Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Information Desk
Reload this Page >

How do I judge what is a good business class fare?

How do I judge what is a good business class fare?

Reply

Old Nov 10, 18, 6:02 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 5
How do I judge what is a good business class fare?

I am new to this forum, so thanks for your patience with a newcomer. I have recently experienced an increase in income and a desire to travel further afield as we can now afford to do so in comfort.

We are considering a trip from our home in New York to Australia next March and I started looking at fares. NY to Sydney has round trip 1-stop business class fares for $3900 per person on China Eastern, or $5100 on Etihad. I wish there was a non-stop but the distance appears to be too far. In any case, I am thinking to go with Etihad with a stop in Doha based on what seems to be their better reputation for quality cabins, food and service. How do I know if this is a good fare for this route? Right now this trip is about 5 months out. Is there any way to know when to time a purchase of business class tickets to get the best deal?

Thanks for any advice you might be able to offer.
Vesalius is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 10, 18, 7:29 pm
  #2  
Moderator: Delta SkyMiles, Luxury Hotels, TravelBuzz! and Italy
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 24,865
Welcome to Flyertalk, Vesalius
This is a tricky question and I believe that the best Forum is the Information Desk.
Please follow there...
Obscure2k
TravelBuzz Moderator
obscure2k is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 10, 18, 7:45 pm
  #3  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: MEL CHC
Posts: 12,185
Vesalius Welcome to FT

Originally Posted by Vesalius View Post
I am new to this forum, so thanks for your patience with a newcomer. I have recently experienced an increase in income and a desire to travel further afield as we can now afford to do so in comfort.

We are considering a trip from our home in New York to Australia next March and I started looking at fares. NY to Sydney has round trip 1-stop business class fares for $3900 per person on China Eastern, or $5100 on Etihad. I wish there was a non-stop but the distance appears to be too far. In any case, I am thinking to go with Etihad with a stop in Doha based on what seems to be their better reputation for quality cabins, food and service. How do I know if this is a good fare for this route? Right now this trip is about 5 months out. Is there any way to know when to time a purchase of business class tickets to get the best deal?

Thanks for any advice you might be able to offer.
Etihad Airways EY fly via home hub of Abu Dhabi, UAE
Qatar Airways QR fly via home hub of Doha, Qatar
Qatar & UAE are not on friendly terms these days
Middle east route Great Circle Mapper

NYC via USA west coast is a shorter trip.
Routes --->Great Circle Mapper

For Australia consider BNE SYD MEL and maybe even ADL or PER if you want to see that part on the country.

Airlines that fly USA/Canada to/from Australia (not from all airports to all airports)
  • American Airlines AA(LAX - SYD) [OneWorld Alliance] (AS partner)
  • Air Canada AC (YVR – SYD BNE MEL) [Star Alliance]
  • Air New Zealand NZ (LAX SFO IAH ORD YVR via AKL)[Star Alliance]
  • Air Tahiti Nui TN (LAX via Tahiti. Last segments on codeshares) (AA & DL partner)
  • Delta DL (LAX – SYD) (VA & AS partner) [Skyteam Alliance]
  • Fiji Airways FJ (LAX SFO HNL – BNE SYD MEL ADL via Fiji) (QF, AA & AS partner)
  • Hawaiian HA (HNL – BNE SYD) (AA & VA partner)
  • Jetstar JQ (HNL – BNE SYD MEL)
  • Qantas QF (LAX SFO JFK(via LAX) DFW HNL YVR*– SYD; LAX-BNE; LAX SFO-MEL) [OneWorld Alliance] (AS partner){* seasonal}
  • United UA (LAX-MEL, LAX SFO IAH– SYD) [Star Alliance]
  • Virgin Australia VA (LAX – BNE SYD MEL) (codeshares with AC*) (Delta & AC* partner) [*= some routes in 2017-18 link
And others via Asia & Middle East

Last edited by Mwenenzi; Nov 10, 18 at 9:01 pm Reason: edir route map
Mwenenzi is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 10, 18, 8:03 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Vietnam & USA
Programs: Delta PM
Posts: 338
I see $4030 on China Eastern
if you think it is worthwhile to pay $1200 for better food, take Etihad
wxman22 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 10, 18, 8:41 pm
  #5  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: MEL CHC
Posts: 12,185
Originally Posted by wxman22 View Post
I see $4030 on China Eastern
if you think it is worthwhile to pay $1200 for better food, take Etihad
For China Eastern would need to be very aware of the transit procedures and schedule.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China_Eastern_Airlines
Mwenenzi is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 11, 18, 2:04 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Programs: Qatar, Turkish, Aeroflot
Posts: 433
I'd go with China Eastern - cheaper and China is FAR more interesting to stop off in than Abu Dhabi or Doha, both of them are mere plastic cities of nothingness in a giant sandbox. At least Shanghai has culture, history, etc.
bawm and Marschel like this.
ilcannone is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 11, 18, 3:40 am
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 5
Originally Posted by wxman22 View Post
I see $4030 on China Eastern
if you think it is worthwhile to pay $1200 for better food, take Etihad
Are the Chinese airlines ok? I read on TripAdvisor that the cabin crew smokes and my spouse cannot stand cigarette smoke. If Chinese Eastern is reasonably good quality, then I would go with them.

We are thinking about visiting South Australia. Maybe Sydney, Melbourne, Tasmania and Elephant Island near Adelaide. I have a fun conference I would like to go to for a few days in Sydney, and my nephew is an expat working in Melbourne and we would like to visit.
Vesalius is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 11, 18, 3:40 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Programs: SQ *G, AA Plat, AS
Posts: 76
Originally Posted by Vesalius View Post
I am new to this forum, so thanks for your patience with a newcomer. I have recently experienced an increase in income and a desire to travel further afield as we can now afford to do so in comfort.

We are considering a trip from our home in New York to Australia next March and I started looking at fares. NY to Sydney has round trip 1-stop business class fares for $3900 per person on China Eastern, or $5100 on Etihad. I wish there was a non-stop but the distance appears to be too far. In any case, I am thinking to go with Etihad with a stop in Doha based on what seems to be their better reputation for quality cabins, food and service. How do I know if this is a good fare for this route? Right now this trip is about 5 months out. Is there any way to know when to time a purchase of business class tickets to get the best deal?

Thanks for any advice you might be able to offer.
I think you need to play around with Google Flights and some OTA aggregator like Momondo for at least two weeks to get the general sensing of prices. Everyone needs to develop their own price appetite as a rule of thumb in their head. For example for round trip itineraries, I don't look at anything more expensive than $2,400 (intercontinental between non-adjacent continents), $1,600 (intercontinental between adjacent continents) and $800 (intracontinental).

That being said, unfortunately for you, US to Australia has commanded high business class prices historically. You might want to look into repositioning to Canada (e.g. Toronto, Vancouver), Scandinavia (e.g. Gothenburg) or Italy in economy, and then fly onward to Australia on a cheaper business class ticket. Another way to get your cash outlay down would be buying Avianca LifeMiles for cash and redeeming those for business or even first class tickets.
Unionruler is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 11, 18, 3:53 am
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 5
Originally Posted by ilcannone View Post
I'd go with China Eastern - cheaper and China is FAR more interesting to stop off in than Abu Dhabi or Doha, both of them are mere plastic cities of nothingness in a giant sandbox. At least Shanghai has culture, history, etc.
We arenít planning to stop over in the connecting city. We have been to China before and this trip is going to focus on Australia, as this will be our first time to visit. I am thinking China Eastern might be the way to go if the airline is safe and not full of smoke. Given the trip time of 20+ hours, having a flat bed is most important to us. Good food would be nice, but that is secondary and not worth paying much more. For this trip, the cost of the flight will be as much as the cost of a couple of weeks of travel.
Vesalius is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 11, 18, 4:50 am
  #10  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: MEL CHC
Posts: 12,185
Originally Posted by Vesalius View Post
<snip>
We are thinking about visiting South Australia. Maybe Sydney, Melbourne, Tasmania and Elephant Island near Adelaide. I have a fun conference I would like to go to for a few days in Sydney, and my nephew is an expat working in Melbourne and we would like to visit.
Airlines direct from USA land in BNE SYD or MEL. Asian / ME airlines can land in other Au cities as well.

Air fares between the main cities can be reasonable. (Or not)
Australia is big. Great Circle Mapper

Elephant Island is near Antarctica (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elephant_Island) ?
Maybe you mean Kangaroo Island. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kangaroo_Island
However you are not be able to visit all those place in a couple of weeks.

Originally Posted by Vesalius View Post
. <snip>
For this trip, the cost of the flight will be as much as the cost of a couple of weeks of travel.
Suggest you check out the cost on hotels, meals, rental cars & general transport in Australia. You may be surprised. However the exchange rate is moving in your favour.
Mwenenzi is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 11, 18, 5:10 am
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 5
Sorry, meant Kangaroo Island in South Australia. We are thinking to visit Sydney, Melbourne and one more place in that general region of Australia.
Vesalius is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 11, 18, 7:22 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,049
There are sites like hopper/kayak that run their own prediction algorithms to tell you whether it's a good price

if you want hard data, get an expertflyer subscription and you can run your own historical regression (manually doing what hopper/kayak does)
sonofzeus likes this.
paperwastage is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 11, 18, 8:47 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: NYC
Posts: 7,319
Also consider the additional time spent in the air. I know people (though I am not one of them) who prefer the most direct route in Y or PE to save on additional flying and hassle (whcih adds up).China Eastern sounds like torture both ways.

Also worth checking is Fiji air from LAX, Hawaiian, and CX to CNS or PER.. Also check with a TA as online doesn't always give you the best fares.

Your land cost will be much more than the flights for a few weeks. I'd would be very unwise to spend your money on business class and do low budget once there.

The determining factor is how much budget you have, what the added comfort is, and how much will additional money once there improve your trip.

Last edited by erik123; Nov 11, 18 at 8:55 am
erik123 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 11, 18, 9:01 am
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 5
Originally Posted by Unionruler View Post
I think you need to play around with Google Flights and some OTA aggregator like Momondo for at least two weeks to get the general sensing of prices. Everyone needs to develop their own price appetite as a rule of thumb in their head. For example for round trip itineraries, I don't look at anything more expensive than $2,400 (intercontinental between non-adjacent continents), $1,600 (intercontinental between adjacent continents) and $800 (intracontinental).

That being said, unfortunately for you, US to Australia has commanded high business class prices historically. You might want to look into repositioning to Canada (e.g. Toronto, Vancouver), Scandinavia (e.g. Gothenburg) or Italy in economy, and then fly onward to Australia on a cheaper business class ticket. Another way to get your cash outlay down would be buying Avianca LifeMiles for cash and redeeming those for business or even first class tickets.

Momondo gave some interesting results. Thanks for that tip.
Vesalius is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 11, 18, 5:07 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Las Vegas
Programs: LVAIR
Posts: 4
What a best deal for you?
  1. Saving Money
  2. Have a Unique Experience
  3. Good Service and Unlimited food and Drinks
  4. More weight for checking bags
  5. Having a party while you travel
Felix_LVAIR is offline  
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: