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The new experiences coming to Qantas international flights

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When you board your next Qantas international flight, you may notice a range of new experiences both onboard and at the airport

Qantas has unveiled a range of new experiences to join the return of much-loved customer favourites as the airline prepares to resume scheduled international flights next week for the first time in 20 months.

While the international travel experience will largely be the same as pre-COVID, some things will look and feel a little different, particularly in the short-term.

New initiatives including a customised digital travel guide for customers are designed to help passengers navigate travel requirements before they leave home.

Qantas Group Chief Customer Officer Stephanie Tully said: “The safe reopening of Australia’s borders and our first international flights will be a very special day for the entire Qantas team which is excited to get back flying and help reconnect our customers with family and friends around the world.

“We have redesigned our digital booking experience with world-first technology to help our customers easily navigate the post COVID-19 world of international travel and guide them through each step, including regular checklists sent via text ahead of their flights.

“Some things haven’t changed including our world class premium service. Our customers can expect a mix of new initiatives and a return of many favourites, all designed to make them feel right at home again the minute they step in to one of our lounges or on board our aircraft.”

DIGITAL SOLUTION

Qantas has developed technology across its website and app and will roll out a revamped digital booking and pre-departure experience that will be tailored to each customer’s journey.

The new digital experience will guide customers through what they need to do their international travel based on government requirements at their time of travel. This will include:

  • Pre-booking: Destination specific travel requirements available on qantas.com.
  • Booking: Travel requirements emailed to customers upon booking and link to upcoming interactive Travel Ready section on qantas.com.
  • Pre-departure: Emails/SMSs to customers seven days, four days and one day ahead of departure with customised checklists, reminders and links to relevant information.

Over the coming weeks, the digital experience will include a seamless integration with the IATA Travel Pass to help customers travel stress free, by enabling them to upload their vaccine and testing documents and be cleared to fly before they get to the airport. Airport check-in for international flights will also open an hour earlier than pre-COVID to allow extra time.

NEW MENU

From November onwards, Qantas will roll out a new menu across its international flights and in the lounges including a number of new plant-based options.

In response to the growing popularity, plant-based meals such as potato and celeriac gratin with roast fennel, peas, mushrooms and onion sauce and Ratatouille Pasta Bake with Herb Crumb, Cauliflower & Green Beans will be available across all cabins on international flights from mid-November.  Iconic Australian ice-creams will also be added to the inflight menu including Paddle Pops and Splices.

The new offering will also include a signature cocktail – the Qantas Sky Spritz – developed by SOFI to celebrate the return to international skies featuring Australian botanicals including Davidson Plum and Finger Lime.

The airline is restocking fridges ahead of the reopening of the Sydney International First Lounge from Monday including 125 punnets of strawberries and 25 kilograms of passionfruit a day for the signature Neil Perry pavlovas.

Qantas has announced it will use Darwin International Airport’s Catalina Lounge as a pop-up International Transit lounge for eligible customers transiting through Darwin on their way to and from London.  Other international lounges will reopen to align with the return of further international routes.

Fly Well kits will continue to be available onboard and other changes to inflight services include using fully compostable paper wrappings on amenity kits, sustainably sourced bamboo combined swizzles and stirrers and new compostable cups rolled out on all international flights.

It is an Australian Government requirement that face masks be worn in airports and on-board flights.

Qantas encourages all travellers to consider taking out travel insurance before an international flight and in a post COVID world, one that incorporates some COVID cover. There are a number of products available to travellers, so customers can choose a policy that will best suit their needs.

[Via Qantas]

Anthony Lucas is reporter, presenter and social media producer with ticker News. Anthony holds a Bachelor of Professional Communication, with a major in Journalism from RMIT University as well as a Diploma of Arts and Entertainment journalism from Collarts. He’s previously worked for 9 News, ONE FM Radio and Southern Cross Austerio’s Hit Radio Network. 

Business

IRS to require facial recognition in order to file and pay taxes

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A major shake-up is coming to the way US citizens file their taxes

Citizens that file their taxes online tax will soon be required to submit a selfie to a third-party identity verification company using facial recognition tech in order to file their taxes or make IRS payments online.

According to Gizmodo, from this summer, online users with an IRS.gov account will no longer be able to log in with a simple username and password.

The new process will instead involve facial recognition. Users will need to provide a government identification document, a selfie, and copies of their bills to Virginian-based identity verification firm ID.me to confirm who they are.

That change, first noticed by Krebs on Security, marks a major shift for the IRS which previously allowed users to file their taxes without submitting personal biometric data.

Gizmodo reports that a statement from an IRS spokesperson said users can still receive basic information from the IRS website without logging in, however the representative added they would need to sign in through ID.me to make and view payments, access tax records, view or create payment plans, manage communications preference, or view tax authorisations.

Users attempting to log in to their accounts using ID.me will have to create an account with the company by uploading either a driver’s license, passport, or passport card.

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Business

The international airlines suspending US flights

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Emirates has announced that it is suspending a majority of flights to the United States due to the planned launch of 5G

Flights are suspended to all destinations in the United States, except major cities including Los Angeles, New York and Washington.

Due to operational concerns associated with the planned deployment of 5G mobile network services in the US at certain airports

EMIRATES SAID in a memo to employees

Air India, All Nippon Airways, and Japan Airlines, have all suspended most routes to the United States as well.

This follows the world’s largest telecommunications company AT&T announcing it will delay the implementation of its 5G service at some airports in the United States.

This is all in response to CEOs of America’s largest airlines warning of a major disruption to travel and shipping if the service is rolled out. 

In an open letter, the executives call for 5G technology to be limited near US airports.

In the statement, the CEOs are requesting a limit on 5G within 2 miles of airport runways as defined by the FAA

It says “Immediate intervention is needed to avoid significant operational disruption to air passengers, shippers, supply chain and delivery of needed medical supplies”.

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Business

Airline CEOs warn of major 5G disruption near airports

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CEO’s of America’s largest airlines are warning of a major disruption to travel and shipping

They’re calling for 5G technology to be limited near U.S airports

In an open letter also signed by shipping giants FedEec and UPS, the CEO’s wrote with urgency to request a limit on 5G within 2 miles of airport runways as defined by the FAA

The say that “Immediate intervention is needed to avoid significant operational disruption to air passengers, shippers, supply chain and delivery of needed medical supplies”

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