Quick advice on MEL-SYD flights

By NJDavidA | Oct 11, 2017, 04:36 PM
hi, will be in MEL early Nov., need a flight to SYD 8/11; which airline is the best mid afternoon? Purchase in-advance or wait for 8/11?? thax, NJDavid
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By Sibelius | Oct 11, 2017, 05:03 PM
It's a simple one-hour commute; you really can't go wrong. The food and beverage will be better on Qantas, but for a one-hour flight, does that particularly matter?

Just noticed that you're from the USA, so here's a little more information. Qantas is full-service; Virgin is almost-full-service but not QUITE as full-service as Qantas (eg. they don't do special dietary requirements). Jetstar and Tiger are low-cost and personally I avoid them but they're generally much cheaper; you get what you pay for.

The earlier you book, the cheaper your flight will be.

Last edited by Sibelius at Oct 11, 2017, 05.05 PM.
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By Challissey | Oct 11, 2017, 05:03 PM
I'd say Qantas. They have an A330 operating QF438 that afternoon. Better than both VA and QF 737.
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By ExLibris76 | Oct 11, 2017, 07:19 PM
If you happen to have adequate status levels with American and Delta, then you'll be able to access QANTAS' and Virgin's lounges, respectively. And of course, you'll be able to credit ff points to your home account (assuming you have one). That could be something for you to consider. Agree with previous respondent that service levels are higher on QANTAS than Virgin. I usually find pricing a bit more competitive on the Virgin website; but having said that, the mid-afternoon lull in traffic means prices are good on both carriers. Can't comment on LCC Tiger and JetStar as I don't fly them. But they could be worthwhile for you to check out if cost control is an issue(?). As always, book as soon as possible. Hope this helps you...
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By AmbroseRPM | Oct 11, 2017, 08:53 PM
As you are from the US, I presume you would have baggage.


Jetstar and Tiger will charge for that, Qantas and VA have a generous 23kg (50.7lbs) limit.


I've flown that route with VA many times and have always been happy. I've never had an issue with them. I'm sure QF is very similar. It is only a 1 hour flight after all.


FYI: American has ties with Qantas, Delta has ties with Virgin.

Last edited by AmbroseRPM at Oct 11, 2017, 08.53 PM.
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By Maheshh | Oct 12, 2017, 06:00 AM
Hi, Firstly Welcome to Australia or alternatively hope you have a nice flight from the US to the Land down under.

I recommend you do not take Jetstar even if cost is an issue. Jetstar flies into Avalon Airport in Melbourne which is about 60 kms from the city. On the other hand Virgin, Qantas fly into Tullamarine Airport in Melbourne which is only 20 kms from the City. Over double the commute time on the ground.

Yes Virgin does not give you as nice a meal and their airport terminal can be more crowded. But it is only about an hours flight - so if it saves you money, might as well fly Virgin.

Both airlines now have Entertainment streamed via Wifi on the plane to your mobile device as opposed to Seat-back screens. So consider downloading the Entertainment app for the airline you will be flying before you depart.
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By Theresnormissin | Oct 12, 2017, 09:51 AM
What Maheshh has said above regarding Jetstar ONLY flying to an airport 60km's away from the city is incorrect (I'm assuming the person never travels on Jetstar)

The airline flies to/from two airports in Melbourne. So if you choose to travel with them just be sure that you are departing from to Tullamarine (the closer airport), and not avalon and you will be fine.
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By Lala295 | Oct 12, 2017, 11:26 AM
The best in terms of quality will be a flight with Qantas on the A330 as it has an international style configuration and will offer better seats and food, particularly in business class. (Check for the aircraft when booking) Virgin and Qantas 737 are both on par with ok food and wifi streamed entertainment. Jetstar and Tiger A320s will be significantly cheaper but much lower quality with no included bags, meals or entertainment. You need to book ASAP as prices regularly double closer to the date, business class for your date is currently $828, whilst prices for this week are $1319
Last edited by Lala295 at Oct 12, 2017, 11.36 AM.
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By Tom-125 | Oct 12, 2017, 12:03 PM
Definitely purchase in advance rather than on the day. You've got time though so sign up for Virgin's V-Mail specials so they email you their Thursday Happy Hour specials tonight and next week to see if the dates fit. MEL/SYD comes up regularly. Note though that these are for the basic "Getaway" fare which has 1 free piece of luggage to 23kg, and isn't changeable on the day. It's $80 to change plus the fare difference up until the day before.
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By rowwdy | Oct 12, 2017, 06:09 PM
[QUOTE=14749;41520]
What Maheshh has said above regarding Jetstar ONLY flying to an airport 60km's away from the city is incorrect (I'm assuming the person never travels on Jetstar)

The airline flies to/from two airports in Melbourne. So if you choose to travel with them just be sure that you are departing from to Tullamarine (the closer airport), and not avalon and you will be fine.
[/QUOTE]
Unless you’re returning from the Great Ocean Road, Avalon is the most convenient airport for that.
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By Andrew Barkery | Oct 12, 2017, 11:14 PM
Also you will not have so much officialdom travelling Au dom flights, compared to the US system of flying US dom flights.
We have individual airport's xray security staff, but we don't have the TSA (yet).
If you do OLCI, and print your BP from a computer/laptop with printer, you don't even need to do prior to airport security checks (unlike the US), you just drop your bags to a person, or kiosk at MEL airport, and then go through dom xray, all coins, mobile/cell phone, any non sharp or pointed metals, belts onto a tray, and you walk through, and then collect your worldly goods and off you go.
None of that pre check malarkey.
There is talk of photo id needed to fly Au dom flights, but these have not as yet been enacted to become law, (probably will take a lot of time/some time later in 2018 for it to come through).
Last edited by Andrew Barkery at Oct 12, 2017, 11.16 PM.
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By Nick Sydney 2 | Oct 13, 2017, 05:18 PM
Syd-Mel is a bus service. So unless you need the full bells and whistles of Qantas or Virgin, I'd choose whatever is the cheapest and where you are not slammed for cost of baggage. Now that's just me. I am a QFF Platinum but travel so often to Melbourne that it really does not matter who takes you there as long as its cost effective. Neither of Jetstar or Tiger are at the level of Spirit in the US, a few notches up. If you are travelling more than an hour or then stay with Qantas.
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By Russjking | Oct 13, 2017, 07:48 PM
Qantas and Virgin fly B737; eco and business class available. Luggage included in cost.
Jetstar and Tiger fly A320's. Eco only. Luggage extra.
I find the A320's are quieter. About the same leg room in each plane. Qantas has the softest seats. Food really is best avoided for either company: lumps of salt with a bit of meat added for decoration.
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By Rxm | Oct 14, 2017, 04:22 PM
If schedule is important avoid jetstar and tiger. They have fewer flights so if anything goes wrong you might be waiting much longer. Qantas has the most frequent services but virgin is not too far behind.
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By NJDavidA | Oct 23, 2017, 03:42 PM

Thank you to all! After 26hrs (EWR-PVG-MEL) the flight to SYD will be a breeze... Glad to see airport 'formalities are

easier than in the U.S. Will have to return for the Great Barrier / Uluru and a deeper MEL-SYD visit. Can I get 'adopted' in (civilized) AUS, wish to hide from current U.S. Prez -nuts! Thanks again. *New Jersey David

Last edited by NJDavidA at Oct 23, 2017, 03.46 PM.
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By NJDavidA | Oct 24, 2017, 02:19 PM

hey, got a VA 0865 OW MEL-SYD $175USD. I'll have almost a whole day in town, but get to SYD a bit late. -a fair compromise... NJ DavidA

Last edited by ChrisCh at Oct 24, 2017, 02.32 PM.
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