SEA-Auckland

Old Apr 7, 17, 5:58 pm
  #1  
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SEA-Auckland

Looking to get over to Auckland with myself and my girlfriend. Having a tough time getting two tickets in coach never mind premium. Looking to leave Nov 14-17th and return Nov 28th. Looking for advice on a few topics.:

Cathay Pacific- No business class rewards available.

Qantas- Few dates have shown, but now disappeared for premium economy. Should I wait for them to release business class seats?

American- Has the best route LAX to Auckland, but only in coach. Has American been releasing business seats to Alaska. I looked at many dates on this route, and nothing showed for business class. Odd because 90% of their flights had no reservations for business class on the seating chart.

Korean Air- Cannot get two seats in business.

Thoughts and ideas are welcome.
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Old Apr 7, 17, 6:04 pm
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http://viewfromthewing.boardingarea....-to-book-them/

I find the single most difficult award to get from North America is flying to Australia and New Zealand.
This is from a guy who knows more about the topic than I've forgotten. It hasn't gotten any easier the past 5-6 years.

Have you tried Fiji Airways connecting through NAN? They have a new SFO-NAN route that may have inventory.

Also, if you have a stupid amount of miles, EK is a possibility.

Also:

American- Has the best route LAX to Auckland, but only in coach. Has American been releasing business seats to Alaska. I looked at many dates on this route, and nothing showed for business class. Odd because 90% of their flights had no reservations for business class on the seating chart.
The seating chart has nothing to do with whether or not an airline wants to release business class award inventory. American is not a good airline for that.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...iscussion.html
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Old Apr 7, 17, 6:16 pm
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For travel at this November, you need to look for award space around last Nov/Dec, that's how CX rewards work.

I tried to find some next Jan SFO-Australia on CX on Feb, and found plenty of reward space back then (I just don't have enough points for two people roundtrip on business so I gave up )

I just tried on ba.com for dates at the beginning of next March, and there're plenty of availability for SFO-HKG and HKG-AKL on CX J
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Old Apr 7, 17, 6:20 pm
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Originally Posted by supafish10 View Post
Looking to get over to Auckland with myself and my girlfriend. Having a tough time getting two tickets in coach never mind premium. Looking to leave Nov 14-17th and return Nov 28th.
Having fixed dates restricts your options.
Look for the long haul award flight first from, YVR SFO LAX or DFW. Then USA domestic award flight or pay cash

While these below are AA threads AA & AS have common ff partners to this part of the world, so the same problems
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...er-thread.html
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...solidated.html
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...solidated.html
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...aster-thd.html

Airlines that fly USA/Canada to/from New Zealand are (not from all airports to all airports)
- American Airlines AA (LAX - AKL) from 23 June 2016 [OneWorld Alliance] (AS partner)
- Air New Zealand NZ (LAX SFO IAH YVR - AKL)[Star Alliance]
- Air Tahiti Nui TN (LAX - AKL via Tahiti) (AA & DL partner)
- Fiji Airways FJ (LAX SFO HNL - AKL WLG CHC via Fiji) (QF AA & AS partner)
- Hawaiian HA (HNL-AKL)(AA & VA partner)
- Qantas QF (via SYD BNE & MEL) [OneWorld Alliance] (AS partner)
- United UA (SFO - AKL) No flights 16 April 2017 and 28 October 2017
- Virgin Australia VA (via BNE & SYD) (DL partner)
And others via Australia, Asia & Middle East

Another option is award to Australia (BNE SYD MEL) and paid ticket trans Tasman Au NZ (~2:45-3:15 hr flight). Economy ticket can be ~$200-$250 one way. Prices can/do vary a lot. Many Aust, NZ and other airlines fly trans Tasman.

Last edited by Mwenenzi; Apr 7, 17 at 6:47 pm
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Old Apr 8, 17, 9:01 am
  #5  
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As someone who is considering going to New Zealand for their honeymoon this year, this thread is a little disheartening. I appreciate the advice though!
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Old Apr 8, 17, 9:30 am
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If you can find a one way award to Auckland, one option on return is to buy a one way ticket back. I've seen flights on Fiji Airways as low as $1100 one way in business class from AKL to either LAX or SFO.
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Old Apr 8, 17, 12:27 pm
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I grew so frustrated with trying to find AS award seats to NZ around this same time period that I bought coach seats on VA in the recent sale. $875 round trip LAX-CHC and will earn 100% DL RDMs and EQMs. I'm sure I won't be thrilled 10 hours into the LAX-BNE flight but money and ease both talked in this case.
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Old Apr 8, 17, 6:03 pm
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Its also peak travel time as well since its spring/summer for them.
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Old Apr 9, 17, 12:29 am
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One alternative to look at is a combination trip with one element out of pocket. Consider flying to HNL (out of pocket perhaps and coach), then spend a couple of days there. Then fly HA from HNL to AKL -- using AA miles.

I recently arranged something like that for next February from Phoenix. Phoenix to HNL using HA miles in coach (17.5K one way for my wife and myself). Then a couple of days in HNL -- in part to break up the travel and a quick look-see. Then for us, the outbound flight was to Cairns. Using 65K AA miles -- Business class on HA to Sydney business class on their reconfigured A330. Getting in at 7:30PM, overnight at an airport hotel. Then noon the following day Sydney to Cairns business class on Qantas.

Just a thought -- the thing is getting out to Australia or NZ takes some frequent checking at the options and a bit of schedule flexibility.
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Old Apr 9, 17, 1:05 am
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Originally Posted by BarryAZ View Post
Just a thought -- the thing is getting out to Australia or NZ takes some frequent checking at the options and a bit of schedule flexibility.
Great idea to be flexible, but not everyone has tons of AA miles. (I sure don't, not enough to fly two people in business class anywhere like OP wants to.)

There does seem to be scattered AS award availability on Qantas and Fiji out of HNL. Probable is that's now two awards or tickets, AS doesn't allow Hawaii routings to Australia/NZ on a single award...
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Old Apr 9, 17, 8:42 am
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Try Cathay Pacific premium economy.
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Old Apr 9, 17, 8:52 am
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IMHO the OP is better off buying coach tickets (if resources are available) on a time-efficient routing than taking a particularly circuitous award routing. Don't waste short vacation time in getting to a destination.
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Old Apr 10, 17, 2:36 pm
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Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
IMHO the OP is better off buying coach tickets (if resources are available) on a time-efficient routing than taking a particularly circuitous award routing. Don't waste short vacation time in getting to a destination.

Agreed, unless you enjoy traveling, and consider it part of the vacation.

Example, I like traveling, and experiencing higher levels of service from different airlines. Next spring, I'm planning the following:

DSM>DFW>OGG>HNL>SYD with a couple days in HI. HNL>SYD will be on HA. Then, the return in SYD>ICN on KE, with a day there, and then ICN>MSP>DSM.

Total cost of the above is about 50k per person less than a direct routing, all in business class.
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Old Apr 13, 17, 3:10 pm
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I recently booked at trip on CX to Auckland in business. I booked for 10/30-11/12 and only booked about a month ago. At the time, there were plenty of E and PE seats, at least 1-2 business, and 0-1 F on the segments she checked.

First step, of course, is to call. No amount of pre-homework I did really helped that much unless you are cross referencing several award search engines for partner awards. Too many false positives. Don't rely on search engines to show you what is/is not available.

Next - ask the agent to look segment by segment. When my agent first looked for the entire itinerary in one shot, it turned up zero availability. When I had her look segment by segment, suddenly there was availability.

As someone else mentioned, you have a few close options for CX origination. (SFO, LAX, YVR). Start with your long segments on CX and build your domestic flights around that.

Be flexible. CX routes through HKG to AKL. We decided to take advantage and stay 2 days on the way there to check it out. I think we're in HKG for 6 hours on the way back. We also originated in YVR on CX and return to LAX. Planning to stay in LA for the day and see some sights before heading back to SEA on a 9:30pm flight.

You can always book a less than ideal itinerary and then keep checking back and modifying as availability changes.

I did see some Quantas F space open sporadically LAX-AKL through Alaska's website, but only 1 seat usually showing.
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Old Apr 14, 17, 12:52 am
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Originally Posted by clarrkkent View Post
I recently booked at trip on CX to Auckland in business. I booked for 10/30-11/12 and only booked about a month ago. At the time, there were plenty of E and PE seats, at least 1-2 business, and 0-1 F on the segments she checked.

First step, of course, is to call. No amount of pre-homework I did really helped that much unless you are cross referencing several award search engines for partner awards. Too many false positives. Don't rely on search engines to show you what is/is not available.

Next - ask the agent to look segment by segment. When my agent first looked for the entire itinerary in one shot, it turned up zero availability. When I had her look segment by segment, suddenly there was availability.

As someone else mentioned, you have a few close options for CX origination. (SFO, LAX, YVR). Start with your long segments on CX and build your domestic flights around that.

Be flexible. CX routes through HKG to AKL. We decided to take advantage and stay 2 days on the way there to check it out. I think we're in HKG for 6 hours on the way back. We also originated in YVR on CX and return to LAX. Planning to stay in LA for the day and see some sights before heading back to SEA on a 9:30pm flight.

You can always book a less than ideal itinerary and then keep checking back and modifying as availability changes.

I did see some Quantas F space open sporadically LAX-AKL through Alaska's website, but only 1 seat usually showing.
CX does not offer first class to AKL. Assume your reference to F is for the YVR/SFO/LAX-HKG segment.

Qantas does not fly LAX-AKL nonstop, only with connections in SYD/MEL/BNE. Only SYD and MEL have F. If you see it, buy a lottery ticket.
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