Sunday, August 2, 2009

Come fly with me. . .

There is nothing like a global financial meltdown to shake up tourism. When you add pandemic on top of this you get the perfect storm that tourism boards and hotels dread, and budget conscious travelers love.

There is a web site (to which I shall not link) that promises the guaranteed lowest prices on the internet if you book your air ticket through them.

I've gotta say they can't be keeping up. I ended up looking at a variety of airlines and routes (including a ride on a 777 with Emirates from Sydney to Christchurch). In the end we decided to have a little of each from the Smörgåsbord of air travel that is available to New Zealand. I watched prices carefully over a month, then pounced as each airline dropped prices. We fly Qantas to Brisbane, Pacific Blue to Christchurch and Air New Zealand back home (it is the only airline with a non-stop flight home).

Very few airlines seem to run a 747 over the Tasman any more - a fact that distresses Mrs Grendel who prefers a 'real' aircraft. Junior Grendel Number One is old enough to remember his first flight and asked if the 'servants would bring him drinks again'. I'm working hard on that one - if he calls them 'servants' on the flight he might get a serve alright.

All up we are doing the trip with 4 people for just over $3000 in airfares which I consider reasonable given the stop-over in Brisbane for a few days to visit Grandma.

Fly with Junior Grendel Number One can get interesting as he is easily overwhelmed by constant noise and vibration. I have bought him a set of noise cancelling headphones which I hope will ameliorate the worst of the in-flight roar. I trialled them on a flight to Sydney last week and they worked a treat for me.

We went through a phase in our lives where we didn't think that we would find it possible to travel with a child with autism, but as it turns out he's a real trooper when it comes to new places as he has an almost insatiable curiosity. Unfortunately his curiosity is satiated at breakneck pace and he can do the largest of museums in less than half an hour.

The scary part is that afterwards he can give you a rundown of the whole series of exhibits that to me were merely a blur as I dogged his heels at high speed down the corridors.

They're already planning some in-flight entertainment for the first leg. I hope our fellow passengers area amused. . .

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