must meet kangaroos as cheaply as possible
October 27, 2007 7:25 PM   Subscribe

What's the cheapest way to fly from NYC to Australia next summer?

Is it better to get a ticket to somewhere in between New York and Australia and then get another ticket onwards on a cheaper airline? and what in-between-place/cheaper-airlines is suggested? We can't do priceline or courier as we need to show up on time.
posted by beckish to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
A few things to investigate:

- Air Tahiti Nui has round-trip fares around $2100 froom JFK to Sydney, via Papeete, Tahiti, for a two-week trip at the end of June. Don't know how cheap that is for you, but it's toward the bottom end of what I would expect short an error on the part of the airlines. Let's call that the baseline.

- Round-the-world tickets, as one could assemble on Airtreks, can often be cheaper than simple round-trips, and since you're going so far, they might be worth looking at.

- Cobbling together a partly-low-cost airline itinerary might be risky, as you wouldn't have as much protection should things go wrong, but could save you something. Something like JFK-London Gatwick on Zoom, then London Stansted to Australia on the yet-to-be-fully-operational-but-might-be-by-next-summer AirAsiaX.

You could also get to Hong Kong from London Gatwick or Vancouver, BC on Oasis Hong Kong, grab a ferry from right inside Hong Kong's airport to Macau, which is Hong Kong's ex-Portuguese gambling resort neighbor, and get a Viva Macau flight to Sydney. I haven't priced all this out, but NYC-Vancouver/London-Hong Kong/Macau-Sydney might be a good bet, though that seems insane.

What you need to do is make some coffee, fire up an Excel chart, and price all the options out, allowing a few hours (and a day, perhaps, in London and Hong Kong to switch airports) to change planes and collect your luggage, as you won't be able to check it through on any flights save the one in Tahiti.

This could be really fun, actually, and while it might sound hellish, you'd get to visit at least one other cool place besides Australia on your way there!
posted by mdonley at 12:01 AM on October 28, 2007

When arranging really long-haul travel, I've found that travel agents are still the best bet and, in some cases, can find fares that are substantially cheaper than anything you'll be able to find anywhere on the internet. Last Christmas, for example, I flew from New Zealand to the middle of Canada via Sydney for NZ$1600 return (leaving just outside of the peak travel period), thanks to a really good travel agent. I'm reasonably competent in finding cheap airfare on the internet and I couldn't find anything even remotely close to this price, even following the travel agent's routing. Since you're planning well in advance, I'd get in touch with a travel agent and ask him or her to get in touch the minute a seat sale starts.
posted by lumiere at 11:21 AM on October 28, 2007

How do you feel about flying through Abu Dhabi, UAE? When looking for tickets for this Christmas, I noticed that Etihad Airways was the only one with tickets below US$2000. A quick search for random July dates came up with tickets for $1399.
posted by zerbinetta at 12:15 PM on October 28, 2007

One other thing after reading Lumiere's comment - Airtreks is an in-the-flesh travel agency, not just a website.
posted by mdonley at 2:13 PM on October 28, 2007

I asked a very similar question a few years ago and I wound up not finding anything cheaper than the standard $1700 American/Qantas flight I wound up with. I know you said cheap but keep in mind that travelling to Australia via Qantas is a whle 'nother animal than travelling with an American airline and worth the difference in price, in my opinion.
posted by jessamyn at 2:38 PM on October 28, 2007

Jessamyn's right - my least pleasant trans-Pacific flight (by far!) was on an American airline. The flight from LA/SF to Sydney is somewhere between 14 and 15 hours and that's a very very long time to be on a plane. In my opinion, it's best to fly with an airline that specialises in this kind of travel, like Qantas (though I haven't flown with them) or Air New Zealand. An extra $100 or $200 dollars for a more comfortable flight with better, personalised inseat entertainment is well worth it.
posted by lumiere at 4:09 PM on October 28, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks for all the great replies! all this input is very helpful and appreciated and we will investigate the options...
posted by beckish at 8:13 PM on October 28, 2007

« Older My web site is being hacked, what can I do?   |   DIY baby t-shirts Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.