Cheaper airfares offered on busy domestic routes, says ACCC

Person with roller luggage walking through airport at sunset after buying cheap airfare and travel insurance post-Covid.

As the states and territories hesitantly begin opening borders in Australia, airlines are ramping up their affordable flight options for travellers.

A new Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) report has found airlines are expanding their route options or offering cheaper tickets on busy inter-city flights to compete with low-cost carriers. 

Among the changes, regional airline Rex recently announced it would add Brisbane to its intercity network, meaning it will soon be operating on Australia’s top five busiest routes connecting Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and the Gold Coast. 

This comes alongside new or revived routes that will soon set out from Launceston to Perth and the Gold Coast (Virgin), Mackay to Sydney (Jetstar), as well as Qantas links from Newcastle-Adelaide and Wagga Wagga-Brisbane.

Some notable price shifts have seen Virgin match Rex’s budget-friendly Brisbane-Sydney ($69) and Brisbane-Melbourne flights ($79), with Jetstar undercutting both flights by $14. 

“We have already seen some significant reductions in airfares as a result of the increasing competition on major intercity routes, and we expect there will be further downward pressure on prices as the airlines compete for passengers,” ACCC Chair, Rod Sims said.

Should you get travel insurance for a holiday in Australia?

If the last few years of travel restrictions and snap lockdowns have taught us anything, it’s that unexpected events can derail any holiday, whether you’re travelling at home or abroad. Travel insurance can help ensure that unforeseeable events which occur during your trip don’t put a major dent in your holiday savings fund.

Taking out a domestic travel insurance policy in Australia can provide cover for things like your luggage being damaged or stolen, cancellation costs for some non-refundable activities and the option to reduce the excess on insurance for a hire car. So, if you’re keen to get this kind of cover, travel insurance for a holiday in your own backyard could be a good idea.

Just remember, what’s covered by an international travel insurance policy and one for domestic trips generally isn’t the same. And if you’re primarily concerned about flight cancellations, it’s worth asking your airline if they already offer refunds or credits for cancelled flights caused by Covid-19 or other circumstances. 

“In the event new government travel restrictions are introduced, whether or not someone is entitled to a refund or credit voucher will depend on the airline’s specific policies and practices,” Sims said.

It’s essentially the same situation for travel insurance policies. Some will include cover for Covid-related mishaps while travelling at home and some won’t, with the nature of this coverage also varying between insurance providers and policies.

International travel insurance from Australia

If you have your sights set on a getaway beyond Australia, you’ll probably want to consider an international travel insurance policy. Again, exactly what’s covered differs between policies, and events related to Covid-19 may or may not be insurable under your cover.

For a better idea of what’s covered by travel insurance, head to Mozo's travel insurance hub for policy features, exclusions and optional extras you can compare side-by-side.

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Travel Insurance Awards

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