USA transit options now for LHR-AKL

Old Apr 27, 2020, 8:48 am
  #1  
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USA transit options now for LHR-AKL

With the loss of the LHR-LAX route on AirNZ we are now in the position of "hoping" to book for July to NZ, well aware how fluid travel is, and the necessity to quarantine at both ends. We were meant to be in NZ in April but the trip was cancelled due to coronavirus. We will hold out as long as we can before booking but various family issues mean we "must" now travel in July, unless the world situation worsens or the USA does not allow transiting passengers.
I see from the AirNZ website there are flights showing via Houston and Chicago in July. After 20+ years of transiting LAX to NZ and knowing LAX almost inside out, we need to consider other options.
Can anyone give me an idea which is the easier airport to transit - from the point of view of clearing immigration and customs and the need to go landside to re-check bags etc - the routing on the AIrNZ website shows the first leg on United to both Chicago and Houston.
Also do the lounges in either Chicago or Houston have showers?
Interestingly booking PE shows the first leg in biz class on United - that sector books into P class for a measly 50 status points. If flying via Chicago that would mean we would get Polaris as it's a 767 - not sure if those seats are on the United 777 if we go via Houston. There is 3 hours to transfer from United to AirNZ in both airports which is better than what LAX used to be.
There is no sign from the AIrNZ website what the alternatives to Air NZ will be on the LHR-LAX leg before transferring onto AirNZ, with LHR-LAX still showing as AirNZ.. The less time on United from what everyone says the better but have not tried Polaris to date.
The plane from Chicago to NZ is a 787-9 on the website but from Houston the NZ plane is still showing as a 777 which they have said will be grounded for a long time to come. Presumably with all the ongoing issues this will be updated at some point as I am sure they have other more pressing priorities.
What I would really like to know is if there any feasibility of either of these 2 routes operating (despite them showing on the website as booking options) and at what frequency but no one has the answer to that so will just have to wait and see.
In the mean time views on transiting either Chicago or Houston having arrived on United internationally would be great.
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Old Apr 27, 2020, 8:56 am
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Your plans hang on the US decision whether or not to admit passengers from the EU/UK, which they currently don't. Unless you are a US citizen or a legal permanent resident you are currently not permitted to enter the US. Since the US does not have a transit concept, you are required to enter the country before you can take your next connecting flight. There is no schedule to relax the entry ban yet, so there is no way of knowing whether you'd even be allowed to board your flight to either airport.

Making matters more difficult is that if you book now and your flight is operating but you can't board it, it's unlikely you'll have cause for compensation. Your best bet is to wait until a decision about allowing non-citizens into the US. Or to find a routing that doesn't touch the US and allows you to travel.
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Old Apr 27, 2020, 9:14 am
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I would fly QR/EK if I absolutely had to fly LHR-AKL in July HKG/NRT/SIN transits potentially might be on the table by then, too.

Transiting the US would be a last resort option IMHO.

Also, IAH/ORD/SFO won't be operating for a long time, it'll just be LAX-AKL for the foreseeable future.
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Old Apr 27, 2020, 9:47 pm
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I thought I read that UA were halting all international operations.
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Old Apr 27, 2020, 11:17 pm
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I would suggest QF for OP.

Since QF 1/2 is still in service, that means a transit in SIN is still possible. Also - Australia is not currently blocking transit of New Zealand citizens.

Originally Posted by Lussac
I thought I read that UA were halting all international operations.
No, but most. UA is still operating certain international routes in limited capacity.
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Old Apr 27, 2020, 11:29 pm
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Originally Posted by garykung
I would suggest QF for OP.

Since QF 1/2 is still in service, that means a transit in SIN is still possible. Also - Australia is not currently blocking transit of New Zealand citizens.



No, but most. UA is still operating certain international routes in limited capacity.
Thought still the Aussie requirement that has to be a flight within X hours.

Also FR24 isn't showing QF1 since 16 April and even then was only once a week.
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Old Apr 27, 2020, 11:46 pm
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For July I would not recommend booking on AirNZ via a USA transit point.
There is no indication on when the USA may open its border for EU / UK origin passengers. This is a very big risk.
The only North America route I think is certain AirNZ will be running in July is LAX.
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Old Apr 27, 2020, 11:59 pm
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Originally Posted by nzkarit
Thought still the Aussie requirement that has to be a flight within X hours.

Also FR24 isn't showing QF1 since 16 April and even then was only once a week.
X=72

I recently flew to AKL via Doha and Sydney but had to stay two nights in Sydney because SYD-AKL is currently only 3x per week.
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Old Apr 28, 2020, 12:30 am
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Originally Posted by garykung
I would suggest QF for OP.

Since QF 1/2 is still in service, that means a transit in SIN is still possible. Also - Australia is not currently blocking transit of New Zealand citizens.

No, but most. UA is still operating certain international routes in limited capacity.
UA is still flying into SYD daily

QF1/QF2 has not operated for some time. https://flightaware.com/live/flight/QFA1
QF have stated the A380 are grounded for months. Cannot see QF restarting QF1 SYD-SIN-LHR in July

QF link (23 April 2020)---> https://www.qantas.com/au/en/travel-...-services.html

What's different about these flights?
Flights are available one way to Australia in Economy only, and are being operated for repatriation and essential travel purposes only. Services for these flights will be significantly reduced including the following:
  • limited onboard food and beverage service.
  • inflight entertainment will be unavailable.
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer benefits (Status Credits, Qantas Points and the option to upgrade with points) will not apply.
  • First, Business and Premium Economy fares are unavailable.
  • Seat selection is also unavailable.
<snip>
Flights between the UK and Australia
Flights will operate weekly between Australia and London Heathrow on the following dates:

Melbourne or Perth to London Heathrow on QF9:
  • Sundays: 12, 19, 26 April and 3 May 2020
London Heathrow to Melbourne on QF10:
  • Wednesdays: 15, 22, 29 April and 6 May 2020

Flights between New Zealand and Australia
Flights will operate four times per week between Australia and Auckland on the following dates:

Brisbane to Auckland on QF119:
  • Thursdays: 9, 16, 23, 30 April 2020
  • Saturdays: 11, 18, 25 April and 2 May 2020
Auckland to Brisbane on QF126:
  • Thursdays: 9, 16, 23 and 30 April 2020
  • Saturdays: 11, 18, 25 April and 2 May 2020
Melbourne to Auckland on QF151:
  • Sundays: 12, 19, 26 April and 3 May 2020
  • Mondays: 13, 20, 27 April and 4 May 2020
Auckland to Melbourne on QF156:
  • Sundays: 12, 19, 26 April and 3 May 2020
  • Mondays: 13, 20, 27 April and 4 May 2020
<snip>
While schedule is for May the QF/Au Government may extend to June-July. But no-one knows. May get a new update at the end on the month
As a guess would be hard to get Au permission to travel on the current situation.
Does the OP have a NZ passport / residence?
LHR-PER eliminates all transits to Au.
Currently 14 days isolation required on entry to NZ and isolation for the Au transit (MEL) if a transit is allowed. Cannot see that changing for 2020. May get a softening for Au-NZ residents TT.

Edit
Cathay Exec Traveller link---> https://www.executivetraveller.com/n...dney-melbourne

Last edited by Mwenenzi; Apr 28, 2020 at 1:08 am
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Old Apr 28, 2020, 1:08 am
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Originally Posted by Mwenenzi
Good point. Qatar seems like the best option certainly as of today on the assumption that not much changes between now and July. You can book any class, select seats, earn miles and status, the lounge is open, there is IFE and full F&B service.
Mwenenzi and 24left like this.
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Old May 1, 2020, 7:54 am
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If you wanted to fly at least one sector on NZ, could you fly via Tokyo? Isn't NH still running quite a lot of flights?
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Old May 1, 2020, 3:34 pm
  #12  
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Unfortunately nothing coming up on google flights or the AirNZ website for NH and AirNZ
Will hold off booking until the last minute to get a feel of what is happening, especially in case of any last minute border changes
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Old May 1, 2020, 4:10 pm
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NH are only flying LHR-HND, so that's not an option as you can't enter Japan to transit.
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