Air New Zealand's Flying a 787 Between Honolulu and Auckland
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available – United MileagePlus Explorer Card
The Dreamliner is one of the comfiest ways to get from A to B. It's always a bonus when a carrier announces that it will begin flying a Dreamliner on a route that isn't typically serviced by a 787. And now, Air New Zealand is the latest to announce the addition of one of its Dreamliners to an existing route.
The carrier just announced that it will begin operating its popular Honolulu (HNL) to Auckland (AKL) route with a 787-9 Dreamliner. The route was previously operated by a 767-300 aircraft, however, as of this week, the airline is using its Dreamliner. Air New Zealand was the launch carrier of the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner in 2014, and it's now the first to operate a Dreamliner on regular service out of Honolulu. This is also Air New Zealand's first Dreamliner on one of its North American routes.
Recently, TPG Special Correspondent John Walton traveled on Air New Zealand's Dreamliner from Shanghai to Auckland in business class and was impressed with the product. The aircraft features ANZ's economy Skycouch, leather seats with leg rests in premium economy and lie-flat beds in Business Premier. In addition, the change will give the carrier a 20 percent capacity increase, meaning more travelers can travel on each flight between the two cities.
Round-trip economy fares start at around $1,000 on this route, while business class will run you $4,100 and up. Air New Zealand is a Star Alliance member, so if you're able to find award seats, you can book award flights using United MileagePlus miles earned with a card like the United MileagePlus Explorer Card, which currently offers a sign-up bonus of 40,000 miles after you spend $2,000 in the first three months. You'll also get two United Club passes each year for your travel, and you won't pay foreign transaction fees.