Business Class Awards Available to Australia – For Just 90,000 Miles Roundtrip!

Four years ago I covered the best uses of Virgin Atlantic miles. That was long before people started talking about amazing 120,000 mile ANA first class roundtrip awards between the US and Japan.

Sadly the 75,000 mile Air China first class London – Beijing roundtrips that I had noted are now gone.

I mentioned Air New Zealand awards but didn’t consider 125,000 miles roundtrip between Los Angeles and Auckland in business class to be one of the ‘best’ uses of those miles because those awards simply are never available anymore. Or almost never.

    “Bayswater Marina Auckland New Zealand” by Bayswater marina, Creative Commons

Here’s United’s award availability calendar showing 2 business class award seats Los Angeles – Auckland.

United would charge 90,000 miles one way for this award.

Here’s the Air New Zealand business class cabin:

Usually I don’t much worry about Virgin Atlantic’s award, good as it is in theory, since space is so sparse. And the Northern summer is very much low season for travel to New Zealand. But this unicorn space exists and there is a cheap way to book it. And of course Virgin Atlantic is a transfer partner of American Express, Chase, and Citibank.

In my experience they’ll hold award space for 24 hours allowing you to transfer points (set up your award before you make a transfer), and transfers from all 3 currencies have been instantaneous.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Gary is it possible for you to to write more detailed post of where to look for available cities and dates and how to book it ? Thank you

  2. You guys have incorrectly read the chart. LA to South Pacific is referring to Air NZ’s seasonal Saturday only nonstop LAX-RAR (Cook Islands) which is in fact 90k VS round trip.

    As the chart clearly states that connecting flights are priced segment by segment, if you’d like to fly LAX-AKL-SYD you’ll pay 62.5k + 15k each way. That’s 155k VS round trip, not 90k.

    Lucky made the same mistake in his post. Fake news spreads quickly.

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