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Year in Australia - advice about flight changes and agents

Cambridge, United...
posts: 9
Year in Australia - advice about flight changes and agents

I will be spending a year in Brisbane, Australia, starting in July 2014. Having begun to research flight prices (from London, Heathrow/Gatwick), it soon became apparent that when it comes to booking my return flight, July 2015 is too far in advance. The advice I have seen on here and elsewhere suggests I should book for any time (i.e. November 2014) and then change it when flights for July 2015 become available. Is this the right way to approach it?

Also, what is the general feeling on using travel agents in this situation? I have seen that airlines will require a fee to change the booking, but STA Travel offer a Multiflex Pass to change flights for a fixed fee when booking, and charges thereafter are waived. Has anyone had any experience of this? Do any other agents do a similar thing? Or is it worth just sticking with the airline and doing it yourself? The airline in this case would either be Qantas or Emirates.

All in all, lots of questions I know! Thanks in advance

James

Cala d'Or, Spain
posts: 3,432
reviews: 101
1. Re: Year in Australia - advice about flight changes and agents

Why not drop into Trailfinders, they have an office in Cambridge. They are the leading travel agent to Australia and will be able to give you good honest advice.

I have used them for many years without any problems.

Cambridge, United...
posts: 9
2. Re: Year in Australia - advice about flight changes and agents

Thank you very much for your advice

Auckland Region...
posts: 5,060
reviews: 80
3. Re: Year in Australia - advice about flight changes and agents

James, i agree with Crazy...go seek advice from Trailfinders. Very reptable and reliable.

Have a great year in Brisbane, I lived there for a year ...great place!

Edited: 6:39 pm, March 23, 2014
Wellington, New...
posts: 524
reviews: 1
4. Re: Year in Australia - advice about flight changes and agents

I presume you have a working holiday visa? Do you have to have a return ticket? If not I wouldn't bother buying the ticket so far in advance. If there is - just buy a very cheap flight to NZ or Asia (jetstar, airasia, scoot, tiger - none of which a TA will tell you about).

Cambridge, United...
posts: 9
5. Re: Year in Australia - advice about flight changes and agents

Hemi, thanks for your comment.

Lissie, thanks for your comment also. I will be on a student visa, as an exchange year (I think the govt. calls it a Non-Award 575 visa). As far as I know, I don't have to have a return part of my journey, but from looking at prices, it doesn't seem worthwhile doing two one-way tickets.

Wellington, New...
posts: 524
reviews: 1
6. Re: Year in Australia - advice about flight changes and agents

Are you sure? In this part of the world it's rare that there is any saving booking return v. one-way. Check the prices ex-Australia to the UK you may find that they are cheaper (or not - it' of course varies)

Cambridge, United...
posts: 9
7. Re: Year in Australia - advice about flight changes and agents

Lissie, thanks for your comment. For the dates I'm looking at, I could get a return for about £800-900, whereas one-way seems to be at least £650-700 each way, so there is a fairly significant saving to be had

London, United...
posts: 30
reviews: 1
8. Re: Year in Australia - advice about flight changes and agents

Also, even if you got a return flight and just wanted to change the dates at the end STAs option may sound good with no change fees, but you'd still have to pay the fare difference - which is usually a great deal larger than any change fees

Kent
posts: 4,031
reviews: 42
9. Re: Year in Australia - advice about flight changes and agents

prob too late now but if you look at reviews for STA travel the multipass gets very bad write ups

Cambridge, United...
posts: 9
10. Re: Year in Australia - advice about flight changes and agents

No, not too late yet! Multipass does have some bad reviews, you're right. I'll try Trailfinders, and see what they can do for me. Thanks all for your help