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LHR to SYD Options

Old 11th Feb 2013, 12:47
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LHR to SYD Options

I'm looking at options for getting from LHR to SYD and back again, later this year (September/October), in premium economy or business. I was hoping to use my Amex companion voucher but surprise surprise there is almost zilch availability on BA for such reward flights.

So given I'll probably be coughing up the full fare myself, which carriers are best value for PE/business on that route?
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Old 11th Feb 2013, 13:10
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As always with questions like this: It depends what aspects of serivce provision YOU consider 'good value'.

All the seat sizes are available via multiple web sites and the carriers often have videos of the cabins - although the width of view is sometimes questionable!

You don't specify which UK airport is your starting point, or if you will link from the continent, or only wish to consider going direct from the UK.
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Old 11th Feb 2013, 13:19
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Gee PaxBoy, I thought LHR was an airport.
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Old 11th Feb 2013, 13:19
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You don't specify which UK airport is your starting point, or if you will link from the continent, or only wish to consider going direct from the UK.
Starting point = LHR = Heathrow, UK
End point = SYD = Sydney, Australia
Return flight, over a two week(ish) period. Want to fly direct from UK to Oz (don't mind where the stop is). Am flexible on dates.
Sorry if that wasn't clearer in my OP.
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Old 11th Feb 2013, 13:38
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as paxboy said there are a lot of options - you can bet the obvious ones (BA, QANTAS & SIA) will be expensive, Malaysian & Thai are better value normally

A lot of people now use one of the Mid-east airlines

You can get better rates (and lower APD) if you use a Continental starting point normally

The long way round via Japan, HK or Korea is often cheaper but it's a longer trip

Don't use flights via Moscow........
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Old 11th Feb 2013, 14:54
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Given the flexibility that you have, you might want to consider whether any airline is either opening a new route, or adding more planes to an existing route.
I remember, (either on here or on flyer talk) that when Etihad were building their Paris/CdG business, they had some great deals for biz class. (But also some rotten connections).
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Old 11th Feb 2013, 19:41
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Don't use flights via Moscow........
What specifically is wrong with flying via Moscow? I've read some horror stories about Aeroflot, but they have been offering some ridiculously cheap fares between mainland Europe and Hong Kong which have been tempting me over the past few months. I hear Sheremetyevo has recently opened up a new terminal which makes transit less painful - has anyone experienced this recently (I.e. in the past 12 months)?

Also, I've read that it's possible to obtain a transit visa on arrival which would enable a passenger in transit to leave the airport for a few hours to explore Moscow - is this an option available to UK passport holders? (sorry for the thread drift but its a slightly related topic)...
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Old 11th Feb 2013, 20:00
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Cool

Don't know about the Amex thing, Cathay has preminum and Business, 5 times a day from LHR, most flts will give you around a 2 hour (or less) stop in HKG before flying on to Sydney, and the same coming back.
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Old 11th Feb 2013, 22:36
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Definitions?

To me "direct" means the same plane all the way. If that is the requirement then BA or Qantas. Everything else requires you to change planes somewhere. Mind you, I don't know what BA and QF do at their transit points. For all I know they may get you off the plane whilst they clean, restock and refuel.
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Old 12th Feb 2013, 01:01
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For all I know they may get you off the plane whilst they clean, restock and refuel.
As far as I know that is what happens - or at least what happened at SIN when I last flew the route a few years ago. It gives you the chance to stretch you legs and even to do a little shopping or have a smoke.

With BA, it is possible to leave LHR a little earlier on the LHR-SIN service, spend more time on the ground in SIN, and pick up the LHR-SIN-SYD flight. If you are interested in BA Executive Club Tier Points, changing flights in SIN gets you a few more than going all the way on the same flight.
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Old 12th Feb 2013, 01:28
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Ah, thanks ExXB, typing from the hip.
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Old 12th Feb 2013, 02:06
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Virgin Atlantic fly via Hong Kong. Or Virgin Australia also have joint ticketing with SIA or Etihad. Suggest an overnight stopover on the way and try not to get flights that land 6am in the morning so you have to stay awake all day.
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Old 12th Feb 2013, 06:27
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Given that LHR is again putting up its prices to penalise passengers who fly from there why not look at EK from LGW or even the regions to DXB. Plenty of options there.

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/busine...ard-2013_02_11

Last edited by crewmeal; 12th Feb 2013 at 06:27.
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Old 12th Feb 2013, 09:32
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To me "direct" means the same plane all the way. If that is the requirement then BA or Qantas. Everything else requires you to change planes somewhere. Mind you, I don't know what BA and QF do at their transit points. For all I know they may get you off the plane whilst they clean, restock and refuel.
Yep. I did LHR-SYD last March on the Qantas A380. They chuck you off at SGP, you have to take all your cabin baggage with you but all you do is sit in the departure gate for an hour then get back on the aircraft into exactly the same seat again.

Reason for the trip is it's my 40th in mid September so would like to go out there for a couple of weeks and see some more of the stuff we didn't see last year. Having qualified for the BA companion voucher on my Amex card I was looking at using that but it means having to buy one ticket purely on Avios and there's almost no availability for a 2 week return flight on Avios around then, so was looking at what the options are for paying with cash if you go PE or Business. Given that BA aren't the cheapest and I only have experiece of BA, Qantas and Virgin I was just looking for some suggestions/recommendations from "regulars" on that route. The only reason for plumping for a direct flight was to try and reduce the journey time / maximise the time out there as I can only really go for 2 weeks this time.

Last edited by silverelise; 12th Feb 2013 at 09:33.
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Old 12th Feb 2013, 15:13
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As a Sydney boy living in Europe for the past 12 years, and making the trip home on average twice a year, I've tried just about everything. Like you, my main priority is keeping the journey time as short as possible. While there are variations of an hour or so on the flight times of the different routings (the main variants being via SIN/KUL, HKG or DXB/AUH), it is the connection/transit time that makes most of the difference. Another factor to consider is how long you'll be waiting for the next flight if you miss a connection or there's some other problem with your originally booked flight.

My knowledge is a little dated as now that there are several long-haul options straight out of GVA I never go through LHR anymore. But I would summarize your options as follows:

SQ: pros: good connections, several flights a day, excellent service, SIN is good for transit. Cons: no PE, J class at the nosebleed end of the price spectrum.

QF/BA: steady and stolid, mediocre in every respect but will get you there in reasonable comfort. Generally good connections (although now somewhat reduced). PE available. But both PE and J way overpriced in my view. May be worth waiting to see what offers come up when the QF/EK tie-up is finalized in March.

CX: excellent connections, convenient schedules, good service, HKG convenient for transit. Would be my pick for PE; sometimes good J deals.

EK: shiny planes, generally good service, reasonable connections. Very nice in J, but no PE. Sometimes good deals in J (but seems to be getting rarer). Big con: DXB is bursting at the seams. Even the J-class lounge is like a human tide at peak times.

EY: my current favourite. No PE, but often keenly priced in J. Not sure what the connections are like from LHR (it's currently the fastest route GVA-SYD). Lovely service, genuinely friendly. AUH not great, but much more pleasant than DXB.

MK and TG: Fine when things go well; a nightmare when they don't. Can be very good value in J, but somehow never are when I need to travel. I wouldn't use these for a short visit of two weeks, as you risk losing a day or two if things go wrong.

I haven't tried Virgin - that would be your only other PE option I think (unless you are willing to add a stop in Europe, which opens up many other possibilities).

The last time I was in Oz, China Southern was heavily promoting its new SYD-LHR route via Guangzhou. No idea what the connection is like, but if it's good it might be worth checking out for cheap J-class deals.
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Old 12th Feb 2013, 16:16
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EK: shiny planes, generally good service, reasonable connections. Very nice in J, but no PE. Sometimes good deals in J (but seems to be getting rarer). Big con: DXB is bursting at the seams. Even the J-class lounge is like a human tide at peak times.
Not anymore due to the new dedicated A380 terminal. Just opened and definitely not full, yet!
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Old 13th Feb 2013, 08:31
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Thanks guys, definitely some great info there and plenty of food for thought.
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Old 18th Feb 2013, 11:24
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I fly the route every month at the moment.

Only thing I would add (others mentioned in passing) is that if you do want direct (meaning, as others said, getting out of the plane at SIN) is that post March BA will be swapping the 747 for 777-300 and QF will be running via Dubai so the full picture is a little hazy.

The stop in SIN (current route) is pretty easy. Stretching the legs and even getting a shower (if you really hurry) more than offset the inconvenience and the timings of the stops are OK as a natural break between two (eastbound) or before one (westbound) overnight sector.
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Old 18th Feb 2013, 15:33
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"What specifically is wrong with flying via Moscow? I've read some horror stories about Aeroflot, but they have been offering some ridiculously cheap fares between mainland Europe and Hong Kong which have been tempting me over the past few months. I hear Sheremetyevo has recently opened up a new terminal which makes transit less painful - has anyone experienced this recently (I.e. in the past 12 months)?

Also, I've read that it's possible to obtain a transit visa on arrival which would enable a passenger in transit to leave the airport for a few hours to explore Moscow - is this an option available to UK passport holders? (sorry for the thread drift but its a slightly related topic)..."

The flights have always been one of the cheapest (if not THE cheapest) ways from Europe to S asia/ Australia - but the service is highly variable and sometimes non-existant, if something goes wrong you can get stuck and Moscow is a hellishly expensive place if you have to find a hotel at the last minute. And the idea of volunteering to line up for a visa on arrival..................

No thanks
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Old 19th Feb 2013, 09:25
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I'm flying down to Australlia with EY in June for the British Lions tour and quite frankly cannot wait! EY were by far the most competitive on business class pricing and offered a variety of options for connecting flights with Virgin Australia as well as extremely user friendly booking staff. Less than 3000 hours to departure!
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