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Flying to Australia...

(31 Posts)
BeatriceBean Fri 06-Jun-14 23:35:06

I'm looking to book some flights for next year.... any hints? Will have 2 and 5 year old who aren't likely to sleep much.

I was thinking of stopping in Singapore on the way, maybe not visiting but allowing time to have a sleep/swim/butterfly room/recharge/run around, then going through on the way home?

Just trying to put the flights together.

Would you book direct or with a travel agent? Any advantages either way?

We're visiting family over there, so its ok once there, but getting there is giving me the heebie geebies...

MrsWinnibago Fri 06-Jun-14 23:40:23

See if your 2 year old will fit into a skycot...call in advance and ask about height and weight restrictions on them as they're worth their weight in gold if your toddler is on the small side.

The actual flight isn't that bad...yes it's long but it's just something you deal with....watch a lot of cartoons!

Singapore is great to stop over...defo allow time for the sleep. shop and wander about...it's VITAL when you're traveling with small children. We always do....will you be alone? If not then book yourself in and have a little facial and massage...it's cheap and fab in many of the places.

Once you're on the first leg of the journey it's not at all stressful in terms of getting the paperwork done...arrivals in Oz is a bit hairy as they're quite strict and check EVERYTHING. I got sniffer dogs stopping at me as I had my laptop with me and it must have had crumbs in the keyboard!

BeatriceBean Fri 06-Jun-14 23:46:02

Thanks MrsWinnibago,

I don't think she'd fit in a skycot. We took the big one at 11months and it was a difficulty getting her in, this one at 2.5 is quite big! There is no way I'd want her on my lap for the trip. We had a hideous trip with the 11month old (how can a baby stay awake solid for nearly 2 days?!) which is what has put us off traveling before now.

It's also made me wary of stopping in Singapore itself as I suspect we'll arrive exhausted - so I was thinking of the 11 hours in the airport, with the tour if possible but if not just explore the airport/swapping over with kids for naps on the lounge chairs.

I've just realised we're thinking of being in Singapore airport GoodFriday... will that affect things? (Arriving Easter Saturday am in melbourne) as it fits in with our holidays.

BeatriceBean Fri 06-Jun-14 23:46:43

Oh would you book direct with Singapore or through a travel agent?

MrsWinnibago Fri 06-Jun-14 23:50:32

It's hard for me to advise who to book with as my FIL works for Singapore Airlines and books ours for us! I think in your shoes, I'd keep bumping this over tomorrow morning when it's busier...someone in the know will come along.

Definitely stay within the airport...there's loads to do and see and you will be a bit comatose. When I flew with a baby I was like a zombie when we arrived at the airport and I went straight to bed for about 5 hours! Then up, out and about looking at the shops and had something to eat...facial...shoulder massage..MUCH happier! grin I do think you should book a room in the airport...you can wash the kids etc...and it makes a huge difference to have a shower and a bed...they're not that expensive but book in advance.

BeatriceBean Fri 06-Jun-14 23:55:07

Ooh really? We've loved Singapore Airlines so intentionally trying to travel with them this year. My first time with 2 children though, I used to travel on my own before my husband moved over here! It's a whole different ball game with small people...

Thanks for the advice, appreciate it from someone who knows! its unbelievably expensive for us so we want to get it "right" but as husbands family are over there very aware we want to visit them.

peacoat Fri 06-Jun-14 23:58:23

I use sky scanner though to check out the best offers and it's usually Singapore. I think I end up booking directly with them.

BeatriceBean Sat 07-Jun-14 00:03:52

There is a cheaper one (Brunei or something) but I do want to use Singapore as we've had good trips with them before.

I've booked direct in the past - and I've found the deal I want online, but mother in law thinks we should go and speak to an agent. Does it make any difference? I think Thomas cook is coming up with a similar price, maybe 50 quid more.

BeatriceBean Sat 07-Jun-14 00:09:55

And I could ring flightcentre which I think my in laws use... but does it gain anything?

SavoyCabbage Sat 07-Jun-14 00:10:42

You have to have your own seat when you are two. I think a lot of these choices come down to personal choice.

I wouldn't like to do a stopover. I like it just crack on and go straight through.

I also don't like the bulkhead. The Tvs are awkward, the armrests don't mOve and they are next to the toilets.

I have only booked once through an agent and it was good as she could work out all of the changeover times and look at the seats before booking. It was a couple of hundred dollars more expensive.

Usually I book myself online. I use emirates. You can choose your seats straight away as soon as you book. And 'manage' it online in the intervening time. Meals etc.

BeatriceBean Sat 07-Jun-14 00:25:45

Thanks Savoy,

We want to stop on the way as I want to show the girls Singapore airport! Also we may well not have slept at all for more than 24 hours by that point so it will give us a chance to tag team some sleep is what we're thinking? We're not experts at travelling with children though at all.

We were thinking of coming straight through on the way back though.

legspinner Sat 07-Jun-14 00:48:18

Hi Beatrice, Singapore airport is fab and you can book airport hotels in 6 hour blocks for rest / sleep. Worked well for me when travelling alone with 3 DCs from NZ to UK a few years ago. I think stopovers with v young DCs is a really good idea, going straight through is easier as they get older.

I'd recommend booking a long haul trip through a travel agent as they can also book stopovers etc for you / advise on travel insurance / find good connecting flights. Generally the advice here (NZ) is book your own flights for domestic / short haul, but travel agents are a good idea for long-haul options and the extra money is worth it. I use a travel agent every time for long haul - much easier when booking flights for a family anyway IMO!

Mini05 Sat 07-Jun-14 00:53:25

I'd go or ring a travel agent tell them what you want to do and the dates, get all the info off them and then go on skyscanner and check the prices yourself for the flights. Then go on tripadvisor for the hotel they gave you at the airport, it will come up with about 4 companies and there prices.

After adding the prices up for flights and airport hotel yourself, see what the difference is! If it's cheaper ring back the TA and tell them and see if the can price match!!! They all do it.

BeatriceBean Sat 07-Jun-14 01:12:53

We were thinking of coming straight back but maybe stopping fr a leg stretch at least/ 6 hour rest might be worth it? I guess however bad it is on the way back at least we can crash back at home.

We won't need to worry about connecting flights or hotels as staying with family, so its a bit simpler in terms of booking. I think I've worked out my options online and which flights I want (I want singapore airlines so I've just played around on their website to get the cheapest/most convenient times).

If I took that list into a travel agent I could see what they could offer me? I wondered about ringing flight centre too but not sure of the benefit if I can't actually see someone.

BeatriceBean Sat 07-Jun-14 01:14:25

ANy ideas about where to sit on the plane? Last time I booked online with Sinagapore I could choose seating and meals etc... but I'm not experienced enough to know where on the plane is better!

ThaneOfScunthorpe Sat 07-Jun-14 01:23:50

I might be wrong but if you book with a travel agent and need to change dates or something, don't they charge you extra? This has happened to a friend of mine very recently, but we don't live in the UK so maybe it's different where you are.

I've booked flights for that very trip on kayak.co.uk, skyscanner and wefly, so check all of those as well as the Singapore Airlines website.

JellyTipisthebest Sat 07-Jun-14 04:12:39

We used flight centre to book our trips to NZ. We wanted the cheapest possible flights using Singapore airlines. They were great.

We did the coach trip, then swimming on the roof and showered and changed there. (don't forget sun cream) I noticed when we got to NZ one of our kids had definite tan lines, we weren't in there that long. A younger child may have got burnt.

sashh Sat 07-Jun-14 06:38:23

I was going to suggest the swimming at the airport, but you already know about it.

OK as well as flights to Oz price up round the world trips too, they can be cheaper.

One tip I learned recently - clear your computer's cache and cookies for the airline website and then go back, flights might be cheaper. This is because the website checks if you have been before and won't give you cheaper flights than your previous visit.

WhereHas1999DissappearedToo Sat 07-Jun-14 07:16:15

I second on what you bring into Aus once you get there. Security is super tight and any sign of of something, they will check it. DD got an orange juice in a glass bottle confiscated because the apparently there could be something in the glass! We only came from NZ FFS.

I'd suggest Singapore Airlines as your best bet. Qantas were also good a couple of years ago. We hated Cathay Pacific as their 'shell seats' or whatever they're called buggered our backs. A great idea, but so uncomfortable.
Qantas had a great system overnight- they have a larder at the back of the plane to help yourself to food. No waiting for an attendant! DS loved that.
Anyway, I'll be watching with interest as we want to fly over again next summer.

LivinLaVidaLocal Sat 07-Jun-14 07:56:42

My only tip is to book the Singapore hotel room EARLY. It's a fab hotel and it's great that you can spend a 6 hour block there but don't leave it too late to book!

fatowl Sat 07-Jun-14 08:22:34

Whatever you do don't choose Malaysia Airlines, we live in the region and my dh flies with them a lot.
They are cost cutting severely at the moment, and the service levels they used to provide just aren't the same.

Emirates or Singapore Airlines definitely.

jimmybim Sat 07-Jun-14 08:37:15

A tip someone gave me that worked well for long flights with young children, was to wrap up 'presents' for your child to be unwrapped throughout the journey. Some of them can be new, others just a toy you already have. It keeps their interest. I would reveal the next 'present' just as they got bored with the last one!

Crutchlow35 Sat 07-Jun-14 09:25:17

Take the night flights out of the UK.

If you go with Singapore airlines try getting on the A380 and ask for seats upstairs.

Take snacks.

MrsWinnibago Sat 07-Jun-14 10:01:14

DH says sit at the Bulkhead as there's more space and nobody in front of you....we sat there.

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