Sterling -Currency Changes for Travel

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  MarcusGB 13 Aug 2019
at 14:18
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  • MarcusGB
    Participant

    What is your view on how, to maximise your value on the current drop in value of Sterling, for travel, for flights and hotels?

    I thought it would be valuable, for the Forum to share our own perceptions, ideas, what each of us are doing, as certainly i am re-calculating the way i make bookings.
    I am fortunate to have access to funds in Europe, Euros to make purchases as this time, and not just sterling.
    For me, gone has the time to exchange my sterling across, more for bringing it back, to a greater value.
    The areas i find myself looking, and i would really be interested in yours, and what ideas you have, are:

    Airline ticket purchases.
    ========================
    If having access to Euros, starting ex the EU at this time would make a big difference to your chosen Airline and ticket price?

    I have been choosing KLM for some years, so i lessened my Government Departure taxes, and combined with paying in Euros, staring Ex Amsterdam, this saved around £300-500 in taxes, exchange rates, and often cheaper Long haul Business / First fares from Europe.
    But paying with a UK Card in sterling, this would be around 20%+ more at this time. So in my view not a saving option
    I recall some BA flyers on the Forum, clever;y would take flights to go out to AMS, and start tickets from there to travel back through LHR to avoid taxes, and also find a cheaper market, as KLM do from the UK, and BA in Europe.

    Long Haul- split between Airlines / Currencies
    ==========================================================

    Many of you will know, i lived and worked in Australia, and travel back a few times a year.
    I see fares have risen around %20 recently and are increasing ex UK to Oz.

    Currently, fares to Sydney or Melbourne, could be better achieved in Business, by buying a return to Asia, then another Airline from there return down to Australia.
    Or 2 single fares on different routes, and Airlines through different countries.

    Air Asia have flights to both Ex KL, and can be from £300+ each way in their “Big Seat”, which is fine for a 7 hr day or overnight flight.
    This can save up to £1,000 of a return ex LHR, and gives the opportunity to stopover, as you have 2 separate return flights with 2 Airlines. It gives greater freedom to take a holiday, side trip, or just stopovers for a few days, or an extra holiday in the Far East.
    Malaysian also have sales and fares can be very reasonable Business ex KUL into Australia.
    I have Family who flew Singapore’s Premium Y down with a purchased Biz ticket to Asia ex LHR with KLM.
    Bkk, SIN, CGK, HKG (apart from current sad disturbances there), all offer opportunities to choose many Airlines and currencies. Some currencies against the £ have dropped significantly, TH Baht, US$, Euro etc… but the Malay Ringgit is still good value. So taking a return to Far East, then going on with Malaysia or Air Asia, even ex BKK, or SIN, provides lots of itinerary options, and great savings.

    Personally i see fares return to Oz from the Uk with great increases, way up into the £3,200+ Biz class Mark, when they were running at £1,800 with say Vietnam, Garuda, India, and mid range Airlines were mid £2,500’s return.
    I am re-staring looking at travels with the return to Asia, then a separate return to Australia with another Airline and currency, and savings of over £1,000 are clear.
    I enjoy and can make time for a holiday in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia also in this way, with no increase in fare to stopover
    Would you consider, or do you use this type of fare combination now?

    Hotel accommodation purchase
    ============================
    Are you buying in local currency, or pre-paying in £ sterling for overseas stays?
    This may rely on which currency your card will end up in, as being in Euros, the rates almost match the value of the £ now, but back to Sterling would be adding quite a sum now.
    I personally am trying to purchase in Euros, as for Australia, an other currencies, this is getting far greater value, almost matching the Sterling exchange rate. just prior to the Brexit vote, 1.32 was £ – Euro, It is just about 1-1 now!

    Have you changed your pattern of booking hotels, or thinking how to get the maximise value also?

    Will Sterling “Hold” without Airline / Hotel increases?
    =====================================================

    In Europe this is clear, that hotels are increased already, especially if you booked but not pre-paid in £’s.
    If you have the opportunity to pay in Euros, then there is no change, but i see from my trips, that paying in £’s significant increases. So i will use my EU bank and Euros.

    However, Ex UK, fares on other European Airlines via their hub such as LH, KLM, AF, has always cost less thata direct flight out of say LHR. You also only pay the lower band of Departures taxes.
    Will the Airlines be increasing these to regain the loss in revenue of Sterling purchases?
    I have found not one fare last year at a base price anywhere on KLM Worldwide in Business, was more than Euros 2,000.
    These are now raised, and in £’s well over £2,000!
    Air France is marketing lower than KLM fares.
    More flights appear to be on Dreamliners as their fleet changes, especially to Central / South America, USA, South Africa, selected Asia destinations.

    I have found Accor who i choose around The World, quite significant increases IF you use Sterling, but IF you choose Euros, there is an almost 20%+ saving now, or less.

    Significant savings I have come across
    ====================================

    – Return Biz class on China Airlines (Via Taipei) AMS-TPE-SYD/MEL Euros 2,700! (on new Suites of their new A350).
    I found them excellent flying at Easter time for this fare.
    – KLM/ AF Biz return AMS-BKK from Euros 1,774 return. now almost same in £’s. They were from £1,450. Starting in the EU /
    paying in Euros counts.
    – Air Asia ex KUL £300+ 1 way in Biz/ flat bed seat into SYD or MEL. Booked as singles you can enter SYD, exit MEl, saving
    significant domestic flight costs in Oz.
    – Malaysia Airlines ex BKK / HKG / SIN via KUL around £800+ Biz return into SYD or MEL.
    – Thai Air ex SYD / Mel one way back to LHR from £1,550 Biz, and £1,950 First single fares in AUD $. Try Euros even better.
    The last few years the usual pay 2/3 times to start a trip from Australia, has been broken. Now Very good deals if you
    purchase a one way fare with a different Airline, allowing you to go via a different route, take a holidays or stopover.
    You can also be clever and take in 2 cities saving hugs amount on domestic Australia fares.

    Apologies this is long, but i wanted to analyse the Sterling differences now, break it down, show some examples.
    Whatever happens now in UK political terms, it could be some time, is ever, before Sterling regains its Worldwide value.
    If this is making a 25% difference to your travel costs, and patterns into Europe alone (Lessening bookings and demand are reality UK-EU ahead), are you taking more time to look at options to save, for the same travel?
    Will you travel more out of the EU, and use currencies and Airline fares differently?

    Your tips, finds, views, analysis shared, be very interesting, valued across the forum I am sure.
    Thanks…

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    SimonS1
    Participant

    Interesting post and thoughts.

    We mainly use Emirates these days and to be honest despite the weakening of GBP I have not noticed much change in their GBP air fares. In fact to the contrary, we are a Luxembourg based group accounting in €, but I still generally buy tickets in GBP knowing that the € cost is cheaper. I believe the airlines are effectively biting the bullet here, BA made some comment in their results about this.

    As far as ex-EU fares are concerned, undoubtedly savings to be made, but it depends on your perspective. Personally I have always preferred any available time to be spent productively (either work or with family) rather than by taking pointless flights around Europe. For example if starting from Amsterdam then you have to get there and back with sufficient contingency time. If you add in 2 x 45 minutes flying at the start and end of each journey, plus the time between separate tickets to collect/recheck bags etc, plus extra time sitting in the airport, plus the risk of things going wrong it can easily become a test of endurance.

    Aside of turning a 2 leg trip into a 6 leg trip, I find the income I can generate is more than the saving and I am left thinking….can I really be bothered to do all this just to get a cheaper ticket?

    There are opportunities for minor savings elsewhere, for example some Africa locations charge £30 of $50 for visas, well if you have £ then the first is better.

    On the Australia/Asia bit, not my patch so I honestly don’t know.


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    Hotel accommodation purchase
    ============================
    Are you buying in local currency, or pre-paying in £ sterling for overseas stays?
    This may rely on which currency your card will end up in, as being in Euros, the rates almost match the value of the £ now, but back to Sterling would be adding quite a sum now.
    I personally am trying to purchase in Euros, as for Australia, an other currencies, this is getting far greater value, almost matching the Sterling exchange rate. just prior to the Brexit vote, 1.32 was £ – Euro, It is just about 1-1 now!
    Have you changed your pattern of booking hotels, or thinking how to get the maximise value also?

    I have had an agreed room rate in BKK for several years and a couple of weeks ago I sat down with the GM, armed with graphs detailing the strength of the baht and weakness of the pound. My rate was reduced with a further reduction if the Baht falls below 35 to sterling. Rate will increase when the baht decreases to around 47.

    As far as ex-EU fares are concerned, undoubtedly savings to be made, but it depends on your perspective. Personally I have always preferred any available time to be spent productively (either work or with family) rather than by taking pointless flights around Europe. For example if starting from Amsterdam then you have to get there and back with sufficient contingency time. If you add in 2 x 45 minutes flying at the start and end of each journey, plus the time between separate tickets to collect/recheck bags etc, plus extra time sitting in the airport, plus the risk of things going wrong it can easily become a test of endurance.

    My ex – Eu fares have increased over the past year, but I have had it very good for over 7 – 8 years. These fares not only bring me an immediate cost savings but also offset most of my European flights which I pay for via avios. As far as time is concerned, having turned 58, relaxation is just as profitable for me as ‘back to back’ meetings.

    Still loving my life, work and travel more than ever…


    SimonS1
    Participant

    My ex – Eu fares have increased over the past year, but I have had it very good for over 7 – 8 years. These fares not only bring me an immediate cost savings but also offset most of my European flights which I pay for via avios. As far as time is concerned, having turned 58, relaxation is just as profitable for me as ‘back to back’ meetings.

    Still loving my life, work and travel more than ever…

    Indeed, this is why everyone’s perspective is different. I redeem my Emirates skywards miles for flights on Easyjet.

    I also enjoy travel, but not to the extent of unnecessary flights. By the way, profitable work does not always equate to ‘back to back meetings’…..


    MarcusGB
    Participant

    As we all see, many more people are travelling Premium classes on flights as Leisure travellers, less so Business it seems these days.

    Worldwide travels EU – Pacific, most people i know like to stopover even one night in an airport hotel, or rest for a few days, and take in another country.
    So you would be making 4 flights regardless, whether on one ticket or not.
    Separating out into 2 different Airlines and routes for me, offer more opportunity to stop, and experience different cultures. So i prefer different routes out and back.

    If you depart ex UK from a regional airport, you would always have to travel via a Major Hub on the way wherever you travel Worldwide.
    I have a friend travelling BHX to Ecuador, so AF or KLM are great options for him, rather than a limited choice ex LHR, parking / hotel, and highly more expensive fares.

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