Stop off en-route to Europe?

    Here’s how.  Let’s face it, from Christchurch we are pretty much exactly on the opposite side of the Earth from most places in Europe, and 12,000 miles away, give or take. It will take anything from 27-32 hours to get from Christchurch to London – Air New Zealand are currently the quickest at 28 hours 15mins but that service ends on 23 October 2020. Qantas take just 10 mins longer via Melbourne and Singapore. It will take between 24-31 hours to get home from London – Singapore Airlines are currently the quickest at 24 and a half hours.

    It can be a rather daunting prospect if you’ve not flown long-haul before, or aren’t keen to pay business class prices for a decent sleep, so stopping off on the way is a viable option for most of our clients. There are many factors to consider when choosing a stopover, and often travellers have a loyalty via their frequent flyer scheme to a particular airline or airline alliance, or would like to use their points to try for an upgrade, but here’s some things to consider:

    1. Are you wanting to break the journey roughly half-way for just a 1 or 2 nights rest and perhaps a little sightseeing? If so, here’s the current approximate travel times from Christchurch, sometimes direct, and sometimes via Auckland or Aussie to some of the most popular stopover destinations and then from each stopover point onto London, with just the fastest airline combinations quoted.

    • Singapore (10hrs 55mins / 13hrs 25mins) – Singapore Airlines
    • Guangzhou (12 hours / 12 hrs 40 mins) – China Southern Airlines
    • Bangkok (15hrs 40mins / 15hrs 55 mins) – Qantas & Emirates
    • Kuala Lumpur (13 hrs / 13hrs 10 mins) – Malaysian Airlines
    • Hong Kong (14hrs 55mins / 12 hrs 45mins) – Air NZ / Cathay Pacific
    • Shanghai (15hrs 05mins / 12hrs 40 mins) – Air NZ/Virgin Atlantic
    • Tokyo (14hrs 10 mins /12 hrs 25mins) – Air NZ/Virgin Atlantic
    • Los Angeles (14hrs 50mins / 10hrs 30mins) – Air NZ/Virgin Atlantic
    • San Francisco (14hrs 45mins / 10hrs 15mins) – Air NZ/Virgin Atlantic
    • Vancouver (16hrs 40mins / 9hrs 10 mins) – Air NZ / Air Canada
    • Houston (17hrs 15mins /  9hrs 15mins) – Air NZ / United
    • Chicago (18hrs 35mins / 8hrs 5mins) – Air NZ / United
    • Buenos Aires (15hrs/ 17hrs 50mins) – Air NZ / Lufthansa

    2. Perhaps you’d like to check out the big-spending Emirates and see what all the fuss is about?

    • Dubai (21 hrs 30 mins / 7hrs 30mins) – Emirates & Qantas
    • Abu Dhabi (21 hrs 25mins / 7hrs 25mins) – Air NZ & Etihad
    • Qatar (17hrs 50mins / 7hrs 15mins) – Qatar

    3. Would you just like to sleep in an airport hotel inside the terminal and have your bags checked through? If so, we can recommend the very convenient transit hotels inside each of the terminals at Singapore’s Changi Airport – and quite reasonably priced at SGD$120 (almost the same value as the NZD$) for a twin or double room for each 6 hour block. Dubai and Tokyo also have hotels inside the terminal building, while the others all have conveniently located hotels nearby.

    4. Maybe you’ve tried some/all of the above and are looking for less obvious stopover options – how about considering the following..

    • New York (22hrs 25mins / 6hrs 55mins) with Air NZ / Virgin Atlantic – it’s worth noting that NYC is actually a free stopover with Qantas, it just takes 4 hrs longer via Sydney.
    • Las Vegas (20hrs 15mins/9hrs 55mins) with Air NZ / Virgin Atlantic
    • Dallas (24hrs 10mins / 8hrs 55mins) – via Sydney with Qantas & American Airlines or British Airways.
    • Seoul (15hrs 5 mins/ 12 hrs 25mins) – Korean Airlines
    • Johannesburg (19hrs 40mins / 10hrs 55mins) with Qantas & British Airways.

    There are plenty of other options as well (think Boston, Miami, Jakarta, Osaka etc) and the flight times of day and seat availability will of course be factors in your decision as well, so let us work out the best combination of stopovers for your Europe holiday!