Redemption Options In Oceania Region

Old May 4, 16, 3:24 pm
  #1  
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Redemption Options In Oceania Region

Hey Guys

I'm new to the FlyingBlue program, and after a year or so flying mainly Delta, AF and CZ I have banked up some miles in my account. This fall I'll be going to Melbourne for half a year, and during my time there I would like to visit New Zealand. I figured I might be able to use some of my miles for the trip. Is there any viable Australia - NZ redemption option for SkyTeam and FlyingBlue? It seems that the AU/NZ market is a big black hole for SkyTeam.

Thanks
Ben
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Old May 4, 16, 5:39 pm
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The only Skyteam airline that flies from MEL to New Zealand is China Airlines, who fly seasonally to Christchurch. It has recently terminated for the winter. It starts again, 3 days a week at the end of October for the summer season.

To book, you would have to ring Flying Blue.

I would, however, recommend you investigate paid tickets on other airlines.

Last edited by irishguy28; May 4, 16 at 5:53 pm
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Old May 4, 16, 5:57 pm
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Just watch out for cheap paid airfares. You can usually find Jetstar or Virgin flights under AUD 400. Skyteam isn't really an option other than the above mentioned China flights (also from SYD CHC)
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Old May 5, 16, 2:34 am
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There is a lot of competition trans Tasman. Flights take about 3:00 to 3:20 (east bound is faster due to prevailing winds). Both economy & business fares can be low. Or at peak times can be very high (double or triple the lowest)

Economy awards are poor value when pay cash for the taxes/fees of about NZ$50 Au$100 one way. CI were selling one way economy full service MEL-CHC & CHC-MEL fares for NZ or Au $200-$220 one way. JQ can have from $150 one way on sales. A few weeks ago base fares were NZ$99 one way on some routes. Next week I am flying CHC-MEL on JQ for NZ$149 (USD$103)+ $15 baggage.

For trans Tasman flight carefully check what is included in the price. Depending on the airline and/or fare class food, water, baggage, seat selection and/or in flight entertainment can all be extra to the base fare.

There is no advantage in booking return flights. NZ-Aust one way is often cheaper than the same flight purchased as the second segment of a return ex Aussie.

Airlines that fly Australia (CNS* MCY* BNE OOL SYD CBR MEL ADL PER) to/from New Zealand (AKL WLG CHC DUD ZQN) (not from all airports to all airports)
- Air New Zealand NZ (codeshares with VA) [Star Alliance] {* winter seasonal}
- Virgin Australia VA (codeshares with Air NZ) (Delta partner)
- Jetstar JQ (owned by QF)
- Qantas QF (codeshares with EK) [OneWorld Alliance]
- Emirates EK (codeshares with QF)
- LAN LA (SYD AKL) [OneWorld Alliance]
- China Airlines CI (BNE SYD MEL* – AKL CHC*) [Skyteam Alliance] {* summer seasonal}
- Singapore SQ (CBR WLG) [Star Alliance] from Sept 2016
- Air Asia D7 (OOL - AKL) from March 2016
- Philippines PR (CNS - AKL)

Last edited by Mwenenzi; May 5, 16 at 2:47 am
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Old May 5, 16, 11:24 am
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In Oceania, FB is also the FFP of SB (Air Calin), based in NOU. They fly to SYD and to several islands in the region (Vanuatu, Wallis & Futuna). In the past, I am pretty sure they were flying to AKL as well, but I don't know if it's still the case. You should take the opportunity of being in Oz for a while to visit New Caledonia. It is a beautiful place.
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Old May 11, 16, 8:14 am
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Originally Posted by Goldorak View Post
In Oceania, FB is also the FFP of SB (Air Calin), based in NOU. They fly to SYD and to several islands in the region (Vanuatu, Wallis & Futuna). In the past, I am pretty sure they were flying to AKL as well, but I don't know if it's still the case. You should take the opportunity of being in Oz for a while to visit New Caledonia. It is a beautiful place.
Agree, New Caledonia is indeed a very nice place to visit, SB still fly to AKL as well as SYD BNE and MEL. Last time I looked some routings did allow a short transfer at NOU, probably the same aircraft operating both flights.
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Old Sep 6, 16, 1:41 am
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Further to this topic, I would like to verify some routing rules:

Is the following a legal award?
ROR-NOU//NOU-WLS//WLS-NOU-AKL

More speficially:
ROR-NOU: DL282 on ROR-NRT, SB801 on NRT-NOU (was available on 25-May '16 before the "glitch")
NOU-WLS: SB330 on NOU-WLS (was available on 2-Jun '16)
WLS-AKL: SB331 on WLS-NOU, SB310 on NOU-AKL (was available on 12-Jun '16)

1 open jaw (between ROR and AKL), within the same region. 1 (logical) stopover, in NOU. Total 3 legs en route to destination. Total 2 legs on the inbound. Should price out as 30,000 in Y, right?

Would try my luck with US call center upon your confirmation.
Tried calling EU call centers, they already cut me off right at the start, saying I cannot mix carriers on an award (DL and SB in this case)...never mind! Hong Kong call center said I don't have miles in my account and they won't serve me. Couldn't tell me what is the minimum miles required in my account to get service. When I said well I need to know how many miles I need to claim the award so I can transfer the right amount over from Citi which this call is intended to determine, he said no, they especially don't serve people who "only get miles from credit cards and don't fly AirFrance". What kind of company is this?!
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Old Sep 6, 16, 2:22 am
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Whether or not the proposed itinerary is a "legal" connection or not [I can't see why it would be deemed illegal, but I can easily see FB objecting to the mixed-carrier aspect, and the repeated transfer through a single point], I foresee immense difficulty even just having availability pop up on ALL sectors when queried for such an itinerary.

Note that, in the "Award booking issues on FB website" it has been noted that no bookings are currently possible on SB - with one poster blaming recent blog posts.

Air France does indeed seem to be hostile towards FB members who use their account without ever having earned miles by flying - we have had a few reports on here down through the years (and there are mutliple blog posts) about people having tickets cancelled and/or accounts audited after making bookings with credit card transferred points.

Try ringing the US call centre (who don't have a great reputation, from what I have read on here) and please report back.
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Old Sep 6, 16, 2:49 am
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Originally Posted by svellmann View Post
What kind of company is this?!
The kind of company, which like any other company wants to be profitable, and you give them no revenue by transferring points and them using them to book awards with other airlines
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Old Sep 6, 16, 3:07 am
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A lot of airlines' frequent flyer programs are profitable businesses and I don't think they'd be transfer partners with countless banks around the world if this was causing them to be unprofitable. I have a trip on AF and MK next year that I could credit to FB, or not. If they don't give me any chance to even check how many miles I need for a desired award, it makes me want to credit my miles to FB a lot less. Anyways, my frustration was mostly with the tone and hostility of the staff on the phone.
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Old Sep 6, 16, 3:32 pm
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Originally Posted by Ditto View Post
The kind of company, which like any other company wants to be profitable, and you give them no revenue by transferring points and them using them to book awards with other airlines
Originally Posted by svellmann View Post
A lot of airlines' frequent flyer programs are profitable businesses and I don't think they'd be transfer partners with countless banks around the world if this was causing them to be unprofitable.
Frequent flyer programs sell miles for money to airlines (own & others), credit card companies, rental car companies and more. Those companies then reward(bribe) you with those miles to get your business. Selling ff miles is a profitable business. In some years selling ff miles is more profitable than selling seats on aircraft.
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Old Sep 6, 16, 9:49 pm
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Indeed, FFP s are business companies and most are run as profit centers. But FB seems to be strongly linked to AF group and its culture.
That being said, I understand FB reaction to your querry. You are not even a client of FB and ask for difficult information. The way an agent would get an answer to your query is to access your account and see what the system says when the agent tries to make the desired booking. All responses to unusual queries are provided by the system, not by an agent with universal knowledge. They are not trained for providing answers beyond simple general rules.

You ask whether your complex itin is legal as a single open-jaw return award with stopovers. Frankly, I strongly doubt that anyone here would know. But my guess, at 99% confidence level, is NO.
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Old Sep 7, 16, 2:30 am
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I guess you could say that AFKL intended its FFP to reward the loyalty of its flyers rather than rewarding loyalty to Citibank/Chase/etc. I think they envisaged such points transfers as a means of topping up existing balances rather than to allow a cleanskin to swoop on whatever award had recently caught the blogosphere's fancy.

I believe Alitalia had a requirement until recently that at least 20% of the mileage amount being swapped for a reward flight had to be earned from flying.
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Old Sep 7, 16, 5:17 am
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Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
I guess you could say that AFKL intended its FFP to reward the loyalty of its flyers rather than rewarding loyalty to Citibank/Chase/etc. I think they envisaged such points transfers as a means of topping up existing balances rather than to allow a cleanskin to swoop on whatever award had recently caught the blogosphere's fancy.

I believe Alitalia had a requirement until recently that at least 20% of the mileage amount being swapped for a reward flight had to be earned from flying.
And imo that is what FFPs should be!
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