I am flying from Dubai to Bangkok in December and I am overwhelmed by the sheer number of options for the 5000km/3000 mile flight. There are hundreds of viable Business Class and Economy Class options. If I travel the hour and a half journey by car to Abu Dhabi, there are hundreds more.
While only three airlines (FlyDubai, Emirates and Thai) run direct services, they still have ten direct services a day between them. Multiple indirect services go via a whole range of fascinating stopover places! Kazakhstan anyone?
So I kept playing and searching. I found in December that flying from Cairo to Bangkok via Dubai is cheaper than directly flying from Dubai on nearly all airlines:
- Emirates $US596 in Economy & $2114 in Business Class from Dubai VS $369 Eco & $754 Business from Cairo. What is crazy is that not only is distance further but in the case of Emirates the differennce in price on a Busienss Class seat is $1400 cheaper than direct from Dubai. On the second leg, I am in the same aircraft in the same class. (Maybe even the same seat)!
- Royal Jordanian: $757 Eco & $1864 Bus Vs $320 Eco & $700 Business from Cairo. In the case of Royal Jordanian, I can fly Business Class from Cairo for less than their Economy fare from Dubai!
The pattern was the same from Abu Dhabi:
- Etihad: $577Eco & $2258 Business from AUH VS $329 & $759 Business from Cairo
Gulf, Kuwait, Oman and Turkish all had similar patterns. Qatar not so much.Biman Bangladeshi had a very cheap flight from Dubai but I am not flying them-ever!
What gets more interesting is that for around $150 in Economy or $300-$400 in Business I can fly the 1,503 miles from Dubai to Cairo.
In fact, flying from Dubai to Cairo on an Economy ticket and then back again and onto Bangkok on a Business ticket saves hundreds on the business fare out of Dubai! In Economy, the savings are still there. And I get a Cairo stopover.
These anomalies show up all the time. I used to buy Premium tickets from Auckland, New Zealand to the USA instead of Sydney, Australia. Even with the Sydney to Auckland flight, I could save hundreds if not thousands! I would combine a business trip to New Zealand and it all became very worthwhile.
In this case, I have the time and I have always wanted to see the Pyramids!
The next dilemma is choosing the airline. The fares and durations are all slightly similar. I have narrowed to six options:
- Qatar was much pricier than the others so I cancelled them out even if they are my favourite airline
- Egyptair didn’t grab me nor did Kuwait Airlines even though I have not flown either and I like finding new airlines
- Oman is also a new airline for me and the second leg is on a 787 which I am trying to get on as much as I can
- I am tempted by Royal Jordanian because I earn Qantas points and status and I get to be on their 787 for the second leg
- Emirates is also a front runner because it means a 380 but I get no Qantas status credits with them and very few Qantas frequent flyer points ( I am not starting a new Emirates frequent flyer account!)
- Etihad would allow me to earn a decent number of points and to improve my status level with Virgin Australia
That’s my dilemmas!
How would you choose?