Where to start with OS trip?

Discussion in 'Your Questions' started by chrispy, Mar 10, 2007.

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  1. chrispy

    chrispy Newbie

    Mar 10, 2007
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    Newbie member here. :oops:

    Am Qantas Gold FF want to go to (no particualr order) New York, Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Africa (4 day safari), Mauritius or tahiti (prefer to do this last to chill out before returning home) in Sept / Oct 2007 for 6 weeks with Fiance. Not intersted in a coach / guided tour.

    Am confused by all the brochures and don't know where to start and how to optimise FF status!!!

    What is the best order to do these countries in to minimise airfare cost?

    What is the best ticket to purchase (through who)?

    Would like to fly business class on long legs if not all if possible so was thinking about full fare economy ticket purchase and then upgrading (have 240,000 points to play with)? Is this the way to do it?

    Thanks
     

  2. NM

    NM
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    Welcome to AFF
    The best airfare will likely be an Around The World (ATW) type fare such as OneWorld Explorer or Global Explorer. There are lots of rules for the these fares that you will need to understand in order to maximise the value of the fare for both visiting the places you want to visit and for FF benefits.

    So the best order will be determined by the type of fare purchased. You have noted that want to end the journey at wither Mauritius or Tahiti. Note that the only way to tarvel to/from Tahiti using OneWorld ATW products is with the Global Explorer and using the QF codeshare on TN (Air Tahiti Nui) to/from Australia and Papeete (PPT) and USA and PPT. Mauritius (MRU) can be reached by BA from both LHR and JNB.

    My guess is that using a OneWorld Explorer fare and visiting MRU is going to be better value than the Global Explorer needed to include PPT. You could route a 5 continent OneWorld Explorer something like:

    SYD-LAX-JFK-FCO-BCN-ATH-LHR-JNB-MRU-JNB-SYD. This would require either a train or separate ticket to France from Spain (cheapest and quickest way). You could fly one way either BCN-CDG or LHR-CDG and use separate ticket or train the other way, or purchase an additional segment for the Europe continent. You only get 4 segments in Europe included in the OneWorld Explorer fare but can purchase additional segments if desired.
    I would recommend OneWorld Explorer ticket purchased through AA for this trip.
    A Business Class ATW fare (such as DONE4) will cost you in the order of $9699 plus taxes and charges. An economy class ATW will cost about $3309 (High Season) or $3129 (Low Season).

    It is not viable to purchase full fare economy tickets for such as journey as it will cost you more than the business class ATW fare. There is no such beast as a full-fare economy ATW product. so it would need to be purchased as a string of one-way flights making it very expensive.

    If wanting to use QF FF points to upgrade, your only options are on QF operated flights and on the routing I suggested above that would be SYD-JFK and JNB-SYD. Note that both these routes can be very difficult to win the upgrade wiatlist lottery unless you have Platinum FF status.

    If you want to travel in business class, then expect to pay about three times the fare. One way to reduce the cost of a business class ATW fare is to use your QF FF points to get to a starting point where the fare is cheaper, such as Colombo, Sri Lanka. That can save a few thousand dollars off the fare is purchased in Australia.

    You could certainly optimise a OneWorld Explorer to include many more destinations and much enhanced FF earning. You would still have up to 6 segments available in North America, and could add on up to 4 segments in Australia with a maximum of 2 stopovers in Australia.
     
  3. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    Welcome to AFF chrispy :)

    I make that a 4 continent xONE4 (One World Explorer).
     
  4. NM

    NM
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    Yes it is 4. And the prices I quoted are 4. Initially I was expecting it to be 5, but can avoid Asia so only 4.
     
  5. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    If going business class may be easier said than done. JNB-LHR vv route very hard to get availability in the required D booking class.
     
  6. NM

    NM
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    Depends on when travelling. Yes, it can be unavailable for long periods, but can be ok at other times. But not much choice really apart from perhaps going LHR-CPT or even LHR-MRU but that does not get MRU at the end of the trip.
     
  7. d15.in.oz

    d15.in.oz Member

    Nov 28, 2006
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    LHR-South Africa; check which city (JNB or CPT) is receiving the BA seasonal second service… then look for seats to there!
     
  8. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    When I was trying to go there were two flights a day. Both blocked in discounted business class for many months ahead of departure.
     
  9. NM

    NM
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    Could always route LHR-MRU-JNB-MRU-JNB-SYD and have a sneak preview of MRU on the way to South Africa.
     
  10. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    Sure, if you have enough sectors and time (and assuming availability of course). On my trip I didn't have time or sectors in hand to do that (and not sure MRU-JNB was operating then either).
     
  11. NM

    NM
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    Ahh, but we are not talking about your trip, we are talking about options for chrispy ;)
     
  12. chrispy

    chrispy Newbie

    Mar 10, 2007
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    Thank you everyone very very much for your information. I really appreciate it. The valuable advice has given me a great starting point for more research and to be able to ask the right questions.
    Thanks heaps - a great Community!!!!

    Cheers
    Chris
    :)
     
  13. TravelCheap

    TravelCheap Junior Member

    Mar 13, 2007
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    Another newbie here .... so a coupla things:
    any 'glossary' of terms on this site since I see everyone using Y and J etc (which I think are seat classes?) and other stuff I have no clue about.

    I also need travel advice: I have to go to London in September and the wife wants to fly Business this time. Any recommended cheapies? We're QFF but blew 10 years of points last year flying business to LHR (hence my wife has had a taste) and Qantas seem one of the more expensive carriers if you're paying.

    I'd like to avoid the US if poss but as the moniker suggests, price will be the decider! :) Besides, it now seeems EVERYONE is following those draconian security rules.

    I spent some time looking at the Malaysian Air site today but couldn't understand it. Ditto for Emirates. (Ah, the Qantas site is so easy to navigate)

    Oh yes, I'm travelling also with a 5 yr old girl. She's a complete angel when travelling (no lie!) but we prefer not to take long routes (or at least an easy stopover, no far off diversions - I don't want to go via Hgerbinostov)
     
  14. serfty

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    #14 serfty, Mar 13, 2007
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2007
  15. NM

    NM
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    Welcome to AFF. You may like to have a read of this sticky post in the Your Questions forum for an explanation of some of our jargaon.
    You may find some cheaper business class options to locations other than London, and then look for a cheap way to getting from there to London (train, cheap flight etc) Note that when flying long-haul business class from London, there is now an 80 pound tax which is double the rate for economy travel and also more than short-haul departures. So you can save it bit by flying the long-haul segments from somewhere other than London or ensuring you only transit London to avoid it.

    Looks for deals from carriers like Malaysian, Ethiad, Emirates, Royal Brunei, Gulf Air etc. There are also often special deals with mixed carriers and sometimes mixed class such as econpmy to Tokyo and business class from there using QF/JL, or via BKK using QF and AY (Finn Air). Have a look at sites like Bestflights.com.au for the current deals.

    Another option if you cannot afford business class is to find a premium economy product. Try NZ via USA or Canada, BA World traveller Plus, or Virgin Atlantic for some options.
     
  16. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    Welcome to AFF TravelCheap :)

    Where are you flying from?
     
  17. TravelCheap

    TravelCheap Junior Member

    Mar 13, 2007
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    Auckland of course (do the other cities do International flights now? I thought they were all domestic hangars? :rolleyes: )

    Thanks for all the suggestions everybody - I will work my way thru them!

    NM ~ I'm interested in that 80 pound levy on business - is that a weight allowance or tax a on the rich :shock: for carbon pollution? NB - a friend of mine who flies BA to LHR regularly says his agent warned him BA were about to follow the lo-cost carriers and start charging for more than one item of luggage. Know any more?
     
  18. simongr

    simongr Enthusiast

    Jul 10, 2006
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    The UK Chanellor increased the Passenger Duty back in December. If you are flying long haul out of the UK you now pay a levy of 80pounds per person. If you transit/short haul out of the UK (i.e. fly DUB-LHR-SYD or LHR-FRA-SYD - I think) you dont pay.

    BA have gone to one piece of luggage for economy passengers - a weight limit of 32KG currently and 23kg from later this year.

    FYI - it wasnt clear from your first post that you actually based in NZ :)

    Cheers

    S
     
  19. serfty

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    The "AIR PASSENGER DUTY" tax is all international departures from eggland to most non EU countries: £40 for WHY and £80 for any 'premium' cabin (including BA's WT+).

    See page 38 of this: Country Taxes H-Z
     
  20. NM

    NM
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    Those are the rates for departures to far flung places like Asia (which will include flights to Australia). Its cheaper for departures to European and UK domestic locations.

    The rate is set at two levels for each destination category, the lower being for all non-exempt passengers in the lowest class of service, and the higher (double the amount) for all non-exempt passengers in any other class of service. That used to create an interesting situation for Concorde where all passengers were in the same class so therefore all at the lower rate of the levy.

    This levy was recently doubled, causing a significant increase in taxes on non-exempt premium cabin long-haul departures from the UK.

    So yes, this tax is not based on recovering any operations and administrative costs, but based on screwing as much as possible from those who they think can most afford to pay.
     
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