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Armchair Traveller

Pacific price war

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Delta, the world's largest airline, announced this morning that their introductory fares on flights from Sydney to Los Angeles would start at $777 (plus taxes of about $355) when they start the route on 3 July, 2009.

This was meant to be a big 'in your FACE' to V Australia, who are advertising (on this very website) a return ticket to LA for $971 (on v-e-r-y limited seats, plus a sneaky $15 additional charge).

And not to be outdone, United has tried to trump the lot with an offer of $747 return (plus taxes) on the same route.

Delta has jumped back in the fight and matched United's offer. Qantas and V Australia are expected to follow suit. And the resulting price war could see us crossing the Pacific for peanuts (available at extra charge, of course, along with soft drinks, pillows, etc.).

When Delta's pricing and distribution manager, Narelle Hufton, was asked to comment on the plunging ticket prices and fierce competition, she said "It's going to be interesting; it's getting close to the bone now."

Ouch.

I don't know about you, but I hate when an airline doesn't include all the fine print fees and taxes in their lead-in price. And I've plugged some dates into each airline's website to see about a potential Hollywood holiday in the coming months — I've come up with bupkiss.

My advice? Watch this space ... once the flying kangaroo, Richard Branson and both yanks are all in the ring with their gloves off, that winter escape might just be going for a song. A song I like to call the 'stimulus payout sonata' ... and boy, is it starting to sound sweet ...

What do you think the breaking point will be for flights to the States? $700? $500? Lower? Will you be taking advantage of this no-holds-barred price war?

User comments
Qantas have been *** and treating everyone poorly for far too long - they really could'nt give a fig about anyone except their executives.It's a shame some jobs will be lost but Qantas must become more competitive and receptive to customer comment . I now fly Qantas only when there is no alternative - it will take a long time to get me back and I believe there are many others out there who feel the same way.
Its about time!!! I'm so sick of paying top dollar for poor service, so sick of being ripped off by the major airlines. Why didn't we have this kind of competition before? Qantas has been sheltered by the Government for far too long, its about time they were given a good wedgie! It may sound very UN-Australian, but the flying kangaroo needs to be brought down a peg or two....I'm cheering for the airline that provides a good service for a price we can ALL afford!
No matter how low they go us poor West Aussies still have to pay the full price to get to the east. I'm sure if Virgin wanted to tip the balance then they would offer low fares to West Aussies get a Virgin connecting flight to the US
BRING it on!!! Good old Branson has got the airlines reducing prices in Oz just like he did way back in UK when he launched Virgin Atlantic in direct competion with BA. If he manages to offer a service as good as Virgin Atlantic with V australia I know who I will be flying with. Good luck V Australia
travel with qantas, you gotta be kidding.....I'd like to get there in one piece
Its about time fares to LA came down....they have been through the roof. If fares come down to the 500s I am sure there would be a race for seats. Anything more than a thousand is really a rip off anyway in this economy.
The airfare is only a part of the issue with the USA. I haven't been there now for a long time because of the crap it takes to get over the border there. Last time i was at LAX there were about 6 other planes arrived at the same time and it took about 3 hours to get processed. You can keep it thanks. I would much rather spend my money somewhere like Asia where at least it isn't a complete nightmare getting into the country. A big part of why the USA is struggling is because - like me - so many people can't be bothered to go there anymore because of their own policies. I always used to get a round world ticket on way to UK (about 4 times a year). Now i only ever go up and back through Asia because it is a lot more pleasant. USA plane tickets could be free - i still wouldn't go there. The place now sucks!!!
Its about time the major airlines were brought into a price war, all over the world competition has brought down the cost of travel to a cheap and resaonable price. For Australian's that for over 30 years have have been payiing 2, 3, 4 thousand to cross the pacfic to get just to LAX, for a economy ticket. Qantas is the prefered carrier to take Aussies across the sea and its about time they were brought into line and stopped ripping people off just to get out of the country.

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