How to get cheap flights between New Zealand & Australia
September 22, 2016
Learn how to get the cheapest flights between New Zealand and Australia with these simple steps.
There are a lot of expats who fly back and forth between New Zealand and Australia several times a year. So I thought I would do a post on how to get cheap flights for this route.
You don’t have a lot of choices of airline on this route, which is disappointing as it tends to keep prices and quality at status quo (see my post on how we need to complain when we get bad service, or the airlines will never improve their offerings). However, it does mean it is easy to establish the cheapest price for a given date.
Your main options are Air New Zealand, Qantas, Jetstar, or Virgin (there are other carriers who fly limited runs on certain routes but they tend to be more expensive). The first two tend to offer better service at a higher price.
Considering the limited options, it is well worthwhile to sign up to a couple of carrier’s newsletters, so you will be notified when flights go on sale. As you are likely to fly the same carrier often also joining their rewards club and collecting points towards free flights and upgrades can be worthwhile for frequent flyers.
If you cannot find a sale flight at a convenient time, you can use any number of online flight comparison sites. Most can compare if travelling on the day before or after your chosen date is cheaper because with limited options, it becomes less about who you fly, than when you fly. Also if you book a flight 2-3 months before you travel you are most likely to get the best price.
For example flying into anywhere in their peak season is always going to be more. Flying on the school holidays is more expensive and a public holiday (Christmas for example), is ridiculous! On a micro level, flying Tuesday at 5am is almost always cheaper than flying Friday 6pm of the same week. The secret is to be flexible and fly as off-peak as possible.
So you found your best off-peak time and cheapest airline. To ensure the best price possible, open the airlines’ own web page and search for the same flight. Often flights on the airlines own page are slightly cheaper as there are less extra “fees” added to them. You also have the added bonus of dealing directly with the airline if you need to make any changes.
The only other tip I would give you is, if you compare several flights and decide to come back later to book them, clear your cookies first. Many of these sites keep track of your computer and add a little more to the price if you keep coming back.
So there you have it, getting the best price isn’t as technical as you imagined on this route. Watch the sales, travel off-peak, book 2-3 months out, compare flights and then book directly with the airline and save those air points for if you are forced to travel on Christmas or other peak times. If you have any other tips for saving money flying between New Zealand and Australia I would love to hear them. Please comment bellow.