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July 24, 2016

1

The Best Time To Fly From Australia To Los Angeles

by Jason Dutton-Smith
Los Angeles Airport LAX Sign

According to recent statistics, Australian’s have been taking to the skies in record numbers over the past few years. Scores of aircraft cross the Pacific daily, filled with tourists and business travellers alike, making the Australia to U.S. routes some of the top international markets for air travel. So when is the cheapest time to fly to the U.S.A. from Australia?

With so many airlines now flying the highly competitive route between Australia and Los Angeles, there’s never been a better time to fly to America – thanks in part to the recent increase in seat capacity. The real winner, it turns out, is the travelling public, with airfares at record lows, often dropping below $1,000AUD.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the growth in trans-Pacific air travel between Australia and the U.S.A. has increased by almost 150% over a ten-year period.

Comparing the passenger numbers from the 2004-2005 period, to the 2014-2015 period, departure numbers to the U.S.A. skyrocketed from 396,000 to 980,000.

Australian Bureau of Statistics - Australia to U.S.A. departure numbers.

Australian Bureau of Statistics – Australia to U.S.A. departure numbers.

In part, this dramatic increase is thanks to the number of airlines now servicing the two countries. What was before a tightly knit group of a few select airlines on the coveted Sydney to Los Angeles route for example, has in recent times expanded to five airlines with daily, or multiple daily, non-stop services.

Add to this the number of airlines that fly to the US via a connection point, such as Air New Zealand via Auckland, or Fiji Airways via Nadi, and the ways to LA more than double.

Airlines that fly non-stop Australia to America

The following airlines offer non-stop flights across the Pacific:

  1. Qantas – multiple flights to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas and Honolulu from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne
  2. Virgin Australia – daily flights to Los Angeles from Brisbane and Sydney
  3. United Airlines – daily flights to Los Angeles from Sydney and Melbourne plus daily San Francisco from Sydney
  4. Delta Airlines – daily flight to Los Angeles from Sydney
  5. American Airlines – daily flight to Los Angeles from Sydney
  6. Hawaiian Airlines – daily flights to Honolulu from Sydney plus four times weekly from Brisbane
  7. Jetstar – two weekly flights to Honolulu from Brisbane; daily flights from Sydney; three flights weekly from Melbourne.

Airlines that fly with connections between Australia and America

Add connecting services to the mix and the list grows rapidly. Connections allow you to break up your journey, giving you the chance to explore another destination, often at no extra charge. Take a beach break in Hawaii or Fiji or a city break in Auckland. Breaking the journey is also a great way to try and beat that dreaded jetlag.

  1. Air New Zealand – via Auckland
  2. Air New Zealand – via Rarotonga, Cook islands
  3. Fiji Airways – via Nandi
  4. Air Canada – via Vancouver
  5. Cathay Pacific – via Hong Kong
  6. Japan Airlines – via Tokyo
  7. ANA – via Tokyo
  8. Philippine Airlines – via Manila
  9. Eva Air – via Taipei
  10. Singapore Airlines – via Singapore
  11. Etihad Airways – via Abu Dhabi
  12. Emirates – via Dubai
  13. Korean Airlines – via Seoul
  14. Asiana – via Seoul
  15. China Airlines – via Taipai
  16. China Eastern – via Beijing
  17. China Southern – via Guangzhou
  18. Air China – via Beijing
  19. LATAM – via Santiago

Related Los Angeles stories…

LAX Hotels – A guide to at Los Angeles airport hotels
LAX Arrivals – Guide and tips to Los Angeles airport
Off Track – 5 things to do in LA off the beaten track
Jet Lag – 6 ways to avoid the dreaded jet lag

Well Travelled - Search, compare and book flights, cruises, hotels, tours and more.

Well Travelled – Search, compare and book flights, cruises, hotels, tours and more.


With so many options available with each airline vying for your dollar, it’s no wonder airfares have plummeted to record lows. Personally, I’ve made two bookings between Australia and Los Angeles this year (departing July and November) and paid under $1,000AUD return, including all taxes, for each flight.

This graph from Flight Centre, shows the 2015 monthly airfare guide to Los Angeles. It clearly shows the months that offered the best deals.

Los Angeles seasonal flight price guide. Image courtesy: Flight Centre.

2015 Los Angeles seasonal flight price guide. Image courtesy: Flight Centre.

According to this graph, July last year was a peak time to travel from Australia to Los Angeles, which is in line with the Northern Hemisphere peak summer travel period. But with so many airlines now on the same route, it seems the extra competition has ignited an airfare war, allowing me to travel in July this year for under $1,000. #winning

It will be interesting to see this graph result for calendar year 2016.

How do you find the cheapest flight to Los Angeles?

There are a few ways to ensure you are getting the best deal when booking your flights. First is to know that airlines usually sell their lower priced seats first, and as the more seats are sold, the higher the airfares become as the cabin is filling up. This is known in the industry as revenue management.

There are times when airlines will offer sale fares or last-minute discounted seats to fill the unsold seats on a particular flight. Airlines do not want to go out with empty seats, as this will affect their profits.

Here are a few ways you can generally find the cheapest fares.

  • Airline website – Check directly on the airline’s own website. Airline websites allow you to show three or more days either side of your selected travel date, making it easy to search for the cheapest fare. It’s in their interest for you to book with them directly to avoid payment of commissions, so often lower fares can be found.
  • Online Travel Agent (OTA) – Try an online flight aggregator, such as Webjet or Expedia. An OTA will show you multiple airlines and flight times to choose from. Ensure you check the fine print, as these sites may include hefty booking and/or credit card fees which can add up quickly.
  • Travel Agent – Travel agents often charge extra booking fees, however they sometimes have deals with select airlines that are not available to the general public. Always ask to check a few days either side of your preferred dates, just in case of lower priced options.
  • Newsletters – Sign up to receive newsletters from your favourite airline, OTA or travel agent, and look out for great deals direct to your inbox.
  • Flexibility – You can often secure a cheaper fare on an alternative date or time when flexible. Consider different options and combinations of travel dates; both outbound and return. Sometimes the middle of the week can be a better time to travel, versus the peak weekend days.
  • Frequent Flyer points – There is nothing like a free flight! Most airlines offer a frequent flyer program to earn points when ever you fly. Additional points can be earned through various shopping partners or when using an airline branded credit card. It’s amazing how quick everyday credit card purchases can add up to frequent flyer points, and ultimately free flights.
  • Word of mouth – Finally, check with family and friends. Put a shout out on social media and see if anyone has a recommendation or has seen cheap fares of late.

What’s your tips?

Do you have any other tips on how to find a cheap airfare? Let us know in the comments below, we would love to hear from you.

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