EuropeMisc

Pulling it all togther

posted by Stu 0 comments

The hardest, most stressful, pain in the arse part of everything.

When traveling with kids safety is any parents first priority, well budget comes second.
And believe me it was a mission. You might think Gordon Brown has it hard trying to sort the Economy out – Well try sorting flights in SE Asia out.

For example, a flight from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh may be 1 million Dong (and while were at it, what sort of name is Dong for a currency?) But, it might be 200,000 Dong to fly to Singapore then 100,000 to fly to Ho Chi Minh. A no brainer? Well not really, because first of all i have a single entry Visa, and secondly i tried to make sure no more than one flight was on any one day.
On almost every flight i booked it could have been done cheaper by flying elsewhere, but in terms of convenience and overall cost i spent what must be at least a hundred hours or more bringing together the flights.

The budget airlines i have used are:

Air Asia:
Excellent, in fact they are certainly the best looking and easiest airline to book with. The major problem is the baggage cost. Obviously i am traveling with 2 kids and only 2 of us have bags to check – Problem is you have to pay for all 3 of us to have hold baggage – Ok, were only getting stung a few MYR but it all adds up.

Tiger Airways
Tiger airways made me laugh. You look at the flight and the total cost is 0 SGD. Thats right nothing, not a penny. Yet when taxes are added it becomes 100SGD, which is a rip off but still the cheapest option. Then when you have paid you realise your credit card statement says you paid 250SGD – Who knows? I certainly dont.

JetStar
The more expensive of the three, flies plenty of domestic Vietnam routes but most others seem to originate or end in Aus. Reminds me of Easy Jet.

Other Airlines

Air China
Your typical Chinese Airline, looks dodgy as can be. But it was £500 cheaper than the next airline – And lets be honest – Any airline flying out of Moscow is as dodgy as the next.

Vietnam Airline
Times must be hard at this Airline, so much so they decided it would be appropriate to charge me not once, not even twice, in fact they didn’t even try and take the piss and charge me three times – They went all out and charged me 4 times. Of course suddenly every employee no longer understood English when questioned. Amazing.

Virgin Atlantic
An Airline i have flown millions of times on, and the same old same old. We all know the story. Branson realised he had a good airline, then in 1999 he decided to increase prices, decrease customer service and employ arrogant bastards – Frequently the most expensive option Virgin has proven itself to be the airline we all wonder “How haven’t you gone bust yet” Well – We still fly with them don’t we!

Ryanair
At the end of the day they are cheap, the staff couldn’t give a rats arse but then who does – You paid a pound for your seat.

Air Berlin
It’s German – It must be dodgy.

American Airlines
AA went all out in the 1950’s and bought loads of planes. All Boeing of course (Those Americans stick together) and they decided that they didn’t have to buy anymore planes. Like the old Ford Mustang AA are hoping their planes will fly forever.
The planes may be held together with Duct Tape, the only thing in the seat back is an antique seat cover – But what the hell – You get Ben and Jerrys Ice Cream so it must be alright.

Singapore Airlines
If Carlsberg made airlines they would make Singapore Airlines. And they know it, that’s why they are arguably the worlds most expensive airline – In fact, its probably cheaper to get a first class ticket to the moon than an economy seat with Singapore. But lets be honest – Where else can you get 12 hours of soft core porn for 1,200 SGD! (stewardesses by the way)

Anyway, in booking the flights i found this tool to help – But don;t be fooled, it doesn’t show all the airlines on any route, but it certainly sets a bench mark: http://matrix.itasoftware.com/cvg/dispatch

The prices i eventually got were:

London – Cologne £51.00
Bremen – Riga 114 EUR
Moscow – Beijing £503
Bijing – Xian £70
Xian – Guangzhou £65
Guangzhou – Kuala Lumpur £90
Kuala Lumpur – Manila £45
Manila – Bali £40
Bali – Perth £110
Perth – Adelaide £60
Adelaide – Sydney £50
Sydeny- Perth £75
Perth – Hanoi £120
Hanoi – Nha Trang £111
Nha Trang – Da Nang £57
Da Nang – Ho Chi Minh £70
Saigon – Kuala Lumpur £65.95 ($100USD)
Kuala Lumpur – Singapore £31
Singapore – Kota Kinabalu £91.82
Kota Kinabalu – Sandakan
Sandakan – Kota Kinabalu £50.28 (270 MYR)
Kota Kinabalu – Singapore £51.83
Singapore – Los Angeles £1,100
NYC – LON £210 (with Miles)

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