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LHR-SIN-MEL RT with one stopover much more pricey than no stopover

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stripakis

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Trying to bring over a couple of friends from London to Melbourne, with one stopover in Singapore. SQ quoted £2795 on Economy (return ticket) with a single stopover in Singapore. For the same routing with no stopover the Economy fare is £1200 -1600 depending on flex requirements. Any idea why this is so? Dates for trip: 29 Jan to 18 Feb.
 

juddles

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As per many travel things, you have to leave out logic. Stopovers are ALWAYS expensive. Same reason one-way fares are usually heaps more than half a return ticket.
 

aaflyer

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Have you tried nesting the fares? Do a London-Singapore return and a Singapore-Melbourne return (just make sure they back on to the connecting flights so you cannot possibly mis-connect)? May actually end up being cheaper as well.
 

dajop

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Stopovers are ALWAYS expensive.

Not true. Sometimes expensive? Yes, ALWAYS? ... NO! Many times you can get stopovers in SIN for just the price of the extra airport taxes/charges which transit passengers are exempt from. As an example, I've done return from Athens to Melbourne with stopovers in Singapore in both directions ( the first stopover was a brief 2 weeks, the second a longer 10 month stopover :)), and only cost about $60 more than through fare.

To answer stripakis's question there are several reasons why a stopover may be expensive:
- Fare conditions do not allow it, therefore what you are building is a series of one way flights. However, from Europe, many fares do allow stopovers
- The length of overall stay away is too long as the fare has a maximum duration (and the stopover puts you over the limit)
- The fare class or fare bucket that the overall fare (that permits free stopovers) is not available on some of the flights. Given the dates of travel, late Jan/early Feb, this is most likely explanation, as there is a lot of Australia bound traffic from SIN (students returning) that means flights tend to be very full and this means cheaper economy seats, or economy seats full stop, are not available on many flights. For example between 30 Jan & 5 Feb I could not see a single economy seat available for travel between SIN & MEL. Stopping in Singapore means you are looking at availablity for just SIN-MEL, going through all the way without stopping sometimes means there is different availability (for example seats that they are only willing to sell in cheaper fares for people connecting from long haul flights).


The only solutions to this problem I could see are:
1) book as far as Perth, as it has most availability from Singapore (or if lucky Brisbane, it has a handful of seats on different days) , in one direction, take a (separately booked) domestic flight and return from Melbourne in the other direction, or
2) book as far as Singapore and purchase a separate ticket on different carrier to get to Melbourne.
3) travel to a lesser European SQ port first (eg Istanbul) which may have cheap business class fares available for less than the economy fare quoted
4) look at Emirates or Qantas with stopover in SIN. Although this may encounter same availability problems.
 

stripakis

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Have you tried nesting the fares? Do a London-Singapore return and a Singapore-Melbourne return (just make sure they back on to the connecting flights so you cannot possibly mis-connect)? May actually end up being cheaper as well.

I could do this but they only wish one stopover on the way to MEL. And all this for eating spicy crab at Palm Beach restaurant in SIN. Or, may book with no stopovers and add one later, after purchase.
 

stripakis

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Not true. Sometimes expensive? Yes, ALWAYS? ... NO! Many times you can get stopovers in SIN for just the price of the extra airport taxes/charges which transit passengers are exempt from. As an example, I've done return from Athens to Melbourne with stopovers in Singapore in both directions ( the first stopover was a brief 2 weeks, the second a longer 10 month stopover :)), and only cost about $60 more than through fare.

To answer stripakis's question there are several reasons why a stopover may be expensive:
- Fare conditions do not allow it, therefore what you are building is a series of one way flights. However, from Europe, many fares do allow stopovers
- The length of overall stay away is too long as the fare has a maximum duration (and the stopover puts you over the limit)
- The fare class or fare bucket that the overall fare (that permits free stopovers) is not available on some of the flights. Given the dates of travel, late Jan/early Feb, this is most likely explanation, as there is a lot of Australia bound traffic from SIN (students returning) that means flights tend to be very full and this means cheaper economy seats, or economy seats full stop, are not available on many flights. For example between 30 Jan & 5 Feb I could not see a single economy seat available for travel between SIN & MEL. Stopping in Singapore means you are looking at availablity for just SIN-MEL, going through all the way without stopping sometimes means there is different availability (for example seats that they are only willing to sell in cheaper fares for people connecting from long haul flights).


The only solutions to this problem I could see are:
1) book as far as Perth, as it has most availability from Singapore (or if lucky Brisbane, it has a handful of seats on different days) , in one direction, take a domestic flight and return from Melbourne in the other direction, or
2) book as far as Singapore and purchase a separate ticket on different carrier to get to Melbourne.

Have checked on expertflyer and SIN-MEL shows no availability till early February but if you go to the SQ website and start a booking for the LHR-SIN-MEL with no stopover there is (some) availability.

Timing is bad also due to the Open in Melbourne.
 
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dajop

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Have checked on expertflyer and SIN-MEL shows no availability till early February but if you go to the SQ website and start a booking for the LHR-SIN-MEL with no stopover there is (some) availability.

Aaah, the "married sector" problem (ie different availability for connecting vs point to point flights). Any luck with a long layover <24 hrs (eg arriving at ~9am from LHR and departing at ~7am next morning on SQ 207)?
 

stripakis

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Aaah, the "married sector" problem (ie different availability for connecting vs point to point flights). Any luck with a long layover <24 hrs (eg arriving at ~9am from LHR and departing at ~7am next morning on SQ 207)?

Thanks. This is the only option that I can see at present.
 

wingspan

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I could do this but they only wish one stopover on the way to MEL. And all this for eating spicy crab at Palm Beach restaurant in SIN. Or, may book with no stopovers and add one later, after purchase.

I'm not sure you've understood. You can book this so that the MEL-xSIN-LHR flight is all on one day, you don't have to make it two stopovers.
 

MEL_Traveller

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I could do this but they only wish one stopover on the way to MEL. And all this for eating spicy crab at Palm Beach restaurant in SIN. Or, may book with no stopovers and add one later, after purchase.

i wouldn't be wanting to add a stopover after purchase. Likely to come with significant financial penalties for a reissued ticket.
 

ozbeachbabe

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It may well be the the website used to calculate the airfares is pricing the itinerary as three fare components ie LHR/SIN, SIN/MEL & MEL/LHR instead of LHR/MEL/LHR with a SIN stopover on the outbound trip. Most airfares UK/Europe permit a stopover so apart from incidental taxes to stopover in SIN instead just a transit there should be no difference to the fare.

I would try calling the airline and ask their reservations department to quote on the exact itinerary you want which I'm sure will be more inline with the lower price.

How are you doing the availability eg using the multi city option? If you are try using the return fare option instead then on the outbound leg of the journey LHR/MEL there should be an option to include a stopover which then prompts you to enter the date you want to fly on from SIN to MEL.

Have you tried nesting the fares? Do a London-Singapore return and a Singapore-Melbourne return (just make sure they back on to the connecting flights so you cannot possibly mis-connect)? May actually end up being cheaper as well.

I could do this but they only wish one stopover on the way to MEL. And all this for eating spicy crab at Palm Beach restaurant in SIN. Or, may book with no stopovers and add one later, after purchase.

You could still do two nested airfares as aaflyer suggests without stopping over in SIN on the way back as you would simply booking the MEL/SIN sector the same day as SIN/LHR on the respective bookings.
 
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