Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Flights booked - visa on the way
I have been haunting airlines and hotel websites for around a month now. I thought I had found the best deal. It seems that prices rise incredibly after mid-November. I guess this is due to the holiday season, but really, do India and Dubai celebrate Christmas? Anyway, smart investigative Am found the best deal ever and saved a shiteload of money on flights. I have to tell you all how smart I am. If you go with a central booking company like expedia.com.au, check the airlines directly for their deals. The deals do not appear on Expedia!!!
I was about to pay $2950 for two flights on el cheapo airlines, flying for 24 hours, stopping here there and everywhere ... because I thought that was the cheapest deal ever. That was with Singapore Airlines. Sorry, but stopping in Sydney, or shopping in Singapore, let alone anywhere - even a local centre of Western consumer greed - or "mall" - as they are known in the USA - leaves me in a state of wanting to dry retch and run for an anti-anxiety pill.
My preferred choice of airline has always been the good old Australian standard - QANTAS. This is the airline that has never crashed, never had a serious air incident, never been hijacked, and certainly never flown into tall buildings by evil religious fanatics in search of martyrdom and an easy entry to the foot of the throne of "Allah". It was even mentioned in the movie Rain Man, as being the world's safest airline. Not that I'd ever act on advice from Mr Spiritually-Super-Scary Tom Schmooze.
QANTAS has always provided excellent service, has stayed in the air through many changes in the Aussie airline industry, fought off competition from Ansett, Compass, Virgin Blue, and now Tiger Airways. QANTAS has always been the first choice of travellers over aged 25, who grew up with the airline, came to know it as offering better quality and a higher standard of service. Despite the latest media reports that bits of have fallen off QANTAS aircraft due to exploding gas cylinders, and, just yesterday, it appears that a computer malfunction caused 300-odd people to shit their pants when a QANTAS plane en route from Singapore to Perth (yep, one we would have been on back home) had a sudden drop in altitude of around 2000 feet. No-one was seriously injured.
A few not wearing seat belts got a bump on the head. Those taking a walk down the gang plank intent on dumping in the on-board toilets (one really should avoid those potentially disembowling festering suck holes) were thrown about the plan and received more "grievous" injuries by hand luggage stowed in the over head lockers that may move in flight. But no-one died. No-one suffered injures causing permanent disability. There was no crash. No fire. No drownings in a plane submerged in an ocean. Heck. No-one even had to put on a life jacket much less use the oxygen masks. If that's the best QANTAS can do in terms of screwing up its safety record of more than 50 years, I'll fly QANTAS any day.
On a more serious note, QANTAS even employs women over the age of 40 to so respected and lofty position of flight attendant. Stick that one up your aging butt "Sir" Richard Branson. Many of don't want your young chicks with their forced fun and funky attitude. We like older, experienced flighties who know how to hell save is in the event of an emergency. If you were were seeking employment as a flight attendant based on your age, you'd not pass the written test, much less the first interview.
All that aside, QANTAS still serves horrible meals on board, but at least a hungry one does not have to fork out $7.00 in cash for a chicken caesar role of the standard one would not feed a dog when flying Virgin. Nor have to suffer the inane "funkiness and joviality" of the new generation of young, good looking and appropriately sized "fun" crew employed by Virgin Airlines. Add to that, there's no free alcohol, if one is inclined to inbibe on a long and tedious flight (not recommended), nor free movies with the Virgin .. nope, you have to swipe your card at the back of the headrest in front of you, and pay ten bucks for the latest offering of crap from the box office. Plus, headphones cost $2!!! For this insult, one pays the same price for a shit flight with Virgin as one does for a slightly better, less annoying, and much superior flight with QANTAS.
I guess I am saying here that my first preference would always be to fly QANTAS, bad meals aside. But QANTAS was going to cost $3400 for two return flights.
And then I found Emirates. Mmm. Major mmm. Same planes, same inboard service, chicks in cute veiled hats ... who cares ... the food and vino is included in the price of the flight. Better still, they fly direct to Dubai (11 hours) ... we get a stopover in Dubai of nine hours (shopping ... yippeee ... shopping is good in a foreign land ... where do I go, what do I do ... Jackie, where are you?) Then we go to Mumbai (a 3 hours flight) - total flying time 14 hours. Nice!
Right now I am just rambling on about airlines and planes ... because we have booked ... and have little else to say. And we have paid. And it is now super real. And we are both excited. And happy. Bob said to me tonight he hasn't seen me this happy since ... hmmm ... before we started IVF. So true. And I didn't think it showed.
Two return airfares with Emirates are normally $7700. Whoot. I just bought our fares for $2079 - two of them - return. Can you believe it? They happen to have an India sale on right now. Right when we need it. The only restriction we have is that we have to stay in India for 7 days. Yeah right, like that is hard to do.
So screw Singapore Airlines, and screw QANTAS ... as for Virgin Atlantas ... peh ... bring on the veiled gals and their hats.
We depart Perth 7am November 10 and arrive Mumbai November 11 at 2.45pm.
We will be at the Marriott Juhu (AUD$500 per night ... have frequent flyer points, will use on partnership hotels ... nice) until November 18 and depart Mumbai at 4.45pm to come home. To our doggie. And our kitties .. and our two week wait!
I have to go to sleep now.
This is really thrilling!
Posted by Phoenix at 9:56 PM