Black Friday: Incredible $233 Qantas flight
A flight price war is raging as airlines go head to head in a Black Friday sales frenzy.
And China is emerging as the next big destination for Aussies, with incredible deals from Qantas, Virgin Australia and Air China putting it firmly on budget-conscious travellers' radar.
Flight Centre is promoting $466 return flights to Shanghai with Qantas - yes, that's $233 each way, a price virtually unheard of for a 10-hour flight with a premium carrier - while Helloworld is spruiking return flights to Hong Kong with Virgin Australia from $495.
But if you're prepared to fly with Air China (with a stopover in Beijing) you can get all the way to Europe for just $699 return thanks to STA Travel's latest jaw-dropping deal. That's as cheap as we've ever seen for a Europe flight on a full-service carrier.
And the deals just keep on coming. Flights, cruises, tours, hotels - you name it Aussies can get a great deal this week, with the US's Black Friday tradition taking off in Australia like never before.
Already, we've seen $1 flights with Tigerair's "Pay to fly, come back for $1" sale, while internationally, booking site Expedia has been spruiking savings of up to 50 per cent off some flights, with the company citing huge demand for travel deals during Black Friday sales globally.
"The retail event is definitely gaining momentum in Australia and is a sensational opportunity for Aussies to nab some travel bargains," says Expedia Australia director Alex Ozdowski.
Black Friday is on Friday, November 23, the day after the US celebrates Thanksgiving and the following Monday, November 26, is known as Cyber Monday, with the four-day sales period emerging as a rival to the Boxing Day sales for Australian travellers.
Comparison site finder.com.au compared to the two popular sales periods last year and found Black Friday offered better deals than Boxing Day.
While some companies are keeping their sales details under wraps until launch, some have given us a sneak preview of what to expect - and some, such as travel agency Flight Centre, budget airline Tigerair and tour company Trafalgar , have already launched their sales in the lead-up to Black Friday.
Here's what we know so far:
QANTAS RETURN FLIGHTS TO SHANGHAI FROM $466
As part of Flight Centre's Red Thursday sale, Qantas is offering return flights from Sydney to Shanghai from $466, from Brisbane from $469, Melbourne from $495 and Adelaide from $499. Fares are for travel in January and February, 2019. Sale ends November 30, unless sold out prior. See flightcentre.com.au/deals/red-thursday
$495 RETURN FLIGHTS TO HONG KONG ON VIRGIN AUSTRALIA
Helloworld is running a Black Friday flight sale, including $495 return flights from Sydney or Melbourne to Hong Kong on Virgin Australia during May and June 2019. Other hot deals include Melbourne to Ho Chi Minh City from $490 with Philippine Airlines and $611 flights to Fiji with Fiji Airways. See helloworld.com.au/black-friday-sale-2018
RETURN FLIGHTS TO EUROPE FROM $699
STA's Black Friday sale includes return flights from Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane to Barcelona from $699 flying Air China, for travel during February and March. Other deals include $599 return flights from Brisbane or Adelaide to Sri Lanka and $499 return flights to Tokyo from Melbourne or Perth. Sale ends November 26. See statravel.com.au/flights-deals.htm
JETSTAR'S BLACK FRIDAY FARE FRENZY
From midday (AEDT) until 8pm on November 23, Jetstar is running a Black Friday Fare Frenzy, featuring domestic fares starting from $39 (Melbourne to Hobart). Club Jetstar members can also score exclusive international fares, including $99 flights to Bali from Darwin, Perth and Cairns, and Queenstown flights from $139 from Sydney and Melbourne.
TIGERAIR RETURN FOR $1 FLIGHT SALE
Tigerair is running a "Pay to go, come back for $1" sale from midday (AEDT) Wednesday, November 21, until midday, November 23, with flights on sale across its network of 21 domestic routes. See tigerair.com.au
UP TO 15 PER CENT OFF FLIGHTS AND UP TO $1000 CASH BACK WITH WEBJET
As part of Webjet's Black Friday Sale, travellers can score up to $1000 cash back per couple on Webjet Exclusives tours to Africa, China, Japan, Vietnam, India, Sri Lanka, Middle East and South East Asia tours. Webjet's also offering savings of up to 15 per cent on domestic and international flights with Virgin Australia, Air Canada and Malaysia airlines booked via Webjet, and up to 10 per cent off holiday packages. The sale runs from November 23 to 25. See webjet.com.au/discount/black-friday
$1209 RETURN FLIGHTS TO EUROPE WITH EMIRATES
Emirates is running a sale for groups of between two and nine travellers. Return fares start from $1059 to Dubai, $1209 to Dublin, $1219 to Amsterdam, $1339 to Athens and $1349 to Rome, with fares including one night's free hotel accommodation in Dubai. Sale ends November 26. See emirates.com/au
$1065 RETURN FLIGHTS TO L.A. WITH VIRGIN AUSTRALIA
Virgin Australia's Black Friday sale features deals on US destinations, with flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to Los Angeles starting from $1065 return, for select periods between January and October 2019. Sale ends December 9. See specials.virginaustralia.com/au/sale/blackfriday
$760 RETURN FLIGHTS TO HAWAII WITH HAWAIIAN AIRLINES
Aussies can fly to Honolulu from $760 return from Sydney and from $763 return from Brisbane as part of Hawaiian Airlines' Black Friday sale, for travel between January and March 2019. Sale ends November 26. See hawaiianairlines.com.au/deals-and-offers/australia-to-hawaii-flights-sale
20 PER CENT OFF AIRASIA FLIGHTS TO KUALA LUMPUR
AirAsia is set to launch a 72-hour Black Friday sale from November 23 to 26, with 20 per cent off all-in fares from Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast and Perth to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, booked via the AirAsia mobile app. Sale fares are available for travel between June 17 and November 15, 2019. See airasia.com
UP TO 10 PER CENT OFF EUROPE FLIGHTS WITH QATAR AIRWAYS
Qatar Airways is offering up to 10 per cent off economy flights to selected European destinations, for travel until June 30, 2019, using promo code: CYBEROFFERSAU. Sale ends November 27. See qatarairways.com/en-au/offers/cyber-offers.html
$1217 FLIGHTS TO LONDON WITH BRITISH AIRWAYS
Britsh Airways' Black Friday sale includes flights from Sydney to London from $1217, plus a range of other Europe destinations including Dublin from $1145 and Rome from $1177, for travel from December 24 until September 2019. Sale ends November 30 unless sold out. See britishairways.com/en-au/offers/sale
$1272 RETURN FLIGHTS TO EUROPE WITH CATHAY PACIFIC
Cathay Pacific's earlybird sale is now on, and includes return flights from Melbourne to Dublin from $1272, and to Rome from $1322. From Perth, flights to San Francisco start from $1393. Sale ends November 30. See cathaypacific.com.au
$205 FLIGHTS TO NZ WITH AIR NEW ZEALAND
Air New Zealand's "Black Flyday" sale includes fares starting from $205 from Sydney to Christchurch for travel between February and May 2019, plus a stack more trans-Tasman flight deals. Sale runs from November 23 to 26. See airnewzealand.com.au/black-flyday
LONDON FLIGHTS FROM $461 VIA SKYSCANNER
Skyscanner is celebrating Black Friday flight deals, with flights from Sydney to New Delhi from $605 return, and from Melbourne to London from $461 one-way. See skyscanner.com.au/news/black-friday-cyber-monday-flight-deals
MORE THAN 50 PER CENT OFF HOTELS WITH HOTELS.COM
Hotels.com are offering 50 per cent or more off hotels plus an extra 10 per cent off when using their coupon code. Enter the coupon code THANKS to access the offer. The sale ends Tuesday, November 27. See https://au.hotels.com/hotel-deals/fs004-blackfriday/
SAVE UP TO 50 PER CENT ON OUTRIGGER HOTELS
Outrigger Hotels and Resorts is offering deals of up to 50 per cent off as part of its Cyber Sale. To get early access to the deals, use promo code CYBER18. Deals include savings of up to 25 per cent at Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort - plus get every fourth night free; up to 40 per cent at Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort; and up to 45 per cent at Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort. See outrigger.com/specials
MORE THAN 50 PER CENT OFF HOTELS VIA WOTIF
Travellers can save more than 50 per cent on hotels booked as part of Wotif's Black Friday sale. Enter promo code SAVE15 when booking for two nights or more to save an extra 15 per cent. Sale ends Monday, November 26. See wotif.com/g/lc/traveldeals-cyber-hotel-deals
UP TO $1000 OFF HOTELS VIA EXPEDIA
Expedia's Black Friday deals go on sale at 9am (AEDT) on Friday, November 23, with deals including savings of up to $1000 on hotels booked via the Expedia app and up to $700 off select flight and hotel packages. To get the best savings, travellers need to download the app before November 23 and visit the Expedia Black Friday website to get a coupon, then use the coupon when booking in the app. See expedia.com.au
FLIGHT CENTRE RED THURSDAY DEALS
Flight Centre is spruiking all-inclusive family deals to Fiji with savings of up to $3100 on a seven-night stay at The Naviti Resort (now from $4699 for a family including flights from Sydney), up to 25 per cent off Europe and Asia tours, and up to 30 per cent off all-inclusive Club Med holidays, as part of its "Red Thursday" sale (running on November 22, the day before Black Friday). See flightcentre.com.au/deals/red-thursday
40 PER CENT OFF ALILA HOTELS
Alila Hotels is offering 40 per cent off the best available rate at 12 Alila properties, including Alila Seminyak, Alila Ubud, Alila Manggis and Alila Villas Uluwatu in Bali. On sale until November 27. See alilahotels.com/alila-special-surprises
UP TO 25 PER CENT OFF LUXURY HEALTH RETREATS
Health and Fitness Travel is offering discounts on health retreat packages around the world. Examples include a seven-night stay at Absolute Sanctuary at Koh Samui, Thailand from $726 per person, for travel until December 26, 2018. Sale ends November 30. See healthandfitnesstravel.com.au
UP TO 50 PER CENT OFF ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES
From 10am (AEDT) on Friday, November 23 until 9.59am Monday, November 26, Royal Caribbean is offering up to 50 per cent off bookings for the second guest, plus deluxe beverage package and half-price deposits. Cruisers can score a nine-night South Pacific voyage departing Sydney on March 21, 2019, from $2699 for guest one, and $1299 for guest two for a balcony stateroom, twin share, including one free deluxe beverage package per person, and half price deposits. See royalcaribbean.com.au
P&O SHORT BREAKS FROM $249
P&O Cruises' Black Friday sale runs from Friday, November 23 to Monday, November 26, and will feature short break cruises starting from $249 per person quad share. Comedy cruises departing Melbourne on February 14, 2020 and Adelaide on March 27, 2020 on Pacific Aria both start from $249, while a four-night Whitsundays cruise departing Brisbane on February 26, 2019 starts from $279. See pocruises.com.au
UP TO $800 OFF CELEBRITY CRUISES
Celebrity Cruises' Black Friday sale runs from November 22 to November 27, with savings of up to $800, bonus extras including free drinks packages, Wi-Fi packages, and $US600 on-board credit, with travellers able to book with only a $25 deposit. Deals include a seven-night Eastern Mediterranean and Adriatic cruise on Celebrity Infinity departing Rome on August 3, 2019, from $1899 per person for an oceanview stateroom, a saving of $200 per person, including a beverage package. See celebritycruises.com
7-NIGHT HAWAII CRUISE PACKAGE FROM $2999
My Cruises is running a flash sale on Hawaii cruises on Norwegian Cruise Line's ship Pride of America, with $2999 deal including seven-night cruise, plus flights, two bonus nights accommodation and $3500 in bonus value, along with half-price upgrades, for sailings between January and April 2019. Sale ends November 30. See mycruises.com.au
12-NIGHT QUEEN ELIZABETH CRUISE FROM $1799
Cunard has a flash sale on a 12-night New Zealand cruise on Queen Elizabeth from March 18, 2019, from $1799 per person twin share, a saving of $630. Sale runs from Friday, November 23 to Sunday, November 25. See cunard.com/q911
7-NIGHT NEW CALEDONIA CRUISE FROM $949
Carnival Cruise Line has an eight-day cruise from January 16, 2019, from Sydney to Melbourne via New Caledonia on Carnival Legend, from $949 for a balcony twin room. See carnival.com.au
UP TO 50 PER CENT OFF INTREPID TRIPS
Intrepid Travel's Cyber Sale runs from November 23 to November 30, with savings of up to 30 per cent on more than 1000 trips, plus a "buy one get one free" offer on select Asia Adventure Cruising itineraries. Travellers can score a seven-night "Cruising Thailand & Malaysia" deal from Penang to Phuket from $3695 for two guests in a twin share room (a saving of $3695). See intrepidtravel.com
UP TO 35 PER CENT OFF G ADVENTURES TOURS
G Adventures' Cyber Sale runs from Tuesday, November 20, until Monday, November 26, with the tour company offering up to 35 per cent off more than 500 trips. Travellers can save more than $3000 on a 55-day Ultimate Africa trip (was $10,499 now $7349) and more than $400 on a 10-day Southern India tour (was $1259 now $818). See gadventures.com.au/cyber-sale
UP TO 20 PER CENT OFF CONTIKI TOURS
Contiki's Black Friday sale will see prices cut by up to 20 per cent on select Europe, US and Canada trips, as well as 15 per cent off select Asia and East Africa itineraries. The sale starts on November 23. See contiki.com/au/en/activity/black-friday-sale-2018
UP TO 20 PER CENT OFF TRAFALGAR TRIPS
Tour company Trafalgar is offering savings of up to 20 per cent on Eastern Europe, Scandinavia and Russia trips departing April 2019, and 15 per cent on trips departing between May and October. Sale ends November 26. See trafalgar.com/black-friday
UP TO 20 PER CENT OFF INSIGHT VACATIONS TRIPS
Guided holiday specialist Insight Vacations is offering 15 per cent off all Spain, Portugal and Morocco trips in summer 2019, and 20 per cent off for past Insight travellers, on bookings made before November 26. See insightvacations.com