Turning Left

Gus is a travel consultant and airfare expert based in Sydney. He's been working in the travel industry on and off since 2006 as a travel agent, product manager and in travel IT support. He digs through fare rules and routing paragraphs and shares all the best deals he comes across here.

Review: Singapore Airlines Business Class

In June I flew Singapore Airlines business class from Sydney to Singapore on a 777-300er and then onto Bangkok on a 777-200. Booking my ticket I booked the ticket using some leftover Avianca Lifemiles that I’d purchased during a buy miles promotion and then paid the balance at the time of ticketing using their generous cash + miles option. In total, the ticket cost me roughly AU$1000 including the purchased miles, the extra miles needed at checkout, taxes and fees. So, I was pretty happy with that as it’s a massive discount off what a revenue ticket would have...

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Amazing Finnair Round The World Fares

Do you know how many European airlines fly into Australia? If not, the answer is just one. British Airways fly daily between London Heathrow and Sydney via Singapore and that is the only service to any Australian port by a European carrier. Having said that, most of the bigger carriers from Europe sell tickets between Australia and Europe by utilising partner airlines’ services between Australia and ports where they can pick you up from, for example flying Sydney to Bangkok with Thai Airways and from there to Frankfurt with Lufthansa all on a Lufthansa ticket. In many cases, these...

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Weekend in Sydney: Intercontinental and Park Hyatt

I’m writing this while sitting by the pool at the Park Hyatt in Sydney. I just checked in after spending last night at the Intercontinental Sydney. I know it’s not news to anyone that the Park Hyatt is a superior property or that Gold Passport status comes with better benefits than IHG Rewards Club status but my experience at the two properties over the last 24 hours have been like night and day. Intercontinental Sydney When I checked into the Intercontinental I asked at check-in if there was any availability in rooms with a harbour view. As a Platinum Elite...

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Qatar and Etihad Sale Fares Until 5 September

Qatar and Etihad are both offering massive discounts on their fares in both economy and business class from a huge amount of global departure points. Both sales finish on the 5th of September (or the 6th depending on which market you’re in). This is quite a similar situation to the one we had in January this year, with both carriers running sales at the same time, with similar pricing and an identical sale period. What a coincidence! I’ve seen a couple of things in the news lately regarding fare prices decreasing in the past twelve months and the decrease in profits...

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Would you fly with Scoot to Athens?

Singapore Airlines low-cost offshoot, Scoot, are starting flights between Singapore and Athens on the 20th of June next year and are marketing it pretty heavily as a cheap way to fly between Australia and Europe. I’ve spoken to a bunch of people who seem genuinely excited by the promise of ~AU$840 return fares to Greece but I’m just not convinced. I remember when AirAsia used to fly from Kuala Lumpur to Gatwick and Orly and actually flew it once all the way from Melbourne to London. It was an absolute bargain at the time, if memory serves it was...

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Alaska miles on sale: 3 great ways to use them

Alaska Mileage Plan are currently running a promotion on purchased miles until the 29th of September. It’s targeted in that different members are being offered different bonuses. When I log into my account I’m seeing a 40% bonus offered but the email I received states that it could be up to 50%. With a 40% maximum bonus, it’s still tiered and I’d need to buy at least 40k miles to actually get the full 40%. The price per mile with a 40% bonus is about US$0.021 which can definitely be a great deal depending on how you use them....

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Making the most of Emirates’ fifth freedom routes

Emirates have one of the most impressive route maps of any airline. They fly to several ports in every continent from their home in Dubai and also have several flights that service more than one city creating a bunch of awesome fifth freedom routes. Many of these tag on flights can represent amazing value when used on their own. As an example, the Emirates flight between Bangkok and Hong Kong is often sold at a very reasonable price in either business or first class. Another way to make the most of all these services, is to use them as...

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Quick Guide To Gili Trawangan Accommodation

Gili Trawangan is one of my favourite places in the world. It’s definitely changed a lot in the last few years as tourist numbers swell, along with new bars, restaurants, accommodation options etc. There’s definitely a concern there regarding waste management and sustainability as there is in Bali. Having said that it’s a beautiful island and heaps of fun. There is plenty of great food, a surf break that can be pretty good on its day, nice diving and a good laugh at night, particularly if a barbequed lobster followed by vodka shots and a bit of a dance...

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Qantas Earlybird Fares Extra Early This Year?

Qantas pretty much always have fares from Australia to Europe that allow an “Atlantic Pacific” routing, meaning travel via the Americas. For most of the year, these fares start at a fairly high level, usually only in H class and above. It’s generally possible to combine half of one of these fares with half of a lower fare level, for example an O class fare that only allows travel via Dubai and/or Asia to create an itinerary that goes around the world on a return fare to Europe. Even when only using half an H class fare, these can...

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Review: Park Hyatt Mallorca

I recently spent nine nights at the brand new Park Hyatt Mallorca using Gold Passport points to pay for the room. Ever since this property became available to book, they have charged fairly steep cash rates during the peak summer months, starting at about EUR700 a night. Later in the year, in the quieter months, prices fall significantly but I’m not sure how appealing a trip to Mallorca would be for most people during the European winter. As a Hyatt category 5 property, the nightly rate for an award stay is only 20k points, which is excellent value for...

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