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Air travel for Asia Holiday - Logistical nightmare!

Horndean
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19 posts
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Air travel for Asia Holiday - Logistical nightmare!

I am trying to plan the holiday of a lifetime but am unable to figure out the best way of organising the flights. It seems that you pay a premium if you do not complete a return flight, but that is not convenient if you are moving on to another country.

Plan is to go from London and visit Nepal, Tibet and Burma. It will take place in September and October. Due to weather I thought it best to arrive in Burma as late as possible. I would stay about 2 weeks in each country.

Can anyone advise a good way of doing this, it does not have to be the cheapest, but cost is important.

Thanks a lot

Portland, Oregon
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for Air Travel
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1. Re: Air travel for Asia Holiday - Logistical nightmare!

I would suggest in this case you contact a reputable full service travel agent, with expertise in air travel, with whom you can talk one on one and look at various options. Trailfinders would be my first point of call.

http://www.trailfinders.com/

But even then, I'd make sure you have a draft schedule/itinerary, where you want to go, and in which order, so they're best positioned to guide you.

Liverpool, UK
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2. Re: Air travel for Asia Holiday - Logistical nightmare!

Sounds like you need an open jaw ticket (fly into one airport, return from another) for your flights from/to the UK.

Not sure whether you also need internal flights between locations or are relying on ground transportation - in addition to Trailfinders you might also considering visiting Kuoni who also specialise in tailor made packages.

http://www.kuoni.co.uk/en/pages/default.aspx

Prior to visiting any travel agent I'd suggest spending some time researching the various flight options on a search site - I personally use kayak for these searches although there are other search engines.

http://www.kayak.co.uk/

Warks.England
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for Myanmar, Yangon (Rangoon), Ngapali, Tossa de Mar
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3. Re: Air travel for Asia Holiday - Logistical nightmare!

I think your problem is having Tibet in your itinerary as all the others are manageable with little backtracking.If you leave out Tibet then this is the way to do it,without having the expense of multiple airlines/one leg tickets.(There is access to Myanmar from China through Kunming)

Although Bangkok is the usual airport for access to Yangon here are a couple of weekly flights from India to Myanmar, and whilst I would not recommended them,you could use Air India for all your flights.

London-Delhi/Calcutta-Kathmandu-Calcutta-Yangon-Calcutta-London.

Please do let us know how you get on.

Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: Air travel for Asia Holiday - Logistical nightmare!

Your main difficulty is the lack of direct flights between your three destinations in Asia. The way I would book it is (as already mentioned) with an open jaw ticket from the UK - into Beijing or Shanghai to then connect to a domestic flight to Lhasa. Then fly direct from Lhasa to Khatmandu. From there to Bangkok (easily booked one way on Thai Airways). Then get a return ticket between BKK and Yangon (Air Asia for cheap fares, Thai for reliability and service. Bangkok Airways somewhere in between). Then fly home from Bangkok.

All book able online, but a travel agent might be better if you're un confident.

UK
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5. Re: Air travel for Asia Holiday - Logistical nightmare!

For the holiday of a lifetime, take a few hours out and sit with a travel agent who can sort it for you. I would recommend Trailfinders as they have helped me sort trips out to the far east and South America, I am sure there are others but I speak as I find. I think the closest to you is probably Brighton, it may seem like a PITA, but could save you a lot of hassle. the example I give is when visiting Angkor Wat our flight to BKK was delayed 12 hours, TA changed 3 hotels and 2 flights for us otherwise we would have lost a day at Angkor Wat. You are also not dealing with a faceless booking site.

UK
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6. Re: Air travel for Asia Holiday - Logistical nightmare!

another vote for a specialist agency, also try Travelbag

Hong Kong, China
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7. Re: Air travel for Asia Holiday - Logistical nightmare!

SydneyStephen has some great ideas, but I also think that for the holiday of a lifetime, a good travel agent can make it perfect!

uk
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8. Re: Air travel for Asia Holiday - Logistical nightmare!

I'd certainly second the advice about using a good travel agent that are used to developing this sort of trip.

You can always take their plan and see if you can match it all on line yourself for a better price.

Horndean
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19 posts
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9. Re: Air travel for Asia Holiday - Logistical nightmare!

Wow - I was only out for a short time and see all the good advice I have been given.

I had never even heard the term 'Open Jaw Ticket', but I agree that is what I need. I note that a number of online sites cannot even quote one way.

The plan was to go to each major city then take an overland tour to see what I could in the time available.

I would hate to leave out Tibet as that was one of the most interesting places to go. I would be prepared to drop Nepal as I have been there before.

I have spent quite sometime looking at the internet and trying to put together a schedule - that is why I turned to the forum!!

You mostly say to use a good travel agent, trouble is I feel that if I did not take their advice I would be wasting their time, also that they might not be prepared to search out the cheaper flights in the same way as I do. It is a bit like choosing something from a shop then buying it cheaper on the internet! I do feel a bit guilty about that.

Mickt - you raised an issue I had not considered - ie significant delay and agent rearranged everything for you. Were you charged for that? Reason I ask is that if I organise it all myself, in order to get the cheapest fares they will likely be all non refundable - so I could loose out there heavily.

Thank you all for your input, I will explore all the options raised.

Cheers

UK
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968 posts
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10. Re: Air travel for Asia Holiday - Logistical nightmare!

Hi, no they did not charge me for the re-arrangements. They booked me on one ticket with a couple of airlines, so I think that is why they were able to do it. On that occasion also, they told me the day before that there would be a delay, so we spent a night at home, others who had booked direct with EVA spent the night in a hotel, no charge, but much prefer own bed.

I know what you are saying about it maybe costing a bit more, but when you consider the whole cost of such a trip, peace of mind and the help of somebody who knows you can go back in and see them, is worth the little bit extra. The reason I like Trailfinders is that they don't say this is what you can get, they do give you options.

Personally I look for flights etc before I go in to the TA, if they are way off I tell them what I have found, they sometimes match, and sometimes better the price. I have no qualms about walking out if they can not do what I want for the price I want.