Getting to Australia
September 16, 2004 6:30 AM   Subscribe

Is there any inexpensive way to get to Australia [Sydney/Adelaide] by plane from the US [Vermont/Boston]? I've been invited to speak at a conference in December but was surprised by high ticket prices. Any advice beyond the standard "Use Travelocity/Orbitz/Hotwire/Priceline" would be appreciated.
posted by jessamyn to Travel & Transportation around Australia (10 answers total)
You might try to get some prices from ticket consolidators (a.k.a. bucket shops). I used one I found in the New York Times Sunday travel section to get a cheap ticket from NYC to Stockholm. There's an FAQ on consolidators here.
posted by Otis at 7:06 AM on September 16, 2004

I know some people who did the flight courier option. You can't check any luggage on the outbound flight, but if you can pack lightly it's a great option. I don't know which company they used, but it does work for international flights; I would imagine that for Australia, it would be cheaper for many companies to use your luggage allotment rather than air freight their goods. Sorry I can't be of more help, but it might be worth investigating for this trip.
posted by fionab at 7:23 AM on September 16, 2004

Best answer: The problem you have is that December is summer holidays down under - high season.

You could fly to LA with someone like JetBlue & do Sydney-Adelaide with Virgin Blue or Jet Star & see what the best deal is for LAX-SYD.

Alternatively, London-Sydney is a major route & you may get a decent deal & you'll be able to get something cheap Boston-London in December.

It just depends what you mean by 'high'.

Otherwise the courier option is good if you are flexible.
posted by i_cola at 8:01 AM on September 16, 2004

for the kind of conferences i'm involved with, it's normal for invited speakers to have travel paid for them, so you might want to check (i would guess you already have, and your conference is different, but it seemed worth mentioning just in case...).
posted by andrew cooke at 8:26 AM on September 16, 2004

See if you can get a flight via Incheon (Seoul), S.Korea, with Korean Air

Then use Virgin Blue for your domestic flights b/w Sydney and Adelaide.

No. I'm serious. It'll be a longer flight, but should prove cheaper.
posted by cheaily at 8:43 AM on September 16, 2004

(At least, it has for friends of mine.)
posted by cheaily at 8:45 AM on September 16, 2004

May be worth looking at, too. They're a very good site that consolidates the various deals airlines and tour operators are running.
posted by occhiblu at 10:53 AM on September 16, 2004

I don't know if this applies to flights originating in the US, but an Australian friend tells me that Australia-US roundtrip tickets are frequently substantially less expensive if you go around the world instead of there and back.
posted by willpie at 3:43 PM on September 16, 2004

Best answer: There are some web deals for Australia in Dec. through Qantas here...
posted by Sonny Jim at 4:59 PM on September 16, 2004

In my experience Korean Air is often more expensive than other carriers between the west coast US and Seoul, at least when the originating city is Seoul.

Don't forget to check if there are any supercheapies available to Auckland from where you're going at the right time. From there, it can be a relatively short and inexpensive hop to Sydney, and NZ rocks.

(Also it may be worth it to check if there are any tourist cheapies to, say, Fiji (which also rocks), and go from there, if your schedule is flexible enough.)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:29 PM on September 16, 2004

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