Booking domestic flights

Jul 14th, 2005, 10:53 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 16
Booking domestic flights

I am trying to decide whether to book in advance (and lose flexibility), or wait until my husband and I are in New Zealand. Are flights cheaper prior to arrival, or a few days before a flight? Are discounts available in country? We will also be flying between NZ and Australia, and the same questions apply.
Any help will be appreciated.
deckerlex is offline  
Jul 14th, 2005, 06:54 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,092
It probably depends a bit on where you're planning on going.

For Oz, the best thing you can do is get on the specials mailing lists for each of the airlines (qantas, virginblue, jetstar, etc.) and be ready to book when your fare comes on special - but there's no guarantee it will.

Check the fares regularly so that you know what's a good price. There's not really any cheap standby fares, as far as I know - but you could check by looking at the price for a fare for, say, tomorrow, and then a fare for the about the same day next month, and see what the difference is.
Again in Oz, offers a fare comparison. Others may, too.
margo_oz is offline  
Jul 15th, 2005, 01:10 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,479 provides an online comparison for all carriers, including the non-flexible to the most flexible fares. Generally booking in advance and flying very early or in the middle of the day gets the cheapest tickets.
Sarvowinner is offline  
Jul 15th, 2005, 05:06 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 16
Thanks to both of you for the info. I think booking in advance will be the cheapest way, from what I'm finding comparing current and future dates. I guess we'll just have to lock ourselves into a fixed itinerary, especially for the NZ-AU flights.
deckerlex is offline  
Jul 15th, 2005, 07:14 AM
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My experience is that it is best to book beforehand, if you know exactly when you want to go. As far as I remember, they are not cheaper when booked from NZ.

We went to NZ in March. When I checked AirNZ fares (on the NZ part of the site), they rose about 2 months beforehand, and some flights became unavailable. In my case, it was a matter of self-preservation. If we got to NZ and could not get the flight that was best, my wife would have excommunicated me.

Quantas doesn't fly to as many places as ANZ, but if they do, the Red-e deals are much cheaper.
Jed is offline  
Jul 15th, 2005, 05:43 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
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I would also recommend booking in advance. One of the interesting things we discovered when we flew within NZ and also over to Oz last December/January is that the rates offered to New Zealanders on the domestic websites for Qantas and Air NZ is substantially less than that offered on the airlines' international sites (like the US site). Qantas will let you book with a non-NZ address on their domestic site, but Air NZ won't; Air NZ will reject your credit card when you put in an out-of-country address. So we wound up taking Qantas flights rather than Air NZ when they both were servicing the same route, for example from Christchurch to Sydney or Christchurch to Auckland. In the case of Sydney, Qantas' fare on the US site was almost 3 times as high as their fare on their NZ site!
sharon815 is offline  
Jul 21st, 2005, 10:56 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 139
Sharon, Do you think if you booked the airfare with the ANZ travel package agent on their website, it would be less expensive thna booking in the States? Thanks Jim
sabbin is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2005, 10:38 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Do this experiment:

Go to the Qantas American site

See how much are the fares for a flight, say from AKL to CHC on a certain date, say Nov.1.

Then go to the Qantas NZ site

Search again for the same flight. What is the difference?

I offer the following advice, based on many hours researching this very question for intra-NZ flights.

If you can get the itinerary on Quantas, get the Red e-fare ASAP. (Qantas doesn't go to as many NZ cities as AirNZ.)

If the itinerary isn't offered on Qantas, make your reservation at AirNZ ASAP.

There are 3 classes of fares on each airline, based on flexibility. The cheaper ones sell out first, which may account for the apparent difference in cost.
Jed is offline  
Jul 24th, 2005, 04:27 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 151
Hi sabbin. I'd agree with Jed. If you can get the red eye, grab it as the lowest fares sell out very quickly - especially if you're traveling at a peak time like we did last december/january.
Just be aware that there are different baggage weight limits on the domestic flights and the red eye flights are even further reduced and you don't get full frequent flyer miles. That said, we didn't have a problem with the baggage at all - either on the intra-NZ flights (3 of us flew ANZ Napier to Dunedin, 1 did Auckland-Dunedin on ANZ, 2 did the Qantas Christchurch-Auckland route and 2 did Qantas CHC - Sydney); we each had only one checked bag but they were heavy (probably around 30kg).
sharon815 is offline  
Jul 25th, 2005, 09:46 AM
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Things may have changed since 9-11, but a few years ago I was able to get a better fare than I could from the US by booking thru a NZ travel agency (sorry, can't remember which one). I picked up my tickets at the airport. They may have used my hotel's address but I can't remember.
mlgb is offline  
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