Qantas to resume flights in October 2021
Qantas has announced that they are no longer planning to restart international flights in July as previously stated. At the time this seemed pretty ambitious. Now with the vaccine rollout starting in Australia, 31 October seems like a realistic timeframe. Australia is expecting to vaccinate its population by around September. It is also expected that Australia will require vaccination or perhaps allow those unvaccinated in with hotel quarantine. This signals that it is likely Australia will reopen before the end of 2021, providing their vaccination program goes according to plan and there are no more Covid surprises!
Qantas is planning to resume flights to 22 of its 25 pre-COVID international destinations including Los Angeles, London, Singapore, and Johannesburg from 31 October 2021. Sydney-Singapore-London is due to resume on 31 October 2021 along with London-Perth-Melbourne.
Tickets are on sale now. It could be worth looking at an Avios redemption since availability is probably better than usual. If you plan to stop off, a multi-partner Avios ticket can be great value.
There’s an interesting video from Qantas on Twitter that shows how their flights have changed over the course of the pandemic.
Our network has evolved significantly through COVID-19. We’re hopeful domestic border closures will be a thing of the past and that we can ramp up flying as demand returns. International flights are now scheduled to resume from late October 2021. pic.twitter.com/4mZQQk2xtF
— Qantas (@Qantas) February 25, 2021
If you are booking flights to Australia, I would make sure that they are changeable or refundable given Australia’s cautious approach. Qatar has one of the best Travel with Confidence policies which entitles you to a full refund in many situations where you can’t fly due to restrictions.
Qantas has also introduced a new policy. Qantas’ updated Fly Flexible policy (previously only available for domestic and Trans Tasman flights) now applies to international flights booked from today until at least the end of April 2021. The flight date can be changed to any available for sale at the time (up to 355 days in advance). Qantas will waive the change fee however a fare difference may apply.
Qantas has also extended credit vouchers to enable travel until 31 December 2023 on domestic or international flights. Customers with international bookings impacted by cancellations will be contacted directly and offered alternatives.
Lloyds Avios voucher update
A few years ago, the Lloyds Avios card used to give you a free upgrade voucher. Those that still had vouchers left were initially given a 6-month extension. I had a flight booked for March with one of the vouchers that would have now expired. So I had a chat with Avios to see what options there currently are for readers in the same situation.
- For flights until 31 March 2021 you can change your flight to any bookable date free of charge to the same destination or zone, before your departure date.
- Otherwise, if you are flying from 1 April, you will have to pay £35. If it turns out that it will still be illegal to travel for leisure from 29 March (it’s currently not clear) then I would hope Avios would extend the free changes.
- If you want to change destination outside the same pricing zone, you will need to pay £35pp.
- If you cancel your flight you will lose your voucher.
- If the airline cancel you will get your Lloyds voucher back. The agent was unsure how long it was valid for, but previously it was 6 months.
- If you have unused vouchers, they will only extend them until the end of March 2021, which is completely useless! Hopefully, they will extend this further soon.
3 for 2 on Hilton premium brand hotels
If you read my article about the Conrad Hotel London, you will have noticed that I got it on a great 3 nights for the price of 2 deal. This deal is only bookable through Hilton Impressario agents. I am pleased to confirm that we can now make Hilton Impressario bookings including this deal.
The offer is valid on certain hotels only. These are:
- Waldorf Astoria Versailles
- Rome Cavalieri, a Waldorf Astoria hotel
- Waldorf Astoria Berlin
- Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh, The Caledonian
- The Biltmore Mayfair (review)
- Conrad Dublin
- Conrad London St James (review)
- Conrad Algarve (‘five nights for four’) (review here)
I have stayed at 4 of these hotels. Conrad Algarve is one of my all-time favourites and I am also a big fan of the Biltmore. I was not a fan of the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh, but I know others that loved staying there.
You need to book through an Impressario agent to get these deals, the offer is not available tp book online with Hilton. As well as the 3 for 2, you also get the Impressario benefits and will get the usual Hilton Honors points and perks too:
- Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
- Complimentary breakfast for two daily
- $100 equivalent food & drinks credit
- Early check-in / late check-out, subject to availability
- double Hilton Honors points
Hilton Impressario benefits are available on most Conrad, LXR and Waldorf Astoria bookings. To get them, you need to book the flexible rate with an Impressario agent. This means that they are cancellable and changeable until the last minute. I’m not booking many flights at the moment, but when I see these deals come up I have been booking hotels. There is no money needed up front for most hotels, so it’s a no risk way to get some good deals.
You can now book this offer and Hilton Impressario rates through TLFL’s partnership with Debonair. To enquire about prices for your preferred dates and hotel, you can fill out our booking enquiry form here.