options at all.
Depending on your departure point and destination, flights to the USA will vary in duration. If you’re flying from London Heathrow to Chicago-O’Hare, expect your flight to last around eight hours. Flights from Rome, Italy to New York are around 9.5 hours, and flights to Los Angeles from Sydney, Australia, are 14 hours in length nonstop. If your final destination is Miami and your departure point is Tokyo, Japan, plan on your flight taking anywhere between 17 and 24 hours with a stop or two along the way.
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Indirect flights are the way to go. Although layovers can be a hassle - especially if you have several of them - flying indirectly to your location decreases the total cost of your flight. Direct flights are in high demand, and are therefore made more expensive by airlines. Keep at least one layover open as an option, and prepare to save more money by considering multiple layovers for a single flight.
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While the above search engines are great, they do not always include small airlines, especially in less popularly booked routes and/or in remote regions. If you're flying somewhere obscure, Google search and ask around if there exists a local airline. While in South America we learnt that the LADE Air in Argentina (run by the military) has cheap flights to Patagonia, which is of course not listed in mass search engines online.
Why it's awesome: Even though Virgin America is no longer the best low-cost airline in North America, it remains one of most beloved carriers in the skies. The San Francisco-based boutique carrier offers the style and high-quality service expected from a Virgin-branded company, but with the competitive prices of a low-cost carrier. In 2016, the company was sold to Alaska Airlines for $2.6 billion. The brand is expected to disappear by 2019.
First, do your research: are there budget airlines unique to the country you're flying out of and where you're headed to? Booking with a budget Australian airline (Jetstar) from Sydney to Honolulu, then an American one from Honolulu to Montreal saved us over $400 each when flying back from Australia to Canada earlier this year. This allowed us to create a thrifty five-day stopover in Hawaii on our way back, which was less exhausting and a lot cheaper! Kiwi.com and AirWander are both great search engine for revealing cheaper routes like this that involve multiple airlines.
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