|Asian Incense Roadside Market Stall|
To be honest, I’m a bit out of touch with American airfare wars. I’ve been living in Sydney for over three years now and, as a result, I’m well versed on the low cost carriers in the Asia Pacific region.
JetStar, a subsidiary of Qantas, flies throughout Australia, has a few flights to New Zealand, and connects Australia to Asian Jetstar flights through many Southeast Asian cities. A friend and I recently flew round-trip (return) from Sydney to Osaka via Cairns for $500 per person. This is half off the normal fare.
Virgin Australia (formerly Virgin Blue) again flies within Australia. Subsidiary Polynesia Blue connects Australia to the South Pacific Islands, including New Zealand, Tonga, Samoa, Fiji and Vanuatu. Again, I recently purchased a Go!Fare from Sydney to Queenstown for $129, returning from Christchurch for $99. For me, the purchase price is more cost effective than award redemption. I personally prefer to keep my miles for longer haul flights.
A friend recently challenged me to find a ticket to London using only low cost carriers.
Here’s how I did it:
SYD (Sydney) to either MEL (Melbourne) or OOL (Gold Coast) Virgin, Jetstar or Tiger Airways approximately $50.
MEL or OOL – KUL (Kuala Lumpur) on Air Asia X – I’ve seen prices as low as $100 but it’s usually around $200-300. Note: Air Asia X also flies directly on to London Stanstead for another $400-500. However, for the sake of adventure:
KUL – CMB (Colombo, Sri Lanka) on Air Asia. This price is variable but, again, I’ve seen ridiculously low fares around $50.
CMB – DXB (Dubai) on Fly Dubai – about $50.
DXB - SAW (Istanbul) on Fly Dubai – again about $50.
SAW - STN (London Stanstead) on Easy Jet – around 70 Euro.
So piecing together one-way tickets: Sydney to London at a rough minimum of $500 with some pretty interesting stop-overs.
With the expanse of low cost carrier networks, I imagine we’ll be in for some more interesting routes in the future. What also seems promising is that these carriers are slowly picking up on the benefits of frequent flyer incentives; i.e. credit cards and reward programs. Does anyone have any other creative low cost carrier routes they’ve planned? What were your experiences?