recommendation for best $$ & airline for multi city stops to usa

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by aussiecruisers, Nov 25, 2006.

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  1. aussiecruisers

    aussiecruisers Junior Member

    Nov 25, 2006
    42
    4
    Hi there

    Next September we are heading to Miami and San Diego for 2 cruises and we want to fly to US cities as cheaply as possible.

    I really like Qantas however if United Airlines come in way cheaper and have more stops then we could be persuaded to fly with them.

    These are our stops. Can anybody recommend which airline to travel with based on $$$$ and convenience?

    Depart Brisbane 14 Sept 07 to Miami (via LAX?)
    Depart Miami 4 Oct 07 to San Diego (via ??)
    Depart San Diego 20 Oct 07 to Brisbane (via LAX?)

    Also, we are thinking of going to the Florida Keys for 4 days inbetween cruises. Has anybody hired a car and driven from the port of miami/miami airport to the Keys? Has anybody stayed at The keys? Has anybody flown from Key West International airport?

    Vicki
     

  2. straitman

    Moderator

    Apr 27, 2003
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    Welcome to AFF aussiecruisers,

    I'll let the real FF experts offer you airline advice, however I can help with the Miami to Key West bit.

    AA fly Miami to Key West and the airport seems pretty good though I've always driven as its suited my situation.

    Departing Miami airport in a hire car is totally disorientating so I suggest a car with a GPS (approx $US10 per day extra). It's a good drive though not a fast drive as most of the journey is one lane each way and fairly busy with traffic. There are quite a few interesting places along the way such as 'The African Queen' at Key Largo and many more.

    Key West can be quite expensive so I'd look at accommodation a long way ahead.
    Map of Key West - KEY WEST PARADISE Travel Guide to Key West, Florida
    Look at the attached link for information. I suggest you stay as far down the Western end of the island as possible though it really is only 3-4 miles long. The Doubletree Grand Key Resort is very near the airport and is very good accommodation and listed as 2.15 miles from the city centre. You can hire anything from a Harley to a Moped so transport is easy and most hotels have schuttle buses.

    Duval St is the centre of activity and is really great (day & night) for people watching and is really a very safe area with ALL types of people on show. A good location is the (I hope I've got the name right) 'Pig and Whistle' which has bars on 3 levels with the top level being 'The Garden of Eden' where dress (code) is optional. As you'd expect the sea food is excellent and eateries are numerous. A really great Karoke Bar and eatery is 'Two Friends Bar' ....and the list goes on.

    I love the place and will be visiting again in February if I can find suitable accommodation.

    If you need any more info just ask.
     
  3. Tiki

    Tiki Member

    Jul 21, 2004
    449
    32
    BNE
    If you book a rental car online, you will still need to get CDW-collision damage waiver to cover you in case the car is damaged otherwise you will be out of pocket for expensive US repair bills. This CDW can be $20-25 USD per day. I usually book rental cars with USA Car Rental: Rent cars in Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas and Florida. because you get a package that includes the car, insurance, CDW and all taxes. This usually works out cheaper.

    If you book the flights on QF as AA codeshares, you have an easy platinum challenge there. See the sticky in the AA forum for more details.
     
  4. aussiecruisers

    aussiecruisers Junior Member

    Nov 25, 2006
    42
    4
    Thanks for your info Bill & Tiki

    I am still coming to grips with this website. I am a frequent poster in CruiseCritics which is a very similar website so I am familar with how this all works, however, I am not familar with the lingo over here.

    I have heaps of reading to do here no doubt.

    Tiki - I have already looked at that USA car rental website and I must say it works very well compared to the other car rentals websites.

    Bill - so far I am contemplating staying in Marathon. Apparently it is nice and affordable there? My biggest dilemma is whether or not to drive back from the Keys to Miami Airport as we need be in San Diego on the 5 Oct for the cruise or look into flying from Key West. The drive down to the keys from the port of miami doesn't scare me too much but the return bit does.
     
  5. clifford

    clifford Established Member

    Jul 6, 2004
    1,762
    243
    Canberra / London
    My suggestion re car rental in the US is : www. airline-network.co.uk.

    It'll beat the pants off most of the competition.

    Just have a look, I think you'll be impressed
    (yes, and I do know Preston docks quite well).

    :)
     
  6. aussiecruisers

    aussiecruisers Junior Member

    Nov 25, 2006
    42
    4
    Re: multi city stops to usa is this pricing normal?

    I have just been quoted $3362.47 p/p return flying with United and $3925.30 flying with Qantas.

    These are the stops:
    Bris, Syd, LAX, Denver, Miami, Denver, San Diego, LAX, Syd, Bris. (United)

    Bris, LAX, Miami, Key West, Miami, Dallas, San Diego, LAX, Bris (Qantas)

    Are these prices reasonable? I feel they are too high?

    I welcome all opinions.

    Vicki
     
  7. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
    40,170
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    Re: multi city stops to usa is this pricing normal?

    I think the prices look high. The sale fares for September are not out yet. It may be worth waiting until the new year before booking.

    Also searching on a site like BestFlights first would give you an indication if the sale fares have been released or not.
     
  8. straitman

    Moderator

    Apr 27, 2003
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    Re: multi city stops to usa is this pricing normal?

    At those sort of prices I'd look at ATW tickets as well. They've got to be a lot cheaper.
     
  9. d15.in.oz

    d15.in.oz Member

    Nov 28, 2006
    452
    0
    Hi there Vicki, sounds like a wonderful trip…

    My 2 minute internet searched turned up the following two bits of information –

    Webjet.com.au came up with (below) for A$1099pp
    QF547 Brisbane – Sydney 14/Sept 5.45 pm
    HA452 Sydney – Honolulu 14/Sept 9.00pm arr 10.40am

    HA 451 Honolulu-Sydney 20/Oct 12.30pm
    QF 556 Sydney-Brisbane 21/Oct 9.05pm

    Priceline.com came up with (below) for US$935pp
    AA162 Honolulu – Los Angeles 14/Sept 1.05pm
    AA276 Los Angeles – Miami 14/Sept 11.55pm

    AA523 Miami-Dallas 4/Oct 9.15am
    AA1815 Dallas-San Diego 4/Oct 12.40pm

    AA3058 San Diego-Los Angeles 20/Oct 6.15am
    AA31 Los Angeles-Honolulu 8.30am 20/Oct arr 11.10am

    Which comes to around A$2300pp total … now, if you can replicate it on your computer, & print it out - then go to a price matching “we won’t be beaten” travel agent and get them to do it all in one booking! (As you only want a cheap price, I haven’t taken into account FF programs and class of travel [but Hawaiian & Qantas participate in AA’s frequent flyer program]. Connections aren’t great, but better than flying via Denver. Plus - drive down to the Keys, the causeway is amazing.)

    You might also want to play around with LAX as the change over point between Australian website quotes and American website quotes, instead of HNL
     
  10. aussiecruisers

    aussiecruisers Junior Member

    Nov 25, 2006
    42
    4
    Thanks everyone for you info.

    I too have been searching and found a cheaper deal on expedia for $2957.25. However when I went to 'choose the flight' some error displayed. I forwarded the error to expedia and they replied that maybe all the data hadn't loaded yet and flights maybe missing in my request????? I will try again over the weekend and see if I am successful. My TA said he cannot match this at all. I have also put in a request to Flight C. Have yet to try Best Flights.

    If a price comes up under $3000 should a take it now? Or should I wait for a few months and see if the prices drop? My TA said he wouldn't wait as my connections are unusual and they could get booked out?
     
  11. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
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    I would forget about your travel agent. I do not think he could add any more value for your trip.

    The previous poster d15.in.oz has posted what looks a good deal at $2300/pp. Take that along to Flight Centre and see if they will match it.

    I think you are looking at around $2500/pp ball park figure. Don't settle for paying anything more and I would wait until January when the specials for September should be released.
     
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