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Australia - Air Travel (domestic)
Regional airlines include Rex Airlines, which flies to 35 airports in South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales, covering the cities of Canberra, Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne. In addition regional flights are available to outback destinations such as Olympic Dam, Coober Pedy and Broken Hill. Skywest is another regional airline and along with Airnorth, covers smaller airports. Fares can be a little more expensive than on other airlines. Smaller airlines often mean much smaller plans, particularly for those flying to outback town, so booking a ticket as far in advance as possible is essential if you need to be sure of a seat.
It should be noted that if you are flying to a remote location you may be required to fly to the state airport first and take a connecting flight if you are coming from a different state. One of the busiest domestic routes is Sydney to Melbourne and Sydney to the Gold Coast is a popular route with holiday makers. Alice Springs is a popular destination and flights can be taken directly there from a number of cities in Australia, including Adelaide. Perth to Darwin is a relatively new route which is growing in popularity.
As more people are finding domestic flights more affordable than train or bus travel passenger numbers are increasing. Darwin to Melbourne is one of the fastest growing routes as is Perth to Karratha. Many people are deciding now that they prefer to fly as the train can take so long. There are also several routes which are declining in popularity. These include Sydney to Maroochydore, Perth to Kalgoorlie, Brisbane to Proserpine and Adelaide to Perth. This could be for a number of reasons such as fewer business flights, fewer flights available and fewer tourists.
All the major cities have an international airport and these all deal with domestic flights too. In addition all regions have smaller airports. Millions of people travel each year through cities such as Sydney and Melbourne while smaller airports such as Hobart, Cairns and Darwin have far fewer passengers.
When you are taking a domestic flight in Australia there are a number of things that need to be taken into consideration. Security on all flights is strict and you should ensure that you are aware of the security measures put in place by the airport and airline that you are using. Different airlines will request different check-in times, so if you regularly fly with an airline that asks you to check in 2 hours before departure, you should not assume that another airline will be the same. These measures are reviewed regularly in light of current security concerns so that they can change at any time.
There are many items which are not permitted on a domestic flight, particularly in your hand luggage. The list of prohibited items is extensive and can be obtained from your airline but as a general rule any kitchen implements, tools, anything with a sharp edge and some liquids are not permitted. You cannot take an umbrella with a metal point, knitting needles, metal nail files or sporting equipment such as tennis racquets in your hand luggage. When bags are checked items may be removed and you will lose them if they cannot be packed into your checked in baggage.
There are a number of ways in which to buy a ticket. These can be bought directly from the airlines or online from one of the numerous sites offering cheap flights. You can also purchase tickets from local travel agents.
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