Best discount airfares restricted to the web

Analysis by, Australia's leading consumer information service, has revealed the cheapest airfares are increasingly becoming available only to those who book via the airlines' websites.

This weekend's announcements by Impulse and Virgin Blue shows that the airfare war with Qantas and Ansett is not waning with new record low fares on offer on the main east coast routes and more destinations subject to intense fare competition – but internet customers are getting the best of the best.

While Impulse's latest range of fares – $37 Sydney-Melbourne and $19 Sydney-Newcastle discounts fares to levels unimaginable just a year ago, daily monitoring by InfoChoice has found that beyond these headline-grabbers there are many more super-low fares from each of the four domestic carriers on offer – the best, only via the web.

While Virgin and Impulse advertise their lowest internet fares widely and offer them over the phone for an extra $2, Qantas and Ansett don't yet publicise their web-only fares outside their websites, despite savings of up to 50% available on their lowest advertised fares.

For example, one-way fares of around $55 Sydney-Melbourne and Sydney-Brisbane, $58 Melbourne-Hobart, $97 Brisbane-Melbourne and $108 Brisbane-Adelaide are currently available on the big two's sites.

While there is always limited availability on the best fares, the fact that many, including Impulse's lastest specials, are available over Easter and the school holidays shows just what competition is doing for Australian domestic air travellers.

InfoChoice has found the following available for travel over the next few weeks :

Sydney to
Brisbane to
Hobart to
Brisbane to
Adelaide to
Ansett $55
Impulse $37
Qantas $36.30
Ansett $55
Impulse $54
Qantas $55
Virgin $55
Ansett $58.30
Impulse $40
Qantas $58.30
Ansett $96.80
Impulse $119
Qantas $96.80
Virgin $96.80
Ansett $108.90
Qantas $108.90
Virgin $108.90

Also: Virgin has announced it will begin Adelaide-Melbourne on May 17 at $87 internet-only makes the hunt for the best fares easier via its FlightChoice category where travellers can access each of the airlines' website booking pages side-by-side direct from one location. FlightChoice offers daily-updated comparisons of discount and full economy fares on Australia's major domestic routes.

  More information:

Cassandra Emery
Manager, FlightChoice
InfoChoice Ltd
02 9247 6788
0403 316 534
Chris Gosselin
CEO, InfoChoice Ltd
02 9247 6788
0411 537 830