Malaysia Airlines SGD $630.40
Qantas SGD $748.10
Tiger Airways SGD $766.62
British Airways SGD $802.20
Singapore Airlines SGD $854.20
AirAsia SGD $932.00
Holiday Airfare Survey was conducted on Wednesday 23rd of November, with all Singapore-Perth return flight searches being made online 10am - 5PM. In each instance, the lowest economy fare offered by each airline was the one selected and featured in the survey - all fare data was taken from each airline's own website, not from airfare aggregators such as Expedia.com. For all holidays there was a standard departure date of 05/12/2001 and return of 31/12/2011, though the actual arrival and departure times obviously differ among the various operators, kept within 24hours. Screen captures at the base of this article will evidence each fare.
The Holiday Airfares Survey has revealed opportunistic low-cost operators are frequently more expensive than full-service airlines like Qantas and Singapore Airlines. We conducted our study and discovered that AirAsia hiked their holiday airfares so high, the no-frills operator is now more expensive than the top-shelf full-service carriers.
As explained by a guest on Tripadvisor: "If you check, most of the airlines are full-service - and among the most awarded airlines in the world. They don't demand extra fees in addition to the booking for seat allocation, stowed luggage, food and drink, et al. The MOST expensive holiday fare on the sample routes by a considerable margin was the 'cut-price' - AirAsia - boasting fares that include none of the comforts/necessities of the full-service outfits. So, why are they so much more darned expensive?"
The respected full-service carriers - but not MAS - all offer direct flights. As AirAsia is not able to offer a direct flight, could that perhaps explain why it is more expensive than other airines? Well, another 'cut-price' airline in the survey is Tiger Airways, which also has its own stopover on the Singapore to Perth route, yet its fare is one of the lowest in our pre-holiday survey.
Currently, there is an AirAsia Singapore campaign touting new year flights to Melbourne and Perth from SGD $189, as opposed to their current holiday gift to you, where you pay SGD $932 for no legroom and crap service. How many $189 flights do they actually release for sale to the public, hmm?
Malaysia Airlines are offering the lowest fare of ALL the carriers, albeit with a short stopover under an hour and a half. Should we applaud MAS? Well, let's just say fares like this wouldn't have occurred before the recent takeover of Malaysia Airlines by the politician-laden board of AirAsia. Rest assured, 'Teflon Tony Fernandes' and Malaysia's bent politicians are already showing telltale signs of what they have in store for the two former Malaysian competitors. Stay tuned for our new expose in the next issue - our special Christmas follow-up to our original AirAsia scam report HERE.
Finally, we priced flights Singapore to Melbourne. Incredibly, before we factor in the typical extraneous 'cut-price' costs, versus none on full-service carriers, AirAsia was already over $200 more expensive than Qantas. What the heck? Isn't AirAsia supposed to be a cut-price operator? Again, let's not forget that we haven't included any of the add-ons that you will incur with AirAsia, such as food & drink, check-in luggage, seating allocation, et al. Let's add $50 for that. Take a good look at yourself, AirAsia?? We are going to be onto you like Sea Shepherd blitz around Japanese whaling boats.
The moral is do not blindly rely on cut-price carriers to offer cheaper flights - they frequently do not. They are polished conmen marketeers and they are clearly relying on people blindly assuming that 'cut-price' will be significantly cheaper than full-service carriers. Further, shop around - in advance. Last minute deals are for hotels, not airlines - AirAsia push the prices way up when they know we most desperately need to travel, during holidays plus when it's unexpected and on short notice. Do not use aggregators such as Expedia.com for anything but research - they are significantly more expensive than going directly to the airline's website. Do not believe their lowest price guarantees - as that is a marketing scam. Use the aggregator to shop online for the cheaper alternatives, then go to the airline website and be nicely surprised by the 10-30% you will save.
THE EVIDENCE *
1. Singapore to Perth - terms as above
2. Singapore to Melbourne - terms as above