My five weirdest frequent flyer moments of 2019
Points theft. Missing crocodile meat. Airport lounge saunas.
My dedication to making the most of my frequent flyer points gets me into some pretty strange situations sometimes. Here are the five oddest things I did (or that happened to me) during 2019. There are enough that buying cheese for the points doesn't even make the top five.
5. Flying to Christchurch with a jacket for luggage
I'm an old hand at keeping my carry-on luggage under 7kg, but for an Emirates flight from Sydney to Christchurch, I decided to take things to the next level, and only pack what I could fit inside a Uniqlo jacket. Read the full story. This also ticked off a key local "fifth freedom" flight (one which an airline runs between two cities, neither of which is in its home market) on my bucket list.
4. Flying to Melbourne to have ice cream delivered to an airport
When Coles introduced airport collection lockers at Melbourne Airport, I knew I had to test them out. And the best test for a food delivery service is to see if it can deal with ice cream. Read the full review to see how messy things got. Ironically, I didn't earn points for the actual flights, since it was a last-minute booking on Tigerair, but I did get flybuys points which will ultimately contribute to my Velocity total.
3. Flying Finnair from Asia to Europe
Actually, there's nothing odd about flying Finnair; it's a key European oneworld airline. Also, I was lucky enough to be flying in business class, which was a really enjoyable experience, with great food, drink and service. But I'm annoyed that on my flight back to Bangkok, I didn't have enough time in the Finnair lounge to take advantage of the actual sauna – steam, cedar and all. You don't see that in a lot of airport lounges.
2. Flying QantasLink to Port Moresby on points
Another bucket list item ticked off: flying internationally with QantasLink, which wasn't possible until this Cairns-Port Moresby flight was reintroduced last year. The flight itself was fine, largely because it was so empty that I got the exit row for nothing and free space galore. Again, my annoyance was at something I didn't do: I couldn't sample the crocodile burger at my Port Moresby hotel because they'd run out. Dammit, Dundee.
1. Having 46,700 of my Velocity points stolen
Obviously not a pleasant experience, but an important reminder: your points are a valuable currency and you need to take care of them. I still have no idea how it was possible for someone to pilfer points from my Velocity account and book themselves a reward flight. That said, Virgin handled the incident professionally, and I got all the points back, though it was a slow process.
Happy new decade! And remember to set your own frequent flyer goals for the year ahead.
Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more. It appears regularly on Finder.
Pictures: Angus Kidman