54 episodes

AFF on Air is the Australian Frequent Flyer travel podcast featuring tips, tricks and chat for Australian travellers. Keep up with the latest airline, aviation & loyalty program news and learn the best Qantas Frequent Flyer & Virgin Australia Velocity point hacks! Hosted by Australian Frequent Flyer editor Matt Graham, this free fortnightly podcast features interviews with experts from the travel industry.

AFF on AIR Podcas‪t‬ Matt Graham - Australian Frequent Flyer Editor

    • Places & Travel
    • 4.8 • 60 Ratings

AFF on Air is the Australian Frequent Flyer travel podcast featuring tips, tricks and chat for Australian travellers. Keep up with the latest airline, aviation & loyalty program news and learn the best Qantas Frequent Flyer & Virgin Australia Velocity point hacks! Hosted by Australian Frequent Flyer editor Matt Graham, this free fortnightly podcast features interviews with experts from the travel industry.

    How to Fly to Australia Without Getting "Bumped"

    How to Fly to Australia Without Getting "Bumped"

     



    With the Australian government's international arrival caps still in place, getting back to Australia from overseas remains a huge challenge. In this episode, travel agent Alan Lam (a.k.a. madrooster on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum) shares his tips and advice for Australians trying to return home without getting bumped from their flight.



    Also in this episode, how to earn full points while paying tax with an American Express credit card and the latest frequent flyer & airline news.



     



    Episode contents:



    1:30 - Fortnightly news round-up

    11:25 - Interview with Alan Lam about flying back to Australia during COVID-19

    38:14 - How to earn full points for ATO payments with an American Express credit card



     



    Links:



    AFF on Air Discussion thread - a dedicated AFF thread to discuss the podcast and ask questions

    Alan's helpful AFF thread - Travelling to Australia During COVID-19

    AFF thread - Sniip accepting Amex at same rate as Visa/Mastercard

    Subscribe to the Frequent Flyer Gazette

    Become an AFF Supporter



     



    Frequent Flyer Gazette articles referenced in the fortnightly news round-up:



    Price War: Virgin, Rex Sell $49 Sydney-Melbourne Flights

    Qantas Catering Now Miles Ahead of Virgin Australia

    Qantas & Virgin Add New Routes to Beach Destinations

    Can You Get a Refund for Cancelled Domestic Flights?

    Air Namibia Enters Liquidation

    Air New Zealand Says It Doesn’t Have to Refund Cancelled Flights

    Save up to 30,000 Qantas Points off The Ghan Journeys

    The Epic 70-Day Bus Tour from Delhi to London

    • 41 min
    Hotel Loyalty Programs

    Hotel Loyalty Programs

     



    On the AFF on Air podcast, we often talk about the frequent flyer programs of airlines. But hotels are an equally important part of the travel experience, and hotel loyalty programs can offer some great perks (as well as free nights) to frequent guests. In this episode, James Green from Frequent Flyer Solutions explains how loyalty programs work - from earning and redeeming points, to gaining elite status with major hotel chains including Hilton Honors, IHG Rewards Club, Marriott Bonvoy and Accor ALL. You'll also learn how to achieve elite hotel loyalty status without even spending a night in a hotel!



    Also in this episode, how to earn 20,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer points (plus get a very nice case of wine) for under $400.



     



    Episode contents:



    1:00 - Fortnightly news round-up

    11:18 - How to earn 20,000 Qantas points for under $400 with Qantas Wine deals

    14:51 - Interview with James Green on hotel loyalty programs



     



    Links:



    AFF on Air Discussion thread - a dedicated AFF thread to discuss the podcast and ask questions

    20,000 Qantas Points (Plus Six Great Bottles of Wine) for $399

    Frequent Flyer Solutions training course on loyalty programs including hotel loyalty programs



     



    Frequent Flyer Gazette articles referenced in the fortnightly news round-up:



    Australia to Increase International Arrival Caps

    Qantas to Wet Lease Alliance Airlines E190s

    SilkAir Merges Into Singapore Airlines

    Qatar, Emirates & Cathay Pacific Further Extend Tier Status to 2022

    Qantas Launches Rescue Flights to Norfolk Island

    Overview of Australian State Border Restrictions

    10 Free Qantas Points Per Day for Walking (February 2021)

    5,000 Bonus Points for Adding an Additional Amex Cardholder

    • 46 min
    When Could "Normal" Travel Resume?

    When Could "Normal" Travel Resume?

     



    Earlier this month, Qantas reopened international flight bookings for July 2021. But then, this week, Australia's current and former Chief Medical Officers both said they didn't expect regular international travel to Australia to resume until 2022. So, when can we expect some level of meaningful international travel to resume?



    Also in this episode, Matt discusses the current state border arrangements, the impact of the recent reduction to Australia's international arrival caps and how you can claim your share of free Velocity Frequent Flyer points.



     



    Episode contents:



    2:12 - Fortnightly news round-up

    13:50 - Discussion on state border closures

    26:19 - Australia further reduces international arrival caps

    33:16 - When could Australia's international borders reopen?

    40:06 - How to claim your free Velocity points



     



    Links:



    AFF on Air Discussion thread - a dedicated AFF thread to discuss the podcast and ask questions

    Overview of Australian State Border Restrictions

    Domestic Reward Flights Can Still Be Great Value

    The International Flights Available to Australia in January 2021



     



    Frequent Flyer Gazette articles referenced in the fortnightly news round-up:



    Qantas & Virgin Suspend Lounge Access on Arrival

    Qantas to Launch 7 New Regional Routes in Early 2021

    Face Masks Mandatory on Domestic Flights

    Virgin Removes Music from In-Flight Entertainment

    Flybuys Improves Velocity Points Transfer Rate

    The Qatar Blockade is Over

    Virgin Australia Partners with Air Canada

    Win a Share of 20 Million Velocity Points

    Emirates Reveals New Premium Economy Seats

    Woolworths’ Frequent Shopper Club Closing on 25 January 2021

    Velocity Global Wallet Shutting Down

    • 41 min
    Domestic Borders Are Reopening

    Domestic Borders Are Reopening

     



    As 2020 draws to a close, there's finally some good news. Australian state borders are reopening, planes are back in the air, and more pilots are returning to work. One of them is Virgin Australia 737 pilot Chris Bournelis (a.k.a. AviatorInsight on AFF) who is now doing simulator training and flight checks ahead of returning to the skies later this month. Chris joins Matt on this episode to reflect on the year and explain the process of returning to the sky after a long period on the ground.



    And Virgin Australia has matched Qantas' recent status match offer, meaning both Qantas & Velocity members now have an opportunity to switch. If you're eligible, why not take advantage of this offer and put your eggs in two baskets?



     



    Episode contents:



    0:58 - Fortnightly news round-up

    11:12 - Virgin Australia joins Qantas in launching a status match & extension offer

    18:52 - Interview with Chris Bournelis

    29:22 - Final word for the final episode of 2020



     



    Links:



    AFF on Air Discussion thread - a dedicated AFF thread to discuss the podcast and ask questions

    Velocity Launches “Discover Gold” Status Match

    Velocity Announces Additional Status Extensions & Rewards

    AFF "Ask The Pilot" thread



     



    Frequent Flyer Gazette articles referenced in the fortnightly news round-up:



    Overview of Australian State Border Restrictions

    Qantas Reopens More Domestic Airport Lounges

    Qantas Considers Expanding Points Club

    Rex Launches $79 Sydney-Melbourne Flights

    Earn & Redeem Qantas Points for Australian Train Journeys

    Flybuys Introduces Velocity Points Auto Transfer

    • 31 min
    Earning Points for Paying Tax

    Earning Points for Paying Tax

     



    In 2009, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) began accepting payments by credit card. Many Australians have to pay tax anyway, so they took the opportunity to pay by card and earn frequent flyer points in the process. Since then, the banks have slowly but surely removed this loophole by excluding government payments from earning points. Next week, St George Bank will become the final major Australian bank to stop awarding points for tax payments.



    But Australians have made hay while the sun was shining - and few more so than the AFF member who goes by the username "cove". Cove estimates his family has earned 100 million points by paying taxes with credit cards since 2009. In this episode, Matt finds out how he did it! You'll also learn how to continue earning points for tax payments, even after St George closes this loophole.



    Also in this episode, Qantas has launched a status match and Virgin Australia is now finally out of voluntary administration.



     



     



    Episode contents:



    1:14 - Fortnightly news round-up

    8:18 - Virgin Australia is out of voluntary administration. What's next?

    12:45 - Interview with "cove"

    29:07 - How to continue earning points for tax payments in Australia



     



    Links:



    AFF on Air Discussion thread - a dedicated AFF thread to discuss the podcast and ask questions

    Virgin Australia to Relaunch Business Class

    Half of Virgin Australia’s Lounges to Reopen

    How to Earn Points for Paying Tax & Other Bills in 2020

    Upcoming Frequent Flyer Solutions webinar: How COVID-19 Has Changed Travel: Planning for 2021 (9 December 2020)



     



    Frequent Flyer Gazette articles referenced in the fortnightly news round-up:



    Bain Takes Control as Virgin Australia Exits Voluntary Administration

    Extend Your Qantas Status By Booking One Flight

    Qantas Frequent Flyer Gold Status Match

    Overview of Australian State Border Restrictions

    Velocity Global Wallet Shutting Down

    How to Buy & Redeem Air Canada Aeroplan Points

    Flybuys Removes Annual Velocity Points Transfer Limit

    Qantas to Launch Strategic Partnership with Accor Hotels

    ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures Card Withdraws Virgin Benefits

    • 33 min
    Qantas Centenary

    Qantas Centenary

     



    On 16 November 1920, Queensland And Northern Territory Aerial Services (or QANTAS for short) was incoporated. This makes next Monday, 16 November 2020, the airline's 100th birthday!



    But the story of the birth of Qantas goes far beyond the signing of a piece of paper in 1920. In this episode, Qantas Founders Museum curator Tom Harwood joins Matt to tell the full story of how Qantas was founded and grew to become Australia's beloved national carrier.



     



    Episode contents:



    1:00 - Fortnightly news round-up

    11:51 - Interview with Tom Harwood



     



    Links:



    AFF on Air Discussion thread - a dedicated AFF thread to discuss the podcast and ask questions

    "100 years of what?" - an informative article by Tom Harwood on the Qantas Founders Museum website



     



    Frequent Flyer Gazette articles referenced in the fortnightly news round-up:



    Qantas Closes Airport Service Desks

    NSW & ACT to Reopen Victorian Border from 23 November

    Fly to Lord Howe Island with Qantas Points

    Bonus Points & Status Credits on Transfers to Velocity – November 2020

    Berlin Brandenburg Airport is Finally Open!

    The Cheapest & Most Expensive Countries for Domestic Flights

    • 38 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
60 Ratings

60 Ratings

Dannnyg5 ,

Good listening

Don’t fly a lot. Accumulate points via CC. But plenty of interest here and some good tips. Sometimes I wish Matt would just tell us what to do and not give so many options!

MalSydney ,

Informative and interesting

I love tuning in for this podcast. Such an interesting range of topics covered. Informative and insightful. The “beep beep” sound between topics is awesome - makes me feel like being on a plane again ... especially nice atm when I cannot be due to Covid!
Matt has such a soft and endearing voice it makes it a pleasure to listen to. Keep up the good work.

Townsend22 ,

You are even answering questions that I didn’t know I had!

Thanks Matt, I am really enjoying these podcasts. I look forward to every second Saturday when I can listen to this podcast. Each week is different but equally enjoyable. Highly recommend this to any travel tragics like me!

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