Cheap flights in Australia were unimaginable prior to deregulation of the Airlines in the nineties. It used to cost hundreds of dollars to fly from Melbourne to Sydney whereas now costs as little at $60. Compared to domestic flights overseas, the prices are still relatively expensive. Australia simply doesn’t have the population to support cheap flights compared to the US or Europe.
Flying to Australia remains pretty expensive because it’s not on a major flight path like Singapore for example. Unless you’re flying to see the Penguins in Antarctica, Melbourne is not really a stopover. You fly to Melbourne to go to Melbourne!
Due to Australia being on the bottom of the world, it’s going to be expensive to fly here. But it’s the same for Aussies to fly overseas, you just have to “suck it up” and pay for the flight. Try to be flexible with you schedule, fly into the major cities like Sydney and Melbourne and commence your domestic travels from there.
Once you have arrived in Melbourne or Sydney, flights to the other cities are pretty cheap. Do your homework, book ahead and you can pick up some bargains with the major domestic airlines competing for your business. Even flights from Melbourne to Perth can cost as little as $150, unheard of 20 years ago.
Travel distances in Australia are long and travelling into the more remote areas remains expensive. For instance, flying from Melbourne to the Kimberley WA will have to go via Perth. Again, shop around and do your homework to get cheap flights in Australia. The mining boom has helped keep the flights cheaper and running more often.
For people who travel around Australia, it’s not advisable to look for return flights as it gives you more freedom to stay somewhere you like. Also if you want to stay somewhere longer and wish to change the flight, it’s going to cost you approx. $80 to change the flight schedule depending on the carrier.
Don’t assume a cheap flight in Australia from Sydney to Melbourne is the best choice of transport either. Depending on what you want to see in between determines whether or not you wish to fly to your destination or seek other alternative methods of transport. Bus, Trains, Hiring Campervans, purchasing a second hand car or sharing a ride with someone is also a cheap way of traveling around Australia.
Cheap flights in Australia – Timing and Peak Season
To find cheap flights in Australia you have to start looking early. Keep an eye on the major airline’s websites for the best deals. Sometimes you may even get $1 flights when they have sales on. Don’t wait for last minute deals as they don’t seem to offer them. Best bet is to get in early.
The Christmas/New Year period is the busiest time to fly in Australia and expect to pay premium prices. You simply won’t find cheap flights in Australia during this time. Again, if you need to fly during this period, book early!
The other times that the flights become more expensive are weekends (Friday evening and Sunday night) and school holidays. A lot of people fly overnight as well to avoid the higher costs.
Cheap flights in Australia – Airlines
The cheapest Airline has to be Tiger Airways, followed by Jetstar, Virgin and QANTAS. International airlines service Australia and bookings can be made on them as they depart Australia via a Australian Capital City. International airlines include Singapore airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Emirates, and Air New Zealand who are recommended by travellers as good value for money.
Tiger Airways are known for their cheap fares and I often use them when traveling between Melbourne and Perth. The worse thing about Tiger is they don’t have a major terminal in Melbourne (as at 2014) and you need to walk across the tarmac to enter the plane. Big deal when a ticket can be purchased for $150 instead of $250+ for Jetstar.
Tips for booking cheap flights in Australia
In the past the preferred option was to use a Travel Agent to book flights in Australia. The best method for a traveler on a budget is to now book the flights online.
Firstly check the prices on Webjet and Flightcentre then go the airline’s websites and check if you can find the flight at a better rate. Watch out for the hidden fees and extras that aren’t usually a part of the initial fee.
Some airlines will charge for you to choose a seat while others will have that option included.
What type of airline traveler are you?
The ranked list of on-board etiquette violators, with percentage cited by study respondents:
1. Rear seat-kicker (67 per cent)
2. Inattentive parents (64 per cent)
3. Aromatic passenger (56 per cent)
4. Audio-insensitive (talking/music) (51 per cent)
5. Boozer (50 per cent)
6. Chatty Cathy (43 per cent)
7. Carry-on baggage offenders (39 per cent)
8. Armrest hog (38 per cent)
9. Seat-back guy (aka seat recliner) (37 per cent)
10. Queue jumper (35 per cent)
11. Overhead bin inconsiderate (32 per cent)
12. Pungent foodies (32 per cent)
13. Back-of-seat grabber (31 per cent)
14. Playboy (reads/watches adult content) (30 per cent)
15. Amorous (inappropriate affection) (29 per cent)
16. Mad bladder (28 per cent)
17. Undresser (removes shoes or more) (26 per cent)
18. Seat switcher (13 per cent)
This article originally appeared on CNN and I thought it was appropriate for this article.
Remember to book early if you want a cheap flight in Australia.