Flying to Australia is a long arduous experience. We know
as we have flown from Europe to Australia and from the United
States to Australia many times. The journey from Los Angeles
to Sydney is a nonstop flight and typically takes around
14 to 15 hours. Apart from the length of the flight, you
will cross the International Date Line which further messes
up your body clock. This means that you can board a flight
in Los Angeles on a Monday night and arrive in Sydney on
Wednesday morning. The best advice is to sleep! Wait as
long as you can and then try to sleep long enough so that
you wake up a couple of hours before landing in Sydney.
So if the flight is 14 hours in duration, wait approximately
4 hours and then try to sleep. Some people prefer to take
over-the-counter or prescription medicines to help them
sleep but you should always consult your physician first.
Drinking alcohol certainly does not help your cause but
it is awfully tempting as it is usually free on these international
If you are flying First Class or Business Class, great!
This is very expensive though. Business Class tickets from
the U.S. can be over $7,000 (U.S.). First Class can be over
$12,000 (U.S.). The service is much better and you will
be much more comfortable than in Coach. The key to flying
in Business or First Class is to use your frequent flier
miles if you fly a lot for work. Even then, the Business
Class ticket on American Airlines and Qantas will cost you
around 115,000 miles. Book early if you are using your miles.
There are very few seats allocated for these international
It is advisable that you book 6 months in advance or more.
The problem that you face is that the airlines will tell
you that there are no seats available for frequent flier
miles on the flight that you want. Business Class and First
Class may be half empty but there are no seats allocated
for your type of "free" ticket is what they are
saying. If you find yourself in this situation you may need
to be a little flexible. Ask about flights that are not
nonstop. Can you get on a flight that stops in Auckland,
New Zealand and then fly on to Sydney or Melbourne? Can
you fly through Hong Kong? Qantas has a flight that leaves
New York, stops in Los Angeles and then flies nonstop to
Sydney. You may not be able to get on the Los Angeles to
Sydney flight but you can get on the New York to Sydney
flight even though it is the same plane. I know it's nuts
but that's how it is. We are speaking from personal experience.
If you are still having issues you can sometimes wait until
the last week or two before the flight is due to leave.
Some times the airline will open their inventory as their
flight is not full and they are happy to take your frequent
flier miles. You need to call every couple of days as no
one will call you when the inventory opens up.
One tip to make life easier if you are flying Coach is
to get to the airport very early. It is much better to have
a 4 hour layover in Los Angeles and have an exit row for
14 hours than to have a 2 hour layover in Los Angeles and
a middle seat at the back of the plane for 14 hours. Many
airlines will not assign the exit rows until the day of
the flight. If you are lucky enough to get an exit row,
make sure that you don't get the window seat. Many of the
Boeing 747's have large bulky emergency exit doors that
protrude into your leg space. I am not sure what's in the
door but it is most likely the inflatable slide that is
used in the event of an emergency. This is just speculation!
Which companies fly to Australia? If you are departing
the United States you have several choices. Qantas, Air
New Zealand and United all fly from California to Sydney
and Melbourne. An option may be to stop over in Asia, in
Hong Kong for example. Cathay
Pacific flies from Los Angeles to Hong Kong. You may
want to consider breaking up the journey and stopping in
the South Pacific region. Air
Pacific Airlines flies from California to Fiji for example.
Flying from Europe offers up a whole other set of choices.
The internet provides a wonderful opportunity to explore
and research your flight opportunities. Two sites that we
have used are Expedia. and
.Both are powerful travel search engines and are a great
place to start researching your options. There are many
others however and much of it is personal preference.
Traveling within Australia has also become a lot more competitive
more recently and may be worth a little research. The airlines
that operate within Australia are Qantas,Virgin Blue, Skywest,
Airlines. There may be others by now but we don't know about
The bottom line is that you will get there. Even if you
are stuck in a middle seat at the back of the plane, Australia
is worth it. Well worth it. There is no other country like
it. Enjoy it.