Advice on Length of connection time to between Cash and Award tickets on seperate airlines.

By Theresnormissin | Feb 21, 2018, 11:10 AM
Hey all,

I'm looking to make an award booking or two later this year for myself and my partner, but as there is practically zero availability departing from within Australia it looks like I'll need to book a positioning flight if I want to travel in J or F. Like this website says, its best to be flexible with your arrangements! I'm seeking some advice from others regarding how much time they leave between long haul international flights (award or otherwise) on seperate tickets and airlines. Having been massively caught out in the past due to weather I'm now pretty cautious, but I also don't want to waste too much time in transit either.

I've primarily looking at Singapore airport at the moment but thought I'd see if there was a general consensus on whats best across the Asian hubs, eg hours, half a day, a day/night between flights.

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By moa999 | Feb 21, 2018, 11:20 AM
It all depends on your risk.
I've booked as low as 3hrs for a SYD-SIN-SEAsia flight, but where the LCCs are fairly cheap and I can just buy another ticket if I miss it.

For a Aust-SIN-Europe I'd be leaving at least 12, preferably 24 hrs. Issue is the limited number of flights on the Aust-SIN route so recovery if a plane goes tech can take a while.
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By bl5965 | Feb 21, 2018, 11:21 AM
With Singapore, a minimum of 3 hrs is always recommended to re-check in bags etc. However that doesn't account for delays, so perhaps around 6 hrs or so would be sufficient. A day/half day would be overkill unless you wanted to stay overnight or had time for a city tour etc.
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By mviy | Feb 21, 2018, 11:22 AM
So you've already looked at flights departing SYD, MEL and BNE?

Have you searched both for origin to destination and also at multi-city e.g. if you want to go to LHR have you searched both SYD-LHR and also SYD-SIN, SIN-LHR? Sometimes looking at multi-city may help you successfully find seats.

Delays can be very bad sometimes. So there's always a risk doing separate tickets. If you miss your flight all the flights on that booking will automatically be cancelled.
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By Theresnormissin | Feb 21, 2018, 12:25 PM
I've checked out multi city but the weak link appears to be Australia in all of this, even as a WP the month I need to travel in has little-to-no availability out of the eastern seaboard hence the need to position os. Getting beyond singapore, at the moment, appears to be the easy part!
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By keips | Feb 21, 2018, 05:43 PM
We booked frequent flyer tickets Australia to Bali last year on VA. We then had a separate J booking (paid) on Qatar from Bali to Europe. Being very cautious I booked a 36 hour stopover in Bali each way to cover delays. We got diverted on our flight home from Doha and ended up in Singapore instead of Bali (Volcanic Ash of course). We got to Bali a day late but still made our connection because I had factored in a 36 hour window.
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By pointyendmark | Feb 21, 2018, 08:41 PM
Last year I flew into SIN on QR, to transfer onto MH to KUL. It was when bags couldn't be sent all the way on Oneworld if booked on separate PNRs. I thought the 2.5 hours connection would be easy in an efficient airport like Changi, but it wasn't. Lengthy queues for immigration, where people (including my partner) appeared to be pulled at random for 'enhanced checks'. Infuriating. Then we had a long walk to the next terminal and then a long walk to the MH gate. We made it by the skin of our teeth, but it was far from a relaxing J class experience. It's put my partner off transiting SIN now cos of the way he was treated.
My advice is to book tickets on same airline alliance, to get your bags sent through, which saves immigration and re-check in.
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By Reg | Feb 21, 2018, 09:14 PM
I guess you don't have AA points from your profile? Routing via various centres in Australia for an end-to-end may then provide more options, since AA works on a region-to-region basis (a short while back I managed a PER-AUH first class via MEL (PER-MEL was QF business, but same points from anywhere in Australia and no extra for the PER-MEL sector). HAve you looked at PER-SIN links with QF as part of an end-to-end and would they route you via PER for no extra charge??
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By TheCelt | Feb 21, 2018, 11:36 PM
Look at the airport’s website for details and terminals. See if the airlines have an interline arrangement.
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By turner773 | Feb 22, 2018, 02:32 PM
Qantas can also release new award seats for Platinums on request. This is less likely for international flights (though possible) since the decision is made by a computer, but for domestic legs I have often had extra seats in business released to meet connecting flights.
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By Theresnormissin | Feb 22, 2018, 02:54 PM
It's looking likely that it will be QF flight and then on to an EK flight (with EK flight numbers), I could ask nicely on check in but I've never actually travelled like this on two bookings so I'm assuming the answer would be no. Seems the baggage transfer policies on an airline and alliance basis are all over the shop at the moment anyway, so it would be safer not to rely on this. Happy to have a night in Singapore on the way out and on the way back I might purchase a flex ticket, I guess I should know at least half a day out if I'll make the 5-ish hours between connections and I could hopefully amend it with enough time to avoid triggering a no-show situation.
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