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 Germanwings crash: Police make 'significant discovery' at home of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz
- 2 JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
- 3 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 4 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 5 Jeremy Clarkson calls on trolls to leave producer Oisin Tymon alone: 'None of this is his fault'
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Andreas Guenter Lubitz intentionally crashed flight 9525 into the Alps in act of mass murder and suicide – latest
£24,000 pa, plus benefits: SFL Group: Looking for a hard-working and self-moti...
£16000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding travel c...
£24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Do you have a strong record of ...
£24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will have demonstrable unde...