Air New Zealand is an airline that has historically been pretty stingy with making premium cabin award seats available, at least for travel to the U.S. That probably largely has to do with the fact that they had a monopoly in the U.S. mainland to New Zealand market. Fortunately in the meantime both American and United have started service to New Zealand, so they have some competition, at last.
Last year we began to see some Air New Zealand award availability out of the U.S. for the first time in a long time, though we haven’t consistently seen space since then.
Well, at the moment Air New Zealand has a good amount of business class award availability between the U.S. and New Zealand. A majority of the space seems to be available between May and the end of September. Admittedly this is winter of New Zealand, though it can be a beautiful time to visit. I visited New Zealand in winter about a decade ago, and had an amazing time.
For example, the dates below with blue dots have availability between Houston and Auckland:
The same is true between Los Angeles and Auckland on the below dates:
There’s also availability out of San Francisco, and many dates have two business class award seats (though typically not more than that).
Air New Zealand’s business class is in a herringbone configuration, so seats are all fully flat and feature direct aisle access. Service is typically pretty good, as is the food — I review Air New Zealand’s business class between London and Los Angeles a few years ago.
Like I said, this won’t be for everyone, but if you’re looking to travel to New Zealand during their winter (or if you’re looking to travel from New Zealand to the U.S. during our summer) this is a great opportunity.
In terms of mileage redemptions, your best options are as follows:
- Air Canada Aeroplan charges 80,000 miles for one-way business class
- Avianca LifeMiles charges 80,000 miles for one-way business class
- United MileagePlus charges 80,000 miles for one-way business class
Anyone able to take advantage of this great business class award availability?
(Tip of the hat to @labastravel)