Direct flights were relatively limited until the last five years. It used to be that there were only a couple of direct flights out of LA – Sydney. The rest of the time it was a case of a flight from LA or San Francisco via a stopover in Thailand, Singapore or New Zealand.
These days direct flights to Sydney or Brisbane are out of Dallas and out of Houston.
My Tips for flying Australia – US
- American based Airlines are not the best equipped for such long haul flights. Try an Asian or Pacific Airlines: we go with Qantas, New Zealand Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airlines where we can. I recently flew Japan Airlines from Tokyo to Dallas and in Premium Economy it was a good experience.
- Long haul flights are more daunting in your imagination than in reality – especially if you choose an airline that treats its passengers well.
- Prep a comfort kit for your flight – especially if you are not flying business class or first class. A pair of compression socks can decrease swelling and reduce the risk of DVT. A good quality sleep mask and either ear plugs or noise cancelling headphones are the way to go!
- Prepare for Jet lag. Flying toward the east is the worst on the jet lag front.
- If you want to have an alcoholic drink, cool, just make sure you double down on the water for the rest of the flight.
- Be polite to those around you. You’re all in this together.
- Every other flight you take will seem short by comparison!
I don’t travel with children and I don’t find that children on long haul flights are particularly an issue. They often sleep most of the time and any irritability on their part is often attributable to equalization issues on departure or arrival ascent or descent. Basically, they are communicating in the only way they know how.