Royal BruneiBack to Forum
Anonymous16 Nov 2014
Has anyone travelled with Royal Brunei, and if so, what are they like? I’m looking to fly to Melbourne from London next year and the have very reasonably priced business flights. All long haul flights are operated by the B787 as well.
Has anyone any recommendations of where I can get decent priced flights? Vietnam airlines have cheap flights but from seeing some reviews, they aren’t the best.
Thanks16 Nov 2014
It may or may not concern you … but note that Royal Brunei is a “dry” airline.
A previous thread last month indicated that some of the best business class fares are available with Air India who flies to both Melbourne and Sydney.
Of course, much will depend on when you book and travel but the above information regarding Air India is correct right now.16 Nov 2014
I have flown with Royal Brunei 6 times.
They will have competitive rates for all leisure and business travellers advertised on their website and by email should you enrol/register.
As stated, Royal Brunei, is a dry airline and the flight is blessed before take off. Alcohol is not served however, I have seen passengers consume items purchased at duty free. Like all things discretion advised. Ironically, in spite of the religious aspect of their service imposed upon the religious/non religious customers, Royal Brunei will serve up turkey as if it was a bacon rasher, or chicken/turkey sausage for an international breakfast.
The services from London were previously at a strange unholy hour in the morning from Terminal 3 amongst the mad rush. It also meant getting in to Heathrow at the same time as the busy arrivals at around 5.30-6.30. Queues queues queues. Ideal inbound LHR if you had an onward morning connection. Outbound meant an early night and hotel before. I calculated it was roughly the same to fly from MAN to the Far East, South East Asia or Australasia with Emirates, Etihad or Qatar on a special deal.
They previously flew 767 aircraft which I believe have been replaced with 777. Each time I flew the aircraft was full.
Bandar Seri Begawan is well worth a night or two if you can afford the time if only to experience something different and original. Like the locals, the Brunei crew are extremely friendly and generous. BSB is ideal for connections to Kota Kinabalu or Sepulok. The airport is small, again alcohol free and not as hectic as others. There are reasonably guided tours especially of the water villages and downtown BSB.
You would disembark to stretch your legs at Dubai (Abu Dhabi -depending) for an hour or so. This does break the journey into 7.5 hours and a further 9-10 hours. I should imagine B777 aircraft will do the journey a lot quicker.
I understand Royal Brunei will at some point consider Manchester – I hope so. It would fill a B777 no problems and would offload passengers in either Dubai or Abu Dhabi and BSB would be an excellent link to Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Phillipines and so on.17 Nov 2014
Worth flying for the price and the 787. At last count you could bring along your own small bottles of gin and crew would happily supply tonics. Worth stopping for a couple of nights if you have the time. Empire hotel at Jerudong is enormous, crammed full of facilities and worth a look at, though a good half an hour away from attractions like the Floating Village. A good (but whole day outing) is also a trip into the rain forest by boat, along with a walk on the overhead canopy. You can bring a limited amount of duty free booze into the country, but will probably need to drink this in your hotel room. The days of bringing cool boxes into restaurants or hiding brandy in pots of tea may now be over, but you may get surprised.17 Nov 2014
I”m a Gold card holder with RBA and have flown them many, many times for work over the past 2 years.
I have to say that since they got their 787 aircraft their service has improved significantly, however they are ‘dry’. Before the Sultan bought sharia law into the country you used to be able to buy your wine in duty free and hand it to the crew to pop it in the fridge for you. They no longer do this but you can still take your own aboard and pour it yourself.
They fly at reasonable times out of Terminal 4 and use the Etihad lounge which has a Six Senses spa in (although that is currently closed for refurb). You have a ‘technical’ stop at Dubai of about 1.5hrs and you can use the lounge just opposite the gate there.
Arrival into Brunei is around 5pm and for those dropping off into Brunei you simply fill in a little yellow form telling them how much duty free you’re bringing in (2 litres of alcohol every 48hrs is allowed) and hand that to customs. Immigration, luggage and customs is swift and their new airport is alomost done.
If you’re transferring onto Melbourne you get sifted off into the transfers area and into the RBA Sky Lounge.
We’ve always got good fares with RBA, although they have been increasing their fares of late. Worth travelling with if you can stomach a 16hr flight with little alcohol!17 Nov 2014
I flew them a few years ago and found the whole experience to be well above average compared to other airlines.
I can’t recall the no alcohol rule but then i don’t drink and fly so not really bothered.18 Nov 2014
RBA are a good airline though i have to confess the timings from LHR to Melbourne have funny times….but what to do you expect when there are a few stops along the way. The 787 is a nice aircraft and makes it a pleasant way to fly (unless you want to to avoid the 787 altogether). The business class seat is flat so ts a good way to burn time. As for alcohol, its a personal choice.18 Nov 2014
AMcWhirter, re Indian airlines flying to Melbourne and Sydney, note it is the same flight. They fly from New Delhi to Sydney onto to Melbourne then back to Sydney and onto Dehli.18 Nov 2014
If you have the time…. you could try flying from another EU city, and you can usually get comparable fares with either Qatar or Etihad during one of their sales. I just got back from Melbourne having paid £1600 rtn with Qatar from Barcelona. Add £200 for a BA flight and it was a very good fare (with some very nice bubbly en route).
If there’s two of you travelling, you can sometimes get 2-4-1 sales too. I’ve just picked up 2 x J class tickets to Melbourne for April which came to £2200pp, this time from LHR to Melbourne, again with Qatar. I think Etihad do a similar deal from time to time too.
If you’re searching for a bargain, I recommend signing up to your preferred airlines’ emails as they often announce snap sales that only last a few days that have the best fares. Also, check kayak…. Every. Single. Day.
The things we do when paying for one’s own travel….18 Nov 2014
Another indication of seat sales to come is when an airline upgrades service frequency or introduces new routes.
In this case I’m thinking of Edinburgh, next May and June, and the Gulf carriers.
Qatar will up its service frequency from five to seven flights a week in May and, the following month, sees Etihad inaugurate services.18 Nov 2014
Is it just me, or is anyone else questioning how I spend my money with an airline owned by someone that is introducing laws that would include stoning people to death?
Yes… I have flown RBA in the past and enjoyed the product. Would I use them now? No.18 Nov 2014
Interesting point retread. Personally I would rather not, however do we actually know who really owns what any more. I read recently the Dorchester Hotel in London is owned by the Sultan of Brunei and people were being asked to boycott it.
The difficulty is knowing who owns what, and thus being able to boycott it, and then the question of can people afford to boycott something that is cheaper than the competition. On top of that, if you do boycott a product or service then it might make you feel better, but does it make any difference, and is it the innocent employees that are getting hurt by it or those that make the decisions.
Apartheid is a case in point, did boycotting Cape Grapes actually make any difference, and did it hurt those we were trying to help out more than it hurt the decision makers. A difficult conundrum, and one of personal choice. If some oik tells me not to buy something for their ideological reasons I am more likely to buy it to show I will decide what I buy and what I boycott. I was harangued in Safeway years ago by someone imploring me to boycott said grapes, I told her I would not buy if she chucked her gold and diamond ring likely containing SA produce down the drain. I got my grapes.
Would I fly Royal Brunei…..yes if the price is right, but perhaps with a heavy heart.19 Nov 2014