“ Country: Brunei „
This summer I was considering going to Dubai and there were a few reasons not to go like the record high temperatures during the months June - September, but there were many reasons to go to Dubai, like their fantastic tourism industry, the wonderful skyscrapers, the tallest building in the world (Burj Al Khalifa), the largest shopping mall (Dubai Mall), and strolling pass the Gold souk and if you have the budget buying some of the finest Gold in the world.
Now, I decided that Dubai had many pros then cons so I was looking at cheap airline tickets and found that Royal Brunei had one of the lowest ticket prices to Dubai. At first I didn't know much about this airline or its roots and I was considering whether to choose KLM a very famous airline or Royal Brunei. In the end I did choose Royal Brunei and I was very happy with this airline.
1.Ticket prices are cheaper if you buy from a travel agent website then buying the ticket directly from the Royal Brueni website.
2.Every seat in the plane had its own little TV screen which was interactive to your needs, so you could watch a large selection of films, dramas, just for laughs (my favourite), comedy, see the location of the plane on a map, as well as others
3.The food was very nice, it catered to whether you liked meat or fish or vegetarian, and the desert included chocolate ice cream. The portion of the main food was a little small as compared to other airlines.
4. Royal Brunei is a 7-8 hour direct flight to Dubai from London which is very favourable as compared KLM which is a minimum 10 hours via transit.
5.Seats were in general very comfortable, and the airline was used a lot by families with children which were en route to long distance like Australia, so this airline is quite popular with families.
6.The airhostesses were very nice and always helped around. Also you sense a general calm and friendliness in those who use the plane, for instance the 7 hour flight went so fast because there was always someone to chat.
The only downside I would have said would be that Royal Brunei state a max 20kg baggage weight as compared to many airlines which state 23kg but this didn't bother me because I was under the limit.
I flew to Brisbane with Royal Brunei in May 2008 with my friend Claire (who had previously done the same trip a few times with Qantas/Emirates). We were doing our trip on a budget and therefore booked with Royal Brunei because we could get a return from Heathrow for £640 which was by far the cheapest fare. By the time we got back to Heathrow at the end of the return flight we had both decided we would have happily paid the extra just to fly with a different airline, for the following reasons:
1) Journey - when we booked the flight (online through their website direct) the details showed that the flight to Brisbane would be via Brunei where we would change planes. One of the most critical factors we were looking for was a flight with only one stop on the way because Claire is a nervous flyer to the extent that she takes prescribed sedatives and so the less stops and associated getting on and off the plane the better as far as we were concerned. This flight showed as only one stop in Brunei and at a price we liked so we went for it...however...
On checking in for the flight it transpired that we would be making a stop to collect more passengers in Dubai, where we would be obliged to disembark even if we were continuing on to Brunei/Brisbane. We were quite annoyed about this as it had not been on any of the previous details, however on researching the airline subsequently this is a trick that they pull quite often - so just be aware that the route you think you are taking may involve more stops than you think.
The most annoying aspect of this was that at Dubai we were forced to disembark (Claire bordering on sleepwalking!) walk miles through the airport including through two security checks (one as we got off and one as we got back on) just to get back to the same gate but on the upper level for departures. Seeing as we were simply performing an administrative obligation and had no intention of either staying in Dubai or even leaving the airport it was frustrating to be made to walk the one way system for a good 15 minutes when we could have simply gone up an available esculator connecting the arrivals and departures at the same gate.
2) Food and Drink - now while Claire doses herself with sedatives I like to indulge in a glass of wine or a beer or two to relax, I find this will also help me to drop off on a long haul flight. However, Royal Brunei are a muslim airline and do not serve any alcohol on their flights. This was fair enough and I actually knew about it in advance due to seeing it on their website, however, it was really interesting to see what happened to people who tried to cheat the system.
Some people in front of us had taken on some miniature bottles of whisky and asked for a coke to make their own drinks, they were refused the coke and told that it was not just against RB's policy to serve drinks but also they did not condone people bringing their own on board. These people looked annoyed but accepted this. When we got to Dubai they bought some alcohol in duty free, but then when we landed in Brunei this was confiscated from them at the gate (as was all alcohol from anybody who had bought duty free both at Dubai and at Heathrow). Apparently this is standard practice in Brunei because it is a Muslim state - but as the majority of Royal Brunei flights go through this airport you should be aware of this, we had the opinion that the (rather rude and abrupt) gate staff at Brunei probably make a packet selling what they confiscate on the black market.
The food on the flights was ok - a lot of it is Asian influenced but it was nice enough, what was slightly annoying was that every time a meal came round we were told we could have (eg) vegerarian or lamb, I dont eat much meat so would choose veggie only to have the cabin crew come back 2 mins later to say all the veggie had gone. There was nowhere on the web booking to specify what kind of meal we wanted although everything was of course halal, if I had been a strict veggie I would not have been happy.
3) On Board Entertainment - we had numerous problems with the on board entertainment and on a 24 hour flight it really is not on. On the first leg of the outward flight (LHR - Dubai - Brunei) we had a screen each and a selection of films to watch with controls so you could pause, rewind etc, this was great until a couple of hours into the flight when the screens started freezing and would have to be 're-set' by a steward, this then meant you would have to slowly fast forward through the film to get back to where you were, it happened 3 times in a row to me and I gave up trying to see the end of The Golden Compass in the end.
On the final leg of the flight out (Brunei - Brisbane) there were no individual screens and we were informed after take off that the large overhead screens were out of order, so we had an 8 hour flight without screens at all. By this point I was climbing the walls for something to do. The return flight was equally plagued by dodgy screens although mine worked better and froze less than it had on the journey out.
There are of course some good points to the airline too - the flight crew were friendly and as helpful as possible. The other good point is of course the price - if you need a flight to Australia on a budget then if you can cope with the above raised issues then this is for you.
To summarise, the planes are old and the on board technology is not very reliable (make sure you have alternative things to do), you cant have alcohol and dont attempt to take duty free with you because it will be confiscated. Also be aware you may well be making stops you did not plan for.
Personally I will definitely be paying extra and avoiding Royal Brunei if I travel to Australia again, for me on a flight that long comfort and happiness are paramount and those two key features were sadly lacking with this airline.
I was really disappointed with Royal Brunei. I travelled with them in October 2006 when I was going on my honeymoon to Borneo. We booked with Responsible Travel and they recommended this airline as the cheapest and best way to get there.
The flights cost £750 each, which was quite expensive, as we had gotten to Sydney for cheaper on Emirates 9 months previous and it was at Christmas time too! We were flying from Heathrow so we stayed there the night before and got to the airport in plenty of time. There was a huge queue when we got there and it was only then we found out that the plane was stopping in Dubai on the way over. It hadn't even mentioned this when we were booking online and it looked like a direct flight.
They checked us in no problem but we had to run to the gates as they obviously were understaffed and we were there 3 hours before the time. Nevermind, I thought as I boarded the plane, I can watch a film, have a glass of wine and enjoy the flight!
I don't think so! There was no individual screen and instead a big screen that you had to crane you neck to try and see what was on. It didn't really matter though as the only entertainment was the film 'The Mask' and a 'Tiger Woods' documentary. I thought that this was ridiculous, especially because we had paid so much! It was only then that I found out that no alcohol was served on the flight either because it is a Muslim company. Well, that completely finished me off! I am quite a nervous flier and like to have a few glasses of wine to settle me when I am on a long haul flight.
To the defence of Royal Brunei, technically there was nothing wrong with the flight but the seats were worn and uncomfortable, the food was rotten, the entertainment was rubbish and there was no alcohol to soften the blow. Yes, I would expect that on a cheap charter flight but not for the price we paid.
While we were in Borneo most other people had flown to Kuala Lumpur with Emirates and then taken another flight to Borneo. I wish that is what we had done, as Emirates are amazing. With Royal Brunei we only got as far as Brunei and had to take another flight anyway.
Verdict: I would never travel with them again. I have travelled to Oz twice with Emirates and once with Singapore Airlines and they are pure comfort!
We had to make an urgent trip from Aberdeen to Perth, Australia at very short notice. We purchased Royal Brunei flights tickets through the Thomas Cook website at a very good price (about GBP470 per adult)- and this was buying the tickets on the Friday before the Monday flight (3 days!). In comparison, the Aberdeen-Heathrow leg costs us about GBP200 each. The plane was not as shiny as the other airlines and equipments were fairly basic (although we did watch the latest shows) but the flight crew more than make it up with old fashion hospitality. They were very long flights (average 26 hours) but because the flight was only 2/3 full, our children to stretch out on 3 seats each and we arrived in better shape than other shorter flights. The real bonus was that we were able to change our return flight without any penalty with RBA - the ticket were valid for a whole month. Ironically, the shorter Heathrow - Aberdeen leg was more inflexible and we had to buy new tickets. The stopover at Abu Dhabi is nothing more than a leg stretcher and depending on the flights, you may have to stay in Brunei airport for 3 or 5 hours.
My partner and I recently did the big move from Oz to the UK and were coming over on a one way ticket. Booked our seats through Flight Centre in Noosa Junction -QLD and they were lovely and very helpful and friendly. Found that Royal Brunei were one of the cheapest (as we had bank accounts to watch carefully) and one of the safest with a good reputation. (my dad works in the airline industry so I jumped straight on the phone to him, got the thumbs up) I am a nervous flyer so to find out they were a good airline eased the pain abit. We paid about $830 Aus for a one way ticket with this airline and we were also warned that b/c of the Muslim religion no alcoholic drinks would be served but you are able to take on your own little bottle-discreatly mind you and they dont seem to mind. In saying that I would take on some munchies of your own, alot of the food was non discript but isnt it on all planes, the staff were very polite and made every effort to help us relax and comfort. Many movies are screened on the way over, the seats like on any plane do get uncomfortable after about the 20th hour. And it may be physcological but to a nervous flyer anything helps, at the beginning of each take off a prayer is said to help have a safe journey. We stopped along the way at Brunei for a petrol break, this wasnt the niceset airport I have been too, there isnt much to do so but usually its only for an hour or so. So overall I would fly with this airline again if you are on a budget but dont want to risk your lives on some dodgy airline !!
Last summer i went to the great land down under for a month to stay with family. I'd never heard of Royal Brunei until the Travel agent suggested them after not being able to get a flight with Singapore Airlines, and i must say i was impressed by their service. As a relatively new company there are still a few glitches, the offering of "peanut" alternatives every four seconds. I mean after your third bag they're still a novelty, but after your 10000th in a 24 hour flight, you just want the real thing. If anything the service was too much, but unlike a Airtours flight where you can't get service for love nor money, then Royal Brunei is great. The seats were uncomfortable, especially those with long legs. My knees were embedded into the back of the chair infront for most of the flight, but that's economy for you. I'm a veggie and i must say that the food was, well awful, but more appealing than the meat eaters meals with me. I advise anyone going on a long haul flight to drink plenty (and that's the soft stuff!) to keep fluids going. The toilets aboard were lovely. Soap, smellies and perfume were provided and it made a refreshing change to the normal tiny bar of soap usually provided for these sorts of things. I must say that i realy didn't like brunei Airport. Ladies be warned there is a hole in the floor for most of the toilets, but the airport's pretty safe (head for the end ones). For those of you in transit for a few hours be warned there is not really much to do at the airport, so book to do the Brunei tour at eaither this end or Oz (book at the airports) This is a fabulous country so make the most of your short or long stay. Happy Travelling
This airline has good connections to Bangkok and Perth (among other places). Be aware that it is a Muslim carrier and therefore does not serve alcohol. Flights change in Brunei except those to Bangkok which operate via Frankfurt. Where is the best place to buy tickets on Royal Brunei? This is my best advice based upon 10 years experience of selling discounted airline tickets - but if you think you already know everything, and just want to find out the cheapest place to buy it for this airline, then skip to the last paragraph! Lets face it, all airlines can get you from A to B, sometimes you have to change at C, sometimes you have to hang around at C, but if price is your main concern, read on .... First, as an ex-travel agent, let me explain how the system works. Nearly all airlines belong to a cartel known as IATA, which amongst other duties, helps to regulate the official prices between each pair of worldwide destinations. My first piece of advice is, never phone the airline for the official fare, except as a last resort - their staff are trained to extract the highest fare they can get away with, and they are never going to tell you that one of their competitors has a better deal, or that you can save money going the next or previous day. Furthermore, they can only sell at the officially agreed price. Luckily for us consumers, and unluckily for the airlines, they cannot sell all their seats at the official price, especially if a much better, more direct airline has the same price. For example, if the official fare to, say, Bangkok is £600 from airline A (non-stop in 12 hours) and the same price from airline B (19 hours with a 7 hour wait changing planes in Karachi airport) then it is obvious which will sell out first. In order to generate market share, less popular airlines will unofficially discount their fares through wholesalers known as "consolidators" - these can some
times save you more than half of the official fare. These consolidators appoint specialised agents, and sometimes you can even save more money if the consolidator will deal with you direct. You may be surprised to learn that, depending on the length of the journey, the consolidator is only charging you £10 - £40 more than the "factory" price given to them by the airline. Contrary to popular misconception, it is not risky to deal with these so called "bucket shops" - If they let you down, they can be heavily fined or even jailed - everything is covered by the government ATOL scheme, so it is a lot safer than, for example, paying for a three-piece suite in advance to a High Street furniture chain. To summarise, these are my recommendations: Contact the airline for their best official price, on 0207 584 6660. Call the consolidator on 0207 287 2287 (Comet Travel - ATOL 4158)