How to snap up half-price flights

Airlines are preparing to release almost one million half-price flights as part of a $1.2bn tourism support package aimed at encouraging Australians to holiday interstate.

Despite the escalating COVID-19 crisis in NSW and Queensland, the federal government's half-price airfare scheme will go ahead as planned, with 800,000 return flights to selected destinations.

The cheap flights will start appearing on the websites of Qantas, Virgin Australia, Jetstar and some regional airlines just after midnight on April 1.

But the tickets are expected to be snapped up quickly.

"Jump on cheap flights when they appear because the numbers are limited and flights get more expensive as you near the departure date," One Big Switch money saving expert Joel Gibson said.

Travellers are advised to get in quick. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Gaye Gerard
Travellers are advised to get in quick. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Gaye Gerard

"Pay for these cheap flights with cash or debit if you can, and if you're waiting for payday opt for zero-interest payment plans over big interest credit cards or payday loans."

The airfares are being released as north-east Australia battles to control a deadly COVID-19 outbreak, affecting Greater Brisbane and Byron Bay.

But tourism minister Dan Tehan said it should not deter people from taking advantage of the scheme.

Mr Tehan said on Wednesday he was confident the states would get on top of the outbreaks.

"I say to all Australians, do your patriotic duty, book a holiday and get out to support our tourism industry," he said.

The locations have been chosen due to being dependent on aviation for tourism.

People will be able to book half-price flights to Avalon, Broome, Alice Springs, Lasseter, Cairns, Whitsundays, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Merimbula, Kangaroo Island, Launceston Burnie and Devonport.

Current zero-interest options for buying flights include:

● Afterpay on Jetstar flights - Select your flights on the Jetstar website and select

'Afterpay' at the checkout. No interest, four fortnightly instalments, late fees apply.

● Zip 'Shop Everywhere' - Open the Zip app, click the 'shop' tab, search for airlines,

add your flights to the cart and hit 'Pay with Zip' at checkout.

● Qantas 'Book Now, Pay Later' - pay a holding deposit and pay the balance later (but

be aware the price still changes until you have paid it off)

Originally published as How to snap up half-price flights

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