On longhaul international routes, fares quoted on airline websites are often not the lowest available in the market. You'll often find the lowest fares, especially on carriers with less attractive routings or less competitive inflight products, from travel agents or consolidators with access to unpublished "gray market" net fares etc. However those fares often come with more restrictions.
Other posts have covered the other options to consider. Would also suggest checking to see how the through fares PER
you've found compare with two separate tickets, e.g.. PER
plus a separate ticket for the domestic sectors on any of the major domestic carriers. But with separate tickets you normally wouldn't be able to check baggage all the way through and you should allow plenty of connecting time as if the inbound flight was delayed and you missed the first flight on the second ticket, you might have to buy another ticket, or at best pay a substantial change fee, if the original ticket was non-refundable or didn't permit changes. When you're using a single ticket and there's a delay, you'll be rerouted on subsequent sectors without charge.
Also suggest look at other connecting points than LAX
. In addition to the major Asian gateways (BKK
has long had the reputation as having some of the lowest fares), also check HNL
, e.g. PER
plus a separate US domestic fare HNL
on any of the major carriers (UA/AA/DL/CO/NW). Since HNL
is almost totally a leisure/tourist market from both Australia and the mainland USA, you may find greater availability of the lowest special fares via HNL
than via LAX
And with PER
being in the unusual situation of being approximately the same distance from the US east coast via both the Pacific and Atlantic, check to see how the sum of separate tickets via major gateways in Europe compares with fares via the Pacific. It's the start of the winter season between Europe and USA when fares are at their lowest.
One other suggestion. Since SA
and also recently started JNB
, check to see what fares SA
can offer. It's a little further but fares seldom have much correlation with mileage.
[Edited 2006-10-27 00:34:02]
[Edited 2006-10-27 00:36:56]