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Auckland - London in PE. Recommended best routes?

Auckland - London in PE. Recommended best routes?

Old Mar 12, 23, 3:42 pm
  #1  
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Auckland - London in PE. Recommended best routes?

Hi Guys!

We're thinking to do a AKL-LON trip at end of year for Christmas/NY in PE. We have options to go via US on ANZ metal (LAX or SFO) and then on Virgin PE to London or go via Hong Kong and then on Cathay PE to London and vice versa on the way back to AKL.
Any recommendations on which route to take? I've heard both Virgin and Cathay PE are pretty good. Going via Singapore on SG metal is much more expensive so we've taken that option out.

I'm ANZ Gold which means if I take the LON-SFO route on Virgin, I get access to their Clubhouse which is supposed to be very nice!
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Old Mar 12, 23, 3:48 pm
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Going via USA means ESTA, full immigration and customs (with all carry on & checked bags) at first USA port of entry. Many people avoid USA "transits" as USA does not have the concept of air-side or land-side transits.

Why part of the trip with Air NZ? Will be many options for Auckland - London (and not just LHR) with a range of airlines/alliances.
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Old Mar 12, 23, 5:53 pm
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Originally Posted by Mwenenzi
Going via USA means ESTA, full immigration and customs (with all carry on & checked bags) at first USA port of entry. Many people avoid USA "transits" as USA does not have the concept of air-side or land-side transits.

Why part of the trip with Air NZ? Will be many options for Auckland - London (and not just LHR) with a range of airlines/alliances.
Oh wait, if we go via USA, do bags not get checked straight through to London? We don't get issued with two boarding passes at AKL?
Although there are a range of options, Air NZ comes up the cheapest and second, will help immensely retain my status with Air NZ.
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Old Mar 12, 23, 6:10 pm
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Originally Posted by flyer94
Oh wait, if we go via USA, do bags not get checked straight through to London? We don't get issued with two boarding passes at AKL?
Although there are a range of options, Air NZ comes up the cheapest and second, will help immensely retain my status with Air NZ.
You will get two boarding passes. And your bags will be tagged the whole way through.

But when arrive in US you will need to cross the border, pick up bags, drop bags back off, then got through security again.

US doesn't really have the concept of sterile international departures. So have to enter the US and have bags screen. As in departure area (international and domestic departure is a common space) you can just walk out to land side.
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Old Mar 12, 23, 6:11 pm
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Originally Posted by flyer94
Oh wait, if we go via USA, do bags not get checked straight through to London? We don't get issued with two boarding passes at AKL?
Although there are a range of options, Air NZ comes up the cheapest and second, will help immensely retain my status with Air NZ.
You will be checked-in all the way through. However, you will need to clear customs/immigration, pick up your bags, and drop them off again at the VS transfer desk (and NZ transfer desk on your return). This is in contrast to going via other countries such as SIN/HKG/DXB etc. where being checked-in for the on carriage flight means that you don't need to do any of the above.

Have you looked at a LH PE ticket via SIN/HKG/TYO etc.? That way you get *A all the way through. The only thing is that you won't be able to do OneUp or use any RUs on the NZ sectors.
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Old Mar 12, 23, 6:24 pm
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Originally Posted by LyingFlat
You will be checked-in all the way through. However, you will need to clear customs/immigration, pick up your bags, and drop them off again at the VS transfer desk (and NZ transfer desk on your return). This is in contrast to going via other countries such as SIN/HKG/DXB etc. where being checked-in for the on carriage flight means that you don't need to do any of the above.

Have you looked at a LH PE ticket via SIN/HKG/TYO etc.? That way you get *A all the way through. The only thing is that you won't be able to do OneUp or use any RUs on the NZ sectors.
Ah, thanks for the clarification guys! Does sound like a bit of hassle...
Will have a look at what options come up with a LH PE ticket. I did want to use a RU but to be fair, I've conceded at the period I'm going, just before Christmas and coming back after New Years, planes will be chocker full and upgrades will be pretty much non-existant, hence why we're willing to just pay for PE outright.
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Old Mar 12, 23, 6:27 pm
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LH or SQ PE will be such a bitter disappointment for anybody who has expectations of a product like PE on NZ.
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Old Mar 12, 23, 6:49 pm
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Originally Posted by flyer94
Ah, thanks for the clarification guys! Does sound like a bit of hassle...
Will have a look at what options come up with a LH PE ticket. I did want to use a RU but to be fair, I've conceded at the period I'm going, just before Christmas and coming back after New Years, planes will be chocker full and upgrades will be pretty much non-existant, hence why we're willing to just pay for PE outright.
Just note that the US still requires proof of vaccination, although anecdotally this seems not to be universally checked at check-in.
The Congress recently voted to end this requirement, but the President and CDC think it should continue... so another thing to keep an eye on (if that would be an issue).

https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-...nt-2023-02-08/

Last edited by Thai-Kiwi; Mar 12, 23 at 6:51 pm Reason: fixing auto-mangle
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Old Mar 12, 23, 7:57 pm
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It's not just a "bit of a hassle" it is a HUGE hassle. Absolutely choose Cathy.
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Old Mar 12, 23, 8:09 pm
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Controversial opinion I know but I would always fly via the US. The timing of flights is IMHO vastly superior with TZ differences giving you two nights during the flights.

NZ6/NZ2 used to be the most perfect way to get to the UK, especially when you could go landside and enjoy some In-N-Out!
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Old Mar 12, 23, 8:21 pm
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Or go via Vancouver to London….
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Old Mar 12, 23, 10:42 pm
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Originally Posted by sbiddle
Controversial opinion I know but I would always fly via the US. The timing of flights is IMHO vastly superior with TZ differences giving you two nights during the flights.

NZ6/NZ2 used to be the most perfect way to get to the UK, especially when you could go landside and enjoy some In-N-Out!
That's a very controversial opinion. In N Out is an interesting experience with the planes flying overhead for sure, but it sure doesn't beat the experience of not having to clear American customs AND American security, and instead getting to relax in a nice terminal between flights!

The timing is another story, I could see why that could be good, it depends on how you sleep so that one I can't comment on. I am not a great plane sleeper so if given the choice, I prefer daytime flights, and then sleeping on the ground where possible.
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Old Mar 12, 23, 10:57 pm
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There is a view that flying west is best, and east is least - mainly around lessening disruption to your circadian rhythm when flying. Aviation docs I have worked with have agreed.

This suggests that travelling via Australia/Asia has a lesser impact. YMMV as always.
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Old Mar 12, 23, 11:06 pm
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Originally Posted by kiwifrequentflyer
That's a very controversial opinion. In N Out is an interesting experience with the planes flying overhead for sure, but it sure doesn't beat the experience of not having to clear American customs AND American security, and instead getting to relax in a nice terminal between flights!

The timing is another story, I could see why that could be good, it depends on how you sleep so that one I can't comment on. I am not a great plane sleeper so if given the choice, I prefer daytime flights, and then sleeping on the ground where possible.
The NZ6 / NZ2 transit was perfect. You could clear CBP, drop your bag, walk to In-N-Out, walk back, have a shower in the lounge and start on the Mumm Napa's again in the sun on the deck before boarding started!


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Old Mar 12, 23, 11:46 pm
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I avoid the US like the plague unless it's my destination
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