A London-based traveler has been left outraged after she was offered up to $1,899 for a three-hour flight between two neighboring Australian states.
Hayleye was looking for return flights from Sydney to Hervey Bay in Queensland over the Christmas and New Year period on booking.com, a third-party travel agency that sells Qantas flights.
She was shocked to discover that flights would cost between $441 and $1,899 and called the cost of the higher fares a “pure money grab.”
“That’s what they charge from NSW to QLD. This puts me beyond angry!
“I’ll say it again for the keyboard warriors, there are cheaper options, but they don’t fit my arriving international flight, and this came to my attention while searching all the different websites.
“I was just pointing out the fact that they think/can charge for this. Yes, it’s cheaper, yes, it’s the most expensive there is, but the fact is that it’s even an option.
The same dates on the Qantas website indicated direct return flights from Sydney to Hervey Bay would cost passengers between $471 and $1,005.
Return flights stopping at Brisbane ranged from $698 to $2,081.
A London-based traveler was shocked to learn Qantas return flights from Sydney to Hervey Bay could cost her more than $1,700 (pictured, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce)
Flights stopping in Brisbane between Sydney and Hervey Bay cost almost $2,000
Different factors influence the price quoted for flights.
Australians are advised to compare prices from different sources to find the best deal. One effective method is to use a website like Skyscanner, which searches multiple travel sites and allows you to compare deals.
Being flexible with variables such as travel dates, layovers and airlines will also maximize savings. The more flexible you are, the more options you will have.
For example, budget airline Jetstar offers direct flights with similar departure times at less than half the price of Qantas fares, but without baggage included.
Traveling a day later can save around $85 on Qantas fares, and avoiding the peak summer period can lead to significant savings.
A Qantas spokeswoman told Daily Mail Australia that Jetstar offers return flights from Sydney to Hervey Bay for $409 and Qantas offers return flights from $799.
“It seems the rates are more expensive on booking.com,” she said.
Australians were divided on whether the prices were unfair.
“You leave a small regional airport during the holiday season and complain because they don’t have cheap flights at the exact time you want,” one man said.
Hayleye replied: “What I meant was that they are allowed to charge that amount. It’s not because it’s regional that it’s extorted.
“If you have family in Australia, ask them to book the flights, it’s cheaper. Qantas detects that you are in another country,” one woman suggested.
Hayleye said the cheaper flights would not give her enough time to travel from the international airport to the domestic airport, meaning she would have to spend more (stock image)
Hayleye said she understood that Christmas was expensive and had no problem paying between $700 and $800 for return flights to Hervey Bay.
“But I just think anything above that is just a complete money grab!” she continued.
“I’m not saying there aren’t cheaper options, just that there aren’t options that fit my needs. I just think it’s crazy that they can even charge for that.
One woman said she had lived in Hervey Bay for 25 years and it had always been expensive to fly from regional areas.
“I fly from Adelaide to Brisbane regularly, about once or twice a month, it’s always $600, return. It might have been better to book from here,” she wrote.