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Flights to Australia from the UK - how to get the best bargains

Flights to Australia from the UK - how to get the best bargains

Nov 14th, 2005, 07:24 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 35
Flights to Australia from the UK - how to get the best bargains

We are planning to take a trip to Oz from the UK, in Sept/Oct 2006 for our silver wedding anniversary.
Can anyone give me any advice as to how get the best bargain - we would like to travel business for the first time - should we book early, late etc.
Can anyone particularly recommend a particular airline for this journey and why.
I would also be interested in information on stop-overs etc.
This is our first visit to Australia and I would obviously like it to be a good and interesting trip.
Thank you
adams41 is offline  
Nov 14th, 2005, 03:23 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,092
Having travelled to the UK on many occasions, I guess you would realise that the "best bargains" are offered by the airlines in the UK, not Australia. For us in Oz, we check out the airline specials at this end, not the UK end.
I have used the following airlines, Malaysian, Thai, Singapore, Emirates and British Airways. I thought Emirates was probably the best, but then the other airlines weren't that far behind, especially Thai & Malaysian for good specials. Singapore has always been good when I have travelled with them.
There are loads of great stopovers. Dubai is interesting but bloody hot. Malaysian & Thai can offer places like beachside resorts, like Phuket. Even in Singapore, there are island resorts in a Indonesian island not far from Singapore, worth exploring.
tropo is offline  
Nov 14th, 2005, 05:13 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,079
I presume you're travelling with your 25-year partner?

Some airlines offer companion fares, esp in business. Emirates is a good example - and they're promoting their Sydney flights. Others such as Thai also have companion fares on occasions. It's hard to tell from here - Virgin are also flying this way now - in conjunction with Malaysian - so they may be worth checking.

Get yourself on the mailing lists for the airline companies, say, Qantas, BA, Virgin, Emirates, Thai - and anyone else you'd be interested in - and get an idea of their fares. Some of the big travels companies - e.g. Just Flights also offer good fares.

I don't think there's an easy way.
margo_oz is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 12:46 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,494
I would recommend getting the Sunday Times and looking through the Travel Section, they have tons of offers from different consolidators for Business Class fares.

I have noticed Emirates(www.emirates.com)have had some good offers recently on their website, I flew them a couple of months back from Munich to Brisbane Business Class for around 2500 Euros. They include a 2 night stopover in Dubai with breakfasts and transfers.


Geordie is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 02:24 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,077
look - I have no idea about business class. I guess there are consolidators out there who can shave a few quid off the price - try Trailfinders - but it might be at the expense of flexibility. If you can afford to travel a notch above cattle class then you might as well buy one that allows you to change it.

Stopovers on the way to Oz include in order of most obvious to least obvious:

Singapore - Quantas or BA. Shortest journey time available. If you have not been to SNG then it's an OK place to stop - not terribly exciting - fairly sterile sort of place but good shopping.

Or again Qantas/BA via Bangkok - far more interesting and only a slightly longer journey time.

You can fly via the Gulf, or via S Africa, or via Brunei, or Korea, or Japan.

What is most important to you? Cost?
or possibilities? And what would make a possibilty interesting?

All the airlines get you from A to B.

Depends on how much time you have.
My personal fave - if time is no object would be Royal Brunei.

If time is short and you don't want to do it in one hop, and if you have never been to Asia, then I'd go Qantas/BA via BKK or Malasian via KL.

fuzzylogic is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 06:17 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,204
First, congratulations on your upcoming anniversary.

Second, without knowing how much time you'll be able to take (assuming several weeks but that's just a guess) let me throw out an idea that you might think is off the wall, but it's not, really, trust me...

You can buy business-class "round the world" air tickets that will cost about the same as simple UK-Oz business-class return tickets. These "RTW" tickets could allow you, for instance, to travel from the UK to South Africa, then to Australia, then to the US and Canada, then back to Europe. You would travel in great comfort, and if you're careful you could bank enough frequent flyer points that the next overseas trip (for your Silver Plus anniversary?) would be on the house.

The catch is (there always is one) that RTW tickets (using the Oneworld program(me) - BA, Qantas, American, Cathay Pacific etc.) are very expensive if purchased in the UK, but quite reasonable (as such things go) if purchased in one of several countries on the continent. We're just completing an RTW that we started in Istanbul in April (doing Europe - N. America - Oz - Africa - Europe) and will probably start another one when we return to our start point (a requirement) in March. You can see our trip report, which also contains a page on RTWs, at http://home.comcast.net/~gardyloo.

So you'd buy a couple of cheap tickets from the UK to, say, Egypt, Turkey, or Bulgaria, or even Gibraltar (where the tickets are over £1000 cheaper than the same ticket bought in the UK,) pick up your pre-ordered tickets, fly home in business class, then over the next year make your way around the planet. Oh what fun you'd have.
Gardyloo is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 10:28 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,083
Hi adams41...congrats !!
Both times we flew from UK to Oz we booked round the world tickets, this entitled us to 6 stops (3 in australia).

We were able to include Hong Kong and Singapore as stopovers on the 1st trip, open jaw in to Sydney and out of Cairns.

2nd trip Tokyo and Singapore as stopovers,then open jaw into Melbourne and out of Sydney .Unfortunately we couldn't stretch to Business class but did get a free upgrade to BC on the way from London to Tokyo.

This was all BA/Quantas.
I hear Singapore airlines are fabulous to travel with, although not been with them myself. (Yet)

Good Luck with your plans

Mucky is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 10:36 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 35
Wow thank you all for all the interesting hints and tips!
Yes my husband has insisted on coming with me - he says that he has put up with me for 25 years and now he wants his holiday
We don't usually fly business but feel that this is a special enough occasion to warrant paying the extra which is why I want to get the most 'bang for my buck'.
We have a month or so to play with and as long as we are over there for the 2nd Oct (the big day), we don't really mind when we go.
I love the idea of of a RTW and will definitely look into it.
Thanks once again all of you.
adams41 is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 06:10 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 14
Definitely try Trailfinder in High Street Kensington. They can check the fares of all airlines, are really helpful and can suggest the best deals. I know Malaysian have more space in Economy for leg room, not sure about business class though. I've also heard emirates are good for service. Stopping in Asia - once you are there you can travel anywhere to any of those countries relatively cheaply. Think about Siem Reap in Cambodia. Since you are so close to this it is definitely worth a visit. You can pick up cheap flights in BKK for this. Singapore airlines are also good, food seemed nice for airline food though again I'm back in the economy!
yehlo is offline  
Nov 17th, 2005, 06:48 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 3,291
If you are looking to fly at a busy time like Christmas/New Year's, I would book early. These planes are always full as people have time to travel during the holidays. Otherwise, I would wait until about three months before flying. This is usually when the best prices are. But if you see a good deal, book it.

Qantas often has specials where you can get extras like domestic flights within Europe for a special price.

If your travel dates are very flexible and you are traveling at low season, you should be able to get some really good deals.

If you have the time, consider an around the world airline ticket.
wally34949 is offline  
Nov 17th, 2005, 08:08 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 766
I was very pleased with Trailfinders the first time I went to Australia 12 years ago- via L.A. going out, via Hawaii and L.A. on way back. We are off on 3 Dec. again using Trailfinders, via Tokyo (3 nights) and Melbourne (5 nights) to Sydney (14 nights) and back, with one night stop-over in Bangkok, all with British Airways/Quantas.
bellini is offline  

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