Virgin Australia

Apple MacBook’s banned from Virgin Australia’s checked-in luggage

Aussie travellers have been banned from taking Apple MacBooks in their checked-in luggage on Virgin Australia flights over battery fire fears.

The carrier is one of the first airlines in the country to issue the ban on the popular computers.

Virgin Australia issued the warning on their website, revealing the laptops can still be taken in carry-on baggage.

“Important information for passengers travelling with Apple MacBooks,” the post reads.

“Due to a worldwide recall by Apple of a number of Apple MacBook batteries, ALL Apple MacBooks must be placed in carry-on baggage only.”

“No Apple MacBooks are permitted in checked in baggage until further notice.”

The airline’s dangerous goods list states that “dangerous goods/hazardous materials are items or substances that may endanger the safety of the aircraft or guests on board.”

It comes just months after Apple recalled thousands of MacBook Pro laptops over fire safety risks.

“Apple has determined that, in a limited number of older generation 15-inch MacBook Pro units, the battery may overheat and pose a fire safety risk,” the company said in a statement in June.

“Customer safety is always Apple’s top priority and we have voluntarily decided to replace affected batteries, free of charge.”

Qantas Dreamliner

Qantas launch direct flights from Brisbane to Chicago and San Francisco

We will soon be able to fly direct to Chicago and San Francisco from Brisbane airport!

Qantas announced today that travellers will be able fly non-stop to San Francisco from February 9, 2020, with direct flights to Chicago to commence on April 20, 2020.

The airline’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners will be used for both routes.

The 14,326km flight from Brisbane to Chicago will be the fourth longest in the world, taking approximately 16 hours and 20 minutes (depending on winds).

Qantas International Acting CEO Naren Kumar said: “This is the first time Australians will have a direct link to Chicago, the third-largest US city.

“We expect the flights will be popular with corporate travellers looking to do business there, but also with tourists wanting to experience some of the culture and history that Chicago is famous for.”

Gold Coast Skyline Surfers Paradise

Record number of Aussies holidaying on the Gold Coast

The Gold Coast has once again proven it’s the nation’s premier holiday hotspot, with a record number of Aussies flocking to the city for a mini getaway.

The National Visitor Survey figures released today show domestic overnight visitation grew by 17 per cent to a record 4 million, in the 12 months to March 2019.

In a big coup for the city, the Gold Coast also outperformed Australia AND Queensland’s growth in both spend, visitation and visitor nights.

Overnight expenditure topped $3.6 billion, growing by a massive 22.6 per cent, while a record 8 million day-trippers spent more than $803 million, up 27 per cent for the year.

Destination Gold Coast CEO Annaliese Battista said visitors that had delayed their holidays in the lead-up to the Commonwealth Games a year ago, had returned in great numbers.

“We had a quieter March quarter in 2018, so it’s thoroughly encouraging to see overnight visitors inspired to take winter breaks in our slice of paradise last year,” Ms Battista said.

“Coupled with the return of Brisbane locals and a solid bumper summer period, it’s clear expenditure was driven by the robust increase of 22.4 per cent in visitor nights to a staggering 15.8 million.”

Whilst majority of overnight visitors were holidaymakers, Destination Gold Coast says 564,000 business travellers also converged on the holiday hotspot.

Qantas plane (new logo)

More seats, lower fees as Qantas overhauls Frequent Flyer program

Qantas has announced a massive overhaul of its Frequent Flyer program making it easier to snare a seat using points.

The Flying Kangaroo will open up an extra million rewards seats after years of complaints from frustrated customers that it was too hard to redeem points for flights, especially on popular routes.

The extra fees you need to pay when booking a flight with points are also being cut by up to 50 per cent.

For example, charges for a Business Class return Classic Reward flight from Sydney or Melbourne to London will be cut from $1080 to $700, while fees for a return economy flight from Sydney to New York will be cut from $360 to just $180.

“We know the majority of our members want to use their points to take a dream trip overseas, so we are adding more reward seats including First, Business and Premium Economy, to places like London, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Singapore as well as slashing carrier charges,” Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said.

Reward seats will also be available on even more of Qantas’ partner airlines, including Air New Zealand, China Airlines, Bangkok Airways, Air France and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.

More seats will also be made available during peak travel times, including Easter and Christmas.

However the number of points needed to book a seat in Premium Economy, Business or First Class will be increased.

“While the points required for business class seats on international and domestic flights will increase slightly, it is the first increase in 15 years and the product has improved a lot in that time,” Mr Joyce said.

Qantas is also introducing a new ‘Points Club’ for those who earn plenty of points by ways other than flying.

Those Frequent Flyer members who don’t fly that much will be able to unlock access to Qantas lounges and bonus status credits.

Qantas Dreamliner

New international flights from Brisbane promise economic benefit

Qantas has announced two new direct flights, to help bring tourists direct to the sunshine state, and boom our tourism industry.

The Australian airline will start non-stop flights from Brisbane to Chicago and San Francisco from April next year, under a deal secured by the Palaszczuk Government.

The flights between Brisbane and Chicago will operate four times a week, while the San Francisco service will operate three times a week.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says between the two new routes, more than $150 million will be pumped into the Queensland economy over the next three years.

“As the world’s largest economy, the United States offers enormous potential for inbound tourism to Queensland.

“The launch of flights to San Francisco, and for the first time in the Qantas network Chicago, represents a great opportunity for Queensland, one that is forecast to support more than 1,700 jobs over the next three years,” Premier Palaszczuk said.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the launch of 787 flights from Brisbane to Chicago and San Francisco would be a win for customers and tourism.

“This is fantastic news for Queensland. It demonstrates the confidence that we have in the local tourism industry and our commitment to the Sunshine State.

“This will give Qantas and American Airlines customers unprecedented access. These flights will make it one stop from Chicago to Hamilton Island or San Francisco to Townsville.

“These new services will connect both Australian business travellers and holidaymakers with key centres of commerce, industry and culture in the United States,” Mr Joyce said.