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European Routing

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albatross710

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May 15, 2004
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Hello fellow flyers,

Anyone got any ideas on a suitable airline/fare that might be a convenient way of flying the following:

Brisbane - Milano

Land travel to Amsterdam

Amsterdam - Zurich Stopover

Zurich - Brisbane

I'm new to this, so wondering what the experts think.

I'm a Qantas FF but no special status.

Wayne
 

NM

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This depends on what you are looking for ...

Do you want the cheapest fare?

Do you want to maximise FF benefits?

Do you want to travel in relative comfort?

Do you want to minimise the travel time?

Note that you can generally obtain any two out of these four, and sometimes can score three out of four. But hitting all four is pretty rare.

A good compromise may be to consider the BA World Traveller Plus fares. They earn good QF points/status and the accommodations are quite good for the price. But you will have to travel via London, so that may not be the most desirable.

There are also some joint QF/Swiss deals available from time to time, which may help with travel via Zurich. I have no idea what is available currently.
 

albatross710

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Good points

I've been looking through some of the sites and the WT+ fare from BA is attractive.

I went Emirates last time but I found the three legs of 7 hrs (to SIN) + 7 hrs (to DBX) + 5 hrs (to MXP) never really got a solid sleep.

Time is also important and it would be good if I can find a flight direct from SIN to MXP which would save a stop and the lost time via London while giving me a solid block of 6 hrs sleep.

Sites that have been useful:

www.travel-eticket.com.au
www.travel.com.au

Site that has been unrealistic:

www.webjet.com.au
 

NM

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I am not aware of any airlines that di SIN-MXP direct. In fact I could not anything from major Aisian hubs direct to MXP.

So I think you are going to be in for a 3-sector trip to get there. So now you have to choose the airline and Europe hub airport to use for transit.

Personally I would take the BA WT+ option and use LHR. I am happy to transit at LHR even though it needs a longer connection time than some other airports. As a OneWorld Emerald FF member I get to use the BA F lounges and MB Spa when arriving or departing long-haul.

There are many other options. Using OneWorld you could also transit in Helsinki with FinnAir (AY), but there is only one flight per day HEL-MXP and the timing may not be good. And the SIN-HEL is a one-stop flight.

Otherwise many Europe transit options including CDG with AF, AMS with KLM, FRA with LH, VIE with Austrian (OS), DXB with EK etc. Its then all a matter of preference of airline, transit point and perhaps FF benefits to be earned.
 

albatross710

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May 15, 2004
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BA WT+

Looks like the BA WT+ fare is going to give me the best solution to my humble needs.

I found that JAL has a direct service from Narita to Milan but that flight required an overnight at Narita and defeated the purpose of saving the time anyway with the direct flight.

If I rejoin Qantas Club, I assume that when travelling on BA i'll be able to use their lounges in Sydney, Singapore, Heathrow, Milan and Amsterdam.

Thanks for your help. I can almost taste that first 'real' Italian pizza already.
 

thadocta

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Jan 8, 2003
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Regardless of any potential FF benefits by flying, I would be doing the European leg (Milan - Amsterdam) by train. It is far more comfortable, efficient, you don't have the gestapo-style drill at the airport, you can get some work done (if you are on business). and is sometimes quicker (not by much in your case though).

Dave
 

thadocta

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Re: BA WT+

gilkatho01 said:
If I rejoin Qantas Club, I assume that when travelling on BA i'll be able to use their lounges in Sydney, Singapore, Heathrow, Milan and Amsterdam.
Correct, as far as Sydney, Singapore and London goes. Not sure about Milan and Amsterdam, there have been issues with the Paris lounge, since it is not a BA lounge (rather, it is a third party lounge which BA uses, so QF Club reciprocity does not apply). Not sure whether this applies in MXP or AMS, so better off checking with others who may know - the various boards over at http://www.flyertalk.com/ might be useful.

Dave
 

albatross710

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May 15, 2004
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European Train Travel

Agreed on the idea of the land based travel in Europe. It is very convenient to travel by train, you get room to move (especially in late October) and avoid the hire cars, righthand side driving, getting lost, crazy drivers and of course the overnigth parking fees! he dirnks trolley on the train is also a nice touch.
 

aspro2

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Nov 26, 2004
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Whilst train *can* be a comfortable alternative, you have to choose your route and rollingstock pretty carefully on such a long trip. The best route appears to be (data from www.bahn.de)

Milano Centrale ab 09:25 IC 258
Basel SBB an 14:51
Basel SBB ab 15:12 ICE 104
Amsterdam Centraal an 21:56

The ICE from Basel to Ams would be nice German rolling stock, pleasant in both 1st and 2nd class. The cost of the trip would be fairly high though -- I would expect it to be more than EUR 150 one way 2nd class.

The night alternative is:

Milano Centrale ab 17:08 CIS 46 Cisalpino
Basel SBB an 21:33
Basel SBB ab 22:07 CNL40408 CityNightLine
Amsterdam Centraal an 09:38

Very nice trains, but costs will be higher again. Sleeper seats Basel-Ams are EUR 79, with economy couchettes/berths costing up to EUR 179
 
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