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Australian Business Traveller magazine

Insider tips for the business traveller

Dining at the new Qantas Hong Kong lounge includes a BBQ pork barDining at the new Qantas Hong Kong lounge includes a BBQ pork bar. Source: Supplied

Antonia Kidman is a Celebrity Concierge for Singapore. Source: Supplied

DID you know that you can buy frequent flyer points outright from US airlines and use them to book fights with partner airlines?

Even better, these airlines often run promotions offering discounts of up to 50 per cent. Under a recent deal, American Airlines offered 30 per cent bonus miles on purchases of AAdvantage miles — American’s equivalent to Qantas points. You can bulk buy these miles and then use them to book award fights on Qantas or any of its Oneworld partners through the American Airlines website. According to Australian Business Traveller editor David Flynn, such deals mean you can often fly business class for even less than an economy-class ticket. For example, under this deal you could fly business class with Qantas from Sydney to Hong Kong for $750. Just sign up for free with AAdvantage and other US airline programs and watch for special deals.

Lounging around
YUM cha trolleys with dim sum and a barbecue pork bar (pictured) are among the locally favoured delights on offer in Qantas’s new Hong Kong international lounge, which opened earlier this month.
The lounge echoes the style of the airline’s Singapore lounge, opened a year ago, with consulting chef Neil Perry designing menus based on his Rockpool and Spice Temple restaurants. Qantas says that as all its fights from Hong Kong to Australia are overnight, passengers appreciate the opportunity to eat before they fly and so maximise their sleep on board. The airline has also partnered with Softel to provide a hosted experience for those in first class and premium one Qantas frequent flyers. The service includes shirt pressing and shoe shining.

Antonia Kidman is a Celebrity Concierge for Singapore.Lion city
GET off the beaten track in Singapore with the help of a new Celebrity Concierge service. Register by April 25 for a one-on-one Skype session with Tetsuya, Antonia Kidman, Tom Williams or Singapore-born MasterChef finalist Audra Morrice. They have also provided lists of their top-10 experiences.

Tricks of the trade
WANT to avoid surprise price increases when searching for fares online? Then don’t leave an electronic record of your searches, says Peter Greenberg, travel editor for CBS news and host of US show The Travel Detective. Clearing your cookies or using a different computer to follow up an airfare search is one of 10 top travel tips he gives in Fortune’s March issue. Another tip is to avoid a hotel’s central reservations number but speak directly to a manager on duty to ask for a better room rate, or ask for an “out of order” room at a discount rate.

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