One Way to New Zealand using Avios

Old Feb 20, 21, 4:18 pm
  #16  
 
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Originally Posted by polochick View Post
Transit applies to one ticket, not separate tickets. What it means when it says transiting between flights operated by different airlines is now allowed is that you can do this if both sectors are on the same ticket - previously you could not.
This is, of course, something that's transit point specific. Some will be happy with separate onward bookings, others not. If it's a transit point that allows transit on separate tickets, then needing to apply for a physical visa before departure can be an advantage: it's far less likely that you'll be denied boarding by an over-zealous airline official.
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Old Feb 20, 21, 4:26 pm
  #17  
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Originally Posted by cauchy View Post
This is, of course, something that's transit point specific. Some will be happy with separate onward bookings, others not. If it's a transit point that allows transit on separate tickets, then needing to apply for a physical visa before departure can be an advantage: it's far less likely that you'll be denied boarding by an over-zealous airline official.
If travel is via Australia, one of the taxes that will have been paid using 2 tickets vs 1 is the tax for immigration clearance

I wouldn't take the risk of trying to travel via Australia if it was me - especially with limited number of permitted passengers
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Old Feb 20, 21, 4:51 pm
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Originally Posted by cauchy View Post
This is, of course, something that's transit point specific. Some will be happy with separate onward bookings, others not. If it's a transit point that allows transit on separate tickets, then needing to apply for a physical visa before departure can be an advantage: it's far less likely that you'll be denied boarding by an over-zealous airline official.
Agree but the question was about Hong Kong on separate tickets in Covid times.
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Old Feb 21, 21, 12:43 am
  #19  
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Thanks all for your replies. It seems the consensus is that 2 tickets is not worth it. Given that flying BA to NZ with the companion voucher is not possible, I think realistically we are left with the following options:

1 - One way avios ticket on Qatar, Cathay, Malaysian etc., London to Auckland. The reality is this will likely cost more than 300K avios (for 2 adults + infant) in any of the premium cabins, given 2 sectors. As pointed out above earning/purchasing additional avios could make sense depending on amount and cost.

2 - One way cash booking on similar. I am not sure any airlines offer one way tickets on this route for any less than approximately 80% of a return (sometimes more than the return), particularly in premium cabins.

Is it possible to book a single ticket on these airlines in different classes (for either avios or cash)? For example London - Doha leg in Economy, then Doha - Auckland leg in Business?

Also I take it there is no option to upgrade using Avios on non BA flights? (Edit: I have seen that this is not possible except on certain American/Iberian flights, which donít help get us there either).

Last edited by Colossus; Feb 21, 21 at 1:07 am
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Old Feb 21, 21, 3:48 am
  #20  
 
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Originally Posted by Colossus View Post
Thanks all for your replies. It seems the consensus is that 2 tickets is not worth it. Given that flying BA to NZ with the companion voucher is not possible, I think realistically we are left with the following options:

1 - One way avios ticket on Qatar, Cathay, Malaysian etc., London to Auckland. The reality is this will likely cost more than 300K avios (for 2 adults + infant) in any of the premium cabins, given 2 sectors. As pointed out above earning/purchasing additional avios could make sense depending on amount and cost.

2 - One way cash booking on similar. I am not sure any airlines offer one way tickets on this route for any less than approximately 80% of a return (sometimes more than the return), particularly in premium cabins.

Is it possible to book a single ticket on these airlines in different classes (for either avios or cash)? For example London - Doha leg in Economy, then Doha - Auckland leg in Business?

Also I take it there is no option to upgrade using Avios on non BA flights? (Edit: I have seen that this is not possible except on certain American/Iberian flights, which donít help get us there either).
You can mix classes on an Avios booking, but you need to call to do so. I recently booked LHR-HKG in J and HKG-PER in W on a single ticket. Itís best to search for the through ticket to find availability. There was no availability on just the PER sector, but availability in all classes when searching for the through ticket.
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Old Feb 21, 21, 4:15 am
  #21  
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Originally Posted by cameramaker View Post
You can mix classes on an Avios booking, but you need to call to do so. I recently booked LHR-HKG in J and HKG-PER in W on a single ticket. Itís best to search for the through ticket to find availability. There was no availability on just the PER sector, but availability in all classes when searching for the through ticket.
Thanks!

Can I just check what you mean by search for the through ticket? I had thought award availability was held/shown per sector, and that you would just need to check the 2 sectors could be booked on a single ticket?
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Old Feb 21, 21, 4:56 am
  #22  
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I know that some believe that with vaccination the situation will be much better by October and flights will resume a semi-normal schedule. I pray that they are right, but I do not share that optimism.
Even if the vaccine is somewhat effective on the new variants, most Asian countries have not started or are just starting vaccination. Current schedules for Oct/Nov are purely theoretical. These are placeholders and most flights won't materialize. Given your MIQ constraint, I would suggest that you look at what currently flies and plan similar itinerary as they are more likely to operate in the future. The situation might improve, but with a family and a MIQ date constraint, I find it better to be risk averse.

As Often1 mentioned, plan the most direct routing NOT involving a stopover.
Betting on a stopover in Hong Kong is a no-no. Even a stopover in SYD is extremely risky. Remember that AU has a zero case objective, hoping that they will let in some tourists from Europe in six month time without quarantine is a dream.
You have mentioned HKG as a possible transit point. Hong Kong started today even more restrictive measures where any crew coming from elsewhere has to hotel quarantine for 2 weeks. Flights from UK are already banned and BA flies with no pax LHR-HKG but a double crew using the F cabin. The double crew will now be required for any longhaul airline flying to HKG. Only NZ flies HKG-AKL once in a while. If travellers from UK are again accepted, you will need to be on a single ticket BA/NZ to transit in HKG (or CX/NZ NZ codeshares CX but that won't work for avios).
MH is not an option as there currently no flights to AKL.

At the current time, the best one-transit routes are SQ or QR.
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Last edited by brunos; Feb 21, 21 at 6:26 am
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Old Feb 21, 21, 5:08 am
  #23  
 
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Originally Posted by Colossus View Post
Can I just check what you mean by search for the through ticket? I had thought award availability was held/shown per sector, and that you would just need to check the 2 sectors could be booked on a single ticket?
Search online by individual sector, but call to book. The agent will process as a single transaction and ticket accordingly (assuming through tickets are legally permissible for the itinerary, which they almost always are).
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Old Feb 21, 21, 5:19 am
  #24  
 
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Originally Posted by Colesmore View Post
Having a look at redemptions for the three of you one stopping through HKG is 260k points +~£500 in premium and 390k points +~£750 in business. Currently Singapore isn't allowing transit if you've been in the UK in the previous 14 days, and HK not allowing transit if you're on separate tickets. It's these two restrictions that eliminate (as far as I can tell) companion voucher options through these ports as your onward travel would be on a separate ticket.
just to clarify that transit via SIN from U.K. to Sydney n AKL is still possible right now even though SIN Gov have banned transit.

However, it will be on a same plane journey.
On certain day, the plane from LHR to SIN will continue its journey to SYD. Those paxes going to SYD wonít be able to get down the plane at Changi. Same go for AKL.

So basically you will be sitting in the plane for around 24 hrs.
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Old Feb 21, 21, 6:18 am
  #25  
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Originally Posted by brunos View Post
I know that some believe that with vaccination the situation will be much better by October and flights will resume a semi-normal schedule. I pray that they are right, but I do not share that optimism.
Even if the vaccine is somewhat effective on the new variants, most Asian countries have not started or are just starting vaccination. Current schedules for Oct/Nov are purely theoretical. These are placeholders and most flights won't materialize. Given your MIQ constraint, I would suggest that you look at what currently flies and plan similar itinerary as they are more likely to operate in the future. The situation might improve, but with a family and a MIQ date constraint, I find it better to be risk averse.

As Often1 mentioned, plan the most direct routing NOT involving a stopover.
Betting on a stopover in Hong Kong is a no-no. Even a stopover in SYD is extremely risky. Remember that AU has a zero case objective, hoping that they will let in some tourists from Europe in six month time without quarantine is a dream.
You have mentioned HKG as a possible transit point. Hong Kong started today even more restrictive measures where any crew coming from elsewhere has to hotel quarantine for 2 weeks. Flights from UK are already banned and BA flies with no pax LHR-HKG but a double crew using the F cabin. The double crew will now be required for any longhaul airline flying to HKG. Only NZ flies HKG-AKL once in a while. If travellers from UK are again accepted, you will need to be on a single ticket BA/NZ to transit in HKG (or CX/NZ NZ codeshares CX but that won't work for avios).
MH is not an option as there currently no flights to AKL.

At the current time, the best one-transit routes are SQ or QR.
Thanks for the detailed response. Yes, no longer considering any stopovers given there is too much uncertainty, and tickets will need to be booked around June to fit in with the MIQ booking.

I was looking at HKG primarily as it is One World, has some availability, and we could likely make it work with Avios, possibly one leg PE and the other Business. If there is still a chance UK passengers wonít be able to transit come June, that option is a non starter.

With respect to Qatar, we will struggle to have the points to do a single ticket Avios booking, as the Doha-Auckland leg in business alone effectively exhausts our balance. Cash fares in business are very high (£3500 one way), and doing a 17 hour trip in economy with an infant is not really an option.

Singapore unfortunately not being part of OW, means only cash bookings. Business one way also seems very expensive, PE is doable, so will take a look at that.
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Old Feb 21, 21, 6:21 am
  #26  
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Originally Posted by sbs2716g View Post
just to clarify that transit via SIN from U.K. to Sydney n AKL is still possible right now even though SIN Gov have banned transit.

However, it will be on a same plane journey.
On certain day, the plane from LHR to SIN will continue its journey to SYD. Those paxes going to SYD wonít be able to get down the plane at Changi. Same go for AKL.

So basically you will be sitting in the plane for around 24 hrs.
Thanks for that info. Being on a plane for 24 hours doesnít sound like much fun.
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Old Feb 21, 21, 6:48 am
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Colossus View Post
Thanks for the detailed response. Yes, no longer considering any stopovers given there is too much uncertainty, and tickets will need to be booked around June to fit in with the MIQ booking.

I was looking at HKG primarily as it is One World, has some availability, and we could likely make it work with Avios, possibly one leg PE and the other Business. If there is still a chance UK passengers wonít be able to transit come June, that option is a non starter.

With respect to Qatar, we will struggle to have the points to do a single ticket Avios booking, as the Doha-Auckland leg in business alone effectively exhausts our balance. Cash fares in business are very high (£3500 one way), and doing a 17 hour trip in economy with an infant is not really an option.

Singapore unfortunately not being part of OW, means only cash bookings. Business one way also seems very expensive, PE is doable, so will take a look at that.
Very wise to relax and wait till June.
Your current major problem is flights to AKL. There are almost no international flights.
NZ has enjoyed almost normal life with very very few cases, mostly imported. But they are not ready to relax their policy for a long while. Vaccination just started this week end.
There will be a cost associated to getting to NZ, and you have to expect it unfortunately. Better be expecting it and be happily surprised.

Indeed travelling with an infant during two long flights is no fun, especially in Y.
But a lot of people have done it, me included when I was much younger. And 24h of suffering is not the end of the world.

In the meanwhile, just relax and see how the situation evolve by the end of June.
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Old Feb 21, 21, 8:29 am
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Originally Posted by Colossus View Post
Thanks!

Can I just check what you mean by search for the through ticket? I had thought award availability was held/shown per sector, and that you would just need to check the 2 sectors could be booked on a single ticket?
Searching for LHR-PER gave me award availability in CX in Y, W and J. Searching LHR-HKG returned the same availability, but searching HKG-PER showed zero availability. This was the same when searching SYD-LHR, there were reward seats available but none for just the SYD-HKG sector.
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Old Feb 21, 21, 1:00 pm
  #29  
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Originally Posted by brunos View Post
Very wise to relax and wait till June.
Your current major problem is flights to AKL. There are almost no international flights.
NZ has enjoyed almost normal life with very very few cases, mostly imported. But they are not ready to relax their policy for a long while. Vaccination just started this week end.
There will be a cost associated to getting to NZ, and you have to expect it unfortunately. Better be expecting it and be happily surprised.

Indeed travelling with an infant during two long flights is no fun, especially in Y.
But a lot of people have done it, me included when I was much younger. And 24h of suffering is not the end of the world.

In the meanwhile, just relax and see how the situation evolve by the end of June.
Yeah, I think Iíll try not to worry too much for now, fingers crossed more options open up over the coming months.

I am actually fine flying Economy if I have to - my wife however is determined to fly business at almost any cost, including her and the infant flying up front and me down the back.

From an Avios point of view this would actually work, but it wouldnít be my ideal scenario.
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Old Feb 25, 21, 11:33 am
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Originally Posted by Colossus View Post
Yeah, I think I’ll try not to worry too much for now, fingers crossed more options open up over the coming months.

I am actually fine flying Economy if I have to - my wife however is determined to fly business at almost any cost, including her and the infant flying up front and me down the back.

From an Avios point of view this would actually work, but it wouldn’t be my ideal scenario.
Generally-speaking, unless you're absolutely rolling in Avios, I'd tend to consider them to be one of the poorer 'value' currencies for redemptions to New Zealand. Into Sydney, with a 2-4-1, it's just about justifiable, but still not great.

I'd therefore ask two things; firstly: do you have any American Express Membership Rewards (or could you acquire any), and/or secondly, do you have any American AAdvantage miles (or, again, could you acquire any)?

In the case of AmEx, conversion to Cathay Asia Miles is 1:1 and Cathay charges 85,000 miles in Business from the UK to New Zealand on its own metal, and 90,000 miles on partner airlines. So, 90,000 would get you on to Qatar via Doha. When you consider how many Avios are required (and tangentially that Membership Rewards to Avios is also 1:1), the Cathay route is hugely 'cheaper'.

Alternatively, AAdvantage charges 85,000 on a partner airline.

So, if you don't have any or access to Membership Rewards, and you don't have any or access to AAdvantage miles, then you could look at buying the latter.

At the moment, my account (and I say this as sometimes members get different pricing) shows that 110,000 miles will cost USD3547.50, which is roughly GBP2615 worst case.

However, that will generate a 66,000 mile bonus, so you'll get 176,000 miles credited, enough for two Business Class seats. Taxes, fees and charges, assuming that you avoid any BA sectors, will be around GBP250 per adult. So, total GBP1557.50 one-way per adult.

Note that if you want to travel on Qatar, you should wait for QR920 to resume (W21 Season, so November is fine) and then look for availability out of Manchester rather than London, and you should find pockets. Note that this tends not to show reliably searching through ba.com - Cathay and American searches are more reliable, it seems.

This would, of course, depend on whether you feel confident enough to put a booking in now, and hope that you can then get MIQ availability to match when it's released. As time goes on, I'd be less confident about seats remaining available.

Final thing to mention would be to check all the terms and conditions of mileage puchase and transfer, including non-refundability of purchased miles and non-reversability of transfers.
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