Save $ in flying to Australia
March 11, 2010 5:46 AM   Subscribe

What is the cheapest way I can arrange the round-trip to Melbourne, Australia from Providence, RI, US?

Any tips and suggestions on saving money are much much appreciated!
posted by coolnik to Travel & Transportation around Melbourne, Australia (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
When are you making this trip and do you care how long it takes?
posted by mkb at 6:08 AM on March 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

Maybe not helpful but I asked a similar question about six years ago. My only advice is that if you have a choice between flying Qantas or flying an American airline, I suggest you pick QWantas even if it's a little but more, the trip is SO much more pleasant [better food, better entertainment, better policies] it will be worth it. When I was in Australia I found good for last minute hotel deals. We stayed here when I was in Melbourne and the place was centrally located and pretty cheap.
posted by jessamyn at 6:10 AM on March 11, 2010

If you can get to the West Coast, that opens up a lot more Asian airlines that don't have flights to the East Coast. For instance, when I went, I used FF miles to get from Hartford to LA, took a V Australia flight from LA to Sydney, and got a Virgin Blue air-pass to get around the country including Melbourne and Brisbane.
posted by smackfu at 6:17 AM on March 11, 2010

I'm assuming the previous poster meant Austral-asian airlines. I wouldn't necessarily suggest taking an Asian airline to get to Australia unless you want anther 7-10 hour flight at the end of the trip.

But, there are a couple of other options. You could consider flying to NZ and jumping the ditch on the multiple low cost options to pretty much any Australian city. You could also fly to Fiji and connect across. This option was the cheapest for my parents a few years back going in the opposite direction. You might also check for holiday fares to Hawaii and onward to AU. But, I've no idea if there would be decent fares on that route.
posted by michswiss at 7:53 AM on March 11, 2010

I just looked at jessamyn's linked thread. I think the advice is essentially the same today. If you have the time, I would seriously consider some of the around the world fares. There are some strange alliances and options (beyond the standard Oneworld and Star Alliance stuff, although those can be good value too) that are cheap. But the real font of info on this stuff is at Flyertalk. Can you post some more info about the timing of the trip, your flexibility and any airline affiliations? I'd be happy to point you to good resources there. Fwiw, I've been on that site for a decade under the same user name as here.
posted by michswiss at 8:03 AM on March 11, 2010

My only advice is that if you have a choice between flying Qantas or flying an American airline, I suggest you pick Qantas

I would also recommend Air New Zealand, for the same reason. I prefer them to Qantas (though I'm maybe biased due to nationality). It might also be worth investigating flying out with one airline and back with another.

If time is no object, then presumably the cheapest way to get there would be to take a bus to Los Angeles and fly from there (you'll get so many more options, as smackfu pointed out).
posted by Infinite Jest at 8:13 AM on March 11, 2010

I think the advice is essentially the same today.

The only practical difference, in my opinion, is that now Delta and V Australia also run direct non-stop flights from the US to Australia. Unfortunately this doesn't seem to have much of an effect on the prices: it's still $800-900 in the low season up to $1500 in the high season.
posted by smackfu at 8:31 AM on March 11, 2010

Create alerts on and

I flew United LAX-Melbourne for CHEAP! Just gotta watch the deals. We found that one on Travelzoo.
posted by k8t at 8:32 AM on March 11, 2010

I live in Connecticut and fly home each year from JFK. I’ve flown QANTAS, Air New Zealand and JAL and I recommend QANTAS. I don’t know how they compare on price right now (though I did comparison shop a few years ago and their prices were very competitive) but in any case I really agree with jessamyn that it’s the best way to go. It’s a long trip and compromising to save money has always worked out badly for me. Feel free to contact me directly if you want more info.
posted by ads at 1:58 PM on March 11, 2010

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