One Way to New Zealand using Avios

Old Feb 25, 21, 12:29 pm
  #31  
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Originally Posted by continentalclub View Post
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.
Thanks so much for the detailed information! I hadnít considered Membership Rewards / AAdvantage, but will definitely look into. We currently hold neither - only Avios (just over 300K with potential to earn a bit more).

It just so happens I downgraded my BA Amex Premium card to the BA Amex classic as I didnít see value in any more 2 for 1 vouchers (have 2 already) when we will not be in the country much longer. I was thinking to refer my wife to the BA Amex premium card for the referral and sign up bonuses, but it sounds like maybe we should consider the Amex Gold card? As a data point - when I originally called up to downgrade the BA Amex I was offered a 3 month additional Avios per £ spent (so 2.5 per £ total), so I didnít follow through downgrading. I then considered again and called up 2 weeks later to downgrade, and for now at least Iím still earning the bonus Avios (2 per £ total).

I actually thought about it a bit more and agree the partner redemption value seems quite poor to NZ - and started looking at ex-Eu cash fares. It looks like we could get one way business on Qatar out of Stockholm for just under £2K. This obviously adds an extra variable into the mix, however I think Sweden should be ok to go to and perhaps stay overnight in before the flight, by Oct/Nov. A cash fare would obviously earn additional Avios, and we could use these on Qantas once back in NZ.

Did you suggest waiting for QR920 to resume to avoid the Brisbane technical stop and/or to get Q Suites? I was thinking about those factors too, as we found travelling in Q Suites with our infant back from South Africa recently very good with the privacy offered by the doors.

Thanks again continentalclub !
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Old Feb 25, 21, 1:30 pm
  #32  
 
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Originally Posted by Colossus View Post
Thanks so much for the detailed information! I hadnít considered Membership Rewards / AAdvantage, but will definitely look into. We currently hold neither - only Avios (just over 300K with potential to earn a bit more).

It just so happens I downgraded my BA Amex Premium card to the BA Amex classic as I didnít see value in any more 2 for 1 vouchers (have 2 already) when we will not be in the country much longer. I was thinking to refer my wife to the BA Amex premium card for the referral and sign up bonuses, but it sounds like maybe we should consider the Amex Gold card? As a data point - when I originally called up to downgrade the BA Amex I was offered a 3 month additional Avios per £ spent (so 2.5 per £ total), so I didnít follow through downgrading. I then considered again and called up 2 weeks later to downgrade, and for now at least Iím still earning the bonus Avios (2 per £ total).

I actually thought about it a bit more and agree the partner redemption value seems quite poor to NZ - and started looking at ex-Eu cash fares. It looks like we could get one way business on Qatar out of Stockholm for just under £2K. This obviously adds an extra variable into the mix, however I think Sweden should be ok to go to and perhaps stay overnight in before the flight, by Oct/Nov. A cash fare would obviously earn additional Avios, and we could use these on Qantas once back in NZ.

Did you suggest waiting for QR920 to resume to avoid the Brisbane technical stop and/or to get Q Suites? I was thinking about those factors too, as we found travelling in Q Suites with our infant back from South Africa recently very good with the privacy offered by the doors.

Thanks again continentalclub !
No problem. The suggestion to look for dates when QR920 is operating is mostly for availability, but also because of journey time.

The latter has an angle on comfort, of course, but if thereís also a pre-departure PCR test requirement, this may be time limited to such an extent that lengthier routings may be impractical.

The further mention in your reply to exEU might also be a challenge in this regard; the timings might mean youíd need to be in (say) Stockholm long enough to take a PCR test and receive the result prior to departure from there.

Personally, I think that we could be moving towards a certified second vaccine dose and a negative pre-departure PCR test being a requirement for more than a few countries, and New Zealand could be one of those. Itís only a hunch, but I think that itís worth thinking about.
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Old Feb 25, 21, 1:38 pm
  #33  
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Getting award flights and MIQ slot to match will be hard and a risk. MIQ needs to be booked as soon a available.
A direct - single PNR UK to NZ, will be simpler and far less risk, than a separate UK-Sweden ticket and another ticket Sweden-NZ
Getting home need to take what is available. Takes travel time and is more risky considering cute routes. Cost is a secondary consideration:- not the main consideration.
QR have been very reliable for flights to AU & NZ. Many people only look at main popular airports (e.g. LHR SYD AKL). They do not consider less well known international airports( e.g. MAN BNE CHC)
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Old Feb 25, 21, 4:33 pm
  #34  
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Originally Posted by continentalclub View Post
No problem. The suggestion to look for dates when QR920 is operating is mostly for availability, but also because of journey time.

The latter has an angle on comfort, of course, but if thereís also a pre-departure PCR test requirement, this may be time limited to such an extent that lengthier routings may be impractical.

The further mention in your reply to exEU might also be a challenge in this regard; the timings might mean youíd need to be in (say) Stockholm long enough to take a PCR test and receive the result prior to departure from there.

Personally, I think that we could be moving towards a certified second vaccine dose and a negative pre-departure PCR test being a requirement for more than a few countries, and New Zealand could be one of those. Itís only a hunch, but I think that itís worth thinking about.
Yeah, good point on the PCR. I thought most places normally state it being related to the time starting your trip (rather than final arrival) - although if overnighting in Stockholm, I guess this could be needed from Stockholm itself.

We will definitely stay in the UK until we get both doses of the vaccine. It will be interesting to see if the testing on top of that is still required.
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Old Feb 25, 21, 4:39 pm
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Mwenenzi View Post
Getting award flights and MIQ slot to match will be hard and a risk. MIQ needs to be booked as soon a available.
A direct - single PNR UK to NZ, will be simpler and far less risk, than a separate UK-Sweden ticket and another ticket Sweden-NZ
Getting home need to take what is available. Takes travel time and is more risky considering cute routes. Cost is a secondary consideration:- not the main consideration.
QR have been very reliable for flights to AU & NZ. Many people only look at main popular airports (e.g. LHR SYD AKL). They do not consider less well known international airports( e.g. MAN BNE CHC)
Thanks, good points made. However we are quite flexible, to the point of waiting into 2022 if needed. Particularly if there is an indication of MIQ getting relaxed. Iím not suggesting that will happen, however come June (when weíd be realistically looking to book MIQ places based on our plan A), weíll have a clearer idea than now in regards to if the situation is getting better or worse with respect to travel into NZ.

Iíll definitely take a look also at other UK airports rather than London to see what the options are.
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Old Feb 27, 21, 1:02 am
  #36  
 
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Originally Posted by Colossus View Post
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.
Not necessarily. I'm surprised no one here has mentioned the multi-carrier Avios (mileage) chart. The sweet spot here is that the multiplier for business class is only double, not triple, provided you include a minimum of two oneworld carriers (excluding BA metal) on your booking. Obviously New Zealand would fall into the 10,001 - 14,000 mileage bracket.

So you could, if Avios availability on all sectors for the number of seats required exists or opens up later, fly Qatar Q-Suites LHR-DOH-AKL, adding a Qantas sector from AKL-SYD for a later date in the future. You could choose to utilise the last sector or not. Total mileage for this routeing would be 13,657 (GCMAP), which is just under the maximum permitted mileage for this bracket. Cost would be 180,000 Avios per adult, infant under 2 would be 18,000 Avios. Might be worthwhile to invest in the 78,000 additional Avios points you need on top of your current balance.
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Old Feb 27, 21, 1:10 am
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Strawb View Post
Not necessarily. I'm surprised no one here has mentioned the multi-carrier Avios (mileage) chart. The sweet spot here is that the multiplier for business class is only double, not triple, provided you include a minimum of two oneworld carriers (excluding BA metal) on your booking. Obviously New Zealand would fall into the 10,001 - 14,000 mileage bracket.

So you could, if Avios availability on all sectors for the number of seats required exists or opens up later, fly Qatar Q-Suites LHR-DOH-AKL, adding a Qantas sector from DOH-SYD for a later date in the future. You could choose to utilise the last sector or not. Total mileage for this routeing would be 13,657, which is just under the maximum permitted mileage for this bracket. Cost would be 180,000 Avios per adult, infant under 2 would be 18,000 Avios. Might be worthwhile to invest in the 78,000 additional Avios points you need on top of your current balance.
The current QR flight is DOH-BNE-AKL, but DOH-AKL will be a single flight number.. No current non-stop DOH-AKL flight, Cannot see NZ Govt easing arrivals restrictions this calendar year, so expect it will stay that way
QF currently fly SYD-AKL-SYD 3 times a week. Likely to be that way until 31 October, unless a full trans Tasman bubble happens. But that is not looking good. NZ Govt do not seem keen on a full 2 way no quarantine TT travel.
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Old Feb 27, 21, 1:53 am
  #38  
 
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Originally Posted by Mwenenzi View Post
The current QR flight is DOH-BNE-AKL, but DOH-AKL will be a single flight number.. No current non-stop DOH-AKL flight
​​​​​​​I read that Australia allows airside transits of 8hrs or less with no need for quarantine. Does that not work in this situation?
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Old Feb 27, 21, 9:41 am
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Strawb View Post
​​​​​​​I read that Australia allows airside transits of 8hrs or less with no need for quarantine. Does that not work in this situation?
Yes (as posts above). Will work if all on a single ticket/PNR. Unlikely to work if separate tickets XXX-AU & AU-NZ.
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Old Feb 28, 21, 12:08 pm
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Strawb View Post
Not necessarily. I'm surprised no one here has mentioned the multi-carrier Avios (mileage) chart. The sweet spot here is that the multiplier for business class is only double, not triple, provided you include a minimum of two oneworld carriers (excluding BA metal) on your booking. Obviously New Zealand would fall into the 10,001 - 14,000 mileage bracket.

So you could, if Avios availability on all sectors for the number of seats required exists or opens up later, fly Qatar Q-Suites LHR-DOH-AKL, adding a Qantas sector from AKL-SYD for a later date in the future. You could choose to utilise the last sector or not. Total mileage for this routeing would be 13,657 (GCMAP), which is just under the maximum permitted mileage for this bracket. Cost would be 180,000 Avios per adult, infant under 2 would be 18,000 Avios. Might be worthwhile to invest in the 78,000 additional Avios points you need on top of your current balance.
Thanks Strawb - I wasnít aware of (or had forgotten) this. We can get some more Avios via a new card and referral, plus further spend. Will definitely look into that.
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