$29 fares

October 21st, 2012 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Travellers will soon be able to fly between Auckland and Wellington on late-night flights for $29.

’s new “Night Rider” service will start on November 5, undercutting its budget competitor Jetstar and offering regular low prices in contrast to the airline’s current Grabaseat fares.

Jetstar said its own low fares were behind the cheap prices, and a commentator says the move is part of a strategy by Air New Zealand to keep planes full.

The airline is facing increased competition from Jetstar, which will next month start flying the main trunk with an extra aircraft.

Air NZ chief executive Rob Fyfe made the fare-cut announcement yesterday, saying it was the first time an airline had offered fares for $29 for an entire plane, and he expected the new flights to be a hit with travellers.

This will be popular for many who are budget travellers, and found the cheap fares always sold out so quickly. So long as people have a place to stay, it means they can fly down late at night for less than the taxi fare to the airport.

It is interesting that the marginal cost of fuel and staff for a domestic flight is small enough to allow for $29 seats. In one sense no surprise that the larger costs are non-marginal such as depreciation and maintenance.

This is a benefit of having domestic competition. Will be interesting to see what Jetstar does,

I’m disappointed though that frequent flyers who use the late night service will not be allowed to access the Koru Club. This sets a potentially disturbing precedent for another rollback of value for frequent flyers.

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42 Responses to “$29 fares”

  1. Michael (909 comments) says:

    I’ve heard a couple of times that Air NZ has cancelled a few flights late at night and then rejigs its schedule so everyone gets home, but using only one plane each way instead of flying three or four jets around the country. But you can spend more on bus fare getting to and from the airport than the flights!

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  2. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    I’m disappointed though that frequent flyers who use the late night service will not be allowed to access the Koru Club. This sets a potentially disturbing precedent for another rollback of value for frequent flyers.

    Is it a rollback? Is it even open that late? Maybe it’s just not an extension?

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  3. Alan Johnstone (1,087 comments) says:

    The koru thing would make it no value to them, a few people rocking up to the airport and guesting their mates and doing a couple of beers each covers the cost of the fare. I think this let’s them close the lounges early.

    Are frequent flyer benefits good anymore? I’m not sure, i’ve’ve been gold for a while, go gold elite end of the month; its not what it was, you get fewer AP dollars and the one up system sucks.

    If Qantas status matched, I might leave.

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  4. Scott Chris (6,137 comments) says:

    Typical monopolistic behaviour. Cut prices to an unsustainable level until the competitor drops out, then you have the market to yourself again.

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  5. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    Scott Chris,

    So you’re suggesting that govt should regulate to prevent consumers benefiting from lower fares?

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  6. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    Typical Neolibs – all into the free market until it doesn’t work for the rich. Then it’s stuff the free market, lets have some regulation instead.

    As for your Koru memberships, I don’t have any sympathy. In my view it creates two classes of travellers at airports – haves and have nots.

    I wouldn’t catch a taxi to the airport when a bus is $8.50 in Wellington and $15 in Auckland. Plus leave every 10 to 15 minutes.

    What world do you live in?

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  7. eszett (2,408 comments) says:

    pew, hamnida, aren’t you glad that there is only one class of service on domestic flights?

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  8. liarbors a joke (1,069 comments) says:

    It wont be 29 bucks..the seat is 29 bucks and carry on only, if you want to take a suitcase add another 10-15 bucks the there will be the good old $4 credit card fee per person per sector. Suddenly your 29 dollar ticket becomes at least 48 bucks one way, which is still cheap..but it aint the advertised 29 bucks is it.

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  9. eszett (2,408 comments) says:

    Are frequent flyer benefits good anymore? I’m not sure, i’ve’ve been gold for a while, go gold elite end of the month; its not what it was, you get fewer AP dollars and the one up system sucks.

    If Qantas status matched, I might leave.

    The big, big advantage of AP dollars is transparency. You know exactly what you earn and what it’s worth. You never have to wonder what 40,000 points can actually get you.

    And you can redeem them anytime.

    I do think Air NZ has got the best airline FFPs (in terms of transparency and ease of use for the customer)

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  10. eszett (2,408 comments) says:

    liarbors a joke (155) Says:
    October 21st, 2012 at 9:04 am

    It wont be 29 bucks..the seat is 29 bucks and carry on only, if you want to take a suitcase add another 10-15 bucks the there will be the good old $4 credit card fee per person per sector. Suddenly your 29 dollar ticket becomes at least 48 bucks one way, which is still cheap..but it aint the advertised 29 bucks is it.

    Oh, look, a neolib complaining that he is not getting any free add-ons.
    What a sense of entitlement.

    :-)

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  11. liarbors a joke (1,069 comments) says:

    No eszett, just pointing out the obvious, its not 29 ” as advertised ” for a flight from akl to wlg, more like 48 dollars plus when you look at actuals.

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  12. liarbors a joke (1,069 comments) says:

    Hamnida would take the bus from akl to wlg rather than fly with the toffs. S’pose youd wana sit up the front as well.

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  13. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    Neolib theory – littered with contradictions.

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  14. Scott Chris (6,137 comments) says:

    So you’re suggesting that govt should regulate to prevent consumers benefiting from lower fares?

    Yup. Fuck the consumer. The consumer is a spoilt brat. No fares below cost.

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  15. Maaik (33 comments) says:

    Hammy, my ANZ flight into Welly was 10 minutes late – so I missed the last bus (at 9:30, I kid you not!) So I had to shell out $95 for a taxi to Wainui……sometimes even the committed bus-users have no choice. That’s the real world we live in.

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  16. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    The consumer is a spoilt brat.

    Clearly you are a consumer

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  17. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    It wont be 29 bucks..the seat is 29 bucks and carry on only, if you want to take a suitcase add another 10-15 bucks the there will be the good old $4 credit card fee per person per sector. Suddenly your 29 dollar ticket becomes at least 48 bucks one way, which is still cheap..but it aint the advertised 29 bucks is it.

    No eszett, just pointing out the obvious, its not 29 ” as advertised ” for a flight from akl to wlg, more like 48 dollars plus when you look at actuals.

    It remains a $29 fare if you are travelling with no checked baggage and you pay using POLi (which is actually a really good system in case you haven’t tried it).
    Jetstar and Virgin have had dirt cheap fares like that between major centres in Australia for years, and periodically Jetstar will offer extremely cheap fares, such as $9 fares this weekend between Brisbane and Newcastle, which is equivalent to an Auckland-Dunedin flight.

    As for no Koru Club access, I am sure that I could drink $29 worth of beer before a flight if I tried hard enough, so I think that restriction is fair enough.

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  18. MikeG (425 comments) says:

    re the Koru Club, I guess that Air NZ are trying to broaden their customer base, not just get the same passengers travelling on cheaper flights.

    I don’t think that they could justify the cost of keeping the Koru Lounges open for longer for just a handful of passengers.

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  19. Alan Johnstone (1,087 comments) says:

    “As for your Koru memberships, I don’t have any sympathy. In my view it creates two classes of travellers at airports – haves and have nots.

    I wouldn’t catch a taxi to the airport when a bus is $8.50 in Wellington and $15 in Auckland. Plus leave every 10 to 15 minutes.

    What world do you live in?”

    The kind of world where a business understands that repeat custom is where the profit is, knows it’s in a competitive market and rewards people that fly every week to try and keep business.

    I’ll kinda agree about the bus though, for the rare times I go to wellington, I always bus into city. Same in Sydney with the train.

    Everywhere else, though it’s taxis.

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  20. Zapper (1,021 comments) says:

    The bus in Wellington is great if you live along the route. As long as it turns up. Always leave enough time for at least 1 bus to be a phantom because it happens very often. The trains in Sydney, London, Paris are all good too, but sometimes a taxi is better value (when staying away from a station or with more than 1 person).

    In Hamnida’s world though, no matter what choices you make you should get exactly the same privileges. History shows it’s a great concept that really works!

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  21. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    The kind of world where a business understands that repeat custom is where the profit is, knows it’s in a competitive market and rewards people that fly every week to try and keep business.

    Not when that reward costs more than their profit. Perhaps they could offer an additional fee for these flights to visit the Koru lounge.

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  22. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    Dam right the koru club creates two classes of passengers at the airport! And thank god for the koru club!

    But let’s be honest hammy, in your world it would still exist. It would be used by the communist elites.

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  23. s.russell (1,642 comments) says:

    Meanwhile, people flying to/from New Plymouth, Napier, Invercargill etc continue to pay $500-scale fares one-way. Someone has to pay the fixed costs of the planes. Those in the provinces where there is no competition get the short end of the stick.

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  24. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    s.russell – if you’re so worried about those costs, buy/lease an aircraft and go into competition.
    There is a reason why those flights are expensive, and that is because they are too expensive or too risky (economically) to operate for a regional carrier to consider.

    Air2there have done a great job giving the ferry some much needed competition, as well as Air NZ on the Wellington-Nelson route.

    Also NZ really is a pretty small place – you can take a plane in NZ to avoid a 3 hour drive. It’s much different to Australia where you take a flight and still might end up driving 3 hours afterwards.

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  25. David Garrett (7,272 comments) says:

    Dime: well said Sir, both bits! Remember those “Zil” limos that the party elite used to travel in – along routes cleared by the police – in the former soviet union? Everyone else managed with a the bus or the train, or a car powered by a two stroke lawnmower engine…if you could get one.

    Bit of a pity about communism…to quote the great Captain Blackaddder” “It was a marvellous plan…the only slight problem was that it was bollocks!”

    But then young Hammy has almost certainly never been to a workers paradise…read Rodny Hide’s column in last weeks HoS….absolutely accurate.

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  26. Longknives (4,744 comments) says:

    “As for your Koru memberships, I don’t have any sympathy. In my view it creates two classes of travellers at airports – haves and have nots. ”

    Seriously I’m starting to think this guy is taking the mickey..

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  27. mister nui (1,027 comments) says:

    If Qantas status matched, I might leave.

    They were doing so, just unofficially, when the shampoo salesman (Luxon) fucked the airpoints programme good and proper.

    However, unless you’re flying internationally, it’s pretty much worthless in NZ. And who in their right mind would subject themselves to Qantas, only someone that doesn’t travel very much.

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  28. mister nui (1,027 comments) says:

    Hamnida said:

    As for your Koru memberships, I don’t have any sympathy. In my view it creates two classes of travellers at airports – haves and have nots.

    I wouldn’t catch a taxi to the airport when a bus is $8.50 in Wellington and $15 in Auckland. Plus leave every 10 to 15 minutes.

    What world do you live in?

    Fuck, I love being rich, that way I don’t have to come anywhere near people like you hammy, lest I catch the spite filled shit-on -the-liver disease you have, from you.

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  29. mister nui (1,027 comments) says:

    eszett said:

    The big, big advantage of AP dollars is transparency. You know exactly what you earn and what it’s worth. You never have to wonder what 40,000 points can actually get you.

    And you can redeem them anytime.

    I do think Air NZ has got the best airline FFPs (in terms of transparency and ease of use for the customer)

    Bahhahahaha!!!

    What world do you live in???? I guess the reason you’re saying that is you’ve just cracked a silver membership with your taxpayer funded travel?

    About time you got out and did a serious amount of travel with some airlines that actually value customer’s loyalty. Then come back and tell me that airpoints is a great programme!

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  30. mister nui (1,027 comments) says:

    Perhaps they could offer an additional fee for these flights to visit the Koru lounge.

    They already do, not sure whether it will be avaialble with these flights though, due to the late timing:
    http://www.airnewzealand.com.au/domestic-lounge-directory

    See hammy, you could put your hand in your pocket and live it up with us toff’s…. Please don’t though, I don’t want your ilk spoiling my atmosphere.

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  31. Alan Johnstone (1,087 comments) says:

    @Mr Nui, I might speak to QF about a status match, hardly any of my travel is domestic, but I go to Australia 2 – 3 times a month. Thanks for the heads up.

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  32. Longknives (4,744 comments) says:

    “See hammy, you could put your hand in your pocket and live it up with us toff’s”

    Please don’t- I don’t particularly want the Koru Lounge stinking of Cannabis and Stale Body Odour..

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  33. liarbors a joke (1,069 comments) says:

    “It remains a $29 fare if you are travelling with no checked baggage and you pay using POLi (which is actually a really good system in case you haven’t tried it).”

    Of course..and yes Ive tried it..but if you have a suitcase over 7kg and use a visa card to pay for the ticket…its NOT a $29 fare anymore ( as advertised ” akl to wlg for 29″ ! ) Its like going into maccas and the small print says the big mac is an extra 2 bucks on top of the 3 bucks advertised if you want buns and gherkin with your meal.

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  34. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    Its like going into maccas and the small print says the big mac is an extra 2 bucks on top of the 3 bucks advertised if you want buns and gherkin with your meal.

    No it’s not. It’s like going to Maccas and saying that it’ll be an extra 2 bucks for fries and a coke to go with your Big Mac. You can have a Big Mac without it, and that might be fine for lots of people, so why should they pay extra for the addons that they don’t use?

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  35. liarbors a joke (1,069 comments) says:

    You are not being forced to pay the extra 2 bucks to accompany your big mac. You can have a big mac sans chips and coke. I pay for everything via visa card so its 33 bucks for my ticket minimum not the 29 they are portraying. Chances are Im gona have a suitcase..another tenner thanks..its just typical of the crap advertising now days…no bastards honest anymore, there are always fish hooks involved.

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  36. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    It’d be $29 for me.
    As you mention, nobody forces you to use the extras. If you don’t want the $4 charge, don’t pay with visa. If they had to build a credit card payment into every fare, they would be $33 for everyone, too bad for those people who don’t want to pay that way. Ditto for luggage. Which isn’t a good result if you’re not going to travel with luggage or pay with a credit card.

    It’s not like these things cost the airlines nothing – there will be a cost for carrying luggage and for processing credit card payments. Why should they be free? There should be a charge for the people who use them, just like the meal deal at Maccas.

    Maybe this deal isn’t for you. Stop your whyngeing and enjoy cheap travel, or pay through the tooth for your expensive ticket. Your argument is invalid.

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  37. liarbors a joke (1,069 comments) says:

    I work in aviation.You completely miss my argument so I will leave it there.

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  38. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    I don’t miss your argument, I just don’t agree with it.

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  39. Monique Watson (1,062 comments) says:

    dear Hamnida and leftwing but more endearing comrade Scott Chris.
    Do you not want your children to have a better lifestyle than you?
    I want my five children to aspire to the greatest heights they can and not be knee-capped by socialism. check out the link to a billionaire who made it from communism to the US and rose to being a billionaire. Posted in GD but I will cross post because it says why your arguments = complete fail and boil down to unadulterated envy:
    http://nowoccupy.blogspot.com/2012/10/anti-socialism-ad-of-hungari-born-us.html

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  40. Monique Watson (1,062 comments) says:

    I love Koru class because you get to sit there feeling like a big rich prick and wondering who all is looking at you, while staring at everyone else wondering if it’s the Black Caps in Koru AGAIN.

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  41. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    I think you posted your 11:10 in the wrong place Monique

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  42. Monique Watson (1,062 comments) says:

    Nah, I posted in response to aforementioned posters.

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