skipping your local airport and using one in a larger city
The best city for flights to the USA from Australia is Los Angeles. This is a popular flight route and with several airlines competing for direct flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane you should have plenty of options for cheap flights to the USA. Popular carriers include Virgin Australia, Qantas, United and Delta, or consider airlines that offer a stopover in San Francisco such as China Southern and American Airlines. Once in Los Angeles, there are many low-cost domestic airlines, including no-frills leaders Southwest, JetBlue and Spirit Airlines, to fly you anywhere in any state.
Although online travel websites are a great way to find cheap travel rates, you will want to checkout the airlines themselves. All airlines have online websites. Many will regularly offer deals and discounts on many of their flights. These deals and discounts are likely to change often, so if you see something that catches your eye, you may want to snatch up the deal real quick before it is gone.
Although it is arguably quite tough to save up enough miles to get a free flight, using the miles that you've accumulated to offset ticket prices or upgrade seats can still help you save some serious money. Taking advantage of the bonus offers you get when you sign up for top travel credit cards is definitely the easiest way to collect enough miles for 100% free flights.
* The coupon offer is on our agency service fees only. This discount may vary based on the agency service fees charged for a particular ticket, and the value of discount will be up to the amount of the agency service fees charged for a transaction unless otherwise noted. You must use the coupon code at checkout to redeem this offer. This offer is time sensitive and may be revised or discontinued without notice. Prices are quoted in US Dollars. Fares quoted are valid for round trip airfare, including taxes and fees. Prices advertised are valid at the time of being published and change frequently without notice.
Why it's awesome: Since its inception in 1998, New York-based JetBlue has helped raise the standard of service and amenities for low-cost carriers in the US. The airline's signature mood lighting, friendly service, complimentary satellite TV along with free food and snacks make it an industry leader economy flying. In fact, at 34 inches of pitch, JetBlue's Airbus A320 fleet has the roomiest economy seats in the US.
The Internet is the easiest route and might save you some
You can even book your own multi-day layovers, essentially allowing you to see 2 destinations for the price of 1. Rather than spend a day sitting in the airport, you can spend multiple days exploring the city you are laying over in. AirWander is a specialized search engine for doing exactly this. Put in your origin, final destination, and number of days you want to stopover. AirWander will return a list of places you can visit on your stopover, often even cheaper than a regular flight search engine! To learn how to do this, read our guide on How to Get Free Extended Layovers & Hack One Trip Into Two.
Vacations aren’t cheap so you might want to find everything
Before booking a flight, consider if the rate is cheaper if paid in another currency. Often budget airlines will make you pay in the currency of the country you're departing from, but this isn't always the case. An important note when doing this: make sure you're using a credit card that is free of foreign-transaction fees, otherwise your attempts to save money doing this will be lost! Our article on money matters for world travellers can help steer you in the right direction for the best credit cards for travel.
They often know the market well and can predict when
Before booking any tickets, be sure to compare flights on flight comparison websites like Skyscanner. Don’t assume that low-cost airlines will always have the cheapest tickets. With low-cost airlines, you need to pay for checked baggage, and any extra comfort like a possibility to choose your seat, airport check-in, food, drinks etc. So if you actually want to enjoy all these things, sometimes you might be able to find tickets from a regular airline for almost the same price as low-cost but with all the extras included.
Use your miles. If you’re a frequent flier, chances are you’ve gathered quite a load of frequent flier miles. These miles are redeemable for, as they suggest, free miles on an airplane to a destination of your choice. Sign up for a frequent flier card via your favorite carrier, or keep track of your miles with an air miles program. With enough saved up, you may even get a free flight!
These websites are a breeze to use. Ok, that may not be true for all, but even the less user-friendly among them aren't rocket science. So, do not brush these sites off if you want to search for and compare air fares. For the most part, all you have to do is enter your preferences and keep experimenting with different combinations and options until you are satisfied. Easy peasy!
deals that are pretty obvious like websites but there are
Typically, booking a whole trip with different airlines would be risky. For example, let's say your first flight with JetBlue was delayed, and you missed your connecting flight with Norwegian Air. Because the airlines have no association with each other, Norwegian Air has no obligation to reschedule your flight for free, so you would just lose your money. Kiwi.com instead offers their own guarantee, which covers schedule changes, flight delays, and cancellations. As long as you contact Kiwi.com as soon as you're aware of the delay, they will provide you with an alternate connecting flight, or a full refund, at your discretion. We haven't used this guarantee ourselves, but it certainly sounds like an appealing way to take the risk out of a thrifty flight hack!