In January 2019, I was lucky to book what became known as the Air New Zealand $1,500 Mistake Business Fare to Australia deal.
As I wrote:
For a short time yesterday, people were able to book round trip flights from Chicago to various cities in Australia via Air New Zealand in business class for under $1,500. I paid a little over that as the flight I booked to Melbourne included a 4-night stop in Auckland. My flight was fully ticketed. Soon thereafter, the same itinerary skyrocketed to $6,500.
And then the waiting began. . .
And then, I heard rumbling that Air New Zealand was honoring the fare. I sent a direct message to the airline’s Twitter team and receive this confirmation:
Kia ora (translation: hello), thank you for reaching out. For any bookings that have been paid for, confirmed and ticketed, we will be honoring these ‘special’ fares.
Our initial itinerary was ORD-AKL (4 night layover in Auckland), AKL -MEL (8 nights Melbourne), and returning MEL-AKL-ORD.
We added two American Airline flights in to position from NYC (LGA) to Chicago (ORD) and back. (British Airways 15,000 Avios)
We also booked two Qantas flights (MEL-SYD) so our stay in Australia became 4 nights Melbourne and 4 nights Sydney (British Airways 18,000 Avios – Business Class!).
Our itinerary was this:
- August 2nd – AA flight from New York LGA to Chicago O’Hare (ORD) (purchased with British Airways avios). (*Fiasco – almost missed our connection in Chicago – story to follow)
- August 2nd – Air New Zealand flight NZ27 Chicago O’hare to Auckland, NZ (arriving early August 4th)
- August 4th – 8th – Stay in Auckland, NZ four nights at the Auckland Four Points Sheraton Hotel (Citibank Prestige Card, 4th night free)
- August 8th – Air New Zealand flight – Auckland to Melbourne, Australia. Transit to Qantas flight to Sydney, Australia
- August 8th – 12th – Stay in Sydney, Australia, two nights at the InterContinental Sydney Hotel (using our IHG free nights), and two nights at the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel.
- August 12th – Qantas flight Sydney to Melbourne, Australia
- August 12th- 16th – Stay in Melbourne, Australia, four nights at the Grand Hyatt Melbourne (2 nights Chase Hyatt Credit Card free nights, and 2 nights Hyatt points).
- August 16th – Air New Zealand Flight – Melbourne, Australia to Auckland, NZ, followed by Air New Zealand Flight from Auckland, NZ to Chicago O’Hare.
- August 16th – 17th – One night at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare Hotel (Presidential Suite!!!) (used Hyatt points).
- August 17th – AA flight from ORD to LGA (purchased with British Airways avios).
21,996 Miles, but who’s counting?
It was winter in New Zealand and Australia. In Auckland, it rained almost the entire time, but that didn’t stop us. We also saw a ton of beautiful rainbows.
We loved Sydney and Melbourne. From the Opera House to the Botanical Gardens and the Coastal walk in Sydney, to the street art and funky neighborhoods in Melbourne, we had a blast. I definitely want to return!
Overall, we had 8 flights on three airlines (American, Air New Zealand and Qantas), 6 of the flights were in business class, we almost missed the first flight which would have blown up the entire trip, we visited numerous airport lounges, we stayed at 5 hotels (Marriott, IHG, Hyatt and Radisson), we had hotel lounge access at two of the hotels, we took walking tours in each city and saw some phenomenal street art.
Surprisingly, we spent very little for this trip of a lifetime – thanks to points and cash and credit card bonuses! Stay tuned for many hotel and trip reports and stories!