What will it cost to fly when the borders open again (domestic or international)

Seat0B

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I put in a fare watch for QF return Business Class flights CBR-HND for late January/early February 2022 some while ago, just to give me something to do.

On the left are the results from 25 August 2021 (ie before it became clear that the PM was willing to open the international borders in time for Christmas), which had remained the same since around March when I first put in the fare watch. Compare this to the results onthe right from 9 September 2021 (ie yesterday, when people are seriously thinking we will be able to travel soon).

I note the different routings offered - but I did not specify a routing, just that I wanted the cheapest airfare between the two locations.

I understand the airlines have had a lean time, but this is a very steep rise in the airfare. So what do we think it is going to cost once the borders open again?

1631251305213.png 1631251442961.png
 

Seat0B

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I'm thinking that it makes award seats look like the best option, if you can get them.

I'm sure things will eventually settle, but a few people on here, including @jb747 and some others I forget (sorry) have been consistently saying for a while that the days of cheap flying are gone, at least for the short-medium term of recovery.
 

Matt_01

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@Seat0B it could also be what fare buckets QF are releasing at the moment. Out of interest I used the same search dates as you posted but started from ADL. On the same dates as yours there is some very odd routing through a couple of AU states or through SIN and most of the fares were J saver or J flex. If I changed to 26/1 and returned 8/2 J discount was available and the price dropped to $4300. From what I have observed QF seems to be playing with the schedules on an ongoing basis and prices seem to fluctuate for no apparent reason. When I asked the VIP team about this I was advised there are some known issues which they (QF) are working on to resolve.
 
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One thing I note is that whilst Qantas is somewhat bullish on their international flying schedule, none of the other international airlines are so there aren’t a lot of seats or flights, I expect this will change over the coming weeks as details on the end of the travel ban become more concrete.
 

Seat0B

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@Seat0B it could also be what fare buckets QF are releasing at the moment. Out of interest I used the same search dates as you posted but started from ADL. On the same dates as yours there is some very odd routing through a couple of AU states or through SIN and most of the fares were J saver or J flex. If I changed to 26/1 and returned 8/2 J discount was available and the price dropped to $4300. From what I have observed QF seems to be playing with the schedules on an ongoing basis and prices seem to fluctuate for no apparent reason. When I asked the VIP team about this I was advised there are some known issues which they (QF) are working on to resolve.
That's great intel thanks @Matt_01. It's highly unlikely that I will make this trip - it was just my guilty little pleasure to think that I might!

I am actually looking pretty hard right now at a trip to Singapore in March 2022 to catch up with Seat Son. That's his next available leave window given his court commitments, and Singapore just seems easier for him to get to from DXB than coming all the way here and who knows what will happen. So I will use some of the principles you've outlined to search more effectively.
 

Happy Trails

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I put in a fare watch for QF return Business Class flights CBR-HND for late January/early February 2022 some while ago, just to give me something to do.

On the left are the results from 25 August 2021 (ie before it became clear that the PM was willing to open the international borders in time for Christmas), which had remained the same since around March when I first put in the fare watch. Compare this to the results onthe right from 9 September 2021 (ie yesterday, when people are seriously thinking we will be able to travel soon).

I note the different routings offered - but I did not specify a routing, just that I wanted the cheapest airfare between the two locations.

I understand the airlines have had a lean time, but this is a very steep rise in the airfare. So what do we think it is going to cost once the borders open again?
ANA currently have a promotion offering 30% off SYD-Japan fares from Dec1 to Aug 31 2022.
So from around $3100 SYD-HND in J.
Unfortunately though it's restricted to designated email recipients, but perhaps encouraging nonetheless.

 
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hum - any paid J fares I've search from about mid-2022 have been sky high (e.g SYD-Europe or SYD-YVR/YYZ) - I've been booking award seats on my desired routes as soon as the booking window(s) open - trying to use up all those FF points which may be next to worthless if and when international really travel opens up.
 
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OATEK

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I have paid over the odds for QF1/2 in March in J. There were not a lot of options, and the booking has done wonders for our mental health with the chance for family reunion after 2.5 years.

The world has changed in many ways in the last two years, not just from Covid. The incident in Doha has had an influence on Mrsoatek, and the CCP takeover of Hong Kong has had impact in the minds of both of us. The routes out are narrow at present with some of the best OW deals being via HKG.

Thinking about Dec 2022 for the following trip and hoping the fares might be past their peak by then, with some different options. Wouldn't mind if BA brought their new J fitout down under sometime next year..
 

Eastwick20

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In my opinion even Qantas are playing a wishful thinking guessing game as to what may or may not happen with international.

I think the main decider on where fares go will be when foreign airlines come back to Australia and with what kind of schedule they bring with them.

Right now there isn’t a lot of choice so your going to pay what ever the few airlines flying into the country want you to pay...because they can.

Assuming international carriers come back with a vengeance I believe fares will be fairly competitive as they were pre covid

There will be a initial surge as people who really want/need to travel go for it but I think unlike domestic travel the general Australian public will be very weary on travelling overseas, and that should keep fares reasonable

What I don’t think we will see for a while is international fares on sale which might give the perception that fares are higher.
 

OATEK

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In my opinion even Qantas are playing a wishful thinking guessing game as to what may or may not happen with international.

I think the main decider on where fares go will be when foreign airlines come back to Australia and with what kind of schedule they bring with them.

Right now there isn’t a lot of choice so your going to pay what ever the few airlines flying into the country want you to pay...because they can.

Assuming international carriers come back with a vengeance I believe fares will be fairly competitive as they were pre covid

There will be a initial surge as people who really want/need to travel go for it but I think unlike domestic travel the general Australian public will be very weary on travelling overseas, and that should keep fares reasonable

What I don’t think we will see for a while is international fares on sale which might give the perception that fares are higher.
Yes, can't disagree. The fares for first 6-9 months will be at their peak, and will only drift down as volume goes up.
 

Laptop Jockey

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I think the prices at the moment aren't really indicative of what will be on offer and it is really just a dart board guess for those willing to try their luck (which are almost certainly going to be much wealthier people who don't care if a flight gets cancelled/delayed for another three months)

That said I think a confluence of factors will likely keep prices high for a while once they do open:
1. There are a lot of flight credits in people's hands that are both a liability as they are not new revenue for Qantas, but also a captive market; people have to use them and are ripe for price gouging.
2. All airlines have taken a shillacking over the last two years and genuinely need to stock up the coffers but also improve the books for further financing in order to get back to upgrades in fleets, cabins, lounges etc. Bringing all these aircraft back to service alone isn't cheap, crew retraining and recertification etc all week cost addition money too.
3. Competition and capacity on certain routes will probably be a restricted as airlines test the waters, but also as it will take time to bring aircraft back on line from boneyards, plus many aircraft have been permanently decommissioned, many crews outright laid off etc. The reality is for 2022 and possibly 2023 global capacity will not be high, and cannot be ramped up to 2019 levels even if airlines wanted to.
That lack of competition and capacity will help keep fares fairly fat for airlines anywhere that can't be flooded with capacity. Routes like Japan are probably a good example, where you'll have QF, JAL and possibly ANA getting into the mix, and i suspect many people will probably be reluctant to go via Singapore or particularly HK, and will be willing to pay more to avoid super connector hubs, especially one in southern China.
 

Telemachus

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There will be a initial surge as people who really want/need to travel go for it but I think unlike domestic travel the general Australian public will be very weary on travelling overseas, and that should keep fares reasonable

What I don’t think we will see for a while is international fares on sale which might give the perception that fares are higher.
I agree with this and other judgements in the same and other recent posts. It’s a completely unprecedented situation, though, and fares could jump around, both up and down, as the carriers’ calculations of demand change in response to events. If demand exceeds seat capacity before return of carriers that have quit the AU market, and before expansion of services by those who have kept coming here, there will be little competitive pressure on pricing.

It’s significant that BARA and AAA have made public noises about needing certainty now from the federal govt about how and when the key changes will happen. Long lead times for scheduling etc mean that carriers can’t just switch services back on at short notice: hence the recent warning shot about some international airlines not returning at all. So it seems unlikely that choice will expand much until (say) Feb-Mar 2022 or later, and carriers will first want clarity about when non-citizens can fly in without any form of quarantine on arrival.

It’s interesting to see how fares inflated by the cap on international arrivals have begun to move in the last month, at least on J fares to UK which I’ve been watching. Until the PM declared that the outbound ban and inbound cap might be lifted pre-Xmas, only the highest fare classes were available for return sectors on routes of interest to me. That began to change in late Aug though fares for departure in the 14 days pre-Xmas remained prohibitively high before dropping back in early Sep. Read into all that what you will.

I’m keen to get to the UK for Xmas (family reasons) so in late Aug I made a mid-Dec booking for AU-UK return flights so as to get something in the system in case fares increased and/or seats became scarce. There is still good flexibility on changing dates for no fee. I’ve since amended the booking to depart a couple of days pre-Xmas so as to maximise chances of exemption-free travel having started by the time I go. Still watching the market closely in case something better comes along. Just one or two other risks to this trip actually happening, of course.

First post from a newly fledged member.
 

Ade

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I agree with this and other judgements in the same and other recent posts. It’s a completely unprecedented situation, though, and fares could jump around, both up and down, as the carriers’ calculations of demand change in response to events. If demand exceeds seat capacity before return of carriers that have quit the AU market, and before expansion of services by those who have kept coming here, there will be little competitive pressure on pricing.

It’s significant that BARA and AAA have made public noises about needing certainty now from the federal govt about how and when the key changes will happen. Long lead times for scheduling etc mean that carriers can’t just switch services back on at short notice: hence the recent warning shot about some international airlines not returning at all. So it seems unlikely that choice will expand much until (say) Feb-Mar 2022 or later, and carriers will first want clarity about when non-citizens can fly in without any form of quarantine on arrival.

It’s interesting to see how fares inflated by the cap on international arrivals have begun to move in the last month, at least on J fares to UK which I’ve been watching. Until the PM declared that the outbound ban and inbound cap might be lifted pre-Xmas, only the highest fare classes were available for return sectors on routes of interest to me. That began to change in late Aug though fares for departure in the 14 days pre-Xmas remained prohibitively high before dropping back in early Sep. Read into all that what you will.

I’m keen to get to the UK for Xmas (family reasons) so in late Aug I made a mid-Dec booking for AU-UK return flights so as to get something in the system in case fares increased and/or seats became scarce. There is still good flexibility on changing dates for no fee. I’ve since amended the booking to depart a couple of days pre-Xmas so as to maximise chances of exemption-free travel having started by the time I go. Still watching the market closely in case something better comes along. Just one or two other risks to this trip actually happening, of course.

First post from a newly fledged member.
Welcome to AFF, @Telemachus
 

OATEK

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I think the prices at the moment aren't really indicative of what will be on offer and it is really just a dart board guess for those willing to try their luck (which are almost certainly going to be much wealthier people who don't care if a flight gets cancelled/delayed for another three months)

That said I think a confluence of factors will likely keep prices high for a while once they do open:
1. There are a lot of flight credits in people's hands that are both a liability as they are not new revenue for Qantas, but also a captive market; people have to use them and are ripe for price gouging.
2. All airlines have taken a shillacking over the last two years and genuinely need to stock up the coffers but also improve the books for further financing in order to get back to upgrades in fleets, cabins, lounges etc. Bringing all these aircraft back to service alone isn't cheap, crew retraining and recertification etc all week cost addition money too.
3. Competition and capacity on certain routes will probably be a restricted as airlines test the waters, but also as it will take time to bring aircraft back on line from boneyards, plus many aircraft have been permanently decommissioned, many crews outright laid off etc. The reality is for 2022 and possibly 2023 global capacity will not be high, and cannot be ramped up to 2019 levels even if airlines wanted to.
That lack of competition and capacity will help keep fares fairly fat for airlines anywhere that can't be flooded with capacity. Routes like Japan are probably a good example, where you'll have QF, JAL and possibly ANA getting into the mix, and i suspect many people will probably be reluctant to go via Singapore or particularly HK, and will be willing to pay more to avoid super connector hubs, especially one in southern China.
While we have the cash to enable us to purchase fares for our trip to UK in March 2022, I wouldn't say we are "much wealthier" not knowing to whom we are being compared. We are desperate to see family, and certainly WILL care if the flight is cancelled.
It’s significant that BARA and AAA have made public noises about needing certainty now from the federal govt about how and when the key changes will happen. Long lead times for scheduling etc mean that carriers can’t just switch services back on at short notice: hence the recent warning shot about some international airlines not returning at all. So it seems unlikely that choice will expand much until (say) Feb-Mar 2022 or later, and carriers will first want clarity about when non-citizens can fly in without any form of quarantine on arrival.

It’s interesting to see how fares inflated by the cap on international arrivals have begun to move in the last month, at least on J fares to UK which I’ve been watching. Until the PM declared that the outbound ban and inbound cap might be lifted pre-Xmas, only the highest fare classes were available for return sectors on routes of interest to me. That began to change in late Aug though fares for departure in the 14 days pre-Xmas remained prohibitively high before dropping back in early Sep. Read into all that what you will.

I’m keen to get to the UK for Xmas (family reasons) so in late Aug I made a mid-Dec booking for AU-UK return flights so as to get something in the system in case fares increased and/or seats became scarce. There is still good flexibility on changing dates for no fee. I’ve since amended the booking to depart a couple of days pre-Xmas so as to maximise chances of exemption-free travel having started by the time I go. Still watching the market closely in case something better comes along. Just one or two other risks to this trip actually happening, of course.

First post from a newly fledged member.
Welcome to the forum @Telemachus, and hope your plans for Christmas are realised.
 

Ade

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So what do we think it is going to cost once the borders open again?
My hunch is the concept of flying "at a moments notice" will become restricted & dear.

People might no longer be able to take the "first available flight" without cutting a rather, very deep hole in one's pocket (or an organisation's pocket, for those lucky to be flying for work)

The impact of the increase in fares will be felt sharply by people flying any class on any airline. Meaning, I used to pay $1600 return for a QF Y Flex, multi-city trip to India pre-CoVID. Now, this trip will cost me nothing less than $2200. That's $600 more than what I normally pay and I do this trip at least 4 times a year. So that's $2400 extra every year. F & J trips prices will increase x-fold. I checked F & J trips to India via DXB, SIN, HKG and the fares are in the $10K-$13K mark, which, honestly, I can't afford economically and don't see the value in spending $10K on a flight ticket, when I'm a self-funded traveller.

The other thing to note is the uncertainty that will last for at least couple of years post re-opening of flights. Meaning, there will a number of pax that might not take the trips they are booked for. For any reasons including fear of catching CoVID, already caught CoVID and is unable to travel, not fully vaccinated, destination country has a sudden spike in cases etc. So all of this will bring in a certain "uncertainty" that will add cost to the fares. This uncertainty will also become a motivator for overbooking, which pretty much all airlines did pandemic or not.

Re domestic travel fares : If there is one good thing the pandemic did, it is showing people that they have the ability to save $$ by not flying, by not eating out 3-4 times week, by not walking to your local watering hole and spend $7 for a schooner when you can go to your local Dan's and get a case for $40 and put it in your fridge. And earn points by doing all this. So those that have been lucky enough to have a job, work from home and earn the same salary they did before the pandemic, now have CASH that they have not spent and points they have accrued. This is the right time to boost local/domestic tourism. A lot of companies are promoting local tourism, but more should be done. My feeling is, if more people take domestic holidays, spend money within Australia - the economy grows and importantly, there will be less takers for international tickets, which could, if not in practice, in theory bring the international airfares down, over a period of time. Now, I agree what I make is a shaky point, but I think it might just work.

Re : using points for booking - My understanding is given that the cash fares are becoming expensive, those that are "point-rich" will try and redeem tickets. But because not many have been redeeming their points due to the pandemic, they will now flock the airline with redemption requests, which will again, make the airline to increase the points needed for redemption. This may not happen tomorrow or next month or next 6 months. But I expect airlines to increase the points needed for flights considerably to reduce some of that point debt they've been accruing.

So, IMHO, all in all - the concept of flying "at a moments notice" will become restricted & dear.​
 
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Seat0B

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First post from a newly fledged member.
Welcome to AFF @Telemachus. There are some very lovely helpful and knowledgeable people on here.

I hope you make it to the UK for Christmas.

I'm not actually planning to go to Japan until Feb 2023, but just wanted to keep an eye on it for keeping a positive frame of mind. My first likely trip will be to Singapore, probably around March 2022, to meet up with my son who lives in Dubai who I haven't seen for coming up to 2 years now. He was supposed to be in Australia right now, but cuts to caps and lockdowns and flight cancellation prevented that. March is our next opportunity as he works as a lawyer and has big court deadlines between October and March. So I really hope that @Laptop Jockey's predictions of high costs until 2023 are not what actually happens, and that your suggestion of better times ahead for Q2 2022 are on the money!
 

Seat0B

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I agree with everything you said @Ade. It's a struggle for me too as we used to visit our son in Dubai once a year, and have him visit us here at least once a year, and meet somewhere else for a family holiday (eg Japan, USA) once a year. With steep increases in airfares, we will probably have to cut back. But I am points rich after many cancellations and Mr Seat 0A also has a lot of points, so we might start putting in some award bookings and just wear cancellation points losses if needs be.
 

MEL_Traveller

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I posted in another thread - email received from QF today flogging holidays to Singapore and Fiji from 10 January 2022. 'Dust off your passport' or something similar. Anyway - the price of the hotels and hotels+airfare is listed separately. From Sydney to Fiji they are asking $1300 $650 extra for the economy airfare, off peak.

Edited: although it doesn't say it in the main advertisement, the package is actually for two pax, making it more reasonable.
 
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