The Stopover Principle
Find flights from Europe to Australia for 400€
All information is subject to change. Always check your bookings in detail!
How do you find the cheap flight connections from Europe to Australia and back? There is a small but very effective trick while watching for cheap flights. I called this trick the stopover principle. How does it work?
- Find the cheapest flight search engine
- Select your preferred stopover — Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur are the cheapest
- Search for bargain flights
- Investigate possible baggage fees and pay attention to your connection flight
- Book and save 150–600€ per flight
Step 1: Find the cheapest flight search engine
To look for cheap flights you have to use an excellent flight search engine. Not every flight search engine finds the cheapest flight. Our latest flight search engine comparison showed us that momondo and skyscanner are the two best and cheapest tools to look for flights. Click here to go to the full and detailed flight search engine comparison.
Step 2: Select your stop-over — if wanted
Do you plan a stop-over in an Asian or Arabian country like the United Arabic Emirates (Dubai and Abu Dhabi), Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, or maybe Japan or South Korea? Everything is possible. To get the cheapest flight we will look for stopovers in Thailand and Malaysia. But it is also possible that you will find cheaper flights by using different stop-over countries like e.g. India or Indonesia. If you want to play safe check all possible connections before booking.
As already mentioned, the cheapest flight connections from Europe to Australia usually have a stop-over in Thailand or Malaysia. Bangkok — Thailand’s capital — and Kuala Lumpur — Malaysia’s capital — both have two big international airports and all international airlines fly to these destinations at least once a day.
So let’s look for random dates in e.g. June 2016 from European airports to Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok.
Before searching for flights it can be helpful to clear your cache first and delete your cookies. Your cache and cookies will tell the airlines, flight search engines your recent visits to their homepage and they have the possibility to raise prices depending on your browsing behavior. If they detect that you looked for flights to Australia more than 16 times in the past, the algorithm could possibly assume that you are dependent on a flight to Australia on the specific date and rise therefore price fore you. You can also simply use an Incognito window in your Chrome or Firefox Webbrowser
Step 3: Search for flights
Example 1: Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur (one-way trip)
In our first attempt, we were already able to find a huge bargain flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur for 319€! Let’s take this flight and plan a stay in Malaysia of 5 days. As we arrive on Thursday 09 at 8 pm, we will look for flights on June 15th from Kuala Lumpur to Australia.
On June 15th, we are able to find a second bargain flight: From Kuala Lumpur to Perth for 77€.
That’s a one-way flight from the Netherlands to Australia for a total of 396€!
Caution: Baggage fees with several Asia low-cost carrier
The baggage for the first flight is included. But most Asian airlines charge for baggage. In this case, always click on “Go To Site” and check the baggage fees before booking! Let’s do this in our example:
The flight search engine momondo.com redirected us to a German booking page. If we look for baggage fees we will find a baggage fee of 20,13€ for a baggage of 20kg.
If we add this to our price we get a flight price of approximately 416€ for a flight from Amsterdam via. Kuala Lumpur to Perth.
You don’t want to fly to Perth? Let’s check flights to Sydney
Most people start their Australia journey in Sydney. So let’s look for flights from Kuala Lumpur to Sydney on June 15th.
momondo.com finds a flight with Air Asia X for only 120€. Now again: Check the terms for your baggage! In this case, we have again a flights with Air Asia X and the price for baggage is still 20,13€.
That’s a total of around 460€ for a one-way flight to Sydney with an exciting stay in Kuala Lumpur.
Attention if you don’t plan to stay in Bangkok or Kuala-Lumpur! If you don’t plan a short stay in an Asian city (like Kuala Lumpur or Bangkok) you have to pay attention to your flight times of your connection flights! This is crucial! Alway check in detail the arrival time of your first flight and add additional 2,5 hours or more for your changeover. If you book your flights separately you will need to grab your baggage and check it in once again for your next flight! Don’t underestimate this changeover procedure!
Example 2: Düsseldorf/Köln to Bangkok
Let’s try this procedure once again with a flight from Düsseldorf to Bangkok. So we look for flights on e.g. June 13th from Düsseldorf to Bangkok by using momondo.com.
momondo proposed to fly from Cologne instead of Düsseldorf for only 200€ that means we save about 160€ instead of flying from Düsseldorf. Let’s take this deal and let’s depart from Cologne. Now we have to take care about the baggage fees. Eurowings is a German low-cost carrier of Lufthansa and baggage is not included in the basic fare. So once again: click on “Go to Site” to see possible baggage fees.
On the official eurowings.com homepage, we can see that we need to take the SMART fare to have baggage included. This is an additional 50€ for the baggage.
Now we assume once again a stay of five days in Bangkok on June 19th. You can vary your stay however you would like!
Let’s look for flights from Bangkok to Australia on June 19th by using momondo.com once again:
We can find an 110€ flight from Bangkok to Perth on June 19th.
Don’t forget to check the exact baggage fees once again! On BravoFly we can see that the baggage fee is 47,01€.
If we take all airfares and we add this baggage fee we come to a total flight price of 407,39€, still very cheap isn’t it?
Is this really cheaper?
This procedure sounds really complicated. Is it even worth doing it at all? Do you really save money with it?To answer this question let’s just search for flights from Amsterdam to Perth and Düsseldorf/Köln to Perth and let’s compare the prices.
Amsterdam to Perth: Saving of 219€
The cheapest flight we find with momondo.com without our manual stopover procedure is 638€ for a one-way flight from Amsterdam to Perth.
Price without our manual stopover procedure:
If we compare this price with our result of 419€ we saved 219€ on a one-way flight! It’s definitely worth it isn’t it?
Düsseldorf/Köln to Perth: Saving of 163€
The cheapest flight from Düsseldorf to Perth on June 13th by using without our stopover principle is 571€.
571€ compared with our result of 408€ is a saving of 163€ on a one-way flight from Düsseldorf to Perth.
Which flight to choose?
In the end, you have to decide whether to prefer flying with the stopover principle to save 150–300€ or not.
If you don’t want any hassle with changeovers and low-cost carriers, and if you don’t want to enjoy a stayover in an Asian city you better book the flight without the stopover principle.
If you are a typical backpacker who wants to save money and see a lot of amazing cities you should consider using the stopover principle when booking the next flight from Europe to Australia or Australia to Europe — it works both ways!
One-way flight or return flight?
You are not sure if you should book a one-way flight or a return or open return flight? Check our blog post to find some realistic scenarios which might help you with your decision.
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This article was originally published on Marius’ travel blog boarding-australia.com.
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Marius Schober is a 22 years old passionated entrepreneur based in Düsseldorf currently building a startup in the area of digital signage & entertainment. Part-time he is consulting companies to improve their social media presence to gain ready to buy customers. For more information visit mariusschober.com.