The Air New Zealand Airpoints program works differently to most – but not in a good way. If you’d like to book award travel on Star Alliance, we would recommend using a better frequent flyer program such as Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer.
With this program, 1 Airpoints Dollar = $1. Dynamic pricing is used when redeeming Airpoints for Air New Zealand flights. This means that you can redeem your Airpoints Dollars for any available seat on Air New Zealand. But seats on more expensive flights require more Dollars. In particular, long-haul Business class awards are extremely expensive.
Frustratingly, Air New Zealand also won’t let you redeem your Airpoints Dollars unless you have enough to cover the entire cost of the airfare. You can’t part-pay for a flight using Airpoints. At the same time, you must be any taxes on award bookings using money – the airline won’t let you use Airpoints to cover those.
Which airlines can you redeem Airpoints to fly with?
As Air New Zealand is a member of Star Alliance, Airpoints can theoretically also be redeemed to fly on any Star Alliance airline:
You can also redeem Air New Zealand Airpoints on these partner airlines:
- Virgin Atlantic
- Etihad Airways
- Cathay Pacific (flights between Hong Kong and Auckland or Christchurch only)
- Qantas domestic flights within Australia
Airpoints award pricing
However, the Star Alliance & partner airline award charts are not particularly competitive. Air New Zealand uses distance-based award zones, and against normal convention for frequent flyer programs, zones are based on kilometres instead of miles. In addition, partner airline award flights are priced as individual segments only. If you have three flights on your booking, you’ll have to pay the sum of the Airpoints required for every individual sector!
You can view the partner airline award chart for Australian residents on the Air New Zealand website. (Note that a different reward chart applies for New Zealand residents.)
How to book flights with Airpoints Dollars
To redeem Airpoints Dollars for Air New Zealand flights, simply login to your Airpoints account and search for flights as usual on the Air New Zealand website.
New Zealand residents can book most Star Alliance and Qantas domestic award flights on the Air New Zealand website.
If you’re an Australia resident, you can only redeem Airpoints Dollars for travel on Air New Zealand flights and a small, specific selection of other partners online. For all other redemptions, including Qantas domestic flights (unless booked in conjunction with an Air New Zealand trans-Tasman flight), call Air New Zealand on 1800 803 298. A booking fee may apply.
Learn more or get assistance with redeeming Airpoints
If you’d like expert, personalised assistance with redeeming Air New Zealand Airpoints for flights, the Award Flight Assist team may be able to help.
Australian Frequent Flyer also has an Air New Zealand discussion forum.