Airfare availability: The latest
Forget about discount airfares until early October and if you have to fly over the next month or so, book as soon as possible. You may have to take what you can get.
This is InfoChoice's initial analysis of the domestic market following Ansett's collapse last week.
Due to Qantas and Virgin efforts to move stranded Ansett passengers, their planes are flying at close to full capacity this week and discount seats have been withdrawn by Qantas until the initial crisis is over.
Virgin Blue's website is so overloaded it is doubtful whether any discount fares can currently be secured even if they are there.
Even after stranded passengers are moved, those who might normally fly Ansett will now be competing for tickets on the other two airlines. It's doubtful that capacity can be restored any time soon by either by Qantas increasing its capacity or Ansett planes being returned to the air by the Administrator.
It is now even difficult to secure a full economy fare. School holidays start in some states next week and finish mid-October – a peak time with many flights already booked out and most discount fares already long sold out.
For the same reasons it will also be virtually impossible for Qantas passengers to redeem frequent flyer points for flights in coming weeks.
However, with the huge demand on their call centres Qantas and Virgin Blue are still encouraging passengers to book on-line. Qantas currently offers 1000 frequent flyer points for every online booking, Virgin offers a $5 one-way discount.
Qantas maintains discount fares will return to the market when things start to settle down but it will be interesting to see how long that is and at what price level they re-emerge.
Check the FlightChoice selector for a summary of fares on major routes