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Get the best fare Kuala Lumpur to Christchurch and Dunedin

by on July 25, 2015
 

Sometimes the direct route to your destination doesn’t get you the best fare – we did a few trips Kuala Lumpur / Bangkok / Brisbane / Singapore / Bangkok / Kuala Lumpur many years ago because it was much less expensive than a direct flight. That’s an important consideration for a family of four! This was in the days when you went to a travel agent (you still can, remember) and they’d find something for you. Nowadays you can mix and match routes and airlines yourself, but it can take quite a bit of work to find the best deal.

So when this writer was having a conversation recently with someone wanting to go to New Zealand South Island, we got to chatting about the different combinations of routes that will achieve the best result for the pocket.

In the interests of fair and scientific research, we’ll look for flights in the last week of October, returning to Kuala Lumpur in the last week of November. This means you can enjoy the southern Spring weather and escape before the school holiday fares kick in.

In addition, to balance out the variations and price advantages from Low Cost airlines, we will include 20kg of luggage per passenger and one or two meals. **** Insurance and booking fees are not included in the calculations **** It’s also important to remember that some airlines add an administration fee/ card fee/ to the total, which can increase the cost significantly.

Direct Flight, including code share legs

Singapore Airlines via Singapore, direct to Christchurch / Dunedin. The best fare available to Christchurch was MYR 5135. To Dunedin the best fare was MYR5876, via Christchurch. These fares include baggage, meals and in-flight entertainment.

Air New Zealand fares are quoted in SG$ and they state that “Lowest fares per adult are shown below, which may include Premium Economy or Business sectors where Economy fares are not available.”. The fare quoted is the cheapest available but the may be spread over a longer period. A shorter journey is generally only available in the Economy Flexi option. The fare includes meal, drinks and 23kg checked baggage, 7kg hand carry, with on-demand inflight entertainment. The best fare available to Christchurch was SG$1808, but there are stopovers that stretch the journey, as with the best fare to Dunedin, SG$1698.  A shorter flight to Christchurch will cost you SG$2128 and to Dunedin, SG$2198.

Separate flight with self booked connections

Flights via Auckland

Thai Airways  fly to Auckland from Bangkok. Fare Kuala Lumpur / Bangkok / Auckland return is inclusive of 30kg checked baggage, valid for one year and may be changed for no change fee. The best available flight to Auckland was offered at MYR5324.

Malaysia Airlines will fly you direct to Auckland from Kuala Lumpur for MYR3639. The return fare is inclusive of meal/drinks and 30kg checked baggage.

Cathay Pacific flies from Hong Kong to Auckland and quotes the return fare between Kuala Lumpur and Auckland on the selected dates as MYR 6547. Stopovers allowed each way in Hong Kong.

Jetstar doesn’t have any flights Kuala Lumpur / Singapore /Melbourne /Auckland on the requested dates but a 31st October departure, returning 28th November will cost MYR3362 including MYR1050 for the ‘Plus Bundle’ which gives you a meal, seat selection and 20kg baggage on each leg. Base fare which only gives 7kg carry-on baggage is MYR2313. Although Jetstar flies to both Dunedin and Christchurch, you can’t book this route from Kuala Lumpur. To get to either of these destinations by Jetstar, you would need to fly to Auckland and then connect from there.

Flights from Auckland to Christchurch and Dunedin.

Jetstar  has four flights a day to Christchurch, the only one which will comfortably fit with an early evening arrival in Auckland leaves at 9pm and costs NZ$139. Unless your return flight leaves in the late morning, the first morning flight may not connect, the 2.45pm flight the previous day will cost NZ$59 and require an overnight stay. The cheapest Jetstar flights with included baggage to Christchurch was NZ$125, return NZ$95.
To Dunedin, the best fares we found were NZ$95 and return NZ$115.

Air New Zealand offers a number of flights per day between Auckland and Christchurch, currently available with 23kg checked baggage for NZ$118 each way. Dunedin flights start at NZ136 each way for earlier flights, the later in the day the more expensive they become with the last flight to Dunedin at  5pm going for NZ$236 with baggage and back to Auckland at 1.25pm will cost you NZ$308.

Virgin Australia doesn’t fly internally in New Zealand, but they do fly between Australia and New Zealand. (See table below)

Flights via Australia

If you are not an Australian citizen, you may need a Transit Visa if you are passing through Australia, even if you remain on the same plane. The visa is valid for 72 hours and no fee is payable, however you must apply in advance of your trip. Check if you need a visa HERE.

AirAsia to Australia (A Processing fee of MYR 24.00 is charged per passenger per sector when payment is made ONLINE through credit card, debit card or charge card.)  ** A Premium Flex option has been selected for one leg of each selection where there is an overnight flight, wiht the normal fare selected for the other leg.

Sector Date / Best price Upgrade to Premium Add meals/ baggage Date / Best price Add meals/ baggage Base fare Return Add meals/ baggage Premium Flex  (all in/full service) Total Return fare + options
AirAsiaKUL/OOL/KUL 29th Oct MYR499 MYR250 each way 15+89 (104) 27th Nov MYR 738 15+89 (104) MYR1237 MYR208 MYR1737 MYR1525
AirAsiaKUL/MEL/KUL 29th Oct MYR449 MYR320 / MYR250 15+89 (104) 27th Nov MYR 663 15+89 (104) MYR1112 MYR208 MYR1682 MYR1418
AirAsiaKUL/SYD/KUL 29th Oct MYR559 MYR410 / MYR410 15+89 (104) 27th Nov MY R688 15+89 (104) MYR1247 MYR208 MYR2067 MYR1553

Virgin Australia doesn’t fly between Kuala Lumpur and Australia, neither do they fly out of the Gold Coast to New Zealand, so if you’ve flown into the Gold Coast, you’ll need to travel to Brisbane to catch flights to either Christchurch or Dunedin. There are only two direct flights per day to Christchurch and the cheapest fare available with 23kg checked baggage and a drink is AUD302. This leaves Brisbane at 5.45pm. The cheapest equivalent return flight is AUD259, leaving Christchurch at 6.20 am. For Dunedin, on the dates required there is no direct flight, the cheapest flight is via Auckland with an 11 hour stopover.

There are two direct flights daily to Christchurch from Melbourne, but none to Dunedin, these require a lengthy stopover in Auckland.

From Sydney to Christchurch (return) there are two direct flights to Christchurch and three back to Sydney. Flights to and from Dunedin also require lengthy stopovers in either Wellington, Auckland or Christchurch.

Jetstar flies to Christchurch via Sydney. They don’t fly to Dunedin. Direct flights are available from Melbourne, but to Dunedin a lengthy stopover is required in Auckland in both directions. Flights are not available every day. Jetstar operates one direct flights on certain days day from Sydney to Christchurch and a number of flights via Melbourne every day, but no flights to Dunedin.

Qantas flies to Christchurch via Sydney from Brisbane, and via Auckland (or other locations) to Dunedin. Some legs may be on either jetstar or Ari New Zealand flights. Flights from Melbourne to Christchurch are also via Sydney, and Dunedin flights are via Auckland or Auckland and Sydney. There are two direct flights from Sydney to Christchurch, but flights to and from Dunedin require stopovers in Auckland or another airport. Some flights are with code share partners.

Please note that if flights require a transfer between Qantas and Jetstar, passengers are responsible for collecting and transferring their own baggage.

Virgin Australia Brisbane / Christchurch (return) BNE/CHC

AUD302

CHC/BNE

AUD259

Jetstar  Brisbane / Christchurch (return) BNE/CHC

AUD311

CHC/BNE

AUD389

Qantas  Brisbane / Christchurch (return) BNE/CHC

AUD343

CHC/BNE

AUD345

Virgin Australia Brisbane / Dunedin (return) BNE/DUD 

AUD393

DUD/BNE 

AUD259

Jetstar  Brisbane / Dunedin (return) BNE/DUD

No flight

DUD/BNE

No flight

Qantas  Brisbane / Dunedin (return BNE/DUD

AUD417

DUD/BNE

AUD401

Virgin Australia Melbourne / Christchurch (return) MEL/CHC

AUD295

CHC/MEL

AUD318

Jetstar  Melbourne / Christchurch (return) MEL/CHC

AUD336

CHC/MEL

AUD558

Qantas Melbourne / Christchurch (return) MEL/CHC

AUD340

CHC/MEL

AUD342

Virgin Australia Melbourne / Dunedin (return) MEL/DUD

AUD352

DUD/MEL

AUD386

Jetstar  Melbourne / Dunedin (return) MEL/DUD

AUD524

DUD/MEL

AUD254

Qantas Melbourne / Dunedin (return) MEL/DUD

AUD413

DUD/MEL

AUD324

Virgin Australia Sydney / Christchurch (return) SYD/CHC

AUD218

CHC/SYD

AUD258

Jetstar  Sydney / Christchurch (return) SYD/CHC

AUD166

CHC/SYD

AUD213

Qantas Sydney / Christchurch (return) SYD/CHC

AUD327

CHC/SYD

AUD284

Virgin Australia Sydney / Dunedin (return) SYD/DUD

AUD319

DUD/SYD

AUD364

Jetstar  Sydney / Dunedin (return) SYD/DUD

No flight

DUD/SYD

No flight

Qantas Sydney / Dunedin (return) SYD/DUD

AUD319

DUD/SYD

AUD364

The verdict:

Some flexibility in dates may be necessary to find the best prices and  it’s not always possible to match up best prices and timings. Many of the best priced flights involve long layovers at least once and sometimes twice, particularly for those flights to Dunedin.

Price-wise, a combination of Kuala Lumpur / Sydney on AirAsia, combined with the Virgin Australia fare to Christchurch looks like the winner if the timings work for you.

If you prefer to get to Dunedin, The AirAsia / Virgin Australia combination may work if you can get from the Gold Coast to Brisbane Airport. The easiest way to do this is by the Brisbane Airtrain. There is a bus from the Gold Coast Airport which meets the train. The train fare to the Brisbane Airport is AU$14.45 if purchased online more than 7 days in advance. A return ticket costs AU$27.20. If you have an early morning return flight from Gold Coast to Kuala Lumpur though, this option will not work time-wise but may do so for an afternoon flight.

Once you’ve identified routes, it’s also useful to compare fares on one of the many sites that do this. However, booking through these sites often adds a booking fee that is higher than what the airline charges so go direct to the airline to book.

Note: Exchange rates have not been included as they are currently quite volatile for some currencies.

Photo credit: Chan Siew Kit

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