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
- 2 Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
- 3 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
- 4 University student in court for allegedly covering housemates' food in window cleaner and spit
- 5 Ryan Gosling posts tribute to 'Ryan Gosling Won't Eat His Cereal' creator Ryan McHenry
In defence of liberal democracy
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
£32K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Dining Room Head Chef to work for one of ...
£27K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pastry Sous Chef / Experienced Pastry Che...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A growing business that has been ope...
£24800 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As one of London's leading Muse...