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The best way to make use of your frequent flyer points right now

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Demand for air travel has soared, but trying to find seats using points is impossible. Here’s the best way to make use of your points

The cost of flying has soared as we all rush to get back into the air. The experts call it “revenge travel”, but we all make up for two years of restrictions.

But now airfares to popular international destinations have soared to more than double pre-pandemic levels. And if you’re trying to use your points to pay for flights, you’re probably finding it hard to book any seats.

So with all this unprecedented demand, what’s the best way to get the most from your points and get you back in the air?

If you’re organised, flexible and determined, you’ll do well. Steve Hui, from iFlyFlat has some ideas.

Singapore Airlines has more seats available than other airlines

The frequent flyer expert noted a common misconception around redemption rates right now, amid claims rates have quadrupled in some cases.

“The number of points for flights is still the same, it’s just that you can’t find seats right now,” says Steve Hui, from iFlyFlat.

What the airlines say

It’s worth noting how far in advance airlines release their rewards flights.

A Virgin Australia Group spokesperson said: “Velocity members can be savvy by taking advantage of discounted fares during sales and booking ahead with reward seats available more than 300 days in advance.”

The two main Australian frequent flyer schemes, Velocity and Qantas Frequent Flyer, have recently reported record points redemption rates.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has acknowledged airfare price hikes.

“Fuel prices have spiked and our fuel bill next year will be $1.8 billion more than it was before COVID,” said Joyce.

“At the same time, there’s still unbelievably low airfares out there. Jetstar had a $29 airfare sale yesterday [June 15], so you still can get very low air fares, but air fares will have to go up with the oil prices.”

Ahron Young is an award winning journalist who has covered major news events around the world. Ahron is the Managing Editor and Founder of TICKER NEWS.

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The #SunburnChallenge has been blocked on TikTok Australia

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TikTok Australia has partnered with Melanoma Institute Australia for a new campaign to stop glamourising tanning

As Australians prepare for warmer temperatures, TikTok Australia is seeking to put an end to the viral #SunburnChallenge.

The challenge has led to users uploading videos of their sunburned bodies onto the platform.

However, the video-sharing app will begin removing these videos under the ‘Tanning. That’s Cooked’ campaign.

The initiative is targeted at 20–39 year old Australians who are partaking in the trend.

It will use humour to throw shade at tanning, and turn Australia’s tanning culture on its head.

Lee Hunter is the general manager at TikTok, who said humour is the key to shaping this demographic rather than serious corporate or health messages.

“The campaign is inviting TikTok creators to use humour and throw shade at tanning in their own authentic way, helping to spread the word and change the perception of tanning.”

LEE HUNTER, TIKTOK AUSTRALIA

Skin cancer is the most deadly form of the disease for Australians. It is typically caused by an over-exposure to the sun and ultra-violet radiation.

While it is preventable in most cases, the disease is the most common cancer among 20–39 year olds.

“Everyone who searches for a hashtag related to summer sun, tanning and many other summertime phrases, will see the ‘Tanning. That’s Cooked.’ banner and will be provided with information that outlines the dangers of tanning, with links to Melanoma Institute Australia,” Mr Hunter said.

The plea was made by Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA), who have pushed for social media stars and influencers to stop glamourising tanning.

Matthew Browne is the chief executive at MIA, who said the TikTok partnership will help to strengthen the message for younger Australians.

“One Aussie is diagnosed with melanoma every 30 minutes and it claims more lives than the national road toll. Tanning is actually skin cells in trauma.”

MATTHEW BROWNE, MELANOMA INSTITUTE AUSTRALIA

“There is no safe way of sun tanning, including the concept of getting a protective ‘base tan’ at the start of summer.”

“That’s like saying smoking a few cigarettes a day will protect you from developing lung cancer,” he explained.

TikTok has recently stepped up its social responsibility commitments. In October, the platform said it intends to “drive a deeper understanding and awareness of the importance of mental wellbeing”.

According to a recent poll, of over 1,000 participants, 23 per cent of Australians believe mental wellbeing is more important than physical wellbeing.

TikTok has developed wellbeing guides, which share practical advice for people to be more considerate about what they share online.

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CNN begins mass layoffs

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CNN has begun cutting hundreds of staff from its news operations around the world

CNN is eliminating some 400 positions around the world, equating to about 10% of staff.

The cuts come on top of the August closure of CNN+, which resulted in the departure of more than 200 employees.

Staff waited anxiously for a notification of a video call in which they would be laid off.

HLN will drop all live programming.

Its international quarters has also been impacted, with a loss of programming in London.

It comes after a tumultuous year for its new parent company, following the merger between Discovery and Warner Brothers.

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Contentious industrial relations laws pass Australian parliament

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Labor government is making the most extensive changes to workplace relations laws in nearly two decades.

Australia’s Employment Minister Tony Burke struck a deal on the Secure Jobs, Better Pay Bill with independent ACT senator David Pocock, who holds the balance of power in the upper house.

It came after a late-night meeting in which Senator Pocock secured series of concessions in exchange for his support.

Labor will adopt the recommendations from a parliamentary inquiry into the Bill including changing the definition of a small business that can be excluded from multi-employer bargaining.

The definition now identifies a small business from one that employs 15 people to one that employs 20.

It will also be easier for a business with 50 employees or fewer to opt out of multi-employer bargaining.

Such businesses will be given a stronger ability to argue to the Fair Work Commission that they should be excluded.

The expansion of multiemployer bargaining makes it easier for workers at different companies within one industry to band together to call for better pay and conditions.

This is the most contentious element of the legislation.

Under the “single interest” stream, workers will be able to negotiate a single enterprise agreement to cover different workplaces, as long as a majority of employees at each company involved agree to do so.

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