[Expired] Business class on Air New Zealand from 49K points each way [rare award space]

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Air New Zealand has released a bunch of business class award space for July and August 2019. Thanks to current point transfer bonuses, you could book these awards from just 49,000 Amex Membership Rewards points or 64,000 Avianca LifeMiles each way. Unfortunately for Greg and Stephen, if they see this headline and get their hopes up about using this to get home from the #40KGetaway, no such luck for them as I’m only seeing this available in July and August.

The Deal

  • Book business class flights from the US to New Zealand on Air New Zealand (rare award space in July and August 2019)

Booking options:

  • Virgin Atlantic: 62.5K each way on direct flights (49K Membership Rewards points with the current 30% transfer bonus)
  • Avianca LifeMiles: 80K (or possibly less, see below) each way to New Zealand (64K Citi ThankYou points with the current transfer bonus, maybe less)
  • United Mileage Plus: 90K each way
  • Air Canada Aeroplan: 80K each way
  • Thai Royal Orchid Plus: 65K each way (Citi ThankYou transfer partner)

Quick Thoughts

The screen shot above shows nonstop availability from Los Angeles to Auckland in July and August 2019. The number of seats available on any given day can vary.

Virgin Atlantic charges 62.5K miles each way in business class from the US to New Zealand on Air New Zealand. With the current point transfer bonus from Amex Membership Rewards to Virgin Atlantic (30% bonus), that’s just 49K Membership Rewards each way provided you transfer while the bonus is in effect. Note that you can not book line. Call Virgin Atlantic Flying Club at 800-365-9500. Agents are generally quite competent and you can easily put an award on hold to make a transfer.

Alternatively, Avianca LifeMiles charges 80K each way to New Zealand in business class and it is bookable online. With the current point transfer bonus from Citi ThankYou points, that would be 64K points each way. Perhaps there is a find to be found in terms of adding a long economy class segment to bring the overall cost down, but I haven’t found a great long option.

As an example, you could fly from Los Angeles to Auckland to Dundedin (though if your airport code is DUD, it’s not really selling me on coming to visit). Assuming you book that throwaway extra leg to Dunedin in economy class, it’ll price out a couple thousand points cheaper.

If you’re flush with United Mileage Plus miles, UA charges 90K each way. Aeroplan, an Amex transfer partner, charges 80K each way — though you’re better off with Virgin Atlantic if you’re transferring in from Membership Rewards.

Keep in mind that winter is coming in New Zealand — or rather already here I guess. That said, it’s not common at all to find Air New Zealand business class award space, so it might be worth an off-season trip to book this unicorn space.

H/T: The Points Guy

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