Australia from $688 RT nonstop from Los Angeles

In today’s Thrifty Traveler Premium email, I noticed a nice deal to Australia — Qantas is offering direct flights nonstop on its new 787-9 from Los Angeles to Melbourne, Australia from $693 round trip. As I explored dates, I found some dates that are a few dollars less on Virgin Australia — from $688 round trip nonstop. Flights are available for ten or fifteen bucks more to Brisbane or Sydney, and you can find round trip fares out of Dallas and New York for under a thousand dollars. Thrifty Traveler reports availability from mid-December through June (keep in mind that our winter is Australia’s summer).

These low prices are available via small online travel agencies at airfare meta-search site Momondo.

Kangaroo Lazing in the Afternoon

Finding dates

First, I used Google Flights to look for dates. Those in green are mostly available for about $90 less through Momondo. Note that sometimes the availability adjusts once you select an outbound date, so there may be more available dates than you see initially.

Choose your parameters and you’ll see some dates with Virgin Australia pricing out at $777 and Qantas has a lot of availability at $787 through Google Flights.

Los Angeles to Melbourne

Once you’ve found dates that work, you can plug them in at Momondo and you’re likely to find even better prices:

Click the image to go to Momondo

If you’re looking to fly on the new Qantas 787, you’ll find that for $693 on many dates — like February 19th-28th, shown here:

Click the image to go to Momondo

St. Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne

Los Angeles to Brisbane

If you’re looking for a trip to the Great Barrier Reef, you might consider flying into Brisbane and road tripping your way up to Cairns. If you do that, check out out the Whitsundays on your way:

Whitsundays in Australia

I also recommend carving out a day to go to Fraser Island and visit Lake McKenzie.

Lake McKenzie on Fraser Island in Australia. Yup, that’s a lake.

Of course, if you don’t want to drive that far, you could use British Airways Avios to fly from Brisbane to Cairns or book a cheap domestic ticket on JetStar or Virgin Australia. You’ll find flights from Los Angeles to Brisbane from $705 round trip on Momondo:

Click the pic to go to Momondo


New York/Dallas/other cities as well

There are deals from some other cities as well. While not quite as strong as the nonstop California routes, New York or Dallas to Australia for under a thousand dollars certainly isn’t bad:

Dallas to Sydney, on Qantas or a combination of Delta and Virgin


New York to Brisbane in December (note this itinerary is before they start flying the 787-9)

Bottom line

These are good prices, especially for nonstop flights from Los Angeles and deals are widely available through next summer. As is always the case with an airfare sale, prices can change at any time — if you’re looking at this more than a few hours after it was posted, the prices could very well have changed. If you find any other great deals, let us know in the comments.

H/T: Thrifty Traveler Premium Alerts


About Nick Reyes

Nick Reyes is a (fairly) regular guy with an animalistic passion for maximizing the value of miles and money to travel the world in comfort and style. There is little in life that he loves more than finding a fantastic deal and helping you shop smarter & harder to achieve your travel dreams.

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Hey Nick,

I’ve always wondered…with deals like these for economy, how difficult is it to upgrade with points to business or 1st class? If it’s complicated or just depends on initial booking class, is there a post you or Greg can refer me to that can help?


these teaser sales come up all the time for Europe and Australia…truth is anyone with some miles under their belt knows that a 17 hour flight in coach is not worth whatever savings are offered on these sales…now when they start selling lie flat first or business class for those prices, that would be noteworthy….this is just garbage sales advertised as a big bargain…and 99% of the “bargain fares” that bloggers blather about are only good for passengers that don’t know any better.


I am young enough where I don’t mind this long in economy. Booked for ~52k UR LAX-MEL, SYD-LAX return in late May. Double AS miles through the promotion, so getting ~30k AS back. Thanks for posting.