Holy Smokes: US – Australia for $441 Roundtrip

Star Alliance airline Air New Zealand has a fare from $441 roundtrip between Los Angeles and Australia.

  • Travel to Melbourne, Brisbane, or Gold Coast for under $450

  • Available August through November 2016 and April and May 2017 (in other words, excludes peak of peak travel times)

The fare appears bookable at OneTravel.com, with other sites pricing a few hundred dollars more.

Click here to search the deal and adjust travel dates as-desired.

These are non-refundable fares. You’re not going to be able to upgrade. And bookings made at OneTravel don’t get free 24 hour cancellation — their policy is 4 hours:

Nonetheless, this fare is for real! Since we don’t know for certain how Air New Zealand will feel about such a deep discount airfare sale, whether they might get seller’s remorse, I’d wait a few days after buying tickets before making additional non-refundable travel plans around the fare.

In theory an airline refusing to honor a sale like this would have to reimburse any out of pocket costs you incurred but there’s not much history with enforcement of that particular DOT statement so I’d still not test it.

Melbourne is a fantastic dining city, and a great place to visit if you haven’t been. It’s also perfect as a jumping off point for the rest of Australia. It’s less than 500 miles from Sydney, and reasonably priced to get between the two cities (so you aren’t losing out on your chance at an Opera House visit).

It’s also a great place from which to visit the wineries of the Yarra Valley. Enjoy!


A view of the Yarra River, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

(HT: Secret Flying, which means I do not know who actually discovered the fare.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Any idea if this can be credited to United Mileage Plus and at what percentage? Would make one (Tasmanian) devil of a mileage run if you bolt on a Jet flight to Hobart.

  2. Does anyone else get the price of $441 quoted in this story? The lowest I could find was $649 and it probably does not earn any miles – Air New Zealand is notorious for barren fares like that (:

  3. AirNZ’s lowest coach fares almost never earn miles on partner programs. I fly round trip economy US-NZ every year and have only earned United miles about 10% of the flights (it depends on the fare class — so you sometimes earn one-way on a r/t ticket — but even that is rare.)
    Coach fares to AKL from SFO and LAX are also the lowest seen in years. I normally pay USD$1200-1500 and I bought nonstop SFO-AKL r/t travelling late January for $775 pp directly from the AirNZ website. Today, Google Flights showed this price available on AirNZ for almost all of Feb-April 2017.
    Thank you American and United for starting US-NZ service — it has been an overpriced monopoly for AirNZ for too long!! For the past few years fares to Australia have been significantly lower than to NZ because of the numerous carriers serving US-AU.

  4. These travel fares are somewhat reasonable. I have the mood to travel Melbourne next Year.
    This blog gives the useful info about the flights.
    Thanks for the share.

  5. I don’t think $441 is a mistake. There is overcapacity to Australia/NZ with all the new nonstop flights and they are having trouble filling the cattle car seats. Most people do not want to subject themselves to this torture for this length of time if there is any way to avoid. Also this is shoulder season i.e. low season as it falls between the US summer vacations and the opposite Aust/NZ summer later in the year.

    Personally I’m too old to fly 15+ hours in economy but I would definitely do it if I was in my 20s. As Gary notes, Melbourne is a great city, in fact I like it better than Sydney though it is cheap and easy to fly between them.

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