We all know how dreadful flying can be, but usually we take the cheapest option to keep the costs of our holidays to a minimum. When it comes to flying around the world the dynamics change and suddenly there are a lot more things which we need to consider. Here are a few resources, tips and things to consider when deciding how you’re going to navigate your way halfway around the world, including who to fly with, when to fly, where to fly and how to cope with the tedium.
Finding the Right Flight
Usually the most expensive part of getting across to Australia is finding a flight. Considering that (aside from New Zealand) Australia is pretty much sat by itself in the middle of nowhere, it will likely take you a while to fly there. It’s two biggest cities in Sydney and Melbourne are a good 6 hours flight from Darwin – which is roughly the same as flying from England to Greece. That means you’ll most likely end up on a long haul flight. So.
Who Should You Fly With?
The first decision you’ll need to make is which flight operator to fly with. Some airlines (depending upon where you live) will be able to offer direct flights. Most will require a lay over, and the route you take (including lay over) will depend on which operator you fly with. Also you’ll need to consider that different airlines have different costs. Some are far more expensive than others, but also allow you extra luxuries. There are differing baggage allowances, and depending how long you’re intending to be in Australia depends how much luggage you’ll be taking with you. If you’re going for 12 months, 8kg of hand luggage just won’t cut it.
Here are some of the more commonly used flight operators are (in alphabetical order):
How to Find the Right Flight
There are plenty of flights that will get you to Australia, if just getting there is your only goal and you don’t mind how long that takes. But ultimately, you’re going to have to choose which day you want to fly on, and how long you want your journey to take. Lay overs can even last days, so you’ll need to choose carefully.
A good place to start is Skyscanner.
Skyscanner is an awesome resource as it aggregates flight information from different flight operators and booking agencies, and lets you compare them. You can even select flexible dates and times, or different airports for both departures and landings. That functionality will make it far easier to find the flight that best suits your needs.
As an example, flying from London (usually) provides the cheapest flights in the UK, and landing in Melbourne (Tullamarine, not Avalon) or Sydney are the cheapest for arrivals.
Also consider when your flights depart and land. Friday and Sunday evenings tend to be the busier flights for most airlines, so these also tend to be a little more expensive. Mid-week flights tend to be cheaper, and Tuesday seems to be the best day to fly followed by Saturday (because no one wants to give up their weekend, right?)
On your way to Australia, you might decide you want to do a short stop over in another destination, such as Dubai or Singapore, to break up the lengthy flight. If so you’ll want to select your flight route and operator accordingly. For example, Emirates tends to fly via Dubai, where Etihad prefers a route via Abu Dhabi. Check these out in advance, and make sure to choose flights which will allow for you to venture out. You’ll also want to check visa regulations for any layover countries in which you’ll want to leave the airport.
How Much Will Flights Cost?
The cost of your flight will depend on a few factors:
- The airline
- The time and date of your flight
- The length of your flight
- The number of stopovers on your route
- Your luggage allowance for the flight
- Your departure and arrival locations
The reasons for these vary, some are less obvious than others.
In general though, with any airline, the date and time of your flight will influence the price based on whether you fly in the morning or evening, and on a weekend or during the week. If you want to fly during the holiday period, you’re probably going to be shelling out a bit extra for that too. Also remember that Australian summer and winter are “backwards” so to speak, and this will also influence the peak travelling times, particularly if you’re booking a return leg.
Your flight length impacts the pricing as taking a longer flight with more stopovers is less desirable, so the price is lower to compensate. If you don’t mind the extra little wait, or want to get out and explore somewhere else first, then this is usually a pretty surefire way to save a few extra dollars, although you’ll likely end up getting food and accommodation wherever you’re ‘laying over’.
Luggage allowance is quite a big influencer too. Some airlines, such as Emirates, offer a 30kg luggage allowance, others offer no allowance, but on average you’re looking at somewhere between 21-27kg allowance. It depends how long you’re planning to travel Australia for, and how much you decide to take with you (you don’t need a lot, honestly).
Hopefully some of this information will help you find the right flight. As flying, particularly long haul, can sometimes be a bit of a stressful experience, you should also look at the 7 ways your flight can be made less stressful and more enjoyable.