southern-franceOur member Jacques Vert recently took advantage of their Qantas points to book a trip to Europe, with stops in China and even South Africa! Canal du Midi in Southern France was a particular highlight of this whirlwind trip.

The first stop was Beijing, where some sightseeing was in order. Tiananmen Square and Heaven Temple were among the capital’s highlights. Our member also visited the Forbidden City and the mausoleum of Chairman Mao, although these sights had to be postponed to a day other than Monday. In the meantime, the famous Great Wall of China awaited!

We had originally intended to go to see Chairman Mao and the Forbidden City on this day however we discovered that as it was a Monday they were both closed. So instead we caught a taxi to the Great Wall and the Ming Tombs with the assistance of Concierge John at the Hilton.

The next stop would be southern France. To get there, our member flew British Airways but the flights didn’t go entirely without a hitch.

Next morning we are off to Marseille via LHR on BA038. Decided to check my emails while having breakfast and there’s one from BA advising that our connection from LHR to MRS has been cancelled; but don’t worry, BA are working on arranging an alternative route to get us to MRS. Hmmmm…

An unfortunate French air traffic controller’s strike led to the cancellation of numerous flights to France that day. With no options on British Airways available, our member was rebooked on Air France via Paris. They eventually made it to Marseille, albeit very late and without their luggage.

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With that ordeal over, the French sightseeing tour began! A highlight of the beautiful French Provence region was Avignon, home of the Palais des Papes…

While I was really taken by Arles, +1 prefers Avignon. It is a beautiful city of ~ 80k. The old town is surrounded by well preserved ramparts and fortifications. From 1309 to 1377, it was the home of the Popes who fled Rome during some uncertain times. Of course you can’t expect a Pope to live in any old shanty, so they built themselves a Palace.

The adventures continued through Southern France. Later our member would travel to Madrid, Rome and finally South Africa for a safari in Kruger National Park!

This trip really highlights the outstanding value to be had from Qantas oneworld award tickets. The Qantas oneworld award allows for up to 35,000 miles of travel with up to five stopovers of any length. For Business class, this costs a total of 280,000 Qantas points per passenger. Our member has certainly made the most of their award booking. In fact, they have got three trips out of it! By adding lengthy stopovers in Japan and South Africa, this member has bought return tickets from these countries back to Australia, returning months later to pick up the oneworld award booking where they left off! This particular trip is the second of three parts to this booking.

View the full trip report HERE.


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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]