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Anonymous27 Jun 2011
New to the forum so please accept my apologies if this is a common question.
I’m just about to book to go to SYD from the UK at Christmas/New Year time in business. I have only ever flown Club on BA apart from once on QF J-Class A380 (and I thought the service was pretty good). This is a special trip for my fiancé and I, and as it’s me who is paying, I have been shopping around for the best deal possible.
I’m left with BA/SQ/CX/EY or KE which are all similarly priced.
If you had the choice, as I do, who would you fly and why?27 Jun 2011
CX without a doubt … their new J seats on the HKG – SYD are superb, whether you want a window seat which actually faces the window or one of the centre pairs which are turned inwards.
I find their level of service hard to beat.
Hong Kong is a great city to visit en route.28 Jun 2011
I know what you mean by paying for two when it’s out of your own pocket. You really notice the price difference when the ticket cost doubles!
Agree with Bullfrog – would be very hard to beat CX especially on the new aircraft. Virgin can be good (but not so romantic with their separate ‘stalls’ – same on older CX aircraft). Qantas 380 i like, but only if you can get all the way thru (not enamoured with their older 747’s)
For a bargain you might consider Asiana thru Seoul. On one day a week out of London they schedule a new aircraft with 180 degree flat seats; and then angle flat to Sydney. On return to the UK you will need to overnight in Seoul, which Asiana will organise and is included in the ticket (transfers, hotel, meals). Ditto Korean Air. (from Oz, Asiana have a London return for around AUD$5,500, c/w around $8,000 on BA/QF/CX). Chances are however it will be an angle-flat wedgy all the way on either airline, not as comfortable as CX/VS/BA 180 degree flat seats
Swiss have some bargains, often a thousand or so cheaper than BA but it does mean an extra stop in Zurich. They have combo tickets; with Thai or Virgin or Qantas or Cathay doing the Asia to Oz leg via Tokyo, Bangkok or Hong Kong. Swiss should have their entire fleet fitted with the new 180 degree flat seats by September 1 – go for a centre pair. A bonus is they allow a different combo in each direction so you can have an Asian “shop-over” in two different cities (taking this option has won me brownie points with the other half! ) You need to book ahead as the booking class for
these tix has limited allocation per flight.
You could checkout That First Class, which sometimes can be had for the price of business on the others. If you are going straight thru, Thai and Singapore have a better scheduling to my mind, as they leave middle of the day out of London with an overnight to Asia, then a day flight to Sydney. Pretty much everyone else involves two night flights, which i find more debilitating flying west to east in one go.
BTW Thai Business from London can be dodgy – 6 years after introducing their angled lie-flat wedgy seat, they still have 6 out of 18 of their 747’s with the seat previous even to that, which is very uncomfortable long haul, and can turn up in London. First on the old 747 is still ok though.
never flown Emirates or Etihad – their timings and segment durations I find unattractive especially flying Syd-London. Means a very short overnight from Middle East to London28 Jun 2011
Well, in my opinion, a flight is just a flight, as long as your fiance is not a business class fanatic, I don’t think its matter whether you flying J or Y. The togetherness and the destination is the most important thing.
But if you must fly in J. I would strongly recommend SQ, I personally think they are the best and the plus side is, if you are flexible, you can do a stop over in SIN to fly over to Bali, from there you can go to Moyo island (located nearby) and stay in Amanwana resort, I am sure your fiance will be very impressed,
or if it’s too costly, try Gili Trawangan instead and stay in villa ombak, before flying to SYD or on your way back from SYD.
other option will be Finnair, they usually have great deal on J, AY jet to HEL and BKK and BA jet to SYD. Just make sure you are on their new A330 with flat bed.
All the best!28 Jun 2011
It’s a toss up between SIA, CX and BA/Qantas (remember BA/Qantas have an effective joint venture on this route).
SIA can sometimes put their regional aircraft on some routes, apparently. Lots of comment about that on here.
CX is excellent especially if you get the new seats (the old ones were claustrophobic) but do check the flight times and overall journey time; if you’re not stopping over in Hong Kong it can be a lengthy trip. And again, double check what sort of seats you’re getting between Hong Kong and Sydney.
BA and Qantas offer you the choice of either SIN or BKK for transit/layover. If you’re on Qantas you can try for the A380, but if your on BA try for the 747 (last time I checked this was only available on the BKK route) as you can then get a Club World seat on the Upper Deck. A very calm “business jet” feel.
Lastly, don’t forget exEUR fares for flights at that busy and expensive time of year, using these can eliminate the APD and be cheaper; Qantas have a flight from Frankfurt which might also be worth considering.28 Jun 2011
This is my regular ‘commute’. My choices in order would be CX, QR, EY, SQ, QF on the A380, MH, ET, TG, QF on 747 and last BA. If you choose QF/BA be careful of the flights you choose and the equipment as you can end up with something you didn’t intend to!28 Jun 2011
Thanks for all the replies so far. I guess their is an element of curiosity in trying another airline out.
I’m not ‘BA Bashing’ as some would call it but feel this may be the time to try something different out there.
I’ve been having quite a lengthy look around and would be happy to even commence my journey outside of the UK if cheaper.
I found an Alitalia codeshare with AF and EY, CDG-MXP-AUH-SYD for £2.5k each. It would involve a hotel in Paris the night before though plus transport LON-Paris. Once I add that in, it’s not such a great deal!
Naively I thought I might get a decent fare by leaving from one of the UK regional airports… MAN/BHX/GLA etc but this does not appear to be the case.28 Jun 2011
It’s good to try new products, but you should also consider how your mileage balances will be affected; if you fly enough with one carrier, a Sydney trip can yield tens of thousands of frequent flyer miles, and get you to at least the first level of elite status in just one round trip.
Another tip is to look for flight+accommodation deals; these can sometimes be less expensive in the round.
You might also look at RTW fares, depending on whether you can take advanatge of multiple stopovers, and assuming there is availability in those fare classes for the dates you require.
However, at that expensive time of year, price may trump any personal preference for a particular carrier.28 Jun 2011
Curently in Sydney and if you choose to fly CX. please check the aircraft type and it must be 33E (HKG-SYD CX161 and SYD-HKG CX100) and the new seats are divine! Totally suitable for the new Mr Bond with all the built-in features!
Romance is now once again back in the air – I can now touching hands with my partner in flight!!!28 Jun 2011
Can I suggest AY via HEL? They seem to connect with BA/QF in SIN or BKK, as well as CX in HKG. Fares start at £3100 return from LHR.
I have looked at ARN-AKL for same time period, and it comes in at less than £3000 which is stellar.
OW miles and BAEC TPs to be earned as well.28 Jun 2011
CX does not yet offer new seat ex LHR or indeed anywhere in Europe so the longest sectors, if using CX, would be on the old style seat which many find horrible. It is variously known as the mortuary, coffin or herringbone layout.
I have found an EK fare ex MXP for £2662 and SQ from same point is £3553.
BA and QF both have £4121 ex LHR and if using them would opt for A380 on QF. Would also suggest you insist on split ticketing at BKK or SIN even if not stopping and continuing on same aircraft. This is because you will get more tier point and miles than if simply LHR SYD ticketed. BA has in the past been happy to this at no extra cost.
Best offer ex Europe on BA from ARN at £3705. Not sure if this gets A380 on code share with QF.
Best offer overall is EK ex IST at £2300.
All fares found on ITA matrix and I offer no views on flight times or carriers. These fares are published fares available direct from airline or travel agent. They are not always the cheapest as ITA does not give specials. For example ex ATH can provide some sub £2000 fares on companion basis but flight times are odd unless you want / need to stop.
Avoid all non A380 services on QF as they do not provide a flat bed. The FRA option should be avoided at all costs as the aircraft is a clapped out 747 prone to operational reliability issues. I would also wager a guess that it will not be on the QF route network for much longer with Jet star likely to take this over as well as perhaps coming to the UK at STN. (Pure speculation on my part)
Air Asia might be an option also from STN with fares starting at £950 one way. That said the other day I was quoted £2800 for a flight to PER in AUG.
Whatever you do have a great trip but with the value of the £ against the mighty AUS $ you will need to save what you can on the flights as once there prices will make you wince.28 Jun 2011