Air New Zealand/United: Multi-Seat Business Award Availability May/June/July


Air New Zealand and United currently have multiple seats of business class award availability on direct flights from San Francisco and Los Angeles to Auckland (as well as a couple of seats from Washington-Dulles). I’m getting the same price from many connecting cities as well.

Availability seems to be in May, June and July only and departures are for several days during the week. Some dates have as many as 9 seats available.

These routes don’t come open with this many seats often. Even one or two seats is hard to come by. So, if you want it, book it soon.

Hobbiton New Zealand
Hobbiton in New Zealand

The Deal

  • Book business class awards on Air New Zealand and United from US to to Auckland in May/June
    • Best non-stop availability is from San Francisco (SFO) and Los Angeles (LAX), some dates with up to 9 seats
    • Many connecting cities pricing at saver as well
    • I also found a couple of dates from Dulles (IAD), but with less seats
  • These can be booked one of several ways (prices are each-way):
    • United – 80,000 for United, 99K for Air New Zealand
    • Avianca LifeMiles – 80,000
    • Aeroplan – 75,000
    • Virgin Atlantic – 62,500 (Air New Zealand only)

Quick Thoughts

Premium cabin award availability to Australia and New Zealand can be hard to come by so having several weeks of mult-day and multi-seat availability is a rarity.

Here’s the next two months between SFO and AKL on (80K dates are United saver space, Air New Zealand are 99K):

a calendar with numbers and a purple square a screenshot of a calendar

If you’re interested in booking any of these flights, do it ASAP because some award availability has already started disappearing on some of the days shown in the screenshots above.

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how far out does NZ put their business award availability? don’t see anything for august

[…] reported by Frequent Miler and Dan’s Deals, you can find a business-class award seat using United MileagePlus miles for […]

[…] reported by Frequent Miler and Dan’s Deals, you can find a business-class award seat using United MileagePlus miles for […]


There was tons of avilebilty from IAH.

can you add a segment in New Zealand when booking with VS?


You can, for additional miles. Virgin prices the flights by segment. A domestic economy one way flight on Air New Zealand is 7500 miles.

There may be a savings on taxes and fees by booking as one reservation rather than 2. For example, I booked SFO-AKL-BNE as one booking a couple weeks ago. It cost 77500 miles and $49. If I had booked them separately, it was 62500 miles + $40 for SFO-AKL and 15k miles + $54 for AKL-BNE (both in business).


Are there better programs to book the domestic air new zealand flights with?


Honestly, for domestic flights, look at cash fares. They can be very cheap. For when I am there in June, one way flights from Auckland to Christchurch start at $20 on Jetstar. The flights are short, and I think even Air New Zealand flies all economy planes on these routes.


To book this on Virgin Atlantic, do you need to call them? For example, I see a Air New Zealand operated flight on the United search page for 99k United miles, but I can’t find that same flight on the Virgin Atlantic search.

Greg The Frequent Miler

Yes you have to call. Virgin doesn’t show Air New Zealand flights on their website.


Just as a data point for those who are interested–I booked ANZ tickets with Virgin a couple weeks ago. It looks like the phone call took 29 minutes total, which included confirming availability (SFO-AKL-BNE and AKL-LAX for 2 people), instant point transfer from Citi, taking payment and ticketing. Given the multiple flights, I thought the whole process was fairly efficient and painless.

Mr. Seg

I am so excited, I finally booked my first business class trip to French Polynesia. Total for 2 people from SFO: 110,000 miles –> ~$9800
How is Polaris United business class?


We just flew Polaris Biz SFO to London. Was great. The lounge at SFO is very good. Huge area, 2 stories, lots of food choices and even a restaurant setting where you order anything you want off a menu. For kids they had a Hot Chocolate making station with all the extras.


How was the service and food on the plane? I flew Newark to Capetown 9/2022. The service was a zero. The food a zero. I am not that picky either. For a 15 plus hour flight. The seat was good and the flights were smooth so I got alot of sleep.


Polaris is terrible. The seat is good. The food a zero and crews? Forget it. I flew in Sept Newark to Capetown. I had smooth flights and god alot of sleep. To fill you in so you know what I mean. I asked about the mid flight snack. Pastrami sandwich. They bring it wrapped in plastic no plate. He took it back and got me a plate and heated it. LOL. On the return flight. Sorry no menus. We dont have any. Ask for PJS, they wont ask you. When the flight took off on a 15.5 hour flight the crew disappeared. I had a similar experience a few yrs ago HKG-Newark. The Polaris club in Newark packed. If you get there early you can do th sitdown meal. It was a 45 min wait for a table.




Yep I know I hear the weather can be somewhat unseasonable there in July or Aug. I have never been there.


Looks great. Alas, I have a pile of AA miles. Any ideas how I can use those to get from SFO to Oz and New Zealand? 10 years ago we used them for Cathay Pacific rnd trip 120k each. Incredible, 1st Class experience.


looking for AA miles! happy to swap!


Would trade amex or c1 for aa miles