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Redeeming AA miles for New Zealand for January 2013?

Redeeming AA miles for New Zealand for January 2013?

Nov 28th, 2012, 07:20 PM
  #1  
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Redeeming AA miles for New Zealand for January 2013?

Help-I am somewhat confused and perplexed as I have redeemed air miles before but not at the last minute as I have to do now. I have AA miles that I want to use on one of their code share airlines to get down to New Zealand at the end of January (leaving around the 21st?) to meet up with my daughter who will be in Christchurch.I am trying to figure out how to get from ORD down to NZ using my miles in a postive way.
I really want to fly in business class as I just had a double knee replacement less than 6 months ago so I can stretch out. Most of the flights on Qantas are completely booked in business so was looking at other options like Cathay Pacific,Japan airlines,etc.?
If I call AA res, do I have to pay a fee when booking one of their partners using my miles or can most people book these routes on their own.
I would be most appreciative for any imput,thoughts or ideas on how to do this. Thanks!
dutyfree is offline  
Nov 28th, 2012, 07:42 PM
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Calling them up to get information does not cost anything. Ask for the international desk.

If you book anything through the phone, there will be a fee.

You can get there and back, but mostly in economy. There's a flight at the end of January that is biz class, but nothing coming back.

Their only partner that flies to Aukland, for example, is Qantas, and there's only one flight a day from LAX.

Any other carrier, you will pay, no FF miles.
Rastaguytoday is offline  
Nov 28th, 2012, 08:55 PM
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You'll have to pay a service fee for any mileage ticket arranged on the phone.

January is peak time for Australia/NZ so I wouldn't get too hopeful about business class. However, there are some options besides Qantas. AA is partners with Air Pacific (about to rename itself as Air Fiji in 2013) that often has business class space available, LAX-NAN-AKL (then JetConnect to CHC - coach only) or LAX-NAN-BNE-CHC, or LAX-NAN-MEL-CHC, using Air Pacific to either Brisbane or Melbourne, connecting out to Christchurch on Qantas or JetConnect.

Air Tahiti Nui (TN) is another AA partner that occasionally makes business class seats available between LAX and Auckland, via Tahiti.

Sign up right now for the Qantas FF program; on Qantas' award search screens you can see space on Air Pathetic as well as on Qantas' own metal. I don't recall if the Qantas website shows TN availability, but it's worth a look.

You can also redeem AA miles on Hawaiian Airlines from Honolulu to Sydney, connecting there to Christchurch on Qantas.

Typically getting mileage seats (in business) across the Tasman is not too difficult; it's getting to the South Pacific in the first place that's tough.

Traveling to NZ via Asia would require you to use an AA "Explorer" award - two separate Oneworld members, and a mileage-based redemption. http://www.aa.com/i18n/disclaimers/oneworld_awards.jsp

It's best if you study the routing options so you can point the AA person in the right direction when you phone. You have four airlines that partner with AA that fly to NZ.
Gardyloo is offline  
Nov 29th, 2012, 02:35 PM
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I bow to your knowlege Gardyloo.
Rastaguytoday is offline  
Nov 29th, 2012, 04:48 PM
  #5  
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Thank you sooooooo much!
dutyfree is offline  
Nov 30th, 2012, 02:51 PM
  #6  
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I called today but feel as though the AA agent only checked the one day rather than the week I offered up. She says that there are NO coach,business or first class seats on ANY of their partners to Australia or New Zealand but I can still buy Cathay Pacific economy tickets for around $4100?
Do I dare call back and try again?
dutyfree is offline  
Nov 30th, 2012, 03:44 PM
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YES, call back. You might get another agent who actually wants to try to help you.
bettyk is offline  
Nov 30th, 2012, 07:33 PM
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Absolutely call again. It frequently takes me 3-4 tries before I get actual help. Helpful airline employees can be hard to come by (and I say that partially tongue in cheek as I know you work for an airline dutyfree
Melnq8 is offline  
Nov 30th, 2012, 07:37 PM
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I can see one coach seat southbound on Qantas on Jan 18 (to Brisbane I believe) otherwise the Qantas award screens are conspicuously empty. I didn't bother looking at return availability because you didn't indicate when that would be.
Gardyloo is offline  
Dec 1st, 2012, 04:58 PM
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I have a ticket on hold with a online travel agency till Monday on Air Pacific through Fiji onto Auckland-price is actually cheaper than actual airline website.(Dreading sitting in the cattle car that long as I still have nightmares of my center seat in the smoking section by way of Tahiti on a Pan Am 707 in the 70's to New Zealand from Miami....)
Price is around $1700 including all taxes so may end up taking it. Does anyone else have any other ideas-going from January 17/22 and return around Feb.3/5?
dutyfree is offline  
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