Sticker shock at airfares to Europe

Old Sep 21st, 2022, 05:26 PM
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Sticker shock at airfares to Europe

Hi all, just wondering what prices are like flying to Europe from your corner of the world. I just looked up prices from 1 - 10 January 2023 from Sydney to Brussels and prices were between A$3400 and A$6200 (roughly) flying airlines like Emirates, Qatar (Virgin) and Cathay / Lufthansa. Everything was inflated. I was a little shocked. When I was looking earlier in the year for December 2022 prices were around A$2400 (I favour a Lufhansa-Singapore Airlines combination from here) and that's what I was figuring on. I use Skyscanner and Kayak to check prices.

Anyone else similarly shocked? Is this the energy crisis? The poverty-stricken state of airlines? Domestic fares are not as bad here - I just flew Sydney - Canberra the other day to meet my husband in Canberra, which is about 45 mins, and it cost about A$180. I added on carbon offsets and insurance, and it cost about A$210 in the end. This is a little pricier than before Covid, but I am happy to pay this. But international is a whole other ball game!

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Old Sep 21st, 2022, 06:02 PM
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Me too.
Our cancelled trip of 2020 meant I lost the best deal I’d ever had, Qatar Adelaide to Zurich return, about $1300 I think.

Just booked Adelaide in to Zurich, out of Munich for May/June 2023 at $3270, Singapore Airlines. Yikes.
Did get the long sector at 13 hours in Premium Economy though, as it wasn’t much different in price from Economy all the way.
Singapore to Adelaide is Economy but 7 hours is tolerable.
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Old Sep 21st, 2022, 06:30 PM
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I could come at $3200, but just. Prices have to drop .... don't they? (*voice quavering slightly*)

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Old Sep 21st, 2022, 06:46 PM
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I just looked at Matrix ITA with a chart of variable prices by day to Frankfurt - prices drop quite a bit after 10 January with Asiana cheapest at $2137 (yay), but that is exceptional as then the prices go up - Asiana again at $2306 and then with Qantas the prices jump to +/- $2800. I would not really consider paying more than that, but there were a lot of Qantas options around that pricepoint. Also Asiana takes 38 h one-way, so I guess there is an enforced stopover as for Korean Air.

Maybe the trick is not to book to Brussels but only Frankfurt and take the train or book an airfare separately. I could quite fancy a trip via Korea, it's a very interesting destination. However we will have to take into account school holidays - I think they go back after the 26th.

I feel a bit better now, but still shocked by $6200 with Lufthansa!!!

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Old Sep 21st, 2022, 06:51 PM
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I fly from the West coast USA and am going to London for my birthday in early Dec.

Was looking to book One World around Nov 29/30 til around Dec 4/5. I will only fly business at least on the overnight legs. And when I searched I was findingUS$10,000-$13,000!! Ye Gods !! Reducing it to Business east bound and coach home brought it down to $7.5- $8K with crap schedules (like multiple connections and super long and super short connection times). Still awful sticker shock. I had already booked one concert and a play and figured I'd eat those before paying anything close to that.

So I looked at using AAVacations again . . . and my goodness, what a difference. I booked R-T SMF > LAX > LHR and LHR > LAX > SMF all in Business on AA/BA (with decent schedules even - no 0-dark-30 departures and no midnight arrivals) including three nights in a very nice 5 star hotel for . . . $4951.71. AND BA didn't even charge for seat selection(!). Now that is a discount.

I'm booking one night's hotel separately
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Old Sep 21st, 2022, 09:15 PM
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Well done, janisj!
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Old Sep 21st, 2022, 09:27 PM
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Yes, I didn't see anything different using Skyscanner, Kayak and Expedia, but when I looked at Matrix ITA I found something cheaper, but it's now disappeared again. Will keep trying, I could probably push a trip out to July if I had to. I'm happy to do that last leg in Europe by train, going to Frankfurt is no hardship in my book.

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Old Sep 21st, 2022, 10:37 PM
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Prices are up because capacity is still down. Just look at the airport backlogs. The airports haven't replaced all the staff let go during Covid. The airlines aren't rushing planes back into service when the airports don't have space for the current flights.
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Old Sep 21st, 2022, 10:43 PM
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Lots of people took early retirement and since the western world has so many older people the workforce has plunged
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Old Sep 21st, 2022, 11:02 PM
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First of all let me say to janisj, I'm glad you got a good deal, it gives me hope. I was going to adjust my last answer to say so but the edit function had timed out. $10000 is very 'yikes' in my book.

I do wonder about that, Nick - when there is clearly work to be had, and clearly also airports, at least in Australia, are packed constantly, where on earth are all the people who want jobs, and why on earth aren't airports capitalising on the demand and just hiring people? I know a lot of jobs here in Australia are filled by short-term migrants (people who come in from the Pacific for agricultural purposes, for instance), and they haven't been brought back yet, but clearly there is a gap to be filled here in travel. We have a jobs surplus in Australia; if you want to migrate, now would be a very auspicious time to do so (and I'm not joking). We are coming out of Covid slowly, masks mandates are dropping in some states, although not everywhere, and life is starting to return to normal in many ways.

I just have to watch airfares over the next week and a decision will crystallise, I'm sure. Air travel still sounds very chaotic and unattractive so I'm not 100% convinced yet, but I doubt airfares will be much better than this one at the moment. But I'm still going to have to stay overnight near Frankfurt if I take this airfare as it will be too late for us to go directly to Brussels, which means a day lost. Lots to weigh up!

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Old Sep 21st, 2022, 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by bilboburgler View Post
Lots of people took early retirement and since the western world has so many older people the workforce has plunged

You are right bilbo, in my workplace we had a shed of staff who they encouraged to take a good voluntary redundancy package (universities here went through a tough funding period when there were no international students because we were closed for business) and so everyone near retirement age went in one fell swoop, leaving only a few of us to do the work which had been done by a much bigger team. All that loss of expertise, and we haven't done much yet about bringing the next generation on board in any permanent kind of way, even though there are clearly people waiting in the wings. We even sold a building to make up for the shortfall in funding and have the stupid situation to have to still partly use it or we won't have enough classrooms. Very frustrating, I guess what we are going through is felt in the same way by other sectors, and other societies for that matter.

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Last edited by lavandula; Sep 21st, 2022 at 11:27 PM.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2022, 12:56 AM
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@Lavandula... given I live in Barcelona, my input won't really bring much into the conversation ... Yet, in Europe, we've also seen an increase in travel fares of course. Before you could travel low-cost from any major destination in Europe to any other major destination for less than 50€ (75AUD), sometimes as low as 15AUD!!!, now those fares are far less common to see.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2022, 02:00 AM
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I've had two flights to Spain this year for €29 or less. Need to add the various fees but I think all of them stayed under €50 total.

lavandula nobody wants to take the risk and hire. Airports,hotels etc. You hire and next week a new lock down or other issue. We're likely to see a bunch of restaurants close due to high power costs. I'm wondering how the hotels are going to manage. Some seem to be closing for the slow season. I'm not talking about hotels in remote or seasonal locations.

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Old Sep 22nd, 2022, 03:46 AM
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Airlines, hotels, security companies, healthcare, IT, in fact pretty much anything wants to hire, but the people just aren't there. Many swapped jobs in lockdown, found they like the new job, with less stress, than the old one, and sometimes with more pay. Others took early retirement and maybe work part time at a low stress easy job to supplement the income.
Airports are cutting capacity due to staff shortages, often vital security staff who have to go through training and clearances.

Fuel prices are through the roof.

Airlines are also trying to claw back some of the income they lost over the last few years.

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Old Sep 22nd, 2022, 04:12 AM
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Yes horrified at the fare to Europe over the (Australian) summer. We decided today to bring forward our holiday from June/July to December/January and the airfares are now around $3600 from Perth into Paris, out of Zagreb..much cheaper if we wait until June..but then our daughter will be at uni and will miss out and we can’t have that
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Old Sep 22nd, 2022, 04:13 AM
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Lavandula, my sister teaches at Auckland and just ran university on line. Did you not do that?
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Old Sep 22nd, 2022, 01:32 PM
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Yes, we did and do teach online, and that is what is saving our university at the moment regarding classrooms. But they have a commitment to bringing staff and students back to campus for a whole raft of reasons. We offer primarily face to face (f2f) teaching, that is, not distance or remote teaching (which some unis specialise in). While many of our classes are back to campus, including mine, they have not got space for everyone yet. Some types of classes really fare better in a f2f environment, like languages for instance, where you teach in small-group seminars and the emphasis is on communicating and exchanging with other human beings, whereas subjects where you might have lectures (where you don't necessarily need to build the same rapport with the student, to the same degree) and readings, which can all be put online, can be recorded and uploaded. You lose something by doing this, everyone knows it, but it just works better for our current situation and allows the university not to pay for the lectures as they have already been taken care of. And don't start me on 'what about updating materials that are recorded, if it's not being paid for', it's an issue. I don't think things will stay this way, everyone is chafing to start interacting with people again, and we do want to lengthen contact hours with students again too.

In the subjects I teach in, we move online in emergency situations (we had severe flooding in parts of Sydney earlier this year, so we moved online for that) or where the teacher is sick, but well enough to teach, or sometimes if we have to teach during non-teaching periods as a concession to everyone. We encourage everybody to stay home if they have even the slightest sniffle and those students just continue with online homework and exercises. We offer a hybrid in some situations, where we teach f2f but turn on a camera in the classroom. We have also had to find solutions where some of our enrolled international students are stranded offshore (usually China), so some people have to offer a hybrid. At first the uni didn't want hybrid teaching, but it is useful, even if the quality is not very good, and it should be fostered in my opinion. I could go on (and on). Online teaching is here to stay, useful, but soulless!

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Old Sep 22nd, 2022, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by hetismij2 View Post
Airlines, hotels, security companies, healthcare, IT, in fact pretty much anything wants to hire, but the people just aren't there. Many swapped jobs in lockdown, found they like the new job, with less stress, than the old one, and sometimes with more pay. Others took early retirement and maybe work part time at a low stress easy job to supplement the income.
Airports are cutting capacity due to staff shortages, often vital security staff who have to go through training and clearances.

Fuel prices are through the roof.

Airlines are also trying to claw back some of the income they lost over the last few years.
I guess we have finally met the big crunch after the baby boomers have all left ... governments have been anticipating this for years, who knew it would happen now?

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Old Sep 22nd, 2022, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by EnricM View Post
@Lavandula... given I live in Barcelona, my input won't really bring much into the conversation ... Yet, in Europe, we've also seen an increase in travel fares of course. Before you could travel low-cost from any major destination in Europe to any other major destination for less than 50€ (75AUD), sometimes as low as 15AUD!!!, now those fares are far less common to see.
Yes, same as us for I guess 'domestic' fares, more expensive but yet viable ...

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Old Sep 22nd, 2022, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Traveler_Nick View Post
I've had two flights to Spain this year for €29 or less. Need to add the various fees but I think all of them stayed under €50 total.

lavandula nobody wants to take the risk and hire. Airports,hotels etc. You hire and next week a new lock down or other issue. We're likely to see a bunch of restaurants close due to high power costs. I'm wondering how the hotels are going to manage. Some seem to be closing for the slow season. I'm not talking about hotels in remote or seasonal locations.
It's just the confluence of a lot of disparate events, I guess - I have a friend who owns a B&B in Tasmania and since Covid they have been struggling. She is an artist and has been earning more with her artwork than through her B&B, and she has temporarily converted a corner of their dining room to a studio, where she just paints. When they have the occasional guest, they are captivated by the 'studio' and often buy a piece of art to take home. She has also been commissioned to paint pets and farm animals, and her work can fetch several thousand dollars. I always thought she should have devoted more time to her art, but now she has to!

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