You bastards

March 6th, 2012 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Hayden Donnell reports at NZ Herald:

is being accused of driving away its most loyal customers with a recent overhaul of its air points rewards system.

In changes set to kick in on May 30, frequent flyers using their Airpoints to book flights on the national carrier will have to bid against each other to get seat upgrades.

Bids can only be placed a week or more out from a flight, with the airline telling people whether their offer has been accepted between three and seven days before departure.

Under the airline’s previous system, Airpoints users could a get an upgrade if they paid a fixed price before a flight and a seat was available.

The changes have sparked outrage among frequent flyers, with many threatening to shift their support to rival airlines.

And I am one of them. This is the last straw. I spend a huge amount flying with Air New Zealand – both domestically and internationally. Due to their loyalty programme, I always try to book Air NZ – even if not the cheapest option. Hence I have been Gold Elite or Gold for the last decade or so.

Over that time Air NZ has continually downgraded the value of their airpoints and loyalty programme. Time after time after time they have degraded it. However there was one aspect left that made it worth staying on for – long haul upgrades.

I can not afford to pay more higher than economy class to travel overseas. However I regularly use airpoints to purchase upgrades so that I can escape cattle class.  Now Air NZ is destroying the benefits of having gold status with them.

I’m a member of Qantas also, but at the lowest tier level. I’m now going to make Qantas my priority airline for bookings, unless Air NZ gives frequent flyers an incentive to use them. Business class travel is quite simply unaffordable for people who pay for their own travel (unless very well off), and frequent flyer points have been the only way that it becomes affordable.

Despite that, entrepreneur Ben Kepes said Australian airline Qantas could capitalise on the discontent created by the changes to spark an exodus of Air New Zealand frequent flyers.

The self-described “Air New Zealand evangelist” said the way the OneUp system had been implemented diminished his view of the carrier.

“It’s definitely left a bad taste in my mouth.

“It’s a bad look when people are starting to say ‘what are my options with other airlines?’…I would be surprised if there wasn’t a mass exodus from Air New Zealand.”

Mr Kepes said the bidding system would add unnecessary stress to frequent flyers’ seat upgrade applications.

He claimed the changes compromised Air New Zealand’s reputation for great service to high value customers.

It is a pity. The staff are great, and are excellent ambassadors for the airline. It is the company letting them down.

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74 Responses to “You bastards”

  1. pq (728 comments) says:

    I didn’t think Air NZ had any customers Farrar, my God who travels Air NZ, what a prat CEO to leave when the company is about to crash

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  2. iMP (2,418 comments) says:

    They’re also forcing long trem ground crew to reapply for their jobs after being there 20 years. Insulting and degrading.

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  3. Lance (2,704 comments) says:

    I would think twice before going with Qantas
    I was a frequent flyer with them but the consistent crap service and other piss poor experiences has them on my black list.

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  4. 103PapPap (131 comments) says:

    I’m with you on this one too. Air NZ is really screwing its Frequent Travellers over. It was bad enough when they gave out Air Points for having a mortgage with BNZ and other retailers, which means that you are way done the priority list for upgrades.
    Now having to bid for them is truly bizarre!

    I have found that there are good bargains travelling on the Asian airlines (I’ve used Malaysian three times now), the service is almost as good as Singapore (and better than Air NZ) and the business class fares are very competitive.
    Plus, you can fly in and out of Paris, and use Eurostar trains to avoid UK departure tax.

    So I am going to spend out my accumulated Air Points on domestic travel then depart from Air NZ International permanently.

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  5. insider (1,028 comments) says:

    Liberty Scott has written a good post on this.

    Qantas used to allow you to convert airpoints to vouchers for places like Dick Smith and Farmers or use them at the online qantas shop. Quite useful if your points aer expiring and you have no travel plans.

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  6. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    I once had 2 million Qantas Frequent Flyer points, ie did a LOT of travel with them. Their service has deteriorated over the last decade and my travel patterns now have me on AirNZ domestically and Emirates internationally. I did a comparison of AirPoints and QFF about a year ago, and QFF had real travel benefits (by way of award flights) accumulate at a rate of 1.5x the rate of AirNZ aware flights. AirNZ have been better are marketing their scheme, and embedding it into other loyalty providers’ businesses. Like you DPF, I’m pissed off with AirNZ over this change. They’re destroying goodwill in big chunks right now.

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  7. Viking2 (11,550 comments) says:

    Good Luck with that. Quantas are going broke as well. Virgin have picked off their customers cause of their crap service etc.
    Stop being so socialist and pay for what you get. The Taxpayer can’t keep propping up your favorite airline forever.
    Buy up its shares if you think its such a viable company with great returns to the shareholders.
    hahahahaha.

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  8. tempest (30 comments) says:

    DPF -I am in the same boat as you here. I have frequent business in North America, and are based there for part of the year. I always fly airnz direct from AKL to either LAX, SFO or YVR. Because of the huge cost leap between Economy to Premium Economy to Business Premier I can’t really justify the extra expense from a personal or business perspective. I use my airpoints to get out of economy class whenever possible, and with my usual G or GE status this hasn’t been an issue.

    But a little while ago airnz slashed the number of airpoints you accrue on the long haul flights, and now they want to begin this stupid auction idea. Great for people without S, G, or GE status who spend a lot of money on their global plus card, and who are saving up and doing their one big overseas trip every 5 years. Not so great for people who actually purchase a lot of airnz air tickets.

    Once I use up my airpoints stash I’ll be looking at other options. Annoying that Qantas has given up on ALK to LAX, and about 48 hours later airnz bumped their average prices up on this sector by $200-300…

    I hear that Continental will be soon offering direct 787 service from AKL to Houston, TX. Can’t wait.

    Lastly, can anyone from Airnz answer why are your prices from LAX to AKL return for March $500 more expensive on the airnz.co.nz website than they are on Expedia??

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  9. voice of reason (490 comments) says:

    Tempset – you could get an answer to your Q on the AirNZ Airpoints section on flyertalk.com

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  10. insider (1,028 comments) says:

    I want tempest and krazy kiwis jobs…accruing air miles while you work.

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  11. George Patton (350 comments) says:

    Are you reading this Air New Zealand? Your best customers will leave you because you are treating your best customers like crap – making them bid for better seats. What the hell kind of rewards scheme is that?

    In order to get the most out of traveling, I joined a loyalty scheme with a bank credit card linked to your airline. I thought it was great – until you made your announcement that I and other good customers were to be nothing more than auction chattels – when we are supposed to be the customers you like the most!

    I don’t think Air NZ realize how easy it is for those frequent flyers to ditch their Air NZ loyalty linked credit card, and open an ANZ Qantas linked card instead.

    They have now severely incentivised their best customers to do just that.

    If Qantas is reading this – make an offer to NZ customers to become YOUR frequent flyers – you could very well turn the table on Air NZ after embarrassing incidents like industrial strife and non-flights due to ash clouds

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  12. PaulL (6,038 comments) says:

    Heh. Rich white people’s problems.

    This could be good if handled properly. If they’re saying that they’re going to let people upgrade to some number of business class seats (all the unfilled seats? some specific number per flight?), and you can run an auction for who wants it most, surely it’s possible that you’ll end up using fewer points? I think the real question is how many seats they make available, not the mechanism by which they charge frequent flyer points for them.

    I don’t really ever use FF points to upgrade (on Qantas tho), I use them for economy flights usually. Is the $ per point any different for an upgrade v’s a flight? I tend to do the maths a bit differently (too rational maybe?). Whether I spend a point on the base economy price, or on the upgrade, it tends to have a similar dollar value. So maybe the answer is to buy every second flight business class outright, and every second flight business class on points. Or does that not give the same $ cost?

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  13. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    @insider – The irony of all those points was that annual leave became an ideal time to stay home, paint the roof, read a book. Traveling was pretty low on the agenda.

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  14. Rick Rowling (815 comments) says:

    I give it 3 months. Either vigorous bidding will drive away too many valuable customers (missing out on or feeling ripped off for upgrades), or lackadaisical bidding will see them giving away upgrades too cheaply.

    / Really just wanted to use the word lackadaisical once today.

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  15. wreck1080 (3,956 comments) says:

    I agree — they are just making things more difficult.

    I had a problem with air nz where they tried to make me fly in economy after I changed the return flight date on my $8000 business seat flight — and, they let people in economy upgrade to business ahead of me .

    The reason was that the business class seats I had purchased were in a different seat class to the ones that were available, and my date change meant my purchased business class seats were unavailable (even though it was basically the same seats, just they prioritise by class or something) so I’d accepted to fly economy — not knowing that they had seats available in business class (i know, i don’t get it either).

    Air NZ wanted me to phone my client (this was in the LA stopover) and ask for them to pay extra so I could upgrade my class. I refused and complained and eventually someone noticed they were being ridiculous and let me have my business class seat.

    But, I was left with a very sour taste after this debacle.

    To make matters worse, they only gave me the airpoints for an economy flight even though I’d paid business class tickets.

    I think , the source of the problem is their computer systems only handle specific business cases, anything outside of that and things go wacky.

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  16. Rick Rowling (815 comments) says:

    But yes, as PaulL suggested

    #firstworldproblems

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  17. grumpy (270 comments) says:

    Like you DPF, I have been Gold or Gold Elite for the past 15 years. I lost a heap of Airpoints when they converted to Air Dollars and never really forgave them.
    I am now also Gold with emirates and much prefer to travel with them. They:

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  18. grumpy (270 comments) says:

    ….sorry….finger problems…

    They pick you up from home and drop you off at your destination.
    Have a huge range of destinations.
    Business class airfares are cheaper than Air NZ.
    A good standard of modern aircraft.
    Crew who really want to be there and from a huge range of cultures.

    With emirates and Singapore flying out of Christchurch – why would you go Air NZ?

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  19. Elaycee (4,403 comments) says:

    I’m with DPF on this one – been a Koru member for 20+ years and, due to their total arrogance with their customer base, I’ve shifted my flying preference away. As mentioned before, the trigger for me was when I booked Air NZ on-line only to be asked to decide whether I wanted to pay extra for a meal and ‘entertainment’ on a short haul sector to Australia. The cost for these ‘extras’ was insignificant but the principle is a joke.

    Currently I’m several time zones away from NZ. This trip involves many international and internal flights and the timing of visits has been based around flights booked with other airlines. But the trip could easily have been based around the Air NZ schedule.

    I have no beef at all with the Air NZ staff – including cabin crew. But the people who thought that they could take the Koru Club loyalty for granted (all in the name of reducing their loyalty programme contingent liability), will soon realise via their plunging membership that they have buggered this up. And the money they’ll spend on recruiting more Koru members will be a waste – all they had to do in the first place, was look after the existing membership.

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  20. berend (1,715 comments) says:

    Didn’t DPF write a similar post a while ago how he wouldn’t fly with JetStar again? And now AirNZ. I wonder how long Qantas will last.

    [DPF: Jetstar is a ban. I refuse to travel with them within NZ as they are incompetent. With Air NZ I am just saying they will not be my preferred airline, I will try to book Qanatas or other airlines when possible]

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  21. George Patton (350 comments) says:

    #Firstworldproblems you might say, but it’s a taxpayer owned airline. If it’s best customers walk away because we think we’re being treated like shit – YOU PAY!

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  22. dime (10,094 comments) says:

    the new system is freakin weird. wonder which marketing star came up with it.

    AIR NZ pissed me off a few years ago so i punished them for a while. booked a shit load of flights through other airlines.

    Back to air nz now though. i like the koru club too much :)

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  23. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    berend – For Jetstar, think Qantas and take away frills, timetable and pilot experience. Gulp …

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  24. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    Apparently they have bought in some dickhead from BA (I think) who did a similar thing there. Its amazing how companies do this – bring in someone who they think is just the cats pajama’s – they introduce some crazy new idea (well usually not new – these people are actually never smart enough to think it up themselves) – it drives customers away – and then the smart new person is usually kicked out in a year or so.

    Frankly I dont know why anyone flies with AirNZ (except maybe to N.America). You can get business fares to europe at about 60% of the AirNZ price and they are just about as good. You need to be diners club member to use diners club lounges (the Star Alliance lounges are turning to shit. The AirNZ Auckland international lounge is not am touch on what it used to be – and they are about the same all over the world. Diners club lounges are generally much better). And the other problem with AirNZ is that you can get a really good crew or a really awful crew – and when they are awful – no one can match them for bad service.

    If you fly with a star alliance member you still get airpoints – so even though they are now far less valuable – you still get them. And you can use them on other star alliance members.

    So – use your points to get flights and forget upgrades – because you will be bidding against someone who has more points usually.

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  25. George Patton (350 comments) says:

    @Dime The genius behind this customer outcry is rumored to be Christopher Luxon, Group GM for International. Mike Tod of Marketing may also be involved in this brilliant move to enrich Qantas and Emirates.

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  26. slijmbal (1,236 comments) says:

    however, domestically it’s Air NZ or Jetstar – the latter insist on you turning up minimum 45 mins before the flight in case their machines won’t let you check in and you have to queue as the queue can be too long and they’ll close the flight on you – bang! Then you’re up for another ticket. At least with Air NZ I can waltz up 10 minutes before the flight and swipe an iphone and board. The free Koru lounge on gold helps for all those delays and cancellations both airlines seem to have.

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  27. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    Quite simply, I don’t think these changes are the way to fill a $70m hole

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  28. CJPhoto (227 comments) says:

    The crux of this #firstworldproblems is that it is no longer a frequently flyer loyalty scheme.

    It isnt even a loyalty scheme requiring you to use their partners (ie BNZ and Kiwbank credit cards).

    You can now buy airdollars so there is no longer any ‘loyalty’ component at all.

    As a firmly entrenched Jade status member, I personally dont care but I would have thought you want to look after those high value repeat customers.

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  29. Sean (301 comments) says:

    @ tempest – you will be waiting a long time. I think you meant United:

    “Continental Airlines ceased to exist after 75 years at the weekend when its final flight landed in Cleveland, Ohio. The brand, website, frequent flier programme and reservations network will be subsumed into United Airlines, which agreed to merge with Continental in a $3.2bn deal in May 2010.”

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  30. hmmokrightitis (1,595 comments) says:

    I will stick my hand up as well. G or GE the last 15 years. Last 18 months Ive done weekly returns from New Plymouth to AKL and Wellington, sometimes twice a week. Ive been to London twice, Tokyo, Singapore, Melbourne (3 x) Brisbane (2) Fiji (2) and Sydney (3). In the next few months I have trips to Tokyo and London, Premium Economy and use upgrades. Both were going to be Air NZ, neither will be now, and I have already emailed an old mate of mine in a plush corner office at AirNZ and told him why.

    I, my company, my customers, and the various entities I work for or that I am on the board of all used to fly AirNZ, in fact it was my default, I always insisted on it, supporting the national carrier. Now, not Qantas, god, their planes are old, their service is shit, I just cant do it. My far better half went on a trip to the Middle East recently, Emirates the whole way. And same for me from now on. Screw you Clothes Horse Fyfe, step to far.

    And yes, its middle class white problems, but sweet hay-sus, why would you deliberately set out to piss off the customers that contribute the most to your bottom line? And now, with my gorgeous brand new car, I will happily drive to AKL or Wellington, and then fly from there.

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  31. dime (10,094 comments) says:

    george – not the same guy that had sean fitzpatrick driving around in a huge fist telling me not to get laid? lol cause hes on that dudes level!

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  32. 103PapPap (131 comments) says:

    I don’t suppose, seeing as ‘we the people’ own 70% of Air NZ, that us Koru/G/GE people could call on our local MP and ‘have a word’?

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  33. labours a joke (442 comments) says:

    Im with Grumpy re; Emirates. They are truly outstanding. Im silver and got upgraded free to first class last trip Christchurch-Bangkok. They really know how to look after their f/f’s. Take note Air NZ. You are going from bad to worse. ( just a side note..Air Asia are gettin ready to pull outa CHC-KL..watch this space )

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  34. adze (2,129 comments) says:

    “Air Asia are gettin ready to pull outa CHC-KL..watch this space”

    Why’s that?

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  35. burt (8,305 comments) says:

    I had just assumed that the gummit had ordered the company to do this in preparation for a one size fits all monopoly…. Surely this competition thing is annoying and not in the best interest of the gummit shareholder…..

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  36. labours a joke (442 comments) says:

    “Malaysian budget-airline Air Asia X hints it is considering dropping its Kuala Lumpur – Christchurch route.

    The airline is reviewing all its long-haul networks because of increasing fuel prices and airport charges. Earlier this year it announced cuts to flights to Europe and India.

    The company has told the New Strait Times newspaper the airline’s most effective operations are seven and eight hour flights, and some routes are no longer viable because charges and costs have been raised in all the overseas airports it flies to.

    The airline began the 11- hour flight to Christchurch last year and operates the service four times per week.

    Air Asia X recently announced its pulling out of routes to Darwin, in Australia – a service it began in 2010.”

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  37. adze (2,129 comments) says:

    I see. The few occasions I’ve tried to book a flight with them they’ve been sold out or had no seats available – despite booking months in advance… I flew to SG last Christmas via Air SG, but they’re more expensive than Emirates (just no Aussie stopover), so I probably won’t use them again.

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  38. WineOh (630 comments) says:

    IMHO this has been caused by the race to the bottom in ticket prices, and has been endemic in the airline industry for years. We see it in so many ways- wilful price baiting (got to be one of the only industries that does not quote an all-up price that includes known taxes and surcharges), pricing without luggage, cutting the guts out of local staffing (like outsourcing cabin crews and maintenance to Asia) and the infamous serial downgrading of frequent flier schemes. When the AirNZ dollars scheme first came out I thought it was fabulous, the ability to use any dollar on any flight or upgrade. What happened to that?

    At the end of the day we the consumers have the power, and vote with our feet.

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  39. labours a joke (442 comments) says:

    Adze I think part of the problem is chc airport have been giving Air Asia free landing and terminal services and this is coming to an end soon. It was part of a deal to get AA to fly here. Add that to the mix as well as fuel price increases and ta ta Air Asia.

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  40. Nigel (517 comments) says:

    Interesting reading, I finally made GE 18 months ago, but having not travelled for 12 months am back to G, my first trip for ages is back to NYC in a few weeks be interesting to see how it goes, my first experience in the new Premium Economy seats was awful.
    It’d be nice if Emirates flew Auckland->LA, though I ilke Continental to be honest & AKL->Texas->NYC would be ok, especially if they had a premium economy option.
    One thing I am looking forward to trying out is the new Mastercard functionally, sick of ATM fees.

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  41. tempest (30 comments) says:

    @sean – Correct. Yes I was thinking Continental when I wrote that, but should have put United.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-12-06/continental-puts-off-houston-auckland-start-on-boeing-787-delay.html

    @CJPhoto – Agree. Airnz has opened up the airpoints system too widely in recent years. They almost need to bring in a two tier system – maybe “Class A” air dollars for frequent fliers, and “Class B” air dollars for credit cards, flybuys etc.

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  42. burt (8,305 comments) says:

    Come on people, AIR NZ is majority owned by the government… Be grateful that all seats aren’t pre-booked to be given away to beneficiaries like KFC vouchers before an election.

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  43. Viking2 (11,550 comments) says:

    Losing 1 million a week says that they would be better to stop and not even fly that way. That would add 52 million a year or more to the bottom line. Or don’t you travelling capitlaists think they should make a profit? Don’t you think they should cut their losses? Are they there to subsize your business?
    Tough decisions for you guys. Worse if they go bankrupt. No planes at all.

    Just saying.

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  44. Muzza M (291 comments) says:

    Over the last three years on my journeys to and from the Philippines I have used Air New Zealand (to Australia), Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacfic, China Airlines, Philippines Airlines, Air Asia, and Quantas. I think the service on international flights with Air New Zealand is shit. The other airlines I have had no complaints, I now choose to fly Quantas even though I have to be at Wellington at 4am. Air Asia have great planes and great staff but don’t try to make any changes, cancel, or miss your flight, budget airline, budget service and any fuck ups you pay through the nose.

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  45. Viking2 (11,550 comments) says:

    Wait until they all are like they used to be back in the late 70’s. weeks wait to get from Hawai to Akl. if you connections missed the planes.

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  46. burt (8,305 comments) says:

    Viking2

    It’s socialism by stealth – get rid of this multi class BS… we are all the same. We should all wear the same uniform, queue for the same loaf of bread and be grateful that our dear leaders last decade decided that our hard earned tax payers money was best invested in over priced billboards. Nothing like investing vast sums of tax payers money into a business that is in trouble globally to remind us – they know what is best for us.

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  47. labours a joke (442 comments) says:

    muzz..muzz..MUZZ !! Its Q A N T A S not quantas..sorry its just that I see it all the time ‘quantas’ and it anoys the fark outa me. Again, apologies.

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  48. southtop (265 comments) says:

    Have spent a lot of time in China over last few years, usually going via Hong Kong or Pudong Shanghai on AirNZ. Service has been brilliant. However I’m with David on this one. Will certainly be looking at Cathay now.

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  49. mister nui (1,030 comments) says:

    I’ve recently transferred ~15k / month business from AirNZ to Cathay Pacific because of AirNz’s treatment of myself as a gold elite, and am absolutely thrilled with Cathay and their service. I recommend everyone else do the same. Let’s show AirNZ the same contempt they show for our dosh.

    Screw you Fyfe, Luxon and Parton. Hopefully you’ll destroy the airline and you’ll all be out of a job – back to pedaling soap at Unilever for you Luxon!

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  50. libertyscott (359 comments) says:

    The issue is rather simple and Air NZ is not being transparent about it.

    In the efforts to make Airpoints a generic loyalty programme the airline introduced OneSmart – an integrated payment card, airpoints card that enabled people to BUY Airpoints Dollars on a one for one basis.

    That offered Airpoints members the opportunity to travel in premium cabins at a fraction of the fare price using confirmed upgrades. i.e. pay a high price economy ticket, then spend NZ$2880 to buy a confirmed upgrade both ways Auckland to London in Business Premier. A fraction of the NZ$7000 fare difference. A standby upgrade is half the price and doesn’t require a full fare economy ticket either.

    In short, the programme was developed in stages and is now biting them on the bum.

    The answer is for significant shift in high value customers to Qantas, but with Qantas withdrawing from Auckland to LA, the options are more limited. Bear in mind most of Air NZ’s long haul routes are ones it has a monopoly on (only Auckland-Hong Kong, Hong Kong-London and LA-London have competition, and of course generically routes connecting between NZ and Europe. All other Asian and North American destinations have no direct competitors).

    My beef is that I’d be fine if Airpoints upgrades were dropped for Air NZ frequent flyers without Silver, Gold or Gold Elite status, then there is a point in getting status. However, this “bidding” system is frustrating and devalues loyalty.

    By the way, if you want Star Alliance Gold status easier than Airpoints, join Aegean Airlines Miles and More programme. With 20,000 miles you get Gold Status, which gives you access to all Air NZ lounges and of course the Star Alliance network of lounges, priority check in and luggage. A threshold far easier than NZ Gold if you do long haul travel in economy.

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  51. mister nui (1,030 comments) says:

    Where on earth have you been able to buy business tickets on AirNZ to London for $7k liberty? They’re normally over $10k!

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  52. Pharmachick (241 comments) says:

    If heading through North America, United might be a good bet. Since last year (2011) they resumed a direct flight to AKL, albeit Houston-AKL. Also, you can book UA codeshare NZ … and with Star Alliance can now use miles to book and upgrade. If you are Gold elite you almost always get upgrades long haul on UA (I do abut 80% of the time unless going through ORD or EWR which are hugely business commuter airports).

    Quiet word has it that now UA & Continental have merged, the LAX/AKL or SFO/AKL route may be serviced soon… Air NZ tried to block UA landing rights at AKL after they gave them in ~2002 because of their partial bankruptcy (US Chapter 11), but Continental managed to buy landing and then UA bought Continental (LOL). About time the eastbound routes stopped being choked by Air NZ monopoly and Kiwis got good deals.

    BTW, the “bid for an upgrade” thing has to be the most ridiculous and venal idea I’ve heard of in ages – even for Air NZ.

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  53. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    Yea – its QANTAS – thats right. And its easy to remember…

    Queers And Northern Territory Air Service……

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  54. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    re mister nui at 10.06

    Its $7k Difference

    2880 + 7000 = 9880

    yet on Korean its less than $6k
    and on most ther star alliance its around $6k

    Now airline is almost worth double…….

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  55. mister nui (1,030 comments) says:

    QANTAS

    Queer and Nasty Trashy Australian Sluts

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  56. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    @ nui, I think liberty is talking about a delta of 7k over an initial 2.8k circa. sum 10k.

    And why pay a premium for over familiar ANZ cabin staff trying to be your buddy.

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  57. Elaycee (4,403 comments) says:

    Interesting to note that Air China code shares with Air NZ on some sectors. But pricing is actually different between the airlines for the same Boeing 777 aircraft!

    Auckland / Shanghai Return:
    Air China (Business) – $6136
    Air NZ (Business) – $6136
    Air China (Economy) – $1398
    Air NZ (Economy) – $1600

    Go figure…..

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  58. libertyscott (359 comments) says:

    Mister Nui: expat got it.

    I rate Air NZ in Business Premier highly, especially on the new 777-300s (or the 747s in the nose), but it is expensive compared to options like Thai or Korean for UK-NZ in business class. I wont touch Emirates because product consistency is all over the place, and see little point in having two transit points between the UK and NZ instead of one.

    Elaycee: Airline pricing is arcane and complex and everything to do with what code share seats in booking classes airlines have sold. What has happened there is that Air NZ has sold more cheap seats directly than Air China, which still has some to sell (probably because NZ origin buyers are more likely to use the NZ website that Air China’s or even Kayak to find the cheaper deals).

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  59. Viking2 (11,550 comments) says:

    Never mind better seats arriving.

    http://www.ausbt.com.au/five-brilliant-ideas-for-the-future-of-airline-seats-and-beds

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  60. obald (10 comments) says:

    Have not AirNZ back tracked a tad on this? As a GE type bloke I got a second email last week (Friday?) 24 hours after the first (which announced all the auction nonsense) saying that for GE members only they ‘had listened to feed back’ and the process for Standby Upgrades will not change. The two per year Recognition Upgrades (which in my experience you always get if you are GE) also reamain unaltered.

    Preium Economy. Depends on the plane. On the 737-300 (ie LHR via LAX) I reckon it is good. On the 737-200 (LHR via HKG) it is dreadful as the seats are just cattle seats with about 4.3 degree extra recline angle (big bloody deal) and a tad more pitch. As I’m built along the lines of a garden gnome the pitch has never really bothered me.

    Two international trips coming up. San Diego (someone else paying) – AirNZ full monty up the front. London (me paying) – it was going to be AirNZ Premium Economy via LAX, use me two ‘guaranteed’ GE upgrades for two sectors and take a punt on the the other two with using Airpoints but now I’m not so sure.

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  61. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    Obald —-

    Air NZ premium eceonomy costs more than Korean or Thai or Asiana or malasian business………
    Ues your points for free flights and forget the upgrades.

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  62. mister nui (1,030 comments) says:

    Yeah – that’s the problem with reading this on an iphone…. I missed that all important word “difference”.

    I agree that it is expensive compared to many other options, but in my experience, as a very frequent flyer, it is right up there with the best in the world, and deserves its wins as airline of the year – irrespective of its treatment of its very frequent flyers. In my opinion, the only longhaul airlines worth flying ex NZ are, AirNZ, Singapore Airlines and Cathay.

    Like you, I’m not at all a fan of Emirates, and regard most Emirates fanbois as not really knowing what they’re talking about when it comes to a really good airline. Most Emirates fanbois I know only like them because they think it is “hip” not to like their national carrier. Furthermore, I’ll bet that not many of the Emirates fanbois have ever taken a flight from Dubai to some of the North African destinations that they fly to, then you’ll know what a truly shit airline is… It is mind blowing that the level of difference in service/plane cleanliness can change so much on one airline, just depending on the flown route.

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  63. mister nui (1,030 comments) says:

    Have not AirNZ back tracked a tad on this? As a GE type bloke I got a second email last week (Friday?) 24 hours after the first (which announced all the auction nonsense) saying that for GE members only they ‘had listened to feed back’ and the process for Standby Upgrades will not change. The two per year Recognition Upgrades (which in my experience you always get if you are GE) also reamain unaltered.

    Yes, they did, but as I pointed out here: http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2012/03/general_debate_3_march_2012.html#comment-939747 this email was more insulting than their original move, by assuming we’re all idiots. As I said then; I know I was born in the morning, but I wasn’t born yesterday morning to believe that they have had “much positive feedback”.

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  64. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    mister nui @ 7.17

    Why all the emotion about national carriers? I just cant understand it – ‘you should support your national airline’ is emotional tripe.

    Ill bet when you go to buy something you dont buy it because its a NZ product. In fact for airlines to survive they are going to have to do waht everyone else does – get the best deal they can.

    Have you looked at the label in say Watties tins lately? Youll be hard pressed to find many that are made in and from NZ product. And If you look thru your wardrobe Ill bet you cant find a ‘Made in NZ’ label. these comapnaies have done it to survive, and with AirNZ business class costing over $10k where as you can get a deal at almost half this price from half a dozen other airlines then its inevitable that AirNZ will have to change or die.
    Forget your airpoints – get the best deal you can – when you do the analysis airpoints with AirNZ are VERY expensive trinkets.

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  65. mister nui (1,030 comments) says:

    barry, you’re an illiterate dickhead. Where did I say you should support your national airline?

    I used to hate AirNZ, do you remember the old first class on AirNZ and god-awful it was? Yet, it was one of the only options I had, and I had to suffer through it. Since the revamp of the mid 2000’s AirNZ has turned into a great airline, and I should know, I spend half my fucking life on aeroplanes, and let me tell you buddy, I’ve seen everything.

    What I did say, is that it is hip not to support your national airline, no matter how good it is – which is completely irrational. I support airlines based on three criteria, in order of importance:

    1. Do they have a good product, being COMFORTABLE lie flat business class seats, clean and tidy
    2. Do they have good friendly crew
    3. Does the airline value my loyalty

    AirNZ scores for a big win with 1, a win with 2, but the fail on 3 is too great for me.
    Qantas fails on 1 & 2, and has a marginal pass on 3
    Cathay & Singapore pass on 1, 2 and 3, although Singapore’s pass on 3 is marginal, as is Cathay’s pass on 1, with their new business class seats.
    Emirates fails on 1 and gets a marginal pass on 2 and 3

    There is nothing about supporting my national airline in that, simply where I feel I get an appropriate level of service for the not insignificant amount I spend. Fares, whilst I do find AirNZ generally more expensive than every other carrier, are not much of a consideration for me.

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  66. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    1. Do they have a good product, being COMFORTABLE lie flat business class seats …. Emirates fails on 1

    Really?!? The biz class on the Emirates A380 is the best in the world in my view. Singapore is a close 2nd.

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  67. mister nui (1,030 comments) says:

    Yeah, KK, but if you wanna fly from NZ on the A380, you gotta swing by Sydney and then a 15 hr flight to Dubai. I agree it’s good on the A380, but everything else is marginal, as liberty said, their product is too inconsistent.

    Personally, I reckon Singapore and AirNZ are overall better than Emirates, things like the bar don’t do a whole lot for me. Each to their own.

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  68. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    mister nui …. temper, temper…….

    Yes AirNZ they do well on 1.

    They can be good or absolutely crap on 2 – but if you like variety theyll give it to you……..

    they hardly pass on 3. A points sytem is not a recogniton of loyalty, its a discount system – exactly the same as any other discount offered. ie: buy more, get a cheaper price – but its NOT loyalty.
    I dont know what United are like these days, but 10 years ago they rewarded loyalty by regular upgrades costing nothing – no money, no miles. But then again it could have been just that they over booked and had to upgrade anyway. – but they upgraded on the basis of recognising your loyalty to them.

    But you forgot 4 – are they good value for money?

    and the answer is absolutely bloody not!

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  69. hmmokrightitis (1,595 comments) says:

    I think people get confused about AirNZ – they market themselves as a premier choice, but they are in reality a budget airline. The new 777 seats are appaling. Even the Premium Economy seats are shit – Im six foot and the angle they skew you at sucks after 3 hours. Their business seats are better.

    Am I a travel snob? Blood oath. When you travel a lot, you have to be. You consider so many different things – such as arrival times. No way in hell Im arriving in London at 5AM – midday is far better. Time for a nana nap and then hit the pubs :)

    We have a choice, and Im more than happy to exercise that. Just about to book London :)

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  70. PaulL (6,038 comments) says:

    barry: depends if you’re paying personally. I fly Qantas a lot, their business class is fine. Singapore are good with the new flip forward seats – very comfortable for sleeping, very uncomfortable for sitting. But for an overnight flight it’s all about the sleeping, and they do have great service. Haven’t been in AirNZ business class for years. Malaysian is powerfully average, but they have good satay sticks. That and the fact they’re one of the more convenient ways to get to Bangalore are the only reasons to fly with them…

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  71. Paulus (2,657 comments) says:

    I understood years ago that ALL airlines wished they had never taken on Air Points, of any colour.
    The contingent liability in their financial books is enormous, and they do not know when it will be taken up.

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  72. V (744 comments) says:

    @mister nui

    Of course Emirates can get away with a different product mix into North Africa because it doesn’t have to deal with #firstworldproblems.

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  73. dime (10,094 comments) says:

    Cactus made a good point – this really fucks with the troughers flying around on our Dime!!

    Love her idea of not allowing them to join the koru club :)

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  74. PaulL (6,038 comments) says:

    Paulus: Qantas FF is the most profitable part of the business. The world has changed.

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