Well, I went for it : ) Writing up this post yesterday helped me think it through, and the plan all made sense – so I bought and confirmed my Air New Zealand itinerary for early next year. I’ll be heading to Webstock – my favourite web conference, ever – in Wellington, via Auckland.
- SYD-AKL – Air New Zealand Boeing 763 – this is Air NZ’s Trans-Tasman business offering, with recliner seats and premium meal service
- AKL-WLG – This will probably be on a single class 737
- A few nights in the InterContinental Wellington
- WLG-AKL – again, single class 737
- AKL-SYD – From what I understand this should be a on a 777 which are equipped with Air NZ’s Business Premier, their Long Haul international business class. Should be fun to try.
A reminder about how this came about – US Airways 100% Dividend Miles promotion meant their award chart for South Pacific bookings suddenly became very cheap, at 30,000 miles for a round-trip in Business, or 25,000 for Economy (so a no brainer spending the extra for Business). The total cost was ~ $570 US, or around $545 AU. An absolute bargain given full fare would be in excess of $1200.
Getting it sorted via US Airways in the US was pretty simple.
- Researched award availability via Award Nexus
- Call their 1-800-428-4322 customer service line – I ended up using Skype as for some reason Rebtel didn’t work
- Use options 5 (International reservations) and then 3 (Dividend Miles)
- Gave the agent the flight details, and she confirmed the 30k miles price. I then went on hold for ~20 mins while she was on hold with the rate desk for taxes and fees – ended up agreeing to give up and she noted them on the booking for me to call back about later, after giving me the booking reference.
- Called back to get charges – decided they were reasonable
- Decided to book – Bought the necessary points, which credited instantly and then called again, gave booking reference
- The whole thing was paid for and ticketed in under 5 minutes. Sweet! Booking reference with Air NZ was confirmed, and seats allocated.
I also found their website easy to use and navigate, so it was all pretty straightforward. Thanks US Airways – great promotion. A full report will, of course, appear when the time comes. Hopefully I’ll get to experience something like this…
credit: Fly for Fun
Down the track, the all reviews from this trip will show up in this list -
A comment over on The Point’s Guy blog alerted me to the direct phone number for the International Fare Desk (+1-800-622-1015) – probably best to use this for bookings in future.