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Now Is The Perfect Time To Book 2021 Reward Travel

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Immanuel Debeer | 08/09/2020

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I’ve written off 2020. Travel just isn’t happening this year. Not domestically to other states (if you’re in WA like me) and definitely not internationally. Our autocratic state leaders have only one thing on their mind: re-election (QLD & WA that is). And as it turns out, people love to be locked away and kept “safe” from the big bad world, so that’s exactly what’s on the menu.

One would think that biosecurity protection can still be effective even when borders are open, with compulsory testing and quarantine measures I don’t see why Australians get to come and go at their own expense.

In fact, this could be the saving grace for Australian hotels doing it tough. Even leading a German virologist suggests a quarantine of 5 days would be sufficient to determine if someone is sick.

Why not commercialise the situations and let Australians who want to travel for business/leisure or other reasons book and pay quarantine facilities on their return? More than 18,000 Australians are overseas and want to come back but can’t due to the inbound restriction; surely there’s a better solution?

Europe and the US have gone back to some sort of normality (with exceptions), and none of them have the same unreasonable travel restrictions imposed on their citizens.

Anyway, I digress. Rant over, I’m looking forward to 2021! 

Points Are King in 2021

I’ve just booked my summer holidays for Europe 2021. And if you’re sitting on a stack of points with nowhere to go, I can assure you that booking a points redemption flight is the most therapeutic thing you can do right now.

As you may know, booking flights with points/miles is one of the most flexible ways you can book. There’s no money (just some taxes) on the line and changing/refunding your ticket is cost-effective if not free.

Reward Seats Are Wide Open!

With no one travelling and no end in sight, no one is actually booking anything yet. That’s where the early bird catches the biggest worm (more like a bottle of Dom Perignon in our case!). I’ve been looking through July 2021 and almost all days/dates have every single class of travel available. This is a point connoisseur’s dream!

Emirates Redemption Rates Are Now Higher But Taxes Lower

I locked in some Emirates flights before the price increased at the start of September. If you forgot, it’s not a big deal because the tax reduction on redemption flights should offset the extra points required — and some!

Singapore Airlines First Class Is Back For Summer 2021

Currently, Singapore Airlines has removed first-class redemptions from all of its flights until the end of April; luckily first class is bookable from then onwards. What makes this potentially even better is the prospect of new lounges! The new business lounge is due to open in the coming months (COVID permitting) and the new first-class lounge “the private room” is scheduled for 2021. If anything, I would expect construction to be faster, considering there’s hardly any demand right now.

Conclusion – Don’t Spend All your Points on wine just yet…

I know many of you have been burning through points in the Qantas mall, buying toasters and copious amounts of wine. Stop it! Splash some cold water on your face and snap out of it. Travel is not dead just yet, and I can see plenty of business and first-class redemption seats at the end of the tunnel!

 

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Immanuel Debeer

Chief points nerd and travel hacker at Flight Hacks

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