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View Full Version : How much extra would you pay for a direct flight?


aussiegirls
04-15-2010, 03:27 AM
Afternoon all,

So I am pondering my flights at the moment and I just thought I would run a question by all you lovely people. How much extra (if any) would you pay for the conveniece of direct LA return flights?

The price between direct and via Melb or Bris is usually not that much but around the dates I am looking at they are more than I expected. The flight I am looking at has a stopover in Melb (I am in Syd) on the way home. The price difference with that flight (which leaves LA a day earlier than I had planned to leave) and a direct flight is at total of $500.

Now I am thinking that for a saving of $500 I could do a stopover in Melbourne (never been there anyway :lmao: ) but my only concern is that the flights home are always more exhausting than the flight there. Or it could be that the flight there is so full of anticipation and excitement that we don't notice the exhaustion :rotfl:

So what I really want to know is how valuable ($$$$$ wise) is a direct flight to you? Can you well seasoned travellers put a $ value on it?

xxx

queenie82
04-15-2010, 03:56 AM
Afternoon all,

So I am pondering my flights at the moment and I just thought I would run a question by all you lovely people. How much extra (if any) would you pay for the conveniece of direct LA return flights?

The price between direct and via Melb or Bris is usually not that much but around the dates I am looking at they are more than I expected. The flight I am looking at has a stopover in Melb (I am in Syd) on the way home. The price difference with that flight (which leaves LA a day earlier than I had planned to leave) and a direct flight is at total of $500.

Now I am thinking that for a saving of $500 I could do a stopover in Melbourne (never been there anyway :lmao: ) but my only concern is that the flights home are always more exhausting than the flight there. Or it could be that the flight there is so full of anticipation and excitement that we don't notice the exhaustion :rotfl:

So what I really want to know is how valuable ($$$$$ wise) is a direct flight to you? Can you well seasoned travellers put a $ value on it?

xxx
We come home with so much crap...er...stuff :rotfl2: that while I could cope with a transit (where the luggage is checked through to Syd) at Melbourne, I couldn't do a stopover there.
I also wouldn't pay $500 more (that is a LOT of money) to go direct.

But which airline is this??? We always fly United so Melbourne people go via Syd. All United flights go to Sydney first. I've never actually seen International flights that go to Sydney via another Aussie city. I would have thought MOST flights go to Sydney first :confused:

PrincessInOz
04-15-2010, 03:59 AM
Aussiegirls - this is such a good question...and thanks for starting this. I've always wondered whether anyone else faces the same dilemma as me. I suspect that you're going to end up with a wide variety of views and personal preferences from everyone - but that's what we'd all like to know.
It's always interesting finding out how other people think and it's great to share.

For me, I used to accept a one stop flight over and one stop flight back. The savings was always used towards a better class of hotel for the first night (or two) and towards doing stuff or shopping at the holiday destination.

Then I went towards a one stop flight over and direct flight back when my son was born. I was happy to accept a price difference of about $100 or $150 per person for the direct flight back. With kids and particularly on the night flights back from the US, it is easier to fly direct home rather than to have to fly back to Melbourne via Auckland or Sydney. We did try a couple of trips with a connection in Auckland - but that means a 18 or 19 hour trip instead of 15.

The GFC has completely spoilt this system. The last 2 years, with such cheap deals, we've flown direct there and back in 2008 and 2009.

For my trip in May, we are doing direct over and direct back again. I have pushed the boundaries here and am accepting a $ difference of about $300 for me and my son.
$500 would be completely over my personal boundaries right now as it would mean US $450 extra. I could buy a lot with that :rotfl:

But you mentioned that saving this $500 would mean having to leave the US one day earlier. That's a tough call. Depending on how long you've already spent in the US and if the money isn't going to break your budget, I always prefer to have the extra day in the US.

As a Melbournian, I will naturally always advocate that Melbourne is always great to visit (just as any other capital city is in Australia) - but remember, internal flights can be bought on special for $100 return. Accommodation in the city centre can be $130 (or less) for a 3.5 star hotel. That leaves you with a lot of spending money with the rest of the $500. You could always do an extended weekend if you really wanted to see Melbourne; when you're less tired and anxious to get home.

glara
04-15-2010, 04:04 AM
I'd probably do the stopover if it was saving about $1K.

We're in the early planning stages for September 2011, and last night DH was looking at flights (obviously for this year as next year isn't available yet) to get an idea of pricing. Flying Virgin Australia ex Auckland and coming back with a 12 hour stop in Brisbane, we could save about $1700 vs Air New Zealand direct. Unreal...! But with a 5 year old, I'm not sure if I could do it myself - I think I'd just want to get home.

Ms. Shuttergirl
04-15-2010, 04:37 AM
Well as I am in Canberra, I have no choice but to have a stopover each way into Sydney. To be honest, it was just how it was and I didn't give it a second thought. I would prefer to save the $500 I think, although, hmmmm an extra day in the US, it would be a tough call :lmao:.

aussiegirls
04-15-2010, 04:48 AM
Ok, so the stopover is not so much a stopover as transit. Depending on which flight I choose there are waits of between 2 hrs and 13 hrs between arriving in Melb and leaving.

I would love to stay there for a weekend on the way home although I don't think having all the luggage we would be bringing back from the US would be much fun.

Although we would need to leave a day earlier I would also be arriving there a day earlier. I was planning to leave on the Friday but if I leave on the Thursday instead (Thanksgiving day) I can save a few hundred on those flights too.

Thanks for all opinions and keep them coming :flower3:

xxx

PrincessInOz
04-15-2010, 04:53 AM
Ok, so the stopover is not so much a stopover as transit. Depending on which flight I choose there are waits of between 2 hrs and 13 hrs between arriving in Melb and leaving.

I would love to stay there for a weekend on the way home although I don't think having all the luggage we would be bringing back from the US would be much fun.

Although we would need to leave a day earlier I would also be arriving there a day earlier. I was planning to leave on the Friday but if I leave on the Thursday instead (Thanksgiving day) I can save a few hundred on those flights too.

Thanks for all opinions and keep them coming :flower3:

xxx

Then if you are leaving a day earlier, save the money and do the transit stop. PLUS Friday after Thanksgiving is Black Friday....shopping is bedlam on this day. It officially kicks off the Christmas shopping period and the sales in the retail shops are typically 40 - 60%. At the warehouse outlets, they are up to 75% off. I'd be saving the money and using it for shopping. Some shops open at midnight and trade through the day.

aussiegirls
04-15-2010, 05:00 AM
The shopping thing sounds good PrincessinOz. When you say it is bedlam do you mean that in a good way or a bad way :lmao: Should we stay away or should we be shoving our way through the crowds at the shops?

I hope the sales in the US are more genuine than the sales here. I am a bit wary these days of 50% off or 75% off sales here in Aus. I think the shops here make up the prices (or maybe we are just paying too much).

xxx

Kalice
04-15-2010, 05:10 AM
For me the stopover largely depends on timing. From Perth you end up flying the redeye, arrive at 6am, then flyout at midday. It means you miss a nights sleep. We pay extra and pay for an overnight hotel then more refreshed take the midday flight out. So, if it means missing more of what would be my sleep hours (depending on direction) I would definately pay the $.

PrincessInOz
04-15-2010, 05:16 AM
The shopping thing sounds good PrincessinOz. When you say it is bedlam do you mean that in a good way or a bad way :lmao: Should we stay away or should we be shoving our way through the crowds at the shops?

I hope the sales in the US are more genuine than the sales here. I am a bit wary these days of 50% off or 75% off sales here in Aus. I think the shops here make up the prices (or maybe we are just paying too much).

xxx

Sales in the US are more genuine. When a new season hits the shops, for the first week, they are 30% cheaper as an incentive to "buy now" and then after that they go to full retail price.

If you go to the retail shops on Black Friday, they will have autumn/winter stuff on sale, 40 - 60% off full retail.

Depending on where you go shopping, it may be bedlam in a good and bad way. The shopping malls tend to be packed. It may be worth while going to a more out of the way warehouse outlet. If you're landing in LA, Carlsbad Outlets or Lake Elsinore would be good to hit albeit a little bit out of the way...as well as either Fashion Island or South Coast Plaza (for the all under one roof thing). I reckon Fashion island and SoCo plaza will be BUSY!

If you're in San Francisco, I'd try to get anywhere in the downtown San Francisco and shop. It will be busy but the shops are good in downtown San Francisco.
If you want the mall and don't want to do the Westfield in the city, then Hillsdale Mall out in San Mateo is good. The Great Mall in Milpitas is always good for outlet shopping in San Fran.

Oz-kateer
04-15-2010, 08:14 AM
I've flown to the US quite a number of times, so many in fact I remember the "old days" when there were NO direct flights from anywhere in Australia to LA - you always stopped in Honolulu. That was when we had airlines like Continental on the run. And before that, I remember flying on Pan Am via Honolulu and Fiji as well. That, my friends, was a long flight.

But in all honesty in the last 20 years I've never flown SYD - LAX with a transit stop anywhere. I guess I've just been lucky that all the comparable fares have been direct flights. I've never had to consider a direct flight to save money before.

Having said that though, if there was a flight that was substantially cheaper had a transit stop on the way home, then I'd consider it but it would also depend on how many tickets I was having to buy - if I was buying 5 tickets then a saving of $250 - $300 on each ticket would essentially mean one of us would fly almost free - that would be something to consider.

Last year we flew Delta and were very happy with that - the service, the scheduling and the price. It's a direct flight both ways. So happy in fact we're doing it again this year, and the price is actually cheaper than V Australia which has the transit stops on the way home (usually via Brisbane by the look of it) AND I think Delta have better scheduling than V Australia, if you're going to Orlando (WDW), in both directions - coming and going.

I don't like Air New Zealand because of their luggage allowance. If I flew them, any saving I did manage to make would be eaten by excess baggage fees.

United are ok but the planes are old - yes they are marginally cheaper than Delta but Delta walks all over them with the in-flight entertainment and again, the scheduling if you're flying to Orlando is better with Delta. When you're flying 15 hours with a bunch of kids, paying $75 extra per ticket for on-demand personal video screens in well worth it, in my opinion.

Qantas are fine, just expensive.

I've never flown with anyone else (that still flies here that is!).

ehsmum
04-15-2010, 04:02 PM
Well as I am in Canberra, I have no choice but to have a stopover each way into Sydney. To be honest, it was just how it was and I didn't give it a second thought. I would prefer to save the $500 I think, although, hmmmm an extra day in the US, it would be a tough call :lmao:.


That's what I was going to say - we're in Perth so don't have the option of a direct flight.

I think it depends on your circumstance. As a young, single traveller I was all about doing everything cheaply and would have taken the longer flight to save money. Now, travelling with children, I would pay more for convenience and comfort.

lovintheland
04-15-2010, 05:52 PM
I am having a similiar dilema at the moment. Im watching the prices for September but we can't buy them for another couple of weeks. They are going up and down daily and it's doing my head in seeing them really cheap then the next day they're another $1000 for the five of us. I'm actually thinking of booking the non direct flight that goes via Sydney from Brisbane just because I think leaving in the afternoon might be a better option regarding jet lag on arrival. Will depend on prices the day I book naturely as I will do whatever to save $1000. Just wish prices wouldn't change so frequently!!!!

aussiegirls
04-15-2010, 07:14 PM
lovintheland, I feel your pain with the fluctuating airfares.

For what it's worth we did a late flight last time and it worked perfectly. So perfectly in fact that I am trying to get the exact same timing for our next trip. Our flight out left at about 9.30pm and arrived at LAX at around 4pm. So when we got there we were taken to the Hojo, we had a bit of a look around, went to Mimi's for dinner then were in bed before 8pm. It was great because although we were soooooo tired from our flight we only had to stay up long enough to get some food into us and then we got to sleep. I think we all slept for over 12 hrs (the next day was not a Disney day) and none of us had any jet lag.

I would not have liked to have tried to keep my kids awake all day if we had arrived earlier in the day. They were zonked (as was I).

xxx

Willow25
04-15-2010, 07:31 PM
My husband and I just had this conversation yesterday we are in Melbourne and if we want to fly direct both ways then Qantas it is. We ended up saying that if the total difference for the four of us is $500 or less we would go direct, if it is more then we would stopover. But we are traveling with two toddlers otherwise I would never pay $500 more.

The shopping on Black Friday can be great but there are some stores where it is not worth it. For example Best Buy and Walmart, their lines were so huge that people started camping out the evening prior to opening and then people were cutting in the line, police were called etc. Their new solution is to hand out tickets to the first 20-50 people in line and then those people had all day to purchase items on the first page (the best items). We actually have found that target, and the shopping mall are great places to find great deals. They don't get as crowded!!!

In the past we have gotten $2 dvd's, $150 laptop, $10 sheet sets, $2 disney t-shirts (disney store has great sales on this day), plus cheap kids clothing etc.

I would suggest if you are going to be there on that day purchase a paper with all the ads and scout out where you are going to go and what items you are desperate for.

If I could save $500 and be there on black friday then I would go that direction even with toddlers!!!

lovintheland
04-16-2010, 06:20 AM
Aussiegirls, please refresh my Disneyblurred memory, When did you go? was it September? I remember we sent you our Entertainment Card but can't quite remember when. If so who did you fly with? and when did you book your flights?

aussiegirls
04-16-2010, 07:02 AM
lovintheland, you did send me the Ent Card, and they didn't even ask to see it :rotfl:

We went in October, 16th to be exact. We flew V Australia (they were awesome). And I think I booked around the beginning of April.

Good luck with getting your bargain basement airfares. V Australia website have some good prices at the moment. Their own website doesn't always have the best prices (Expedia often gives them a run for their money) but lately they have been very good.

xxx

PoohBear1988
04-16-2010, 09:33 AM
My husband and I just had this conversation yesterday we are in Melbourne and if we want to fly direct both ways then Qantas it is.

What about V Australia? They have direct flights from Melbourne to LA. I think only two a week though...



But which airline is this??? We always fly United so Melbourne people go via Syd. All United flights go to Sydney first. I've never actually seen International flights that go to Sydney via another Aussie city. I would have thought MOST flights go to Sydney first :confused:

Using V Australia as an example, International flights can go to Sydney via another Aussie city such as Melbourne or Brisbane but you need to transfer to a Virgin Blue plane, but it's still classed as your international flight so all your luggage would just continue on.

lovintheland
04-16-2010, 06:28 PM
thanks Aussiegirls, we also flew with V and I wouldn't want to fly with anyone else now. I just checked the prices this morning and they are sooooo cheap. Im so annoyed as we wont have the money to book for probably another two weeks. I really need to stop checking the prices daily.

aussietravellers
04-16-2010, 06:31 PM
I don't find flying somewhere else to be a problem, usually the luggage is checked right through (on the way there, on the way back you have to clear customs then recheck in). I do prefer to fly direct, like Brisbane to LAX.

But years ago there were a lot of places that you couldn't fly direct from Brisbane which meant flying from Brisbane to Sydney (or Melb) then to where ever. It is still the case with Hawaii. There are not any flights direct from Brisbane to Honolulu, we have to go through Sydney or New Zealand.

So I would stop over for a significant reduction in flight cost, but not if the price was the same.

queenie82
04-16-2010, 10:02 PM
Using V Australia as an example, International flights can go to Sydney via another Aussie city such as Melbourne or Brisbane but you need to transfer to a Virgin Blue plane, but it's still classed as your international flight so all your luggage would just continue on.
I do understand that concept...I'm not stupid.
But the OP is FROM Sydney...so your suggested option isn't really an improvement.

I just don't see how given MOST flights go to Sydney first...it would be cheaper to go via another Australian city.

PoohBear1988
04-16-2010, 10:35 PM
I do understand that concept...I'm not stupid.
But the OP is FROM Sydney...so your suggested option isn't really an improvement.

I just don't see how given MOST flights go to Sydney first...it would be cheaper to go via another Australian city.

Sorry Queenie I was just replying to your statement that you had never seen international flights go to Sydney via another Aussie city. I understand the op is from Sydney and I wasn't suggesting to stopover there just explaining how it worked.

To answer your question it can be cheaper to go to Sydney via another city due to the loads of the planes. The particular carrier may decide to lower the price as the loads are fuller on direct flights.

Ms. Shuttergirl
04-17-2010, 05:26 AM
I do understand that concept...I'm not stupid.
But the OP is FROM Sydney...so your suggested option isn't really an improvement.

I just don't see how given MOST flights go to Sydney first...it would be cheaper to go via another Australian city.

Queenie, I don't think that Poohbear was implying you are stupid. I think you may be being overly sensitive, to say the least. Like yourself, Poohbear was just trying to help.

Oz-kateer
04-17-2010, 07:11 AM
If anyone is going to WDW or DL in September, Delta has good prices at the moment SYD direct - about $1300 return to Orlando and $1100 to LAX

queenie82
04-17-2010, 07:13 AM
Sorry Queenie I was just replying to your statement that you had never seen international flights go to Sydney via another Aussie city. I understand the op is from Sydney and I wasn't suggesting to stopover there just explaining how it worked.

To answer your question it can be cheaper to go to Sydney via another city due to the loads of the planes. The particular carrier may decide to lower the price as the loads are fuller on direct flights.
I will try and clarify...
I posted an obviously very brief (and unclear) comment in the beginning to try and work out which actual airline that was supposedly offering an indirect flight to Sydney cheaper.
I'm well aware you can get flights going via other places (I even remember the bad old days of going via Auckland :rolleyes: ) but the fact is that most flights from the US hit the Sydney international Airport first...so I'm just confused about a $500 difference if you go via Melbourne?
I haven't seen advertisements for taking the option of getting to Sydney for LESS money VIA Melbourne before.
[If it is the case that direct flights from LA to Melbourne and Brisbane are not filling they should stop offering as many.]

All I can think is that the OP has limited themselves to one particular airline they wish to fly with and hence limited their options.
As Oz-kateer points out - Delta is offering very cheap direct flights. As is United.

In short -
If it is really $500 cheaper per person then I would go definitely with the transit because customs and rechecking bags isn't a big drama.
But the concept of actually making Melbourne a stopover.......I couldn't cope with that. Not with all the luggage we get home with and utter exhaustion due to the stress of trying to pack all your goddies (while you continue to hunt for more bargain goodies ;) ) before you leave.

The drive between Melbourne and Sydney isn't too bad...and you can get cheap airfares if you are flexible on dates and keep and eye out for specials. So I would just get home and see Melbourne when you have less baggage and more energy :goodvibes