Incredible Business Award Availability on United’s New Flight to New Zealand

Jul 7, 2016

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This month, United launched nonstop service from San Francisco to Auckland, New Zealand, operated by the 787 Dreamliner. Currently, the flight operates a few days each week, but as of next year it’ll be daily. Round-trip business-class fares start at $4,900, while a round-trip business award will run you 140,000 United miles plus $73 in taxes and fees, giving you a redemption value of about 3.5 cents per mile — which is pretty fantastic, even if you have to transfer in Chase points to boost your balance.

United BusinessFirst on a 787-9.

Of course, the challenge is actually finding award space to book — on a premium route such as this, that can be fairly difficult to accomplish, especially if you’re hoping to fly with a group. Fortunately, United is offering some pretty spectacular Saver award availability in both economy and business for travel in May and June of next year, so if you’re thinking about a trip to New Zealand (or a connecting flight to Australia), now’s the time to book.

Availability for eight passengers (below) more or less matches what you’ll find when searching for just one:

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You can book the one-way flight for just 70,000 miles + $32:

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Or you can book a family of eight:

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Availability isn’t quite as good on the return, but if you’re able to fly back in late-May or early June, you should be in luck:

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Completing a search with United’s Expert Mode enabled reveals that there are at least nine award (and upgrade) seats on each date:

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Award availability like this doesn’t come around every day, so if you’re thinking about making the trip, I’d book sooner than later. United Premier Platinum and 1K members can cancel and redeposit awards for free, while fees for other members run $100 to $200 per person, depending on status level.

H/T: View from the Wing


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