An Unconventional Route to Europe

Our member Mattg recently returned from a whistle-stop tour of Europe, taking a rather unique combination of airlines to get there. Our member used a diverse range of premium and low-cost airlines, flying a mixture of Economy and Business class.

I love trying new things, espceially when it comes to travel. So as usual I’ve decided to mix things up a bit. This trip will feature everything from Business class flying to ultra low-cost carrier economy. I’m taking a bit of an unconventional routing to get to Europe. Instead of buying a simple return ticket to Europe, I’ve actually booked four separate one-way tickets from Australia-Asia, Asia-Europe and so on… By taking advantage of some great deals on all four sectors, the total cost was barely more than a Qantas economy ticket.

Flying low-cost to Singapore with Air Asia and Jetstar, our member continued the journey to Europe in the comfort of Sri Lankan Airlines’ Business class. This meant an extra stop in Colombo, but the short Colombo stopover was made all the more enjoyable by the top-notch Sri Lankan Serendib Lounge.

I was a big fan of the Sri Lankan Serendib lounge in Colombo! As soon as I arrived, the friendly lady at the counter asked if I would like to head on over to the spa for a free massage. Who could say no to that? After a massage and a shower, a quick lunch was in order. There was a wide selection of Sri Lankan and Western buffet food, and a fully-stocked bar including the nice champagne served on the plane.

Sri Lankan’s long-haul routes to Europe are operated by Airbus A330s, featuring a new Business class cabin. In a 1-2-1 configuration, Business features comfortable lie-flat seats similar to those found on Cathay Pacific or Virgin Australia’s A330s. The soft product was equally good, with warm service, nice food and plenty of champagne. Our member’s only criticism was the limited range of movies available on the in-flight entertainment.

With the exception of perhaps the lack of in-flight entertainment options, I was very impressed with both the hard and soft product on this flight. The cabin crew were fantastic and service warm. All in all it was an excellent flight.

Once in Europe our member travelled all around the continent, visiting the UK, Germany, Spain and a range of other countries. One of the first stops – Edinburgh – was an unexpected highlight.

I really liked Edinburgh (despite the winter weather)! What a beautiful, historic city. There was plenty to see and do. I just wish I’d allowed more time to go and explore the Scottish highlands.

After a month of travelling it was soon time to return home. Another unconventional mix of airlines – Eurowings, Ethiopian Airlines, Air Asia and finally Qantas – were used. Our member upgraded the overnight Air Asia flight to a Premium Flatbed; did it live up to expectations?

Come along for the ride HERE.


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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]