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!