New American Express Lounge Opens at Sydney Airport

AMEX Airport Lounge Sydney
AMEX Airport Lounge Sydney

The new lounge, operated by Plaza Premium Lounges, is  three times the size of the previous lounge at over 600 square metres, and offer more amenities, dining options and variety of relaxation spaces

American Express  has opened a brand new card member  lounge today,  located  near  Gates  50-63  at  Sydney  Airport’s  T1  International  terminal,  replacing the pre-existing lounge, which opened in December 2014.

The new lounge, operated by Plaza Premium Group, is three times the size of the original lounge at over 600 square metres, and offer more amenities, dining options and variety of relaxation spaces including:

  • Three shower suites featuring L’Occitane en Provence products;
  • Complimentary food and beverages featuring a variety of vegetarian, vegan and wellness options, an exclusive dining area, and live cooking stations;
  • Full service bar including a selection of cocktails and wide selection of craft and international tap beers;
  • High-speed Wi-Fi and charging stations and quiet resting areas;
  • Flight information screens, and a selection of local and international magazines and newspapers.

“Opening this new, spacious and convenient American Express Lounge at Sydney Airport is part of our ongoing commitment to provide our card members with premium travel benefits, exceptional hospitality and best-in-class facilities and experiences. We  look forward to  welcoming travellers  to  our new  card member lounge,” said Naysla Edwards, Vice President of Brand, Charge Cards and Experiences at American Express A/NZ.

“We believe guests will thoroughly enjoy all the additions, in particular the live cooking stations where guests can now order from an a la carte menu,” added Song Hoi-see, Founder and CEO of Plaza Premium Group.

The new American Express lounge at Sydney Airport’s T1 International terminal is part of American Express’ broader Global Lounge Collection, which offers Platinum and Centurion Card Members with access to more than 1,200 airport lounge locations across the world, in 500 plus cities, across 130 countries and counting.

The Global Lounge Collection includes access to American Express Centurion Lounges, International American Express lounges, Delta Sky Club® for Card Members flying on Delta, Priority PassTM Select Lounges upon enrolment, Airspace Lounges, MAG U.S. Escape Lounges and Plaza Premium Lounges. Card Members can find a lounge at the Global Lounge Collection website or by using the Amex Mobile app.

 

americanexpress.com.au/airportlounge
plaza-network.com

Affordable Private Jet Platform Lands in Australia

InstaJetz

InstaJetz works with an approved network of premium aircraft operators and allows customers to compare available empty leg flights and choose the most cost-effective solutions for their trip

Private jet travel may no longer be out of reach for most of us, with the launch of InstaJetz, a new private jet and helicopter booking platform. On a mission to make luxury jet-setting more affordable and accessible for Australians, the Australian travel company offers flights to any city across the country, all of which can be instantly arranged through the InstaJetz platform. The service takes advantage of empty leg flights – the return portion of a one-way private charter flight, where the aircraft needs to reposition itself for its next customer, or to return to its home base – and operators are often happy to offer lower prices to fill the otherwise empty aircraft (and recoup costs).

InstaJetz works with an approved network of premium aircraft operators and allows customers to compare available empty leg flights and choose the most cost-effective solutions for their trip. Within a few clicks, customers can request when and where they want to fly, receive their quote, confirm and take off. Just to add to the exclusive experience, the InstaJetz team is available 24/7 to assist with anything passengers might need.

instajetz.com

World’s Best Independent Airport Lounge Revealed

Plaza Premium Lounge London
Plaza Premium Lounge London

Plaza Premium Lounge has claimed the top prize at the Skytrax World Airline Awards

Plaza Premium Lounge at London Heathrow Airport T2 has been voted “World’s Best Independent Airport Lounge” at the 2019 World Airline Awards. This is the fourth consecutive time the airport lounge brand has achieved a first-place ranking, with the Plaza Premium Lounge in Brisbane additionally placing in the top 10.

“It is such a pleasure for Plaza Premium Lounge to once again be named as ‘World’s Best Independent Airport Lounge,’ not to mention our deepest gratitude for millions of global travellers and our dedicated team around the world that strives to make travel better every day,” said Song Hoi-see, Founder and CEO of Plaza Premium Group. “As the world leader in airport hospitality, we are committed to continuously enhancing our experience to alleviate the pain points of travellers.”

Closer to home, the Brisbane branch is known for prioritising wellness in its travellers’ airport experience with private spa and wellness facilities, as well as showers with customised amenities. Guests can expect to board feeling fresh and relaxed.

“In the past year, we have put in much efforts in upgrading our service quality and adding new features – from zone planning, ambient design, furniture selection, food and beverage offerings to facilities that cater to different travel types. Our goal remains unchanged, that is to create a journey to make travel better for all travellers,” Hoi-see says.

In the past year, Plaza Premium Lounges have opened in Sihanoukville, Cambodia; Ahmedabad, India; Rome, Italy; Cebu, Philippines; Langkawi, Malaysia and Helsinki, Finland. The award-winning company now has a global network of more than 160 locations in over 44 international airports, across 22 countries and regions and serving 15 million travellers every year.

Commonly deemed the “Oscars of the aviation industry,” the prestigious Skytrax’s World Airline Awards are determined through the largest global annual airline customer satisfaction survey and receive millions of responses from air passengers around the world.  The survey and the award selection are independent and free of any airline influence or interference.

www.plazapremiumlounge.com

www.worldairlineawards.com

Slides, Gardens, Nets and Mazes at New Jewel Changi Airport

Jewel Changi Airport Canopy Park
Jewel Changi Airport Canopy Park

The Canopy Park and Changi Experience Studio are now open, complete with quirky playscapes and interactive experiences

Jewel Changi Airport is inviting locals and international visitors alike to explore their newest exhibit, Canopy Park. The picturesque display offers seven unique play attractions, the world’s tallest indoor waterfall, unique shopping and dining concepts, as well as airport and accommodation facilities.

The exhibit, which opened in mid-April, features a range of exciting attractions never seen before in an airport including the Discovery Slides, which consist of four slides within a beautiful garden.

If slides aren’t your speed, there is another playscape available. The Foggy Bowls, which are mainly tailored to children, contain four gentle concave play areas surrounded by enveloping fog, creating a dreamy landscape of clouds for young imaginations to enjoy.

The Petal Garden and the Topiary Walk are perfect for those who have an affinity for photography. The Petal Garden contains seasonal floral displays from around the world, while the Topiary Walk features vibrant plants that have been shaped into animals such as crocodiles, elephants and peacocks.

Among the ticketed attractions are two distinct mazes, the Hedge Maze and the Mirror Maze. The Hedge Maze is the largest of its kind in Singapore, complete with an elevated lookout platform for spectators. The Mirror Maze includes a dramatic, fully immersive chamber with mirrors above and below, perfect for any visitor in search of a challenge.

There are also two different Manulife Sky Nets, which are suspended high above the ground and yield fantastic views. The Sky Net made for walking is 25 metres tall, making it taller than the other net. However, the other net is made for bouncing, making it suitable for the more energetic visitor.

Outside of Canopy Park, there is also the new Changi Experience Studio, which lets guests immerse themselves within a virtual world of Changi Airport. Some highlights of the Studio include an interactive travel guide, trivia games, and an experience that allows participants to make music with other guests.

Starting 10 June 2019, the Changi Experience Studio will operate daily from 10.00am to 10.00pm (last entry is at 9.00pm). To ensure an optimal and enjoyable immersive experience for visitors, entry to the studio will be ticketed.

More information about both Canopy Park and the Changi Experience Studio, can be found on their website.

 

jewelchangiairport.com

Luxury Car Rental Service Launches at Melbourne Airport

DriveMyCar
DriveMyCar

The celebrity-inspired chauffeur treatment is in partnership with Mercedes-Benz and is available exclusively at Melbourne Airport

Exclusively for Melbourne Airport travellers, off-boarding passengers can now be picked up in style with a new VIP chauffeur treatment. Starting with car pickup, customers are able to bypass the usually-crowded car rental desks and the hike over to the car park with their luggage. They are instead chauffeured away from the domestic or international terminals and into a Mercedes-Benz car by a personalised valet driver. Customers can additionally choose from A-Class, B-Class, CLA, C-Class, X-Class and GLA vehicles.

This posh rental service is being offered by DriveMyCar, Australia’s largest online peer-to-peer car rental service, in partnership with Mercedes-Benz Melbourne Airport, a member of LSH Auto Australia and part of LSH Auto International – the world’s largest Mercedes-Benz passenger car dealer group.

“We’re excited to work with Mercedes-Benz Melbourne Airport to introduce new ways for people to access some of the best luxury cars in the world. Mercedes-Benz cars are exceedingly popular on DriveMyCar, and providing access to a luxury experience for visitors to Melbourne Airport is yet another example of DriveMyCar innovating in the car rental industry,” Chris Noone, CEO of DriveMyCar stated.

Prices start at $73 a day.

www.drivemycar.com.au/mercedes-benz-vip-melbourne-airport

Singapore’s Jewel Changi Airport to Feature World’s Largest Indoor Waterfall

Jewel Changi Airport Forest Valley
Forest Valley

An extension of Changi Airport Singapore, Skytrax’s ‘Best Airport in the World’ for seven consecutive years, Jewel Changi Airport will feature the world’s tallest indoor waterfall as its centre masterpiece

Singapore’s Changi Airport extension, Jewel Changi Airport, will open its doors on April 17, 2019, offering travellers a vast array of options to dine, shop, play and stay.

The multi-use development, attached to Changi Airport’s Terminal 1 and within easy access from Terminals 2 and 3, is located before immigration and will be open to both travellers and non-travellers.

The neighbouring YOTELAIR Singapore Changi Airport provides 130 rooms for busy travellers in need of flexible check-in and check-out timings, while early check-in and storage availability, even for hand-carry luggage, will additionally be granted to passengers who experience late departures.

Functioning as more than an airport, Jewel will have several recreational features, with the unique mix of lush greenery and curated offerings a first in the region. The Forest Valley, a four-storey verdant landscape, will contain one of the largest collections of indoor plants in Singapore in its 22,000 square metre space. Equally as impressive is the Rain Vortex, a 40-metre tall, indoor waterfall that will showcase a nightly light and sound show. The 14,000 square metre Canopy Park will open soon after in June 2019 and allow visitors their choice of play attractions, gardens and walking trails. Canopy mazes, a bouncing net, a walking net, a 50 meter-long canopy bridge and discovery slides – a 4-slides-in-1 sculptural playground – are just some of the upcoming play attractions.

Jewel will also have over 280 shops and eateries including the Peruvian-inspired TONITO, which will serve classic ceviche and iconic Pisco Sour cocktails, and the locally-beloved Violet Oon, which will have its largest restaurant in the airport and offer popular delicacies such as dry laksa, beef rendang, satays and roti jala.

Several brands such as Shake Shack, Pokémon Center Singapore, Burger & Lobster, Läderach and Pink Fish will make their Singapore debut at Jewel, while respected and homegrown Singaporean brands such as Nalise and Supermama will have a presence. The nationally-recognised Tiger Beer will even be unveiling its first-in-the-world Tiger Street Lab and pouring seasonal brews exclusive to Jewel.

Jewel Changi Airport will open on 17th April.

Skytrax has recently announced that Singapore Changi Airport has been voted ‘World’s Best Airport’ for the 2019 Airport Awards by international air travellers for the seventh consecutive year, maintaining its position as the only airport to have received the accolade for seven years running.

 www.jewelchangiairport.com

Cathay Pacific Opens Yoga & Meditation Space in Business Class Lounge

Cathay Pacific The Sanctuary

The Sanctuary by Pure Yoga is the latest wellness collaboration between Cathay Pacific and the Hong Kong-headquartered Pure Group

Cathay Pacific has opened an all new yoga and meditation centre located in The Pier, Business – the airline’s business class lounge at Hong Kong Airport. The Sanctuary by Pure Yoga is the latest collaboration between Cathay Pacific and the Hong Kong-headquartered Pure Group following the January 2018 launch of ‘Travel Well with Yoga’, a series of inflight videos to help passengers ease into their journeys with meditation and yoga.

Cathay Pacific General Manager of Customer Experience and Design, Vivian Lo, said the wellness space has been created in response to the demand for more health and wellness experiences by Cathay Pacific customers. “Wellness is becoming increasingly important to our customers and The Sanctuary by Pure Yoga in our Pier Business Class lounge is the perfect place to relax before a flight,” she said. “We listen to the needs of our customers and continuously evolve to improve their experience with us.”

The Sanctuary by Pure Yoga is made up of two areas – the Body Sanctuary, dedicated to practising yoga, and the Mind sanctuary, dedicated to meditation.

The Body Sanctuary provides travellers a space to rejuvenate and unwind with gentle, stretching exercises. For those new to yoga The Body Sanctuary provides guided videos led by Pure Yoga instructors. Travellers can also utilise the secluded areas for self-led yoga sessions or use the seated stretching appliances.

In the Mind Sanctuary travellers are offered two styles of meditation. The audio meditation invites travellers to sit on a cushioned pod to rest, put on noise-cancelling headphones connected to an iPad and begin a guided meditation led by Pure Yoga instructors. The second meditation option, gazing meditation, involves relaxing in comfortable cushions and looking at graphics placed on the wall ahead in a practice known as Trataka yoga.

The Practices in both the Body and Mind Sanctuaries help to improve focus, memory, visualisation skills and aid in centering the mind to create a state of awareness and attention.

“We’re delighted to extend this fantastic partnership between Pure Yoga and Cathay Pacific, giving people even more chance to feel the benefits of yoga and meditation on their travels. No matter how rushed the trip is, just a few minutes of calm can make all the difference,” Pure Group Regional Marketing Director Gary Wise said.

The Sanctuary by Pure Yoga is open to travellers who have access to Cathay Pacific The Pier, Business at Hong Kong Airport, as well as Diamond, Gold and Silver Marco Polo Club members. Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon First and Business Class passengers will also be able to enjoy the new offering. Additionally, Diamond and Gold Marco Polo Club members arriving in Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon flights are given complimentary one-day access to any Pure Fitness centre or a choice of any Pure Yoga class up to 12 times a year.

 

cathaypacific.com

Cathay Pacific The Sanctuary
Cathay Pacific The Sanctuary

You Can Now Skip the Lines and Enter Lounges in 500 Airports

Waiting at the airport

The new Blacklane PASS gives travellers access to the perks of Business and First Class travel – such as lounge access and airport express lanes – without the need for airline frequent flyer status

Travellers can now skip security and immigration lines for $100 and access lounges for $50 in more than 500 airports around the world, thanks to chauffeur provider Blacklane. The company has launched Blacklane PASS (Premium Airport Services & Solutions), giving members access to a suite of global airport concierge services and a personal assistant to escort them between gates and lounges, without the need for top tier frequent flyer status.

The new service comes seven years after founders Jens Wohltorf and Frank Steuer launched Blacklane as a chauffeur service, uniting local chauffeur companies to provide a high-quality, single global professional driver service. Blacklane now operates in 260 cities across more than 50 countries.

 

The new Blacklane PASS provides travellers with the same benefits of Blacklane’s chauffeur service:

  • An intuitive booking process that takes less than a minute, for yourself or a third party.
  • All-inclusive rates guaranteed when you book
  • Real-time flight tracking and adjustment of pickup times based on actual arrival times
  • English-speaking concierges with personalized pick-up signs and detailed local knowledge
  • Concierge name and contact information sent in advance
  • 24/7 multi-lingual customer care agents available on phone, email and social media
  • Cashless payment and easy invoicing

As well as:

  • Arrival Services: The concierge greets the guest plane-side or after customs (depending on airport rules) with a pickup sign. They assist with luggage, take the guest to the front of customs and immigration lines, and escort them to their vehicle.
  • Departure Services: The concierge meets the guest at their vehicle, helps with luggage and escorts them past security and immigration lines. Inside the terminal, they assist with VAT refunds and duty-free shopping, and then escort them to the lounge and/or gate.
  • Connection Services: The concierge meets the guest plane-side or after customs (depending on airport rules) with a pickup sign, assists with luggage (including re-checking), escorts them past security and immigration lines and straight to the lounge and/or gate.
  • Lounge Access: Guests with the Blackland PASS receive three hours in airline and/or private lounges to enjoy food and beverages, showers, WiFi and other amenities.

Travellers can also book PASS services together or separate, with or without Blacklane’s chauffeured rides, including the new Green Class, environmentally friendly rides on a Tesla Model X or Model S, available in 20 cities including Sydney, London, Paris and Hong Kong. Guests riding in Teslas receive all-inclusive fares, meet-and-greet service, tracked flights, up to one hour of free wait time for airport pickups, and 24/7 customer service. These additions are also for all Business and First Class services.

“Airport concierge services are one of the most efficient ways to decrease your travel stress. Now, thanks to our new service, it is also becoming one of the most affordable ways,” said Jens Wohltorf, CEO and co-founder of Blacklane. “Just as our chauffeured rides take stress out of travel on the road, PASS takes it away from the airports.”

“Travellers’ most valuable – and most wasted – asset is time,” said Wohltorf. “We save time from your door step to the plane door and vice versa, giving you a seamless travel experience on the ground, be it on the road or within airport terminals.”

Individual and corporate travellers, corporate travel managers and travel agents can book PASS at pass.blacklane.com.

 

www.blacklane.com

New United Polaris Lounge Opens at San Francisco International Airport

United Polaris chairs at SFO
United Polaris chairs at SFO

The two-level lounge is a step-up in airport lounge luxury, offering five private daybeds with Saks Fifth Avenue bedding and personal valet services

United Airlines has unveiled its new United Polaris Lounge at San Francisco International Airport, the first of four Polaris lounges set to open this year. Passengers travelling in the airline’s international premium cabin are now able to relax and dine prior to their flight or refresh upon arrival in the lounge, located near Gate G92 in the International Terminal. Set on two levels with 440 seats, the chic lounge offers five private daybeds with Saks Fifth Avenue bedding, eight shower suites featuring Soho House & Co’s Cowshed Spa products, personal valet services including pressing and steaming, a private restaurant-style dining area, a bistro-style buffet and cocktails inspired by the Bay Area.

The United Polaris lounge at Newark Liberty International Airport is expected to open by early June, followed by the lounge at George Bush Intercontinental in Houston this summer and the lounge at Los Angeles International Airport this autumn. The focus behind the United Polaris experience is to provide long-haul travellers with better sleep in the sky. On average, United plans to add one aircraft with the new United Polaris business class seats every 10 days from now through to 2020.

united.com

Qatar Airways A380 Service Makes First Touchdown in Perth

Qatar Airways A380 First Touchdown Perth
Qatar Airways A380

Qatar Airways’ flagship A380 aircraft proudly touched down in Perth for the first time on the 1st of May 2018. The award-winning airline’s luxurious double-decker aircraft increases capacity on the route by more than 44 percent.

Now in its sixth year of operation, the deployment of the superjumbo on the Perth-Doha route will add an additional 300 seats daily, an increase of more than 44 percent. Perth is also Qatar Airways’ third gateway in Australia to be flying the 517-seater aircraft, following Sydney and Melbourne. Qatar Airways also flies the A350 daily to Adelaide and the B777 to Canberra.

Perth Airport CEO Kevin Brown said Qatar Airways’ decision to utilise it on this route, strengthens its commitment to the Perth market, adding that it will open up new opportunities to attract more tourists to the Western Australian capital from the European market.

Featuring a tri-class configuration of seating in First, Business and Economy Class over two decks, the A380 features a luxurious First Class cabin, one of the largest onboard lounges in the sky, the world’s best Business Class offering and a spacious Economy Class cabin for 517 passengers.

Qatar Airways has also put in great effort to optimise the A380 for passenger wellness. Besides quiet, spacious cabins, passengers can also enjoy an extensive dining menu onboard. First and Business Class passengers can indulge in an on-demand à la carte menu, with a signature caviar service available for First Class customers. All passengers can enjoy Qatar Airways award-winning Oryx One on-demand entertainment system featuring up to 4,000 entertainment options.

The launch of the A380 service comes in tandem with a series of recent announcements by Qatar Airways to expand their global network. The new A380 service will allow more passengers to connect seamlessly to Qatar Airways UK and Ireland network, offering passengers seamless access to Dublin and our five UK gateways – London, Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Cardiff.

The national carrier of the State of Qatar, is one of the fastest-growing airlines operating one of the youngest fleets in the world, with a modern fleet of more than 200 aircraft flying to business and leisure destinations across six continents.

qatarairways.com

Flight Schedule

Perth – Doha  QR901 | Departs 23:05hrs, Arrives 05:40hrs+1

Doha – Perth  QR900 | Departs 02:05hrs, Arrives 18:25hrs