52 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 and loyalty program news. Learn how to maximise your Qantas Frequent Flyer and Virgin Australia Velocity points! 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

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 and loyalty program news. Learn how to maximise your Qantas Frequent Flyer and Virgin Australia Velocity points! Hosted by Australian Frequent Flyer editor Matt Graham, this free fortnightly podcast features interviews with experts from the travel industry.

    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
    Aviation Enthusiast Builds 747 Flight Simulator in Garage

    Aviation Enthusiast Builds 747 Flight Simulator in Garage

     



    Many Australians have used the travel downturn to work on projects around the house. Canberra-based Andrew Newnham, whose AFF handle is harvyk, is no exception. But instead of reseeding his lawn, installing a new kitchen or painting the house, Andrew decided to build a life-size Boeing 747 flight simulator in his garage!



    In this episode, Andrew tells Matt all about the project and what it takes to build a full-scale flight simulator at home.



    Also in this episode, find out where all the grounded Qantas & Virgin planes are parked and why the Boeing 737 MAX could soon return to the skies.



    You can see pictures of Andrew's flight simulator here: Podcast #48: 747 Enthusiast Builds Flight Simulator in Garage



     



    Episode contents:



    0:51 - Fortnightly news round-up

    12:25 - Interview with Andrew Newnham

    24:21 - Where are all the grounded Qantas & Virgin planes?

    27:35 - Boeing 737 MAX update



     



    Links:



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

    Where Are the 137 Grounded Qantas & Virgin Planes?

    The Boeing 737 MAX Will Soon Return to Service

    Frequent Flyer Solutions webinar: The New Virgin Australia (5 November 2020)



     



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



    Qatar’s Reputation Takes Huge Hit After Invasive Searches

    More Domestic Flights as Tasmania Reopens Border

    Many Surprising New Domestic Routes Launching

    Velocity Frequent Flyer Valuation Slashed By Two-Thirds

    Virgin Australia Holidays is Closing Down

    Qantas Flags New Destinations, Further Cost Cuts

    St George to Axe Points for ATO Tax Payments

    Canberra Added to Priority Pass Network

    Hilton Further Extends Status Until 2022

    • 35 min
    Flybuys Loyalty Program

    Flybuys Loyalty Program

     



    Flybuys Chief Operating Officer Phil Hawkins knows a thing or two about loyalty. He was with Flybuys right back when the Australian loyalty program launched in 1994! In this episode of AFF on AIR, Phil joins Matt to discuss all aspects of the Flybuys program including its partnership with Velocity Frequent Flyer and why targeted offers are so critical to the program's success.



    In the news round-up, Matt also talks about the current woes beleaguering Virgin Australia. The airline has just lost its CEO, the unions don't trust the new owner and staff are taking sick leave because they're sick of dealing with Business class passengers unhappy over receiving two-minute noodles as an in-flight meal. What will Bain Capital do next?



     



    Episode contents:



    0:46 - Fortnightly news round-up

    11:05 - Interview with Phil Hawkins, Flybuys COO

    39:48 - AFF's annual weekend gathering in Canberra



     



    Links:



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

    AFF#14 gathering in Canberra (4-6 December 2020)



     



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



    The Axe is Falling on Virgin Australia

    Velocity Cuts Partner Airline Benefits

    Qantas Resumes Limited Trans-Tasman Flights Today

    Qantas Scenic Flight Over Australia Proves a Hit

    • 41 min

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