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Old Mar 9, 05, 6:57 pm
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Kiwi Flyer
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Join Date: Nov 2003
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This post for Air NZ Airpoints.

Background to Air NZ Airpoints

The currency of Air NZ Airpoints is Airpoints Dollars - often referred on FT as airbucks. 1 airbuck is equivalent to NZD$1, except for members residing in Australia and Norfolk Island (which uses AUD$1). Airpoints is a revenue based system, independent of distance. Earning and burning of airbucks are based on fixed amounts depending on class of travel, route and whether or not the flight is on Air NZ.

If you dont fly Air NZ at least once in the membership year, a fee is charged. The flight doesnt have to be airbucks earning to count.

If you dont either live in NZ or Australia or fly Air NZ from time to time, then Air NZ Airpoints is not for you. If you live elsewhere and dont fly Air NZ then there are better frequent flyer programs to suit most flying patterns.

Some factors to consider whether to join Air NZ Airpoints or other frequent flyer programs.
  • Who do you fly with? *A, OW or other. Only *A and a limited number of other partners allow earning on Air NZ Airpoints. Earning is best on Air NZ flights.
  • What class of paid travel? Earning on Air NZ Airpoints is quite good in first and business, but fairly poor in discount economy.
  • Where do you travel? As Air NZ Airpoints earning is based on routes, in some cases this earns more than other FFPs which are mileage based but in other cases this earns less. It depends on the particular routes.
  • What kind of awards do you want? Redemption costs less on Air NZ itineraries, and only Air NZ flights have the option of any seat redemption. Awards for point to point may be reasonable, although there are cheaper programs, but for complex routings Air NZ Airpoints is expensive (due to each segment pricing separately and added together).
  • Upgrade vouchers? Only 2 per year for elites. A number of restrictions but most important is can only be used on Air NZ.

Airpoints Terms and Conditions

Joining Air NZ Airpoints

Anyone can join Air NZ Airpoints - there are no country restrictions.

Application form (the same form is in the inflight magazine)

Joining Air NZ Airpoints costs NZ$50 (AU$50 for Australian residents), which is waived for Koru Club members, recent business class passengers (on Air NZ and must be paid not award or upgrade), and new members being gifted a flight reward by a Gold Elite member.

Bank of NZ Global Plus is currently running a promotion for new Global Plus members which returns the NZ$50 joining fee by way of 50 airbucks.

Air NZ Airpoints Status

Air NZ Airpoints status

Air NZ Airpoints has 4 levels
  • Jade - ie no status
  • Silver (*S) - lowest status (Star Alliance Silver), with minimal benefits
  • Gold (*G) - (Star Alliance Gold) meaningful benefits
  • Gold Elite (*G with *E on Air NZ internal systems but not on BPs or partners) - (Star Alliance Gold) top dog with Air NZ, same as *G on other *A airlines

Status is earned during a membership year - ie not based on fixed calendar. If qualify for higher status this should get picked up fairly quickly and the membership year resets (note this means a good idea to use Gold upgrade vouchers before qualify for Gold Elite). So unlike most other FFPs, qualifying for a higher status will not get rest of this year + 1 more year at the higher status.

If lose status, a soft landing applies - only fall one level at a time. So for example, qualifying for Gold Elite for the first time provides 2 years of *G status - one year as Gold Elite and a further year as Gold.

There is a 10% discount to requalify for the same status.

Airbucks needed to qualify (Australia and Norfolk Island in brackets)
  • Teal - none
  • Silver - 450 (400), 405 (360) to requalify
  • Gold - 900 (800), 810 (720) to requalify
  • Gold Elite - 1500 (1350) including 900 (800) on Air NZ, 1350 (1215) to requalify including 810 (720) on Air NZ

Status is valid until the end of the month 13 months after the start of the membership year. (Status valid period is offset by one month from qualifying period.) Eg if membership year starts in April 2005, current status is through to 30 April 2006 and the period to requalify is 1 April 2005 to 31 March 2006.

The benefits of Koru Club membership are
  • access to Koru Club and affiliated lounges, when flying Air NZ same day
  • 10 guest passes
  • ability to redeem airbucks on Business Premier awards (not available to Teal members who dont have Koru Club membership)

The benefits of Silver are
  • one Koru Club (not good for regional Koru Clubs) or Air NZ International Lounge entry coupon, good for access only when flying Air NZ same day, valid for 1 year and not transferable
  • one one-class one sector (AKL-LHR counts as two sectors and economy->business premier counts as two-classes so needs 2 vouchers) upgrade voucher, good for Air NZ flights only and excluding AKL-LAX, AKL-SFO, CHC-LAX, LAX-LHR flights (LAX-LHR allowed for european, UK and north american resident members of Air NZ Airpoints), confirmable up to 48 hours before departure, must be requested at least 4 hours before scheduled departure, not valid on award bookings (Smart Saver fares are upgradeable only from 17 Aug 05), valid for 1 year and not transferable
  • priority waitlist, for paid tickets only (excl some fare types) on *A
  • priority standby at airport for alternative flight, for paid tickets only (excl Smart Saver and award bookings) on *A (excl Varig)
  • ability to redeem airbucks on Business Premier awards (not available to Teal members who dont have Koru Club membership)

The benefits of Gold are (benefits additional to Silver marked in bold)
  • free access to all Koru Club and Air NZ International Lounges and all designated *G lounges when flying same day on *A, allowed one guest to these lounges (not good for regional Koru Clubs) who must also be flying same day on *A (not necessarily the same flight) subject to space
  • two one-class one sector upgrade (AKL-LHR counts as two sectors and economy->business premier counts as two-classes so needs 2 vouchers) voucher, good for all Air NZ flights only, confirmable up to 3 days before departure, must be requested at least 4 hours before scheduled departure, not valid on award bookings (Smart Saver fares are upgradeable only from 17 Aug 05), valid for 1 year and not transferable
  • priority waitlist, for paid tickets only (excl some fare types) on *A
  • priority standby at airport for alternative flight, for paid tickets only (excl Smart Saver and award bookings) on *A (excl Varig)
  • ability to redeem airbucks on Business Premier awards (not available to Teal members who dont have Koru Club membership)
  • checked baggage allowance on *A - an extra 20kg for itineraries not including north america or one piece for itineraries that include north america
  • cabin baggage allowance on Air NZ - 2 pieces totalling 14kg regardless of class of travel (note many *A airlines will also allow *G members extra cabin baggage but this is not a *A rule)
  • priority check in at business class counter on Air NZ, or at designated *G counter on *A
  • priority boarding on *A - be among the first to board or board at your leisure
  • priority baggage tags on *A - checked luggage tagged as priority which should be among the first to arrive at bag claim (not relevant for some flights)
  • one voucher for hotel OR car rental upgrade, valid in Australia and NZ only at participating hotels (Starwood group, Intercontinental group, Stamford, Grand Hotels International, Accor group) and car rentals (Avis, Budget, Hertz) subject to availability and blackouts, valid for 1 year and not transferable. Hotel upgrade valid for one stay between Friday and Sunday nights.
  • able to gift flight rewards to 2 nominated persons (in addition to household members) who do not have to be Air NZ Airpoints members, can change the nominated persons each membership year from 17 Aug 05
  • pro rata refund of Koru Club membership if purchased within prior 9 months
  • No airbucks expiry while remain Gold or Gold Elite, airbucks will expire on the next anniversary following the later of dropping below Gold level or 4 years after earning the airbucks from 17 Aug 05

The benefits of Gold Elite are (benefits additional to Gold marked in bold)
  • free access to all Koru Club and Air NZ International Lounges and all designated *G lounges when flying same day on *A, allowed five guests to Koru Club (one guest for regional Koru Clubs) and Air NZ International Lounges who must also be flying same day on *A (not necessarily the same flight), allowed one guest to designated *G lounges who must also be flying same day on *A (not necessarily the same flight) subject to space
  • two one-class one sector upgrade (AKL-LHR counts as two sectors and economy->business premier counts as two-classes so needs 2 vouchers) voucher, good for Air NZ flights only, confirmable up to 12 months before departure, must be requested at least 4 hours before scheduled departure, not valid on award bookings (Smart Saver fares are upgradeable only from 17 Aug 05), valid for 1 year and may be gifted
  • priority waitlist, for paid tickets only (excl some fare types) on *A
  • priority standby at airport for alternative flight, for paid tickets only (excl Smart Saver and award bookings) on *A (excl Varig)
  • ability to redeem airbucks on Business Premier awards (not available to Teal members who dont have Koru Club membership)
  • cabin baggage allowance on Air NZ - 2 pieces totalling 14kg regardless of class of travel (note many *A airlines will also allow *G members extra cabin baggage but this is not a *A rule)
  • priority check in at business class counter on Air NZ, or at designated *G counter on *A
  • priority boarding on *A - be among the first to board or board at your leisure
  • priority baggage tags on *A - checked luggage tagged as priority which should be among the first to arrive at bag claim (not relevant for some flights)
  • one voucher for hotel AND one voucher for car rental upgrade, valid in Australia and NZ only at participating hotels (Starwood group, Intercontinental group, Stamford, Grand Hotels International, Accor group) and car rentals (Avis, Budget, Hertz) subject to availability and blackouts, valid for 1 year and not transferable. Hotel upgrade valid for one stay between Friday and Sunday nights.
  • five Koru Club 24 hour valet parking coupons, good for AKL, WLG and CHC, valid for 1 year and not transferable
  • able to gift flight rewards to 4 nominated persons (in addition to household members) who do not have to be Air NZ Airpoints members, can change the nominated persons each membership year[/b]
  • pro rata refund of Koru Club membership if purchased within prior 9 months
  • No airbucks expiry while remain Gold or Gold Elite, airbucks will expire on the next anniversary following the later of dropping below Gold level or 4 years after earning the airbucks from 17 Aug 05
  • Partner Elite Gold card (unlike QF Partner Gold status this does not have the full elite status, but rather is a card enabling priority check-in, baggage tags, lounge access - so no extra upgrade vouchers or gifting recipients) from 17 Aug 05
  • other unpublished benefits with Air NZ (eg gift at Christmas)

Earning Airbucks

Airbucks can be earned on Air NZ and the Star Alliance, on partner airlines (Mexicana and Virgin Atlantic) and non-airline partners.

Current hotel partners include Intercontinental (and other brands), Small Luxury Hotels of the World (Australia and NZ only), Hilton (and other brands), Langham, Millenium (and Copthorne and Kingsgate), Starwood (and other brands), Ascott/Somerset (Australia and NZ only), Mirvac (Australia and NZ only), Accor (Australia and NZ only), Stamford (Australia and NZ only), Pan Pacific.

Current credit card partners in NZ include GlobalPlus (BNZ), ASB, BNZ, Diners, Westpac, Wrightson. Note no Amex apart from GlobalPlus Amex.

Current credit card partners in Australia include ANZ, BankWest, Diners, Westpac. Note no Amex.

Current rental car partners include Hertz, Budget, Avis, Maui/Britz.

A recent change has improved the earning rate on NZ flights as part of a mixed airline itinerary. They used to have the reduced partner airline earning rates but now earn the same as fully NZ itineraries.

The following links are airbucks earning rates (excl Australia and Norfolk Island residents) for
Missing airbucks can be requested online (when signed in) for Air NZ flights only. Otherwise send in original ticket and boarding pass to Air NZ Airpoints service centre, within 6 months of flight. (Same applies to partner earning - send original of invoice within 6 months.)

Air NZ Airpoints offers (earning or redeeming) are listed here. See the OP for description of current deals.

Burning Airbucks

Airbucks are valid until the 5th anniversary of joining Air NZ Airpoints following earning - ie between 4 and 5 years from earning. From 17 Aug 05, for Gold and Gold Elite members, airbucks will expire on the next anniversary following the later of dropping below Gold level or 4 years after earning the airbucks. The only method to extend validity of airbucks is to attain and maintain Gold or Gold Elite status.

Rewards can be requested online (limited to Air NZ domestic and shorthaul), by mail or fax (see back of printed statement) or by phone.

Awards are one-way, so members can pay one-way and redeem airbucks the other way, except for fares/specials that are sold as return.

Domestic (except as add-on for long haul) and shorthaul awards on Air NZ are redeemed at rate of 1 airbuck = $1 and can be booked online in the usual way, just select pay with airbucks. Taxes must be paid in cash (credit card for online). Any seat can be booked this way - there doesnt need to be any special award inventory available.

NEW Longaul awards on Air NZ can be redeemed at rate of 1 airbuck = $1 and can now be booked online in the usual way, just select pay with airbucks. Taxes must be paid in cash (credit card for online). Any seat can be booked this way - there doesnt need to be any special award inventory available. See [b]this thread for more info.

Chart of cost of longhaul awards on Air NZ (no other airlines on the same itinerary) - these are limited (in the same way as traditional FFPs limit award seats). Note that discounted longhaul economy awards are discontinued from 1 October 2005, and that Business awards do NOT apply to the new Business Premier longhaul product (presumably except where a/c is substituted post-booking).

For booking from 1 October 05, chart of cost of longhaul Business Premier awards - not available for Teal members unless they have current Koru Club membership.

Chart of cost of partner airline awards (incl mixed itineraries)

Can gift rewards to other Air NZ Airpoints members living at the same address (gifting to non members costs $25 or 25 airbucks). Note the full reward cost is used - there is no ability to transfer part of the cost (ie pooling). Gold members can also gift rewards to up to 2 others living anywhere (from 17 Aug 05), and Gold Elite members can also gift rewards to up to 4 others living anywhere (and fee is waived if they aren't Air NZ Airpoints members).

Upgrades on Air NZ can only be done with airbucks (on standby or confirmed basis for higher cost) or with Air NZ status upgrade vouchers. Airbucks cannot be used to upgrade on *A or partner airlines. *A is planning to introduce the ability to upgrade on all airlines within *A using miles (airbucks) of any *A FFP. Upgrades from economy->business premier are available, but at significantly higher cost than economy->pacific premier (economy plus).

Upgrades may be requested online or over the phone. From 17 Aug 05, standy upgrades and complimentary upgrade vouchers may be used on all fares including Smart Saver. Confirmed upgrades are not available from some booking classes. The cost of upgrading using airbucks is here and here for 74R and 777 a/c (ie longhaul with new product) (excl Australia and Norfolk Island).

NEW Upgrades are now available on award tickets

Companion awards are available on Air NZ only. (Note the chart excludes longhaul companion award service fee of $25/25 airbucks.)

Airbucks can also be used on Koru Club membership, hotel nights (Australia and NZ only) and rental cars (Australia and NZ only).

Air NZ Airpoints offers (earning or redeeming) are listed here. See the OP for description of current deals.

Miscellaneous Air NZ Airpoints Stuff

Air NZ Airpoints news - no newsletter (used to be but seems to have stopped). This is the best place to find out changes in earning etc (eg discount economy on partners). Sometimes the info appears on printed statements but not always.

Full listing of Air NZ Airpoints fees - unfortunately quite a lot of them. Some are waived for online activity (vs phoning) or for Gold Elites.

Request replacement card

To request a new PIN, ring 0800 697 392.

Air NZ Airpoints Online Help

Air NZ Airpoints Changes from 17 Aug 05 and 1 Oct 05 - refer to the FT thread (info no longer on Air NZ website).


FT Threads on Air NZ Airpoints

Airpoints Booking Class Credits

Earning Airpoints With Credit Cards

New Member Guide For Airpoints

Changes to Airpoints Again

Valid Routes for Airpoints Awards

Airpoints can be used to purchase any available seat, but only for Air NZ flights - see using airbucks for an AC flight for an explanation.

Last edited by Kiwi Flyer; Jan 16, 08 at 10:21 am
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