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Flight sales: How to find cheap flights in Australia

What you need to know to score the best ticket deals.

Compare flight prices to destinations worldwide:

Frequently asked questions about flight sales

Which airlines have frequent flight sales?

Australia's 4 major national airlines all offer regular flight sales.

Qantas has a Fly Away sale that features different destinations at any one time. There's no set day of the week for these sales, but they occur regularly throughout the year.

Virgin Australia has a Happy Hour flash sale every Thursday. It typically runs from 4pm to 11am, though the start time and length of the sale can sometimes vary.

Jetstar's regular flight sale is its Friday Fare Frenzy. This runs from midday until 8pm on Fridays and features some of the best-priced fares the airline can offer. Occasionally the sale is extended across the whole weekend.

Rex Airlines doesn't frequently have flight sales, but as it increasingly moves into the metro market, you can expect a sale as each new route is announced.

How can I get the best deal on a flight?

Outside of sale periods, one of the best ways to nab a cheap flight sale is by being flexible with your dates and travel times. Mid-week flights and flights that take off during the day are generally the cheapest as these are off-peak travel times.

Using a flight search engine can help you scout out the best prices. They're aggregators that crawl through hundreds of booking sites to compare prices and pull out the cheapest.

Price-matching is another way to get a great deal. Jetstar's Price Beat Guarantee states that if you find a cheaper fare online it'll beat it by 10%. Virgin Australia and Emirates both have price promises too.

What's the cheapest day to book a flight?

You may have heard that Tuesday is the best day to book your flight. In Australia, we're a little luckier.

Our experts have worked out that the cheapest time to fly is on Tuesday or Wednesday.

How far out is best to book flights?

When travelling over peak periods, the general rule is to book as early as possible. That being said, Skyscanner's Best Time To Book tool says it really depends on where you're travelling to. For example, flights from Sydney to Auckland are best booked 2 months in advance while flights to London and Singapore are best booked 25 weeks in advance.

Do I earn frequent flyer points on sale flights?

The ability to earn frequent flyer points on discounted fares depends on the airline's policy.

Some airlines, such as Qantas, allow you to earn a reduced number of points and status credits on sale flights. Others may not allow you to earn any points on sale fares. If in doubt, check the airline's policy before booking.

Is it better to book flights directly with an airline?

While booking through a third party is sometimes cheaper, you may not always be covered by an airline's policies.

Always read the airline's flexible flights policy to see what your rights are and whether you're entitled to a refund or credit with the airline.

If in doubt, book directly with the airline. Find out which airlines have flexible flights policies here.

What is the best flight search engine?

Skyscanner and KAYAK are two of the leading flight search engines available. You can see how they stack up against one another here.

Most flight search engines will let you search and filter by number of stops, airlines, price and duration, but there are a few options that vary between sites.

We've done a quick comparison of some of those features for you.

FeatureSkyscannerKAYAKCheap FlightsGo To Gate
Show whole monthYesNoNoNo
Filter by departure timeYesYesYesYes
Filter by landing timesNoYesYesYes
Ready to book?Book via SkyscannerBook via KAYAKBook via Cheap FlightsBook directly through Go To Gate

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