Qantas joins Virgin in offering premium lounge entry

first_imgCompetition to keep the well-heeled separated from the hoi polloi is heating up in Australia with Qantas announcing a premium entry in Brisbane that allows elite customers to avoid everyday queues.Virgin Australia pioneered the concept in Australia when it opened its Sydney lounge five years ago and has since opened a premium entry in Brisbane as well as a quirkier “premium exit” in Melbourne.Both the Sydney and Brisbane Virgin lounges offer a kerbside entrance and valet parking. The Brisbane entrance was opened last year as part of a refurbishment that doubled the size of the lounge there.Now Qantas has joined the trend with its own premium lounge entry at Brisbane’s domestic airport, due to open with its refurbished lounge precinct next March.The new entry, located on level 1 of the terminal, will be open daily and will offer eligible customers a dedicated check-in area, bag drop, security screening and escalator with direct access to the new Qantas Lounge Precinct.   “This is about streamlining the overall departure process for our top tier Frequent Flyers from the moment they arrive at the airport,”  head of Qantas customer experience Philip Capps said in a statement.“Premium Lounge Entry will speed up the process for customers checking in both at the airport or on their mobile – allowing them to move through the terminal quickly and maximise their time relaxing or working in the lounge.’’Qantas opened a new international lounge in Brisbane this year and the domestic redevelopment includes a Chairman’s Lounge and a new look Qantas Club.Customers eligible to use the new entry include those travelling in business, Qantas Club members, Gold, Platinum and Platinum One Frequent Flyers and oneworld Sapphire and Emerald Members.last_img read more

Cape Town’s Open Streets bring the people out to play

first_imgCapetonians make the streets of Observatory their own for a day. (Image: Rory Williams)• Marcela Guerrero Casas+27 72 214• Open Streets Cape @OpenStreetsCTFacebook: OpenStreetsCapeTownLorraine KearneyThere is nothing new about the open streets concept. For the past 32 years Bogotá, Colombia, has cleared its streets of automobiles every Sunday, and opened them to the community.But it is new to South Africa. Open Streets, founded in 2012, is being driven by a small but dedicated group of Cape Town volunteers. Among them is Marcela Guerrero Casas, who moved from Bogotá to South Africa seven years ago, first settling in Johannesburg and then, four years later, Cape Town.“I saw the potential of open streets in Cape Town, and wanted to bring something good from my hometown to my new home,” she says. She is also a cyclist, preferring to get around by bicycle.In Bogotá, every Sunday and public holiday from 07h00 to 14h00, selected main streets are blocked off to cars for runners, skaters, and bicyclists in a wide network. Stages are set up in parks, where aerobics instructors, yoga teachers and musicians hold classes or perform. Bogotá’s ciclovía (“cycleway” in Spanish), as it is known, runs over 120 kilometres. Each week it is used by about 2-million people, or 30% of the city’s citizens.On a bigger level, open streets are about breaking down barriers and connecting communities. “The philosophy is to transform the way we experience streets,” Guerrero Casas says. “It allows us to see streets as more than just transport thoroughfares.”Bogotá’s first ciclovía attempt took place in 1974. In its second, in 1976, a mayoral decree defined ciclovía and established four routes. In 1982 a new city administration drew up a policy of public space recovery for citizens, and the weekly ciclovía was inaugurated.Now it’s safe for kids to play in the street. (Image: Rory Williams)City government involvementOpen Streets is an opportunity for Cape Town to invest in health, economic development, and social cohesion, Guerrero Casas says, with its first outing in 2013. This year, it is one of more than 460 projects running under the umbrella of the World Design Capital, a biannual international designation, and the Cape Town city government has come on board.Four Open Streets have been planned for the year: on 30 March, 25 May, 24 September and 29 November, although these dates may change.Grant Pascoe, Cape Town’s head of tourism, events and marketing, says Open Streets was officially supported as a city event in November 2013, with discussions underway to finalise agreements on this year’s events.The city is keen to see the success of Bogotá’s ciclovías replicated, he says. “As an innovative city, the hope is that this will grow into an iconic event.”Cape Town’s primary support of Open Streets is to promote the idea of “active mobility” by opening streets to “pedestrians, skaters, runners, cyclists and others with the simple aim of increasing the open space footprint for a day”, Pascoe says.A street in Bogotá closed off for the weekly ciclovía – cycleway – festival, held every Sunday and joined by almost a third of the Colombian city’s population. (Image: Wikipedia)Traffic logisticsIt’s a simple concept, but shutting the streets to motorised traffic challenges the status quo. South Africans are used to cars and taxis. Yet as Guerrero Casas stresses, traffic is a logistical issue and can be overcome. Open Streets is working with the city fathers to find ways to manage it.Getting buy-in from the local government is one issue, but getting buy-in from ordinary residents is something else. “The community needs to own the activity itself. The main thing is to get people’s support – so they see the value of it and don’t view it as an inconvenience. It is about showing people what a street could be. It must be a gradual approach, and practical. We are selling an experience, a philosophy.”In the long term, there can be hard infrastructural changes, such as installing more cycle lanes, as well as soft changes, such as getting people to participate fully. “The concept of Open Streets is easy to sell. After all, we all want safer streets, and the lack of safety on our streets is a daily reality.”The group says that by embracing the philosophy, all residents can create shared places that embody respect for all and help bridge the social and spatial divides of their city.In its manifesto, Open Streets says it believes that streets should:Enable safer and more cohesive communitiesProvide platforms for creative expression of local cultures and valuesBe places for recreation and social interactionContribute to job creation and local economic activityProvide choice in how we move around the cityStreet soccer in the township of Langa. (Image: Rory Williams)From Observatory to LangaCape Town’s first Open Streets day was on a Saturday afternoon, on 25 May 2013, when Lower Main Road in Observatory was closed to traffic.Then, on 12 October, Open Streets went to Langa, a township on the city’s periphery. Homes were opened to arts and streets to people’s activity and creativity. Part of Maboneng Township Arts Experience, a permanent arts route, was opened on the day in the Langa Quarter. Some 10 homes on Rubusana Street were turned into permanent gallery spaces, while Open Streets closed the street to cars “inviting both residents and visitors to occupy the streets as a way to express, interact and experience the street freely, safely and creatively”.Activities on the day included yoga, street drawing, skateboarding and games for children, and, of course, plenty of cycling.Observatory’s Lower Main Road was again turned over to Open Streets on 26 October. There was soccer, dancing, cycling, cricket and other activities on the usually busy thoroughfare. People were encouraged to avoid driving and rather to take public transport to the event. The two Open Streets days were a success and this year there are plans to hold more, with more community participation and ownership.Open Streets has other activities, such as its Talking Streets series. The group leads some guests along a pre-selected street “to imagine together what is required to turn it into a genuine ‘open street’ that embeds respect for people regardless of who they are and how they move”.The aim is to engage friends of Open Streets to share ideas, experience together and ‘walk the talk’ in helping to pave the way for a street revolution of sorts in Cape Town. The day starts by walking along the street to learn what is already happening and to explore what else can be done to maximise its potential.And on 20 September, Open Streets held an event called PARK(ing) on Long Street, the popular restaurant- and bar-lined road in the city bowl. People were encouraged to join the Open Streets team in setting up their offices in the kerbside parking bays along the street.The day, a Friday, was International PARK(ing) Day, which is when people in cities around the world find alternative uses – “mini park / office / sandbox / lounge / you-name-it” –for on-street parking bays.Playing Scrabble in the street. (Image: Rory Williams)World Design CapitalWorld Design Capital is an initiative of the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid), which aims to promote and encourage the use of design to further the social, economic and cultural development of cities, says the city of Cape Town on its WDC website. “Attracting and promoting innovative design, it provides an opportunity to showcase accomplishments, increase awareness and accessibility of design and highlight successes in urban revitalisation strategies.”The WDC describes Open Streets as “a citizen-driven initiative, it is both an organisation and a philosophy for public life, working to design and promote streets that embed and generate respect for people, regardless of who they are, and how they move”.last_img read more

Throw It Back. It’s Too Small.

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. I’ve been compensated to contribute to this program, but the opinions expressed in this post are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions.Some prospects are just too small. They’re too small for you to create any real value, so you can’t make an enormous difference in their results. Since you can’t really create a lot of value for them, there isn’t a lot of value available for you to capture much. Even rolling up a bunch of these small prospects won’t allow you to reach your goals; you can’t make your number.When a prospect is too small for you to create any value, capture any value, and help you reach your sales goals, you have to throw them back.It’s nice that they spend in your category. It’s nice that they’re receptive.But it takes time to work a too-small prospect through their buying cycle and your sales process. Sometimes it takes even longer than it does to win a larger prospect. The time you spend working with too-small prospects is time you could spend with larger prospects. Time is the one commodity that, once spent, can’t be recovered.It can also take just as much effort to take care of a too-small client after you win their business. Just like any other client, they have questions, concerns, service issues, and new needs. Your effort is better spent on larger prospects where you can create greater value, where you can make a difference.There are two reasons you are working on these small clients. First, they’re often more receptive than larger prospects, so they’re easier to get in front of. Second, your pipeline isn’t full of real opportunities, and these too-small prospects demonstrate that you have activity. But they aren’t going to be enough.Go and look at the top 20% of producers on your sales leader board. Is their client portfolio made up of dozens and dozens of too-small clients? Or do the top 20% have the top 20% of your company’s client portfolio?It’s too small. Throw it back.QuestionsWhat is your company’s sweet spot? For what size clients can you create the most value?What size client is too small? Why can’t you create any real value for them?Does it take too long to win small clients? Or can you help them without spending any real time or effort?What would your results look like if you moved your average deal size up by 25%?last_img read more

The transformers

first_imgFired up the entrepreneurial spirit and change they believe in, some Bangaloreans are blazing new trails of being in areas as diverse as yoga, motor sport and social initiatives. Meet some of the city’s new eclectic set.Sean Blagsvedt, 35Founder, babajob.comHe moved to Bangalore seven years ago from Redmond, US, on assignment with Microsoft Research India. “Bummed out” by the socioeconomic inequity he saw, Sean launched in the city, a Bangaloreheadquartered job search website to help informal sector workers find work through social networks. Since its inception in 2007, the Babajob experiment has not only proved to be sustainable, but is thriving too. The innovative venture has hooked up thousands of nannies, maids, cooks, drivers, plumbers, office-boys and cashiers in the city with the right employers.Finding social networks restrictive beyond a point, Blagsvedt has tied up with mobile telecoms and is using the SMS route to reach a wider audience. “As of last month, our user growth rate has tripled. We have also launched across the country and our spread has widened immensely with 500,000 positions added, and job seekers from every state, including the smaller towns, are accessing our database,” he says.Yamini Muthanna, 40Yoga PractitionerIf city-based yoga practitioner and Bharatanatyam dans-euse had her way, yoga would be prescribed as a universal panacea for all the myriad maladies of urban living. In fact, Muthanna reveals that she has on various occasions designed yoga routines to deal with very urbane issues like shopping binges, break-ups and work-related stress. “Yoga can be an everyday companion for modern day life,” quips Muthanna. She has mapped out specific yoga sequences to overcome jetlag, speech or presentation anxieties at work, addictions, and social adjustment.Dinesh Reddy, 44Founder and Managing Director Red Rooster Racing (RRR)The call of the racetrack was too persistent to ignore for this former director of Nutrine Confectionery. In 2008, Reddy quit his job as the director of the city-based sugar confectionary and started Red Rooster Racing. RRR is powered by two of Reddy’s favourite ideas-to put India on the world motor sport map and make motor sporting as big as cricket in the country. “At RRR, our goal is to see an Indian in the top three to five riders or drivers at the Formula 1 level in circuit racing, the Moto GP in motor racing, and the World Racing Championship in rallying,” says Reddy.Vineet Sethi, 27 and Manu Singh, 27 Owners, HysteriaOnce upon a time, Bangaloreans couldn’t find any original music merchandise in their hood. That has now changed with opening of music concept store Hysteria, the only offline retailer of copyrighted music merchandise in the country. Since June 2010, Hysteria has been giving a taste of hip (and original) music-related goodies like Sex Pistols bags, Bob Marley T-shirts, Green Day flip-flops, miniature guitars and Elvis Presley zippos. Set in Church Street, it is the brainchild of two enterprising MBA graduates who left their jobs to do something on their own. Hysteria sources music accessories, apparel, DVDs and art from the US, UK, Australia and Europe. “Bangalore is a cosmopolitan city where people know and love their music. So we figured that the best place to sell licenced rock’n’ roll merchandise was here,” says Singh.Ayesha Pramanik, 29Disco JockeySporting a collage of tattoos and a larger-than-life personality, DJ Ayesha belongs to the rare tribe of female disc jockeys in the country. A tech specialist of a very different sort, the freelancing DJ revs up the IT city’s electronic dance music scene, and its nightlife, with the edgy sounds of deep tech house, dub step, drum and bass. “Yes, you need to know your music, but your personality matters a lot too, and how you connect with the crowd,” explains Pramanik, who has played gigs all around the country for the past ten years.advertisementlast_img read more

Ajax stuns Ronaldo, Juventus to reach Champions League semi

first_imgJuventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo reacts during the Champions League, quarterfinal, second leg soccer match between Juventus and Ajax, at the Allianz stadium in Turin, Italy, Tuesday, April 16, 2019. Ajax won 2-1 and advances to the semifinal on a 3-2 aggregate. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)TURIN, Italy— Cristiano Ronaldo shook his head as he walked off the field, while the Ajax players and staff celebrated with their fans long after the final whistle.The youth-filled Ajax team knocked off another one of Europe’s giants on Tuesday, beating Juventus 2-1 in Turin to reach the Champions League semifinals for the first time since 1997. It is the first time since 2010 that Ronaldo has failed to reach the last four, having won the competition the last three years in a row with Madrid.ADVERTISEMENT View comments PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss “He’s disappointed as we all are, but we can’t be dragged down by this disappointment,” Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said.Juventus signed Ronaldo in the offseason in the hope of ending a 23-year wait for the Champions League but one goal from the Portugal star wasn’t enough against the Dutch team, which erased a first-half deficit and largely dominated the final 45 minutes.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“Cristiano increased our chances of winning the Champions League but football isn’t math,” Allegri added. “It’s not one plus one equals two, but one plus one can equal three, four, zero.”Having already seen off Real Madrid in the previous round, Ajax showed no fear against Ronaldo and the Italian giant either, advancing 3-2 on aggregate. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “It’s an unforgettable night for Ajax, we eliminated one of the favorites for the competition,” Ajax coach Erik ten Hag said. “We played with confidence and patience. With our footballing philosophy we can go beyond expectation, we have once again surpassed our limits. It’s very difficult to play against us and our philosophy.”Even going behind to a goal from Ronaldo in the first half didn’t faze Ajax’s young players as Donny van de Beek leveled shortly after and 19-year-old captain Matthijs de Ligt scored the winner in the second half.Ajax will play either Manchester City or Tottenham in the semifinals.Ronaldo’s old rival Lionel Messi is very much in contention, though, after scoring two goals to help Barcelona beat Manchester United 3-0 and progress 4-0 on aggregate in Tuesday’s other quarterfinal.Ronaldo scored a hat trick in the previous round against Atletico Madrid to almost single-handedly overturn a two-goal deficit, and had also found the back of the net in Amsterdam. The 34-year-old Portugal forward added his fifth goal in three Champions League matches in the 28th minute on Tuesday, heading in a Miralem Pjanic corner.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid But Ajax leveled six minutes later when Hakim Ziyech’s mishit shot turned into an assist for Donny van de Beek, who beat the offside trap to redirect it past Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.Ajax grew in confidence in the second half and had a number of chances to take the lead, with Szczesny making a couple of stellar saves to keep the game level. But Juventus continued to look vulnerable without captain and key defender Giorgio Chiellini, and Ajax finally found its breakthrough in the 67th as De Ligt outjumped both Daniel Rugani and Alex Sandro to head in a corner.It could have been worse for Juventus as Ziyech had a goal disallowed by VAR for offside.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextcenter_img Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated Encouragement from Marc Pingris sparks Ian Sangalang’s clutch showing Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting MOST READ Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles SEA Games hosting troubles anger Dutertelast_img read more