Exceptional Business-Class Award Availability to New Zealand

Sep 20, 2016

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United’s once again offering fantastic business-class award availability on its nonstop flight from San Francisco to Auckland, with nine or more seats open for redemption on a handful of dates next summer. These flights are operated by the airline’s 787-9 with its most up-to-date business-class seat — however, it won’t be United’s latest and greatest by the time you travel in 2017. Still, this is an excellent opportunity to fly your family and friends to New Zealand in comfort on the cheap.

To search, head to United.com and enter your origin (SFO) and destination (AKL), select your dates (availability runs throughout July and August) and check the box for an award ticket search. You can search for up to eight seats at a time, but there are nine or more available on some dates (more on that below).

Here’s what we’re seeing from San Francisco to Auckland for eight passengers (….. dates have business class saver awards, while — dates have economy saver awards):

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And here’s for two:

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Then, for the return, here’s for eight passengers from Auckland to San Francisco:

Screen Shot 2016-09-20 at 11.24.49 AM

And even better availability if you’re searching for just two seats:

Screen Shot 2016-09-20 at 11.24.16 AM

If you turn on United’s Expert Mode and perform a revenue ticket search, you can see if there are even more seats available.

If you’re an elite member you’ll be able to book “IN” inventory, while everyone else can access “I.” Meanwhile, if you’re an elite or United MileagePlus Explorer Card cardholder you can book “XN” economy award space, while other MileagePlus members can only access “X” inventory — while business class is only available on some dates, economy awards are wide open throughout the summer. As you can see, “R” instant upgrade seats are wide open as well, which is the norm when business-class awards are available to book.

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If you’re interested in booking these awards, you’ll get the best deal with United miles — 70,000 each way for BusinessFirst, or 40,000 miles for economy. Taxes and fees are less than $75 round-trip. Don’t forget that you can transfer points instantly from Chase Ultimate Rewards, earned with cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred, making it possible to snag these awards even if you don’t have enough miles in your United account.

H/T: View from the Wing

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