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Travel 
Australia
by Plane

Travelling by air in Australia- if you have a very limited time to visit Australia and wish to see for example Sydney, Cairns or Ayers Rock in the same trip it would be the best option. The country is huge and distances by road are going to demand many extra days depending where you want to go. I am pretty much sure that who invented the airplane wasn't the Americans, but an Australian beer representative who was drinking all his product before reach the destiny due the long hours he spent on the road.

Think about spending 12 to 14 hours in a train, bus, or car, just to cover the distance from Sydney to Brisbane while by plane you will take only 1 hour of fight time ?!. Also, the expenditure in fuel by road will cost around A$ 120 while the plane can cost even less if there is a promotional tariff going on. This is only from Sydney to Brisbane, because if you think Sydney Perth, instead of 1000 Km you will suffer another 4000 Km on the road. Of course those with time and wish to explore the fantastic small towns and places along the way, the road is the best choice. There is also a third alternative which is travel in one direction by road and come back by plane.

Anyway, the good news is that from 4 years to now, many new air carriers are playing in the market offering promotions some times so cheap that I spend more on taxi to the airport than on the air leg itself. Budget companies and the competition in domestic and some International fares went down just like a cold VB beer in my throat. With those Internet based fare (and sometimes even with a travel agent) prices never been so low and I thing the cost of the travel kilometre by car is the same than the cost by air. (if not it is not far away).

Qantas, The national Australian air carrier used to dominate domestic flights and still has a strong presence in the market, including some specials from time to time, but when Virgin Blue entered the competition, even Qantas was forced to create a new company called Jet Star to face Virgin Blue. The result was a fierce battle where the consumer became the winner.

Those "Budget" companies operating in Australia are Internet based, meaning that you can buy tickets directly online and print your Voucher to present ate the airport. The budget sector don't have food or drinks included in the price but they sell things onboard for about the same price you will pay in a lunch bar. Or, if you wish to bring your own cooked Lobster and drink to have aboard, this is up to you. In Australia as many countries in the world smoking, is prohibited in airports and during the flight. The main domestic airports in Australia also receives International flights and have a money exchange office inside, but last time we were thinking about cash some bucks the rate was so terrible that we gave up.

Some other details about Budget flights in Australia you must know is that Jet Star don't do seats reservation meaning if you are travelling in a group or with family, you better get together first in line or you may travel apart from each other. Another important tip regarding long flights to Australia followed by a internal connection is that long flights may arrive little late due atmospheric conditions. As soon as you arrive in Sydney for example, connecting to Brisbane, you will have to do the customs and Immigration at Sydney International Airport and than catch a bus, taxi or train to the domestic terminal. This can take a long time, and we have knowledge of many people loosing the domestic leg. Conclusion...better allow 3 hours between flights or you may loose your ticket. For those travelling with the same carrier this problem is minimised or inexistent. To regional towns and villages, there are some small companies operating small planes that cover many places in Australia, but with a price not so inviting. Don't forget that budget carriers have a less weight luggage policy 20 Kg instead of 30 or 35 for International flights. Some companies waive the excess and some charge around A$ 7 per extra kilo. I never was asked to pay extra both in Virgin or Jet Star.

Direct Links to Domestic Flights in Australia:

 

International Flights:

Qantas
Tiger Airways Australia
Air New Zealand
Air Asia X
British Airways
Cathay Pacific
Emirates
Singapore Airlines
United Airlines

Have a nice flight !

Keep looking honey!. It was just under the left wing that I dropped the plane's key!
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