule ahead.

Seabourn, the world’s finest ultra-luxury cruise line, will feature new worldwide itineraries for the fall 2018 and winter 2019 seasons. The new program includes 37 unique sailings to hidden harbors, marquee ports and must see cities accessible only by smaller ships. As always, Seabourn guests can look forward to exceptional personalized service, lavish amenities and unique experiences from the newest and most modern fleet in the luxury segment.

The fall 2018 and winter 2019 seasons will allow guests to see our Extraordinary World with 103 departures of seven to 66 days in length, visiting exotic destinations in South America & Antarctica, India, Arabia, Australia & New Zealand, and Southeast Asia, along with classic favorites including the Panama Canal, Canada/New England, and the Caribbean.

“Each year we meticulously craft itineraries with carefully selected experiences to show guests the world as only Seabourn can,” said Richard Meadows, president of Seabourn. “These itineraries will be truly exciting for our guests as they visit fascinating destinations around the world from the comforts of the finest ultra-luxury experience at sea.”

Source: Seabourn