Exploring Australia with an Aussie Airpass on Virgin Blue or Qantas
Aussie Airpass for Domestic Australian Travel
Aussie Airpass fares are sold by both of Australia’s major airlines—Virgin Blue (VAustralia) and Qantas—allowing for cheap flights around Australia. The airpass airfares, allows international travelers to explore the many widespread Australian destinations cheaply and easily.
Airpasses can only be purchased in conjunction with an international airfare, and are not valid for domestic travel only. Each Airlines Aussie Airpass works a little differently, and will be discussed separately below.
VAustralia and Virgin Blue Airpass
VAustralia flights connect to a network of Virgin Blue domestic flights. Virgin Blue and VAustralia are part of Richard Branson's Virgin group of airlines. Virgin America is also part of this network providing domestic US flights.
V Australia offers a domestic Airpass to travelers holding an international ticket from the USA to Australia. Combine at least 3, but not more than 8 flights around Australia at discounted Airpass prices. Airpass prices start at AUD$207 (3x AUD$69 Quick Fly Zone flights).
The VAustralia Aussie Airpass covers 25 destinations around Australia, and flights to New Zealand from as low as AUD $69 (approx US75-$US80) per leg. Combine a minimum of 3 domestic flights and maximum of 8 flights on your Airpass fare.
Airpass destinations include: Adelaide, Albury, Ballina/Byron Bay, Brisbane, Broome, Cairns, Canberra, Coffs Coast, Darwin, Gold Coast, Hamilton Island, Hervey Bay, Hobart, Launceston, mackay, Melbourne, Newcastle, Perth, Port Macquarie, Proserpine(Whitsundays), Rockhampton, Sunshine Coast, Sydney and Townsville.
Fares are broken into different fare rates depending on the zone of travel. There are four flight zones:
Note: Check the VAustralia website for current pricing, as pricing is subject to change without notice.
Quick Fly Zone from AUD$ 69 per flight leg
Sample flights include:
Sydney – Canberra
Sydney - Gold Coast
Brisbane – Rockhampton
Melbourne – Hobart
Metro Fly Zone from AUD$ 79 per flight leg
Brisbane – Mackay
Sydney – Melbourne
Canberra - Adelaide
Brisbane - Sydney
Coastal Fly Zone from AUD$ 99 per flight leg
Sample flights include:
Melbourne – Coffs Coast
Cairns – Sydney
Perth – Broome
Cross Country Fly from AUD$ 179 per flight leg (including New Zealand routes)
Sample Flights include:
Brisbane – Auckland
Melbourne – Christchurch
Melbourne – Cairns
Adelaide – Broome
Darwin – Melbourne
Qantas Aussie Airpass
The Qantas Aussie Airpass is sold in conjunction with an international ticket to Australia from approximately $999 (depending on season, and zone of domestic travel—see below for a discussion of both), and includes three domestic flights.
Qantas has the largest Australian domestic network for flights and destinations of any Australian airline, and more flights departing the USA than any other airline. It is also the only airline to fly the Airbus A380 Superjumbo on the trans pacific route from the USA to Australia.
It is important to note that the large domestic network is made up of smaller regional airlines that do not fly jet powered aircraft. If you have an aversion to propeller based aircraft, check your chosen route carefully! Or consider the VAustralia (and Virgin Blue) Airpass. The Virgin Blue fleet of aircraft consists of Boeing 737’s and Embraer eJets.
But back to the Qantas Aussie Airpass. The fare structure varies depending on the season of travel. The current advertised price of $999 is for travel between 1 May – 8 June, or 24 July and 10 September, and the three domestic flights must all be Zone 1 flights.
Qantas Aussie Airpass domestic flights are broken into 4 Zones:
Qantas Aussie Airpass Travel Zones
Qantas Aussie Airpass Pricing
The final Aussie Airpass pricing can be tricky. Not only are there four filght zones for the domestic legs of the travel itinerary, but there are also four seasonal rates: Low and high seasons are documented below.
High season covers the period from early December through early January the following year. This is peak summer vacation season in Australia, as well as Christmas and New Year. If you intend to travel during this period--book early!
Pricing also changes depending on the US departure gateway: Honolulu, Los Angeles, San Francisco or New York.
Qantas has announced the introduction of Sydney to Dallas (DFW) direct flights commencing 16 May 2011.
Qantas has also announced cancellation of the Sydney to San Francisco direct flights from May 14, 2011
Check the Qantas website for current pricing details.
Qantas Aussie Airpass Season Fares
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