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How to Fly from Australia to Alaska & Canada to Australia?

Melbourne, Australia
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How to Fly from Australia to Alaska & Canada to Australia?

Hi Everyone,

We are trying to figure out the best way to get from Melbourne, Australia to Anchorage, Alaska and then after a cruise, we go home from Vancouver, Canada back to Australia.

We are a family of 4 with with 2 teens and one teen gets travel sickness and is very impatient!

We are looking for a route that has the shortest travel time or a stopover somewhere (Honolulu Vs LA Vs ??) We are also on a budget, of course. We do have a some flexibility with time so a stopover is fine and possibly essential as I am very concerned with jetlag.

It seems LAX to ANC is the only option but are there other suitable options? We have no problems with LAX but I was hoping Hawaii could be affordable?

Thank you in advance for any suggestions and your advice :)

Fredericia, Denmark
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1. Re: How to Fly from Australia to Alaska & Canada to Australia?

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Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: How to Fly from Australia to Alaska & Canada to Australia?

What month are you planning this trip? Have you booked your cruise? There is a very good article in the Top Questions of the Alaska Forum about choosing a cruise. Well worth reading, even if you have purchased your cruise.

Having said that you would be better off to fly the 14 hours on Air Canada to Vancouver. There you could take a 7 day return cruise back to Vancouver. When flying long haul flights, I have used No Jet Lag with great success. You might research this thoroughly and make up your own mind about that.

The problem with going through LAX, is the size of the airport and the immigration process. It takes a lot of time and is quite thorough making it very busy and on the slow side. Vancouver on the other hand is a piece of cake to come through customs, as an Aussie. Small airport and you just need your passport.

So, although it's not easy to travel with a family member who finds travel difficult, my vote would go to flying the 14 hours to YVR, get it over with, take a return 7 day cruise from there and fly out of Vancouver. I wonder if you are going to Alaska to spend time on the ground before taking the southbound cruise. That does change things with regard to what I've said above. But Air Canada does fly non stop to ANC in season, otherwise all Canadian departures fly to the States (Customs and Immigration again!) and a connection to Alaska Air, at least, up to Alaska.

Edited: 21 March 2014, 06:34
Melbourne, Australia
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3. Re: How to Fly from Australia to Alaska & Canada to Australia?

Thank you Hans & Muft for your quick replies.

We are traveling in June 2015 on a 7 night cruise, departing from Anchorage and ending at Vancouver.

We are planning to arrive in Anchorage a few days earlier to see a few sights around town before the cruise and then a few nights to see Vancouver before coming home.

I looked into a few sites and I thought that I read that the travel time for Melb to Vancouver direct showed 17 hours? I think this might be because of a stopover in Sydney but I will recheck.

Going via LAX seems to be the cheapest option so I think I might have to go there at least on one of the legs. If that's the case, is it more efficient if we arrive in the evening? Just trying to avoid a mass meltdown from tiredness but it may be inevitable.

Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: How to Fly from Australia to Alaska & Canada to Australia?

>>14 hours on Air Canada<< sorry, that's from SYD.

I just try to avoid LAX, period.

Edited: 21 March 2014, 06:42
Melbourne, Australia
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5. Re: How to Fly from Australia to Alaska & Canada to Australia?

G'day PW,

I'd have to agree with MMm there, that going via LAX isn't exactly fun, but really depends on your priorities.

Of your options, what MMm suggested is nice, is the *shortest* route using QF/AC via SYD at 17hrs, but that's just to YVR (but even if you included the flight to ANC via the US, the total flight time still comes out an hour less).

Your next alternative would be the QF/HA/AS via HNL, which comes out at 23hrs, but really messy connections.

If you choose to fly via LAX, then your best option is QF/AS, which falls just under 24hrs, but involves the least amount of logistics.

Wellington, New...
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6. Re: How to Fly from Australia to Alaska & Canada to Australia?

AirNZ flies AKL- Vancouver - and there are plenty of direct fligts Mel-Akl - avoids the whole nonsense of the lack of transit facilities in the US

Seattle, Washington
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7. Re: How to Fly from Australia to Alaska & Canada to Australia?

Lissie45 - OP's cruise starts in Anchorage, Alaska, so there's no avoiding clearing immigration and customs.

Newmarket, Canada
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8. Re: How to Fly from Australia to Alaska & Canada to Australia?

While you can't avoid clearing US customs and immigration, you can make the process a whole lot easier connecting through Vancouver. When transferring from an international flight to a US bound flight through YVR, the US preclearance process will be much simpler and less busy than at LAX. You don't even need to claim your luggage to go through US customs on such a connection.

Sydney, Australia
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9. Re: How to Fly from Australia to Alaska & Canada to Australia?

We liked YVR and are coming back Vancouver to Sydney via Air Canada next trip (as we did on the last) To Sydney it is no longer than LAX to SYD through some vagary of geography. We enjoyed Air Canada but we were flying business, which helps.

While our main RTW ticket is with Swiss, AC is a Star Alliance partner, so you may be able to go one way with a different Star Alliance partner and back via AC. Or do both on AC and take an additional trip to Anchorage.

australia
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10. Re: How to Fly from Australia to Alaska & Canada to Australia?

Went to Alaska/Canada in 2011 and flew Melb/Sydney/Vancouver with AC as we didnt want to transfer thru LAX. Took cruise of Alaska from Vancouver. Flight time from Sydney to Vancouver was 14 hours