Taking advantage of geography errors or quirks in frequent flyer schemes has long been the hallmark of the frugal frequent flyer. As we featured recently in another trip report review, Guam is one such quirk. With Australia and Guam both classed as South Pacific in US Air Dividend Miles program, return travel between the two nations uses just 30,000 points in Business. That’s less than $1,000 worth of points.

With just one direct flight every couple of days from Australia, most of our members have been looking at redemptions utilising Asian carriers instead. With awards, the more options the better; given not all flights have award seats available. For Brisbane based members, the addition last year of Eva Air to the Star Alliance opened up new possibilities, even if it was a red-eye.

As the journey began, it seems Brisbane International can get busy at night. Despite Qantas not having any flights late in the evening, their lounge (which Eva uses for their business class passengers) is hardly empty

View within the lounge which wasn’t too crowded but there were more people in there than I thought for that time of night however, besides our Eva Air 316 flight to Tapiei at 2230 there was also Malaysia 134 to Kuala Lumpur at 2320, Fiji Air 922 to Nadi at 2355 & Cathay 156 to Hong Kong at 0055.

When you travel with an unfamiliar airline for the first time, it’s common to pay more attention to the safety demonstration than normal. One of the interesting facets of these demonstrations is how airlines cater for a global audience. Some airlines use humour to get the message across, like the infamous Air New Zealand videos. Others use animation, where sometimes things can get lost in translation

This pic is from the EVA in-flight safety demo which is basically saying please don’t stand on the dunny & have a ciggie on the sly thinking that by holding a cup over the smoke detector this angelic looking flight attendant will not know. She will & you will be busted.

As the journey began, it soon became evident that cultural creativity can be found in airports as well as safety videos. As our correspondents discovered, Taipei airport is certainly host to some psychedelic looking lounges. And being the home base of China Airlines, their “Love& Hug” liveried plane was even spotted. It seems every journey does begin with a big hug, if you fly with China Airlines on one particular 747!

There are yet more frequent flyer tricks to play out on this journey, not to mention possibly more creative cultures. Why not hop onboard for the ride HERE.


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