Flight deals and special fares to California.
Disneyland, Hollywood and the Golden Gate Bridge are just three of California’s most attractive features. Stretching north from the Mexican border, the state’s topography encompasses beaches, forest, mountains and desert, with diverse climates to accompany them. You could spend weeks exploring everything on offer without even leaving the state.
California’s official capital is Sacramento but most travellers are more familiar with Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego. There are direct flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane daily to LA and from Sydney to San Fran. Those travelling to California from other Australian cities will require a change at one of the three.
Search for a flight to California
California flight time
- From Sydney: 13 hrs 35 mins +
- From Melbourne: 14 hrs 15 mins +
- From Perth: 21 hrs 10 mins +
- From Brisbane: 12 hrs 40 mins +
Airlines that fly to California
- American Airlines
- United Airlines
- Virgin Australia
California insider flight tips
- If you’re taking a self-drive holiday in California then you can fly into one airport and out from another on a return flight. Qantas, United Airlines and American Airlines all fly direct to San Francisco International airport (SFO) from Sydney and to Los Angeles International airport (LAX) from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane (as do Virgin Australia and Delta).
- There are lots of regional airports across California with low-cost carrier flights to get you back to LA or San Francisco for connecting flights back to Australia. The US has plenty of local budget airlines such as JetBlue, Southwest and Spirit Airlines.
- LAX does leave the Australian traveller spoilt for choice in terms of airlines and routes. It is also a major transit airport which can mean long queues for customs and baggage clearance – especially with increased security regulations. Be aware of the time it may take to exit when booking onward travel or car rental. Those travelling to/from SFO should bear in mind that delays are common due to fog in the bay area.
How to get from the airport
LAX has a free shuttle service between the terminals with departures every 10-15 minutes – look out for a large blue sign outside the terminal. Free shuttle buses also serve the Metro Green Line which connects to the Los Angeles Area and the Metro Bus Center. Coach services (eg Grayline) run to parts of LA and destinations across California. Taxis can be found outside all terminals. There’s also a free airport shuttle to Lot C for the car rental area. Some rental companies have their own shuttle buses too which you can call from designated courtesy phones in the arrivals terminals.
SFO terminals are all connected 24 hours a day for free by AirTrain. The AirTrain also serves the Rental Car Center and the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) Station. The BART system connects to the Caltrain for rail services around San Francisco and out to San Jose. SamTrans is the public bus service which runs to different parts of San Francisco. There are a few private airport shuttle bus services too. The airport has a Hotel Courtesy Shuttle zone where certain hotels have courtesy phones to call them for a ride. Taxis are also available and car-share services like Uber must pick up from the departures level for all terminals.