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Ian Mcintosh’s Top10 Travel Deals

September 10, 2019 Headline News, Travel Deals No Comments Email Email

Issue 52: Friday, 6 September 2019

Significant concerns over FF programs

If you are wondering if the FF points you have worked so hard to accumulate are all worth it you are not alone. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has expressed “significant concerns” over the practices of frequent flyer programs in Australia accusing some loyalty programs of making “unilateral changes that unfairly restricted the benefits available”.

 Reward booking charges “excessive.”

These concerns include changes by FF programs such as reducing the rate customers could earn points, or the value of points previously accumulated”. According to Australian Frequent Flyer it’s not hard to see examples of this, such as when American Express devalued members’ existing Membership Rewards points in April – or Qantas increasing the cost of Classic Flight Rewards and upgrades.  The report also singles out excessive carrier charges imposed by airlines when redeeming frequent flyer points for a reward booking. More details here

Win a trip to Africa

South African Airways is giving members of Virgin Australia’s Velocity FF program the chance to win the ultimate South African holiday. Everything from the best of Cape Town to staying in a private safari reserve. To enter book a ticket from Australia to South Africa with South African Airways between now and 2 November 2019 for travel between 4 September 2019 and 28 July 2020 and enter your Velocity membership number. More details here

Double upgrade offer

Cruise ship companies come up with more special deals than Coles and Woolworths and Harvey Norman put together. One that seems to be value has just been released by Azamara. The Double Upgrade offer allows you to enjoy stateroom and suite savings across a wide selection of 2020 Europe voyages. For instance, cruise in a Club Verandah Stateroom for the price of a Club Interior Stateroom or a club continent suite for the price of a Club Verandah Stateroom. The deal ends on October 31. Details here

Half price business class

Luxury cruise operator Silversea is also in sales mode. To mark its largest European season to date in 2020, the company is offering Business Class flights from AU$3,998pp – a AU$1,000 saving on last year’s offer.  Departing between April and November 2020, you can choose from 83 voyages that range from 7-37 days in length, encompassing over 188 ports and showcasing the very best of Northern Europe. See here

In the trail of Jack the Ripper

Viator is a name to remember if you are looking for good value, interesting tours to brighten up your itinerary. Popular in London right now is the Jack the Ripper and Sherlock Holmes tour of London. Learn about London’s darkest tales with a 2.5-hour haunted London bus and walking tour. Experience the grisly histories of execution, rebellion, madness, and murder that shadow this ancient city. You finish in Trafalgar Square where you can purchase a tasty pub dinner and drink. See here

Game of Thrones comes to life

The Seven Kingdoms are very real as Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin recently discovered when he paid a visit to the dramatic landscapes of Northern Ireland where the series was filmed. Winterfell comes to life at Castle Ward in County Down, he said. You can visit the family home of the Ward family and practice archery in the same spot as Jon Snow, model some authentic Westeros attire and feast on a lavish medieval banquet inspired by the show. Have a look here

Melbourne/LA from $925 return

According to helloworld travel, there has never been a better time to book Air New Zealand with Economy, Premium Economy and Business Premier flights on sale now. Air New Zealand flies daily from Australia, connecting you seamlessly to North and South America via Auckland. As a member of Star Alliance, you can connect from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Chicago, Vancouver and Buenos Aires to over 140 onward destinations across North and South America. Details here

World’s best ski powder snow

We have been discussing in recent weeks just how good the snow skiing experience is in Japan. This Kiroro Ski Package is amazing value and you get to enjoy what is claimed to be the world’s best ski powder.  To qualify you have to book at least one night for two in the room of your choice to enjoy a complimentary buffet breakfast per guest; 1-day pass at Kiroro Snow World per guest and a complimentary daily Onsen (natural hot spring).  The offer starts at JPY 18,500 (about $A260) for the period December, 2019 through May 6, 2020. There is a range of packages. Details here

Save $500 on Africa tour

Small group tour operator Bunnik Tours has released its 2020 program to Africa. Popular destinations include Kenya, Tanzania, Namibia, Botswana and Victoria Falls. New to the program is a tour to South Africa and Zimbabwe.    From spotting the ‘Big 5’ running wild across the Maasai Mara to seeing meerkats in South Africa’s Oudtshoorn, this vibrant continent has so much to explore.  Book before January 31 and save $500pp. See here

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