Finding cheap flights to Australia: How to Get the Best Deal
Even though every major airline flies to Australia, it’s a long, long, way from everywhere else in the world (except Asia).
There’s no one, simple way to find cheap flights to Australia, so we’ve put together a few tricks and suggestions here gleaned from experienced backpackers and other unconventional, budget travellers.
Flying to Australia? Plan Your Trip First
Australia is at least a 24 hour flight from the UK/Europe or 15 hours from the west coast of the United States.
This means is that Australia flights can be expensive.
The most important advice we can give you is to think carefully about where you want to go and what you want to see in Australia.
Some questions to consider:
- How long are you staying?
- What Australian destinations do you plan to visit?
- When do you wish to travel?
It’s very important for you to think through these questions. How much you pay for airfares to Australia will depend upon your answers.
When to Fly to Australia
The most expensive times to fly to Australia are:
- our summer holidays, between December and February
- around Easter
- during any Australian school holiday period
You can often book cheap flights to Australia during the local winter months which last from June to August.
However, you’ll have to check carefully to avoid the school holiday period around June/July.
Sydney or Melbourne?
Most overseas visitors fly into either Sydney or Melbourne.
If you are planning on spending a few months or more travelling around Australia, or you’re looking for work, you’ll probably fly into Sydney or Melbourne.
These cities have the greatest choice of flights into Australia from the UK, Europe and the US, but they are not always the cheapest option if you’re heading to the Outback.
If you’re travelling from the USA, you’ll find that most major airlines fly direct to Australia.
The quickest and cheapest flights are via Los Angeles or San Francisco, although there are a number of flights which fly via Asia as well. The cheapest flights to Australia from the US are out of San Francisco.
Most flights to Australia from Europe fly via Asian Cities.
This is good news, because it often means that if you shop around for budget carriers and are prepared to take a stopover, you can save 100s of dollars/pounds/Euros on your flights.
Airlines that fly on these routes are British Airways, Emirates, Lufthansa, Gulf Air and the like.
Asia: Your Best Choice for Cheap Flights to Australia
Asia is the place we travel most often for our vacations. We’ve tried a few different carriers over the years, flying out of both Darwin and Melbourne.
If we were flying to Europe and wanted to do it very cheaply, we would fly from Darwin to Indonesia then to Singapore or Hong Kong and on to Europe.
If you’re flying to Australia from Bangkok, Singapore or Hong Kong, then budget airlines like Tiger or Air Asia often have tickets to Australia for less than $100 AUD. Even better, these airlines fly into Perth – and Air Asia has just started flying to Darwin.
Air Asia are currently offering $99AUD flights from Darwin to Denpasar (Bali, Indonesia)
Other airlines which ply to Australia from Asia are Cathay Pacific, Garuda Indonesia, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, and Thai International Airways (our favourite).