I love Australia from the brief bits of Sydney and Melbourne I’ve seen, and I can’t wait to return. As you may or may not know, Canadian and American nationals are required to get an ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) before boarding their flights for entrance into Australia. The ETA allows multiple entries of up to three months during a 12 month period for leisure visits. This application also applies to BRUNEI, HONG KONG (SAR), JAPAN, MALAYSIA, SINGAPORE & SOUTH KOREA nationals.
You can normally get it done online instantly (or within a few days) on the official site, which will cost you $20 AUD per person. If you forget, then you can may also be able to get it at the airport check-in counters for a higher price. Until today I had always been using the online website to apply, but today somehow I stumbled onto this pretty awesome Flyertalk thread.
Free Australian ETA
The poster in this thread is offering all Flyertalk members who have a 80+ post count and 6+ month Flyertalk history a free application for their Australian ETA. Instead of paying the fee, the post recommends you to pay it forward by making a charitable donation, or an equivalent good deed to make a difference in the world.
I haven’t done this myself so I don’t know what the process is. However, this thread has been around for 7 years with 48 pages of posts, so it’s extremely likely a legitimate process. Since I personally had no idea this existed, I thought I’d share it with y’all, and most definitely will be using this route to get an ETA without paying processing fees the next time I travel to Australia.
Oftentimes Flyertalk is a nasty place to get into, with a lot of people having an extreme amount of snark. But the generosity of the miles/points community really shines, and this is one of the case where being in an online community is really helpful.
Have any of you used this to get an Australian ETA with no fee? Comment below!