Australia is one of the most sought-after destinations in the world. With its diverse landscape, friendly people, and natural beauty it’s no wonder that many people want to visit this great country. It’s a country of extremes.
From scorching hot deserts to freezing snow-covered mountains, it’s hard to know what to pack for this destination. And if you’re flying there, then the flight will be just as unpredictable.
As the journey, there is rather a long one and many people wonder what airlines are best to get you there. When it comes to traveling, particularly for that long a distance, there is nothing more important than an airline.
Whether you’re flying domestically or internationally, the quality of your flight will make a huge difference in how much you enjoy your trip and will sometimes determine whether or not you want to go back.
If you are planning on taking a trip down under (way down under) then this blog post is for you. This blog post will cover the best airlines to fly to Australia and some top tips on how to make your flight smoother. Whether you’re looking for budget flights or luxury travel, we’ll cover it all in this article.
How Long is a Flight to Australia?
The duration of a flight to Australia is one of the things that puts a lot of people of visiting the beautiful country. Most flights take about 12 hours or more, so you’ll want to make sure that your itinerary includes at least two days between arriving and leaving. Couple that with the price of the flight, and it’s no wonder that Australia is considered an expensive destination.
On average, a flight to Australia from the US will take about 19 hours. Flights from Europe will take around 18 or 19 hours, and flights from Thailand, although slightly less, will still be about 11 hours.
This is just an estimate though – it could fluctuate by several hours depending on your departure city, the flight availability, how many layovers you have, and more. Some flights will take two full days or more from the time you depart to the time you actually set foot in the land down under.
How Much do Flights Cost to Fly to Australia?
We’ve already mentioned how flights to Australia can be pricey, but just how pricey are we talking?
Well, there are some budget airlines out there, but they’re often not direct flights. You’ll more than likely have to make at least one, two, or even more layovers on your way there. This means that cheap tickets might actually be expensive in the end because you’re paying for all of those extra fees and layover hotels along the way.
A standard flight from the US to Australia is going to cost you an average of between $1200 to over $2000 for a return ticket. Flights from Europe are not much better at about €900 to €1500.
And these are just for economy class. Some flights in business or first class are closer to a whopping $10,000 each.
For example, Emirates Airlines is known for its high-end service and other luxury amenities like sleeping berths in the sky suites, private showers, and 5* dining. If you’re looking for a very luxurious flight experience then this might be your airline of choice.
On the flip side, if you’re an adventure seeker and willing to go with a budget airline then you might be able to get your flights for as little as $500. But, trust us, they’re not likely to be very comfortable! And when you’re traveling that far, comfort should be one of your top priorities.
It all depends on what is important to you when booking a flight, but remember that price doesn’t always equal quality. It’s definitely worth it to do some research before making any big decisions so you can find the best flight to Australia for your trip.
What Should You Look for When Booking a Flight to Australia?
So, we’ve covered the price of flights and how much they can cost, but there’s more to consider than just that.
If you’re looking for a comfortable flight experience then we recommend choosing an airline with great amenities. For example, some airlines even offer flat bed pods where you can lie down completely if you wanted to sleep during your flight. Nice, right?
And don’t forget about the room to stretch your legs. Being cramped up in a tiny space for nearly 20 hours is bound to make anyone feel claustrophobic. Not only that, but it can give you DVT from reduced blood flow to your legs.
Make sure you have enough legroom by checking out the seat map before booking any flights. This will give you an idea of where the seats are located throughout the plane and how much room you’ll have.
These are some of the most important things you should consider before choosing an airline to fly to Australia:
On a flight that long, you’ll definitely want to have all of the legroom you can get. This is especially important if you’re tall or on the larger side. Check out SeatGuru for recommendations on which seats are most comfortable, and then check out seat maps before choosing your flights.
If you plan to spend a lot of time in the air, then you should consider paying extra for entertainment options. Spending hours upon hours stuck on a plane can be mind-numbing, so why not fly with an airline that can provide you with a mini-movie theatre?
Some airlines even have wireless headphones that allow passengers to choose from hundreds of TV shows and movies, while others offer touch screens built into the backs of seats that allow you to choose from a wide variety of shows.
Plus, some airlines even have wifi on their planes now. This can be super useful for those who want to catch up on work or stay connected with the world as they fly across time zones. Or, if the airline’s choice of movies isn’t up to your taste, you can bring your own computer and watch your own!
It’s not always cheap though so we recommend looking into this before paying extra for an airline that offers wifi.
Another thing to keep in mind is the plane model. Airlines like Singapore Airlines and Emirates Airlines have newer models with some of the latest amenities on their planes, while budget airlines are known for having older airplane models without any frills at all.
These days, green travel is so important and we all need to do our part to reduce our carbon footprint. And that includes when you fly, particularly long distances, like to Australia.
Some airlines use new Boeing 777-200 LR planes or Airbus’s A350 that are 20% more fuel-efficient than the previous model. So, it’s worth looking into what kind of plane your chosen airline uses.
Not only does an airplane burn through a lot of energy getting off the ground, but they also burn a lot of fuel when their engines are idling on the ground, so the number of layovers you have on your trip to Australia will affect your carbon footprint. Some models also have more energy-efficient engines, so it’s worth doing some research before choosing your airline.
We know that most airlines pride themselves on being clean and hygienic, but some budget airlines tend to slip up a little bit when it comes to this.
Sometimes you might notice dirt or spills in the seat pocket of your plane seat, so if this is important for you then we recommend choosing an airline with better reviews about their cleanliness.
Another thing to consider is safety, in the present climate, particularly when it comes to COVID-19. COVID safety is important to consider when flying long-haul, so you should check out some reviews before booking your next flight.
While all airlines are required by law to abide by the same standards, some definitely take it more seriously than others and Australia has been one of the strictest countries when it comes to COVID measures from day one. So, this is something you’ll definitely want to bear in mind.
Next, you should definitely check out some reviews before booking your next flight.
You can find these on Google or TripAdvisor and they’ll give you a better idea of what to expect from that airline in terms of food service, staff demeanor, legroom, customer service, and cleanliness levels.
Reviews are super helpful when it comes to narrowing down your choices, so if you’re looking for a budget airline then you should definitely check out the reviews that have been posted about them before booking.
You can also find user-submitted photographs on TripAdvisor and other review sites which will show you what kind of things you can expect on board different airlines.
Some airlines offer better in-flight service than others and this might be something you want to look into depending on your needs.
On a long flight to Australia, you will almost be guaranteed some sort of included refreshment, but if you’re looking for a more ‘premium’ experience, then higher-end airlines definitely have something to offer.
Some airlines have wifi on their planes now. This can be super useful for those who want to catch up on work or stay connected with the world as they fly across time zones. But whether or not it’s free or a paid extra will depend both on the airline, and the class of your ticket. But it’s worth mentioning that WIFI can be an expensive extra.
We also recommend looking into the baggage options before booking your ticket.
Most airlines charge for checked luggage and some even have a much stricter cap on weight allowance than others do. So, you definitely want to make sure that you take this into consideration as it can depend on what kind of trip you’re taking or how long you’ll be gone for.
On most flights, you can take a carry-on bag with or without being charged for it. However, there are some airlines that do charge for this service so it’s definitely worth checking out before booking your ticket.
Of course, the price will be a very important factor in which airline you fly with to Australia. The price can vary a lot depending on where you’re coming from and how long you want to spend in transit.
While some budget airlines might be cheaper than others, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are better valued for money as well so we recommend checking out all your options before committing to a ticket.
On the other hand, there are also some airlines that might cost more but offer better service and amenities as well so you should definitely look into these things too.
Finally, you should look into the airline’s policies on cancellations as this can vary a lot depending on what company you’re flying with.
If you find that your plans have changed and there is no way for you to fly, then some airlines will be more understanding than others so it might be worth checking out their cancellation policy before committing to buying a ticket, particularly in the current climate.
The Top Airlines for Flying to Australia – Our Recommendations
Qantas Airlines is one of the best airlines for flying to Australia and it’s also one of our top recommendations.
This is an airline based in Sydney, so if you’re looking for a good connection when arriving at your destination then we definitely recommend Qantas Airlines as they fly internationally from all over the world.
Qantas offers great service and amenities onboard and additionally, they also offer free wifi to all of their passengers.
Their baggage allowance is generous as well, as they allow 30kg in economy class, 40kg in business and premium economy, and a huge 50kg in first class. They also allow 7kg carry-on baggage in the economy class and 10kg in higher classes.
For those who want some extra legroom during their flight down under, Qantas has different options available depending on how much money you’d like to spend. Their first-class ticket comes with a lie-flat bed, restaurant-style dining, and an armchair suite.
The higher the price, as usual with these kinds of airlines, the more amenities and legroom you get so it might be worth looking into this before committing to a flight.
Another one of the best airlines for flying to Australia is Emirates Airlines.
Emirates Airlines are based in Dubai, so if you’re traveling from there then this might be a great option.
They fly internationally across Europe and Asia as well, however, most flights that they offer will take passengers through their hub in Dubai before heading out to other destinations further down under like Perth or Sydney. However, this isn’t necessarily a downside as you can easily extend your layover and spend a few days lounging on the beautiful beaches of Dubai underneath the Burj Khalifa.
This airline has all kinds of options available when it comes to booking your flight with them but we recommend looking into these depending on what kind of trip you’re taking since prices can vary quite significantly between different routes and times etc.
While some airlines charge for checked luggage, Emirates also allows a generous 30kg baggage allowance in their economy saver class without charging any extra fees. Similarly again, their first class will also allow 50kg of checked baggage. For hand luggage, you’re allowed a 7kg limit in economy, and a 10kg limit in first.
However, if you do want to upgrade to first class, Emirates has a bit of a reputation for being, well, incredible!
They have fully lie-flat beds, individual temperature controls for each seat, and personal minibars.
Their first-class seats are also around twice as wide as an economy so if you’re the kind of person who likes to lounge about in your bed when traveling then this might be a great option since it’s not possible when flying economy.
They also offer lots of freebies (such as pajamas and a pillow), an exclusive dining experience, and a private onboard shower! Not bad for a flight to Australia!
Virgin Atlantic Airlines
Another one of the best airlines for flying to Australia is Virgin Atlantic Airlines.
This is another airline that offers great connections to Australia, usually flying, and connecting, from London’s Gatwick Airport.
This airline has a pretty good reputation for being one of the best airlines to fly with due to their friendly staff and overall comfort while onboard.
They have lots of options available when it comes to checking in your luggage so definitely look into this before you book any flights since prices can vary quite significantly depending on what route you’re taking. However, they do allow a slightly smaller 23kg checked baggage allowance for economy class tickets. this rises to 32kg for their upper-class fares.
They also offer free wifi during your flight down under so if you’ve got some work or just want to catch up on something then this might be worth looking into booking onto beforehand.
As for their first-class cabins, you can expect the largest seats available on any Virgin planes, private lounges, complimentary chauffeur services to and from the airport, priority boarding, and 5* dining in the sky.
Originating in, you guessed it, Singapore, Singapore Airlines is another great option for flying to Australia.
This airline has really top-notch service and most of their flight routes are very modern, comfortable planes however they aren’t the cheapest airlines out there so if you’re on a budget then it might be worth looking elsewhere first.
However, this airline does have some pretty unique features that make them stand out from other options available when traveling to Australia. They fly direct flights all the way down under with two different types of plane depending on what route you take which makes your journey much more efficient.
Even their economy class seats as designed to give you more legroom, recline and are especially comfortable for long flights. They also feature modern entertainment systems, and some of the best food you can eat on a plane.
If it’s first-class you’re after, then Singapore Airlines is another airline that has some truly unique features to their upper-class cabins. They have individual suites with sliding doors, minibars, fine dining, private entertainment systems, comfortable armchairs, and your own bed.
For couples traveling, you can even choose a double suite, which has a double bed! Then, once you’re suitably relaxed, you can freshen up before you land with your own private vanity counter.
If you’re after an even more luxurious experience then Singapore Airlines does not disappoint!
Another middle-eastern gem, Etihad Airlines is one of the best airlines to fly with if you’re looking for affordable flights to Australia.
They fly direct from their hub in Abu Dhabi and the prices of this airline are usually somewhere between Virgin and Singapore Airlines (if you’re flying economy). They have a slightly smaller baggage allowance of 20kg checked and 7kg hand luggage for economy class. This goes up to 12kg (across 2 bags) of hand luggage and 50kg of checked luggage for first class.
Their first-class cabins offer every single amenity that you could ever think of on a plane including an onboard lounge, private suites with your own bed, entertainment system, luxury shower rooms complete with televisions so you can catch up on some TV shows while being pampered.
Then if it’s not quite enough for you then they do have “The Residence” which is three times larger than any other cabin space available on aircraft around the world. This includes two bedrooms as well as living rooms, dining, bathrooms with showers, and even butler service.
This airline’s economy class cabins are pretty great too. You’ll get free wifi, individual entertainment systems per seat with over 400 movies and TV shows to choose from all in high definition, noise-canceling headphones for your comfort, reclinable seats that give you plenty of legroom, as well as a blanket and pillow if you want one.
If you’re flying with this airline, you’re likely going to have a connection in Abu Dhabi (once again, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing if you can turn it into an extended layover). Plus they have some really nice lounges at their Abu Dhabi hub where guests can relax before boarding their next flight.
Last but by no means least, Cathay Pacific.
For many people, this airline is usually the best option to fly with if you are looking for a good price-to-quality ratio that isn’t going to cost too much money when traveling down under.
They have some really great services on offer including their economy class cabins which feature adjustable headrests in all seats so you can get comfortable and relax while watching one of the most extensive inflight entertainment systems available along with noise-canceling headphones, reclining chairs allowing plenty of legroom, individual air vents at each seat, blankets, and pillows if needed.
Each passenger also gets 7k hand luggage and 2 free pieces of checked luggage as well. The checked luggage has to weigh no more than 30kg.
If it’s first-class travel then they’ve got something for you too. You’ll get a very comfortable seat that reclines into a flat bed, individual entertainment systems per passenger with over 400 movies and TV shows to choose from all in high-definition screens plus noise-canceling headphones for your comfort.
Then once you’re suitably relaxed before landing they will offer you some pajamas so you can be more comfortable on the flight down under.
They will also allow you to check up to 50kg of luggage, and bring 15kg into your cabin with you.
What Criteria Did We Use to Make These Selections?
The criteria we used to select these airlines was based on the quality of service offered aboard, what is included for each type of flight ticket purchased, and any possible added upcharges.
First, we looked at legroom. As anyone who has spent time in an airplane knows, legroom can be very important.
Then we looked at the entertainment systems available on each flight and if it was worth the money you were paying for your ticket or not. This is because sometimes these screens are pretty small which makes watching a movie difficult without straining your eyesight, however other times they can be so big that it’s a little ridiculous.
Next, we looked at the quality of food and drinks available onboard as well as if there were free snacks or not, how much you would have to pay for them (if anything), and whether or not was actually any good or worth buying.
Then we checked out what extra services could be purchased on board such as in-flight wifi, whether there were any amenities for first-class passengers or not (such as pajamas and better food), and what you would have to pay extra if wanted them.
We looked at luggage allowances, whether or not you would have to pay extra for checked luggage, and what the weight allowance was.
We also considered how many pieces of baggage were included in your ticket price as well as whether they allowed carry-on bags if so, what their size limitations were on them (if any), and whether it cost extra money to bring a bigger bag on board.
Next, we thought about the types of cabins available on each flight. Were they suites, business class seats, or economy? How big was the space between your seat and the person next to you’s (legroom), did it recline into a bed or not, how many hours were included in your ticket price for entertainment systems, etc.
Finally, we looked at the airline itself. What sort of safety records did they have, what was their history like in terms of customer service and overall satisfaction? Were there any recent complaints or issues that would make us question whether it was worth flying with them or not? All these factors were considered when making our list!
Should You Travel Economy or Business Class to Australia?
There are plenty of arguments for upping your class for a flight to Australia.
First, let’s talk business class. For someone who is looking to get the most out of their flight experience without breaking the bank, this might be a good option for you.
With most airlines, you’ll get slightly more legroom with reclinable seats. This means you’ll get much more sleep on your long-haul flight from the U.S., Europe, or Asia to Australia.
You’ll also get a decent amount of luggage allowance with most airlines offering around 20-30kg for checked luggage depending on what airline you fly with. They will usually provide blankets and pillows as well along with some nice amenities if you fly business.
So, what about first class? Well, this really is the tip of the iceberg if you’re after a luxury flight.
You can expect to find individual entertainment systems per passenger, noise-canceling headphones for your comfort, reclining chairs that allow plenty of legroom, and even flat beds on most airlines.
There are also usually more food options available in first-class than there is in business class as well as champagne or any other beverages you might like before takeoff. You’ll get a priority luggage allowance (around 50kg) too and some will even throw in a chauffeur service that allows you to save on airport transfers.
But, of course, what about the price? Well, it’s important to keep this topic in mind when looking at airline prices because sometimes they can be pretty hefty depending on which airline you fly with.
Economy, on the other hand, is easily the cheapest option. But it also comes with more limited luggage, less luxurious services, and considerably less legroom. Cramped conditions for a long-haul flight that’s quite this long are certainly going to be miserable.
But for many, a higher seat class is simply out of their price range. And you could argue that, yes, you will be cramped, but it’s only for one day – it’s doable, right?
That really depends on your tolerance levels, and your wallet!
Which Class is Best?
At the end of the day, you need to make sure that the price of flying with a particular airline is worth your money and will be able to provide you with what you’re looking for. If it isn’t, then don’t just go choosing any old cheap airline – think about which airlines offer good value-for-money when traveling down under.
It’s also important not just to look at prices but compare options too before committing. Using airline comparison sites like Skyscanner, KAYAK, or flight deal finders like Scott’s Cheap Flights can seriously help bring the costs down.
This is the advantage of the flying economy – you’ll still be able to reach this beautiful country as prices will be much lower. But you might need to spend 18 uncomfortable hours in order to get there.
So, ask yourself, how much does that flat bed really mean to you?
Top Tips for Flying to Australia
Once you’ve booked your flight it’s time to get ready for the trip.
First, you’ll need some essentials packed in your hand luggage like sunscreen and sunglasses as well as an extra pair of clothes just in case something happens during this long-haul flight.
You should also make sure that you have all documentation you might need before getting on any flights.
If you’re getting ready for that flight to Australia, here are some top tips to make it more bearable:
Check What You Can Bring Into the Country
You might not be allowed to bring some items like fruit or meat into the country even though they are essential for cooking when traveling in Australia. To save uncomfortable encounters at the airport, make sure you know what you’re allowed to bring in and what you’re not.
Pack light if possible, especially with hand luggage. This will help with making sure that everything gets there safely without missing any flights along the way and it’ll also help make getting through the airport a lot easier.
Plan Your Travel Arrangements to Australia Ahead of Time
This might seem like common sense, but it’s also important that you plan out your travel to Australia before the time comes. This means that you should know which airport is closest to where you will be staying and how you will get there, as well as what time the first flight of your trip will be.
Prepare for a Long Haul Flight
If you’re not a good flier, then it might be time to prepare for that long-haul flight. Make sure you get enough sleep the night before and eat some light meals beforehand – this will help make those 18 hours of flying more bearable. Plus, pack all your essentials in your hand luggage, including everything that you’ll need on those layovers.
Sort Out Your Tourist Visa in Advance
You might need to get your tourist visa sorted out in advance if you’re flying into Australia. You should always check with the embassy where you will be landing first, but this is something that can help speed up the process and save on any last-minute problems upon arrival.
Check the Entry Requirements Before You Book
Particularly when it comes to COVID-19 requirements (as Australia has been noticeably strict), it’s worth checking the entry requirements before you book your flights. That way, if you need to take any tests or quarantine at the border, you will already be aware.
Choose Your Airline Carefully
This might seem like an obvious tip, but it’s also important that you choose your airline carefully for this trip. Make sure to look at the baggage allowance policy and consider whether or not they have any wide-body aircraft before booking.
Book Well in Advance
Booking well in advance is one of the best ways to make sure that you get a good value for your flight. This way, airlines are more likely to offer discounts as they have yet to sell out their tickets, so it’s worth looking at flights up to 18 months before departure if you’re on a budget.
Upgrade to Premium or Business class – If You Can!
If you can afford to upgrade your ticket, then it might be worth looking at upgrading. Not only does this mean that there are more empty seats in the economy section for those who really need them or if they happen to get upgraded themselves, but also that airlines will have a better chance of making up their costs on these flights.
Frequently Asked Questions
Answer: Many airlines fly to Australia, but some are more popular than others. The best airlines that fly to Australia include Virgin Atlantic, Cathay Pacific Airways, Singapore Airlines, and Qantas Airlines, Emirates Airlines, and Etihad Airlines.
Answer: The best way to fly depends on a number of factors. Some people prefer flying direct, while others would rather have more stops longer layovers. However, we believe the best way to fly to Australia is with one layover to break up the flight but to turn that layover into a couple of days in a city such as Dubai, or Singapore.
Answer: Qantas is considered the best airline in Australia, but there are a number of airlines that have been known to provide excellent service.
Answer: The cheapest month to fly varies depending on the airline and destination. But, in general, the low season is the cheapest time to fly down under. This includes May, June, July, and some of, September.
Answer: A flight to Australia typically costs between $1000 and $2000 USD for economy class flights. Business or first-class flights are considerably more.
Answer: Flying to Australia will typically cost you at least 18 hours or more in the air, so it’s important to think about when you would like to arrive. You’ll likely lose a day or so in the air to get to the country. However, some flights are as long as 50 hours +, which means you’ll lose a good few days in transit to the country.
Overall, flying to Australia isn’t necessarily the cheapest option, but if you’re looking for a great holiday destination that’s full of beautiful landscapes and wonderful people, then it’s one of the best places in the world.
We know that when you’re looking for a flight to Australia, it can be difficult. We hope this article has helped you with your search and you now know what to look for and some of the best airlines to fly to Australia. Happy travels!