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Australia/NZ - best use of FF Miles

Buffalo Grove...
Level Contributor
35 posts
1 review
Australia/NZ - best use of FF Miles


Planning a 4 week trip for 2 active seniors in March '19. I am hoping to snag business class on Air New Zealand (partner to United) using United Miles. There are economy tickets available but no business saver tickets yet. Does anyone know when those will be released?


5 replies to this topic
Silver Spring...
Level Contributor
3,760 posts
10 reviews
1. Re: Australia/NZ - best use of FF Miles

Maybe never. It’s very difficult to find these business class seats on Air New Zealand. I have read they don’t release any of these seats until 90 days before travel. Info here:


Edited: 11 June 2018, 19:32
Seattle, Washington
Destination Expert
for Seattle
Level Contributor
7,627 posts
2. Re: Australia/NZ - best use of FF Miles

Airlines release seats into award inventory only when and if their (very complicated, very secret) "yield management" computer systems tell them it's profitable to do so. As stated, "never" is often the case, or it may be one seat in July and another in October and a third three days before the flight. There's no way to know. Travel in business class award seats between North America and Australia/NZ during the southern summer is notoriously among the most difficult awards to snag in the whole world of flying. Keep looking (every day) but also be thinking about Plans B and C.

3. Re: Australia/NZ - best use of FF Miles

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Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
Level Contributor
59,101 posts
12 reviews
4. Re: Australia/NZ - best use of FF Miles

You'll need to be canny when booking your flights. If you can be flexible with dates then look for two singles rather than a return as that may give you more availability; if you need to make changes it will be easier with single flights rather than returns. As well, rather than book from your home city, pay for positioning flights to the west coast of NoAm, stay overnight (or allow plenty of time between scheduled arrival and departure) and look for awards for the long haul sectors.

See what you can find out of YVR, as Air NZ operates from that airport - that flight too may have a short haul component but availability might (stress that word) be better. Do UA or another *A carrier have flights from HNL to NZ? Again if you break the journey that may give you the seats you'd like although it will make for a longer trip.

Brisbane, Australia
Destination Expert
for Brisbane
Level Contributor
12,965 posts
114 reviews
5. Re: Australia/NZ - best use of FF Miles

You are better of using points to upgrade ... I have never seen airlines down here suddenly release seats for points. What's on offer now is what will be on offer in 6 months ... Unless sold off course.

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