Flexitime questions

Old Aug 3, 19, 6:28 pm
  #1  
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Flexitime questions

Hi, I read the fare conditions for Air New Zealand domestic "flexitime" fares, but I was hoping that someone might be able to clarify this statement " On day of departure: can change to earlier or later flight on same day, same route"

My specific questions are about what defines "same route". In particular,

1) Is a nonstop from A->C considered the same route as a connecting flight A->B->C?
2) Does operating carrier matter for purposes of same route (e.g., the nonstop flights I am looking at are listed as "Air New Zealand Link Service operated by Air Nelson" and the connecting flights have one Air Nelson operated segment and one Air New Zealand mainline segment?

I would like to book the less expensive connecting flight and change it that day to a nonstop flight that leaves around the same time if available,but if that is not a possibility, I will book the "seat and bag" fare.

Thanks for any feedback!
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Old Aug 3, 19, 6:51 pm
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The answers to your questions are yes and no. You can change to any flight that is the same route it does not matter about the airline.

The only "catch" (and it doesn't apply in your case but for US based people who are used to creating their own routing it could well be) is that the alternative flights have to be a ticketable option - ie if you look at the Air NZ timetable between Tauranga and Christchurch as an example there will probably be around a dozen options on a typical day that include direct and indirect options via Auckland and Wellington. You can change to any of these options, but can't go and make up your own routing for example that would take you Tauranga - Auckland - Wellington - Christchurch.

Many people buy the cheapest fare and change it on the day. You just need to be aware that on some regional routes there may be limited or no availability to change on the day if flights are full due to a big event or similar.
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Old Aug 4, 19, 7:39 am
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Thanks, sbiddle. I had assumed that the higher pricing on the nonstop route is because it is more desirable and has less current (or expected future) availability, so I understand it may not be available for same day change. But, it is worth spending 20 NZD more for the possibility of saving some time if I can switch to the nonstop or being able to select seats in advance for the two segments if I end up on the connecting flight I book.
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Old Aug 4, 19, 1:20 pm
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Originally Posted by needtoescape View Post
Thanks, sbiddle. I had assumed that the higher pricing on the nonstop route is because it is more desirable and has less current (or expected future) availability, so I understand it may not be available for same day change. But, it is worth spending 20 NZD more for the possibility of saving some time if I can switch to the nonstop or being able to select seats in advance for the two segments if I end up on the connecting flight I book.
Only your can decide on the value on the non stop or selection of seats. Is it worth $20 to you?

Everyone has their own needs and preferences. E.g. for my self I would pay for the non stop now as saves messing around with transits and the risks involved. (Unless I was in some type of status run scenario when the goal was $/SP and getting to the next 10 journey boost)
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Old Aug 4, 19, 2:22 pm
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Originally Posted by needtoescape View Post
Thanks, sbiddle. I had assumed that the higher pricing on the nonstop route is because it is more desirable and has less current (or expected future) availability, so I understand it may not be available for same day change. But, it is worth spending 20 NZD more for the possibility of saving some time if I can switch to the nonstop or being able to select seats in advance for the two segments if I end up on the connecting flight I book.
As already mentioned nobody can really put any value on saving $20 except for you. Buying flexi tickets to exploit the fare change and save money is a bit like gambling. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. Having said that the risks are normally if you want to change from a direct to an indirect flight and not the other way around.

Without knowing your exact route, flights and dates it's not really possible to comment but as a generalisation on routes where there are both direct and indirect flights the cheapest fare classes for that route will never be available on the indirect flights. The fact the indirect flight is more expensive does suggest it's potentially got fairly high loadings already.
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Old Aug 4, 19, 3:48 pm
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I take the gamble and win more often than not. Fringe destinations and particular days (like New Plymouth on Thursday’s suck!). Caught out here on Thursday last week.

Always book a fully flexi return at cheapest time and change at 12.01 am on the day of travel.

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Old Aug 4, 19, 6:54 pm
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Originally Posted by kiwicyclo View Post
Always book a fully flexi return at cheapest time and change at 12.01 am on the day of travel.
I do the same. Additionally, I monitor fares and if a more desirable timing at the same price or a cheaper fare at a suitable time, then I cancel and buy the new fare.

I avoid simply changing the time/date of an existing flexidate fare as subsequent changes or cancellation sometimes become difficult to manage any further changes or cancellation online, and a call is needed.

Sometimes I will book a number of flights over 2-3 days if travel dates are not fixed. This means I may have $400-600 in refundable flights booked with AirNZ for each such journey, but the flexibility is worth it to me.

i have one family member booked with 5 flights over the Xmas period DUD-WLG (and vv) as his work schedule and leave is not yet known.

I have been caught out just once with the strategy to change at 12:01am as there was no space on any other flight all day due to a weather event. The lesson was to select the cheap flight with a flight time that still works, in the event other flights are sold out. That may not be the cheapest flexidate flight on the day.

Last edited by Thai-Kiwi; Aug 4, 19 at 7:09 pm
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Old Aug 5, 19, 3:21 am
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Originally Posted by Thai-Kiwi View Post

Sometimes I will book a number of flights over 2-3 days if travel dates are not fixed. This means I may have $400-600 in refundable flights booked with AirNZ for each such journey, but the flexibility is worth it to me.
I do the same.

I never understood why they changed the name to Flexidate and pushed the "you can change the day" as a key selling point. It's a totally pointless feature of the fare and in 99% of cases there is no logical reason why any smart frequent flyer would use that feature. I suspect they're simply targeting people with no knowledge who are happy to pay $$ to change a fare.
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Old Aug 5, 19, 6:52 am
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Thanks, all, for the enlightening discussion. To clarify, the price difference between the nonstop flight and the connecting flights I was considering between BHE and AKL is 70 NZD, and being on the nonstop saves me about 1.5 hours. This is a leisure trip, so I am trying to contain costs where it makes sense.

Altogether, I will be booking three or four domestic Air New Zealand flights, for travel in late February to early March: AKL-ZQN, ZQN-WLG, BHE-AKL and possibly WLG-BHE (debating flying v taking the ferry to Picton). I already lost the opportunity to book cheaper flights when I did not book domestic flights about 10 months in advance, just after I booked my international award ticket to New Zealand. I was planning to book "flextime" for my first flight upon arriving in New Zealand, to give me more flexibility in case of significant delays on my flights to NZ. But,I started thinking that for AKL-ZQN, maybe I should book "flexidate" instead.

Also, I was debating booking my three (or four) domestic NZ flights separately (as one ways) v booking them altogether as a domestic "multistop". It seems like booking each flight as a one way ticket may faciltate making changes in flexidate or flexitime fares. Is that correct? Are there any other advantages/disadvantages of booking separate one way tickets v multistop?
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Old Aug 5, 19, 1:12 pm
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There is no disadvantage to booking every trip as a (or series of) one-way journey, and I almost always do this. Especially if dates are not set.

In some rare cases, there might be some benefit to having a series of flights (eh all in one day) on one PNR for ‘protection’ against disruption.

FlexiDate is the only fare category that is refundable, so that is also a criteria for me if there is some uncertainty or I want flexibility.
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