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Flying Standby - Raro to Aiutaki

Hot Springs
Level Contributor
31 posts
13 reviews
Flying Standby - Raro to Aiutaki

Kia Orana Everyone:

Just wondering how flying standby works on Air Rarotonga. Is it less expensive than having a reservation and a confirmed ticket?

Also, wondering if there is any updated news on the proposed discount airline, Kia Orana Air? I have not seen any recent info since a late Jan 2010 article.

Many thanks

Rarotonga, Cook...
Destination Expert
for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland Central
Level Contributor
18,397 posts
130 reviews
1. Re: Flying Standby - Raro to Aiutaki

Hi jj,

Depends on when you want to fly to Aitutaki. If you are waitlisted for the 8:00am flight and competing with the day-trippers for seats, priority would be given to the passengers who will be on the day-tour - i.e. returning the same day to Raro. Also, if you are a government official or a regular passenger, once again priority would be given over to these people. Generally, the afternoon or early evening flights offer reduced prices anyway, so it would pay to organise your schedule to fit in with either of these flights. You'll find the 10:30am flight is still popular, sanme as the 8:00am out-bound.

If you turn up to the airport expecting to get onto a flight which is already full, you'll probably end up paying full fare anyway. The early-bird fares offered on the net or over the phone in Raro really are the best way to go to avoid disappointment. From day to day you can never tell what might arise. A group of mourners travelling from Raro to a funeral in Aitutaki could easily fill up the aircraft. Same with a sports team! Save yourself the added mileage of checking out of Raro accomm and hanging around an airport hoping to get onboard eventually. Book online for the best prices if there is availability for the time and date of your proposed interisland travel. Otherwise wait til you reach Raro and phone Air Raro to see what they can offer.

Kia Orana Air has been patiently waiting for the airport authority to provide checkin space in Raro. If you know Raro airport atg all, unfortunately its design dates back to the 70's, which is why the locals are so desperate for our new terminal and facilities to be opened. If I hear more I'll post a thread regarding the new air service to our forum.

Hot Springs
Level Contributor
31 posts
13 reviews
2. Re: Flying Standby - Raro to Aiutaki

Frangi, kia orana:

Thanks so much. Your comprehensive information is a Godsend.

The Air Raro rates on line are all sky high. The last special I saw was before Christmas and my plans weren't far enough along to take advantage of it.

Hope Kia Orana Air launches soon.

Thanks again.

Groveland, Florida
Level Contributor
209 posts
15 reviews
3. Re: Flying Standby - Raro to Aiutaki

Sign up for E-Mail special fares at

specialfares@air.raro.co.ck

nothing yet this week but last week their were some NZ$99.00 fares on selected flights. Good Luck

Papa Mike

Rarotonga, Cook...
Destination Expert
for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland Central
Level Contributor
18,397 posts
130 reviews
4. Re: Flying Standby - Raro to Aiutaki

Kia Orana jmminjoy,

After thinking about your search for cheap flights to Aitutaki, and looking back over the forum's threads, I note you want to fly RAR-AIT on 10th May. I believe you may already have booked your accomm on Aitutaki? for 5 nights? After reviewing Air Raro fares and availability showing for 10th May, I certainly wouldn't be risking holding out for any hope of a $99.00 fare for that date. $206.00 for the 1530 & 1800 hrs flights are as good as it's going to get for you. You'd be wise in my long experience of travelling Air Raro to book seats for either flights in the near future.

If $99.00 flights have been showing recently for RAR-AIT it's because Air Raro did announce that they would offer these fares to support the Aitutaki economy get back onto its feet post-cyclone. Today (4th March in Raro) there is a $99.00 fare available. It'll be snapped up, of that I have no doubt. The thing too is that the locals have a head start for these cheap seats. They are kept in the loop, so to speak, and they are on the spot to pay within the 1 hour as stipulated! The advantage too for announcing $99.00 fares is that these deals are best suited to the very flexible traveller. People who don't have a plan or need to worry about accomm but can move about as the mood pleases them! Budget travellers seek out this type of experience in particular.

I offer this fuller explanation because I wouldn't like to see your hopes being raised to hold out for something that may never eventuate. However, you will continue to see seats being sold, and the fares rising above $263.00 p.p. to $289.00 one way, as they do on a regular basis. Air Raro is no different to any other airline regarding its pricing structure. Since it's early March now, I don't believe it would be in your interests to hold out for Kia Orana Air either, in the hope they would be operating by 10th May; at this point.

All the best - kia manuia.

Auckland
Level Contributor
27 posts
1 review
5. Re: Flying Standby - Raro to Aiutaki

Hi Jamminjoy,

Check out the following site www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1004/S00013.htm and/or google "$1 flights from Rarotonga to Aitutaki.

This article was dated 1 April 2010 and details the $1 fares we heard about here in New Zeland between Raro and Aitutaki.

These were post cyclone to encourage tourists to return so fingers crossed they still apply and you can take advantage of them.

There's some conditions such as booking accommodation I think - but good luck!

You'll love Aitutaki - the people, island, scenery and atmosphere are awesome :)

San Jose, California
Level Contributor
733 posts
39 reviews
6. Re: Flying Standby - Raro to Aiutaki

I was in Raro last week and picked up the phone and called Air Rarotonga to book the "day tripper tour" for the following day. It cost $429 for the entire trip. When I arrived at the airport for the 8:00am flight and given my boarding pass, I was told that currently I was the only person on board the flight. This was the 2nd 8:00am flight. It would appear that Air Raro added a second flight for that departure time. It turned out that several other men came aboard so it was more cost effective for the airline. So now I wonder if I wasn't a day tripper - if they would not have put a second flight on at 8am.

When I returned home I thought I would price out my own day trip to Aitutaki - turns out the RT airfare was almost as high as the whole day trip. So it isn't clear how far in advance, what time of year, etc. you get your best price on airfare.

Rarotonga, Cook...
Destination Expert
for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland Central
Level Contributor
18,397 posts
130 reviews
7. Re: Flying Standby - Raro to Aiutaki

Kia Orana Lady GBD.

It may have been a flight destined to pick up some of our league players. did you notice if there were a number of passengers waiting to board when you arrived on Aitutaki at all? It does occur whereby cheaper seats are offered for empty flights one way, with full occupancy returning for sports fixtures and the like. Since you asked for the day-trip to Aitutaki, that's what you were provided. But I have a feeling that some of the seats going out were priced around $99. If there was only the usual aircraft heading over (the Saab), you would either have been given the last seat aboard or been told the flight was full. In this instance you were fortunate to have gained your daytrip.

I do hope your visit to the island was memorable The Aitutaki lagoon is a beyond belief experience. Cheers - ka kite.

San Jose, California
Level Contributor
733 posts
39 reviews
8. Re: Flying Standby - Raro to Aiutaki

Frangipani08, no league players were aboard either flight. Mostly honeymooners on the first full flight (full meaning 12 passengers and a lot of boxes in the back 3 seats). Both planes were Embraer Bandeirantes (15 seaters). The 3 other passengers who joined me in my plane were 1 fisherman and two eye doctors going over to evaluate patients.

Yes, I was fortunate to make the trip - I had several back-up days so I knew that I wouldn't miss that beautiful lagoon. And thank you very much - you suggested someone take the day trip on another post which sounded like a great idea! :-)

Rarotonga, Cook...
Destination Expert
for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland Central
Level Contributor
18,397 posts
130 reviews
9. Re: Flying Standby - Raro to Aiutaki

What no eye candy! Quite possibly no candy at all on the bandits?

10. Re: Flying Standby - Raro to Aiutaki

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