This story was too good to keep under my hat! We decided to stop in Hawaii on our way back to the US in April, and have been researching airfares from Sydney, Australia to Hawaii – then ultimately to San Diego, California. This search turned up a wonderful surprise. We will spend less – in fact considerably less – by stopping in Hawaii rather than flying straight back! And this isn’t chump change, we’re talkin’ a grand.
So here are the marvelous details. If we fly Sydney to San Diego direct, the lowest fare we could find is $1,350/person. If we fly Sydney to Honolulu on Jetstar, and then on to San Diego on Delta, the fare is $865/person. That means we save approximately $1,000 on the total fare, which will certainly pay all our expenses for the week we will spend in Hawaii. How cool is that!
There are a couple of factors at work here. First, low-cost airlines are having a huge impact on air travel all over the world. Our Sydney to Honolulu flight is on Jetstar, which has a network in Asia. But we’ve flown on a number of small, cheap airlines in Europe, the Middle East, as well as Asia. Services are stripped to the bone, and there are fees for everything, but their fares are so, so cheap. We flew from Rome to Athens for $45/person!
The other issue is flexibility on when you travel. Selling seats on a plane, like all other commodities, is based on supply and demand. When lots of people want to fly (Monday morning for business meetings), prices go up. And when the planes are almost empty (middle of the night), prices plummet. We’re lucky to be very flexible, and we have learned how to work the system. Consequently, what most people see as a nuisance, such as an unnecessary stop in Hawaii, we see as a huge benefit, and we’re going for it.
Obviously, these flights won’t work for the once-a-year vacation folks, but for nomads like us, they’re brilliant.