BEST WAY TO GET FROM AUSTRALIA TO EUROPE?

Apr 28th, 2011, 06:52 PM
  #1  
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BEST WAY TO GET FROM AUSTRALIA TO EUROPE?

We are planning a trip to Europe in 2012 and are trying to figure out the best airline to use. Our requirements are: 30kg baggage allowance at least; ability to carry on our fairly heavy cameras and photo / video equipment without penalty or argument; comfort to ensure that I don't have another Pulmonary Embolism.

The trip will start in the vicinity of Canberra - but can be Sydney or Melbourne - and we will probably deplane in Rome. To limit flying time we want an overnight stop, preferably somewhere interesting and not too hot.

We're both too cheap to pay anything more than basic economy class: what has everyone else found out about airlines on their European trips?
madgicsh is offline  
Apr 28th, 2011, 09:27 PM
  #2  
 
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Unless you're flying to/from/through the US or Brazil, 20-23kg is pretty much standard around the globe. For example, QF/BA/CX allows 23kg, SQ 20kg.

BUT Emirates do allow 30kg. That will be your best bet.
rkkwan is offline  
Apr 29th, 2011, 05:00 AM
  #3  
 
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Sort of depends on what you mean by best

if you mean best value.

Airasia.com AWESOME promos MEL KUL STD

sometimes great deals premium for the price of coach.

airlinequality.com for best rated overall

odds are will cost you lots more.

Pulmonary Embolism risk related to other factors

webmd.com and your Pulmonary MD can give you good

prevention tips like frequent breaks TED prevention

hose baby aspirin preflight etc.

Happy Journey,
qwovadis is offline  
Apr 29th, 2011, 08:17 AM
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Any chance you can FEDEX/UPS 7-10 kg to your destination or do you need it all until the last minute in Australia?
Find a globe and stretch a tape measure on the great circle route. Pick the major airport closest to the midpoint for your layover.
tomfuller is offline  
Apr 30th, 2011, 06:44 AM
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I always tell people flying economy to fly the way the wind blows. That would be Australia to the U.S. to Europe, returning would be Europe to Asia to Austraia. The plane will go 640 plus miles per hour with the wind and about 500 miles per hour against the wind. Not a problem if you are in First or Business but in economy every little bit helps.
wally34949 is offline  
Apr 30th, 2011, 07:06 AM
  #6  
J62
 
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So your recommendation, wally, is to fly something like this:
SYD to LAX (14hr)
LAX to JFK (6hr)
JFK to FCO (8hr)

for 30+ hrs total travel time

instead of
SYD to Dubai (14hr)
Dubai to FCO (6hr)
J62 is offline  
Apr 30th, 2011, 08:54 AM
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Great circle route from Sydney Australia to Rome is 10155 statute miles at an azimuth of 296 degrees (true). The two closest airports to the mid-point are Colombo Sri Lanka and Mumbai India.
If possible ship the equipment wrapped in some clothing you won't need until in Europe (FEDEX or UPS).
tomfuller is offline  
Apr 30th, 2011, 10:29 AM
  #8  
 
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You may want to check into an around the world airline ticket and see what the price is. You should be able to get a direct flight from LAX to FCO. I'm confused. 14 + 6 + 8 = 30+? That new math gets me all of the time.
wally34949 is offline  
Apr 30th, 2011, 11:30 AM
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It is silly to fly through US from Australia to Europe. Whether it's 26, 28 or 30 hours of flight time, one has to go through US immigration and customs. That alone is worth flying 2 hours MORE to avoid, especially for those who are not US citizens or residents.

[Yeah, yeah, I know... wally will start looking at flights going through Canada and Mexico.]
rkkwan is offline  
Apr 30th, 2011, 12:26 PM
  #10  
J62
 
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You confused flight time (hrs listed) with total travel time, which includes layovers. I thought everyone knew you couldn't just get off one plane an immediately depart on another.

I should have spelled it out more clearly. Mea culpa. Your west to east logic now makes perfect sense.
J62 is offline  
Apr 30th, 2011, 09:45 PM
  #11  
 
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I would recommend Emirates too as they have the 30kg luggage allowance. Then you could also stop over in Dubai, which we found to be very interesting, relatively cheap and with plenty to see and do. We didn't find it overly hot and with yourselves coming from Australia, it should be okay for you.

Air Asia budget airline has just started up from here travelling to Paris or London and I am contemplating this airline for my next trip to Europe, but of course you have to pay for everything on board and for luggage. If I can manage to secure one of their 'promo' fares I might just try them out as it would mean a saving of around several hundred dollars.
nz101 is offline  
May 1st, 2011, 01:07 AM
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Yes, Emirates was what we had settled on until I read the reviews about their removing the footrests and the subsequent blood rushing to feet. I guess the beloved camera bag will serve as a footrest, it's well padded.

Dubai looks like a good stop, apart from the heat. Ever been to Canberra - in winter?

To me it's never silly to go anywhere via the USA, esp. Europe. If it was up to me we would leave it at the USA and forget Europe, but DH has got it into his head that he wants to see where his ancestors came from - Devon, and I have grudgingly agreed.

V Australia was my other thought; if we use their credit card and build up some points we could get Premium or business class and that would solve the problem. Meantime I have convinced DH to go to the USA next year and Europe the year after. Olympics are on in London and that's too disruptive. So problem not resolved, but deferred.
madgicsh is offline  
May 1st, 2011, 01:27 AM
  #13  
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Nope, no Fedex, no funny stockings; I just want to take my cameras and a reasonable amount of luggage and FLY. We don't fly discount / budget airlines and certainly don't fly Air Asia. I will work it out if I have to, even if it costs him business class.

Round world sounds good though, a chance to see some interesting stuff to and from. I saw a Hong Kong / Rome option yesterday, maybe a good way to go.
madgicsh is offline  
May 1st, 2011, 02:03 AM
  #14  
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I just focused on rkkwan's response; you have to be kidding. I would take US Customs and Immigration ahead of Canadian any day. BUT I modestly claim that ours are nicer than either.
madgicsh is offline  
May 1st, 2011, 06:47 AM
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Well, visiting the US is one thing, but to transit through US is silly if there are options. Why would you want to go wait in long line to go through US immigration, claim bags, go through US customs, and then subject yourself to possible full-body scan or manual pat-down by TSA? (And some countries' citizen even require a visa).

When the alternative at HKG, SIN and other transit points require just one thing - security check, and not even having to take off your shoes?

I am American and even I felt bad for visitors trying to visit in my country; and I felt bad for our airlines who lose all the business for int'l-int'l connection via the US.

As for Canadian immigration vs US immigration, I don't see much difference in my travel. Though I don't think they take pictures or thumb prints for visitors. And their lines are generally shorter than US ones.
rkkwan is offline  
May 1st, 2011, 05:32 PM
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Hi rkkwan - My objection to Canadian customs is BECAUSE I am Australian. There seems to be a mindset in their Customs that Aussies and Brits (and Kiwis, I suppose) are on THEIR team (Commonwealth?) and must NEVER, EVER enter via the USA. We were very rudely told so, and when under her particular form of interrogation we confessed that we were flying out from Seattle, NOT Vancouver, her response was to throw my passport at me! I was lucky enough to catch mine mid-air, but a Brit was not so lucky.

It probably didn't help that this was during the Summer Olympics, and we were flogging them - but they flogged us at the Winter Olympics, who cares?

See Trip Advisor's Calgary Airport reviews for a heap of similar stories. Also Lester B Pearson in Toronto. We had no problem there, because it was an internal flight, but many have. So if it doesn't offend you I will continue to visit your country - you could use the tourist dollar, surely?
madgicsh is offline  
May 1st, 2011, 06:17 PM
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That was some weird story.

Anyways, of course I would love everybody to come visit the US. It's a great country. It's just that our immigration and transportation security departments are not tourist friendly, which is a huge shame.
rkkwan is offline  
May 1st, 2011, 07:57 PM
  #18  
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rkkwan, they ARE tourist friendly! We have never had the slightest problem. Granted, they are not friendly and relaxed like ours, but nor would I be on your pay rates and leave conditions!

Further, I have never spoken to an Australian who bothered to mention their entry experience, and we don't hesitate to complain (loudly) so it can't have been too bad.

We have always found them efficient, impersonal but reasonable. That will do me, I'm not trying to build a relationship just get out of the @#$% airport!

Thanks for the invitation, we're planning ten weeks next year.
madgicsh is offline  
May 1st, 2011, 08:16 PM
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Wow, you must be the first person that has said the US government agencies are tourist friendly. Let me give you some examples:

- For citizens of many countries, trying to get a US visa means long lines at a consulate. They need to bring letters from employers, bank statements, etc. And for some, payment up front that is not refunded if visa is denied.

- Even for visa waiver countries like most European citizen (and I assume Australians as well), one now has to electronically do the ESTA application 72 hours prior, which is new.

- Just boarding an international flight from your origin airport to the US usually means secondary screening, not required for flying to anywhere else. Often shoes have to come off and liquids taken even after going through original security.

- Upon arrival, often, huge immigration lines at busy entry airports for visitors. 1.5 hours at LAX or JFK are fairly common. Picture taken and thumbs printed. I think Japan is the only other country that requires that.

- For airport security inside the US, all shoes have to come off. Listening to the barking of the TSA agents at many checkpoints. If choosen, full-body scan that requires you to take everything out of your pockets (even if they're not metallic), stand inside a machine with arms raised above your head for about 30 seconds, exposing to radiation. AND/OR being pat-down manually. Do a google search and you'll find what they do to you.

Well, I will leave it at that. I can write another essay about passengers transiting the US...
rkkwan is offline  
May 2nd, 2011, 12:48 AM
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Last May when I flew from NZ to Canada, via LA in transit, I had a very good experience. I had read and heard about all the horror stories and was almost shaking in my boots on touch down in LA. Even on the flight over we were told by crew to make sure no mistakes whatsoever were on the arrival forms as they wouldn't be accepted - we would have to fill them out again and go to the end of the queue. Arrived early morning, no queues whatsoever, encountered a very nice customs officer (he must have noticed my shaking hands) who explained the procedure about finger prints, eye scan, gave him my ETSA form (which at that time cost nothing to obtain on the Net, but now i believe it is something like US$20). He didn't even growl when I realised I had failed to complete one side of the customs arrival form (I couldn't believe I had been so foolish to omit it and was expecting to be yelled at and sent back). However he was very courteous. Once i collected my suitcase I went through the 'to declare' items as I had some food things inside the case (I thought i had better declare it even though i was in transit). Once again the customs officer was very nice and he even thanked me for being honest and declaring the goods ! Next, my suitcase was taken away for transfer by a young chap with a large smile. In less than an hour I was outside that terminal and on my way to the next one for the ongoing flight. I really couldn't believe it, were these guys the exception to the rule? They are a credit to LAX. I have to say though when I left Calgary on the way home, the airport staff at checkin there were very rude and unhelpful - one man in particular - completely different to those lovely guys at LAX.
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