I could go to the US twice with that money (& it took me a while to afford getting here)
July 6, 2011 4:44 PM   Subscribe

There's a New Years gig in Manchester I'm looking at attending, and I thought I'd make a trip of it by visiting my sister in Bristol (amongst other things). However, flights from Australia to England are ridiculously expensive. Is there a way I could fly to another European country and take a cheap flight (or some other form of transport) over?

I'm not sure how to search for "cheapest routes" that take into account budget airlines. My dates are flexible; the only crucial part is NYE in Manchester. I'm not sure a freighter ship across the Indian ocean is an option.
posted by divabat to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What's your budget? I recently got a return flight to London Heathrow from Sydney for ~$1,800, which I found here. I wouldn't expect you could do much better than that even stopping short in say Turkey and taking a budget flight from there. Plus, how much are you willing to save for the stress and hassle?
posted by smithsmith at 5:15 PM on July 6, 2011

Generally speaking, there are no European hubs that are cheaper to fly to than London. Flights to other hubs (Frankfurt, Paris, Amsterdam, Madrid) are not cheaper on Hipmunk or on Skyscanner but you could try a variety of dates. If "ridiculously expensive" is not in the budget, you may not be able to go to this gig.
posted by DarlingBri at 5:29 PM on July 6, 2011

Just yesterday, a colleague mentioned to me that Etihad was offering return fares to "Europe" (perhaps the colleague mentioned Paris specifically, but I am not sure) from Sydney for A$900. This may be worth exploring further.
posted by vidur at 6:07 PM on July 6, 2011

Play with Kayak Buzz? It doesn't look much more expensive to Europe than to the US. Flying from Sydney costs less.
posted by stereo at 6:46 PM on July 6, 2011

A few suggestions that might be worth looking into:

- Somehow or other, round the world fares can be cheaper than returns.

- Long haul returns can often come with coupons for internal flights; fly into [cheap european destination] and use the coupons to get to/from england.

- As above, but with frequent flyer points. A return trip from australia can generate a surprisingly large number of FF points, enough for short hops.

- Travel agents apparently only make around $50 commission per ticket, and you've got no obligation to book through them - just get a quote first. See if they can beat the best online price you can find, and if not, then no sale. The benefit of agents is that they can be proactive about unusual itineraries (eg my coupon suggestions above) and things like "if you fly x days earlier/later, you'll be in shoulder period, not peak"

- You have some kind of student status, don't you? STA have special airline discounts for students.

- Your local English expat rag (eg "British Balls") might have cheap advertised deals for homesick poms.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:36 PM on July 6, 2011

You might have already seen this, but one option could be to switch flights at LCCT; AirAsia to KL and AirAsiaX to LHR.

Or you could switch flights in Singapore; top of my head quotes, but it may be possible to get SYD - SIN return for about S$500-ish on JetStar, and S$1300-ish on SIN-Europe return. Which will give you S$1800-ish, or a 20% discount for paying for tickets in SGD.
posted by the cydonian at 9:59 PM on July 6, 2011

Oh boy, I should check websites before hitting post (or at least, wait for the other open tabs to load before doing so)

So turns out that Tiger's little tiff with CASA has had an immediate impact on JetStar; they've upped their prices _immediately_ . FlightLover now gives me prices that are at least twice as much as what I had quoted before. In which case, feel free to disregard what I just said.
posted by the cydonian at 10:08 PM on July 6, 2011

Can you stay a month or so? You've picked the absolute worst time of the year for expensive flights. If you could land in late November and leave mid-January it will be a lot cheaper. Also, flights out of Melbourne and Sydney are cheaper than those from Brisbane - check departures from those cities as well.
posted by goo at 2:45 AM on July 7, 2011

Response by poster: KL!! Why didn't I think of that, thanks cydonian.

I was getting prices within the $3100+ range so what you're saying is news to me. May be just out of reach but I can ask my sis if I could hang with her a while.
posted by divabat at 4:32 AM on July 7, 2011

It's still rather early for the discount fares to come out for December and January, so you will have to wait a little while longer.

For what it's worth, flights on China Eastern and Jet Airways have been pricing out relatively low for August (around USD1,000 excluding taxes and fees).
posted by armage at 9:56 PM on July 7, 2011

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