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Star Alliance awards access to Air New Zealand Reward seats

Star Alliance awards access to Air New Zealand Reward seats

Old Feb 1, 19, 10:26 am
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Star Alliance awards access to Air New Zealand Reward seats

I'm not sure if this is technically the right forum for this question or whether I should be asking in Star Alliance, but please bear with me.

I will be taking an extended Sabbatical in March of this year and will be travelling around the South Pacific. New Zealand is obviously one of the critical hubs and I'm looking at $5,000+ of flights (in Economy) over a couple of months. My home airline is British Airways which is not a lot of good for me (at least until Fiji Airways becomes a OneWorld connect member).

To try to moderate the expense, I have 80,000 AMEX Reward miles, quite a lot of Marriott miles and a handful of United miles (as well as Silver status). I gather that transferring to ANZ isn't that attractive or easy, but I was wondering if anyone had any advice of which Star Alliance programmes I should be considering in transferring miles to and looking at award seats. Similarly, if there is anything that I'm missing (passes, status matches, tokens, etc.) then it would be really appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old Feb 1, 19, 11:00 am
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NZ doesn’t really releases *A rewards, more just an few drops and drabs when they feel like it.

AKL-Pacific Islands tend to be very full flights, so very little need for them to fill with rewards.

Does your AMEX program allow you to purchase flights directly with points? I know the New Zealand AMEX dos.
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Old Feb 1, 19, 11:34 am
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despite the gloomy availability sketched out above, NZ does have some decent prices domestically and to the Pacific Islands - itd be worth looking at the economy fare types domestically, to Australia and to the Islands so you are well informed (seat only, seat+bag, works, works deluxe).

I suggest watching both the local website, as not all fares are sold on other sjtes such as .com and .co.uk site.

Try www.airnz.co.nz and www.grabaseat.co.nz
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Old Feb 1, 19, 1:30 pm
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What South Pacific Islands are you trying to get to?
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Old Feb 1, 19, 2:08 pm
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Originally Posted by EuropeanPete View Post
I will be taking an extended Sabbatical in March of this year and will be travelling around the South Pacific. New Zealand is obviously one of the critical hubs and I'm looking at $5,000+ of flights (in Economy) over a couple of months. My home airline is British Airways which is not a lot of good for me (at least until Fiji Airways becomes a OneWorld connect member).
As above, where do you want to go?
There are several threads in the AuNZOceania forum. CPMaverick had a good thread a few years ago.

Many of the flights are SouPac islands to/from Au or NZ. Not so much between the SouPac countries/island.
The locals are generally poor and those who travel want to go to/from Au/NZ for work/family. Many people from SouPac live-work in Au/NZ.

Some inter Sou Pac flights from Fiji, but not a lot of inter island flights. The inter island fights that do exist, can be on small airlines, so ff miles of no use.

Look at the wikipedia entry for your SouPac airports and work backwards
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nadi_I...tional_Airport
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bauerf...tional_Airport
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Ton...tional_Airport
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fua%CA...tional_Airport
and more

Sou Pac airlines
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiji_Link
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiji_Airways
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Real_Tonga
and others
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Old Feb 1, 19, 3:51 pm
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Originally Posted by cavemanzk View Post
What South Pacific Islands are you trying to get to?
So, I'm pretty much going to them all (all of the countries, at least). Air New Zealand is going to be relevant for getting between Fiji and Tahiti, Niue, the Chatham Islands and maybe 1-2 of Noumea and Wallis.

I've assembled a pretty comprehensive flight map in the region, now just need to see how many of the flights I can get through miles instead of paying it all in cash.
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Old Feb 1, 19, 4:05 pm
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Originally Posted by EuropeanPete View Post
So, I'm pretty much going to them all (all of the countries, at least). Air New Zealand is going to be relevant for getting between Fiji and Tahiti, Niue, the Chatham Islands and maybe 1-2 of Noumea and Wallis.

I've assembled a pretty comprehensive flight map in the region, now just need to see how many of the flights I can get through miles instead of paying it all in cash.
The Chathams are only served by Air Chathams.
Wallis is only served by Aircalin

And if you want to use AirNZ you will need to go via AKL each time for Fiji, Tahiti, Niue, Nouema.

Finding *A reward seats on AirNZ is hard to none at all at the best of times. Less so of you are planning for March this year.
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Old Feb 1, 19, 4:05 pm
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You may already have searched UA and seen there's lots of availability in economy to a number of the islands with Air NZ, especially March April (I didn't search further). I think the transfer rates of Marriott to NZ and UA are a bit pants? but you could use your UA miles at least. No idea if it's a good or bad redemption but it saves you $

I did seen an article on Australian frequent flyer regarding using SQ miles. https://www.australianfrequentflyer....iti-krisflyer/ I've had issues seeing NZ on SQ searches but you can double check award availability on expert flyer. I for business, A for PE and X for economy.

You may need to look through the redemption charts of some of the other *A programmes to see who has the best value to transfer miles as availability isn't the main issue here.

Could use BA for Qantas. They're starting flying to Fiji.
Could transfer Marriott or AMEX (don't know who your transfer partners are) to AA to use on Qantas, Fiji airways, and Air Tahiti. Can't comment on availability though so search that first. Tahiti flights might be a call up job but there was an article by OMAAT on this.
Virgin Australia also have a reasonable network to some of the pacific islands with some originating in Auckland. They partner with Delta and some others. No idea about availability or redemption costs. You could transfer Marriott into a VA partner that's going to be useful to you in the future. Maybe Virgin Atlantic? Or directly into VA if better availability. Just an idea, I haven't looked into the details. Easy to keep VA points active even abroad until you can redeem for a partner flight.
Cash fares there's also Air Nauru? to Norfolk (or NZ from Brisbane and Sydney), and Samoa Airways to Samoa to compare. Agree with using the NZ websites to look for fares on Air NZ.

I don't know if this is useful but apparently via travel agent https://www.allairpass.com/wp-conten...th_pacific.pdf But travel agents may have more ideas about passes etc.
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Old Feb 1, 19, 4:14 pm
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Originally Posted by nzkarit View Post
The Chathams are only served by Air Chathams.
Wallis is only served by Aircalin
Good spot, thanks. Colours on my chart were wrong.
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Old Feb 1, 19, 4:17 pm
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Originally Posted by NZbutterfly View Post
You may already have searched UA and seen there's lots of availability in economy to a number of the islands with Air NZ, especially March April (I didn't search further). I think the transfer rates of Marriott to NZ and UA are a bit pants? but you could use your UA miles at least. No idea if it's a good or bad redemption but it saves you $

I did seen an article on Australian frequent flyer regarding using SQ miles.
All super useful, thanks. This was pretty much my plan.. I'm thinking search on United, book on Singaporian. Having said that, I'm seeing options on Air Calin (FlyingBlue) and others and so ANZ might not be that important an airline for me after all. Sorry for bothering you guys!
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Old Feb 1, 19, 4:22 pm
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Originally Posted by EuropeanPete View Post
So, I'm pretty much going to them all (all of the countries, at least).
Be generous on scheduling. These places work on island time . Some published time tables are more optimistic than others. With small airlines that have few aircraft does not take much for flights to change: weather, breakdown, fuel, politicians, etc

Air NZ will only be good for flights from NZ.
From the wikipedia airport entires you can see there other airlines
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Last edited by Mwenenzi; Feb 1, 19 at 4:30 pm
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Old Feb 1, 19, 5:06 pm
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Originally Posted by Mwenenzi View Post
Be generous on scheduling. These places work on island time . Some published time tables are more optimistic than others. With small airlines that have few aircraft does not take much for flights to change: weather, breakdown, fuel, politicians, etc

Air NZ will only be good for flights from NZ.
From the wikipedia airport entires you can see there other airlines
There's Sydney - Raro nonstop on Fridays and Brisbane/Sydney to Norfolk on various days generally except Wed Thurs by NZ.
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Old Feb 1, 19, 11:43 pm
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The one and only advantage of AirNZ's Airpoints programme is that you can use it to buy any available seat at a rate of 1 airpoints dollar to NZ$1. Whether or not that's a decent deal really depends on the prevailing price on the day, but it does allow you to avoid searching for award availability. On shorthaul economy class, that can sometimes be a reasonable deal.

So, if you're really keen to use less cash, you *might* find it useful to convert some of your MR points (perhaps via an intermediary like SPG) into Air New Zealand airpoints. You'd want to check the transfer rates pretty carefully first. Also, a double transfer like that could take a while so prices might go up in the meantime.
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