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Back in May a new route I am very excited about, Houston – Auckland, New Zealand went on sale. This route will start operating on December 15, 2015 and will be operated by Air New Zealand.
However, when it first went on sale there were no award seats loaded for booking on miles via Star Alliance partners like United. However, a search I did today shows that there are now awards seats available for this soon-to-launch route using Star Alliance partners such as United!
The route will operate five days a week Tuesday – Friday and Sunday via a Boeing 777-200 with a new interior, the Economy Skycouch option, Premium Economy Seats, and lie-flat Business Class seats. Of course, not all of those will be available for booking using United miles.
I found spotty saver economy awards available beginning in December, but availability improved as you got into the spring 2016 months and beyond. If you booked via United miles it would be 80,000 miles round trip in economy. Theoretically, business class seats would be 160,000 United miles round trip, but I checked every date and so far there are no business class awards to be found. This is hardly surprising given how hard it is to find business class awards on Air New Zealand to/from any of the routes in North America. It does happen, but it is very rare.
Air New Zealand’s Houston – Auckland schedule from December 15, 2015 will be as follows:
|Departure Time (local)||Arrival Time (local)|
|Houston to Auckland NZ29||8:25 p.m.||5:55 a.m. (Arriving two calendar days later)|
|Auckland to Houston NZ28||6:30 p.m.||1:15 p.m. (Arriving same calendar day)|
I also want to add that I saw economy fares on this route as low as about $871 round trip all-in. At that price you really are not getting your money’s worth out of your United miles and you would be better off using cards with fixed value points. Of course other dates are much more expensive and in that case 80,000 United miles isn’t that bad for a round trip flight to New Zealand!
Is anyone booked on this route? I’d love to hear about it as I am drooling a little on my keyboard thinking how awesome this flight would be!
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.