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It’s the Best Time of Year to Book Flights to Australia & New Zealand

Attention Thrifty Traveler Premium members:

Attention Thrifty Traveler Premium members:

You’ve likely already received these deals. If not, log into your Premium deals hub to see every recent alert we've sent.

If you're looking to fly to Australia or New Zealand during summertime down under (our winter), it's the best time of year to book your flights – whether you want to fly economy or business class. 

Right now, seat maps on flights to Australia and New Zealand are still wide open, meaning you've got the best chance of the year to make one (or more) of them yours for the long, long haul down under. 

Whether you want to fly economy for cheap, book a stopover in Hawaii or Fiji, use your points and miles to make the flight almost free, or book a super luxurious business class flight, this is the best time to start looking – and booking.  


Why Flights to Australia & New Zealand Are Cheap Right Now

Three reasons:

  1. Airlines are flying to Australia and New Zealand more (both the number of routes and how often they fly them) to keep up with demand.
  2. Competition. So many carriers are flying down under that flight prices are staying low. 
  3. You're ahead of the game. Many seats – in both business and economy classes – are still open for the peak summer travel season in the southern hemisphere, and that means more opportunities to use your points and miles to book. 

These three things are coming together in a perfect storm of flight deals. 

And while most U.S. travelers are distracted booking summer vacations or figuring out the next two to three months, savvy travelers are already looking ahead to this coming winter, which is the best time to visit Australia and New Zealand. 

Here's why you should be, too. 


Cheap Flights to Australia & New Zealand 

It's common to see those long flights all the way to Australia and New Zealand pricing out in the triple digits for a roundtrip flight in economy. Not so, lately: Just a few weeks ago, we sent these Australia fares to our Thrifty Traveler Premium subscribers from over a dozen U.S. airports. 


Australia economy flight deals


Travelers could book these fares to Sydney (SYD), Brisbane (BNE), or Melbourne (MLB) for a trip as far out as spring down under – all for less than $899 roundtrip! 

But recently, we found similar pricing to Auckland, New Zealand (AKL), during peak summer there, too! 


New Zealand economy


All these fares would be a great way to jumpstart your trip. Take off at your home airport, connect through a West Coast hub, and hop on a long-haul flight all the way to Australia or New Zealand. 

But I think there's a better way to fly economy down under: Through Fiji. 


Fiji stopover


Fiji Airways offers nonstop flights from Honolulu (HNL) and three other west coast hubs down to its hub in Nadi, Fiji (NAN). From there, you can fly onward to Australia and New Zealand on a much shorter flight. 


Fiji stopover fares


It's great because it breaks up the super-long-haul down there, but the reason I love it is because you can book a multi-day stopover in Fiji on the way there or back for the same price as a roundtrip! 

Fiji Airways has one of the easiest-to-use stopover programs out there. Doesn't two days on the beaches of Fiji after a long journey sound pretty good before you have to head back to the office? I can't stop thinking about it…

Plus, these fares aren't very expensive! You can expect $1,200 to $1,300 roundtrip economy fares to Australia and New Zealand most of the time, so when they dip into the $700s and $800s, run – don't walk! 


Delta SkyMiles Deals to Australia & New Zealand

I can do you one better: Save all those hundreds of dollars, and use those Delta SkyMiles you've been hoarding instead. 


SYD SkyMiles


For less than 78,000 Delta SkyMiles roundtrip, you could fly the nonstop Delta flight from Los Angeles (LAX) to Sydney with quick connections from your home airport! 


SYD skymiles

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You didn't think Australia gets to have all the fun, right? The flight deals below are the (even better!) SkyMiles fares to New Zealand we found a few months ago, too. 


New Zealand skymiles deal


Thanks to this flash sale, just 60,000 SkyMiles (or less if you've got a Delta card with its TakeOff 15 benefit!) was all you needed to fly from all these airports across the Pacific to New Zealand. 


Delta SkyMiles flash sale New Zealand


Whether it's $800-ish dollars roundtrip or as few as 60,000 Delta SkyMiles, flights to Australia and New Zealand are cheap right now. 


Business (& First!) Class Award Availability

Flights down under are very, very long. Some of them are even upward of 14 hours, and let's be honest, a lie-flat seat up front is where you want to spend that time. 

But premium cabin seats on long-haul flights like these can be near-impossible to book cheaply, even with points and miles. If you're hoping to burn some points and miles on a luxurious business class seat flying across the Pacific, your best bet is almost always going to be booking months and months in advance, when the seat map is still mostly empty.

Here's proof. 

Qantas business class


Qantas – Australia's national airline – has a swanky business class product that we search for every day to send our Thrifty Traveler Premium members. It flies nonstop to multiple Australian cities every day, too.

And we recently unearthed some award availability – seats you can actually book with points and miles – to book it from just 109,000 Qantas miles each way. You don't ever need to have flown the Aussie carrier to get those miles either. So long as you've got points from banks like American Express, Capital One, and Citi, you can transfer them to Qantas to book. 


Qantas biz and first fares


And if you want to fly Qantas First Class, it'll run you just about 60,000 points more than that for a true once-in-a-lifetime flight experience. 

We even found some award space on one of the top five longest flights in the world in business class this year: Qantas's nonstop route from New York (JFK) to Auckland (AKL)! 


JFK to Auckland business class


This deal is long gone – subscribe to Thrifty Traveler Premium to get the next one in your inbox! 

This availability was so rare that we declared it a “Unicorn Fare” and sent our subscribers a text message alerting them to book. 

We also have what we call “Nerd Alerts“, which include deals that are just too funky for the average traveler. But our Nerd Alert list is growing, because there are a lot of nerds who want alerts like this out there. 


Qantas F one-way


This first class availability on Qantas was special because of how cheap the rates were using American Airlines and Alaska miles, but there wasn't roundtrip availability. You'd need to find another way to fly home. 

Qantas doesn't get to have all the fun for flights to Australia and New Zealand, though. Some of the comfiest ways to fly to Australia and New Zealand in business class go through Asia, and one of the best is Cathay Pacific business class. 


Cathay Pacific business class


These rare Cathay business class fares could connect travelers through Hong Kong (HKG) to Auckland (AKL), Brisbane (BNE), Melbourne (MEL), Perth (PER), and Sydney (SYD) in Australia and New Zealand for the same rate as flying nonstop to Hong Kong. You can transfer points from Amex, Capital One, Citi, or Bilt to Cathay to book. 

If you're looking to save some points, but still want a lie-flat seat to Australia or New Zealand, Hawaiian has an option for you. 


Hawaiian business class


Just 65,000 points can get you between Hawaii and the two major cities down under booking through either Hawaiian or partner airline Virgin Atlantic – and it gets even cheaper if you can take advantage of a transfer bonus. Plus, it opens up the opportunity for you to build your own stopover in Hawaii on the way home. Just book the cheapest flights to Hawaii you can and let Hawaiian's first class take it from there! 


Bottom Line

It's the single best time of the year to book peak season flights to Australia and New Zealand thanks to a growing number of seats, more competition, and because you'll have a head start on most travelers who don't start thinking about this for a few more months. 

Sign up for Thrifty Traveler Premium so you don't miss out on the next great deal to Australia or New Zealand this year. 


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