Thursday, March 08, 2007

the intricacies of airfares - part 2

i decided to add a hong kong leg/side trip to my upcoming overseas holiday to singapore, somewhat spuriously as a result of jetstar's sale fares from singapore to HK. after checking with YC - the only person in HK i know well enough to rope into the role of tour guide/interpreter - i changed my travel dates to be outside of the sale period, so as to coincide with YC's already planned leave from work. when i finally got around to booking the flights, i was pleasantly surprised to find that my outbound leg was again on (a different) sale. so in the end i get to fly for only a bit more than the original sale fares, and enjoy the availability of a local host. it was then that i struck another peculiarity of the world of airfares...

having learnt my lesson from the last time i almost missed a bargain, i made an immediate booking for the SG-HK leg of the journey, but decided against booking the return leg in the hopes that the price would drop. i then found out the reason for the cheaper SG-HK trip, and concluded my hope for the return leg might be in vain, so i proceeded to book the HK-SG leg. here's the thing:

if i had booked my return leg together with my outbound leg, it would have cost me SGD209 ($149 for flight, $60 for taxes). but if i book it as a single one-way trip from HK, it costs HKD906 ($628 for flight, $278 taxes).

converting to AUD that's a total of about $175 and $145 respectively. exactly the same flight, but with a variation of about $30 depending on where you book from. don't ask me why! i'm just glad i stumbled across the unexpected saving, as a result of trying to hope for a different type of saving :p

it's a bit like the travel between singapore and KL, from what i understand... the same numerical figure fare applies for flights from KL to singapore and from singapore to KL - the former you book/pay for in malaysia, using malaysian ringgits; the latter you book/pay for in singapore, using singapore dollars. at a conversion of roughly 2:1 for MYR:SGD, that's a significant difference!

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