Australia & NZ
Weekly Travel Q&A: Sydney to London Stopovers
What airline consistently offers the best deals on one night stopovers from Sydney to London?
Bryce J., Noosa Heads
Sydney-London stopover possiblity? Marina Bay Sands Hotel Skypark, Singapore – Photo credit
Good question Bryce and one, we should add, that comes up on a fairly regular basis. Every once in a while, we need to revise and refine the answer.
A solid long haul flight stopover, for my money, is a city with a sweet airport and/or a city that evokes enough interest to warrant a short visit – but not necessarily one where a week or two is requisite. With that, a parade of usual suspects, airlines and stopovers alike, make the long distance trip from Sydney to London less of a grind.
The ultimate choice usually boils down to Etihad, Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Qantas and Cathay Pacific, with typical stopovers in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok. A cursory but comprehensive search for flights in July all come out about the same, to be honest. Expect to pay about AUD 2,700 to AUD 3,300 return.
You can hardly do worse with any of these options Bryce – all five airlines made the top 10 in the 2011 Skytrax World Airline Awardsâ„¢. Moreover, Hong Kong International and Singapore Changi came in 1 and 2, respectively, at the 2011 Skytrax World Airport Awardsâ„¢, with special plaudits for Dubai International (Best in the Middle East) and Abu Dhabi (Best Premium Service Airport finalist). As for Bangkok Suvarnabhumi, it just made the top 10 as one of the best airports in the world at the 2010 Skytrax Awards.
With little difference in price points, it could come down to hotels. One night in Bangkok, for example, can be that much more memorable if you stay at a luxe spot like The Peninsula Hotel Bangkok. Another option is the Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport Hotel Bangkok, which year in and year out rates as one of the best airport hotels in Asia.
Only have one night in Singapore? Easy choice. Stay at the Marina Bay Sands. I know, I know – the plush mega-theme resort has barely been open a year and already seems clichÃ© but come on, you have one night to let loose.
Hong Kong hotels rule, most famously in the luxury department. Since rapid transit from the airport to Central is a snap, you can stay at a swish address like the Landmark Mandarin Oriental Hotel Hong Kong or the tony Mercer Hotel Hong Kong.
The U.A.E. offers a different kind of stopover from Sydney to London, especially if you crash at a hotel like the Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi or Burj Al Arab Dubai. OK, maybe a little too decadent but hey, when in the Arabian Peninsula…
Another possibility. While they may not all be accessible from Sydney to London – you may have to fly out from Perth or Brisbane, for example – a tidy ensemble of more unusual stopovers exists. Want to mix it up on your Australia to London journey? Why not fly through Mauritius (Air Mauritius from Perth), Johannesburg (Qantas/British Airways from Sydney et al.), Brunei (Royal Brunei Airlines from Brisbane and Perth) or Seoul (not so unusual at all and simple with Asiana from Sydney)?
Think about it.