When Next in Australia, Don’t Pay for Those Expensive Domestic Flights


This post was written while I was in Australia for a few days, writing and enjoying paradise:


Here’s a tip: my favorite country can be a little expensive. Consider it a tax on paradise, but just about everything you purchase may seem a tad high if you’re coming from the states. Oh, and many parts of the country are still waiting for the internet to arrive—but presumably that’s improving.

Domestic flights within Australia can be pricey too, but there’s a great alternative: redeem American Airlines miles for flights on Qantas.

Availability is wide open on the popular Sydney-Melbourne route. You can pretty much go any day of the week, at almost any hour of the day.

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If you have status with AA, you can also make unlimited changes (or even cancel) with no notice and for no fee.

On these short flights, the Economy class is usually fine, but Business Class is also available on just about every flight for only 7,500 miles more.

You Can Also Fly Australian “Long-Haul”

The longest flights in Australia are to Perth on the west coast. I’ll be visiting Perth for the first time on this trip, and I look forward to seeing a different side of the country.

Flying SYD-PER or MEL-PER is the rough equivalent of JFK-LAX or JFK-SFO. Fares tend to be fairly pricey for the 4+ hour flight.

Once again, though, AA has great availability for the same rate as the quick Melbourne-Sydney-Brisbane hops.

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Availability isn’t as amazing as on those shorter flights, but that’s just because there aren’t as many flights. In this case I definitely think it’s worth it to redeem the extra 7,500 miles for Business Class, which as you can see is also easily accessible through AA:

Screenshot 2015-02-11 09.30.04


If you’re visiting down this way, you can get around easily using this redemption strategy. If you’re fortunate to live in Australia, you can use this too—you’ll just need AA miles.

This brings up a good point: I always encourage people to focus on earning miles in U.S. programs anyway. Qantas is a much better carrier than AA, in my opinion, but the AA mileage program is far superior.

While you’re Down Under, be sure and take the time to enjoy a flat white


Image: Jetstar (Not Qantas!)

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