Once you have decided to come to Australia, the next step is probably booking your plane ticket. Keep in mind that flight prices vary a lot depending on the period of your departure (it is more expensive during school holidays, for example) and when you make the booking. Knowing certain tips & tricks will help you to save on your plane ticket to Australia!
Flight duration to Australia
Flights from UK to Australia
The duration of your flight from London to Australia varies according to the number of stopovers and the time spent at each stopover. The minimum flight time will be around 22 hours with only one, shorter stop. It can go up to 40 hours if you stop several times or for longer.
Flights from USA to Australia
When Flying from New York, your flight time is around 22 hours, most flights stopping once or twice. Most layovers are within the US, often at airports such as LAX, SFO or SLC. However, some options do also offer the option of stopping over in Auckland, New Zealand. When booking sufficiently in advance, prices begin at around $2,300 (USD).
When flying from Los Angeles, you can actually get a direct flight to Sydney, with a flight time of 15 hours. This option also tends to be cheaper, with prices starting from $1,000 (USD) depending on season and layover.
Flights from Canada to Australia
From Vancouver, you can find direct flights which take 15 hours and start from around $1,500 (USD). You can even find options for around $500 (USD) if you’re really clever with when you travel!
From Montreal, most layovers take you to Edmonton or Vancouver. Flight time is 22 hours and prices start at around $1,500 (USD).
How much do plane tickets to Australia cost?
Depending on when you book your flight to Australia, prices can really vary. Indeed, you can find a single ticket for £360 if you book well in advance, your departure date is not during school holidays or a public holiday, and you book your ticket at the right time. Conversely, your airfare to Australia can cost you £1100 if you travel during the high season (December and January) and book shortly before you leave for Australia. For a return trip from London to Sydney, you should expect to pay around £1200.
If you choose to book two single tickets instead of a return ticket, you should expect to pay a little more (up to 20% more – i.e. around £1440). Obviously, these prices are only indicative as they vary according to many criteria, including the type of airline (low cost or not).
As an indication, here are the proposed fares for a one-way trip from London to Sydney on 24th August 2023 having made the search on the 9th March 2023 (i.e. 5 months in advance).
To save money on your ticket, you can find cheaper flights with less reputable companies and longer, or even multiple layovers. For example, below you can see how prices can differ even for flights on the same date:
Cheap plane tickets to Australia
There are a few techniques that can help you to get cheaper tickets to Australia.
In general, the best fares are available right after the flight has been published. This means approximately 300 days before the trip. If you go for this option, you will be required to get a changeable return ticket (i.e. an ‘open ticket’) because your return trip will not be available yet. The additional benefit is that choosing an open end ticket gives you more flexibility for your return.
For good prices, it is important to be flexible on your dates and itinerary (a detour can save you a lot of money). Also, prices are generally lower on weekdays than on weekends.
The best time to buy your plane ticket
When to book your plane ticket to Australia
If you use a flight comparison website (e.g. Skyscanner, Google Flights, etc.), you should know that prices vary according to several criteria. Keep these tips in mind: fly in the off-season, on a Wednesday or Thursday, preferably at night, selecting a late night or early morning (between 2 and 4 am) flight.
Where to buy your plane ticket
Via a Travel Agency
While local travel agencies often have good flight deals, most people actually book through an agency due to the extra offers and benefits available as well. Not only can you rest assured that the will have plenty of knowledge and information about your destination, they will also be able to offer you many different options on how to get there such as flexibility or accompanying hotel packages. For example, if you wanted to stop over in Thailand or Bali before getting to Australia, these agencies will often be able to arrange this at a much better rate than if you were to book a trip like this yourself. It is definitely worth comparing any quote you find online with a travel agent.
Via a flight comparison website
To compare prices and get a good deal, another option is to use a flight comparison website. These websites scan different flights available from all the airlines to show you the best deals according to your criteria. Be careful though, as not all flight comparison sites are created equal. Indeed, sites such as Expedia belong to travel agencies and may not offer you the best deals.
It is, therefore, more advisable to use sites such as Opodo, Skyscanner and Google Flights.
With Skyscanner, you can also compare fares over a whole month. This makes it easier to find the day in the month that offers the best fares. The same ticket can cost £1000 or £600 depending on the day of the month! However, don’t forget that the cheapest tickets are usually those with the longest flight time or inconvenient layovers and that, with a return ticket, this can be a bit more complex to manage. Either way, it still allows you to aim for certain days which seem to be cheaper (because there are fewer departures).
💡 Tip : Flight comparison websites record your search results. Do your research in ‘private browsing’ or empty your history and remove your cookies before making your booking.
The Covid pandemic has had a big impact on the aviation market with its effects still felt today. Although demand for air travel is almost back to normal, there are still some advisable precautions to be taken. For starters, be aware that airfares are higher now than before the pandemic.
Major airlines such as Emirates, Qantas, Qatar operate regular flights between Europe and Australia so, while their fares are high, you can get good prices if you book in advance.
Should you choose to book via a comparison website, make sure you are not travelling with more than 2 different airlines because, in the event of delays or connection problems you may have difficulties to find a contact for a potential refund or new ticket.