As most of you know I am an Aussie and regularly travel home several times per year. I have flown every routing there is to get down to the South Pacific, so I think it is safe to safe I am an expert who knows what works and what does not work. Here are some of my tips when looking for an airfare…. Cheers Dianne.
1/ Never ever wait until the last minute to book flights to Australia and New Zealand or the South Pacific Islands. This end of the world is very different to Europe and Cuba/Mexico when it comes to booking airfares.
2/ Since most people do not know how pricing works on flights let me give you an idea.
Basically if the flight has 450 seats on the aircraft the airline may allocate the first 10 seats to Australia for example at 1500.00 per person. Once those 10 seats have gone they may allocate the next 10 seats at 1700.00 per person, once those 10 seats have gone the next 10 seats may be at 2100.00 per person… and it goes up and up until you hit the really expensive seats and the seats are all full. This means if you are one of the people who sits and waits for a seat sale to come out and it never happens, that because you did not book early for your ticket you may actually end up paying way higher than you could have.
3/ As per above waiting for a seat sale is like gambling at a Casino.. You could win or you could lose from the waiting game.
4/ Just because a seat sale came out last year from Canada or the USA to Australia and/or New Zealand does not mean it will come out this year. Airlines look at many things before deciding on a sale. i.e are there any major events or conferences on in Australia or New Zealand during the year.
5/ Did you know that when an airline releases seat sales they only allocate so many seats on each aircraft. This means if you are hoping for a seat sale that the airline may only release for example 8 seats on a set flight. If you are a family of 4 and when you book there are only 2 seat sale seats left then you could get them… but remember the other 2 passengers will probably pay a way higher fare from waiting.. You still may have been better off just booking early. ( See tip number 2)
6/ Never ever try and play the game of doing multiple tickets to save money. Airlines do regular schedule changes and if one of them changes a flight which then has you mis-connecting on the next ticket neither airline has to assist you. This means you could be out even more money than paying for a whole through fare ticket, or worse still stranded if a flight is delayed when you are actually traveling.
7/ Base your airline choice around the airlines hub country if you wish to have some stopovers. For example it is often cheaper to fly to Australia with Air New Zealand and have a stopover in New Zealand then it is just to fly to New Zealand on its own. Another example… if you wanted a stopover in Singapore then you would fly with Singapore Airlines to Australia/ New Zealand and have your stopover in Singapore on the way through. As mentioned most national carriers usually land in their home country when flying to the South Pacific, so why not utilise what is often a free stopover ( of course you still have to pay for your own hotel!)
8/ Do the math on the total cost of the airfare. Just because it seems cheap it may not be if the taxes and fuel surcharges are added on. Each airline has different fuel surcharges and also every airport you land at has its own taxes.
9/ Be savvy and pick the airline that suits your needs. Never ever just base it on price. Did you know that Air New Zealand only allows you to carry one checked bag on its flights to New Zealand and Australia, but Qantas allows you to still take 2 free of charge. But then Qantas makes you pay for select seating on its flights and Air New Zealand does not. So if you are tall and your seat choice matters, but you are only carrying one bag, then look at airlines which give you your wants and needs to make it a way more enjoyable flight. In this case it would make sense to fly with Air New Zealand if the price was good.
10/ When making a decision on how to choose your flights from Canada and the US to Australia and New Zealand remember to rely on your Travel Specialist. GoWalkabout Travel staff know all of the airports, airlines and routings to get you down to the South Pacific. If you are about to pay a lot of money departing from Canada or the USA, and fly for 14-15 hours minimum why would you not want someone to assist you with making a decision and guiding you.
To find out more info on flights please contact us.
Photo: Courtesy of Qantas Australia.