Flights to Australia

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I'm going to book flights to Australia for winter 2006 as soon as I'm able. Does anyone know is 11months still the earliest you can book flights?
We're hoping to fly out on the 9th of dec for 4 weeks. We will be in Melbourne for Xmas and Sydney for New Year, flying back from Sydney. Before that we want to visit Adelaide, Ayres Rock and The Great Barrier reef. Can anyone recommend an airline that will best suit our needs. Wouldn't want to stop of in Singapore, Hong Kong or Bangkok as already done these but wouldn't mind KL or Dubai. I know its a long way off but I think we should be able to book flights early in the New Year,
Thanks
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  • MMCG_2
    MMCG_2 Posts: 280 Forumite
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    Hi PArty Animal. Not sure if you mean winter 2007. I've just found the cheapest fare possible from Dublin with Malyasian airlines but it was an offer only available through a dublin travel agent who is also an aussie specialist. Check out their website if it suits you. https://www.australia.ie and check out the fares and conditions.
    2p or not 2p? That is the question!
  • Amba_Gambla
    Amba_Gambla Posts: 12,107 Forumite
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    Malaysian Airlines are pretty good- I booked mine thru trailfinders (www.trailfinders.co.uk) and it was by far the cheapest - also got a free stopover and free internal flights each way - make sure you ask about them!! I could choose from places within Malaysia (I don't recommend going to Kota Kinabalu tho!) or Singapore and I think even Thailand was on offer (for free!!)

    I'd book as soon as possible because flights over that way will book up very quickly because ppl will be flying over for Chrimbo/New Year watching the Ashes cricket!

    Best bet is to call either the airline direct, or call a travel agent, they'll be able to tell you str8 up!

    have fun!

    AG
  • Katykat
    Katykat Posts: 1,743 Forumite
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    Hi party animal. We are doing a similar tour this year( going in 5 weeks) The fares on most airlines go up on 9th Dec, so we booked for 8th and saved £400 each, but you really do have to book as soon as the flights are released, which is usually 11 months prior. You can ask your travel agent to put you on a wait list, but I would prefer to keep checking myself. If you want to stop in Dubai, the best airline to use would be Emirates. They do the "777" flight, ie 7 hours to dubai, 7 to Singapore and 7 to OZ. Because we dont stop over, we prefer Singapore airlines, which only has 1 stop in Singapore. We also are going to Melbourne first, for 1 week, then to relatives in Brisbane for Christmas. Flying out of Brisbane after NYear. Of all the airlines we have flown with, Singapore are the best for service, reliability and comfort, although thay are not the cheapest, followed by Emirates, Malasian ( but they have a long stopever in KL, but you can take advantage of this and stay longer). The WORST ones are British airways ( absolutely diabolical service) QANTAS - who themselves are quite good but they operate a partner service with BA, so although you book your flights with Qantas, you will in all probaility fly with BA). See my post titiled "cheap australian visas" for more info on that. If you want any more info, let me know. We have done most places inc, Ayers rock, Cairns & Sydney
    :smileyhea A SMILE COSTS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING
  • Amba_Gambla
    Amba_Gambla Posts: 12,107 Forumite
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    from my experience, Malaysian tends to be cheapest, followed by Singapore & Emirates, then ba/quantas the most expensive....
  • Party_Animal
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    Thanks for all that useful info. We're going in december 2006 for the cricket.
    I'll check these out and try to book early next year.
    Thanks again.
  • Amba_Gambla
    Amba_Gambla Posts: 12,107 Forumite
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    If ur going for the cricket, in order to get tickets for the matches, don't u have to go on a special package with flights and tickets???
  • AussieLass
    AussieLass Posts: 4,066 Forumite
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    We used Japan Airlines last time we visited (just after Xmas) and they were fantastic. I think by memory Emirates were cheaper and JA were the second cheapest. I would have to get a really good price with another airline for us not to go with them again.
    Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia. ;)


  • lozkate
    lozkate Posts: 127 Forumite
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    We are planning the same as you and watch the cricket in Melbourne and Sydney. I was also under the impression that we could only get flights 11 mths ahead but when I looked on the Barmy Army website forum they did mention that you could get flights now. Since reading this I have tried several airlines but not been able to get flights so on Friday I contacted Travel Mood who also checked and confirmed that flights are not yet released.

    I have heard that accomodation prices will also go up after Xmas so I have been trying to find accomodation - I have found an appartment in Melbourne over Xmas (2 bed 2bath) for £670 for 7 nights which I didnt think was too bad but it is quite difficult to plan and to try and get the best prices when all the test dates dont seem to be released until March. Tickets for the Melbourne test shouldnt be that difficult to get hold of due to the size of the ground but not sure of others.

    Anyway fancy a BBQ and cricket on the beach Xmas Day?
  • joe13
    joe13 Posts: 501 Forumite
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    Hi Party Animal,
    we spent a month in OZ last year and flew via Tokyo with BA and then Quantas to Cairns. So if you have done the normal stopover destinations how about Tokyo. We spent 2 days there and it was nowhere near as expensive as we had been led to expect. Both the BA and Quantas service was very good, we travelled all internal flights with Quantas or Virgin Blue(subsidiary of Quantas) and then BA back from Hong Kong.

    Worth considering the BA world traveller plus product for a long flight, it does cost more but you get extra leg room and extra seat width.

    Enjoy your trip, I cant wait to go back again, but that will be when we have finished paying for last years trip.
  • Party_Animal
    Party_Animal Posts: 1,657 Forumite
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    Anyway fancy a BBQ and cricket on the beach Xmas Day?[/QUOTE]


    Yes put a couple of steaks on for me and thanks for the advice. I've been registered with the Barmy Army for years, but their tours don't suit me on this occasion as I want to spend 4 weeks out there travelling round.
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