For those in Perth always looking for a better, faster, cheaper way

Friday, July 27, 2012

Corporate Rates - takes a minute to check

Are you part of a big company with possibly corporate rates for your health insurance? Probably worth checking. Since changing my health insurance to a family plan, I realised that I could possibly get corporate rates with my company. I called up Medibank and sure enough, we get 8.3%. That is a saving of $20/month!

So what's the difference? For Medibank, corporate rates only means that the premium is adjusted. Nothing about the actual cover is altered, just the premium.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

What do you get with Qantas Perth-Sydney Business class ticket?

I upgraded a flight from Perth to Sydney and thought I would post something I would have liked to have read whilst deciding on the upgrade. Here is what you get with a Business Class ticket in point form. 

Perth Qantas Club Lounge - I only got to the airport about half an hour before the flight was to take off so by the time I was clearing security, they were already announcing the boarding of my flight. I only had time to have a quick walk through the Business Lounge, grab an apple juice and walk out. The Lounge was pretty impressive and there was quite a lot of food and drinks available. The coffee was disappointingly from an automatic coffee machine, whereas in Virgin they have a barista ready for your order. There is plenty of room to perch yourself on a desk with a drink and work on your laptop. It was impressive but not outstanding. You are also allowed to invite someone else in to the lounge who is also flying on the same Qantas flight. Also there does not seem to be any restrictions about what time you can enter the lounge on the day of your flight so go as early as you can. 

Boarding - Apart from those requiring special assistance, you are the first to board and the first to disembark from the plane.

Food - You get to eat your meals with elbow room using real cutlery. My lunch started with a tasty mushroom soup, a snapper pie with vegetables and ice cream served with biscotti. 

Entertainment - The headphones provided actually allow you to watch in-flight movies without needing the subtitles and are wrap-around headphones rather than cheap earphones. You can also plug in your thumb drive and listen to music from there but that you can also do on most Airbus planes now.

Service - In Business class, they have a greater eye for detail such as promptly coming to ask if I would like to have my coat stored away just as I was taking it off.

Seating - One comfortable feature was the seats installed in Business Class which can be adjusted to be a flat bed for sleeping. It is, however, still a little awkward lying in your 'bed' if you are on a midday flight. The seats allow you to adjust the top, middle and bottom of the back rest as well as the seat length and the pitch of the seat and foot rest. Problem is, I spent quite a bit of time on the flight trying to move the foot rest back down. You also get a decent blanket and pillow to keep you comfortable throughout the flight.

So it sounds like something you want to try? Read the post that came before this, our
Beginner's Guide to Business Class.

Beginner's Guide to Qantas Business Class

So I took a flight from Perth to Sydney on Sunday for work and decided to try out Business Class on the Qantas flight over. Since I felt somewhat like a kid flying for the first time, I thought I would write a short entry about the lessons I learnt from the experience.

How much is it to upgrade? It cost me 16,000 frequent flyer points to upgrade a flight from Perth to Sydney. This will depend on your flight's ticket class, my ticket was on the super saver.

Whether the flight upgrade is worth doing is really up to each individual. From a money perspective, upgrading using points is much more worthwhile than buying a business class ticket. For example, a flight from Perth to Sydney on the cheapest ticket one way is $248. A Business Class ticket on the same flight is $1595. IF an upgrade using frequent flyer points is available, for 16,000 points (equivalent to $112 in gift cards) you can get an upgrade that is worth $1347, if you value the Business Class ticket in the same way.

The question most people often ask would be, is the Business Class upgrade worth doing?

Is the flight worth upgrading - time? When I was already on the flight, I suddenly remembered that the Perth to Sydney flight is actually only 3 hours. The flight back to Perth is 4.5 hours. Should have upgraded the flight back instead.

Is the flight worth upgrading - plane model? The flight I took was on a 747 and I didn't have time to read up much about it. It was a relatively old plane and sitting in Business class didn't really feel all that special. The person seated next to me was still quite close even though we each had our own arm rest. Leg room of course was ample, but the entertainment system was quite old and unimpressive. The entertainment system in economy class on an A330 Virgin flight was better.

Is the flight worth upgrading - meal time? If you are flying a red eye and need to get some sleep, perhaps its worth spending to get an upgrade so that you can be well rested when you land. However, if you are looking at the food, it would probably be better to upgrade a flight that includes dinner vs a morning flight with breakfast.

Next post, we'll look at what you get with a Qantas Business Class ticket.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Platinum Edge v Platinum Reserve Flight Redemptions

Some of you may have seen on this blog that the American Express Platinum series has two cards which offer free return flights with luggage around Australasia. Where you can go depends on which card you have. Since this is a Perth based blog, here is a quick comparison between the AMEX Platinum Reserve and Platinum Edge  flight redemptions coming out of Perth.

Here are the destinations for the Platinum Edge Credit Card - the destinations are Newman, Karatha, Port Hedland, Broome, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.
The following destinations are available for those holding the Platinum Reserve Credit Card. Clikc on the image to get a larger image. AS you can see, the options to go to Bali or Darwin are additions to the selection available for the Platinum Edge card. The price difference between the two cards can be up to $246. 

It is also important for me to note that these images came from the AMEX Australia website and were current at the time of this post. You can get a referral bonus 10,000 points if you don't have an AMEX card and you are referred by an existing AMEX Edge cardholder. If you like, sign up here to also get NO ANNUAL FEE for the first year + 10,000 bonus points which is worth about $70 in gift card redemptions.

97 Life Hacks for Every Day

Some people like to do things the longer way but most of you that are following this blog probably aren't that kinda person. After doing things the same way over and over, some people have come to realise that there IS actually a better way. Here are 97 ways to do things the shorter way. Which one is your favourite? feel free to share more of yours in the comments if you ever get to the end of this post.