It’s not often I run into a dilemma when booking flights. Usually it’s pretty easy to make a selection as it’s not exactly rocket science. For once, I’m a little bit stumped.
In July I’ll be heading back from Australia and landing in Oslo thanks to some decent pricing. That means I need to get from Oslo to Dublin, which seems straightforward but isn’t really.
Touchdown in Oslo is at 10:40, leaving ample time for a flight to Dublin. The only airline with a direct flight is Scandinavian Airlines, which is fine. Timing wise, it also works perfectly, leaving at 13:30 and landing in Dublin at 14:50. The price is the deal breaker for me.
They charge €205.57 for SAS Go Smart which is economy class with a bag, or it’s €292.57 for SAS Plus Pro. I’m leaning toward the latter, because it is refundable and who knows what will happen between now and then. But €292.57 for premium economy? I could save about €50 by adding on lounge access and food to the lower fare, but then it’s not refundable.
For the same price I can fly Air France in business class Oslo to Dublin via Paris, leaving at 15:20 and arriving 22:40. It’s four hours in Paris on the way, but it’s proper business class and two flights, making it under €150 per flight. Indeed, I can also fly British Airways via London – 17:00 departure, 22:00 arrival – for €330 in Club Europe which is not much more – and I’d get my usual frequent flyer points.
Alternatively, I could go economy on KLM via Amsterdam – leaving 14:15, landing 20:15 – for €147. However, to make that refundable it would increase to €201. When it gets up to that level, I find the extra €90 for business class on other airlines to get lounge access, free food and drink and all the perks very much worthwhile. See my dilemma?
By the time I arrive in Oslo, I am going to be all travelled out. I’m flying Sydney to Hong Kong for nine hours, have five and a half hours there, then a 12 hour flight Hong Kong to London, two and a half hours in London, then another two hour flight to Oslo.
Flying BA to Dublin will mean 6 hours sitting around Oslo, two hours on a plane, two hours in London and another hour to Dublin. Air France is four hours in Oslo, two and a half hour flight, three and a half hours in Paris and another two hours flying to Dublin. KLM is similar. Ugh! I don’t mind extra flying at the start of a trip, but it’s a grind at the end.
It’s an annoying dilemma to have. If the SAS flights were not over priced and also covered by a Book With Confidence type refund scheme, I’d be far happier to just book them. Since they’re not, I am forced to choose a refundable fare and pay extra. However, it’s not good value for money paying €300 for that.
All the other flights I’d happily take, but the waiting around in airports aspect is going to be annoying. I’m also forced to pay more as it seems Air France and KLM are only allowing refunds on cheap tickets through to 1 July 2022 and I’m going after that policy expires. Apart from the waiting around, getting home around midnight instead of around 17:00 is far less desirable.
I’m sure I’ll end up working it out at some stage. I think for my own sanity I’ll just have to pony up and pay SAS the €292 for the convenience of it all. Through gritted teeth it will be though! Anyone got any Star Alliance miles who wants to book me a ticket? 😉
What would you do in this situation having weighed up the costs vs benefits? I’d be curious to hear your opinion. Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
Featured image by BriYYZ on Flickr via Wikimedia Commons.
Air France image by Magic Aviation via Wikimedia Commons.
KLM image by Jeroen Stroes Aviation Photography via Wikimedia Commons.