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Topic # 198838 25-Jul-2016 10:56
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My wife and I are planning a trip to the UK in October this year – via LA with no stopovers.  I have just managed to get to Elite status and my wife is the Elite partner – so have no real experience of how to maximize the benefits of Elite.


We are keen to avoid travelling economy, make efficient use of our upgrade entitlements and of course minimize costs.  This is what we currently plan to do:


  • Purchase  premium economy fares for the outward leg to London
  • Use my two recognition upgrades for the first leg of the trip to LA to upgrade to Business (one for me, the other for my wife
  • Travel premium economy from LA to London
  • For the return journey, would use my airpoints dollars to upgrade to premium economy using the Elite Airpoints Dollar Upgrades – total cost = 4 times $220 = $880.

Part of my rationale for this is:


  • I’ve been told that it is easier to get an upgrade on the Auckland to LA leg than on the LA to London leg. Apparently, Americans like flying Air New Zealand.
  • Fares are lower travelling to London than back to Auckland
  • Upgrades from Premier Economy to Business cost quite a lot more than from Economy to Premium Economy (more than double).

So, just wondering:


  • Does the above work and what is the likelihood of us both getting all of the upgrades; and
  • Is there a better way – bearing in mind what we are trying to achieve.

Happy to post the outcome later on.


Many thanks

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  Reply # 1598198 25-Jul-2016 13:49
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Since you're Elite the best benefit is Elite APD upgrades and RU's clearing up to 350 days out with suitable availability in A class (PE) or R class (BP). Assuming your dates are flexible you can ring the premium team and ask for availability and if 2 seats are available you can book your flights and apply the upgrades and these clear immediately.


Getting an upgrade is like a lottery. There is no best route or day to fly to improve your chances, except for the fact loadings to the from the US are typically lighter mid week (Tue/Wed). Do not expect to get any upgrades clear during school holidays - Air NZ flights to the US are pretty much chokka in all cabins.


Your plan sounds a good one.



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