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Flights to Australia - can I have your opinion about when to time our arrival

(12 Posts)
copycat Wed 16-Jul-08 11:46:10

I am planning (well re-planning actually as, on the advice of my Consultant, I have just had to cancel our flights to Melbourne for next month because I have experienced considerable post-operative complications since having surgery at the beginng of May sad ) a trip to Australia for April and I wondered whether I should book the shortest option so that we have a 3 hour stopover in Singapore and land in Melbourne at 6.55am or have a longer stopover of 5hr 40 and arrive at 9.45am?

When you landed in Aus did you and your DCs just want to sleep immediately or were you happy to start your day, so to speak?! We will only be in Melbourne for 3 days before we fly on to the Gold Coast so I suppose every extra hour there is a bonus.

We will not have access to our accommodation until the afternoon (although we can drop off our suitcases). If we arrive slightly later then we have less time to kill until we can get to our apartment and get some sleep and we will have had a longer 'rest' at Changi Airport. It probably makes little difference in the long run and I don't know why I am agonising over it really! Must be post-operative indecision syndrome grin Our DCs are 11 and 14.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 16-Jul-08 13:13:27

I would go for the later arrival into Melbourne as you do not have any onward connecting flight that day.

I didn't feel too tired upon arrival into Sydney at 6.00am but had a connecting flight to the Gold Coast that same morning from their domestic terminal (which is some miles away, you cannot walk there). Felt awful a couple of hours later on. By the time we arrived at the Gold Coast I was fully awake (fell asleep on the flight northwards).

cmotdibbler Wed 16-Jul-08 13:23:42

Longer stopover at Changi for definate. Pack swimming gear in your hand luggage and go to the rooftop pool in the transit hotel for a swim/shower/jacuzzi to really refresh you and get the blood moving.

If you get in to Melbourne too early, you have to spend a very long time mooching around before you can chill out, and you'll all be tres grumpy. If you are staying in a hotel, then sometimes they'll let you use the gym/swimming pool complex before you can check in so you can chill on the loungers etc - I often do this either inbound or when I have a late flight out.

BecauseImWorthIt Wed 16-Jul-08 22:41:32

IME, flying into Australia and arriving in the early hours of the morning - if I didn't have a bed to get into within half an hour of arrival I would have been suicidal!

And that was travelling with all the comforts of business class.

I would say get the shortest stopover possible, get to Melbourne - make sure you have got the hotel room booked from the night before so that it is available for you when you arrive, and then go straight to bed. Try and get as much sleep as you possibly can (treat it like a really long lie in) and then when you wake up it will be (hopefully) around lunchtime, and you can then try and adjust to the local time.

mckenzie Wed 16-Jul-08 22:53:17

I would do the longer stopover and go foro the swimming option like cmotdibbler has suggested.
Although we landed at about 6am when we went April this year, by the time we got through customs etc we arrived at my sister's house about 9, had breakfast, chilled out a bit then went out exploring her world and the children (and I) kept going until about 8pm that night. They slept about 14 hours each night for the first 3/4 days, gradually shortening down to the usual 11/12.
Singapore airport is so fab though, any less than 5 hours would be a waste in my humble opinion smile

copycat Wed 16-Jul-08 22:58:49

Thank you for your suggestions - it's really hard to imagine how we might be feeling when we land (apart from very glad to see the back of the airport terminal) so it's great to hear from anyone who has experience of the journey.

BecauseImWorthIt Wed 16-Jul-08 23:03:29

Hats off to mckenzie and family for lasting till the evening - I really couldn't have managed that!

We're off to Sydney in a week or so, and have flights that are much more civilised in that we arrive at around 7 pm, so can have a couple of hours down time before we can legitimately go to bed.

I'm dreading flying economy as I've done the trip half a dozen times with work so always business with flat beds!

muttonbird Wed 16-Jul-08 23:11:24

I'm with BeacauseImWorthIt and would choose the shorter stopover. That extra two hours could be two hours closer to your destination. I'd also recommend the option of booking your hotel room(s) from the previous night, so you can get in and shower/sleep etc right away.

ninedragons Thu 17-Jul-08 03:35:38

While Changi is very good, personally I would take the earlier flight. More than five hours is a very long time to kill at the airport. If you take the earlier flight, you should also be able to sleep (or try to sleep) for more of it. They'll only turn the cabin lights up an hour and a half or two hours before landing, whereas if you take the later flight it will have been light for four hours.

Can you see if the hotel will let you check in early? At the very least you should be able to dump your bags there and go out for breakfast - there are millions of pleasant lively street cafes in Melbourne.

sunnydelight Thu 17-Jul-08 08:07:36

I'd definitely do the shorter stopover and just keep on going. When we came over on a reccie before immigrating we booked our accommodation for the night before so we could check in straightaway (similarly early arrival). The lobby was full of dazed looking people clutching their suitcases begging for early check-in (not possible) while we went straight to our apartment, crashed for a few hours, then got up and went out for lunch feeling ok. It would have been hell trying to keep the kids going until normal check in time. It's worth the extra cost.

solo Thu 17-Jul-08 09:41:04

When I went in 2001(3 weeks after 9/11), we slept quite well in economy class, stopped over at Singapore for a few days before flying on to Perth. We never felt any jetlag tbh and we were a variety of ages(3, 37, 60, 69)so didn't feel the need to sleep on arrival. On our return journey, we ended up spending many hours in Singapore airport and had an ok time there. It was quite child friendly and there was plenty for us to do if we wanted. My Ds, mum and I had fairly severe tummy upsets and even with that we were fine as there were excellent facilities, pharmacies and lounge areas.
Have a great time whatever you do. Australia is a fantastic country.

mckenzie Thu 17-Jul-08 14:19:12

please please make sure they don't give you the bulk head seats! I think the check in staff think they are being kind to you as you then get more leg room but it means your arm rests do not lift up. If your children are like mine they will sleep better curled up a bit and leaning on something (or someone!). With the arm rests stuck down this is almost impossible.

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