Hurry: Business Class to Sydney on United, Air New Zealand Under $1500 Roundtrip

Right on the heels of one of the best airfare deals we’ve seen in a long time being honored, you can fly Chicago – Sydney roundtrip in business class from $1492. This is on Air New Zealand (fly Chicago – Auckland non-stop on their 787 and on to Sydney) or fly United through Los Angeles or San Francisco.

At this price you can definitely get yourself to and from Chicago for the journey.

Key details of Air New Zealand fare ZW0ZA9:

  • Travel permitted Friday, Saturday, Sunday in each direction
  • Outbound must occur January 12 – November 30
  • Free stopovers permitted in Hawaii (on the return) and Auckland
  • Tickets must be issued by January 10 but there’s no way this deal will last that long
  • Cancellable prior to departure for $250 fee
  • $250 change fee (plus difference in fare, which will be considerable)

Here are your mileage-earning options for the tickets.

This is booked into the cheapest business class fare bucket (Z) and is labeled “WEEKEND BUSINESS CLASS PROMOTIONAL FARES” rather than being a mistake fare. However as I wrote earlier about the Cathay Pacific fares we don’t know for certain how Air New Zealand will feel about such a deep discount airfare sale, whether they might get seller’s remorse, so I’d wait a few days after buying additional travel or making additional non-refundable plans around the fare.

In theory an airline refusing to honor a sale like this would have to reimburse any out of pocket costs you incurred but there’s not much history with enforcement of that particular DOT statement so I’d still not test it.

Update: Small online travel agencies (search will sell this as low as $1280

(HT: One Mile at a Time)

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. Don’t forget you can use Chase Sapphire Reserve points or AMEX Travel as an option if heavy on points. I booked through Chase for 99.5k for 9/13-22/19. Good luck

  2. Gary, you are a frequent Australia traveler, have you ever flown the Air New Zealand business class down there and if so, how does it compare in your opinion? I just booked this deal for the family on the 787-9 ORD-AKL-SYD and saw that the seats are in that angled layout like the Virgin Atlantic Upper Class we’ve taken before between NYC and LHR. Are they similar to those VA seats? Last questions…what odds would you put on this getting cancelled? 50/50?

  3. My itinerary is pricing at $6500 RT for November. Too bad, my daughter has been jonesing to visit Sydney

  4. I jumped on this within 30 minutes of Gary’s email, but all that was available were the $6.000+ r/t fares. I suspect that you had to get on this within 30 seconds or so after receiving the email.

  5. I managed to get one for Labor Day week, but could only get it ticketed through Expedia on NZ ticket stock. My understanding is NZ has a history of not honoring these mistake fares, but we’ll see.

  6. I was in the middle of selecting seats on the air New Zealand website when I get an error message. Logged off and then log back in with the record locator and now I no longer have the option to select seats. Either on the air New Zealand flights down or the United flight coming back. Is this a sign they are probably canceling these tickets? I Purchased through Orbitz.

  7. @L3, RDM means redeemable miles i.e. the kind of miles you can spend…versus elite qualifying miles which just keep track of your progress toward elite status tiers.

  8. The fares actually started at $1267 roundtrip. Obviously, a very good deal, especially if you value comfort highly (which many people do on such a long flight).

    On the other hand, the blogosphere isn’t going wild over today’s UA’s nonstop SFO-LHR $366 fare, good through May. Objectively, that’s a better deal (especially when you consider how high the UK’s air taxes are). I guess bloggers are mostly focused on luxury travel.

  9. Has anyone’s fare gone through? We bought through Amex using $ and points, but have not received a confirmation from AirNZ

  10. @Gary — considering that the coach taxes on a roundtrip SFO-LHR ticket are now more than $175 (you’d have to pay that on an award ticket!), I think $366 is a pretty extraordinary published fare. But I understand your focus on luxury travel.

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