Awesome New Route from Houston to New Zealand Announced

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Many airline route press announcements that come across my inbox aren’t super interesting to me, but there was one big exception yesterday when Air New Zealand announced that they will be expanding their North American service to Houston!  Beginning in mid-December, Air New Zealand will operate their retrofitted 777-200 from Houston – Auckland up to 5 times per week.

Remember back when Continental said that the would use the 787 to operate this route before the United merger?

This is great news not just for Houston based gals like me, but really for any Star Alliance fan who wants an alternative to connecting on the West Coast.  This flight will be around 15 hours in length and tickets are will go on sale sometime in May.

We have been wanting to go to New Zealand for quite a while, but the trip keeps getting pushed back for many reasons.  This could be a fantastic way for the trip to literally get back on the calendar as it would make our routing to get to New Zealand much simpler and shorter.

The bad news is that Air New Zealand isn’t exactly generous with releasing award space.  In fact, they are pretty bad about releasing award seats, at least in business class.  Economy class awards are much easier to come by, and I would maybe even consider economy to New Zealand (for the first time) if I could get there in one shot.  Maybe…

Heck, the Economy Skycouch’s that Air New Zealand offers look pretty great for families!

Air New Zealand Economy Skycouch

Air New Zealand Economy Skycouch

Air New Zealand will code-share this flight with United from numerous North American cities which really helps explain the selection of Houston as their 5th North American city.  Houston has really had some great new routes announced in recent months including ANA service to Narita, EVA service to Taipei, and Emirates beginning to use the A380 for flights to Dubai.  This should all mesh well with announced plans to upgrade the international Terminal D, so hopefully we get more and more exciting routes here in the Lone Star State.

I will be watching closely for the date that this new route to New Zealand goes on sale.  Anyone else as excited as I am?






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  1. We’re excited! Been trying to use miles to get to Australia/NZ but might have to pay, this is another option (and a direct one!). Agree the skycouch might be a great option; we’ll have to see what the fares look like.

  2. I’m excited but I wish you could get business class award space easier and also I wish this was a Oneworld carrier. DFW is a better airport connection for me out of MCI but I’ll take what I can get 🙂

  3. I am super excited for this route! I recently flew IAH-LAX-AKL and back on ANZ, the flight wasn’t bad but a non-stop will be so much better! The best part about ANZ is their upgrade system via bidding. We purchased premium economy and bid $600 per person for business on both legs and got it. If your bid is accepted you move up one cabin (Economy to Premium or Premium to Business) not bad for such a long flight!

  4. Super excited as we are from Houston too! My wife is Kiwi so this is amazing for visiting the family and for them to visit us!

    I had flown Air New Zealand just last month connecting in LAX and I was talking to the stewardess who told me this was on the table. I’m so happy it’s finally happening!

  5. Love love love the Skycouch for long haul economy with a little one! We do this several times a year between SFO and AKL, wouldn’t do it any other way. Well, not for coach fares at least. I can lay down with my 3 year old and we both get some sleep while others around us are looking very uncomfortable sitting upright in their seats. Wish I could show you a picture from our last flight, it really is worth getting the Skycouch for families with young children!

  6. Have done NZ in economy from LAX to AKL. Found the carrier is better than most for long flights in economy.

  7. Anyone know when the routes starts and tickets go on sale?

    The route is useful for folks on the East Coast, too, because “polar” doesn’t help to that part of the world, and IAH is actually faster (with more connections) than flying through California.

    As far as coach v biz class goes, I’ve been regularly flying both to that part of the world the past few years. Biz class is obviously more enjoyable (duh!), but I actually find I adjust to the time better when I fly coach. Probably because I sleep less on the flights. So more pain but more gain! Nobody every thinks about this, but it’s true. As far as productivity goes, biz class is overrated on ultra long haul.

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