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Want a Free Flight to Queenstown, New Zealand?

If you want to fly free to Queenstown on Air New Zealand, simply participate in the Sky High Shave event on 27 June 2010.

However, try not to lose your hair regarding the following restrictions, including:

  • The flight to Queenstown on 27 June 2010 must originate in Auckland on the designated Air New Zealand ‘Sky High Shave’ flight where all passengers and crew will have their head shaved to support the Leukaemia & Blood Foundation. All funds raised from this event will benefit the Leukaemia & Blood Foundation to help thousands of New Zealanders who live with blood cancer. Sorry, your free flight cannot originate in Los Angeles, London or Buenos Aires.
  • Air New Zealand recommends you raise a minimum of NZ$100.00 for the Leukaemia & Blood Foundation.
  • The return flight from Queenstown to Auckland is not free. Any scheduled flight between 27 June and 4 July 2010 — designed to coincide with the duration of the Queenstown Winter Festival — are available at the special price of NZ$150.00 upon request.
  • Seats will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Additional costs which may be associated with the free flight are not included, including airport transfers, accommodation and meal costs.

Other terms and restrictions may apply.

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US$483.30 Total for Round-Trip Airfares Between the United States and New Zealand — But Hurry!!!

If you are in North America and always wanted to head on down to New Zealand — if for nothing else than to harass in person The Gate co-weblog author Kiwi Flyer, who is a native New Zealand resident — now is the time to do it, but you must book your airfare on Air New Zealand or QANTAS by 14 May 2010.

With taxes and fees, the airfare is as low as US$483.30 — including all taxes and fees — between Los Angeles and Auckland, with other airfares being reported by FlyerTalk members.

For additional details, please refer to the AIr NZ: LA – AKL $399 RT (ends May 14th) thread.

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Air New Zealand earning changes

Air New Zealand recently announced some significant changes to their domestic fare structure, and hinted further changes will follow for international fares. Almost overlooked on Flyer Talk is an aspect dear to the heart of many – earning of frequent flyer miles.

Some mid-range booking classes will no longer earn Airpoints, and probably not earn miles on other programs once they have updated their tables.  If you are flying Air NZ on a paid fare, check out the Air New Zealand domestic fare change discussion to see how it affects you and your miles.

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Reduced award availability on partner airlines

In the United Airlines Mileage Plus forum there is frequent discussion on the reduced availability for awards flying on partner airlines, relative to using some other Star Alliance frequent flyer miles.  A sample of recent threads includes Air New Zealand (UA filtering NZ), Asian airlines (UA filtering NH, OZ, SQ and TG), Lufthansa (UA being stingy with LH), general (UA gets tough on manual sell for award seats), and I hate the ANA tool.  A simple search on “Starnet” brings up many more threads.

For those unfamiliar with the ANA tool, anyone can sign up to the ANA program and search for awards on all Star Alliance airlines (except Swiss) online.

This is not something as simple as a blackout for a short period, or the oft-discussed situation whereby Qantas releases awards 355 days before departure but AAdvantage can only access them 330 days prior (thus many prime awards have already gone).

Do other frequent flyer programs have a similar issue of reduced availability on partner airlines? 

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100% etickets will not be ready in time

This thread on the Air NZ forum confirms what many of us suspected that airlines are not ready for 100% eticketing by IATA’s self imposed deadline of 1 June 2008.  There is a long list of circumstances where e-tickets are not supported.  Most items on the list I’d expect to be in common for all airlines, but some will be airline specific (eg depending on which airlines are interlined).

The worrying aspect is the warning that (re)issuing of any paper tickets after 31 May 2008 may take 5 or more working days.  Too bad if your plans change at the last minute and your itinerary is not eticketable.

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