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263 posts

Ultimate Geek
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# 175822 13-Jul-2015 09:10
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Howdy,

We're planning a family trip to Rarotonga about this time next year. We have a airpoints mastercard, and our rate of spend means we accrue about $40 per month on Airpoints. 

My conundrum is when to book the flights. The longer I leave it, the more we can get on airpoints, but if I leave it too long then the rates will start going up.

How long before a flight do the rates start creeping up? If I booked in say, January - would the fares be more or less the same as they are in say November?

Also a side question - do you need a valid passport number to book the tickets on Air NZ? Wife has just started citizenship process so might be a while before we can get her NZ passport sussed, wondering if we can book the tickets before she gets hers.


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  # 1341938 13-Jul-2015 09:16
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Air NZ does not require a passport at the time of booking (at least it didnt the other day for Australia) but it does give you the option to enter one.

Not sure how familiar you are with NZ air points but you cannot use them to buy portions of a ticket.  Either the whole thing or not airpoints at all.  Obviously not a big deal if you are buying single one way tickets (there and back) but something you should be aware of.  I can guarantee there will be more Raro sales, so I wouldnt rush into anything.  In fact leaving it until th new year would be quite safe in my opinion, as within 6 months you will see more Raro sales.  Is it during school holidays?

Also:  If you buy airline tickets you should really be buying travel insurance - what if a cyclone or Tsunami hit these countries.  While they may be cleaned up, they may be less appealing, and you wont be able to change you itinerary with 1 year to go.

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  # 1341940 13-Jul-2015 09:16
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I wouldn't think booking in November is going to be any cheaper than booking in January.
I'd say, infact, that waiting till it goes on Sale will be better than booking early. Flights to the Islands do go on sale quite regularly.

 
 
 
 


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  # 1341945 13-Jul-2015 09:25
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Just be aware that sale periods normally exclude school holidays, when any travel business will try to maximise its revenue. And certainly don't leave it until it starts getting colder here because that's also the time everybody goes "oh it's cold let's plan a midwinter tropical getaway".
Certainly my experience is booking earlier gives you greater choice on both price and service.




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  # 1341950 13-Jul-2015 09:36
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itxtme: Air NZ does not require a passport at the time of booking (at least it didnt the other day for Australia) but it does give you the option to enter one.

Not sure how familiar you are with NZ air points but you cannot use them to buy portions of a ticket.  Either the whole thing or not airpoints at all.  Obviously not a big deal if you are buying single one way tickets (there and back) but something you should be aware of.  I can guarantee there will be more Raro sales, so I wouldnt rush into anything.  In fact leaving it until th new year would be quite safe in my opinion, as within 6 months you will see more Raro sales.  Is it during school holidays?

Also:  If you buy airline tickets you should really be buying travel insurance - what if a cyclone or Tsunami hit these countries.  While they may be cleaned up, they may be less appealing, and you wont be able to change you itinerary with 1 year to go.


In fact you sort of can use Airpoints to part buy tickets.

You just need to exchange real money for Airports dollars before you buy the ticket.

EG if ticket is $500 and you have $250 Airpoints dollars earned from the card, you can go to your ANZ account and buy another $250 Airpoints then use the resulting $500 to buy the ticket.

It's annoying and a laborious work around something that should be easy but it can be done. Just make sure you do it a week ahead as it takes a few days for the purchased Airpoints dollars to show up in your balance.







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Ultimate Geek
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  # 1342037 13-Jul-2015 11:12
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itxtme: Air NZ does not require a passport at the time of booking (at least it didnt the other day for Australia) but it does give you the option to enter one.

Not sure how familiar you are with NZ air points but you cannot use them to buy portions of a ticket.  Either the whole thing or not airpoints at all.  Obviously not a big deal if you are buying single one way tickets (there and back) but something you should be aware of.  I can guarantee there will be more Raro sales, so I wouldnt rush into anything.  In fact leaving it until th new year would be quite safe in my opinion, as within 6 months you will see more Raro sales.  Is it during school holidays?

Also:  If you buy airline tickets you should really be buying travel insurance - what if a cyclone or Tsunami hit these countries.  While they may be cleaned up, they may be less appealing, and you wont be able to change you itinerary with 1 year to go.


Thanks for the heads up - No I wasn't aware of only being able to buy full tickets with Airpoints - lucky we found out now. But Geektastic's suggestion sounds like a good work around (Thanks).

Don't worry - travel insurance is compulsory in this family. Coming from the experience of claiming $5k+ in medical bills when I was doing a working holiday at a Californian ski resort has cemented that opinion.

And we will be actively avoiding school holidays - kids are well under school age so yes, avoiding like the plague while we can. 
Will keep an eye on the sales - thanks for the tips :)

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  # 1342084 13-Jul-2015 12:25
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An alternative way you can part pay for tickets is buy one person's full fare (eg. return trip) using Airpoints, and then pay for other passengers on the same ticket using cash and/or credit card. You'll need to set other travellers up as a 'giftee', which should be fine if they are in the same household as you, but they will need their own airpoints account. Here's a brief rundown on how it works, I wrote a post on it a little while ago. Another advantage of doing this is that you don't need to pay for the credit card booking fees that AirNZ charges on the entire booking (as they don't charge this fee for airpoints redemptions and part of your ticket is an airpoints redemption).

If I were you, I'd monitor the sales and book for a set of dates that you had pre-planned ahead for. Be flexible if you can, and perhaps check out the flight schedules to know when they fly as flight times are limited to some pacific islands and some flights are seasonal. As already pointed out, school holidays are high demand so if you're looking to go at one of these 'peak times' then sale fares may be non-existent or limited.

Good luck! :)

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  # 1342098 13-Jul-2015 12:42
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jtan: An alternative way you can part pay for tickets is buy one person's full fare (eg. return trip) using Airpoints, and then pay for other passengers on the same ticket using cash and/or credit card. You'll need to set other travellers up as a 'giftee', which should be fine if they are in the same household as you, but they will need their own airpoints account. Here's a brief rundown on how it works, I wrote a post on it a little while ago. Another advantage of doing this is that you don't need to pay for the credit card booking fees that AirNZ charges on the entire booking (as they don't charge this fee for airpoints redemptions and part of your ticket is an airpoints redemption).

If I were you, I'd monitor the sales and book for a set of dates that you had pre-planned ahead for. Be flexible if you can, and perhaps check out the flight schedules to know when they fly as flight times are limited to some pacific islands and some flights are seasonal. As already pointed out, school holidays are high demand so if you're looking to go at one of these 'peak times' then sale fares may be non-existent or limited.

Good luck! :)

Does this work with shairpoints too?

 
 
 
 


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  # 1342100 13-Jul-2015 12:44
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Have to say that it would be a lot easier if the ANZ site simply said at check out "You have $312 Airpoints dollars: do you wish to use them against this booking?".





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  # 1342175 13-Jul-2015 13:47
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bazzer:
jtan: An alternative way you can part pay for tickets is buy one person's full fare (eg. return trip) using Airpoints, and then pay for other passengers on the same ticket using cash and/or credit card. You'll need to set other travellers up as a 'giftee', which should be fine if they are in the same household as you, but they will need their own airpoints account. Here's a brief rundown on how it works, I wrote a post on it a little while ago. Another advantage of doing this is that you don't need to pay for the credit card booking fees that AirNZ charges on the entire booking (as they don't charge this fee for airpoints redemptions and part of your ticket is an airpoints redemption).

If I were you, I'd monitor the sales and book for a set of dates that you had pre-planned ahead for. Be flexible if you can, and perhaps check out the flight schedules to know when they fly as flight times are limited to some pacific islands and some flights are seasonal. As already pointed out, school holidays are high demand so if you're looking to go at one of these 'peak times' then sale fares may be non-existent or limited.

Good luck! :)

Does this work with shairpoints too?


In essence - Yes: Shairpoints is slightly different, however. It pretty much allows you to 'pool' airpoints together between friends and family. The method above still works as you're still paying for one person's ticket (of an itinerary for multiple people) using airpoints dollars, the only difference is the airpoints used to pay for that ticket might be paid for using APD from multiple people's airpoints accounts. Remember Shairpoints uses the oldest points first between sharers, so it might not necessarily use the points from the account you want it to first..

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  # 1342201 13-Jul-2015 14:00
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flight price doesn't "creep up"

they have different seats that are priced different, at all times.

once the lower priced seats are gone, you move up the next tier of pricing. just for the fun of it.

when they do a sale, they release more lower priced seats. wait for a sale. in fact there was one last week. I'd say they will happen again. but you may or may not get your dates or be in time for your holiday.




Swype on iOS is detrimental to accurate typing. Apologies in advance.


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