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Tell me about flying to Australia.

(25 Posts)
Helenluvsrob Mon 29-May-17 17:29:37

Yep literally anything !
Hoping to go at xmas ( I know I'm mid and it'll be hot in Sydney but we don't have flexible dates )

What to do - about both on the journey and when we are there.

Best airlines / ones to avoid.

E.g. Dd transferred in Beijing and that was a trial - the chicken feet in soup want expected thigh cheap beer in vending machines was a perk!

Idrinkandiknowstuff Mon 29-May-17 17:46:15

Do a stopover of at least a night somewhere enroute. We flew straight there with just a few hours between each leg. I honestly could have cried when boarding for another nine hour flight having already been travelling for about twenty hours.

Rubyslippers7780 Mon 29-May-17 17:48:57

I stopped for a few hours in Singapore. Airport is amazing..even has showers / proper refresh ready for next leg of journey. It is long, my view was just to get there rather than stop for nights etc.

nancy75 Mon 29-May-17 17:54:09

We have done with & without stop over, I dont think I could manage it again without at least 1 night stopover somewhere.
If flying economy I think the major airlines are all much the same really, we chose based on price & stops

HeadShouldersYonisAndToes Mon 29-May-17 18:08:18

I've only done flying straight through, though think I would choose that again rather than a stop. I'd rather just get there.

Agree the main airlines are all pretty similar economy-wise.

specialsubject Tue 30-May-17 12:14:02

Do not book any flights until you have investigated accommodation costs and minimum length of stay required.

All airlines are similar.

Next stop - the library for a rough guide.

fitflopqueen Tue 30-May-17 12:31:51

Use Skyscanner to look at flights, if on a laptop you can see across the month at once.
We did Manchester to Sydney for 3 weeks at Xmas a few years ago, the weather was pleasant but not hot as such, we travelled up the Gold Coast and that became a lot warmer.
That was with Etihad - BC - was excellent, my DD had done the same journey in economy some months earlier and said that was one of the better long haul flights she had travelled, along with Qatar.

Helenluvsrob Tue 30-May-17 12:42:43

specialsubject..... Miminum length of stay required? Do you mean for the accommodation? don't think thats an issue as we are staying with DDs boyfriends family.

ShotsFired Tue 30-May-17 12:49:40

Stopping over on the way there is fine (I prefer not to), but on the way home is it is just a huge drag because you are tired and irritable and just Want To Be Home Already.

If you can fly mid morning mid week (but check this) as I think that's the less popular time to fly and you have more chance of room/spare seats.

And talking of seats, sign up to the major carriers FB pages and newsletters, and you might be surprised on business class (or at least prem econ) seat deals. A lie flat bed will honestly transform the flight.

LouiseBrooks Tue 30-May-17 12:56:11

Go business class. Economy is horrendous for that distance.

Check with Trailfinders, they have good deals. I found that Royal Brunei were the cheapest and they were terrific. They couldn't carry alcohol which puts people off but I got gin at duty free and they just gave me tonic and ice so I could make my own G & T. The cabin crew were wonderful and the food was just fabulous. I had one night stop over in Bandar on the way out and 3 nights in Singapore on the way back . I wouldn't even consider going without a stopover.

LouiseBrooks Tue 30-May-17 12:58:40

Oh and I flew out on 22nd or 23rd December (can't remember which) so I arrived in Oz the early hours of Xmas Day. It brought the fare down a bit and after a few hours sleep I went out for lunch and had a great day with family.

soupplate Tue 30-May-17 13:03:05

It's hell doing it in a oner.

Best airlines:
KLM
Emirates
Etihad
Singapore
Malaysia

If you are doing it in a oner, say with a refuelling stop in Asia, don't come back via Singapore - it's an 8 hour flight from SYD to SGP, then the most hellish 15 hours in the history of aviation from SGP to UK.

I've told DH I'm never doing the trip again without at least 3 days stopover somewhere in the middle, and for at least 4 weeks. I'm working on him to move his family (DParents/brothers and families), to UK so I'll never have to do the trip to Oz again grin!

Don't get me wrong, I love Oz, but am holding out for a teleporter.....

Sydney is a fabulous city, but you may be surprised at how expensive it is - prices have rocketed in the last 15 years or so.

Don't go to Bondi, it's a hole. Get the ferry to Manly for the beach.
Oxford Street and Paddington are lovely - the houses with the iron lacework are beautiful.

It's a cliché, but lunch at Doyle's Watsons Bay on a sunny summer afternoon is bliss.

We go to the seafood markets and buy a kilo of prawns and eat them by the harbour.

Good food in Chinatown.

If you just like mooching about some of the inner city suburbs like Glebe, Balmain, Newtown are worth a look - some good cafes, restaurants and shops.

Day trips - Blue Mountains are a must. Good hiking, and the views are spectacular. You can go by train but I love driving because some of the remoter areas are the best - Hargrave's Lookout and Evan's Lookout are our favourites, and that means you can go up the Great Western Hwy and come back via Bilpin.
Hunter Valley for the scenery and the vineyards
South Coast for the beaches

Further afield for 2-3 nights, Canberra is interesting, Snowy Mountains are lovely in the summer.

caoraich Tue 30-May-17 13:03:18

Where are you starting from? If you're near a London airport you'll easily do it with one stop.

I've flown from Glasgow and Edinburgh to various Australian airports over the years and by far the best transfer was in Singapore. Great showers, places to rest up etc.

However by far the most efficient was last year flying from glasgow to dubai to sydney. The first flight was a night flight so about 7hrs, landed in dubai and had an hour and a half to transfer. The next flight took 14hrs and although we left in the morning in dubai we also arrived the next morning in Sydney. So abour 24hrs travelling but lost 36hrs IYSWIM. That was probably the least-bad for jet-lag and I'm sure you could do similar from other UK airports.

Quantas- good
Emirates- so so
Japan airlines - utterly delightful but very very random route (only did that because we were stopping in Tokyo)

Petalbird Tue 30-May-17 13:03:32

Make sure you land at your destination in the evening so you can go straight to bed otherwise you will spend days out of sink cause you have to sleep when you land as airplanes don't really allow deep long sleep

Rainbowqueeen Tue 30-May-17 13:03:47

Flying east is tougher with jet lag than flying west. So going will be harder than coming home. Singapore is an awesome place for a stopover, even if it's just 12 hours in the airport, which has hotel rooms, a pool and showers.

Singapore airlines has a good name.

choppolata Tue 30-May-17 13:06:50

Check the seat configuration when choosing the airline. Qantas, Emirates and Singapore all use A380s but Qantas squish a lot more seats in. Singapore airport is a bit over-rated in my opinion but you can look at butterflies and fish to pass the time, or have a snooze in the terminal hotel. I noticed a couple of months ago that there was a desk offering free city tours, I assume for transit passengers given the location.

EnglishBreakfastTea Tue 30-May-17 13:07:08

I used to live in Sydney so did the trip back and forward to the UK several times, I found Qantas / Emirates to be the most comfortable economy option - I've also done the trip with Singapore airlines & Virgin

Personally I liked the stop off in Dubai, it's a clean, modern, well organised airport. They have showers etc there as well so there is always the option to freshen up. I always tried to book my flights with the shortest layover time (normally about 2-3hrs) that gives you chance to walk round duty free then go & find the gate for the next flight - I know some posters have advised trying to stop over for one night or so but I found this worse as you have to try and adjust to 2 time zones once you land in Australia. The only thing about the Dubai - Australia leg is that it's pretty long, if you're not a massive fan of 17hrs then my second choice stop off would be Singapore.

Finally, if you can make sure all your flights are on an A380 not a 777 - you get much more room in an A380 and they're sooo much quieter! Saying that, I'd still invest in some noise cancelling headphones! They're a godsend when your shattered and want some sleep

Hope you have an amazing time!! 👍🏻

specialsubject Tue 30-May-17 13:22:58

Yes, I meant accommodation at a peak time. sounds like you have that covered so no problem.

The thought of the flight south without a two day stopover is horrible. Visit singapore and/ or hong Kong.

FairyPenguin Thu 01-Jun-17 07:08:54

Flew Qantas economy non-stop London to Sydney once (refuel in Dubai). Hideous. The return journey was worse. Mainly because I couldn't sleep. The food wasn't great either.

If I were to do it again I wouldn't fly Qantas and I'd either have to do a stopover to sleep in an airport hotel, or keep saving up the airmiles to upgrade to Business Class so I could lie flat to sleep.

trixiebelden77 Thu 01-Jun-17 07:17:18

I live in Aus and have done a long haul trip 2-3 times a year for the last 20 yrs.I personally don't do a stopover but have when travelling with my mother (we stopped in HK). I find it too depressing to have another 8-14 hr flight (depending where you stop) the following day.

I definitely don't agree all airlines are the same though - for long haul I would always choose a big Asian-based carrier eg Cathay or Singapore.

beingsunny Thu 01-Jun-17 07:19:35

Hey,

Don't bother with a layover, it makes no difference to the jet lag.

I prefer emirates.

I live in Sydney, Bondi is not a hole!

Beautiful beaches, bondi and bronte.
Watson bay is lovely for lunch or dinner at Watson bay hotel or afternoon tea at Dunbar house.

Visit circular Quay and see the opera house, botanical gardens and The Rocks.

Take the ferry across to manly.

Depending on how long you are here, you could take a few days up at the Whitsundays or Byron bay for a change of pace.

Darling harbour is popular with tourists, as is Balmain for great shops and cafes.

See the fish markets,

Go to The Grounds cafe in Alexandria, is a beautiful breakfast or lunch venue.

The flights not too bad, I do it every year, with my now five year old (not sure if you have kids) if you do I have plenty of other suggestions depending on their ages.

hellokittymania Thu 01-Jun-17 07:20:33

Singapore airlines is great, and Singapore is very easy to get around and has a lot on offer for children if you want to spend a few days there. There also is a butterfly garden, a pool, 24 hour food courts and a few other things to do inside the terminals if you are transiting for a few hours. The only downside, is that the onboard Wi-Fi on the A380s can be very expensive and last time I flew I think you only had a 30 MB allowance for something like $15. If you have children and need ways to entertain them on long flights, this could be a downside. They also require you now to shut the window shades on the day flights. I am severely visually impaired and find the lack of light can be quite hard on my eyes.

If you stop in Singapore, you can take the MRT from the airport into downtown Singapore. Yes, there are plenty of shopping malls, but the zoo, botanical gardens, Marina Bay Sands, food everywhere, Sentosa, and other things should keep you entertained and full.

sashh Thu 01-Jun-17 07:34:46

If you fly via Singapore pack swimwear in your hand luggage, the airport has many many things including a hotel and a swimming pool. After 12 hours on a flight the pool is bliss.

How long are you going for and are you just going to be in Sydney?

Helenluvsrob Fri 02-Jun-17 09:24:54

Thank you for you interesting suggestions. We are going for 2 weeks and a few days at xmas to meet / stay ( in their huge house !) with dd1s boyfriend and his family. I'm really excited. He's been over to us for 2xmases and they've kept this relationship going so I think we must meet up !

Dailystuck71 Sun 04-Jun-17 09:17:32

If you are only going for 2 weeks don't stop over. Just get there.

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