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How do I fly back to Australia?

If you use a travel agent, booking website or book a flight with an airline, it might look like you are going to fly – especially when you know you have the e-ticket in your email – it is totally demoralising when the flight is cancelled.  This has been the experience of most Australians trying to get back to Australia since mid-2020.  The flights they book are continually cancelled which is both disappointing and frustrating.

What you see on airline and booking websites does not reflect the reality of the actual flights making it to Australia.  Pre-COVID, if you booked a flight, you knew that flight was going to take off.  Now this is no longer the case.  The schedules are still in place, but as the date of departure approaches, airlines keep cancelling or postponing flights due to government restrictions.  Pre-COVID, tickets were sold to fill the entire flight – every seat on the plane. Now, some airlines are still heavily overbooking, selling many more flights than they know will fly. The problem is that closer to the date of the flight, many of the seats are cancelled (sometimes the whole flight is cancelled or the flight becomes a purely cargo-only).

How can you locate the flights that are most likely to fly into and land in Australia?  How to you get the best chance of not being bumped off a flight that does fly?

This website answers all these questions by using historical flight data and combining it with aircraft seat capacities and government arrival caps.  In a nutshell, what does the data say are the flights most likely to get into Australia?  For many travelling from distant parts of the planet with at least 1 or more stops on your flight, this website will also help you to choose the right stopover/connecting city, which will help you gain the best chances for the final leg of your journey – your actual flight into Australia.

So how do you fly back to Australia?

  1. Get advice applicable to your situation
  2. Book your tickets: Use this step-by-step guide to help you

Advice for your situation

Everyone’s situation is different, so to get advice most appropriate to you choose one the following…

“I need to fly back urgently.”

If you can afford an expensive ticket, it might be possible.  See this post:

“I will take whatever flight is least likely to be cancelled.”

See this post:

“I must fly to a particular city.”

Choose the post appropriate for your destination:

“I have limited funds.  I have time to book well in advance.  I don’t mind flying to another city to do the quarantine and then taking a domestic flight to my destination city.”

See these posts:

“I think I might be eligible to get on a government-assisted repatriation flight.”

If you are eligible, you must be classed by the government as ‘vulnerable’.  To learn more, see this post:

If you would like to know more about the cities being used for repatriation flights, see these posts:

“I need to take a particular route to fly to Australia.”

Visualise all the direct flight routes to Australia on this chart:

* The routes shown on this map may not be from your starting destination (i.e. related to the first leg of your journey). The routes are for international leg of your flight that actually arrives in Australia. For example, if you are flying from London, the routes may help you decide which stopover city to use – or what city to fly for the second leg of your journey. Deciding on your stopover city is a critical decision that may limit your onward flight options.

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