web Musings of The Global Traveller

Thursday, June 14, 2007

New Qantas First Class Lounge at Bangkok

Further to my entry on the new Qantas lounges at Sydney and Melbourne, I recently also got to use the new Bangkok lounge. This took a long time to open following the move from Don Muang to Suvarnabhumi airport, and with the high standards set elsewhere a nice lounge was expected.

The new lounge is indeed quite nice, although a far cry from the new super lounges in their local hub. With both Qantas and British Airways having flights similarly timed for Sydney to Bangkok to London Heathrow and return, the high loads in the premium cabin and high numbers of One World Emerald customers, the lounge is unfortunately too small - being half the size you'd hope for the number of passengers. Granted there are only two times a day when the lounge is busy (or indeed open). Still, it wouldn't have taken much effort to coordinate with Cathay Pacific, whose lounge next door sits shut at the time of the Qantas and British Airways flights, to make a bigger combined lounge.

Update and a nifty toy

Apologies for the lack of recent blog entries. Normally I don't let heavy travel slow me down, but for all sorts of reasons lately I've been offline more than normal. The past couple of months or so has been crazy, even by my standards.

Asia x6
Australia x5
Eastern Europe
North America x2
South Pacific x11
Western Europe x3

Anyway, enough excuses. I came across this nifty toy from Air New Zealand - how far can I go? Select the origin (unfortunately only main centres in New Zealand supported), and move the slider on the right hand side to see where you can go for a given fare. It seems to reference "live" fare information, even including today only sale fares. It is nice to play with the toy and dream of the next trip.

My two gripes? The toy only works on NZ fares, and why do they spend time making nifty toys like this when they have more important unresolved issues? Like multiple booking engines that don't have the features you'd like to use, problems crediting miles for partners, etc.

Friday, June 01, 2007

New Qantas First Class Lounges at Sydney and Melbourne

Through a stroke of good timing I have managed to use both new Qantas first class lounges (Sydney and Melbourne) in the past week, just days after they opened.

Naturally Qantas is hyping them. Take a tour here.

They are a vast improvement on the old first class lounges which frankly were an embarassment to Qantas for supposedly the best lounges at their hubs (some argue the domestic business lounges were better!).

There are still some kinks in the service to iron out, and the frequent requests for your boarding pass so they can track usage are annoying. Nonetheless they are very nice lounges, in the top echelon of lounges worldwide, but certainly not the very best and probably not in the top three.

Hopefully this spurs other airlines competing with Qantas to improve their offerings.