Lonely Planet Writer

Cost of Australia-US flights at an all-time low

Prices for flights between Australia and the US have dropped yet again, thanks to American Airlines entry into the competitive Australia–US route. Aussies can now fly from Sydney to Los Angeles for as little as $900 return, including taxes.

Jet plane.
Jet plane. Image by m01229 / CC BY 2.0

According to a report published by Expedia, Australians rate America as their top international bucket-list destination and competitive airfares are enticing more Aussie travellers to cross the Pacific, despite the Australian dollar buying just 72 US cents. Flight Centre reported a 2% increase in flight bookings to the US in the second half of the year, with this figure likely to grow as competition among airlines keeps the cost of flying lower than it has been in years.

American Airlines flights from Sydney to Los Angeles will commence on December 19, prompting a flurry of sale fares among competitor airlines, with particularly low prices during non-peak travel periods such as February and March. Airlines operating direct flights between the two cities include Qantas, Virgin, Delta and United Airlines, while numerous airlines – including Cathay Pacific, Etihad and Japan Airlines – offer non-direct flights, connecting the two cities with a stop-off in their hub city.

As Flight Centre head of leisure travel, Tom Walley, explained in an interview with Traveller magazine, “The behaviour of airlines is that when one introduces a sale price, the others will shortly follow to keep passengers in seats. Much of the price competition is between those carriers that fly in direct to the US and therefore release low fares to compete with the airlines that offer a direct flight.”

All of which is great news for travellers looking to tick another international destination off their own bucket list.