Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: What do you think about Austravel?
Every day our travel guru answers your travel questions
Simon Calder’s career in travel started at Gatwick Airport, where he cleaned aircraft for Laker Airways and later worked as a security officer. He became The Independent’s Travel Correspondent in 1994, and is known as “the Man Who Pays His Way” because he does not accept free travel facilities. He writes across the Independent titles, as well as for the Evening Standard.
Friday 25 January 2013
Q. Could you please tell me what you think about Austravel as a company? We would like to use them when we travel to Australia at the end of the year.
A. I must have spent a good few thousand pounds over the years with Austravel, an experienced and competent agent. Twenty-five years ago, the company was instrumental in putting Australia on the map as a realistic holiday destination, when it arranged charter flights to the country – with fares below £500 for the first time, a revolutionary price point.
The company is now a subsidiary of Europe’s biggest holiday firm, TUI, and therefore financially rock solid.
But before you hand over your cash, shop around to see if another agent can improve on the price or service. Two other big competitors are Trailfinders and DialAFlight, and many other specialists are worth considering.
Click HERE to email Simon.
You can also tweet him your questions @SimonCalder
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin file for divorce after 10 years of marriage
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 4 Bookies now say Ed Miliband is more likely to be prime minister than David Cameron
It's Italian, but it's definitely not Italy: Stephen Wood visits Lampedusa, an island beyond the map's edge, where North Africa meets Rome and even the sharks are poets
Plane forced to make emergency landing in Israel after 'part of wheel falls off'
Cycling in America: A revolution on two wheels
Astypalea, Greece: An isolated spot a world away from Athens
The 10 Best lightweight luggage
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
Katie Hopkins on LBC: Listen to caller taking The Sun columnist to task over migrant comments
£21K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Front of House Receptionist to provide th...
£24000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With offices in Manchester, Lon...
Competitive (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a number of Marketi...
£20000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This well established business ...