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Old Sep 13, 17, 4:18 am
  #25  
Colossus
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: London
Programs: BA Silver
Posts: 11
I am from Auckland, and have lived in London for the last 8 years, so this is a flight I have taken fairly regularly. As others have mentioned, going via Asia is generally much smoother than the US.

Last year I took the Qatar business class flight ex Pisa, when it was on sale for 1050 return. The circa 2000 fare from Stockholm that a previous poster mentioned is still very good value. Qatar itself is very good, and would agree the seats are far better than BA Club World. I think that return flight would net 600 tier points, which is enough for Silver, providing you have done the 4 qualifying BA flights (2 could obviously be the positioning flights to/from Stockholm).

I have actually recently booked a trip back for a wedding in January, on Cathay Pacific Premium Economy ex. Paris, for 1500. This was good value for January - I think you can still get a similar price ex. Stockholm (Paris is now well over 2000). I would say the lounges in Hong Kong are some of the best I have come across (including the Qatar lounge in Doha, which I wasn't that thrilled with). Obviously you will need BA Silver/OW Sapphire or be travelling in business/first to use these, but they are a great way to break up the journey with the noodles and char siu buns they offer .

BA options are generally via Hong Kong, Singapore or Tokyo, and require a stopover in Sydney, with an additional flight via Qantas. Unless you plan to get out in Sydney, I don't think this is a great idea - almost arriving in Auckland, only to get out at Sydney airport for 2-3 hours! If you do want to spend time in Australia, it can work out though. You can also take LAN from Sydney-Auckland, which is One World too.

I have also flown the route with Emirates before - and found it OK - but I wouldn't really ever fly Qatar / Emirates unless it is in business, given the flight lengths. So you'd want to be looking for a good deal (like the 2000 ex Stockholm on Qatar), and I'd imagine you would want to rank Qatar significantly higher than Emirates as it is One World.

Other options I have done are Korean Air and Thai Airways - both are good, but are also not One World. Korean Air (at least previously) even in Economy offered a free night at the airport Hyatt hotel on the Auckland-London route, which was nice. I wouldn't look at the Chinese airlines at all (Air China/China Southern), as they tend to have very long stopovers in China, and also are not One World.
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