Australia is one of the most expensive countries on the planet to visit at the moment and we’re going to be here for the next few months. I’m looking for any way of making travel in Australia more affordable. While Jetstar has it’s faults they’re actually pretty good on domestic routes in Australia. We’ve flown them a few times across the country and the planes are new, there’s plenty of legroom and we’ve never had a delayed flight. (The same can’t be said for their Trans-Tasman flights!)
Here’s a simple travel hack to help find cheap flights in Australia. It only works for flights in Australia on Jetstar but it’ll knock almost half the cost off your fare. If you’re booking flights in Australia anytime soon, you need to check this out!
Step #1 Search for flights
Search for the flights you’re after on Jetstar.com. (If you’re outside Australia you might want to go to Jetstar.com.au.) Use their low fare finder to find the cheapest dates for your flights. If you’re dates are flexible you can usually get the price down $10 or $20 per flight.
In this case we were looking at flights from Sunshine Coast to Melbourne from the 1 to 7 August but flying 31 July to 6 August was slightly cheaper. It might seem like a small saving but it adds up if you’re booking for more than one person.
Booking this flight on Jetstar.com would cost us A$220 per person.
That might not seem like a bad price for a two hour flight but… here’s the trick. I can make this same flight almost half the price by booking it through another site.
Step #2 Search for the same flight on Expedia Japan
When you first visit Expedia.co.jp it’ll be all in Japanese script but there’s an English button in the top right corner. Expedia doesn’t allow you to look at which flight is the cheapest across a range of dates so it’s important that you complete step #1 over on Jetstar.com to make sure you’re getting the best Jetstar flight available for your dates.
Search for the same Jetstar flight you found in step #1 on Expedia.co.jp.
Low and behold, here’s the same flight we just found on Jetstar for ¥11,000.
Step #3 Convert currencies
Convert the fare from Japanese Yen back to Australian dollars. An easy way to convert currencies is just to type it into Google. You just need to know the currency codes to convert. Most of them are pretty obvious. In this case it’s JPY and AUD.
What the fudge?! ¥11000 is only A$122… that’s almost $100 less than the price for the exact same flight on Jetstar’s own website. How’s that for a neat trick?
Step #4 Check that Jetstar is in fact cheapest
There are a couple of other low cost carriers flying domestically in Australia (Virgin Australia and Tiger Airways) so let’s just double check that this Jetstar flight is actually the cheapest option by using Skyscanner or Kayak to compare the cost on the other airlines flying that route. Make sure you’re comparing the same currencies – see the top right hand corner on Skyscanner to select Australian dollar.
Our Jetstar flight booked through Expedia Japan is still the cheapest option. Tiger Airways is still over $60 more expensive (and it’s a far worse airline than Jetstar that tacks on a lot of additional fees). If we hadn’t booked on Expedia Japan, Tiger Airways would have been cheaper than flying Jetstar. The flight on Virgin is $200 more expensive!
Step #5 Book the flight on Expedia Japan
Let’s go ahead and book the flight on Expedia.co.jp!
Done! There are a few extra charges but they would have also been applied if booking through Jetstar directly.
Total price for three people to fly from Sunshine Coast to Melbourne return – only $402.
Step #6 Book your baggage
You won’t be able to add any checked baggage to the flight from Expedia Japan but when you get the confirmation email from Jetstar (not from Expedia) you’ll be able to add in a bag.
What do you think? Will you give this travel hack a go next time you’re booking flights in Australia? Let me know!
I’m going to give this a try and see if it works for flights from Canada. Like Australia, Canada’s known for fairly expensive airfares. We’re looking at flights to Argentina, and are coming up with flights in the $800 and over range. Ouch!
Thanks for a great tip to get the cheapest airfare!
I never realised that you could get a cheaper fare using that method. I will definitely go through this process for our next flights, as we are a family of 5 so travel is always more expensive.
Expedia Japan to score a bargain? Who knew?
Good tips. I’m currently searching every combination of a cheap flight from Beijing to Sydney and not having anywhere near as much success at the moment. May just go to Japan instead
This is a very cool trick. Where on earth did you get the idea to try expedia Japan?!
Whaaaaat?! How do I find out about this on the night before I leave Australia?!
Will use next time I’m here!
Nice job… I got screwed changing my flight to Thailand with Quantas.. $500NZ to change a flight.. Always good to get a nice flight deal
Really awesome trick, Thanks for this. Just managed to book a couple of flights from Hobart to Sunshine coast half price 😀
You are a genius! I’m in Australia now and this will come in so handy! Thank you! Thank you! But why is it cheaper on the Japanese site?
You are a true travel hack genius!
Great advice! Thanks…
Wow, this is incredible! I normally think I’m pretty good at sniffing out good flight deals, but there’s no way I would have ever thought to look for Australian flights on Japanese Expedia. Clearly that loophole (for whatever reason it exists!) is a really valuable one! Bookmarking this for whenever we head to Australia (won’t be on this trip, but one day!).
Wow! That could really make a difference, thanks for the tip!
I’m soon going to Australia too and looking for a flight from Melbourne to Sydney. This is a really cool trick. I need to use it. I was planning to take a bus, but maybe flying would be cheaper…
how in the world did you figure this out? so very cool. thank you dear.
Sorry to say this deal appears to be no longer available, the savings are hardly anything now, looking at dates BNE-SYD-BNE on 14/11 return 2/12 Jetstar website is $168 while expedia after conversion is $145…. Last week checked the same route expedia japan was $98 after conversion…
Please look for other deals..
I know that the deal appears to be no longer available but I applaud that you manage to figure things out. In situations like these, especially for those whose enjoying traveling – finding great and affordable fares is indeed to be consider.
I will be flying to Australia next month and I’m still searching for ways how to get less expensive airfares. So, thanks a lot in this cool tips. I will surely give it a try.
What I really need is to find a cheap flight to go to Australia!!
sounds like a genius tip! Good way to plan more holidays!