Which Airline?

Old Mar 5th 2011, 11:48 pm
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Default Which Airline?

We've just been granted our visa and plan is to fly into Melbourne around end of April (dates flexible).

Our nearest airport is Belfast International so regardless of which airline we go with we will have to fly to get to the starting point i.e. Heathrow, Gatwick, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, etc.

Our party will be 2 adults and 3 children (6, 9, 3)

I'm interested in everyones experiences with different airlines particularly comfort, ability to book seats up front, food, serivce, reliability. Especially if you have travelled with children.

Because we have small children I think maybe a row of seats at the front of a block of seats would be a blessing, but I'm not sure whether this can be assured at time of booking or do we just have to take our chances with check-in?

Are we best going through a travel agent to get the best advise or will we end up paying through the nose for this and gain very little?

We want to travel right through without a significant stopover as it will be a case of just getting the journey over with. No fun in dragging 3 kids around Bangkok for a day or two.

Thanks
Gavin
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Old Mar 6th 2011, 12:08 am
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Default Re: Which Airline?

Any poll of the expats here will always be won by Singapore Airlines.

You do have another option...drive to Dublin and a one-stop flight to Melbourne on Etihad via Abu Dhabi where the stopover is 2.5 hours.
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Old Mar 6th 2011, 12:09 am
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Default Re: Which Airline?

We've flown with both virgin and Singapore Air. Would recommend Singapore Air - good prices, good service and very reliable (so far). Also you can prebook some seats for a small surcharge. Choice of films is not so great, but lots of games available for the little ones.

Good luck with the journey
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Old Mar 6th 2011, 12:14 am
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Default Re: Which Airline?

Originally Posted by bcworld View Post
Any poll of the expats here will always be won by Singapore Airlines.

You do have another option...drive to Dublin and a one-stop flight to Melbourne on Etihad via Abu Dhabi where the stopover is 2.5 hours.
That's interesting. Dublin is definately an option for us, when we travelled to Sydney 12 years ago from Dublin it was via LHR which we automatically thought would be the case this time round too. Have to remove the blinkers

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Old Mar 6th 2011, 12:15 am
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Default Re: Which Airline?

Originally Posted by lizq View Post
We've flown with both virgin and Singapore Air. Would recommend Singapore Air - good prices, good service and very reliable (so far). Also you can prebook some seats for a small surcharge. Choice of films is not so great, but lots of games available for the little ones.

Good luck with the journey
prebooked seats would be a God-send. I'll happily pay the "small surcharge". Great info, thanks!
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Old Mar 6th 2011, 2:08 am
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Default Re: Which Airline?

Originally Posted by giz View Post
prebooked seats would be a God-send. I'll happily pay the "small surcharge". Great info, thanks!
Singapore it is then
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Old Mar 6th 2011, 2:48 am
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Default Re: Which Airline?

Originally Posted by giz View Post
prebooked seats would be a God-send. I'll happily pay the "small surcharge". Great info, thanks!
I could be wrong but I think if you book online with Singapore you can select seats for free. There is a charge if you want to select premium (i.e. emergency exit seats) seats but 'normal' ones should be free. This doesn't apply if you book via a travel agent.

Same goes for Cathay.
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Old Mar 6th 2011, 9:20 am
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Default Re: Which Airline?

Hi, we are also looking to fly around Easter from Dublin/Belfast we have priced a few airlines, I just priced Qantas from Dublin for 2 adults and 3 kids 2924 euro about £2500 going 18th April, we flew with them in 2007 with an 18month old and a 3yr old and thought they were fantastic, we also flew straight through, contecting at heathrow and a short stop at Hongkong.

Alan

Last edited by Al and Jacque; Mar 6th 2011 at 9:22 am.
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Old Mar 6th 2011, 9:54 am
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Default Re: Which Airline?

Originally Posted by giz View Post
We've just been granted our visa and plan is to fly into Melbourne around end of April (dates flexible).

Our nearest airport is Belfast International so regardless of which airline we go with we will have to fly to get to the starting point i.e. Heathrow, Gatwick, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, etc.

Our party will be 2 adults and 3 children (6, 9, 3)

I'm interested in everyones experiences with different airlines particularly comfort, ability to book seats up front, food, serivce, reliability. Especially if you have travelled with children.

Because we have small children I think maybe a row of seats at the front of a block of seats would be a blessing, but I'm not sure whether this can be assured at time of booking or do we just have to take our chances with check-in?

Are we best going through a travel agent to get the best advise or will we end up paying through the nose for this and gain very little?

We want to travel right through without a significant stopover as it will be a case of just getting the journey over with. No fun in dragging 3 kids around Bangkok for a day or two.

Thanks
Gavin
not sure this is the case with all planes, but on the 777 the row of seats at the front dont get individual screens, instead they share a big one, I would avoid unless you want fighting kids
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Old Mar 6th 2011, 9:57 am
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Default Re: Which Airline?

Originally Posted by bingobob777 View Post
not sure this is the case with all planes, but on the 777 the row of seats at the front dont get individual screens, instead they share a big one, I would avoid unless you want fighting kids
Are you sure?

Normally if there are individual PTVs, for the front row, if they aren't on the bulkhead they fold out of the armrest, never known it to be otherwise.
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Old Mar 6th 2011, 10:13 am
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Default Re: Which Airline?

Oh has flown EMirates and loves them! Originally we came via Air NZ and they were fantastic!!
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Old Mar 6th 2011, 11:50 am
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Default Re: Which Airline?

I think if you are careful you might be able to avoid the extreme UK airport tax ("air passenger duty") by going via Dublin, particularly if you can avoid touching UK airports. Dates around the end of April should be at the cheapest time of year. Personally I'd suggest getting a return ticket for return in a year's time - it gives you an out and tickets in Oz are overpriced (like many things).

Singapore Airlines is OK, but I'd say Emirates, Etihad, Malaysian, etc. are as good.

Try Kayak.co.uk for options and info on how the price changes.
BTW Emirates gives you 30kg luggage, which you may well need.
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Old Mar 6th 2011, 9:45 pm
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Default Re: Which Airline?

Just a note of caution about seats. If you select emergency exit seats when booking online, there's a good chance these will be changed on airport chek-in as they don't usually let children sit by emergency exits. In case of an emergency, the person sitting there needs to be physically fit enough to open the door if necessary. Children, physically impaired people and very old people won't usually be allocated those seats.

This is only from my experience and I am happy to be corrected.
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Old Mar 7th 2011, 7:49 pm
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Default Re: Which Airline?

We have just booked our flights with Singapore for our reccie to Perth in October.

I initially went to the travel agent, but in the end booked direct with singapore online as it was cheaper! Also pre-booked all flight seats for all 4 flights. A very simple and easy to use website. Not only were the flights cheaper but i also managed to get better timings than what the agent offered me.
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Old Mar 7th 2011, 8:46 pm
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Default Re: Which Airline?

Thanks everyone for the info. Some really good stuff there.

I'll post my decision and post back my experiences as info for others.

In the meantime keep the thread alive with your experiences

Thanks again
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