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Connection time INTL to domestic at AKL on separate bookings

Connection time INTL to domestic at AKL on separate bookings

Old Feb 8, 19, 3:51 am
  #1  
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Question Connection time INTL to domestic at AKL on separate bookings

Hello,

Im flying into AKL on NZ283 arriving on a Friday in november at 9.30 am. We are running the Queenstown Marathon on the Saturday and need to be in downtown Queenstown by 7 pm to pick up race bibs.
I know the obvious solution is to travel earlier but unfortunately its not possible, so the entire itinerary is a bit of a gamble.
However, now Im looking to book a flight from AKL to ZQN on the Friday when we arrive and which flight do you recommend?

On the airport website they suggest a minimum 3hr transit before booking a domestic flight.
But I want to hear it form YOU, seasoned travelers, are we likely to make it onto NZ639 with a departure time of 12.50 pm?
We travel business class into AKL (with checked luggage), on EU passport (but not eGate eligible),
A random search for travel on one ticket from SIN to ZQN suggests NZ283 and then even a connection to NZ621 with a 12.05 pm departure which suggests its a possible transit. I do realize that a single PNR booking would mean that NZ takes responsibility should there be delays. But I tried to search for flights from our departure to ZQN but none of them made any sense so a roundtrip to AKL was the best option for a lot of reasons and then to travel domestic for then final leg.

Anyhow, those of you who transit through or arrive at AKL regurlaly. Next nonstop departure is 2.25 pm. Which connection would you book ?
The flexifare that allows you to take an earlier or a later departrue on the same day, is it useful? How are the loads on these flights on a Friday? its no point buying a flexifare if all the flights are full. And how late can I change my desired departure? Chances are if there are delays I might be mid air and not able to rebook or contact anyone.


Thank you for reading this messy post, but please advice me.
Thank you

/LadyBell
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Old Feb 8, 19, 4:50 am
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I have connected from AKL international to domestic for ZQN very comfortably in 2 hours. There are likely other options to be accommodated via WLG or CHC that don't come up on the AirNZ website for the public to book if you get a flexible ticket and miss your original flight and direct flights are full.
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Old Feb 8, 19, 5:03 am
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The time you leave on a separate ticket "connection" is driven more by risk tolerance - you could have 5 hours and the inbound is 5 hours late. Official MCTs are useful information but not really relevant. My personal rule is no less than 4 hours, and maybe more if financial cost would be high (e.g. connecting to a long haul non-refundable premium cabin ticket) or unusual logistics (slow immigration, distant terminals, last flight of day etc)
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Old Feb 8, 19, 8:10 am
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There isn't really an answer to your question - it comes down to your view of the risks.

A flexi ticket will let you change times but it is worth pointing out the marathon is a big event so there is a chance of some flights being full.
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Old Feb 8, 19, 10:08 am
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Buy 2 fully flex tickets (FlexiDate) for the times you would accept to cover off the chance that alternate flights are full. This guarantees seats on those flights.

All going well, travel on the earlier flight and cancel the later. Worse case, vice-vice versa. If you are still airborne and miss the earlier flight, this can still be cancelled on the same day ( please check this).

Buy on the .co.nz website. Subscribe to Grabaseat.co.nz for specials- including FkexiDate.

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Old Feb 8, 19, 11:36 am
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In all probability the early flight should work.
As about you could also by a flexidate ticket for the later fight that is refundable if you cancel before departure.
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Old Feb 8, 19, 2:12 pm
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Originally Posted by Thai-Kiwi View Post
Buy 2 fully flex tickets (FlexiDate) for the times you would accept to cover off the chance that alternate flights are full. This guarantees seats on those flights..


Meaning three tickets total?

A cheap fare for the first possible flight (forefit on delay) and then TWO fully refundable tickets for later timmes?

How late can I cancel?
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Old Feb 8, 19, 4:31 pm
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If I was in this situation I would consider the option of buying a couple of fully flexible flexidate flights with the hope I could cancel the later flight (before time of departure) for a full refund. It appears that if you didnít show for the earlier one you could request a refund minus a $50 cancellation fee.

You should look at the full fare conditions at https://www.airnewzealand.co.nz/dome...s-flexibledate to assess possibilities.

In my analysis the biggest risk is the chance your incoming international flight is delayed and if you donít have another option AKL-ZQN flights booked at short notice may be really expensive. From memory last year I paid >$800 return for AKL-ZQN booked just under a week out in perhaps May. If there is an event on there is a further reason why prices are likely to be high.
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Old Feb 8, 19, 4:32 pm
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The issue at Auckland is not passport control but Customs. It always seems to me that no matter how many or how few aircraft are arriving, there's always the same number of Customs officers on duty and they always feel obliged to administer a lengthy interrogation to each passenger. Then follows the x-ray of baggage, which is mandatory for most (but not all). As I'm insulin dependent I declare that on my Customs form. In Australia I'm waved straight through (and they don't x-ray most baggage); in New Zealand it's "have your baggage x-rayed then go over to that desk". After queuing up at "that desk" I'm then waved through - a completely pointless exercise that adds another five minutes to the entire processing time
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Old Feb 8, 19, 6:36 pm
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Originally Posted by RTWFF View Post
As I'm insulin dependent I declare that on my Customs form. In Australia I'm waved straight through (and they don't x-ray most baggage); in New Zealand it's "have your baggage x-rayed then go over to that desk". After queuing up at "that desk" I'm then waved through - a completely pointless exercise that adds another five minutes to the entire processing time
Sounds like you haven't visited since the change in arrival form. The old form asked to declare if you have any medicines. The new form doesn't require declaration if have prescription medicines for less than 3 months supply.
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Old Feb 8, 19, 7:33 pm
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SIN-AKL & AKL-ZQN is not your only option

Depending on the schedule other options are
Transferring in Aust avoids the AKL international to domestic transfer (different terminal - 12 minute walk apart)

Separate tickets will be a risk where ever it happens. Baggage transfer/missing flights gets more difficult. It worth $ to have all on 1 ticket/PNR
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Last edited by Mwenenzi; Feb 8, 19 at 7:42 pm
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Old Feb 9, 19, 12:59 am
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Originally Posted by RTWFF View Post
The issue at Auckland is not passport control but Customs.
I know, In my own experience (not really much but maybe 10 visits to NZ in the past 20yrs) the customs have become sooo much Quicker iver the years. As a teenager late 90s I had my bags litterally excavated. But last year arriving twice, one midnight arrival from SIN and a early afternoon arrival from SYD customs was a breeze. Yes , x-rayed bags but nearly no Lines.

I do understand that a 9.30 intl arrival is probably the worst hand you can be dealt as it means you are dead last in of many longhaul morning Arrivals carrying numerous Pax.

Im a bit curious what is the longest any of you have ever waited in lind in customs at AKL ?
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Old Feb 9, 19, 1:14 am
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Originally Posted by Mwenenzi View Post
SIN-AKL & AKL-ZQN is not your only option

Depending on the schedule other options are
Transferring in Aust avoids the AKL international to domestic transfer (different terminal - 12 minute walk apart)

Separate tickets will be a risk where ever it happens. Baggage transfer/missing flights gets more difficult. It worth $ to have all on 1 ticket/PNR

While I appreciate to be creative regarding routing and travel options Iím not sure this is a good idea in my specific case (where I need to be in ZQN by the evening). A drive from CHC would be at least 5hrs ?

I havenít really concidered transfering throug Australia since the issue with my itinerary is how quick I can get landside at AKL. Adding two TT flights AND customs and immigration in Australia (which in my experience takes longer than NZ) seems like doubling the risk.

Or am I missing something ?


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Old Feb 9, 19, 11:52 am
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Originally Posted by sbiddle View Post
There isn't really an answer to your question - it comes down to your view of the risks.
This.

I would book seats on the flight that makes the most sense (allow for a three hour connection time) knowing that the inbound flight you are on is usually on time give or take a bit.

I would also book fully refundable tickets on a later flight as a back up plan. In the event these are not needed, which you will know when you are in the domestic terminal waiting for the earlier flight, cancel them.
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Old Feb 9, 19, 12:31 pm
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I have had my bags x-rayed once. I almost always get sent down the green line even if I have luggage with me!
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