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This week a reader is looking to book a ticket to Australia but wants to ensure that the layover is in a gay-friendly destination.

Dear Travel Team

I’m in the process of booking a flight to Australia and I wanted to know where I should stop over. Many airlines offer a stop over in Abu Dhabi or Qatar or other Arab nations and I realise that homosexuality is legal in many of these countries. I was wondering which airlines offer the safest places to stop over for LGBT+ people


Where is safe for gay people to stopover on a flight to Australia

Hello John,

Travelling to Australia is a long process and requires at least one layover on the way. There are two ways in which airlines traverse the planet to get to Australia – either westwards over North America, which involves a stopover in Los Angeles in the US or Vancouver in Canada. The other way is eastwards where there are many more layover options. However in many of these countries, as an openly gay man, you may face legal issues.

Homosexuality is still illegal in many destinations in the Middle East, including Abu Dabi, Dubai and Qatar, which are all incredibly popular pit stops for the airlines. Some airlines also use Singapore or Malaysia where homosexuality is also illegal.

So we would recommend looking at a stopover destination which is gay-friendly or where at least homosexuality isn’t illegal. Luckily there are loads of choices in the USA, Philippines, Japan, Canada and China. As an extra benefit, many of these countries have airlines operating the UK/Australia route which has the least expensive flights.

Here are some of the places in which airlines stop where homosexuality is illegal:

Air France stops in Abu Dhabi.

Alitalia stops in Abu Dhabi.

British Airways stops in Singapore.

Emirates stops in Dubai.

Etihad Airways stops in Abu Dhabi.

Malaysia Airlines stops in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia.

Qatar Airlines stops in Hamad Intl. Doha.

Qantas stops in Dubai.

Singapore Airlines stops in Singapore.

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Virgin Austrailia stops in Abu Dhabi.

Virgin Atlantic stops in Singapore.

Airlines which fly to Austraila using stopovers in countries which are gay-friendly or where it is not legal to be gay.

Air China stops in Capital Intl in China.

All Nippon Airways stops in Haneda Japan.

Air Canada stops in Canada (Vancouver).

American Airlines stops in Los Angeles, USA.

Asiana Airlines stops in Seoul in South Korea.

Cathay Pacific stops in Hong Kong.

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China Eastern Airlines stops in Shanghai, China.

China Southern Airlines stops in Baiyun Intl in China.

KLM stops in Guangzhou, China.

Lufthansa stops in Los Angeles, USA.

Thai Airways International stops in Suvarnabhumi Intl, Thailand.

Philippines Airlines stops in Manila, Philippines.

About the author: Jake Hook
The editor and chief of THEGAYUK. All in a previous life wrote and produced songs on multi-platinum records.