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SPECIAL NEWSLETTER - South Pacific Airfare Sale

Saturday 14 March 2009 

Good afternoon

I've mentioned a couple of times in the regular newsletter about how air travel between the US and Australia is becoming massively more competitive.  The former lazy 'competition' between Qantas, Air NZ and United, which saw unusually high fares for passengers and massive profits for Qantas in particular is now being aggressively shaken up, first by the appearance of new discount airline V Australia, and soon, second, by Delta starting to fly downunder too, and, of course, third, by the generally depressed nature of air travel at present and the airlines responding by offering discount fares.

There have been a number of air fare discounts offered already for travel to Australia (and sometimes to New Zealand too, although flights to NZ aren't as affected by the two new airline competitors as they are to Australia), but generally these air fares have been of very short duration and have been good for travel during a limited period only.

Happily, this has changed with the announcement by Qantas, this morning, of a series of massively discounted fares, to both Australia and New Zealand, and good for travel commencing all the way through to late October.

I'm sending this extra newsletter to you now for two reasons.  First to advise you of the Qantas specials.  You can fly - roundtrip - from Los Angeles to Australia or New Zealand for as little as $598, a price which includes fuel surcharges, but which excludes the usual plethora of government taxes and fees (which add another $100 or so).

If you live somewhere else in the US, you can either buy a separate ticket to connect with QF in LAX, or take advantage of the 'addon' to the QF fare and have it all part of the one ticket/itinerary.  Sometimes it is cheaper/better to buy a separate ticket, sometimes cheaper/better to do it all together.  You can read all the details on the Qantas website, with the key factor being that these fares currently must be purchased prior to the end of Friday, 20 March.

I can't say with any certainty these are the best fares we'll see for travel downunder this year - who knows what will happen as V Australia and Delta become increasingly a factor on the routes.  But I can say that at a $598 price, this is an amazing deal, and if you're thinking about travel to either NZ or Australia this year, perhaps you'd be well advised to take advantage of it, rather than wait for something better to eventuate, which may or may not happen.

And now for the second part of this newsletter.  I'm occasionally asked by readers to repeat the wonderfully successful Travel Insider tour to New Zealand that we enjoyed back in 2005.  As you may know, I'm a New Zealander myself, and it is always a great pleasure to host visitors to my home country.

So why not do so and use these low fares to make the tour much more affordable!  Accordingly I've updated the 2005 tour to reflect 2009 dates and pricing, and have scheduled it for late October/early November - full details here.  Remember the seasons are reversed in NZ, so in October you'd be enjoying spring, warm sunny days, and daylight saving.

The tour is available in two parts, or as a combined tour of both parts (last time most people did the combined tour); the complete tour is $2995 per person (plus airfare to NZ and flight from Rotorua to Queenstown), the two shorter portions are of course less.

So, here's the deal.  If I can get ten people willing to pay non-refundable $500 deposits prior to mid-day Friday, I'll guarantee the tour departure, allowing us all to then take advantage of the Qantas special fares before they expire on Friday night.  If we subsequently get more people joining us, that is great, but I'll operate the tour, even with only ten people, so as to give you the guarantee you need to buy your air tickets now.

If you'd like to do this NZ tour, please go ahead and complete the registration form as urgently soon as possible.  I'll give you progress reports during the week so the minute we get ten people confirmed, you can go ahead and buy your air tickets.

Until the regular newsletter on Friday, please enjoy safe travels, and I hope to meet you in October!

              David M Rowell aka The Travel Insider

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