Hamilton to Osaka – A comparison of airlines

Interested in Japan? Thinking about going on a holiday? Well let’s look at the total cost for various airlines to get from Hamilton New Zealand, to Osaka Japan.

To summarise, Jetstar is the cheapest with around @ $1080, Air Asia @ $1743 with the core flight between Christchurch and Kuala Lumpur being only 31% of the total fare, and Air New Zealand at $1936.

A couple of caveats before we start, we’re assuming one 20Kg bag to be checked in. We’ll try to compare as similar as possible, but there are always differences, i.e. whether you choose to buy a meal or not on a low cost carrier. We’ll be looking at the total return fare from Hamilton New Zealand to Osaka Japan, including getting to major airports, i.e. Auckland and Tokyo. I’ll pick the lowest cost mean where available. We’re looking at a travel period of one week in May 2011.

First off is Air New Zealand.

Air New Zealand has a flight between Auckland and Osaka for $1932. For your money you’re getting:

  1. 23Kg checked in luggage;
  2. 7Kg carry on luggage;
  3. Meals;
  4. Video entertainment;
  5. 11 hours, and 35 minutes flight from Auckland to Osaka;
  6. Choose your own seat;
  7. Blanket.

We’ll also have to get to Auckland from Hamilton, so add another $34 for the Intercity bus from Hamilton to Auckland International Airport.

All up you’re looking at $1936 with Air New Zealand.

Next is Jetstar.

Jetstar charge $847. For your money you’re getting:

  1. 7Kg carry on luggage;
  2. $10 credit card fee included;
  3. A 17 hour journey, including a stop in the Gold Coast.

Optional extras include:

  1. 20Kg of checked luggage (an additional $91.24);
  2. Choose your seats (an additional $8 if you didn’t purchase the luggage option above);
  3. Food for $70;
  4. Entertainment for $24;
  5. Comfort pack $14;

Which add up to roughly $199 worth of other things if you want them. Don’t forget the $34 to go from Hamilton to Auckland.

All up you’re looking at $881 (by yourself with 7kg of luggage) or $1080 (with roughly the same extras as Air New Zealand) with Jetstar.

Air Asia X

Welcome Air Asia to New Zealand! First there’s $34 to get from Hamilton to Auckland Airport, and then $158 with Jetstar to go from Auckland to Christchurch with bags (and two hours of your time).

Air Asia charge $429 to go from Christchurch to Kuala Lumpur (including credit card fee), with the following extras available:

  • 20Kg of luggage for $40;
  • Comfort kit for $20;
  • Meals for $34;
  • Pick a seat for $20;

So now you’re in Kuala Lumpur for $429 (for yourself and 7Kg) or $543. At the moment there’s no connecting transfer between Christchurch and Tokyo, so you’ll have to book another flight. Air Asia charges $780 for a flight with luggage and meals from Kuala Lumpur to Tokyo Haneda Airport. And then it’s $228 (and three hours) to catch the train from Tokyo to Osaka.

All up, you’re paying $1743 with Air Asia.

So to summarise, Jetstar is the cheapest with around @ $1080, Air Asia @ $1743 with the core flight between Christchurch and Kuala Lumpur being only 31% of the total fare, and Air New Zealand at $1936.

Air New Zealand was most expensive, but least amount of hassle, with a direct flight. Jetstar offers similar levels of service, but a connection at Gold Coast, for about half the price. Air Asia was super cheap from Christchuch to Kuala Lumpur, but the costs went up getting from Auckland to Christchurch, Kuala Lumpur to Tokyo, and Tokyo to Osaka by Bullet Train.

How Air New Zealand is taking on the Low Cost Carrier by … becoming one?

From http://www.airnz.co.nz

Air New Zealand is taking Low Cost Carriers like Jetstar and Pacific Blue head on by … emulating them. They’re now offering a full range of service from:

  • Seat
  • Seat + Bag
  • The Works
  • Works Deluxe

Let’s explore these options in more detail.

Seat and Seat + Bag compete head on with Low Cost Carriers. We’ve all seen seat only deals on Jetstar. Well, this is the same thing. Great for people who don’t have checked in luggage and who don’t mind purchasing food on the plane. Same with Seat + Bag. These services provide a subsection of entertainment (not movies though), and Tea, Coffee, and Water for free. You don’t get to choose your seat either.

A Seat only fare between Christchurch New Zealand and Sydney Australia is only … $34 NZD. That’s fantastic. There are airport charges and taxes (equal to $55 NZD) on top of that, but still, $34 NZD to the airline for the flight, amazing.

The Works provides Movies, Meals, and a Seat Request. This is for $30 NZD more than the Seat + Bag option. Since these are for short haul flights only, spending $30 for a meal and a movie doesn’t seem like amazing value for money, if you can hold on for three hours to Sydney.

Finally, Works Deluxe adds another 23KG checked bag, Premium check-in, and lounge access where available for another $100 NZD on top of The Works. With the extra bag costing $20, really you’re getting premium check-in and lounge access for $80. Do note that some airports such as Wellington International Airport offer lounge access for $30NZD, so you’d have to ask yourself is premium check-in worth the extra $50?

However, for some people it will be, as will picking a movie and their seat. And to differentiate their product in such a clear easy manner is great innovation from Air New Zealand, well done! And especially for people who may say, sure, I’ll head over on a Seat only deal, but once I’ve got the souvenirs I’ll come back on a Seat + Bag deal, I think that’s wonderful flexibility.

Ultimately travellers are becoming more knowledgeable and understanding of what they want from an airline, and considering the fundamental similarity of the product between carriers, this type of differentiation is the best method for Air New Zealand to stand out from the pack.