Earn Qantas Miles For Keeping Fit, Faster OnBoard WiFi In The US, Delta Shoots a Video & More

a jet taking off from a runway

TravelingForMiles.com may receive commission from card issuers. Some or all of the card offers that appear on TravelingForMiles.com are from advertisers and may impact how and where card products appear on the site. TravelingForMiles.com does not include all card companies or all available card offers.

A round-up of travel stories from around the net that didn’t really deserve a whole blog of their own but deserved an honorable mention nonetheless.

Qantas and NIB to create a more rewarding health insurance experience:

Qantas has teemed up with Aussie insurance company NIB to create a product called Qantas Assure. When it launches in the first half of 2016 the program will allow travelers to earn miles for doing nothing more than walking….provided that they also take out the health insurance that comes under the Qantas Assure umbrella.

From next year, Qantas Frequent Flyer members who purchase a Qantas Assure policy can download a wellness app that syncs with popular forms of wearable technology. The app will log the number of steps taken in a day and then deposit Qantas Points into their Frequent Flyer account. These points can then be used with over 400 partners for flights, shopping or towards your health insurance premium itself.

Members will be able to choose from a variety of daily or weekly targets depending on their lifestyles, with the number of points earned increasing with the size of the target.

qantas-assure-healthImages courtesy of Qantas

US gears up for faster inflight broadband

The days of truly abysmal connection speeds onboard may be coming to an end…and they day of mediocre speeds may be just around the corner.

Starting in 2016 Delta will be on of the first airlines to begin to install the newer, faster, 2Ku equipment on its aircraft leading to bandwidths of up to 100Mbps. But don’t get too excited just yet.

The figure of 100Mbps is for the whole aircraft and current plans appear to limit the bandwidth to around 5Mbps per seat….but this will ultimately depend on how many people are logged on.

The current market leader in the US is probably JetBlue who use the latest Ka-band technology from ViaSat which gives speeds of around 15Mbps.

The big advantage that JetBlue has over most of the other US airlines (with the notable exception of Virgin America) is that just about all their aircraft are now fitted with this technology while airlines like American still have the same GoGo technology that debuted last decade.

Pricing for the new 2Ku technology hasn’t been announced yet but expect it to be higher than what is being charged today.

A jet, a Porsche and 35 cameras make for one thrilling video

Delta have released a quick, 1 minute video, showing how they filmed one of their Airbus A330-300 aircraft taking off from a desert airfield in California.

The video was shot as part of a promotional exercise to showcase Delta’s new Airbus A330-300 aircraft and took a total of 9 months to plan and shoot.

The plan was to capture a dramatic shot of the belly logo just as the plane was taking off. To do that, the team would need a camera that could be attached to something moving as fast as the plane – say, a Porsche 911. The camera, wedged in the back seat, would need to be wireless and controlled remotely to ensure perfect-angle shots.

Meanwhile, a smaller Learjet and a helicopter would provide aerial shots to show other angles of the A330.

If you read the whole article (linked in the title) you’ll see just how much planning and mathematics goes into a shoot like this…and just how small the margins are for error. The 911 is an amazing car but not even it can get out of the ay of an unexpected bit of turbulence caused by the A330!

United to serve illy coffee on board

Coffee on airlines is almost universally terrible but United Airlines appear to think that they can make things better by serving a premium coffee onboard.

illy-coffee-united-airlinesImage courtesy of United Airlines

Not only will illy be served onboard but also in United’s airport lounges:

United will offer illy’s signature scuro dark roast and the coffee company’s espresso in United Clubs at the airline’s mainland U.S. hubs, beginning in December 2015.

Other United lounges will offer illy in 2016, and scuro dark roast will be on flights worldwide next summer.

I love illy coffee nearly as much as I hate airline coffee but I’m struggling to see how using illy will improve things up in the air.

The thing is, the actually coffee beans/grounds are only part of what makes up the beverage that so many people enjoy, the other major component is the water that’s used. And with the water onboard coming from the aircrafts tanks (ugh!) I can’t see how United are going to do anything other than waste a lot of good quality coffee by mixing it with truly vile water. The idea of great coffee in the sky os great…I just don’t see it happening any time soon.

UK Prime Minister to get a government plane

The most famous government plane in the world has to be Air Force One (or, if I’m to be super specific, the 747 that get’s called Air Force One when the President is onboard). Unlike the President of the US most other world leaders don’t fly around the globe in aircraft especially kitted out for them – that’s what national flag carriers like British Airways and Lufthansa are for.


But now things are set to change.

The British Government is set to refurbish an RAF Voyager (an A330 that was converted into an airborne refuelling craft) at a cost of around $15m (£10m/€14m) so that it can serve as transportation for the British Prime Minister and other government ministers when needed.

It’s not exactly a 747…or even an Ilyushin 96 of the kind that flys Vladimir Putin around the globe (when he’s not busy taking his shirt off and posing on the back of a horse) – but it’s better than nothing I guess.