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You might have heard that getting your family to Australia or New Zealand on miles is about a tough of an award as it gets, especially if you want to fly in a premium cabin. It can be done, but it takes persistence, flexibility, and luck to pull it off.
Well the good news is that there is going to be another way to get to New Zealand on miles beginning this July!
United Airlines will operate service from San Francisco to Auckland three times per week beginning on July 1, 2016, using their 787 Dreamliner (787-8 until 10/28/16, then the 787-9). The flight will depart San Francisco at 10:45 PM and then arrive in Auckland at 6:55 AM two days later. The return flight leaves Auckland at 1:20 PM and arrives in San Francisco at 6:40 AM earlier that day. Gotta love “time travel”, right?!
United will charge 70,000 miles each way for that flight in business class and 40,000 miles each way in economy. It’s too early to know how award availability will look, but in general United’s award availability to Australia is better than some other carriers, even though it is still spotty. So, I would guess that in time there will occasionally be both economy and business class award seats available on this flight if you have a little luck on your side.
In addition to the new flight to Auckland, United will also launch service from San Francisco to Tel Aviv using a 787-9 beginning on March 30, 2016.
The Tel Aviv flights will be available for booking on October 10, 2015, with the Auckland flights available for booking on October 17, 2015.
I’ll post an update when award availability is loaded!