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ROUNDUP: Top 5 stories of the week

By John Walton     Filed under: qantas, cathay pacific, United Airlines, frequent flyer, sydney, United, Brisbane, SIM cards, Travel SIMs, Air New Zealand, brisbane airport, Cathay, Sydney Airport, hainan airlines, upgrade, Qantas A380, SYD, Beijing, Jeff Smisek, Beijing Capital International Airport, Beijing Second Airport, Beijing Third Airport, Brisbane floods, Qantas engine failure

It won't surprise anyone that Australian Business Traveller readers were most interested in our continuing coverage of the flooding affecting Queensland, and particularly our information about Brisbane Airport

Qantas was also high on your reading list -- and so was United's CEO telling us that his airline's service across the Pacific is second-rate. You were also interested in our pick of the best global SIM cards and the worst reasons for free upgrades Virgin Atlantic had ever heard.

And there was more! Read on for the full top 5 stories we published last week below...

#1 Flooding in Brisbane and Queensland

In addition to our frequent updates on getting to the airport (and we're continuing to update you as information comes in), we contacted all the major airlines at Brisbane Airport and put together a full list of their policies on waiving change fees for flights to and from Brisbane. We also talked to travel insurers about what they'd be covering in the aftermath of the floods.

#2 Qantas had a busy week

Outside the flood coverage, Qantas was popular in the news again -- the engine turbine failure on QF11 on Saturday night, the new Sydney-Dallas-Brisbane-Sydney route starting this May, the axing of the popular Sydney-San Francisco flights, the A380 back in the skies over the Pacific, and the end of Anytime Lounge Access for Platinum Frequent Flyers were high on your reading list.

#3 Cheapest global/travel SIM cards revealed: special report

Travel SIM cards are a recent innovation, promising to slash global roaming costs. The sales pitch is that you simply need to swap your regular SIM card over for the "global SIM" or "travel SIM" and you'll be able to make calls at a fraction of the cost of your regular mobile network's roaming rates.

#4 Top 10 worst excuses for free upgrades

Virgin Atlantic has revealed some of its less convincing customer excuses justifying why they deserve a free upgrade. The company, which surveyed its counter staff, said it had found that Sir Richard Branson had an awful lot of "friends" around the world, with many passengers dropping his name when looking for an upgrade.

#5 Hainan Airlines now a 5-star airline, starts Sydney-Shenzhen-Hangzhou flights next week

Chinese carrier Hainan Airlines -- which will start flying from Sydney to Shenzhen and Hangzhou on 19 January -- has just been voted a 5-star airline by research firm Skytrax.

Profile

About John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.

 

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