Australia flights - cheap international flight tickets and hacker fares to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth
Flights to destinations in Australia. Book plane tickets online to Australian airports.

Australia is open to international travelers

Australia reopened its borders on February 21, 2022. In July, the last travel restrictions have been lifted — overseas arrivals no longer have to prove they have been vaccinated. A negative pre-departure test is no longer required. However, masks are still mandatory on planes flying to Australia.

Most passport holders need the right visa to come to Australia.

Arriving in Melbourne

  • If you are flying to Melbourne from abroad, you will most likely land at one of its biggest international airportsits main international airportMelbourne Airport MEL (the main airport 20 km from Melbourne CBD, known also as Tullamarine) or Avalon Airport AVV (primarily served by Jetstar, Bonza, and Air Asia, located 50 km to the south-west of Melbourne). Two other airports — Essendon Fields Airport MEB and Moorabbin Airport MBW — are limited to a handful of passenger airlines, cargo flights, and corporate jet aviation.

    Regular buses run from Melbourne Airport to Southern Cross Railway Station in the city center, with SkyBus services available every 10 minutes during peak times. From Avalon, Skybus offers transportation to Melbourne, Geelong, the Bellarine Peninsula, and the Surf Coast. Taxis can be found outside the main airport entrances and have designated pick-up areas. They are registered and follow strict guidelines, with a flagfall fee and additional charges based on distance
    .

    These are also the best (and the cheapest) airports to fly into Melbourne. As they are used by many airlines serving the same routes, the competition for passengers is fierce – with decreased airfare as a result.
  • Once in Melbourne, take advantage of frequent intercity flights operated by domestic airlines such as Qantas, Virgin Australia, Jetstar, Rex Airlines, and Bonza. Those in-country carriers typically offer lower fares, operate from smaller airports located closer to city centers (you save on ground transportation), and provide flexible schedules – with a wide range of departure times.
  • Planning to explore the region? Popular destinations near Melbourne can be easily reached with regional low-cost carriers (LCCs) by the likes of AirAsia, Bamboo Airways, Batik Air, Cebu Pacific, Jetstar, Scoot, VietJet Air, and WestJet. If you have a layover in Melbourne and plan to fly only a short distance to one of its neighboring countries, these budget airlines are an excellent way to save money. However, the “no-frills” carrier may not provide free checked baggage allowance, complimentary food, in-flight entertainment systems, and fast customer support. You may not even get to choose your seats, unless you pay extra.

Airports of Melbourne

Best airports to fly into Melbourne: Melbourne Airport (MEL)
Melbourne has 4 airports – Melbourne Airport MEL is a little over 20 km / 12 miles from the centre of Melbourne with the Tullamarine Freeway linking the airport and to the city. Avalon Airport AVV is located to the south-west of Melbourne (50 km / 31 miles), outside the city of Geelong. Moorabbin Airport MBW is in Melbourne's Southern suburbs (22 km / 14 miles), and Essendon Fields Airport MEB is located just 10km from Melbourne's CBD.
Things to know before flying to Melbourne
Airlines flying to MelbourneAir China, Air France, Air India, Air New Zealand, Air Niugini, Air Tahiti Nui, Air Vanuatu, AirAsia X, Alaska Airlines, Alliance Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Bamboo Airways, Batik Air, British Airways, Cambodia Angkor Air, Cathay Pacific, Cebu Pacific, China Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Egypt Air, El Al Israel Airlines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Fiji Airways, Finnair, Garuda Indonesia, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Jetstar Airways, KLM, Korean Air, LATAM, Lufthansa, Malaysia Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Rex, Royal Brunei Airlines, SAS, Scoot, Singapore Airlines, Srilankan Airlines, SWISS, Thai Airways, Turkish Airlines, United Airlines, VietJet Air, Vietnam Airlines, Virgin Australia, WestJet, Xiamen Airlines
Australian airlinesQantas, Jetstar Airways, Virgin Australia (international routes)
Rex Airlines, Airnorth, Alliance Airlines, Bonza, Skippers Aviation, Maroomba Airlines, Eastern Air Services (domestic routes)
Airports in MelbourneMelbourne Airport (MEL)
Avalon Airport (AVV)
Essendon Fields Airport (MEB)
Moorabbin Airport (MBW)
Regular price (roundtrip)✈ € 900 — € 1,200 (from Europe)
✈ $ 1,100 — $ 1,600 (from USA)
Flight hacks 40% — 80% off regular fare
Airline discountsDiscounted airline tickets to Melbourne (student/family/seniors/military)

Low-cost flights from Melbourne

Stay ahead of the game. Fly to popular destinations at a fraction of the regular fare.

The cheapest time to fly to Melbourne

The cheapest time to fly to Melbourne is during the winter months of June to August. This is the low season in Melbourne with fewer tourist crowds, as the colder temperatures keep most travelers away. Due to decreased demand for flights, airlines offer significant discounts and promotions on airfares. Flying to Melbourne between June and August can save you at least 20% compared to the high season.

To get decent weather conditions and still avoid crowds of tourists and high airfares, book your flight for the shoulder seasons: September and November (spring) and between February and April (autumn). It is just before people start traveling for their holidays.

Remember that since Melbourne is located in the Southern Hemisphere – seasons are the opposite of those in the Northern Hemisphere.

Prearrange your Australian tourist visa

Most travelers flying to Melbourne from overseas are required to obtain an Australian visa. It needs to be arranged in advance unless you are a citizen of New Zealand (who can obtain a visa on arrival).

The type of tourist visa to apply for would depend on your passport and the length of your intended stay:

  • Electronic Travel Authority (ETA). Available to citizens of certain countries. Allows multiple visits to Australia, each visit can last up to 3 months within a 1-year period. There is an application service charge of A$20.
  • eVisitor. Free visa available for passport holders from most European countries. Allows multiple visits to Australia, each visit can last up to 3 months within a 1-year period.
  • Visitor Visa. Open to all nationalities. When applying you may be granted a stay of 3, 6 or 12 months. Cost: A$150.
  • Transit Visa. Free visa that will let you transit through Australia for up to 72 hours.

You can apply online, or on paper, by visiting an Australian embassy. Even if most applications are resolved in a few weeks, it is recommended to submit your application at least 2 months before your flight to Melbourne.

The 80-hour rule for Qantas seat selection

Did you know that Qantas reserves certain desirable seats for their elite frequent flyers? These “good” seats are usually at the front of the plane and you may not see them as available during the booking process (they are usually greyed out).

The good news, there is a simple solution to gain access to those seats as the restrictions are lifted precisely 80 hours before the departure. So, if you want to snap up the best seat on your flight to Melbourne, log in to Qantas Manage Booking 80 hours before departure, check for previously unavailable seats, and change your seat selection.

Virgin Australia has an unofficial rule similar to Qantas – where any seats previously reserved for frequent flyers are released to all passengers 48 hours before departure (when online check-in opens).

Extra checked bag for an infant

Flying to Melbourne with children? Virgin Australia aims to become the first choice for family travelers. It has the most generous policy regarding infant luggage allowances – a 23kg checked bag, and 3 infant items are allowed, free of charge.

This policy applies to the airline’s domestic and international short-haul and long-haul flights.

Next tips

Flights to Melbourne from United States and Canada

  • There are no direct flights from the US or Canada to Melbourne. However, most major hubs in Asia have non-stop flights to Melbourne, as do some larger airports in the Middle East – your journey will have at least one stop. Direct flights to Melbourne MEL are just 11 hours long if you are departing from Honolulu HNL. The popular route from West Coast (Los Angeles LAX, San Francisco SFO) to Melbourne MEL takes around 16 hours without layovers. When opting for a non-stop flight, American travelers can only choose from a limited range of flight operators: Qantas, Jetstar Airways, and United Airlines. Currently there are no direct flights from Canada to Melbourne.
  • Melbourne is well-served via one-stop flights from North America. Flights to Melbourne with one layover depart from most major North American airports, including Atlanta ATL, Dallas DFW, Denver DEN, Chicago ORD, Los Angeles LAX, Las Vegas DFW, Miami MIA, Seattle SEA, Houston IAH, New York JFK, and San Francisco SFO in the United States and Toronto YYZ, Vancouver YVR, Calgary LAS, and Montreal YUL in Canada.
  • The best airlines to fly to Melbourne from the US and Canada are: Emirates, Cathay Pacific, Delta Air Lines, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, and Qantas. They are top full-service carriers, offering exceptional customer service, in-flight comfort, a generous checked baggage allowance, and reliable customer support channels – all included in the ticket price.

US and Canada to Melbourne.Ticket prices in March 2024.

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Use regional airports to visit Central Australia

There are no major airports that service Australia’s epic heartland. So, if you wish to visit, you’ll have to take a domestic flight to a regional airport.

Alice Springs Airport ASP is the best choice for the never-ending desert landscapes of Red Centre, Ayers Rock Airport AYG is the gateway for Uluru, and Mount Isa Airport ISA is serving western Queensland.

Avoid Australia’s public holidays

Prices skyrocket during holidays in Australia – adjust your travel dates to avoid expensive tickets. Airlines start to raise their flight prices to Melbourne for the Australian summer – December to February – when travelers from across the country and around the world flock to the city for the end-of-year holidays.

Hotel and apartment rates also soar during the Australian school vacations: April (Easter school holidays), July (Winter school holidays), September/October and December (Summer school holidays).

If you plan to visit Melbourne during these popular holidays, book your flight at least 2-3 months before departure to avoid high fares.

Long waiting times when calling the helpline?

Social media is usually a faster way to reach the airline when a problem arises. Use Twitter or Facebook Messenger to contact the airline customer service and get a response and solution within minutes (see detailed guides for Qantas, Virgin, and Jetstar).

When it comes to Twitter there’s one more trick to get in touch with the airline faster: mention the airline in a tweet about your issue (add “@airline_handle”, for example: “@Qantasairways”). The social media team will often notice it immediately, ask you for a direct message, and respond privately.

Qantas Explorer Pass: discounted domestic fares in Australia

Are you planning to visit more destinations after arriving in Melbourne? The Qantas Explorer Pass can be an excellent way to save some money. With this pass, you can book multiple domestic flights in Australia or New Zealand at discounted rates – great for hopping between some of the region’s most iconic cities, beaches, and landscapes.

The Qantas Explorer Pass allows travelers to create their personalized itinerary with multiple stopovers, choosing from over 30 destinations, including major cities such as Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane, as well as Auckland, Christchurch, and Wellington. However, the pass is only available for domestic flights within Australia or New Zealand – you can’t use it to fly internationally between the two countries.

To access the Qantas Explorer Pass, you must be traveling from overseas to Australia or New Zealand with Qantas. Use the airline website to book your international flight to Melbourne, and choose the multi-city option to get access to Explorer Pas cheaper fares.

Qantas Customer Support via SMS

Qantas recently introduced a convenient SMS service as a part of its customer support. SMS-es appear to be replied to much quicker than calls, live chat messages, e-mails, or even social media DMs.

To text Qantas via SMS, use 0477 QANTAS or 0477 726 827. The SMS service is available to customers within Australia only.

Next tips

Flights to Melbourne from UK, Germany, France, Netherlands and other countries in Europe

  • There are no direct flights from Europe to Melbourne — you’ll need to get a connecting flight from elsewhere in the Middle East or in Asia. There is only one route from Europe to Melbourne that has direct connection without any layover - from London Heathrow Airport LHR. These ultra long-haul flights are operated by Qantas. London to Melbourne is among the longest commercial flights in the world - scheduled flight time is 23 hours and 45 minutes.
  • Airlines that frequently fly from the UK, Germany, France, and other European countries to Melbourne include British Airways, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Finnair, Lufthansa, Malaysia AirlinesQatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, SWISS, Qantas, Thai Airways, and United Airlines.
  • Consider departure airports in neighboring countries to increase your chance of spotting the best deal. Especially look for large airports that serve as hubs for multiple airlines. For example, if you live in Western Europe, check air tickets to Melbourne from Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Paris, and Rome. Leverage frequent promotions from European budget carriers like RyanAir, EasyJet, and Eurowings to reach a major hub; from there, take a cheaper long-haul flight to your final destination, potentially saving hundreds of euros.
  • These major European airports are excellent departure points for trips to Melbourne: London LHR and Manchester MAN in the United Kingdom, Frankfurt FRA and Munich MUC in Germany, Paris CDG and Nice NCE in France, Amsterdam AMS in the Netherlands, Madrid MAD and Barcelona BCN in Spain, Rome FCO and Milano MXP in Italy, Brussels BRU in Belgium, Copenhagen OSL in Denmark, Oslo OSL in Norway, Stockholm ARN in Sweden, Zurich ZRH in Switzerland, Lisbon LIS in Portugal, Vienna VIE in Austria, Warsaw WAW in Poland, Prague PRG in the Czech Republic, and Dublin DUB in Ireland.

Europe to Melbourne.Flight schedule and ticket prices.

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Last-minute flights to Melbourne. The real cost of convenience.

Last-minute flights are often touted as a great way to save money, but the reality is far from it. Booking last-minute flights to Melbourne almost always never works out. The convenience of being able to book a flight on the fly is a dangerous game of chance, and you will most likely end up paying significantly higher than booking in advance.

Last-minute flight cost spike
Late booking penalty: The flight prices rise as departure draws near. Last-minute flights are almost always more expensive than booking in advance.

The common perception may be that airlines decrease ticket prices to fill empty seats as the departure date approaches. However, the truth is that airfares depend on demand. Based on years of research and current customer data, the airlines know what people are willing to pay for specific flights and dates. They are also well aware that people are willing to pay a premium for flights they need to take immediately. To make the most money, the airline will sell its cheapest fares first and then increase the prices right before the flight to take advantage of business travelers and others who are willing to pay the premium price for late booking.

Occasionally, airlines can put some seats on sale to fill the remaining seats, but these are for unusual times and unpopular places. Popular destinations and dates around peak travel times tend to sell out quickly.

Planning ahead is key to securing a good deal on your flight. Last-minute flight deals are hard to come by, so as soon as you have a tentative travel timeline, book your flight. The earlier you book, the more likely you are to save money. If you are looking for a good deal, the best time to book your flight to Melbourne is 2-8 months before the takeoff.

Looking for the best deals for Melbourne? Check different departure airports.

Airlines often have varying prices for flights to Melbourne from different airports – even if they are in close proximity to one another. So don’t limit yourself to just your nearest airport. The neighboring cities may have lower-priced flights that include a layover at Melbourne, or may even have direct flights that are more budget-friendly.

For example, if you’re looking to fly from Paris to Melbourne, it may be worth checking prices for flights departing from London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, or Rome. Yes, you may have to fly a few hundred kilometers to these hubs, but domestic low-cost airlines like EasyJet, RyanAir, or WizzAir will happily take you there for less than €100.

Book flights from many departure airports
By entering more than one departure city in the flight search engine (at the top of this page), you can quickly find the airport with the cheapest flights to your destination

The same goes for long-haul flights to Melbourne from anywhere in the world. By broadening your search to include neighboring airports, you may discover lower-priced options that can save you hundreds of euros!

Domestic flights from Melbourne

Most domestic routes in Australia are operated by local carriers. When traveling to popular tourist destinations such as Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Gold Coast, Adelaide, Cairns, Darwin, and Canberra from Melbourne Airport, you’ll likely fly with one of these domestic airlines: Qantas, Virgin Australia, Jetstar, Rex Airlines, and Bonza.

This is often the best transportation method, providing speed, convenience, and cost-effectiveness. Local airlines often offer multiple daily flights to key destinations, providing flexibility in scheduling and competitive pricing. They also serve smaller regional airports, enabling access to a wider range of Australian destinations.

“Hot seats” on long-haul flights

Those days seat selection is considered an optional, extra paid service – seats with extra legroom (front and exit rows) are usually priced higher. However, if you’re about to take a long-haul flight to Melbourne, those “hot seats” are worth considering – expect to pay $50-$100, which is much less than upgrading to Premium Economy.

If you want to choose your seats, do this early (ideally during the booking) for a more extensive selection of available options.

Booking hot seats (preffered seats with extra legroom) on plane
Choosing a hot seat during the flight booking process is usually worth it. For a reasonable price, you will get more room to stretch your legs, as well as a wider seat pitch.

Booking group flights to Melbourne

Flights are cheaper when purchased in bulk rather than as individual tickets. Booking group flights to Melbourne can be a cost-effective option for a school trip, family reunion, or corporate group traveling to a conference.

To qualify for the special group rate, the group must usually have at least 10 passengers. Discounts depend on the airline, group size, and travel dates, and typically range from 5% to 20% off the regular airfare.

Airlines and flight search websites typically limit automatic group bookings to 10 passengers. This limit reflects the complexity of managing larger groups, which require personalized service and more time to coordinate. To get the price quote for your group, you’ll need to contact the airline or a travel agent directly.

If you’re open to different airlines or want more personalized service, a travel agent may be a better choice. Travel agents may have access to discounted group rates to Melbourne and can help with logistics and scheduling.

Flights to Melbourne from Bali, Bangkok, Delhi, Dubai, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Singapore, Seoul, Tokyo, and other major hubs in Asia

  • Asia is probably the best continent for short-haul and mid-haul flying. The sheer scale of this most populous region on Earth is reflected in the type of aircraft operating many shorter routes: intra-Asia flyers benefit from comfortable, wide-bodied aircraft by the likes of Boeing 777, 787 or Airbus A350, A330, and A380. When booking your flight to Melbourne look for these bigger planes as they will almost always give you the best experience in every cabin, including better seat pitches, higher ceilings, and larger overhead bin space.
  • Asia is also home to most of the world’s best airlines. There are only ten airlines that received the prestigious 5-star mark of quality from Skytrax, and all of them are from Asia: ANA, Asiana Airlines, Cathay Pacific, EVA Air, Garuda Indonesia, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines. Choosing one of these airlines for your trip to Melbourne will guarantee a pleasant journey – delicious meals served during the flight, great in-flight entertainment, and above-average airline customer service.
  • Asia is extremely well served by low-cost regional airlines. If you are visiting Australia and want to see several other countries on a tight budget, they often have great sales with rock-bottom prices, while still offering a relatively comfortable flight experience. Among the best Asian budget airlines you can book without hesitation are AirAsiaCebu Pacific, Citilink, FlyDubai, Indigo, Jetstar Airways, Scoot, SpiceJet, and VietJet Air. The cons? Being no-frills airlines they may not provide free baggage allowance, inflight meals, or onboard entertainment. The departure times may also be quite inconvenient as they try to save money by flying at off-peak hours.
  • Most major Asian airports have convenient and frequent flights to Melbourne — including Changi (Singapore), Dubai (UAE), Hong Kong (China), Incheon (Seoul, South Korea), Indira Gandhi (New Delhi, India), KLIA (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), Narita (Tokyo, Japan), Denpasar (Bali, Indonesia), Soekarno–Hatta (Jakarta, Indonesia), Ninoy Aquino (Manila, Philippines), Suvarnabhumi (Bangkok, Thailand), Taoyuan (Taipei, Taiwan), and others.

Melbourne from major Asian airports.Flight prices in March 2024.

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Proof of onward travel – a simple hack

Travelers who go on long trips often don’t have a set itinerary and fly on one-way tickets. The problem? For many APAC countries, proof of onward travel is a legal requirement. If you arrive at the airport without an onward ticket (from Australia to another country), you’ll either be forced to buy one online or forbidden from boarding the plane altogether.

The cheapest solution? Renting an onward ticket! Use the websites such as OneWayFly or OnwardTicket to get a flight reservation for a limited amount of time (usually 2 to 14 days). They work by actually booking you on a real flight out of Australia and giving you a confirmable flight reservation with a PNR (Passenger Name Record) under your name. After the time limit, your spot on the flight is automatically canceled. Such “temporary tickets” tend to cost anywhere from $10 to $20.

Confirmed flight ticket reservation
Proof of onward travel: confirmed flight ticket reservation (source: OnwardTicket)

Fly now, pay later

Book Now Pay Later (BNPL) plans for flights have become a popular trend in the travel industry, allowing travelers to book flights and pay in installments. Among the airlines that offer this option are American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Emirates, Qatar Airways, Qantas, Turkish Airlines, and United Airlines. They partner with external financial companies to offer their loan services on the checkout page.

The BNPL plans come with varying terms and fees. Some may be interest-free but have fees for late-payments and require forced autoplay on your bank account, while others may have high annual percentage rates (up to 30-40% APR).

When considering BNPL financing for your flight to Melbourne, it’s crucial to carefully evaluate the pros and cons, and thoroughly review the terms and conditions.