Hurry: American Auckland New Zealand Awards Wide Open in Business Class

New Zealand is a very tough route for premium awards, one of the toughest in the world. And it’s one where American hadn’t been releasing award seats — until now. American has been going to lengths to improve their premium cabin award availability.

They will fly Los Angeles – Auckland with a Boeing 787-8 starting in June.

Here’s the schedule:

  • Los Angeles – Auckland, 10:45 pm – 6:35 am +2
  • Auckland – Los Angeles, 1:20 pm – 6:30am

American is now making at least 2 business class seats available on their new Los Angeles – Auckland flight which launches June 23 about half of the time between June 25 and September 7, although only about four times after that through the current end of schedule.

There’s a similar amount of availability in the other direction from Auckland to Los Angeles, and that stretches through mid-October.

Upgrade space is also available.

And upgrade space is available even when award space isn’t.

So it’s a great opportunity to buy coach, use systemwide eVIP upgrades that are given to American’s Executive Platinum 100,000 mile flyers, and fly business class. (You can also upgrade with 25,000 miles and a $350 cash co-pay each way.)

Hopefully this flight will feature the same upgraded inflight product as their Sydney flight.

American Airlines Boeing 787-8 Business Class

The American Airlines 787 is a great ride in business class but could be especially tight in coach.

American charges 62,500 miles each way between the US and New Zealand. You can use other oneworld miles like British Airways, of course (or Etihad miles transferred from Citibank).

American will also let you route via New Zealand to Australia. So you can use this flight and connect onward from Auckland on Qantas (or LAN) if you like.

(HT: Milecards)

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. @credit if you want to go non-stop to New Zealand you aren’t going to fly first class. And Qantas first class can be tough to get. The point here is real world availability for a lie flat product at a great price not theoretical which is best.

  2. Fantastic. Just what I’ve been looking for, and I was able to snag 4 seats (two one day, two the next). Saved a whole bunch of miles (110K) and time as my backup was routing via HKG on CX.

    Thanks a bunch Gary.

  3. Just stating the obvious but remember our summer is their winter. Now that wouldn’t stop me from going but just a heads up.

  4. I show nothing. I guess they went pretty fast. I did find a few scattered inbound. Nothing outbound

  5. Getting award tickets on AA is starting to look like the same process for getting a mistake fare. Awards open up, all the bloggers post on the availability then all the seats are taken quickly. You have to be in the right place at the right time.

    This is not a dig at bloggers. Quite the opposite. I appreciate the heads up. I just laugh at how thankful we are when saver seats open up it is huge news and everyone jumps. People are dying to pay normal prices and just need the availability. It is also amazing how fast people can lock in dates when pressed.

  6. IMO, the bizarro and generally very stingy award availability is the worst thing about American Airlines. Many times, I look for seats on routes and there is no availability (even in coach) for months at a time at the standard level. And then, sometimes, the seats all magically appear. This is dumb and, undoubtedly, works against the purpose of the program (which I presume is still to engender customer loyalty to the airline).

  7. Scored a pair of roundtrip business seats to Auckland August 8-16 at 10:30 Eastern this morning. Out of GRR no less.

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