Comparison of Return Air Tickets from Brussels, Amsterdam & Paris to Singapore
My friend is travelling to Singapore from Antwerp, Belgium to Singapore from 25 June to 26 July 2015. He wanted me to find him the cheapest air ticket and was open to all the possibility of departing from any nearby airports.
I am quite familiar with the airfares around the airports of Belgium. I know departure flights from Brussels Airport are the most expensive as compared to departing flights from Paris and Amsterdam to Singapore.
Let us take a look at a case study of how to get the cheapest air ticket to Singapore, including train tickets from Antwerp to the three nearby airports – Brussels, Amsterdam and Paris.
On a few flight comparison site using Expedia Singapore and Zuji Singapore, results showed that British Airways offered the cheapest promotions to Singapore from Brussels, Amsterdam and Paris. I conducted a search few weeks before his departure.
I always use these three airports to compare flights since I go there more often than other countries. I also look out for flight departing from London. It always has the most expensive airfare and longer train journey for my friend.
1. Brussels Zaventem Airport, Belgium
For someone staying in Antwerp, Brussels Zaventem Airport would be the most convenient location to take flight. Unfortunately, it is usually always the most expensive place to depart and to arrive by plane.
Conditions of the three illustrations below:
a) Using exchange rate of 1 Euro = SGD 1.51 as of 22 June 2015
b) Have the same flight duration
- Total travel time from Brussels to Singapore: 22h 05 min (Stopover 7h 50 min)
- Total travel time from Singapore to Brussels: 16h 05 min (Stopover 1hr 05 min)
- Bottom left: Expedia Singapore € 581.65 ≈ SGD 878.30
- Right: Zuji Singapore € 633.31 ≈ SGD 956.30
- Top Left: British Airway € 735.16 ≈ SGD 1,110.40
Expedia Singapore being the cheapest of the two most popular flight comparison sites in Singapore, it is ironical to read from the analysis that buying the airfare directly in Euro from British Airways website is much more expensive as compared to buying airfare in Singapore Dollars from Expedia Singapore.
Logically, this is also the most relevant method for the Europeans to search air tickets in Euro rather than Singapore Dollars because most would never discover this arrangement.
Train Tickets: It costs € 11.20 including € 5 airport tax for a one-way ticket from Antwerp to Brussels Airport and return ticket would cost € 17.20 bought from Antwerp Central Train Station directly. The train journey will take 34 minutes. The train station to alight will be Brussel National Luchthaven.
*Important: The train ticket should be retained and not thrown away because you also use the same ticket to enter inside the airport.
Total Cost (Lowest Airfare from Expedia Singapore): € 579.86 + € 17.20 = € 597.06 ≈ SGD 901.56
2. Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, Netherlands
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is the next best alternative because one can take a non-high speed train from Antwerp Centraal Station in 2 hours time or a high-speed train (Thalys) in 1 hour time.
I decided to buy the airfare from Expedia Singapore this time and choose to depart from Amsterdam because it was the cheapest search after monitoring for some time.
- Expedia Singapore € 508.08 ≈ SGD 767.20
- Zuji Singapore € 547.55 ≈ SGD 826.80
- British Airway € 540.70 ≈ SGD 816.45
The total travelling time to Singapore was also reasonable. The three illustrations above have the same flight time:-
- Total travel time from Amsterdam to Singapore: 17h 40 min (Stopover 3h 25 min)
- Total travel time from Singapore to Amsterdam: 16h 00 min (Stopover 1h 20 min)
In fact for the air ticket price stated above in Expedia Singapore, my friend had chosen to top up additional SGD 21.30 so that the stopover time of 5.5 hours can be reduced down to 1h 20 min. For British Airways, the top up was around € 35 to lessen the time of the stopover from 5.5 to 1h 20 min.
Train Tickets: It costs € 31.40 for a one-way train ticket from Antwerp Central Station to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. If you check the train ticket price separately on a single trip basis, a one-way ticket from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to Antwerp will cost € 29.40 (see image below).
If you select a round-trip ticket, the calculation based on the online booking system will be € 31.40 x 2 = € 62.80. The search came as a surprise because train ticket will usually cost cheaper if you buy a round-trip ticket instead of a single trip.
My friend went to Antwerp Centraal Station and bought a single trip ticket to Amsterdam Airport on the spot. It cost him € 26 at the ticketing counter which was cheaper than buying online.
He will buy a one-way ticket to Antwerp on the same day when he returns from Singapore to Amsterdam. It would cost him € 29, € 3 more if a person buys train tickets on the same day. Nevertheless, the train prices mentioned above are subjected to change frequently.
You might notice below that a Thalys high-speed train that cost € 71.00 took 57 minutes to arrive at the destination. The train journey of the economy ticket (€ 29.40) will take 2h 13 min for arrival.
Total Cost (Cheapest Air Ticket from Expedia Singapore): € 508.08 + € 26.00 + € 29.00 = € 563.08 ≈ SGD 850.25.
3. Charles De Gaulle Airport (CDG), Paris
Paris CDG Airport is the furthest away from Antwerp. The train journey by the high-speed train (TGV) to the airport is 2 hours. The train ticket is more expensive and costs approximately € 60.
I took a train from Antwerp to CDG Airport in January 2015. It cost me € 60 for a TGV ticket. I chose to depart from Paris because the airfare that I had found was significantly cheaper than Brussels and Amsterdam. Even after I have included in the € 60 train ticket to Paris, the overall cost was still cheaper than departing from Brussels and Amsterdam.
When I travel to Antwerp, it is usually a tie choosing between Paris or Amsterdam if not Brussels. The final decision depends on which airline runs a better promotion for these three cities.
- Bottom left: Expedia Singapore € 530.07 ≈ SGD 800.40
- Right: Zuji Singapore € 572.58 ≈ SGD 864.60
- Top Left: British Airway € 685.99 ≈ SGD 1,035.85
Expedia Singapore and British Airway have the same flight duration overall except for Zuji Singapore. The first leg of the return trip leaves and arrives 30 minutes later than the other two companies which are not a big issue.
- Total travel time from Paris to Singapore: 16h (Stopover 1h 45 min)
- Total travel time from Singapore to Amsterdam: 17h (Stopover 2h 20 min)
Train Tickets: It costs € 157.40 for a round-trip train ticket making it an average of € 78.70 per ticket. The price of the ticket is high because it is very near to the departure date.
Normally, the price is € 60 from Brussels Midi to Paris CDG Airport for a single trip ticket. There are also no promotional price or early bird discount based on my past research.
Add another € 10 of taking a domestic train from Antwerp to Brussels Midi. That explains why the ticket price is € 78.70 per ticket.
Total Cost (Cheapest Airfare from Expedia Singapore): € 530.07 + € 157.40 = € 687.47 ≈ SGD 1,038.08
How to buy the cheapest air ticket from Brussels, Amsterdam & Paris to Singapore?
√ 1. Use a few flight comparison sites such as Expedia and Zuji Singapore for a general guideline on the airline companies offering good airfare promotions during the period of your travel.
√ 2. Go to the airline company website which has good airfare promotion and note the price.
√ 3. Compare whether the flight comparison site or the airline website offers a better price.
√ 4. Use your country airline website and the arriving country airline website (same or different currency) to make a comparison.
- Expedia Singapore versus Expedia Belgium and Expedia France (Simply change your search location in Expedia Singapore)
- British Airways Singapore (SGD) versus British Airways (Pounds) and British Airways Belgium (Euro)
Don’t be surprised if there is a significant difference in the airfares prices if you compare two neighbouring countries (Belgium and France) in the same currency – Euro.
I discovered in 2014 when I wanted to go back to Singapore from Belgium. There was a notable price difference by changing the search location to another country. An airline company could reflect different airfares even though the flight schedules were the same.
Change in Currency Exchange
Euro was rather weak at the point of purchase (€1 = SGD 1.51). We were hoping that the Euro might strengthen over the next one month during the vacation in Singapore. If that happen, my friend can change Euro for more Singapore Dollars which mean that his air ticket will be relatively cheaper thanks to the exchange rate.