What times of year are the cheapest economy fares released to London from Melbourne?

7 replies


Member since 24 Apr 2014

Total posts 231

What times of year are the cheapest economy fares released to London from Melbourne? Family trip


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 02 Jul 2011

Total posts 835

Generally not at all over school holiday period.

Sales come and go but generally you want to be booking 9-12 months out i suspect.


Member since 21 Apr 2012

Total posts 2,058


Cheap fares is primarily a functions of the outbound travel period.

Assuming by family trip you mean travelling with school going-age kids, then you're pretty much stuffed. Cheap fares are generally for travel during off-peak periods, which tend not to coincide with school holidays.

The best work around is to get a one-way (via redemption) out to London and travel out from London on a return fare during the UK off peak periods, which coincides with AU states school holiday periods. The return legs of such fares would typically allow travel during peak periods with any material change in cost.

Of course the main Christian holidays (Christmas and Easter) are out of the question given they coincide in both the UK and AU states.

The  upside is that you'll always have a ticket out to London paid at a cheaper rate - even during peak AU periods. Downside is that you'll constantly having to plan ahead and if you dont intend to visit London regularly then this will not work for you.



Member since 21 Apr 2012

Total posts 2,058

...without any material change in cost...


Member since 24 Apr 2014

Total posts 231

Thanks very helpful.

What about paying and booking in one direction with one airline and returning with another?

Is that also a cheap option compare to return fares with the same airline?


Member since 21 Apr 2012

Total posts 2,058

Generally this is the most expensive way to travel. One-way fares are not just 50% of the cost of a return fare, well at least that is not the case with traditional airlines on international segments. One way-fare work out to be generally between 70% or more of the cost of a return fare, and in some cases it would be a lot more as only flexible booking classess are available, when booking one-way. So booking one airline on the way out and another airline on the return legs constitutes 2 one-way fares.

You have pretty much two options;

Not skipping school option:

  • Identify the last schooling date for your kids
  • Identify if those dates match up to school holiday dates from other states
  • If you find that there isn't a match with another state, find out by using the fare search function on Expertflyer the cost of flight out of the capital city of that state. For example VIC schoo holiday starts on 20 March but QLD school holiday starts on 25 March. Find out the cost of flights ex-BNE on 21 - 24 March.
  • Fly out ex-BNE if it is cheaper and if the cost of getting MEL/BNE  and BNE/MEL is not more expensive that the cost of flying ex-MEL in the first place - this is where you might use redemptions as positioning flights.

Skipping school option

  • If on the other hand, school holiday dates across the country are consistent (sorry I don't have kids and have never had to look into dates in great detail), then using the Expertflyer fare search tool, identify the cut off date of the cheaper fare. You will find the lower booking classes (cheaper fare) availability for the flight on the cut off date gets snapped up really quickly, so it helps doing your analysis 12 months in advance, the moment tickets are available for sale. The consequence of this approach is that your kids only miss one day of school. The savings reaped from lower cost of flight may outweigh any benefits of kids attending the last day of school - particularly when everyone at school is pretty much switched off on the last day.

Personally I would go with skipping school option. It is fare less complicated.


Member since 14 Jan 2013

Total posts 23

Obviously, it depends on when you want to travel. 

Do you want to go to the UK in the summer or winter? Does it have to be in school holidays? etc.......

Also can you be flexible on dates? 14th December will likely be cheaper than the 15th December for your outbound journey.

If it is a school holiday trip, then I would suggest booking as early as you can. In my experience, the flights only get more expensive. The airlines are too clever to put a sale on over these periods.

I tend to use the calendar function on goodle.com/flights to get an idea of the costs (in USD)  but it gives you a good idea when it is cheaper to travel.

I travel every year to the UK and in economy I use the following as rule of thumb (per person):

< $1,500 - fantastic price

$1,500 - $1,750 - good price

$1,750 - $2,000 - average

> $2,000 - getting a little bit too expensive

It obviously also depends who you are happy flying. You can often get a better price on Royal Brunei or Vietnam.


Member since 09 Sep 2015

Total posts 19

Hey Lind26,

I have travelled to Europe last year in May and it was fairly cheap. I DID take my kids out of school for the 2 weeks but they didn't miss much. It really depends on if your kids are in primary then I would go but not high school, also depends on how long the stay.

Hope this Helps!

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