New Zealand Business Class Awards Wide Open May Through September, Act Fast

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Air New Zealand business class award space is wide open, you can book these seats with miles you likely already have, and this surely will not last.

Australia and New Zealand are among the toughest awards out there. So while May through September isn’t peak season for travel to New Zealand, many will want to take advantage and of course it’s easy to hop over to Australia from New Zealand and some will want to use these flights as part of a broader Pacific Islands trip.

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

April 20 through September 29 there’s wide open premium cabin award availability for Los Angeles – Auckland on Air New Zealand.

Dates with solid lines have award space for 2 passengers in economy. Dates with dotted lines have space for 2 passengers in business.

Space is good Auckland – Los Angeles for a similar date range as well.

These seats can be booked using Star Alliance miles (e.g. United, Aeroplan, LifeMiles) between several U.S. cities and New Zealand on Air New Zealand.

Here’s the Air New Zealand business class cabin:

These are award costs:

  • United charges 70,000 miles each way without fuel surcharges (Star Alliance partner awards would be 80,000). United is a Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer partner, and points move instantly. So great use of points from your Chase Sapphire Preferred Card!
  • LifeMiles charges 81,000 miles each way without fuel surcharges. LifeMiles often sells miles cheap.
  • Aeroplan charges 80,000 miles each way without fuel surcharges. Aeroplan is an American Express Membership Rewards points transfer partner, and points move instantly.

And of course you can use these seats to get to and from Australia as well.

(HT: @labastravel)

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. It’s winter and low season. No wonder they’re wide open. The whole South Island with the best scenery is hard to travel around unless you go skiing.

  2. But I don’t recall these awards ever being open in ANY season before. I did manage to snag two biz award tickets back in November 2008 and I considered myself extremely lucky…

  3. Would booking with ANA be a cheaper option? Looks like 120k round trip with open jaw and stopover. And from what I can see little or no YQ on these but maybe I am missing something. Thanks!

  4. We were in New Zealand the first two weeks of September 2016. The weather did not prevent us from enjoying our tour of either island. Mid 50’s, mix of sun and clouds.

  5. Got lucky and booked two NZ biz tickets for my gf and me in late December 2010. We flew LAX-AKL-PVG on NZ as part of a ridiculous Star Alliance booking through US. The whole itinerary was PHL-LAX-AKL-PVG-BKK-HKT-BKK-PVG-SFO-PHL. All in biz, for 110K miles/each.

    Those were the days!

  6. I cannot find the award chart on the Air New Zealand website anywhere.. It says all award tickets have to be booked on the phone. I am just trying to find availability. Can anyone help?

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