Air New Zealand is not exactly famous for its generous award availability. Air New Zealand almost never releases long-haul Business class award availability for bookings using miles with Star Alliance partner airlines. But there are rare exceptions.
A few days ago, Air New Zealand released a bunch of Business class award availability on long-haul routes to and from Auckland. Much of this award space is for travel over the coming months, although we did also find some seats for travel later in the year. Long-haul destinations with award availability to/from Auckland include Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Honolulu, Taipei, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Osaka and Buenos Aires.
In most cases, Air New Zealand has only released 1 Business award seat per flight. But some routes, such as Auckland-Los Angeles, have 2 Business seats available for redemption on many dates.
To find award availability on Air New Zealand, we recommend using the United Airlines website. The United website shows award availability across all Star Alliance airlines (except Singapore Airlines), but you can use the filter tool to look only for flights on Air New Zealand (e.g. by searching for non-stop flights to/from Auckland). The United website also has a handy 30-day calendar view, so you can easily see an overview of dates with award availability.
For example, the United website currently shows many dates during July 2019 with at least one Business award on Air New Zealand’s non-stop Auckland-Los Angeles flights:
Clicking on any of the dates in United’s availability calendar brings up more details about the flight/s:
There is similarly good award availability during July on Air New Zealand’s Auckland-Tokyo route:
You can book Air New Zealand reward seats using miles with any Star Alliance airline. This includes Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles, United miles and Avianca LifeMiles. Theoretically, you can also redeem Etihad Guest miles or Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles for Air New Zealand flights. Flying Club redemptions could be a particularly good deal if you happen to have miles with Virgin Atlantic – or Amex points that can be transferred to Flying Club – but you’ll need to call Virgin Atlantic to make a booking.
If you’re a member of LifeMiles, you can even purchase LifeMiles – currently with up to a 130% bonus – to redeem for Air New Zealand award seats.
We don’t recommend using Air New Zealand’s own Airpoints currency to book Business class flights as awards are based on the commercial airfare price – not award charts!
Rare Air NZ award availability on Auckland-Buenos Aires route
Much to our surprise, we even found a very limited number of dates with Business class award availability on Air New Zealand’s Auckland-Buenos Aires route. This is extremely rare as Air New Zealand has a monopoly on flights from this part of the world to Argentina. We’ve never seen award seats released on this Air NZ route before!
At the time of writing, there is currently at least one Business award seat available from Auckland to Buenos Aires on 19 June, as well as 3, 19 and 26 July 2019. In the other direction, Business seats are available on 4, 6 & 27 July 2019. In addition, many dates later in the year now have Air New Zealand Economy award seats available for booking on this route – something which is equally rare for the Buenos Aires flights.
It costs 75,000 Avianca LifeMiles and USD22.58 in taxes to fly one-way from Auckland to Buenos Aires in Air New Zealand Business class.
There is also fairly reasonable availability on the Auckland-Buenos Aires route in Economy class at present.
This award availability is unlikely to last long. If you’d like to redeem your points to book an Air New Zealand flight, get in quick!
Unfortunately, the great award availability doesn’t appear to have been extended to Air New Zealand trans-Tasman flights. But there is still plenty of Economy award availability to get you from Australia to New Zealand on Air New Zealand. (Alternatively, just pay for a cheap positioning flight to/from Auckland.)
Would you like help using your frequent flyer points?
Frequent Flyer Solutions offers a personalised service that’s designed to take the hard work out of redeeming your frequent flyer points!
Award Flight Assist can help you to find the perfect flights using your points. Just let the team know how many points you have and where you would like to go, and they’ll prepare an itinerary for you.