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The Bargain Corner

Australian Air Passes

March 22, 1987|JACK ADLER

Australia Airlines, which used to be known as Trans Australia Airlines, is continuing its Go Australia pass in 1987. The rates have gone up, but you also have more time to use the pass this year.

The pass, based on distances flown and the number of stopovers, offers discounts of about 45% off economy fares. Travel agents have carrier-provided charts showing the distances between the Australian cities.

For example, you can fly a maximum of 6,000 kilometers or 3,720 miles with five stopovers for about $400 (up from about $350 last year). For about $625 ($560 in 1986) you can fly 10,000 kilometers or 6,200 miles and have eight stopovers. With this latter pass you would be able to make transcontinental flights, Sydney-Perth-Sydney.

The pass is good for 60 days, compared to 45 nights last year. You can buy the pass in the United States through travel agents or in Australia. In either case, however, you have to fly to Australia on a promotional fare to be eligible for the pass. But your flight can be on any airline serving Australia.

Contact travel agents.

East-West Airlines has added two one-way air passes within Australia that you can use within 60 days. Both cost about $300, without any backtracking to a destination you've already visited. The "Trans-Continental" route is Cairns, Brisbane, Surfer's Paradise, Sydney, Ayers Rock and Perth or vice versa. On the "Coastal Air Pass" route you can visit Cairns, Brisbane, Surfer's Paradise, Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart (Tasmania) and then fly back to Melbourne. Or take it in reverse order.

The carrier also is continuing its "East-Side Air Pass" that allows unlimited travel for 14 days over eastern Australia. This pass, which allows backtracking so you can visit places more than once, costs about $300 (up from about $250).

Under the carrier's "Visit Australia" fare, overseas travelers can now get 30% (up from 20%) off fares on all the airline's routes except flights to Canberra.

All of these passes can be bought in conjunction with any transpacific fare to Australia. They can also be bought in Australia. Contact travel agents or East West Airlines at (800) 354-7471.

United Airlines is giving coupon books with discounts worth up to 35% off various merchandise, food and sightseeing attractions in Hong Kong to all passengers flying to Hong Kong until the end of March. The booklets are distributed aboard the jets.

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