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Perth To New York In DEC13/JAN14 In J Class  
User currently offlineBen175 From Australia, joined Jul 2008, 656 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 3984 times:

Hi A.netters,

This coming Christmas, my family of 5 is traveling from PER to NYC in J class as a "last family holiday" together as all my siblings are out of school now. I've been searching across many travel websites and came to the conclusion that the fares are pretty... well, out of this world - the median is about $11,800 AUD per person return. As we're forking out alot of cash, we'd rather spend a little more and go the likes of SQ, EK, QR etc as opposed to cheaper alternatives like UA, DL or JL.

I have a few questions -

When booking for such a large group, would it be cheaper to book through a travel agent?
Will fares get higher or lower as time goes on?
I have flown SQ in J numerous times, how does the EK J product on the 77W and 380 compare?

If any of you are keen to play travel agent, be my guest! I am looking at leaving Perth around December 21 and arriving home around January 7. We really don't want to spend hours hanging around in transit, so connection times of 5 hours maximum are what we're looking for.

Thanks,
Ben175

16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinePI4EVER From United States of America, joined May 2009, 599 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 3962 times:

Well considering you're flying during peak season to/from Australia, plus Christmas holiday travel which is very heavy for domestic service in the US, don't be surprised at prices for premium class air travel. To answer a couple questions:
1. A group is defined as "9 or more" for discount pricing and generally in Y class only,
2. A travel agent can be a big help in handling arrangements and may have access to a special fare incentive or "deal" through their booking engine or location. Stop in to a Flight Centre office and ask for pricing for the dates you have,
3. Are you or anyone in the family members of a specific airline frequent flyer program/alliance so that you can accrue and continue to build miles and status since you're traveling such a long distance? Don't give away those 40K+ miles if so,
4. Don't assume a "cheap" alternative is not a great way to travel. DL using their new joint venture with VA can fly you Business Class roundtrip PER-JFK for $9533 USD via BNE and LAX, returtning via LAX and MEL, and will include DL's Business Elite sleeper seat service on a 767 between LAX and JFK. Elapsed journey times is about 37hours in both directions. You can look at pricing and schedules on "www.delta.com".
5. Otherwise, you'll have to decide how much more money is worth being spent to get there versus money to spend during your holiday. Shopping, food, sightseeing and other city visits near NYC can be funded saving $2K+ per person unless "money is no object" to consider for your family group.
Good Luck with your plans, and Best Wishes and Welcome for your visit to the United States. Keep us posted on what you decide,
Thomas



watch what you want. you may get it.
User currently offlineaflyingkiwi From New Zealand, joined Nov 2010, 513 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 3914 times:

If I were you I would probably fly CX. Their new J product is the best there is & their schedules to PER & JFK are both pretty substantial.

Quoting Ben175 (Thread starter):
how does the EK J product on the 77W and 380 compare?

One thing to note is that on the A380 they have a massive amount of seats (about 100). If you're looking for more personalized service than this is not the route for you.

Regards,
aflyingkiwi


User currently offlineBen175 From Australia, joined Jul 2008, 656 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 3907 times:

Thanks so much for the responses guys.

DL/VA is another alternative we are looking at. As for CX, well, I took CX to America in 2010 and it was one of the most horrible flying experiences of my life from a service perspective - the amount of rude, condescending ground staff and FAs I had to deal with was beyond belief for such a respected airline. But, that's another story in itself! Another issue with flying CX is I don't really want to cash up on Oneworld frequent flier points, I would much prefer to gain Krisflyer/Skywards/Velocity points to use in the future.

It looks like EK, SQ, QR and VA/DL are the ones we're going to explore further. I'll let you guys know what we end up booking.


User currently offlineCXfirst From Norway, joined Jan 2007, 2929 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 3879 times:

Quoting Ben175 (Reply 3):
As for CX, well, I took CX to America in 2010 and it was one of the most horrible flying experiences of my life from a service perspective - the amount of rude, condescending ground staff and FAs I had to deal with was beyond belief for such a respected airline. But, that's another story in itself!

Sorry to hear that, I haven't experienced anything like that with CX, quite the contrary.

EK should have an A380 on the EK420/421 rotation by the time you fly. But keep in mind, this is not official, and would depend on PER building that gate for EK on time (it has already been pushed back once).

Personal preference for me would be SQ (the long-haul J seat is just fantastic), and if they still had the non-stop SIN-EWR flight, it would be no question for me (well except if price difference is substantial). I wouldn't mind the one-stop via FRA either, as I love to fly, but I know some of my family members would rather take the faster option, which would be QR or EK one-stop.

Keep in mind, I am a bit biased towards SQ as that would boost my Star Alliance mileage.

-CXfirst



From Norway, live in Australia
User currently offlineBen175 From Australia, joined Jul 2008, 656 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 3874 times:

Quoting CXfirst (Reply 4):

Personal preference for me would be SQ (the long-haul J seat is just fantastic), and if they still had the non-stop SIN-EWR flight, it would be no question for me (well except if price difference is substantial). I wouldn't mind the one-stop via FRA either, as I love to fly, but I know some of my family members would rather take the faster option, which would be QR or EK one-stop.

I definitely get the love for SQ, they are my preferred airline - I have had the pleasure of flying PER-SIN-EWR/LAX a total of 4 times on the gorgeous 345, but the aviation geek in me is pushing to give EK a go and finally see what all the fuss is about.

EK is actually cheaper than SQ for my dates at the moment. I am popping down to a travel agent tomorrow to see if I can fork out some amazing deal, but otherwise, I think EK it is!


User currently offlineTravelR From Australia, joined Sep 2010, 94 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (1 year 1 month 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 3639 times:

I know you said you didn't want to build up QF/One World points, they do have a super cheap special for travel during the time you want and for sale until 21MAR.

QF 648 20DEC PERMEL 2340 0615 (arrive 21DEC)
QF 93 21DEC MELLAX 1120 0645
QF3107 21DEC LAXJFK 0845 1720 (operated by AA)
QF 108 05JAN JFKLAX 1830 2130
QF 94 05JAN LAXMEL 2330 1020 (arrive 07JAN)
QF 769 07JAN MELPER 1305 1410

It is about AUD6666.00 plus approx. AUD890.97 in taxes per person. It is considerably cheaper than SQ and EK due to both those airlines not having any specials. I guess you get A380 between MEL and LAX in both directions.

DL7290 21DEC 6 PERBNE 2245 0515 (arrive 22DEC) (operated by VA)
DL6795 22DEC 7 BNELAX 1050 0605 (operated by VA)
DL 16 22DEC 7 LAXJFK 0830 1715
DL 863 05JAN 7 JFKLAX 1200 1500
DL6798 05JAN 7 LAXSYD 2025 0625 (arrive 07JAN) (operated by VA)
DL7283 07JAN 2 SYDPER 0900 1100 (operated by VA)

It is about AUD7826.00 plus approx. AUD215.28 in taxes per person. This is for sale until 27MAR. This may be better to earn you velocity points.

I hope this helps you.



You can never travel too much in your life!
User currently offlinetrent1000 From Japan, joined Jan 2007, 513 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (1 year 1 month 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 3602 times:

I have a number of suggestions for you.

Fly west to begin so you'll feel the effects of jetlag less.

Check out fares via JNB on South African Airlines PER/JNB/New York

Sometimes airlines offer 'companion fares' which makes it cheaper for the second person travelling. You could buy 2 of those for 4 travellers, for example.

In my experience, agents will always include fees that booking directly with airlnes don't. Also, if there are any problems with delays etc, a ticket issued by the airline can make rebooking arrangements easier to handle.

Consider getting round the world tickets so that you can continue travelling westward around the world back to Perth.
You can get decent multiple airlines/decent business class fares from around AUD$4500 per person. Check these out at the round the world section of Bestflights.com.au If you can't see what you're looking for there, send them an e-mail. Their staff have been good to me in the past!

Good luck planning the big trip! All the best.


User currently offlineRyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 4707 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (1 year 1 month 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 3596 times:

Quoting trent1000 (Reply 7):
agents will always include fees that booking directly with airlnes don't

I would agree normally, but what Flight Centre can sometimes rustle up in Australia is astounding. Often they just read of the GDS and tell you what you already knew from going online, but then BANG once in a while you get a truly incredible deal that seemingly doesn't exist anywhere else. It reminds me why I still use them!

Quoting trent1000 (Reply 7):
Also, if there are any problems with delays etc, a ticket issued by the airline can make rebooking arrangements easier to handle.

Good point. Last year my mum and her partner were flying UA, one booked direct the other through an agent. To cut a long story short, the UA agent could reissue one of them but not the other. To have the other ticket fixed up she had to call Australia at her own expense. That said I would expect nothing more form United  



Worked Hard, Flew Right
User currently offlinefiscal From Australia, joined Oct 2009, 315 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 1 month 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3554 times:

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 8):
but then BANG once in a while you get a truly incredible deal that seemingly doesn't exist anywhere else. It reminds me why I still use them!

I advise people to be very wary of special deals with Flight Centre. They usually have expensive (OTT) fees for any changes etc. Take for instance a deal that they sold at a recent expo to London. The fare was about $50 cheaper than generally available, but change fees were $600, whereas normal fare rates only incurred $120.


User currently offlineTravelR From Australia, joined Sep 2010, 94 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (1 year 1 month 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 3519 times:

Quoting trent1000 (Reply 7):
Fly west to begin so you'll feel the effects of jetlag less.

Check out fares via JNB on South African Airlines PER/JNB/New York

I did have a look at the above however the connection times are atrocious out of PER. Over 12 hours in each direction!

SA 281 21DEC PERJNB 2345 0450 (arrive 22DEC)
SA 203 22DEC JNBJFK 2030 0605 (arrive 23DEC)
SA 204 05JAN JFKJNB 1040 0830 (arrive 06JAN)
SA 280 06JAN JNBPER 2115 1255 (arrive 07JAN)

The price is fairly good though, AUD8435.00 plus taxes approx. AUD1012.55. Would earn you points towards Star Alliance though.

In terms of being a group, 5 really isn't that large so can be done online but if you prefer travel agent it may be handy to deal with them. If booking online probably better to do directly with airline as online travel agents can be hit and miss. You just have to get specials as they come along especially as you want to travel during peak times. Closer towards the date of travel, the more heavily booked it gets however as you saw above with Qantas, airlines are very unpredictable now on when they release specials so what you think is a good deal, may be terrible the next.

EK is expensive as they do not have any specials on their PER to JFK fares. SQ are expensive as the return date and dates around it are heavily booked in business class. QR is like EK and do not have any specials.



You can never travel too much in your life!
User currently offlinefiscal From Australia, joined Oct 2009, 315 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (1 year 1 month 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 3508 times:

As an aside, I once looked at fares with Etihad out of Singapore to New York, and I was pleasantly surprised that J fares were very affordable. You still have to get to Singapore, but maybe worth a look.

User currently offlinetrent1000 From Japan, joined Jan 2007, 513 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (1 year 1 month 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 3420 times:

Hi again,

I just thought of another alternative.
Could you get tickets to BKK and then transfer on another ticket on Egyptair (via Cairo) to New York?
I just did something similar (but to Europe) and the MS ticket in business was only about $2200!
(BKK/CAI/MAD return). My trip report is coming soon...
I know this would mean you would travel on separate tickets, but this is just to get you thinking outside of the box a bit.
I fact, I'm travelling on three separate tickets at the moment (it was 4, but one has been completed).


User currently offlineaerorobnz From Rwanda, joined Feb 2001, 6903 posts, RR: 13
Reply 13, posted (1 year 1 month 8 hours ago) and read 3377 times:

Quoting trent1000 (Reply 12):
Could you get tickets to BKK and then transfer on another ticket on Egyptair (via Cairo) to New York?

r. I flew CDG-CAI-NRT and slept very well. MS Business Class, while comfortable on 333/77W aircraft is hardly on a par with any of his preferred carriers so far.


User currently offlinejrfspa320 From Australia, joined Sep 2005, 225 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (1 year 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 3335 times:

What about Air new Zealand?

User currently offlineBen175 From Australia, joined Jul 2008, 656 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (1 year 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 3118 times:

Hi guys. Thanks so much for all the help and suggestions.

We have decided to go with EK - it's the fastest, most convenient way for us and we have layovers of less than 3 hours on both ways. A few of our party are also taking the SFO-DXB flight home as they're heading for Vegas.

Definitely looking forward to trying them out, I have always been a little skeptical about EK, so I am very excited to judge them myself!


User currently offlineFlyboyOz From Australia, joined Nov 2000, 1974 posts, RR: 26
Reply 16, posted (1 year 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 3063 times:

You have just bought a ticket?


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