More points about Aussie air travel- You can use miles for domestic Aussie flights. However using the general rule of thumb that miles should buy at least 1.5 to 2c in fare, it usually is better to buy a bargain fare rather than burn miles (unless you have a lot to burn). For example, if a flight requires 20k miles the fare should be at least $300-$400 US dollars.
Also Jetstar and Virgin are *very* strict about cutoff times, carry-on rules, and baggage weights. Unlike the US you are very unlikely to get away with overweight/oversize/too many bags. When buying tickets be sure to add on what will be needed; the "walk up" fees for excesses are pretty expensive.
Australia does not have liquid restrictions so once you arrive you don't need to worry about 3-1-1 until leaving for the US.
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