Air New Zealand Airpoints
Air New Zealand’s Koru Airpoints is one of the most accessible frequent flyer programs there is. The program has great opportunities to move up to premium membership levels. It is cheap to join, and customers start getting benefits right from the start of their membership. The ability to earn status points on short flights, even in economy seats, is good news for customers who look to fly cheaply when they can, whilst there are chances to earn hundreds of points for customers who fly regularly, long distance and in business class seats.
Air New Zealand is the national airline of New Zealand, and its flag-carrying airline. The airline carries 11.7 million passengers every year. It is based in the major city of Auckland, and flies to 53 destinations; 27 domestic destinations, and 26 international destinations. Those international destinations are scattered across 14 countries in four continents; Europe, Asia, North America and Oceania. It is also the only airline to circumnavigate the world at the moment. So, the chances are that wherever you want to fly to, Air New Zealand is going there.
The airline joined the Star Alliance global airline Alliance in 1999 and is still a member of this body, which is the largest and oldest airline alliance in the world. Currently, its fleet is large and looking to get larger; it has a fleet of 99 aircraft in total, consisting of 47 jets and 52 turbo props, with many more aircraft on order to expand services.
Air New Zealand has a fantastic reputation as an airline generally, as well as specifically for customer service and it’s friendly, helpful staff, as shown in its history of receiving awards. It won Best Airline to the Pacific, awarded by the Travel Weekly Globe Awards, in 1999, 2000, and 2001. Air New Zealand then won the TTG Annual Travel Award for Best Pacific Airline in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2004. In 2007, Air New Zealand was recognised as Australasia’s Leading Business Class Airline at the 14th Annual World Travel Awards, and as the Best Airline to the South Pacific, Australia and New Zealand by Business Traveler Magazine in the same year.
In 2008, Air New Zealand won Best Passenger Service Award at the Air Transport World Magazine Awards, and in 2009, the airline won Best Cabin Staff Australian/New Zealand at the World Airline Awards, Skytrax. Finally in 2010 the airline won Airline of the Year at the Air Transport World Global Airline Awards.
As you would expect with this airline, the routes focus on Australasia and the South Pacific, but there are also long-haul services to Asia, Europe and North America as mentioned previously. The hub of New Zealand Airlines is Auckland Airpoint. Air New Zealand’s major international routes include flights from Auckland to central European destinations such as Munich and London; to Asian major cities such as Beijing and Hong Kong; and to West Coast North American cities Los Angeles and San Francisco.
So, if you regularly fly to these destinations, Air New Zealand Airpoints could be the ideal frequent flyer plan for you as flights to these destinations are regular and there is an opportunity to earn plenty of points on them.
There is a range of benefits to be had with membership of Air New Zealand Koru and Airpoints. When booking flights, members of the scheme are entitled to upgrade privileges, priority wait-listing, and discounted business fares. Members are also entitled to more baggage at no extra charge, priority check-in and priority baggage claim, meaning that waiting times are shorter and extra baggage is cheaper for members.
Finally, there are also entitlements to free upgrades and complimentary products from car rental companies and hotels on arrival at destinations. Koru members also have access to the Koru Lounges, as well as the Koru Boardroom at the Wellington Koru Lounge, and the Koru Office at the Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin Koru Lounges.
The rate of earning Airpoints depends on which class you fly in and how far you fly. For example, flying one-way within New Zealand, over a distance of less than 300 KM, will earn no points with Discount Economy or Flexi Saver seats, but will earn 11 Airpoints in Full Economy. On international flights, a one-way flight between Auckland and Western Australia will earn 70 points in Full Economy, or 110 in Business class, and so on. You can also earn status points on most flights, which count towards moving you up to Silver, Gold and Elite Gold membership, where the perks are even better. Members of the scheme can also earn points with Airpoints partners.
As Air New Zealand is part of the Star Alliance, members can earn Airpoints and status points on many flights with other airlines that are part of that alliance including Virgin and Mexicana, giving them more choice about which company to use for any given flight. Other partners include Accor Hotels & Resorts; Choice Hotels International; Hilton Hotels & Resorts; IHG; Langham Hotels International; Millennium, Copthorne & Kingsgate Hotels & Resorts; Mirvac Hotels & Resorts; Stamford Hotels; Starwood Hotels & Resorts; and The Ascott Hotel in the accommodation industry. Car rental partners include Thrifty, Budget Rent A Car, Hertz and Avis Rent A Car, and cruise partners include Bora Bora Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Cruise West and a whole host of others.
So, in order to accrue more points, it is always best when booking a trip to check which companies are Air New Zealand partners, and perhaps use their services instead of another company.
Points are not capped, but they do expire after 4 to 5 years. Fortunately, when you use points, the oldest points are used first, minimising the number of points that will soon be up for expiry. This does not apply to members who have Gold or Gold Elite status; their points never expire.
Members can use points to pay for Air New Zealand flights as well as flights with other partners, or use them to purchase extra tickets or upgrades on flights. Additionally, some of the long-haul seats on Air New Zealand flights are available at special low fares if purchased using points. Members can also redeem points to pay for car rental, hotels, and Koru Club membership. Members can even use their points as gifts for family and friends, regardless of whether they are members yet.
To be eligible for Airpoints membership, you must be aged 2 years or over. There are no other restrictions.