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When to book airfare to New Zealand for February 2011?

When to book airfare to New Zealand for February 2011?

Jun 28th, 2010, 08:44 PM
  #1  
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When to book airfare to New Zealand for February 2011?

Hi folks,

I've started looking at airfare from Seattle to New Zealand for February 2011. I'm wondering what I should expect to pay, and when's the best time to book? It's about $1900 right now for 1 stop. Do you think it will go down?

I also booked our car rental on Your Way based on a recommendation here, got it for much cheaper than any other site including autoeurope! I'm making sure it's for an automatic, if it is, it's only $550 US for 17 days.

Thanks!
britomart is offline  
Jun 29th, 2010, 12:07 AM
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Air New Zealand has sales all the time. Suggest you sign up for their e-mail promotions. They're currently offering flights from the US for $798 for travel between certain dates in August. I get their promotional e-mail and they have great deals from LAX-Auckland all the time. If it were me, I'd wait.

http://www.airnewzealand.com/new-zealand-on-sale
Melnq8 is offline  
Jun 29th, 2010, 03:21 AM
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proximityinfotech3 is offline  
Jun 29th, 2010, 04:13 AM
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Huh?
Melnq8 is offline  
Jun 29th, 2010, 09:34 AM
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Yeah.. What?

Hello Melnq8, my trip planning savior! I just realized that we have to drop the car off in Napier and fly to Nelson and pick up a new car. The Your Way site only lists Auckland and Christchurch as pick up locations... I was checking the prices for the Wellington-Picton ferry, and it looks like it's about $400, $73 for each person and $214 for the car... I'm thinking we should pay more for the car rental that will let us drop off in Napier and pick up in Picton. We'd also lose a day if we had to drive all the way from Napier to Abel Tasman, Google Maps says it's over 11 hours so we'd have to stop off in Wellington and cut a day somewhere.

But then, there's the cost of the airfare from Napier to Nelson, too... I just priced it and it's $141 Australian per person. What do you think??
britomart is offline  
Jun 29th, 2010, 03:50 PM
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I think $1900 is quite expensive, but February is a peak travel time.

I wonder if you would get a better fare if you looked into flying LAX to AKL and just add a cheap domestic fare onto that. I think Jet Blue flies into Seattle.
mlgb is offline  
Jun 29th, 2010, 04:23 PM
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Hi Britomart -

I'm a little confused.



Do you mean drop off in Wellington, take the ferry and pick up a new car in Picton?

Or drop off in Napier, fly to Nelson and pick up a new car?



Via Wellington, the ferry & Picton, right?

I guess it's going to come down to time vs cost.

Would you mind posting your itinerary again?
Melnq8 is offline  
Jun 29th, 2010, 08:01 PM
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Oh sorry, I meant, pick up in Nelson after our inter-island flight. Here's our itinerary:

Day 1, 2, 3 - Bay of Islands
Day 4, 5, 6 - Coromandel
Day 7, 8 - Rotorua
Day 9 - Taupo
Day 10, 11 - Napier
Day 12, 13, 14 - Abel Tasman
Day 15, 16 - Kaikoura
Day 17, 18, 19 - Christchurch

Whoa, I just checked airfare for LA to Auckland, with a Christchurch to LA return and it's only $942! That seems really cheap. A flight from Seattle should only be $200 in February... That seems really reasonable! Although, I was hoping for a direct flight from LA to New Zealand, this $942 one stops in Sydney.
britomart is offline  
Jun 30th, 2010, 10:28 AM
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britomart, if you want to fly nonstop direct without the Australia detoru, see if Air New Zealand is matching that R/T airfare. They do have that possiblility although maybe more expensive.

Not sure if they also do SF/AKL nonstop but you could check that too.
mlgb is offline  
Jul 1st, 2010, 01:26 PM
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The original fare you quoted is high. LAX or SFO AKL RT I think should be under $1,000 to be a good deal. Last year I saw sales offers to NZ starting around Sept. Of course, they were limited periods and certain gateways, stopovers, etc., but I was able to get a cheap rate for January from ATL by waiting to book during fall and taking stops in DFX and LAX. If I had my plans firm and had been ready to pounce when a sale came up in Sept, I could have gotten the same fare with just one stop.

The sale I ended up getting only went to AKL, so I couldn't do an open jaw. It was cheaper with my deal to buy a fully refundable ANZ ticket from AKL, which gave me no risk even though I had two separate tickets. That's my only concern when you buy one ticket SEA-LAX, then another from LAX. If your SEA-LAX flight is canceled or delayed, you are not protected for later flights.
Kay2 is offline  
Jul 1st, 2010, 01:49 PM
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If doing that I would allow an overnight in LA or at least a full day. Good thing is that is quite a busy route compared to DFX/LAX.
mlgb is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2010, 09:23 PM
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We are leaving for NZ on Oct 24 and I just booked our airfare 2 days ago.
I have been checking fares now for the past 5 months almost daily and the rates ranged from 1599. to $1240 (being the lowest) until 2 days ago when the fare onliie came up at $1046. including tax.
This is from LAX to Auckland flying back home from Christchurch on November 11.
We are also taking a flight from Napier to Christchurch on October 31 with the fare being $70 U.S.
Hope this helps.....
jaspertl is offline  
Jul 4th, 2010, 02:55 AM
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Thanks for the tips... I think I will check it daily and wait for it to come down.

Do you think car rental rates will come down too? I'm not sure about the car rental now, we have to decide if we want to fly or drive from Napier.
britomart is offline  
Jul 4th, 2010, 03:02 AM
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If we decide to drive from Napier and stay 1 night in Wellington, where should we cut a day? I'm thinking Taupo...? We wanted to kayak around the lake, but then we could head off to Napier after that.
britomart is offline  
Jul 11th, 2010, 12:23 PM
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Apex is having a deal now where you can get a free inter-island ferry ticket for the car. Should we book it? It's $53 NZ per day for an automatic.

Also, we'll be in Christchurch for the last 3 days of our trip. I'm thinking we will visit Akaroa the first day and then turn the car in? Shouldn't need it the last 2 days...
britomart is offline  
Jul 11th, 2010, 01:45 PM
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You won't need the car for Christchurch. The airport is quite close to the center of town.

I don't know if I'd book this far in advance. Have you checked to see what you can get with a discount for airlines, Costco, etc. Avis sometimes has good rates.

Also have you tried to reverse the itinerary direction, eg start in Christchurch and work you way north? Sometimes that will get you some excellent special rates if you aren't going to take too long to drive from Christchurch to Picton.
mlgb is offline  
Jul 12th, 2010, 12:15 PM
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I think I will wait on the car rental then... But I have priced the same # of days for this September, November and December, and the daily rate has only been a difference of $10 per day less. I've already booked all of our hostels and motels so I'd hate to try and reverse the itinerary at this point... Thanks for all the tips!
britomart is offline  
Jul 28th, 2010, 04:14 PM
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I am also looking for the best prices- at the same time- as my daughter & son-in-law in Papamoa Beach, NZ are having a baby in February. I flew there in November with 2 children for just under $2600 for all 3 of us so the flights showing right now are a bit crazy. I know February is summer time, but I also know the prices will go down. Britomart- I see RT from San Francisco to Aukland for $798 quite frequently so if you hop on a SW flight from Seatac to SFO you should be able to catch a nonstop flight straight through to Auckland on Air New Zealand. Qantas non-stop flights are from LAX and about the same $ and I was quite pleased with my experience with ANZ. Now, if we all can just get a great deal for February! There's a baby I need to see!
mlocke is offline  
Jul 28th, 2010, 07:24 PM
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Or you could do what I did a couple weeks back which is book with VAustralia from LAX via Sydney to Auckland and Christchurch via Sydney to LAX return. Cost was $862/pp and its still about $880/pp during Feb.

Sure, it is an extra 8 hours going and 5 returning BUT pulling the trigger allowed me to get my internal flights booked cheaply and reserve the rooms for our 15 nights. And as of 2 weeks ago, a couple of our top choices were already fully booked and we got the last room at 2 of the B&Bs.

I am not a fan of the extra travel time but to me it was worth it to be able to have firm dates in hand to make the rest of our trip reservations. Plus VAustralia/Emirates is a darn nice airline and $860/pp is a very good price for prime season.
jersey1977 is offline  
Jul 28th, 2010, 07:58 PM
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I'm so jealous of those cheap fares from the US. I'm looking at a $1,200 fare from Perth to Christchurch...yikes.
Melnq8 is offline  

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