The trick is to avoid the “Australia tax” by buying tickets overseas. Most airlines charge a premium on tickets purchased from Australia. But return Business class tickets from Asia to Europe cost just a fraction of the price. By buying tickets from Asia, then supplementing these with paid or points bookings from Australia to Asia, you’re likely to save thousands. So, what’s the best way to do this?
What is the best way to go about buying a cheaper return BIZ or PE fare from Asia to EUR please?
I am looking at warehousing my few remaining points; earning what points I can over the next couple of years; use these points for a return award seat from AU to Asia; and then pay for a Biz or PE return fare to EUR.
It’s not uncommon to find return Business class fares from various points in Asia to Europe for just $2,000 during a good promotion.
If you have the time and flexibility you could wait for a suitable promotion. The last two years I’ve been able to get BKK-LHR for around A$2000 with QR and AY for example. MH also have some good sales from time to time.
There are two main things that you need to consider when looking for the best deal. Firstly, you need to choose your Asian departure point carefully. There are often some good deals available from Bangkok, but Kuala Lumpur or Jakarta can also work well. Colombo in Sri Lanka is another good option.
Next, you need to keep an eye out for sales. One way to do this is to sign up for the airline newsletters of the likes of Finnair, Qatar Airways, Malaysia Airlines, Oman Air and Vietnam Airlines. A much quicker method is to use a website such as Google Flights or ITA Matrix to search for airfares from multiple destinations simultaneously.
Googleflights is a good starting point. They have a map where it lists prices based on multiple destinations from a given starting point. So you can try the usual favourites such as KUL, SIN, BKK, CGK, CMB (even HKG at times) and then use the map. KUL and CGK will give a lot of options from 2nd tier ME carriers such as Kuwait and Saudia. Oman Air often has specials our of SIN, KUL and MNL to Europe (well under AUD2000 in business class return). CMB is a great starting point, but by the time you get there you’re already half way to Europe.
If you’re a regular traveller between Australia and Europe, another possible strategy is to simply purchase return tickets from Europe. These are generally much cheaper than buying the same fares originating in Australia.
There’s another option… use your points to get one way to Europe and buy returns from Europe to Australia. But watch the validity of the return ticket as some have restrictions less than a year. Easy to get sub AUD3000 fares (return) in business class if you have flexibility of departure point in Europe. Even SQ had a special around that price recently.
The savings to be had are often better during peak periods. While airfares out of Australia can be very expensive during school holidays, for example, this is not generally the case for bookings departing from Asia.
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