Your Airfare Questions Answered By The Experts

11 April 2015
Read Time: 3.5 mins

When it comes to holiday queries, let our experts show the way. They're well-versed in getting the best out of airfares and plane travel for their clients. As you'll soon find out; a bit of industry insider knowledge goes a long way when it comes to booking your next flight.

"I am travelling to both Los Angeles and London. What ticket do you suggest I take?"

Lucky you! Because you are going to quite separate destinations, a Round-the-World ticket is the best option. With this type of ticket, you can include multiple destinations on one ticket as long as you continue to fly in one direction.

Round-the-World tickets are a great way to add some extra destinations to your holiday, and are often a cheaper way to go than by booking separate tickets or multiple one-way trips.

Contact myself or your travel consultant for more information.

- Micha Vescio, International Travel Consultant, Flight Centre Cremorne, Cremorne, NSW

 Tick off London and the rest of the world wit a Round-the-World ticket

"Do baggage amounts vary between carries?"

The answer is Yes, and it can vary by destination and airline. It can get tricky between the number of pieces permitted and the weight of your luggage.

For example, if flying to Europe most carriers allow 30 kilos per checked bag. Some carriers such as Cathay Pacific and Emirates have slightly different permitted amounts.

For the USA., it's on a piece system allowing up to two bags at 32 kilos per bag. But again this can vary between the airlines you fly. For example, Air New Zealand allows one bag at 23 kilos.

However, if you have a higher frequent flyer status, some carriers let you take more luggage.

It also depends on your cabin class, as different cabin types allow different amounts (e.g. economy, premium economy, business class and first class). It can be very confusing.

Ask your travel consultant to check specifically on the carrier for each trip.

- Michelle Flazi, Travel Consultant, Flight Centre Miami One, Miami, QLD

"I am not sure when I am coming home. Are tickets flexible?"

It really depends on the type of ticket you have bought. Generally, carriers will charge a re-issue fee which could range between $50-$200, or more.

You may be required to pay the fare difference if you change your flight to a day where the price you booked is no longer available.

There are flexible ticket options which are more expensive but advisable if you need the flexibility.

- Prudence Payne, Flight Centre Air Tactician

 Choosing a flexible ticket option allows you to change your trip at a whim

Tips on cruising: Common Cruising Questions Answered By Experts

More consultant advice: Celebrity Spotting: Best Places To Find Famous Faces

"I am a frequent flyer member. Will I earn points if I fly different carriers?"

There are two major frequent flyer programs within Australia: Qantas Frequent Flyer and Virgin Australia's Velocity Frequent Flyer.

Both work with an airline alliance, and each alliance has a number of different partners where frequent flyer points and status credits can be earned and/or redeemed. The world of frequent flyer points is full of terms and conditions that you will need to check first for eligibility, but if you fly with another carrier you should be eligible as long as they are an alliance partner of the airline in your program.

Other alliances such as Star Alliance, oneworld and Sky Team are global, offering multiple benefits.

- Karen Hale, Senior Travel Consultant, Flight Centre Brookside, Mitchelton, QLD

"What discounts apply to families, specifically children and infants?"

Airlines generally charge 10 per cent of a full fare for a child up to two, then 75 per cent for ages two to 11. This varies between airlines and is a guideline only. Note that, generally, kids' meals are available on most major carriers but it wouldn’t hurt to check.

A Nanny on Board is a 'newish' initiative introduced by Etihad to many of its long-haul flights. Also, most international aircraft on long haul have bassinets for infants. These generally have to be booked ahead of time because of limited availability.

- Kimberly St Clair, Team Leader, Flight Centre Jesmond, Jesmond, NSW

 Children aged two to 11 are usually only charged 75% of their airfare

"Do airlines allow a stopover en-route to Europe? If so, where?"

Yes, because a stopover may be required due to the distance travelled. This is normally just a few hours on the ground to refuel the aircraft, restock, and change the crew.

Most airlines include a stopover in their home port as part of the ticket price. For example, if you fly Singapore Airlines you will stop in Singapore in either direction. Or flying Etihad Airways you will stop over in Abu Dhabi. The major airlines also allow overnight (or longer) stopovers at their hubs, which are a great way to break a journey and minimise jetlag.

- Jamie Meakin, Senior Consultant, Flight Centre Burleigh Heads, QLD

"Business Class seems quite expensive. Are there any other options you can suggest for more comfort?"

There are a few options available that can provide more comfort, especially for long-haul flights.

The innovative Air New Zealand Skycouch is in the main cabin across three seats, folding out to a flat bed.

Premium economy is another alternative that helps bridge the gap between the economy and business class. Qantas, Virgin Australia, Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific and select other carriers offer premium economy from Australia.

A further option is a mixed class airfare. These are a great way to travel in economy on the shorter flight from Australia to Asia, with business class for the longer leg onward to Europe.

Exit row seating is popular with most carriers, allowing you to reserve more legroom and space for a fee. Another popular option is use of your frequent flyer points to upgrade to the next cabin class.

Lastly you could buy an extra seat next to you, cheaper than a business class ticket, to ensure a spare seat to stretch out.

- Sarah Adam, Flight Centre Air Tactician


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Flight Centre's Consultants

At Flight Centre, our consultants have travelled far and wide to offer you informed assistance when it comes to booking your next trip. These blog posts showcase just some of the experiences our consultants have had on recent adventures. We hope you enjoy reading these blog articles.