Daily cleaning, installation of cabin HEPA filters on flights from Cairns to Sydney
Virgin Australia, Qantas Airways and Jetstar have all waived their change and cancellation fees on flights from Cairns to Sydney. Confirm policies on booking site.
Delta and Etihad Airways do not allow booking a middle seat on flights from Cairns to Sydney.
The average direct flight takes 2h 50m, covering a distance of 1971 km.
There are 336 (direct) flights between Cairns and Sydney per week, averaging 48 per day.
In the past 3 days, the cheapest one-way tickets were found on Jetstar ($85) and Qantas Airways ($119), and the lowest round-trip tickets have been found on Multiple Airlines ($206) and Jetstar ($216).
Qantas Airways (9 times daily), Jetstar (5 times daily), Emirates (4 times daily) are the most frequent flyers on this route.
From Cairns to Sydney, Saturday is the cheapest day to fly on average and Friday is the most expensive. Flying from Sydney back to Cairns , the best deals are generally found on Wednesday, with Thursday being the most expensive.
When flying out of Cairns you will be using Cairns, often referred to as Cairns Airport. You will be landing at Sydney Kingsford Smith, also known as Sydney Airport.
Whether you need to make a last-minute booking, get some more information on your destination or finish up some work, you can stay connected with the free Wi-Fi offered in all areas of both Cairns Airport terminals. Access is unlimited and granted after a short and simple registration process.
If you’re travelling with infants, you can take care of changing, feeding and the rest of your parental responsibilities in one of the several parenting rooms at Cairns Airport. Parents’ facilities are conveniently located both before and after security control in T1 International and T2 Domestic.
Taxis can be easily hired at the taxi ranks outside the arrivals area on Level 1 of the terminal building for travellers who prefer a private transfer to their final destination. The duration of the trip between Sydney Airport and the city centre can be anywhere from 20 to 25 minutes, with fares at around $45-55.
For travellers with early return flights, or those that simply wish to stick close to the terminal, the Mantra Hotel and Ibis Hotel are a short walk from Sydney Airport’s Domestic Terminals 2 & 3. Ibis offers both standard and budget accommodation to serve travellers on any budget. Rates can fluctuate depending on the season, so try to book early for a good price.
KAYAK is a travel search engine. That means we look across the web to find the best prices we can find for our users. With over 2 billion flight queries processed yearly, we are able to display a variety of prices and options on flights from Cairns to Sydney.
KAYAK’s flight Price Forecast tool uses historical data to determine whether the price for a flight to Sydney from Cairns is likely to change within 7 days, so travelers know whether to wait or book now.
Hacker Fares allow you to combine one-way tickets in order to save you money over a traditional return ticket. You could then fly to Sydney with an airline and back to Cairns with another airline.
Sometimes travel dates aren't set in stone. If your preferred travel dates have some wiggle room, flexible dates will show you all the options when flying to Sydney from Cairns up to 3 days before/after your preferred dates. You can then pick the flights that suit you best.
Scores according to KAYAK customer reviews
Cons: "Airlines waste a lot of time and money preparing food that is mediocre at best. Just offering simple orange juice , tea coffee and a muffin to keep people going would be better as it's such a short flight."
Pros: "Fantastic crew members who were very helpful with our infant."
Pros: "Good entertainment, tasty food, easy boarding and disembarking"
Pros: "Everything was fine, a bit late taking off but the time was made up"
Cons: "Had the weather in Wellington cooperated, I would have made it to the AKL-SYD leg and, most likely, would have enjoyed the travel experience. I plan to fly WLG-AKL tomorrow evening via another airline. Please rebook me onto Qantas tomorrow in evening."
Pros: "Good food and entertainment"
Cons: "No screaming children"
Pros: "Good seats in exit row"
Pros: "Suberb crew. Not obsequious, just helpful with good anticipation."
Pros: "I had to change flights to LA."
Pros: "The service during the flights"
Pros: "Snacks and the drinks are good. Boarding are pretty smooth."
Cons: "Dinner and breakfast are not too good. We waited for long period of time for the luggages."
Pros: "Exit row seat. Lovely aircraft and cabin crew."
Pros: "Twice this trip, 2 qantas staff rectified our seating allocation so we could sit together as a family and i didn't even have to ask. The staff are always so pleasant and engaging."
Cons: "A mishap when allocating seats online, when i chose seats for us online (my fault i left it too late) there weren't any together...but the staff rectified this..."
Cons: "Disembarking.... No gate so had to get bus to shuttle to terminal... 1 bus for nearly 1000 passengers.... Took nearly 90 minutes to get off plane."
Pros: "Friendly flight staff"
Cons: "Cramped conditions in economy but you get what you pay for"
Pros: "I loved Qantas's attention to detail and their exceptionally friendly staff. Best airline I've used in recent years."
Cons: "Boarding is a gong show. Not very clear signage for premium line so there’s always a ton of people jamming up the queue"
Pros: "Easy boarding"
Cons: "All ok really"
Cons: "No options for seat choose which totally rubbish don't like deal with Qantas in future"
Pros: "New business layout is more comfortable comfortable and private."
Pros: "All good"
Pros: "Individual usb charge port and meal"
Pros: "Cleanliness and comfort of plane, professionalism and courtesy of staff. Quiet, dark cabin allowed for restful trip."
Pros: "Looking out the window."
Cons: "Flight changed from an A330 to a B737 perhaps as Resukt if the public holiday"
Cons: "Not enough legroom or seating area... Obviously you are downsizing, hoping that people will spend more to upgrade."
Pros: "They had free wifi!"
Pros: "Chargers in all the seats, great movies, great food."
Cons: "9 hour delay and zero assistance rearranging car rentals, hotels, EXPENSIVE transfer between airport terminals"
Pros: "The new clear aircraft"
Cons: "The fruit was not ripe and not edible."
Cons: "2 hours late leaving"
Pros: "Assistance is good."
Pros: "Everyone and everything"
Pros: "Overall, one of the best international flying experiences I have ever had."
Pros: "The on board staff were fantastic, very personable, helpful and friendly."
Pros: "They gave us loaner strollers to get the kids through the airport. So family friendly. Food was great too."
Cons: "No complaints."
Cons: "The wheel on my bag was smashed..."
Pros: "We didn't experience any problems, all went well."
Cons: "I can't think of anything I didn't like,"
Pros: "It was comfortable"
Cons: "I couldn't request a vegan meal online for some reason & once i got to the airport it was too late so i went hungry"
Cons: "Lost a bag Charged for bags Made us check in our overhead bags-No quality carrier does that."
Cons: "Hot food disgusting."
Pros: "offer every passenger a iPad mini"
Cons: "Poor landing, not confortable from decending to touch down"
Pros: "Poor food. Not as good as domestic."
Cons: "Helpful and aware."
Pros: "Nothing. Have used qantas for 20 years...this is the last time."
Pros: "Quantas was great"
Cons: "Bravo fly scammed me - booked & charged 3 tickets for one passenger!"
Pros: "On time, as comfortable as most for economy. good crew."
Cons: "A bigger, more comfortable aircraft"
Pros: "No problem apart from left a tad late"
Pros: "Fabulous. Flawless smooth transition. Great help in the airport of getting to my ext flight that was not connecting. Good experience with in flight entertainment on your own phone. Nice airline."
Pros: "Crew were great - some in cabin entertainment would have been great. Or since it was available for phone this should have been explained."
Cons: "Allow power outlets for the mobile phones if movies were accessible"
Pros: "Free WiFi and a snack of crackers and a dip."
Cons: "All good!"
Pros: "Free wifi"
Cons: "Not much"
Pros: "Quick easy painless and on time"
Pros: "Great, love the ATRs"
Pros: "Flight was on time, no charge for checked baggage, a sandwich and juice were served, and it was all for the price of a budget carrier."
Cons: "In flight entertainment system was not working. Then again, who expected an in-flight entertainment system at this price point?!"
Pros: "Good seat, plenty of space for my long legs."
Cons: "Boarding was a little disorganized."
Cons: "No seatback monitor."
Pros: "Leave and Arrived on time"
Pros: "Friendly attendants and they offer food - just a sandwich and pretzels but enough."
Cons: "Glad to have an isle seat"
Pros: "Not much"
Cons: "Food VERY basic SErvice just OK"
Pros: "Love the inclusion of one checked bag in the ticket price. Like the free snack and hot drink."
Pros: "My Mum has mild dementia and was going to Sydney from Maroochydore to visit family. From check in at MCY to arrival back at MCY the staff looked after her very well. She needed assistance boarding and disembarking and they were very helpful and courteous and that's why I choose Virgin over the other airline that flies the same route."
Pros: "arrived on time crew were polite and friendly."
Cons: "when boarding the plane from rear maybe passengers in the front should board first to save the mayhem."
Cons: "I didn't get a ticket through the reservation and had to pay extra at the airport for another seat."
Cons: "They lost my luggage"
Pros: "nice aircraft. hosts were promt to address any issue."
Cons: "lack of movie options especially hindi movies"
Pros: "Quick and efficient once we boarded"
Cons: "Seats small. One crew member had massive attitude Was getting very upset at Asians who kept trying to switch seats. She was, in my opinion, unprofessional with her comments and was taking it very personal."
Pros: "flight crew, food service"
Cons: "no leg room, limited complimentary beverages"
Cons: "There was a lot of confusion for people trying to use the kiosks to check in. Finally a representative stood by the machine and told people not to bother, just queue up for the desk to get boarding passes and drop of luggage , which took for ever. Once on the plane the seats are very cramped."
Pros: "Free luggage check and a meal for a 2.5 hour flight."
Cons: "Delayed departure."
Cons: "No ability to use entertainment unless app downloaded prior to flight."
Pros: "Every employee I've met has made my trip seamless and delightful. Your employees are very professional. Wish you were in the US!!"
Pros: "everything was great, more movie options would be better"
Cons: "No entertainment except the app, which we did not download."
Pros: "Flight on time and flight attendants were very attentive."
Cons: "All good!"
Pros: "I could not board the plane because the ticket was cancelled. I want my money NOW. I had to pay for a ticket at the counter and almost was left out. HORRIBLE EXPERIENCE WITH KAYAK."
Cons: "I could not board the plane because the ticket was cancelled. I want my money NOW. I had to pay for a ticket at the counter and almost was left out. HORRIBLE EXPERIENCE WITH KAYAK"
Pros: "There was a medical emergency on board and the crew handled it calmly and quietly. Very professional."
Pros: "Boarding speed"
Pros: "I really appreciated the free checked bag. Aside from a little confusion as to which way to board the plane, all was smooth."
Cons: "Waiting time on transfer Staff attitude"
Pros: "Glad I wasnt conecting internationally..Plane problems..Other airlines might have offerred some compensation for 2.5 hrs late.."
Cons: "Otherwise fine"
Cons: "Didn't clearly mention to me that I have to buy extra ticket for my luggage. It is a cheap plane, but the expense actually is not cheap."
Pros: "Everyone was super helpful and friendly."
Pros: "Accommodating crew, helpful when feeling ill"
Cons: "Horrible food, no leg room, little room to move"
Pros: "Professional service"
Cons: "Food was not very appetising"
Cons: "I wish that there were places for me to plug in my chargers"
Pros: "Did not give us a hard time about bags that were a little over weight."
Pros: "Everything from check in to in-plane service was first class."
Pros: "Virgin terminal"
Pros: "On time. Courteous employees."
Pros: "All were very good."
Pros: "The flight was on time."
Cons: "I just don't like Jetstar. An airline of pick pockets, and crooks. You're best to only bring your toothbrush, and nothing else."
Pros: "It was clean and spacious."
Cons: "I wish entertainment and/or snacks were provided."
Pros: "Crew were really nice"
Cons: "Was a dylay but not too long"
Cons: "What flight?"
Pros: "The crew was friendly and efficient."
Cons: "More room both width and depth."
Pros: "The seats are big"
Cons: "You have to pay for food and drinks- nothing for free Boarding was chaos- no organization- just everyone pushing their way on. Worried about security as no one at any point checked my ID or passport Line up for baggage drop off took half an hour- they need more staff working"
Pros: "The flight was only 2 1/2 hours."
Cons: "Very small seats. The only thing complimentary was water."
Pros: "The base price is very low. We were slightly over ~1kg our allotted 7kg/passenger and they let us go."
Cons: "No entertainment on the flight whatsoever. The space in the seat is a bit tight, doesn't recline very much either."
Pros: "Staff and crew"
Cons: "Very strict baggage policy you have to be exactly same weight or less with baggage"
Cons: "Charged for soft drinks"
Pros: "Comfortable seats and good food. Staff was very courteous and responsive."
Cons: "The screens on the consoles acted up every now and then. But the entertainment options were plenty and kept us busy."
Pros: "Board and disembark available at both the front and back of the plane. Flight and crew were good."
Cons: "Seated in last row with non reclining seats despite many open seats. Charged $60 ASD to check each bag with max weight of 15kg for a checked bag (vs other airlines allowing ~23kg and one checked bag free of charge). Drinks and snacks on plane were an extra charge."
Pros: "Exit row seating with lots of leg room."
Cons: "Paid $30 upfront for a 15kg checked bag, was told at counter I could carry on, but unable to refund money. At the gate, was told it was over the 7kg carry on max (was 9.2kg) and required to check... for an additional $60. The $30 I paid previously would not be applied. Complete scam. Friend I was traveling with also paid for a 15kg checked bag upfront, but was only charged $21. I was also concerned about checking as I needed to transfer terminals from domestic to international with a tight connection and since the plane was delayed, had even less time to grab bag, catch train and go thru customs. No consistency. No customer service."
Pros: "Customer service at check in desk were very nice. That’s where it ended."
Cons: "Poor service and miserable staff."
Cons: "They charge you for everything"
Pros: "Great crew that were all very friendly, Water was provided for free"
Cons: "Meals are not provided and drinks other than water will cost you My luggage was not automatically transferred into the connecting flight"
Pros: "Loading of plane through two doors speeds boarding . Did not take food or entertainment, so I cannot speak to quality of these things."
Cons: "Being charged for checked in luggage, and even e most basic of beverages."
Cons: "Boarding was late and congested Not organized"
Pros: "The on time arrival"
Cons: "Everything else: boarding cattle call, $190 in baggage charges for 2 bags, knees in my back for 3 hours, etc etc etc"
Pros: "Nothing , horrible service and excessive luggage fees"
Cons: "Horrible service, they measured your luggage by the ounces"
Cons: "All food and drink service needed to be purchased. Had an issue with a lost wallet left on the plane, and limited help in retrieving it."
Pros: "Flight left on time and arrived on time. My travel companion and I were seated next to each other."
Cons: "I was not able to purchase baggage during the booking process even though the customer service rep told me that at-purchase is the cheapest time to purchase baggage. There was literally no option to purchase it during my purchase process (I scrutinized every step of the process since I had been burned re baggage prices on my previous JetStar flight). I paid more for baggage on this flight than the previous flight even tho I paid for a lower amount of kilos. I decided to drive for the next of my flags instead of fly Jetstar again. Over it."
Pros: "Seat is better on the a 321 the crew was nice, we were early"
Cons: "The follow the hand baggage rules"
Pros: "Got from point A to B early."
Cons: "It's a nickel and dime discount airline. We will never take it again. Passengers should definitely read all the baggage rules prior to purchasing a ticket; we paid $180 in additional bag fees. There is a very strict 7kg carry-on rule. You have to buy everything in board, they will not allow you to take your coffee or hot food on board the plane."
Cons: "Paid for Qantas, but got Jetstar, which is at best deceptive and at worse bait and switch. The crew member weighing our carry ons and purses was snotty and bitterly sarcastic. Honestly I don't know how he got a customer-facing position when his best response is "you should know better" when we mentioned that we were under the impression that the carry on baggage limit didn't include purses. We didn't get food, and entertainment was nonexistent (which is why we went with what we thought was Quantas). Added to the long line for Jetstar bag drop and the uncomfortable airplane, I'll never fly Jetstar again. Furthermore, Quantas should seriously consider whether lying to its customers is a good strategy."
Pros: "Timing of flight was convenient"
Cons: "Being charged $50 to gate-check a carryon bag, when that same bag had not been a problem on the Syd-Cairns flight! Being charged $4 for a can of mostly flat pepsi..."
Cons: "Hit with $100 extra baggage charges for carry-ons that were judged to be too heavy despite ample room in overhead and under seat compartments."
Cons: "Kayak did not disclosed the price quoted did not include fees for luggage. I would never buy a ticket thru Kayak again."
Pros: "We boarded and left on time. Crew was very pleasant."
Cons: "They only allow 7kg carry on which forced us to check 2 bags @ $30 each. It's just to extract money. It looked like a reasonable fare but by the time we paid fees, seats and luggage, another airline would be a better choice. They chatged us a $60 "third party" between Queenstown and Cairns. Ridiculous...I won't fly with them again."
Cons: "$15 per kilogram charge for over weight luggage is a rip off"
Pros: "Fairly efficient, cheaper price."
Cons: "Had employee going down boarding line with a scale charging extra $50 if you were over their ridiculously low weight limit for a carry on bag. Had no problem with same bag on numerous other airlines."
Pros: "On checking in, they charged us a penalty fee, and then our flight got cancelled at the last minute without any options to get back to the city in time for work. Had to book a last minute flight with a different airline and couldn't get luggage back in time to take it along!"
Cons: "Rude flight attendants. Overly complicated luggage requirements. No food. No drinks, not even water. No entertainment. Uncomfortable seats. Needless to say, I wouldn't fly Jetstar unless you can get your ticket a lot cheaper than with any other airline."
Cons: "Ordered food online. Would be better just buying when on flight. Egg sandwich both flights. No choice."
Pros: "on time departure and arrival"
Cons: "the extra service fees for luggage, and they didnt actually check at the gate"
Pros: "Scales at checkin to weigh luggage. Efficient service. Both flights were on time."
Cons: "No space at all on plane. Having to pay for everything."
Cons: "Flight was changed to earlier flight - was guaranteed a window and did not get a window; had to change from the domestic to international terminal and then had to go through CUSTOMS for this domestic flight because it came out of international terminal adding time to my travel. Almost lost my luggage. Carousel took forever to retrieve luggage. Flight left 50 minutes late. Reduced airport staff = 80 people not checked in by 10 minutes till boarding. Everyone was going through security when the flight was calling "final boarding". Poor entertainment and food selection. A lot of Asians were on this flight and no staff member spoke Asian for those who didn't speak English - which is strange for an Asia predominant airline. This led to some confusion between the crew and passengers delaying departure due to head count issues."
Pros: "At least the checkin staff member moved me to an earlier flight"
Cons: "One crew member in particulat chatted loudly for much of the flight - it was annoying. The same person was also unfriendly to passengers for some reason. A big overweight fellow with a piercing nasal voice. Also I was charged an extra $50 for a checked bag - seemed very unfair when if you google 'Jetstar cabin baggage allowance' it says 10 kg!"
Pros: "The staff was very friendly and the plane was clean."
Cons: "The seats are uncomfortable. It was only a 3-hour flight so I understand. I hope the same seats aren't used in an international flight. Also, baggage is an extra fee so be prepared to pay a lot for that. To top it off, you have to pay for coffee, soda, etc. It's a no-frills airline."
Pros: "No frills, clean, simple and basic"
Pros: "Very disappointed in Jetstar airlines!"
Cons: "Upon arriving at Cairns Airport, my sister and I arrived at the gate 2 hours early to our JQ16 flight to Sydney! We had accommodations already set up in Sydney through AirBnB on Coogee Beach. As we anticipated a quick 3 hour flight, we were sadly disappointed to hear the flight would be delayed due to crew scheduling. I understand sometimes thing don't always go as planned and some delays are unforeseen! However, when delays are due to the airlines incompetence of scheduling a crew it is quite frustrating! The 7:35am flight went from being delayed a few hours, to being delayed over 10 hours! Very little information was given to us about the flight and the airline was very unhelpful trying to accommodate us to a different flight to Sydney! We were told that we could be refunded for our flight and book another flight to Sydney.. This was absurd considering a one-way flight to Sydney last minute would run us around $500 and up each! We were offered a $15 food voucher, which basically covered a cup of coffee! After finally boarding the plane and it seemed the airlines incompetence continued! We waited to be taxied out because they didn't have a tug-cart to take us out.. Finally, around 6pm we took off! We arrived at Sydney right around 9pm.. Upon arriving, once again we had to wait for a tug-cart! Finally we got off the plane around 9:15pm! After finally getting through customs and out of the airport, it was now after 10pm and we had lost our booming for our Airbnb booking! We called the airline only to find they were unable to accommodate us for our lost Airbnb accommodation! They were very unhelpful and told us we could book another hotel and if we were lucky, the "may" reimburse us but there is no guarantee! We were now again stuck in the airport for another 12 hours as we waited for our international flight! After my experience with Jetstar, I will never recommend anyone to fly this airline, and discourage them to to so! Very disappointed in their service!"
Pros: "In exit row, comfort was outstanding-worth $20! Cabin crew very friendly. flight on time."
Cons: "The week before they canceled my flight leaving at 7:30 pm and moved me to a noon flight causing me to lose a day at the Great Barrier reef. The next day I received a flight change for a flight I am taking next month! I heard from others this is very common."
Pros: "Flights were on time and check in was very efficient. Flights attendants and check in desk personnel were courteous and helpful"
Cons: "We had nearly 3 hours return light from Sydney to Cairns, Australia, and back. No complement beverages, even soft drink or water, was served. Water and soft drinks were unreasonably expensive to purchase."
Pros: "I was quite worried about using JetStar because of bad reviews I had read, but I had a very good experience with the airline. It was on time the staff was friendly and it was an easy boarding process. Better experience than flying the more expensive Virgin Australia"
Cons: "No entertainment"
Cons: "Difficult to check baggage. Cut rate airline with poor service"
Cons: "The seats and lack of refreshments"
Cons: "The flight was delayed then check in staff were rude"
Airlines flying from Cairns to Sydney have enacted additional safety measures and adjusted policies to better accommodate travellers. Policies vary by airline.
Daily cleaning, installation of cabin HEPA filters on flights from Cairns to Sydney
Masks required on board, masks provided on flights from Cairns to Sydney
Social distancing seating
Middle seats unavailable to book on flights from Cairns to Sydney
Testing for antibodies, testing for symptoms for flights from Cairns to Sydney
Waiving of change fees. Search flexible flights from Cairns to Sydney