Sydney Airfare

Mar 5th, 2010, 09:44 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 22
Sydney Airfare

We are starting to plan our first trip to Australia in December. The airfares I have been getting seem very high. What are some recent fares you have experienced. LAX to SYD would be the most convenient but we could fly from any West Coast airport.
jim7577 is offline  
Mar 5th, 2010, 12:28 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
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Only questions so far:
- What do you consider "very high"?
- Have you tried V-Australia (part of the Virgin group) as well as Qantas, Air New Zealand, United and Delta?
- Have you consulted a specialist travel agent (check for names in your location)?
Neil_Oz is offline  
Mar 5th, 2010, 02:41 PM
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From talking with my United 1K rep, I have found out that the flights (on UA) from LAX to SYD are very popular. I also was told that flying from San Francisco was a slightly lower price. I paid around 2k, but I purchased an upgradeable ticket from ORD to SYD and back, so I paid more than you would pay for a standard economy ticket.

You might check a site like itasoftware dot com, as they will give you many options. They list prices, but do not sell tickets. You would have to book with the airline, or Expedia, or ?? if you prefer to book with discounters. I, personally, prefer booking directly with the airline. But the ita site will give you a lot of airline and routing options in any case. Worth the look.

simpsonc510 is offline  
Mar 6th, 2010, 01:38 AM
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"I have found out that the flights (on UA) from LAX to SYD are very popular."

God knows why - are they offering half price or something? After we ha dthe misfortune to fly UA we decided a visit to the dentist would be more fun. The service, on the rare occasions a geriatric FA could be found in a non-comatose state, was snail-like and surly, and that was the experience of everyone I knew who flew with them. And don't even mention what they laughably called the "Red Carpet Club".

But the Lord loves a repentant sinner, so I'm glad to hear they've come good.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Mar 6th, 2010, 04:02 AM
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Neil, I'm sorry you and your friends have such a poor opinion of UA. We are all free to say what we think! UA is my airline of choice, along with the Star Alliance partners. No airline is perfect! Over the years I've flown on a huge number of them. Do I have a favorite? No. A flight is hopefully just to get me from point A to point B. I can hope for a pleasant experience, but it isn't always the case. But it's always better in business or first class.

"Half price"...? Heck no! I've already flown almost 15k miles in 2010, and every plane I've been on has been filled to capacity. Fewer flights means more passengers on the available routes. Airlines don't have to have half-price sales to attract customers.

If you look at the routing of flt 840, for example, it starts in Melbourne, then on to SYD, LAX, then on to ORD and New York. Those city stops might be part of the reason it is a popular choice. Anyway, I'll have my experience from SYD to ORD very soon.
simpsonc510 is offline  
Mar 6th, 2010, 01:58 PM
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First of all, you are going in high season (Australian summer) so prices are higher. I only go in May-June-July to get the lowest fares. I have only been on Air New Zealand,and the prices have been very competitive, but would not fly them again in coach. There is a poster here who recommends taking whatever cheap flight you can get to Honolulu and going on Jetstar to Sydney. You might check those fares.
oliverandharry is offline  
Mar 6th, 2010, 03:05 PM
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Sorry to come over all grumpy, Carol, and to be fair we found UA OK on US domestic flights, which is to say no better or worse than the others.

I used to work in the airline business and I'm very aware of the way people will take one bad experience - which all airlines can inflict - and using it to damn that carrier for eternity.

So I wouldn't go on about UA, except that every time I mention their service, at l;east on the Pacific route, to anyone who's experienced it the usual response has been "Me too - never again!". In fact this started as soon as we'd taken our seats next to a young American couple, who almost straight away asked why we hadn't booked with Qantas (for work reasons they'd had no choice in the matter).

They got us from A t B and back again efficiently enough - it all boiled down to the attitude of their FAs and other staff. Including the barmaid in the shopworn and minimalist "Red Carpet" lounge at LAX, who when I made a polite and I thought not unreasonable request for a glass to drink my beer from, slammed it down on the bar with a curl of the lip and a look that said pretty plainly "What are you - some sort of limp-wristed fairy or something?" (And to add injury to insult, I had to pay for the beer too.)

For the record, the 2009 Skytrax Best Airlines awards came out as follows - 5 Asian, 3 Middle Eastern, 2 Australasian.

1 Cathay Pacific
2 Singapore
3 Asiana
4 Qatar
5 Emirates
6 Qantas
7 Etihad
8 Air New Zealand
9 Malaysia Airlines
10 Thai Airways
Neil_Oz is offline  
Mar 7th, 2010, 03:43 AM
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Neil, I appreciate your reply. Thank you. I am pleased to find out that my SFO-SYD flight is upgraded to biz class tomorrow!

I am not familiar with Skytrax, so I don't know who is voting on the "best airlines" but I have been on Qantas and Air New Zealand and Thai and am happy to see them on the list. I fly Thai all the time, since I go to Thailand and the islands very frequently and use them in-country; although I've had some "interesting" experiences with them, they are really very good. I hope to fly Singapore one of these days, and Cathay Pacific as well.
simpsonc510 is offline  
Mar 7th, 2010, 03:21 PM
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Carol, I can definitely vouch for Singapore Airlines. Pleased to see you got your upgrade - I'm sure that will make a big difference.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Mar 7th, 2010, 03:25 PM
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I suggest that you set up some fare trackers on Travelocity, Kayak etc. (although I usually find my best fares myself as the trackers seems to be slow to report). There's a site that tracks/maps history of prices between cities, not sure if it included international. Perhaps someone can remind me which one has that option.

If you are talking December-Christmas holidays-I would expect the prices to be high.

I traveled to AKL and SYD several times in last few years in January. I know it is a month later, but unless you are talking about Christmas holidays, I would expect the summer fares to be similar. From ATL, the fares I paid ranged from $1300 to $2000.

I found the best fares offered for sale in Sept/Oct, I believe, with some continuing spot sales after that. This last year when I got the $1300 fare to AKL, it was a 3-day or so unadvertised drop using AA and Qantas.
Kay2 is offline  
Mar 8th, 2010, 02:11 AM
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Qantas is the best. Premium economy beats economy, but economy in a forward, aisle seat is just fine. A few vodkas and you are off the fairyland for about 6 hours of the very short 13 hour flight. By the time you get settled in, have a drink or two, dinner and a film, maybe a little reading, you'll be ready for a sleep. You'll wake up in time to wash, have breakfast, and catch the morning news on your private film screen in the seat in front of you (which UA hasn't even heard of yet...yes...even in economy!). I love this trip! It's much more pleasant and enjoyable than flying cross country within the US. Take your shoes off, use some earplugs, an eye mask, and a neck pillow and you'll think you're in a 5 star hotel (well, maybe not quite). They'll feed you 2 good meals, and 2 snacks which probably include a mini magnum bar! Yum! And no, I don't work for Qantas. I flew UA twice, the last time being in October 2009, and it was ok, but Qantas is the best! (drinks are free btw)(no, I'm not an alcoholic)
tinydancer is offline  
Mar 8th, 2010, 03:33 AM
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If you are someone like me, who does NOT sleep sitting up, it doesn't matter which airline you select. There is no sleeping in economy or econ+... only hours and hours and hours of trying to get comfortable. And when you get to your destination you feel as though you've been run over by a truck. I remember when airline economy seats really DID recline a bit.

I do envy people who board a plane and go right to sleep. I'm just happy that I fly enough with UA to get my upgrades to biz, where the seats lie flat.
simpsonc510 is offline  
Mar 10th, 2010, 02:42 AM
Join Date: Aug 2008
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I wrote a lengthy posting on how to sleep on long haul flights to Australia, but then I got too embarrassed to submit it so I didn't. But if you want me to tell you, just ask! Nothing off colour, just didn't want to sound preachy.
tinydancer is offline  
Mar 10th, 2010, 05:38 PM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 17
Flew with Quantas and LOVED it! And I got a pretty good deal on a round-the-world trip. Worth looking into if you wanna go to more than just one place, as they're quite flexible with date changes, destinations etc...
TravelSarah is offline  

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