I want to buy a return flight to Sydney. Why does it have to cost so much?
Wednesday 23 July 2014
Q. I want to visit family and friends in Sydney from 27 December until 16 January. I don't want a stopover. All the flights from Heathrow seem to cost at least £1,200 return. Can I find flights for less anywhere? Shari Rendle, London
A. Unfortunately, over the Christmas and new year period, too many people are chasing too few airline seats. For most of the year, the many competing airlines struggle to extract more than £1,000 for a round trip in economy on the London-Sydney route. But when demand outstrips supply, the carriers understandably make hay while the sun shines (in Sydney, if not in London).
On your dates, the best deals I've found are on China Southern via Guangzhou or Air India via Delhi. Each is around £1,200, and each requires a long wait in the transit lounge en route. Alternatively, faster trips on "premium" airlines are available for around £1,500 return.
Your return date is just fine – by mid-January the spike in demand has eroded. The problem is the departure date. You are not the only Brit who wants to spend Christmas at home but then escape to the southern hemisphere to spend the new year watching the fireworks in Sydney Harbour. But if you can move your departure date a day earlier you'll get a faster flight for the same £1,200 fare. China Eastern has availability via Shanghai: you leave Heathrow at 9pm on Boxing Day and arrive at 10am on 28 December.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 I'm A Celebrity 2014: Jungle security stepped up after murder and 'suspicious death' near to camp
- 2 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 3 Jeremy Hunt: 'I took my children to A&E because I didn't want to wait for GP appointment'
- 4 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
- 5 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Exclusive: UK approved £7m Israeli arms sales in six months before Gaza conflict
£55000 - £65000 per annum: Investigo: My client, a global leader in their fiel...
£45000 - £52000 per annum + bonus+bens : Investigo: My client, a global leader...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits : Investigo: One of the fastest growing g...
25,000: Sphere Digital Recruitment: CRM Executive – Global Travel Brand – Luto...