This weeks Fabulous Friday covers the option to fly on the many Fifth Freedom routes (continuation segments) flown by foreign carriers between third party international destinations.
These flights can be an extremely good deal between international destinations, often considerably lower priced than they local competitors such as the national airline of the country they are flying from.
Not only is the price of the ticket but also the aircraft itself can be a much better experience than those flight operated by regional peers on small single aisle aircraft.
The most recent of these flights I took was Royal Jordanian from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok last Monday, booked the same day for a fantastic price of $54.12 for the one way in Economy Class.
The price for this Royal Jordanian ticket compared to $127 on Malaysia Airlines for the same day and $173 on Thai Airways.
There would have also been the option to book Royal Jordanian Business Class for $171 which I have done twice previously for the sole sake of collecting 35 additional British Airways Executive Club Tier points for just a small surcharge, however by coincidence a friend was on the same flight in Economy as well and I didn’t want to split up.
I like the flight especially because despite the super cheap fare it’s issued in a booking class that still earns a tiny bit of mileage with BAEC and 5 Tier Points on top (compared to zero for ‘N’ Class on Malaysia Airlines where so many web saver fares end up in).
The seat was comfortable and nice enough for a two hour flight, especially at 10pm. There was a beverage service and a hot meal (only one menu item, no choice).
What was super annoying was the arrival in Bangkok. Since many passengers continue to Amman they have to sit at the transit gate for the time being. There is staff waiting that doesn’t let anyone go through to the arrivals area until they show their boarding pass (nobody ever announced you have to keep it) or they find you on a list. Imagine a full 787 that has to be manually checked by 2 staff members. It was a complete mess!
There are a range of other Fifth Freedom continuation flights that come to my mind where passengers can save a good amount of money and enjoy long haul equipment, such as:
- KL – Jakarta (KLM)
- KL-Bangkok (Ethiopian)
- Singapore-Bali (KLM)
- Bankok-Hong Kong (Sri Lankan/Kenyan/Emirates)
- Seoul-Incheon-Taipei (Thai Airways)
- Hong Kong-Singapore (United)
For sure there are a bunch of more connections available and they usually pop up when searching for the respective routes.
This option enables people to fly on very affordable tickets that are sometimes even lower priced than budget carriers and mostly come will full benefits such as baggage, meals and elite benefits for the respective alliance. In this case I was able to use the Malaysia Airlines First Class Lounge in Kuala Lumpur with my oneWorld Emerald status.