Monthly Archives: April 2008

Just point, smile and hope like hell…

Learning a new language is fun, horizon-expanding and increases your chances of getting laid exponentially. Given this, and the fact there are some great free internet based phrase books and language learning sites available, there really are no excuses for not knowing how mumble “thank you” and “charging six euros for a sub-standard ice-cream is day-light robbery, you b*#)rd” in the local lingo.

But for those of us without the time or inclination to learn every language fluently phrase books have long been the crutch on which we lean. Attempting, however, to use a phrasebook to communicate without at least a basic grounding in the language can produce a sound not dissimiliar to a dog trying to swallow its own tail: plenty of stuttering and spluttering but precious little effect. Photo books, on the other hand, operate on the presumption that pictures are universal.

Photos books are, well, a phrasebook in pictures. The idea of a photo book is that you leaf through to find a picture somewhat corresponding with the idea you wish to communicate, point to it and smile. If you want toilet paper, point to the toilet paper, a Crêpe Suzette, point to something vaguely pancake-like. A stroke of minor genius!

However, the photo book is not without its own drawbacks. You point and hope. Hope like hell the local stall-holder doesn’t misinterpret your desperate need to find a toilet with a grave slight on his sausage-in-a-bun. Likewise, pointing to a picture of a syringe doesn’t quite convey the full message that you’d really prefer a clean, hygenic, unused syringe. Pointing to a picture of a condom could be considered, by some, somewhat, well, un-romantic. Finally, I’m not sure how it would hold up for asking that most fundamental of tourist questions: for directions.

Nonetheless, all in all it’s a great idea if you’re off on an extended trip or to a country where the idea of learning even a few “I would like…” phrases is intimidating. For those interested point it, “passport-sized” with “1200 items”, seems to be the most commonly recommended example of the genre, although a quick search of Amazon produces some alternatives.

Point It

Who doesn’t yearn for such attractively presented breakfast delights?

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Once, twice, three times the sale(s) – Virgin Blue respond with “Party at Our Place Specials”

Virgin Blue have responded to Jetstar and Tiger. Specials on domestic routes (too many to list) and:

New Zealand

  • Brisbane → Wellington $229^ AUD
  • Sydney → Christchurch $149 AUD
  • Melbourne → Christchurch $149 AUD
  • Brisbane → Christchurch $149 AUD
  • Auckland → Gold Coast $179 NZD
  • Auckland → Brisbane $185 NZD
  • Wellington → Brisbane $185^ NZD
  • Christchurch → Sydney $179^ NZD
  • Christchurch → Melbourne $179^ NZD
  • Christchurch → Brisbane $185^ NZD
  • Auckland → Cairns $339 NZD
  • Auckland → Mackay $279 NZD
  • Auckland → Rockhampton $279 NZD
  • Christchurch → Adelaide $299 NZD
  • Christchurch → Cairns $329 NZD
  • Christchurch → Canberra $259 NZD
  • Wellington → Cairns

Tonga

  • Auckland → Nuku Alofa (Tonga) $149 NZD
  • Auckland → Nuku Alofa (Tonga) $169 NZD
  • Sydney → Nuku Alofa (Tonga) $279 AUD
  • Melbourne → Nuku Alofa (Tonga) $349* AUD
  • Brisbane → Nuku Alofa (Tonga) $349* AUD
  • Adelaide → Nuku Alofa (Tonga) $349* AUD
  • Canberra → Nuku Alofa (Tonga) $349* AUD

Samoa

  • Auckland → Apia (Samoa) $239 NZD
  • Christchurch → Apia (Samoa) $299* NZD
  • Wellington → Apia (Samoa) $299* NZD
  • Auckland → Apia (Samoa) $259 NZD
  • Christchurch → Apia (Samoa) $299* NZD
  • Wellington → Apia (Samoa) $299* NZD
  • Sydney → Apia (Samoa) $349 AUD
  • Melbourne → Apia (Samoa) $399* AUD
  • Brisbane → Apia (Samoa) $399* AUD
  • Adelaide → Apia (Samoa) $399* AUD
  • Canberra → Apia (Samoa) $399* AUD
  • Gold Coast → Apia (Samoa) $399* AUD

Cook Islands

  • Auckland → Rarotonga $249 NZD
  • Christchurch → Rarotonga $299* NZD
  • Wellington → Rarotonga $299* NZD

Travel between dates vary, fares are one-way include most taxes. Seats are limited and may not be available at peak times or on all flights.

Hope it’s of interest.

Better late than never – Tiger Airways Sale

Tiger Sale

Tiger Sale

Tiger Airways are also running a sale and the discounts, although they don’t look to be as deep, may be easier to book. Thought it deserved a mention – most of the fares are for travel in May.

Another Jetstar Sale – Companion fare for $4

Jetstar have launched a take a friend sale!

In our exciting 4th Birthday Sale you can book 2 JetSaver Light^ fares, with carry on baggage only, and total price will be one JetSaver Light fare plus just $4!

On flights to Japan and Honolulu, the total price for 2 is just one JetSaver fare, which includes checked baggage, plus just $4.

Or if you and your friend want to travel to another destination with checked baggage allowance, book a JetSaver fare for just $10 more per person for domestic or $20 more per person for international flights. It’s your choice!

The fares shown below are the price per passenger. These fares will be booked as 2 equal fares, and must be booked in pairs. When you search, sale fares will be identified by our special birthday sale fare banner!

On sale now until midnight (23.59 AEST) Monday 5 May 2008, unless sold out prior. For travel on selected days and flights only. Limited availability on Fridays and Sundays.

International Routes Travel period JetSaver
fares in $AUD
JetSaver Light
fares in $AUD
23 Jul – 17 Sep 08 15 Oct – 10 Dec 08
Brisbane Christchurch $126.50 $106.50
Brisbane Osaka $246.50
Cairns Nagoya $216.50
Cairns Osaka $216.50
Gold Coast Christchurch $126.50 $106.50
Melbourne (Tullamarine) Bangkok $246.50 $226.50
Melbourne (Tullamarine) Christchurch $126.50 $106.50
Sydney Christchurch $126.50 $106.50
Sydney Ho Chi Minh City $246.50 $226.50
Sydney Honolulu $281.50
Sydney Kuala Lumpur $221.50 $201.50
Sydney Osaka $246.50
Australian Domestic Routes Travel period JetSaver
fares in $AUD
JetSaver Light
fares in $AUD
23 Jul – 17 Sep 08 15 Oct – 10 Dec 08
Adelaide Cairns $96.50 $86.50
Adelaide Darwin $91.50 $81.50
Adelaide Gold Coast $61.50 $51.50
Adelaide Sunshine Coast $66.50 $56.50
Brisbane Adelaide $61.50 $51.50
Brisbane Cairns $71.50 $61.50
Brisbane Darwin $91.50 $81.50
Brisbane Hamilton Island $56.50 $46.50
Brisbane Launceston $76.50 $66.50
Brisbane Mackay $46.50 $36.50
Brisbane Newcastle $36.50 $26.50
Brisbane Rockhampton $41.50 $31.50
Brisbane Townsville $64.00 $54.00
Brisbane Whitsunday Coast $51.50 $41.50
Cairns Darwin $91.50 $81.50
Gold Coast Newcastle $41.50 $31.50
Melbourne (Avalon) Adelaide $36.50 $26.50
Melbourne (Avalon) Brisbane $61.50 $51.50
Melbourne (Avalon) Perth $101.50 $91.50
Melbourne (Avalon) Sydney $46.50 $36.50
Melbourne (Tullamarine) Ballina Byron Bay $61.50 $51.50
Melbourne (Tullamarine) Cairns $91.50 $81.50
Melbourne (Tullamarine) Darwin
(only available on flights JQ677/JQ678 )
$71.50 $61.50
Melbourne (Tullamarine) Gold Coast $56.50 $46.50
Melbourne (Tullamarine) Hamilton Island $91.50 $81.50
Melbourne (Tullamarine) Hobart $46.50 $36.50
Melbourne (Tullamarine) Launceston $36.50 $26.50
Melbourne (Tullamarine) Newcastle $36.50 $26.50
Melbourne (Tullamarine) Sunshine Coast $61.50 $51.50
Melbourne (Tullamarine) Townsville $106.50 $96.50
Sydney Adelaide $66.50 $56.50
Sydney Ballina Byron Bay $46.50 $36.50
Sydney Brisbane
(not available on flight JQ18 )
$46.50 $36.50
Sydney Cairns $76.50 $66.50
Sydney Fraser Coast $46.50 $36.50
Sydney Gold Coast $46.50 $36.50
Sydney Hamilton Island $86.50 $76.50
Sydney Launceston $51.50 $41.50
Sydney Hobart $56.50 $46.50
Sydney Sunshine Coast $51.50 $41.50
Sydney Townsville $71.50 $61.50
Sydney Whitsunday Coast $61.50 $51.50

Jetstar Take a Friend for $4

Why-o-why am I always out when airlines launch their best sales? If your actually manage to get onto the site AND complete the booking process let us know.

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Airfare search engine where price takes a backseat

InsideTrip - EaseWebjet, Zuji and other airfare search engines would do well to take a gander at InsideTrip. Any number of search engines promise to find the cheapest flight, but InsideTrip also ranks flights according to speed, comfort and ease. Boasting a wonderfully clean interface the site uses a number of mesures to award each flight option a ‘Trip Quality’ rating, including factors such as legroom, reliability, gate location, lost bag rank and on-time statistics, all which can be viewed at a click. On long haul flights or where airfares differ between airlines only by modest amounts this approach could be of real use for finding an ideal balance between a cheap fare and a comfortable flight.

Unfortunately this is still very much a US focused service (some factors, such the lost bag rank, are not available for international flights), the flights out of Australia were limited to the major airlines and prices were significantly more expensive than local search engines. Surprisingly, the site does a poor job of displaying which flights are code-shared, although I presume the Trip Quality data displayed refers to the airline actually operating the flight. Nonetheless, having some idea of the likely quality of a flight, beyond a price and the carrier’s brand, integrated into airfare search engines is an idea that deserves wider adoption.

Inside Trip

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2 Hour Jetstar 4th Birthday Sale – 24,000 domestic seats for $4

Jetstar have sent a email to JetMail subscribers about a 4th birthday sale on ‘a range of domestic routes from VIC, NSW, QLD, SA and TAS on selected off-peak flights between 03 February and 28 March 2009’.

Sale fares are JetSaver Light fares meaning carry on baggage only – JetSaver fares with a check-in baggage allowance are $10 more.

The starts at 8:00pm (AEST) tonight 29 April 2008, and ends at 10:00pm, unless sold out prior.

UPDATE

Sale fares are on early and late flights on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and late flights on Saturdays.

Australian Domestic Routes Travel period JetSaver Light
fares in $AUD
03 Feb – 28 Mar 09
Brisbane Cairns $4
Brisbane Newcastle $4
Brisbane Rockhampton $4
Melbourne (Avalon) Adelaide $4
Melbourne (Avalon) Sydney $4
Melbourne (Tullamarine) Hobart $4
Melbourne (Tullamarine) Launceston $4
Melbourne (Tullamarine) Newcastle $4
Sydney Gold Coast $4

JetStar Sale

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Emirates sale to Europe – $1,916 from Aus East Coast, $1,800 from Perth

MoscowEmirates are having an ‘Autumn Sale to Europe‘, although most of the ‘autumn’ sale fares are appear to be for travel in January and Febuary ’09, which is closer to my defintion of deepest darkest winter than autumn. Try packing for mild autumn weather if you’re off to Moscow in January.

Prices include fuel surcharge but not taxes.

Via OzBargains.

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[Image via meganpru]