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That's at least $500 in savings.

April 12, 2016

In November, we forecasted that airlines would start slashing prices on flights to New Zealand, thanks to rivalry between airlines. Fortunately for travelers, the prediction seems to be coming true.

With American Airlines and United both offering non-stop service from the West Coast to New Zealand, Air New Zealand slashed its fares in response (lucky—and quick—flyers got tickets for $328 round-trip).

Now, Australia is also part of the battle between airlines to dominate these popular, non-stop routes.

Earlier in April, Delta boasted $675 round-trip tickets from New Jersey and New York to Sydney, as well as $580 tickets for flights originating in San Francisco. United responded with $568 fares to the Land Down Under, launching what DealRay is calling the “Australia Fare Wars.”

This week, The Points Guy recently reported $386-$391 round-trip airfares on United from a handful of U.S. cities (Detroit, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Seattle, and Salt Lake City) to Melbourne or Sydney. The only catch? You have to end your trip in Los Angeles. But with average round-trip fares between the West Coast and Australia or New Zealand typically hovering around $1,000, it's well worth the pit-stop. 

And while the fare is already gone, this morning, Qantas was offering round-trip flights from Los Angeles and San Francisco to New Zealand for as little as $225.

Keep an eye on New Zealand and Australia in the coming days, and weeks, as United and American prepare to launch their new routes and carriers vie for travelers’ attention—or at least their wallets. 

Melanie Lieberman is the Assistant Digital Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @melanietaryn.

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