Jetstar Pilot surprises mum on board: "Flying my parents for the first time"

Jetstar A320 Pilot, Raphael Leong (36), planned a surprise for his mum Rosalind (71) and his father Dennis (72).

Since starting to fly with Jetstar last year, he was always looking for an opportunity to be the pilot to fly them on their holidays. When he learned that his parents had decided to return from their holiday on Jetstar, he swopped flights and arranged for a special announcement.

Then he took the PA and made an announcement:

“Ladies and Gentlemen, A very good afternoon to all of you. This is your first officer speaking. My name is Raphael. We’d like to welcome you on board Jetstar Flight 3K78 to Singapore and this is a very special flight for me because my parents are on board”
“And this is the first time in my life that they will be on a flight that I’ll be flying. I don’t know if they know it yet but… Hi Pa! Hi Mum! Surprise! I love you.

A fellow crew member filmed the moment and shared the video internally…

The funniest part is when he realized that his mum was actually in the toilet when he made the PA, so she missed it, but could still hear his son’s voice from there.

Raphael’s mum and dad were really proud and happy for him, and the video is getting great feedback from everyone at Jetstar.

Source: Jetstar

JackieO’ Beach Club and JackieO’ Bar – a Mykonos favourite for summer 2019 opens

JackieO’ is one of Mykonos’ leading hospitality, entertainment and nightlife brands boasting two properties on the island; JackieO’ Beach Club and JackieO’ Bar. Launched in 2008, JackieO’ Bar is located in the bustling Mykonos Town and offers a chic, cosmopolitan venue to have pre-dinner drinks or dance until sunrise on the trendy Paraportiani waterfront. JackieO’ Beach Club, launched in 2013, sits above dazzling turquoise waters at the west end of Super Paradise Beach and features a 170-seat restaurant helmed by Greek celebrity chef Christoforos Peskias, large open bar, swimming pool & jacuzzi, lounge areas, beach with sunbeds and a boutique shop.

Both venues were founded by husband and husband duo Michalis Sigounas and Carsten Stehr who have created an iconic Myconian brand that is not only hugley popular among the island’s loyal LGBTQ+ travellers, but a mainstay favourite among Mykonos’ international jet set.

JackieO’ Bar was the first venue to be established by Sigounas and Stehr and boasts two floors and terrace overlooking the picturesque old port with marvelous sunset views. With the motto ‘From sunset to sunrise in style’, the bar offers a late-night venue with an extensive selection of cocktails and shots by superstar mixologist Giannis Bakos to ensure guests a good time. JackieO’ Bar is also home to nightly drag shows from 1:30 am that have become a Myconian staple and draw visitors from across the island on a daily basis.

Over on Super Paradise Beach, Jackie O’ Beach Club is an all-day venue that has the space to tailor to guests’ needs – whether they are to dance, eat, shop, socialise or sunbathe. The beach club hosts a regular programme of international DJs, events and festivals throughout the year as well as sunset drag shows starring JackieO’ resident Priscilla every night at around 7pm.

Inspired by its surroundings, JackieO’ offers a minimal aesthetic defined by a muted colour scheme and the sensual curves of the island. The curvacious loops and arcs that make up the beach club were hand-sculpted by co-owner Carsten Stehr using traditional Cycladic white washed cement and stone. The Jackie O’ Beach Club offers some of the best views in Mykonos, with the Jackie O’ flag overlooking the Aegean Sea being one of the most Instagrammed spots on the island.

The beach club is also home to the JackieO’ boutique, which sells a stylish and eclectic mix of international brands including Armani, Ron Dorff,  Yoji Yammamoto sun glasses, Balmain hair products, Ileana Makri jewelry, Depot male cosmetic products and Minas jewelry to name a few. Local brands sold at the boutique include Issi- Athens and Tunika stola, and JackieO’ frequently collaborate with up-and-coming Greek designers to showcase their work to a wider audience. For the 2019 season, JackieO’ boutique is hosting a Neil Barrett pop-up store. The boutique also sells JackieO’ branded merchandise including clothes, accessories and home products.

Helmed by Executive Chef Christoforos Peskias and located within the beach club, Jackie O’s Restaurant boasts some of the best food on the island. Peskias blends traditional Cycladic flavours with a fusion of eastern and western cuisine to create something spectacular. Menu highlights include JackieO’ Sea Urchin Salad, “Super Paradise” Lobster Linguini and Myconian cheese-cake with honey caviar. Gluten free, vegetarian and vegan menus are also avaliable.

JackieO’s venues are also great places to hold events; across the properties there is the possibility of privatisation of areas on the beach, pool, jacuzzi and restaurants. Most uniquley, JackieO’ Beach Club is home to a private beach chapel built by the owners that is avaliable to book for weddings and christnenings. The restaurant offers set menus for groups of over 15 that are perfect for brithdays, anniversaries, bachelor parties and weddings.

Jackie O’ Beach Club boasts a private pier with tenders offering a free transfer service to collect and drop off boats too large to approach the pier. Food can also be delivered to boats anchored in the bay or moored at the pier; making JackieO’ Beach Club the perfect spot to stop and enjoy world-class cuisine, great music and a fun crowd.

Sustainability is also at the core of the JackieO’ ethos with many initiatives in place to make both properties as close to zero waste as possible. JackieO’ does not use any single use plastic instead opting for biodegradable PLA straws, 100% recycalable cups for use on the beach and eco-friendly packaging for takeaway food. In addition to this, both JackieO’ Bar and JackieO’ beach club have solar panels installed and sustainable water systems in place to reduce water waste.

Source: JackieO’

Mt Mulligan Lodge opens in outback Queensland

The Northern Escape Collection has expanded with the recent opening of Mt Mulligan Lodge in remote Far North Queensland. The luxury outback lodge is situated on a secluded, entirely private 28,000-hectare heritage site, offering boutique accommodation in the shadow of majestic Mount Mulligan.

Guests staying at Mt Mulligan Lodge will be able to experience the spirit of the North Queensland back-country through a captivating landscape with indigenous significance dating back 37,000 years. The expansive property bears the marks of the historic gold and coal rush and in its current operation, as a working cattle station, the pastoral history of Australia.

Northern Escape Collection’s Owner, Chris Morris, said he was thrilled to welcome Mt Mulligan Lodge to the family. “Mt Mulligan Lodge was the missing link for the Northern Escape Collection. Our guests can now experience Queensland’s iconic reef, ancient rainforest and rugged outback in one seamless journey,” Mr Morris said.

The majestic Mount Mulligan dominates the surrounding landscape; the conglomerate and sandstone tabletop mountain boasts a spectacular 18 kilometre escarpment that towers over the surrounding Australian eucalyptus woodlands. Mt Mulligan Lodge lies beneath this undiscovered landmark with views overlooking a sparkling weir and is an all-inclusive luxury property accessible via a 35-minute scenic helicopter flight from Cairns or a 2.5-hour 4WD adventure from Cairns.

Ensuring an intimate escape, the lodge accommodates just 16 guests at any one time and features three different room types, a beautifully designed main pavilion for guest meals and relaxation, an infinity pool and sunset bar. Each guest room at Mt Mulligan Lodge is also assigned its own electric buggy to explore the sprawling property with ease.

A range of experiences have been designed to make the most of the rugged outback territory.  Mt Mulligan Lodge offers guided tours of the goldfields including a demonstration of Australia’s oldest operating gold crusher at Tyrconnell, exploration of the historic Mount Mulligan coal mine and abandoned township, ATV adventures discovering the history and beauty of the region, chef-prepared gourmet picnic hampers, wildlife spotting, sunset drinks overlooking the escarpment, stargazing, hikes around the southern face of Mount Mulligan, barramundi fishing in the weir, scenic helicopter flights and the chance to experience the day-to-day operations of a working cattle station.

Mt Mulligan Lodge offers a light, contemporary and daily-changing menu that showcases a bounty of locally-sourced, caught and freshly-grown seasonal fare. The menu puts a flavoursome twist on outback living, featuring a tasting plate of kangaroo tataki, miso cream, tea-soaked egg, wasabi granola and hearty mains such as grass-fed Bushy Creek beef, charred peppers, manzanilla olive, lemon myrtle, smoked chimichurri. The cellar has been crafted to ensure harmony between cuisine, climate and environment featuring iconic and boutique wines from Australia’s renowned wine regions.

Ongoing conservation is at the heart of Mt Mulligan Lodge’s philosophy. As part of continuing endeavours to safeguard the environment, the lodge runs on solar power and 100% recycled water, sources ingredients from local producers and sustainable farms, and adopts sustainable building design methods. AUD $50 per guest is also donated to the Northern Escape Collection’s Reef Keepers Fund, aimed at protecting and preserving the Great Barrier Reef.

Source: Mount Mulligan

Jackalope Wins 2019 AILA Award for Tourism - designed by TCL

Jackalope has won the award for landscaping in Tourism, as designed by TCL, at the 2019 Australian Institute of Landscape Architects Victorian Chapter Awards.

Set on a private vineyard amid the Mornington Peninsula wine region, Jackalope is the award winning design hotel, featuring 45 designer dens and world class F&B offerings, formed in collaboration with Australia’s preeminent creatives – including TCL, Carr Design Group, and Fabio Ongarato Design.

A personal project of 30-year-old Melbourne-based entrepreneur, Louis Li, the hotel guides guests on a sensory journey of art, design and dining experiences, delivering a decadent interplay between the ideal and the surreal.

Conceived in partnership with some of Australia’s preeminent creatives—including architectural firm Carr Design Group and multi-disciplinary studio, Fabio Ongarato Design—Li has produced an icon of contemporary design.

Jackalope’s 45 rooms comprise 38 sqm ‘Terrace’ or ‘Vineyard View’ categories through to 85 sqm ‘Lairs’. Floor-to-ceiling windows and private terraces connect guests to the rural surrounds and bathrooms boast rain showers, double vanities, bath products made exclusively for the hotel by Hunter Lab, rain showers, and the option of deep-soak, black Japanese tubs.

“Whether a luxury traveller prefers a scenic destination, food, art, evocative design, or to connect with their surrounds, Jackalope sits at the forefront of emerging and established hotel trends,” says Jackalope’s Group General Manager Tracy Atherton, formerly of Aman Resorts and Hotel Hotel.

Perry Lethlean, Director of TCL says, ‘Jackalope hotel is unique in both destination and design, exuding place-driven architecture and landscaping that explores anticipation, nourishment, indulgence and sustenance.

The landscape architecture of Jackalope forms a critical part in the ensemble of experiences – it amplifies the beauty of the site and creates a reverie of indulgence’.

The AILA awards recognise design that support human well being in a variety of sectors from health to tourism and academia, representing places where people and nature coexist.

Source: Jackalope

Qantas rewards frequent flyers in program overhaul

Representing a $25 million investment, the changes will improve how members are recognised and rewarded as well as how they earn and redeem points.

The major initiatives, to be rolled out to members over the next 12 months, include:

  • Adding more than 1 million extra reward seats available annually on Qantas and new partner airlines.
  • Slashing carrier charges – the additional costs associated with flights booked with Points – by up to 50 per cent on international bookings saving members on average $200 per return journey.
  • Changing the points required for reward seats on domestic and international flights including an up to 10 per cent reduction in the number of points required for international economy Classic Reward seats.
  • Increasing the points required for upgrades and Classic Reward seats in premium cabins to better reflect the value of this premium experience.
  • Creating a new tiered Points Club program to better reward members who earn most of their points through on-the-ground transactions.
  • Introducing Lifetime Platinum status, the ultimate recognition for the airline’s most loyal flyers.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the changes are about strengthening Qantas Frequent Flyer to keep delivering for its almost 13 million members.

“The Qantas Frequent Flyer program has always been about rewarding customers for their loyalty. These changes are about making it easier for members to access those rewards and help to keep them highly engaged, which in turn is good news for our business as a whole.

“We know the majority of our members want to use their points to take a dream trip overseas, so we are adding more reward seats including First, Business and Premium Economy, to places like London, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Singapore as well as slashing carrier charges.

“While the points required for business class seats on international and domestic flights will increase slightly, it is the first increase in 15 years and the product has improved a lot in that time.”


Since its inception in 1987, the frequent flyer program has grown from 50,000 members who could only earn points on travel to almost 13 million members who can earn points with more than 300 partners. The majority of the points earned across the program are used on travel. Four flight redemptions are made every minute and sixty upgrades are confirmed every hour.

“Our members are all unique in how they choose to earn and use their Qantas Points. The combination of the new Points Club, the introduction of our most elite tier in Lifetime Platinum, and the increase in seats across our network means the revamped program should offer something for everyone.”

A full breakdown of the program changes, including interactive tables showing the before-and-after pricing and new reward seat options on partner airlines is available at

Source: Qantas