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Help with open-jaw flight: Toronto -- Hanoi, Aukland -- Toronto

Posted by tadams on 12/2/2009 at 15:26

Hi everyone!

I'm planning a one-year trip to SE Asia, Australia and New Zealand: I'll be flying from Toronto to Hanoi (or Bangkok), and leaving New Zealand for Toronto at the end of my trip. I'm having a problem finding airlines that treat this as a "roundtrip" flight as opposed to two one-ways. As a result, the prices are through the roof!

I've posted a (very skeletal) itinerary below to give you a rough idea of my trip. My main concerns are getting the large flights booked (Flight 1 and Flight 4), although I'm hoping to get optional stopovers that I could use to my advantage.

Any help would be much appreciated... I feel as though I'm doing circles searching online! Let me know if you have any flight suggestions with my itinerary.

Itinerary:
- Flight 1: Toronto to Hanoi (or Bangkok)
- Bus/train/cheap flights around SE Asia, ending up in Indonesia
- Flight 2: Indonesia to Australia (possibly Air Asia?)
- Flight 3: Australia to New Zealand (possibly Air New Zealand or Qantas?)
- Flight 4: New Zealand to Toronto


Thanks!
-T

#1 tadams has been a member since 4/2/2009. Posts: 6

Posted by amazon_blonde on 12/2/2009 at 21:59

oh Tadams, do I ever know your pain! I am on a 7 month trip and we flew Toronto to Auckland and we will be flying home Hanoi to Toronto - the opposite from you. I have patchy wifi at the moment but will post more tomorrow. I don't have any magic answer but do have some helpful info.

#2 amazon_blonde has been a member since 20/12/2008. Posts: 116


Posted by tadams on 13/2/2009 at 00:55

Awesome! I look forward to hearing from you.

#3 tadams has been a member since 4/2/2009. Posts: 6

Posted by amazon_blonde on 13/2/2009 at 13:05

Okay ... so I wish I had good news, but basically, we found that the cheapest option was to book one-way flights from YYZ to Auckland and from Hanoi back to YYZ. No airline would consider it a roundtrip fare. It is part of Air Canada's network -- the flight from Hanoi connects through Seoul and is on Asiana, a Star Alliance partner. We looked at round-the-world fares, and "circle fares" which are a better fit. Basically a circle fare is like a RTW fare but you can backtrack, crossing the Pacific both outbound and inbound. Flight Centre offers these circle fares I think, and you could google them as well. I think a circle fare from YYZ-Auckland, offering stops in Bali, Thailand (and perhaps others) then back Hanoi-YYZ was about $3500 Canadian. (But this was summer 2008 when the Canadian dollar was par to USD, don't know if that's a factor.)

If you can't find a good circle fare, then one-ways are probably your best option ... unless you can book on points. Do you have any friends or family members who have more Aeroplan points than they know what to do with? If you book far enough in advance (so that there are seats available) you can get YYZ-Auckland and Hanoi-YYZ (or the reverse) as a single ticket for 75,000 Aeroplan points. An excellent deal. I confess, that's what we ended up doing and I had to borrow the points for my partner from my mom (thanks mom!)

Other thoughts I have on your proposed itinerary:

- Are you committed to flying into Hanoi? On Air Canada, the routing from Toronto is YYZ-Vancouver-Seoul-Hanoi. Its a LONG flight. They do allow a free stopover in Seoul if you're interested (which we are doing to avoid what would otherwise be a 13 hour layover at the Seoul airport).

- We flew from Sydney to Bangkok and found Jetstar to be the cheapest. They also fly out of Indonesia. Check out their fares and Air Asia. But watch your baggage allowance. Some Jetstar fares do not allow any checked baggage, others do. You can also buy excess baggage in advance which is cheaper than paying at the airport.

- Between Sydney and Christchurch we found that Emirates was cheapest, then Air New Zealand. (Again, watch baggage allowances.) Emirates in flight service and ground crew were amazing - would definately go out of my way to fly with them again. Best fares were found through Kayak.com (checks multiple travel sites, a good resource if you haven't used it before).

- Thai Airways - if you're ever looking at booking a flight on Thai through expedia.com or another on-line travel website, make sure you check the fair on Thai's own website as well. Unlike AC or other north american flights where you might only pay a little extra to use an online travel agent like Expedia or Orbitz, with Thai it was more than 30% cheaper to book direct. We had to pay in Thai baht, but it was on credit card so that didn't matter.

Let me know if there's anything else I can tell you. We've also flown between Thailand and Laos, Laos and Cambodia, and will be flying domestically in Vietnam in the next few weeks.

Cheers.

#4 amazon_blonde has been a member since 20/12/2008. Posts: 116

Posted by tadams on 13/2/2009 at 14:36

Thanks for the write-up! I'm heading out of town for the next few days but will read this through more thoroughly when I get back.

Take care :)

#5 tadams has been a member since 4/2/2009. Posts: 6

Posted by tadams on 25/2/2009 at 12:51

Hi! In response:

- Unfortunately I don't have anyone who has any points, or that would be a great route to go!

- I'm not entirely committed to starting in Hanoi , although I would like to start in SE Asia and work my way down to NZ --- Hanoi seemed like the most logical starting point as it's the northern-most city we'd likely visit.

- I have a friend in Seoul so the Air Canada flight would be great :P. I've just finished searching but I can't seem to find the Air Canada YYZ-Seoul-Hanoi flight... they all fly direct YYZ to Hong Kong then to Hanoi. It's frustrating, most airlines only post the more direct flights! Did you find it through a travel agent?

- Finally, my travel agent has found an open-jaw flight from YYZ to Hanoi and return Sydney to YYZ. Both flights are via Paris. The total is $2980, and I believe that includes taxes and fees. Definitely the best I've seen so far. Any thoughts?

:P Hope your trip is going well!

-T

#6 tadams has been a member since 4/2/2009. Posts: 6

Posted by amazon_blonde on 26/2/2009 at 17:17

strangely, on points the route was ONLY via Seoul. (I would have preferred HK.) Perhaps you could speak with an Air Canada rep on the phone about whether the Seoul routing is possible.

As for the $2980 fare, that's cheaper than anything we found so if it's cheaper than 2 one-way segments ...

My last comment would be that flights are fairly good value once here. Perhaps see if it's cheaper to fly YYZ to Saigon (our flights from SGN to Hanoi were $70 usd each). Or consider what the flight from Bkk to Hanoi is.

#7 amazon_blonde has been a member since 20/12/2008. Posts: 116

Posted by tadams on 28/2/2009 at 11:00

Good news! We've booked a RT sale flight to Melbourne from LA for about 1150 CAD from Qantas (the flight from BUF to LA is only 140 CAD, one way, putting us at $1290!).

We now just need a flight from Melbourne to SE Asia and we're set: start our trip in SE Asia and work our way back to Melbourne for our flight home.

You're right, Jetstar seems to be the cheapest and most versatile for flying to SE Asia from Aus (about 400 CAD, one-way). As for booking once there, is it easy to get a last minute flight, say from Saigon to Hanoi? (On a side note, has anyone ever tried standby?)

#8 tadams has been a member since 4/2/2009. Posts: 6

Posted by amazon_blonde on 28/2/2009 at 18:43

Posted from within Vietnam.

we booked our Saigon-Hanoi flight only about 2 weeks in advance and there seemed to be lots of flights left. Easy to do on their website. Consider booking a few weeks ahead of time as the change fees as really reasonable (less than $10 usd for domestic I think).

#9 amazon_blonde has been a member since 20/12/2008. Posts: 116

Posted by brucemoon on 1/3/2009 at 12:52

tadams

You're right, jetsar in Oz is probably the cheapest option to SE Asia from melbourne. An alternative is Air Asia. But they forward sell their cheap flights and last minute wonders pay dearly!

If you are thinking Indo, then a hop over to Singapore for Oz can give plenty of options (eg. Tiger, etc.). Tiger fly Singapore - Perth (great place) and onto Melbourne (if you really must visit there!!!). Jetset do Singapore to Darwin (really laid back) and onto various cities eg. Cairns [coooel], Sydney [OK!], Melb)

Alternatives for searching are:

http://www.airninja.com/index.htm

* Airninja merely shows the budget carriers doing routes in Asia, you must then search the carriers. It also shows full fare options when there are no budget options_ expedia etc., but always check all as those options are sometimes restricted.

http://travel.yahoo.com/;_ylt=Age1NsUJJykMqMi0_xGlCosrWMMF

* As an alternative, Yahoo can be good value.

Cheers

#10 brucemoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by brucemoon on 1/3/2009 at 13:19

tadams

I should have also suggested you read:

http://www.travelfish.org/feature/125

for some extra 'tips'.

cheers

#11 brucemoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by Mariane12 on 25/4/2009 at 17:00

Hi. I'm leaving in 3 weeks and haven't booked any flights yet! I just finished my teaching contract in Korea so I'll be flying out from here. My plan is to fly from Korea to Hanoi first, then fly to Chiang Mai and work my way down to Phuket. Then fly out of Bangkok home to Toronto. What would be my best bet for this? Is it possible to book a one-way flight from Korea to Toronto and just add destinations? Or should I book individuals flights? The flights I've found to Hanoi so far are about 500$ which seems pretty pricy. I'm driving myself crazy looking at a million different sites trying to find the best deal.

Please help!!!

#12 Mariane12 has been a member since 17/4/2009. Posts: 7

Posted by amazon_blonde on 26/4/2009 at 11:25

See my other reply to this exact question in the other thread.

#13 amazon_blonde has been a member since 20/12/2008. Posts: 116

Posted by brucemoon on 27/4/2009 at 08:22

Mariane12

I just looked at AirNinja, to discover that AirNinja does not list a LCCT's (low cost carrier terminals) servicing Korea.

I looked at Orbitz.com, and it shows a 1 stopover with China Southern Airlines [Soeul, Guangzou, Hanoi) for $299.

Kayak.com shows same at $288.

cheers

#14 brucemoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941


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