Monday, October 17, 2011

Aurora Hunting: Introduction


We were already traveling too much and had exceeded our travel budget for this year. It took 3-4 days of research and deliberation before deciding that a fare of ~$450USD from Kuala Lumpur to Oslo via Doha was too good of a deal to say no to. Qatar Airways was just launching flights to Oslo and as part of the launch promotion was offering fares of ~$400-500USD from their Far East destinations like Singapore, Bangkok, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur. Sure, it would have been great if this was a business class fare but heck, you can't even get to London from Kuala Lumpur on Air Asia for that price.

Since we already took one too many days off this year and with another trip to Australia in December, we were limited in the number of days we could go. Lydia had to tell her boss that this was a surprise anniversary trip and I had to negotiate with mine that I would be having my laptop and working remotely to make this trip happen. Why can’t we have better jobs that allowed us to travel guilt free whenever we wanted but I digress. Our trip consisted of only 4 nights in Norway with a purposely planned long layover in Doha to visit the city since we’ve never been to Doha before. We eventually splitthe 4 nights in Norway with the first 2 nights in Oslo and the other 2 in the northern town of Tromso after recommendation from mwinger Naim with the hope of catching the Aurora or Northern Lights.

The journey itself wasn't too exciting since it was going to be in economy and we were actually apprehensive about it since we had no status on Qatar. Oh the horror of not having business class line check-in, priority boarding and lounge usage. Since the Qatar flights originated in Kuala Lumpur, we had to get down from Penang. Flights on Malaysia Airlines direct to KLIA would have costs us 3 times more than our eventual Air Asia flights to the Low Cost Terminal. The slight annoyance with the Air Asia was having to transfer to KLIA via a crummy 2.50 ringgit 20 minute bus transfer. The flights on Qatar were all operated by A330 aircraft on all 4 legs so can't compare the hardware on their other aircraft.

Our flight details:
  • Penang - Kuala Lumpur LCCT on Air Asia
  • Kuala Lumpur - Doha - Oslo on Qatar Airways with a good 2.5 hour layover in Doha.
  • Flights to and from Tromso were on SAS.
  • Oslo - Doha - Kuala Lumpur on Qatar Airways with a 18 hour layover in Doha.
  • Kuala Lumpur - Penang on Air Air Asia

1 comment:

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