Login Now to remove this and all advertisements (GOLD and SILVER members)
Not a member? Register Now for free

Question about Airline Interactions & Bookings

Status
Not open for further replies.

Yoz

Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2013
Messages
175
It's most likely a pretty stupid question but I was wondering about the way airlines operate when it comes to offering flight bookings.

A long story short I'm looking to travel:
MEL-CAN (~1 week)
CAN-LHR (~1 week)
LHR-MEL (home!)

All the flights via Guangzhou (CAN) are going China Southern (at $1572 USD) and I don't really want to fly Air China / China Southern as a personal preference.

Just searching Google Flights comes up with ~$1300 USD via a combination of Qantas, BA, and BA/Qantas (http://goo.gl/flights/A5Dp) to Hong Kong (with Dragonair about $400 for HKG-CAN return)

However, it seems unbookable online, and Google is suggesting I either call British Airways or visit a Travel Agent.

So my questions are:
1. What makes the fare only bookable over the phone?
2. Would it be bookable via QF as well as BA?
3. Why is it that travelling MEL-HKG-CAN / CAN-HKG-LHR seems to raise the price more than purchasing the HKG-CAN segments separately? I'm sure I've booked Dragonair flights through Qantas previously?

Would appreciate some insight :)
 

MEL_Traveller

Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 27, 2005
Messages
21,591
It's most likely a pretty stupid question but I was wondering about the way airlines operate when it comes to offering flight bookings.

A long story short I'm looking to travel:
MEL-CAN (~1 week)
CAN-LHR (~1 week)
LHR-MEL (home!)

All the flights via Guangzhou (CAN) are going China Southern (at $1572 USD) and I don't really want to fly Air China / China Southern as a personal preference.

Just searching Google Flights comes up with ~$1300 USD via a combination of Qantas, BA, and BA/Qantas (http://goo.gl/flights/A5Dp) to Hong Kong (with Dragonair about $400 for HKG-CAN return)

However, it seems unbookable online, and Google is suggesting I either call British Airways or visit a Travel Agent.

So my questions are:
1. What makes the fare only bookable over the phone?
2. Would it be bookable via QF as well as BA?
3. Why is it that travelling MEL-HKG-CAN / CAN-HKG-LHR seems to raise the price more than purchasing the HKG-CAN segments separately? I'm sure I've booked Dragonair flights through Qantas previously?

Would appreciate some insight :)
you can book the SYD-HKG/HKG-LHR/LHR-SYD on expedia (I just priced it out - same price as indicated by googleflights). They're offering connections with both QF or CX to Hong Kong, followed by BA.

CX will allow you to book SYD-CAN/CAN-LHR/LHR-SYD, but the issue seems to be the connecting flight to CAN being in a much higher fare class, affecting the ticket as a whole - for around $6000 - which is crazy.

Just book the connecting flight to CAN yourself (or take a bus/ferry from the airport in HK).
 
Credit cards which earn frequent flyer points is a popular way to earn frequent flyer points. You can receive thousands of points on everyday spend. And, many of these cards offer generous signup bonuses! Compare to find the credit card that best suits your needs.

Recommended by the Australian Frequent Flyer

Yoz

Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2013
Messages
175
you can book the SYD-HKG/HKG-LHR/LHR-SYD on expedia (I just priced it out - same price as indicated by googleflights). They're offering connections with both QF or CX to Hong Kong, followed by BA.

CX will allow you to book SYD-CAN/CAN-LHR/LHR-SYD, but the issue seems to be the connecting flight to CAN being in a much higher fare class, affecting the ticket as a whole - for around $6000 - which is crazy.

Just book the connecting flight to CAN yourself (or take a bus/ferry from the airport in HK).
Thanks - I'll do that, but why is it that sometimes you can book a particular OneWorld airline through Qantas and other times you can't?

Or is it that you can never do it? Just seems inconsistent to me because I'm sure I've booked Dragonair (to Guangzhou) on Qantas before. Albeit through Shanghai perhaps.
 

JohnK

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2005
Messages
43,730
Are Qantas still offering BA flights on their website?

I thought they stopped doing that when the JSA ended after Emirates partnership. I cannot remember the last time I saw a BA flight offered for bookings to/from SIN on Qantas website.
 

Yoz

Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2013
Messages
175
I thought they stopped doing that when the JSA ended after Emirates partnership. I cannot remember the last time I saw a BA flight offered for bookings to/from SIN on Qantas website.
Gave up and just called a Flight Centre to get one of the travel agents to book the flights for me.

Surprisingly easy and the only downside was a ~2% booking surcharge. However, even with the surcharge it's cheaper than taking out any travel insurance.

Only downside was the travel agent suggested a stopover in Hong Kong as the ~2-3 hour transit time may not be enough to exit immigration, collect bags, then check back in for the Dragonair Flight because they're on two separate eTickets.

However, based on what I was told by a Qantas representative (after booking) as long as you're flying on OneWorld airlines and there's no overnight - you can get your bags checked through even if they're on separate eTickets. So I think I might've just been able to go straight through :(
 

MEL_Traveller

Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 27, 2005
Messages
21,591
Gave up and just called a Flight Centre to get one of the travel agents to book the flights for me.

Surprisingly easy and the only downside was a ~2% booking surcharge. However, even with the surcharge it's cheaper than taking out any travel insurance.

Only downside was the travel agent suggested a stopover in Hong Kong as the ~2-3 hour transit time may not be enough to exit immigration, collect bags, then check back in for the Dragonair Flight because they're on two separate eTickets.

However, based on what I was told by a Qantas representative (after booking) as long as you're flying on OneWorld airlines and there's no overnight - you can get your bags checked through even if they're on separate eTickets. So I think I might've just been able to go straight through :(
you don't need to collect bags and recheck them, even on separate tickets. A 55 min connection time is allowable for CX-CX/KA connections. Based on the advice you were given, you could call flight centre and have them change your ticket free of charge as they sold you something incorrectly.
 

Yoz

Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2013
Messages
175
you don't need to collect bags and recheck them, even on separate tickets. A 55 min connection time is allowable for CX-CX/KA connections. Based on the advice you were given, you could call flight centre and have them change your ticket free of charge as they sold you something incorrectly.
A minimum of 55 minutes is allowable for CX-CX/KA connections but what about a QF flight into HKG and a CX/KA flight out of HKG? Do the same rules apply? What if the MEL-HKG was delayed?

While I could probably kick up a fuss the travel agent (whilst giving some misinformation) was doing her best to help out and was very patient with my back and forthing (there was like 20+ emails) and the fares have gone up since - so I might end up having to pay more to rebook it.

In the future I think I'll probably just do the MEL-HKG and then bus it between HKG and Guangzhou.

Can probably save myself $300 AUD and the hassle of worrying about hitting/missing connections or having layovers.
 

JohnK

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2005
Messages
43,730
Only downside was the travel agent suggested a stopover in Hong Kong as the ~2-3 hour transit time may not be enough to exit immigration, collect bags, then check back in for the Dragonair Flight because they're on two separate eTickets.

However, based on what I was told by a Qantas representative (after booking) as long as you're flying on OneWorld airlines and there's no overnight - you can get your bags checked through even if they're on separate eTickets. So I think I might've just been able to go straight through :(
More than enough time if you have 2-3 hours transit in HKG and luggage not checked through.

Just go to transfer counter with your bag tag receipt and they will transfer luggage to onward flight.
 

Yoz

Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2013
Messages
175
More than enough time if you have 2-3 hours transit in HKG and luggage not checked through.

Just go to transfer counter with your bag tag receipt and they will transfer luggage to onward flight.
Waaaitaminute. So even if they don't check it through in Melbourne you can request it at a transfer counter in HKG?

Sadly, not so useful now, as I've already arranged accommodation in Hong Kong (and admittedly a night in Hong Kong sounds easier than a night in Guangzhou when you don't speak Chinese) but will definitely keep this in mind for future travels :)
 

MEL_Traveller

Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 27, 2005
Messages
21,591
Waaaitaminute. So even if they don't check it through in Melbourne you can request it at a transfer counter in HKG?

Sadly, not so useful now, as I've already arranged accommodation in Hong Kong (and admittedly a night in Hong Kong sounds easier than a night in Guangzhou when you don't speak Chinese) but will definitely keep this in mind for future travels :)
Indeed, but it's a moot point, as your baggage would have been through-checked anyway.

For future reference there's a very nice (and cheap) Pullman hotel attached to CAN airport.
 

Yoz

Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2013
Messages
175
Indeed, but it's a moot point, as your baggage would have been through-checked anyway.

For future reference there's a very nice (and cheap) Pullman hotel attached to CAN airport.
Thanks for the tip :)

What's the minimum time you'd realistically want for transit with two separate e-Tickets?

My main concern at the time of booking was that if the MEL-HKG was delayed AND I had to grab bags and check back in there was a chance of missing the flight - which wouldn't be covered by QF/CX/KA if they're on separate e-Tickets?
 

Yoz

Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2013
Messages
175
I'm going to ask here because I suspect MEL-Traveller and/or JohnK know the answer (thanks guys!)

As my flights are:
Inbound: MEL-HKG (12hr overnight transit) HKG-CAN
Outbound: CAN-HKG (12hr daytime transit) HKG-LHR

I'm guessing for Inbound I'm going to need to be at HKG at least ~90 mins prior to departure given that I'll need to check bags in?

However, for outbound I don't really need to check-in, so is it pretty much just as long as it'll take me to pass through security at HKG?
 

MEL_Traveller

Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 27, 2005
Messages
21,591
I'm going to ask here because I suspect MEL-Traveller and/or JohnK know the answer (thanks guys!)

As my flights are:
Inbound: MEL-HKG (12hr overnight transit) HKG-CAN
Outbound: CAN-HKG (12hr daytime transit) HKG-LHR

I'm guessing for Inbound I'm going to need to be at HKG at least ~90 mins prior to departure given that I'll need to check bags in?

However, for outbound I don't really need to check-in, so is it pretty much just as long as it'll take me to pass through security at HKG?
At peak times, security might take in the region of 10-15 mins. Outbound immigration can be longer. Without something like e-channel, you could be waiting 20 minutes (seems like longer)? Arriving 90 mins will give you plenty of time.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Community Statistics

Threads
86,423
Messages
2,088,590
Members
53,779
Latest member
snowhikes
Top