Point Hacks NZPoint Hacks NZ https://www.pointhacks.co.nz The best frequent flyer deals & offers for New Zealand. Thu, 16 May 2019 22:59:58 +0000 en-NZ hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.3 Intro guide to ‘App in the Air’, an app that keeps all your flight details in one tap https://www.pointhacks.co.nz/app-in-the-air-guide/ https://www.pointhacks.co.nz/app-in-the-air-guide/#respond Thu, 16 May 2019 22:30:44 +0000 Thu, 16 May 2019 22:30:44 +0000 I’ve been using App in the Air since December 2016 and it is now an app I cannot travel without due its time-saving features and real-time notifications.

Phone App

The trip interface includes your next upcoming flights shown including the key information on departure date, time, terminal and gate.

App in the Air

Clicking into a segment, it’ll show you the next significant milestone for that segment; time to check-in, boarding, take-off and landing.

App in the Air

As the day of departure gets closer, you’ll start receiving notifications when check-in opens – perfect for when you want to quickly snag one of the prized bulk-head seats on Singapore Airlines!

App in the Air

App in the Air

When an aircraft is assigned to your route, you’ll see the aircrafts registration and even a cool image of the aircraft type in the airlines livery!

App in the Air

The power of App in the Air is unlocked with their paid subscription which provides real-time notifications when your flight departure time, gate or terminal changes.

App in the Air

App in the Air

There have been times that I’ve received a notification through App in the Air well before it was shown on an airport flight information display system!

Once you’re airborne and if you have onboard WiFi, you can track the exact route the flight takes.

App in the Air

As you touchdown, and you still have internet coverage, it’ll then show you which baggage claim belt your luggage will be arriving at.

App in the Air

The gate notifications are brilliant when you have a connecting flight. As soon as I touchdown and connect to the internet, I can see the gate I’m arriving at and the next gate I’ll be departing from.

So whilst I’m taxing to the terminal and if I’m unfamiliar with the airport, I can look up a terminal map and see exactly where I need to go, either to the gate, or nearest lounge. And as the aircraft stops at the gate, there is no wasting time.

Watch App

Easily my favourite feature of App in the Air is the watchOS app ‘complication’.

Whenever I’m travelling, I switch to my Modular travel face which includes the App in the Air complication in the centre.

App in the Air

It’s fantastic when rushing through an airport or relaxing in the lounge, because in one glance you can see exactly how long to go before check-in closes, boarding finishes and what gate you need to be at. It removes the need to walk over to a flight departure board to check on the status.

App in the Air

Plus, if you have the premium subscription, you’ll receive the real-time notifications to your wrist of any flight delays or gate/terminal changes.

App in the Air

Integrations

Most frequent fliers probably have a TripIt account already and the good news is that you can easily integrate the same data into App in the Air. There is no need to manually move data across, with just a few taps on the screen, your entire flight history will import across and stay perfectly in sync.

And while there is no desktop version of App in the Air, I stick to using TripIt to manage my bookings and forwarding my email booking confirmations to it, which then automatically sync to App in the Air within seconds.

If you don’t already use TripIt, App in the Air has their own email import feature which means you just forward any flight, hotel or car rental booking confirmation emails to the address listed in the settings, it’ll “parse” the booking details in the email and automatically populate your itinerary. Negating the need to manually type in flight numbers, dates, hotel and car details.

You can also connect the app to your Facebook or Google accounts and it’ll automatically connect you with any of your friends from either platforms. View the Leaderboard to see how you rank amongst your friends.

Clicking into each friend, you can even compare total kilometres flown, hours stuck in a tube, total flights, countries visited, different aircrafts, airlines and airports.

App in the Air

Analytics

Being a fan of numbers, like I’m sure most of us Point Hackers, I love the analytics the app provides.

App in the Air

App in the Air

Because I had been using TripIt for so many years, I had even back-filled all my previous flights from all the way back to 2006 which goes underutilised in TripIt. But App in the Air visualises all your previous flight history and allows you to compare how many flights you’ve done each year, plot them on the globe, compare your top airlines, countries and aircrafts flown and exports it into an image like below.

App in the Air

I feel like it is subconsciously making me try to beat the number of kilometres flown each year (currently on track to exceeds last year’s figure by 22,000 km).

I just wish you could change the export graph to cover kilometres instead of segments. And there is still so much of the world to see!

At the end of each calendar year, they’ll send you a video which visualise where you flew around the world the past 12 months which I just love! You can now also generate one on demand for a date range of your choosing.

They’ve also stated emailing me stats each month to show where I have flown however noticed there are still a few bugs as I flew to the Maldives last year, not this year.

App in the Air

Gamification

Finally, App in the Air gamifies your flight data and awards you badges for counties visited, number of aircraft types flown, number of hours flow and much more.

App in the Air

Summing up

I’ve been a subscriber to App in the Air since I first download it in December 2016 as the real-time notifications and ease of use provides me excellent value plus saves me valuable time every time I fly. I also love the flight analytics visualises my travel patterns since I started documenting flights 13 years ago.

You can download the app and try it here.

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An overview of oneworld connect https://www.pointhacks.co.nz/oneworld-connect-guide/ https://www.pointhacks.co.nz/oneworld-connect-guide/#respond Thu, 16 May 2019 00:37:08 +0000 Thu, 16 May 2019 00:37:08 +0000 oneworld connect is a new membership tier introduced in 2018, for smaller airlines to join the alliance and provide some reciprocal benefits without all the frill of being a full member.

To date, Fiji Airways is the first and only oneworld connect member, although there are talks of others joining the ranks soon.

Fiji Airways and oneworld connect benefits

This table from the Fiji Airways website succinctly summarises the new oneworld connect arrangements. As the airline was sponsored into oneworld connect by British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Qantas and American Airlines, those customers will get increased benefits.

oneworld connect | Point Hacks

The benefits can be broken down into three main categories:

  1. Any oneworld member: Base level benefits when flying Fiji Airways are limited to priority check-in (all elite tiers) and priority boarding (only oneworld Sapphire/Emerald and airline Gold/Platinum equivalents). There is no lounge access or any points earning/redemption opportunities.
  2. Elite members of BA, CX, QF and AA: The oneworld experience is more streamlined for customers of these sponsoring airlines, with through-checking and points earning/redemptions enabled.

There is also lounge access at select ports, but the rules are still quite complicated, so here is a snippet from a more detailed oneworld table.

oneworld connect | Point Hacks

Essentially, lounge access with airline status (i.e. Qantas Gold and Platinum) is still restricted to flying a QF flight number on the Fiji Airways flight, which unfortunately is not much improvement from the pre-oneworld connect days.

To see the whole lounge access arrangements for other sponsor airlines, download the document from oneworld here [ZIP, 5.84 MB].

  1. Fiji Airways customers on sponsor airline flights: Fiji Airways customers do not quite get the full oneworld benefits in return, but on BA/CX/QF/AA flights, all customers will have through-checking enabled. Tabua Plus cardholders will also get priority perks and lounge access as well.

Summing up

oneworld connect is a step in the right direction and matches Star Alliance’s Connecting Partner model. However, it is a convoluted system and makes figuring out lounge access more difficult than it should be.

There are no other oneworld connect partners right now, but potential future airlines include Alaska Airlines, WestJet and Aer Lingus. All of them fit the bill—too small to efficiently become a full member, but large enough to offer benefits to select oneworld sponsors.

Aer Lingus was actually a full member of oneworld in 2000 but left in 2007 after downsizing and repositioning as a lower-cost carrier

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The American Express Platinum Charge Card now has up to US$100 hotel credit with The Hotel Collection https://www.pointhacks.co.nz/amex-hotel-collection-guide/ https://www.pointhacks.co.nz/amex-hotel-collection-guide/#respond Wed, 15 May 2019 22:30:12 +0000 Wed, 15 May 2019 22:30:12 +0000 The Hotel Collection is a special benefits programme for a select group of American Express Card Members and comes in handy when looking for perks at high-end hotels rather than the ultra high-end properties that the Fine Hotels & Resorts programme covers separately.

This programme could be useful when you or your company’s budget does not allow for the expense of staying at a super luxury hotel but when you still want to get a $100 USD hotel credit and complimentary room upgrade (on stays of two nights or more).

In this guide, we explore the benefits of The Hotel Collection (THC) programme, how to search for participating properties, a comparison with the FHR programme, how to make a booking and key terms to be aware of.

The benefits

Stay two or more consecutive nights and you’ll receive the following two benefits:

  • a $100 USD hotel credit to spend on dining, spa and resort activities
  • a complimentary room upgrade at check-in (subject to availability)

Eligible cards

In New Zealand, Card Members holding one of the following products can access this benefit:

How to search for hotel locations

There are four ways to search for hotel locations on the THC website:

The Hotel Collection

Comparing The Hotel Collection and Fine Hotels & Resorts

In short, Amex’s The Hotel Collection is the poorer cousin of the Fine Hotels & Resorts programme.

So why do the two programmes exist? It’s because FHR is only accessible to Platinum and Centurion cardholders and in American Express’ home market, the US, there are a number of ‘Gold’ cards that they wanted to give special hotel deals to too, so they created this separate programme for them (plus the elite cards).

However, in New Zealand, there are few Gold cardholders (legacy only), so both programmes here are available to the essentially the same set of customers.

So, if you hold one of these cards, when would you choose THC over FHR?

First of all, they have completely separate participating hotels. THC is focussed on more economical high-end hotels, including chain hotels, whereas FHR is targeted at much more expensive ultra high-end hotels.

The Ritz-Carlton Tokyo

You will only find the ultra high-end The Ritz-Carlton Tokyo through the FHR programme

If you are travelling on business, you may not be able to justify a quite expensive stay at an FHR property, so a THC booking may be a better choice. You will receive that US$100 room credit plus a room upgrade if available. Note that you will not earn hotel loyalty programme points on bookings with THC.

If you do have a bit more cash to splash, then I would recommend skewing towards an FHR property to enjoy a higher-quality hotel and more benefits, including an increased minimum US$100 stay benefit, free breakfast, and early check-in and late check-out. You will also earn points on bookings through FHR.

Bookings through FHR are eligible for benefits for stays of one night or more, whereas you need to stay at least two nights with THC.

THC have 5 properties in New Zealand, and FHR have 8 properties. As an indication of the extent of the programmes in the rest of the world, FHR has more than three times the listings that THC does in the Asia-Pacific region.

A comparison of pricing through Amex Travel and booking directly with the hotel

I researched booking a standard room at five different hotels in New York with a flexible cancellation policy for a two-night stay over the Friday and Saturday nights of the Easter weekend. All quotes are in US dollars.

You will see that there is very little difference (if any) between booking through Amex or direct:

PropertyAmex Travel priceBook direct price
Conrad$950$950
Hyatt Centric Times Square$1358$1336
InterContinental Times Square$1004$1003
JW Marriott Essex House$1037$1037
The Roxy Hotel Tribeca$1063$1063

On the surface, you can save $22 by booking directly through Hyatt…

…but you’ll come out on top once you factor in the $100 USD credit you’ll get by booking through Amex Travel

If you’re not worried about hotel status, then booking through Amex Travel makes sense in all cases examined as the $100 USD credit makes up for any price saving from booking direct.

If hotel status is important to you, then you may want to consider how much you value that in choosing your booking channel.

As always, it pays to do your research!

How to make a booking

You can make a booking at a THC property:

Amex Travel specialists and hotel staff are generally more familiar with the FHR programme, so if you run into any difficulties in getting THC benefits you are entitled to, perhaps contact them for assistance.

Key terms and conditions

  • Payment must be made in full with an American Express card in the Card Member’s name
  • The Card Member must be staying in the room/one of the rooms
  • The one-category room upgrade is based on availability and eligibility at check-in to the hotel
  • There is a three-room limit per Card Member per stay
  • Back-to-back stays within a 24-hour period at the same property are considered as one stay
  • If the Card Member cancels their room, any additional rooms will no longer qualify for benefits as the eligible Card Member must be staying at the hotel

Full terms and conditions of the benefit are available here.

Summing up

The Hotel Collection programme benefits business travellers whose companies may not allow for stays at super luxury Fine Hotels & Resorts properties.

The US$100 credit is handy for use on dining services for which you are already being reimbursed or spa and resort services that your company usually does not allow you to spend money on.

Having said that, if your hotel elite status is important to you, you may prefer to book directly with the hotel as your status and associated benefits will most likely not be recognised for bookings made through The Hotel Collection.

Have you had any success getting these benefits through The Hotel Collection? Which American Express card/s do you hold?

Supplementary images courtesy American Express.

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Save up to 16% off hotel bookings with CheapTickets https://www.pointhacks.co.nz/promo-codes-for-cheaper-hotel-bookings/ https://www.pointhacks.co.nz/promo-codes-for-cheaper-hotel-bookings/#comments Wed, 15 May 2019 04:30:59 +0000 Wed, 15 May 2019 04:30:59 +0000 You can always save between 8 – 16% off your hotel bookings by using promo codes on CheapTickets, Orbitz, Hotels.com and Expedia.

While these codes cannot be used on bookings with most of the major hotel chains, they can be used with thousands of independent hotels around the world.

In this guide, we’ll look at the different promotions on offer, the relevant terms / exclusions for each, and the credit cards you can use that have low international transaction fees (as CheapTickets and Orbitz charge in US Dollars).

We’ll republish this guide each time new promo codes are released.

It’s usually a prerequisite to have an account with these sites if you want to use their promo codes, so if you don’t already, you can join up via these links:

CheapTickets

Hammock on the beach

CheapTickets usually have the best offer available if you want an upfront discount, and will be best for those who don’t travel or stay at independent hotels regularly.

  • Promo Code: SCHOOLSOUT
  • Discount: 16%
  • Valid until: 19 May 2019
  • Travel finished by: 31 December 2019
  • You can see the full offer details and how to use the promo code through this link

You are limited to two redemptions of the promo code (they usually offer a new one each month), and up to a maximum saving of $150 USD per booking. After those two bookings, this promo code will not be able to be used again, even if one or more of those bookings is cancelled.

Orbitz

Beach Resort

Orbitz used to offer a 15% minimum upfront discount, before Orbucks earn. However this offer hasn’t been seen in a while now.

Note that the Orbucks you earn can be used on future hotel bookings, and you don’t require any minimum amount to redeem (e.g. if you only have 2 Orbucks, you can redeem them for a $2 USD discount off a future stay).

  • Promo Code: BLOOM
  • Discount: 10% + 5% back in Orbucks if you use their mobile app
  • Valid until: 19 May 2019
  • Travel finished by: 31 December 2019
  • You can see the full offer details and how to use the promo code through this link

You are limited to two redemptions of the promo code (they usually offer a new one each month), and up to a maximum saving of $150 USD per booking (excludes Orbucks earn). After those two bookings, this promo code will not be able to be used again, even if one or more of those bookings is cancelled.

Hotels.com

Pool by the beach

Hotels.com generally offer the least appealing offers out of the booking sites in this article. Using any promo codes will also cause you to miss out on earning any Welcome Rewards nights, so if you book regularly with Hotels.com, you’re generally better off sticking to the free nights rather than using these.

On the plus side, you won’t incur any international transaction fees when booking through Hotels.com.

Mastercard Offer

This offer is exclusive to Mastercard credit card holders.

  • Promo Code: MASTERCARDYRO – must book via this page
  • Discount: 8%
  • Valid until: 31 December 2019
  • Travel finished by: 31 March 2020
  • Only one Coupon per transaction may be used. In a multiple-room booking, the discount will be applied to only one room. Only for stays of up to 28 nights.

Visa Offer

This offer is exclusive to Visa credit card holders.

  • Promo Code: VISA8 – must book via this page
  • Discount: 8%
  • Valid until: 31 December 2019
  • Travel finished by: 31 March 2020
  • Only one Coupon per transaction may be used. In a multiple-room booking, the discount will be applied to only one room. Only for stays of up to 28 nights.

Key points that are common for all Hotels.com offers:

  • If you subscribe to their emails, you’ll receive an exclusive promo code every month or so.
  • Most major hotel chains are excluded, you can see the full list at this link.

Expedia

Bagan Myanmar

This offer is exclusive to New Zealand Mastercard credit card holders.

Although you won’t incur any international transaction fees when booking through Expedia, you’ll find that Orbitz and CheapTickets still offer a greater discount overall with their promo codes. However like Orbitz, you can get a discount plus earn Expedia+ PointsExpedia+ PointsExpedia+ Points that can be redeemed towards future bookings.

  • Promo Code: MASTERNZ11H – must book via this page
  • Discount: 11% + value of Expedia+ points
  • Valid until: 30 June 2019
  • Travel finished by: 31 December 2019
  • Only one Coupon per transaction may be used. In a multiple-room booking, the discount will be applied to only one room.

You don’t need an account to use the Mastercard code, but you must have an account to earn Expedia+ Points.

This offer may also allow you to earn 1,000 Expedia+ points, if you have not booked with Expedia before.

You can see the full offer details, including excluded hotel chains, at this linkthis linkthis link.

Factors to consider when using these promo codes

As with any promotion, there are different factors you’ll need to consider before booking:

  • All of these offers are for stand-alone hotel bookings only, not in conjunction with any other product types (unless otherwise mentioned above).
  • The discounts will not apply to taxes/fees.
  • You must pay up front and not at the hotel (though the codes can still be used on refundable rates, it just means you’ll need to wait for a refund back to your credit card account if you choose to cancel).
  • CheapTickets and Orbitz charge in US Dollars, which means that you’ll incur international transaction fees with most credit cards, effectively reducing your ‘discount’ by up to 2.5% for the NZD amount, depending on your credit card (we have listed all the available rates in New Zealand below). Though in saying this, they still generally offer a better discount than the sites that don’t incur credit card fees.
  • Sometimes – and it’s less likely when the discounts are as large as some of those listed above – it can be better value to contact the hotel and enquire what deal they can offer, if you book direct. All hotels pay commission to these sites for each booking, and if you book direct instead, the hotel saves on these fees. While they may not offer a discount, they could offer a room upgrade or daily free breakfast (from my experience), and that could work out good value for longer stays. If they offer you something like this, make sure you get it in writing!

Minimising your international transaction fees

CheapTickets and Orbitz charge in US dollars, so you’ll more than likely incur an international transaction fee when booking through these sites with a credit card.

Most credit cards in New Zealand issued by the major banks charge on average about 2.5% on the NZD converted amount of international transactions. However, there are quite a few that are lower than this.

The Flight Centre Mastercard is one card to look at if you want to avoid fees altogether, being one of the first reward cards in New Zealand to offer this benefit.

We have listed the different card providers below so you can compare. Remember that your credit card may have a reward program that provides a return on your spend (cashback, frequent flyer miles etc.), so make sure you factor this in when deciding which card to use.

Note that these were last checked in October 2018.

Credit CardInternational Transaction Fee
Flight Centre Mastercard0%
Q Mastercard1.4%
Kiwibank1.85%
Countdown Onecard1.9%
Gem Visa2%
Warehouse Money2%
ASB2.1%
BNZ2.25%
American Express2.5%
Westpac2.5%
TSB2.5%
The Cooperative Bank2.6%

Summing up

Saving money on your hotel stays isn’t hard – I’m always surprised to hear people say that they’ve paid full price for accommodation on their holidays.

CheapTickets is generally your best choice for up front discounts. Orbitz can be good if you make frequent bookings and can take advantage of the Orbucks earn. These sites however have a savings cap of $150 USD. If you’re booking expensive stays, it could be cheaper to use Expedia or Hotels.com.

Always do your comparisons and sums to make sure you’re getting the best deal on your booking. Prices can vary between sites, even in spite of promo code usage, and sometimes the best deal can be found by contacting the hotel directly.

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World of Hyatt offering a 40% bonus on points purchases: best price https://www.pointhacks.co.nz/world-of-hyatt-buy-points-guide/ https://www.pointhacks.co.nz/world-of-hyatt-buy-points-guide/#comments Tue, 14 May 2019 21:30:19 +0000 Tue, 14 May 2019 21:30:19 +0000 World of Hyatt are offering a 40% bonus on purchased points until 11 June. This is an offer worth looking at for high-end Hyatt hotel redemptions.

The last time we saw a bonus this high was six months ago.

World of Hyatt points are my favourite hotel loyalty points to purchase as their award chart provides great value and is easy to understand.

Why purchase points?

World of Hyatt points can be redeemed at Hyatt hotels worldwide, including properties located in Melbourne (three), Sydney (two), Perth and Canberra (one each).

There are no Hyatt properties in New Zealand however the Park Hyatt Auckland is set to open sometime in 2019.

Hyatt Melbourne

Grand Hyatt Melbourne

As usual with hotel points purchase promos, buying points to redeem immediately may make sense on a night at a hotel with a high cash rate.

Current offer

You can receive a bonus on purchases of 5,000 points and above. The maximum amount you can buy is 77,000 points, including the bonus, for US$1,320, or about 1.71 US cents per point.

Offer history

Previous promotions have offered World of Hyatt points with the following bonus amounts:

DateBonus Offer (%)Notes
May-June 201940highest
January-February 201930
October-November 201840highest
April-May 201840highest
February 201830
November 201740highest
July 201740highest
May 201730
October 201640highest
August 201630
May 201630
February 201630
August 201530
May 201540highest
December 201430
September 201430
May 201435
December 201330
Average34.17%

Guide to buying World of Hyatt points to redeem for cheaper stays

The redemption opportunities in Australia using purchased World of Hyatt points are limited unless the nightly rates are otherwise exceptionally high.

Aspirational hotels overseas are usually a better option, often being put in lower redemption categories.

The process looks a bit like this:

  1. Research the paid rate and cost in World of Hyatt points for the date and hotel you are interested over on the Hyatt website
  2. Compare the cost of purchasing the points needed vs booking the paid rate, and see if there’s good value to be had
  3. If so, buy the necessary points and make the booking.

The cost in World of Hyatt Points for points or cash+points stays can be found <a href=”http://on the Hyatt website here.

You can look up the categories of various Hyatt hotels globally here.

Hyatt Sha Tin

Breakfast at the Hyatt Regency Sha Tin, Hong Kon

There can be a good saving based on the standard rates by booking with points, but that the saving will be more marked when the promotion is more aggressive and when redeeming for nights during peak/more expensive periods or at especially expensive hotels.

That said, in the past I have managed to leverage purchased points into a room at the Grand Hyatt when rates were much higher over a peak weekend in Melbourne, effectively halving the cost.

If you run some test bookings for dates you are interested in, and you see a high comparative rate, then that’s a great option to take advantage of buying points for.

Alternative Opportunity 1: Different room types

One useful benefit of World of Hyatt over other hotel loyalty programs is that they actively market a few different room types available for redemptions, so if you have specific room requirements, you can sometimes take advantage of points too.

Many other hotel programs only allow redemptions, or publish prices, for the base room type.

Note that the Park Hyatt Sydney allows points redemptions for base rooms only.

Alternative Opportunity 2: Points + Cash

There are also points plus cash redemption options available to use points on as well.

The cash co-payment is based on half of the published rate for the night.

The advantage of this method is that you’ll receive elite status nights on your World of Hyatt account for the stay, unlike an outright points booking and, of course, you can make the points in your account go further. Keep an eye out for these deals and see if the maths works out.

Alternative opportunity 3: Redeem points for FIND Experiences

Like other major hotel chains, Hyatt has added the option of redeeming your points for activities such as yoga, guided hikes and cooking classes.

From a value point-of-view, it is probably best to just pay in cash and earn 10 Base Points per eligible US$1 spent.

You can find more information on the program on the Hyatt website.

Conclusion

I have taken advantage of promotions in the past to buy Hyatt World of Hyatt points when there has been a specific use in mind, and it makes financial sense to do.

These aren’t points to buy and hold without a specific use in mind, but buying points to redeem outright could be useful if the maths stacks up.

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Earn bonus Fly Buys points on domestic flights with helloworld https://www.pointhacks.co.nz/helloworld-earning-redeeming-points-guide/ https://www.pointhacks.co.nz/helloworld-earning-redeeming-points-guide/#respond Tue, 14 May 2019 03:30:49 +0000 Tue, 14 May 2019 03:30:49 +0000 You can fly to any destination in New Zealand and receive 3x Fly Buys points until May 20, when you book and pay online at helloworld.

This equates to an earn rate of 3 points for every $50 spent – an effective cashback of 1% based on how much we value Fly Buys points.

There are no fees incurred for online bookings, though this bonus points offer excludes earning points on any taxes.

Remember that you can ‘double dip’ and also earn Airpoints Dollars on Air New Zealand bookings.


Guide to earning and redeeming points with helloworld

Helloworld is a travel agency that offers the ability to book most flights online, and all other travel via their network of stores across New Zealand.

You can:

  • Earn Fly Buys points on bookings made in-store and online
  • Redeem Fly Buys points for flight bookings online
  • Redeem American Express Membership Rewards points for bookings made in-store
  • Redeem Fly Buys, American Express Membership Rewards or Westpac hotpoints for helloworld gift cards that can be spent in-store

We have explored these varying earn and redeem options below.

Fly Buys

You’ll earn 1 Fly Buys point for every $50 spent on travel bookings in-store or online, excluding taxes and fees etc.

You can also redeem your Fly Buys points online.

For every 6 points you redeem, $1 will be credited towards the revenue cost of the flight booking.

This gives each point a value of 16.6 cents.

You have the option of paying for a portion of your flight with points, and the rest with cash. This is a great option for those who do not have the full number of points to redeem towards the entire flight cost. There are no fees incurred for redeeming in this way.

If you prefer to make a booking in-store, you can redeem for a helloworld gift voucher at the same per point value.

American Express Membership Rewards

You can pay for all or part of your next booking using American Express Membership Rewards points.

booking online helloworld

Each redemption of 10,000 Membership Rewards points will equal $75 that can be spent with helloworld on travel.

This gives each point a value of 0.75 cents.

This is better value than converting to Airpoints Dollars, where you only receive a per point value of 0.57 cents.

This makes helloworld a competitive option for revenue flight redemptions, particularly with Air New Zealand. You will still earn points and status for your flight booking.

The downfall however is that points can only be redeemed in-store, and not online or over the phone.

There is also a gift card option, however at a per point value of 0.65 cents per point, a direct redemption is better value.

Westpac Hotpoints

Each redemption of 10,000 hotpoints will equal $50 that can be spent with helloworld on travel.

This gives each point a value of 0.5 cents.

You can redeem for a gift card online.

Points earn options

As can be seen above, each points currency has a varied per point value when redeeming for credit to spend with helloworld. However it is important to also consider how easy it is to earn these points in any volume.

While programmes like Fly Buys have varying options for earning points for free, the largest source of everyday points earn for most New Zealanders will be through credit card spend.

On the hypothetical basis that you were selecting a credit card purely for the purpose of earning points to redeem on travel with helloworld, these would be your options (best value options in blue):

CardSpend categoryPoints earned per $1 spentHelloworld redemption
value (cents) per $1 spent
American Express Platinum EdgeSupermarkets32.2
Fuel21.5
All other10.75
American Express Platinum Charge21.5
Westpac hotpoints World Mastercard31.5
Westpac hotpoints Platinum Mastercard21.0
Westpac hotpoints Mastercard10.5
Westpac BusinessPLUS Mastercard1.250.6
BNZ Advantage Visa Platinum0.0661.1
BNZ Advantage Visa Classic0.0250.4

How to make a booking online

The steps below show you how to make a flight booking online using either cash, Fly Buys, or a mixture of both.

  1. Visit helloworld.co.nz/flybuys, input your flight search details and click ‘Search Flights’.

    booking online helloworld

  2. You will land on a results options page.

    booking online helloworld

  3. Depending on the airline, you may have other options that you can select when booking. For this example, with Air New Zealand, you can choose between seat only or more flexible options. You are also told whether there are free seat selection options available, dependent on your Airpoints status. You can also see how many standard Fly Buys points you will earn, or how much it would cost in points if you wanted to redeem in full for the flight instead.

    booking online helloworld

  4. Once you click ‘Select’ against your preferred flight, your chosen option will appear at the top of the page. Click ‘Continue’ to progress.

    booking online helloworld

  5. A new tab will open on your browser, again confirming your selected flight details. Make sure that everything is correct, and click ‘Continue’:

    booking online helloworld

  6. The next page will prompt you to input your traveller info.

    booking online helloworld

    Remember to input your Fly Buys and frequent flyer information so that you earn points and can take advantage of any status benefits (but first read our guide on where to credit your flight to). Unfortunately, the platform will not show you how many bonus Fly Buys you will earn if there is an offer on.

    booking online helloworld

    Click ‘Continue to Payment’ when ready.

  7. The ‘Review & book’ page is where you can choose to pay by card:

    booking online helloworld

    Fly Buys points, or a mixture of points and cash:

    booking online helloworld

    You can choose to redeem as little as 1 Fly Buys points towards your redemption, which will round up to 17 cents off your flight cost.

    booking online helloworld

    If you choose to pay with a mixture of points and cash, the final credit card fees will be reduced proportional to the cash amount remaining.

    The final trip cost details will show the cash amount owing, any credit card fees, and the number of Fly Buys points used on the redemption:

    booking online helloworld

Paying by credit card

Remember that you can ‘double dip’ on your points earn by using a rewards credit card.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Payment with Visa or Mastercard will incur a 2% transaction fee, or 3% if paying with American Express.
  • Using a Visa Debit or Mastercard Debit will not incur any transaction fees, but this does not rule out points earn, with cards like the Westpac Airpoints Debit Mastercard falling into this card category.
  • In many cases, incurring the transaction fee via helloworld will work out cheaper than if you booked via the airline direct. For example, for the flight used in the step-by-step scenario above, the fee for using your American Express would be $1.79 – but booking directly with Air New Zealand would cost a flat fee of $6.00.

The highest earning Fly Buys card is the BNZ Advantage Visa Platinum, where you’ll earn 1 Fly Buys point for every $15 spent.

The highest earning Airpoints card that you can use at helloworld is the American Express Airpoints Platinum, where you’ll earn 1 Airpoints Dollar for every $59 spent.

The highest earning hotpoints card that you can use is the Westpac hotpoints World Mastercard, where you’ll earn 3 hotpoints for every $1 spent.

Summing up

Helloworld offer a healthy range of point and cash purchase options with both Fly Buys and American Express Membership Rewards.

There are a variety of pros and cons of using a travel agent versus booking direct. The main con for me is that you are adding in an intermediary between you and the airline. Booking direct can also result in a better price.

However, if your travel plans are solid, and there is no price difference, using an online travel agent like helloworld could help you earn a few more points on your next booking.

They are also one of the best uses for Fly Buys points, and typically come out ahead of Airpoints in terms of value when being redeemed for flights with Air New Zealand. You will also avoid extra fees when using a mixture of points and cash, unlike Airpoints Flexipay.

Have you redeemed points with helloworld? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of helloworld.

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Buy LifeMiles for cheap Star Alliance redemptions: up to 125% bonus https://www.pointhacks.co.nz/avianca-lifemiles-buying-miles-guide/ https://www.pointhacks.co.nz/avianca-lifemiles-buying-miles-guide/#comments Mon, 13 May 2019 02:30:58 +0000 Mon, 13 May 2019 02:30:58 +0000 Avianca’s frequent flyer programme LifeMiles is again offering a bonus on miles purchased until 5 June.

With United devaluing their award chart in 2017, and likely to soon move all redemptions to dynamic pricing, LifeMiles has become a more attractive alternative for premium travel on Star Alliance airlines.

Avianca tend to offer their miles at a discount around few months. Their current price is the average best that they usually sell at when on promotion.

LifeMiles sometimes offers a deeper discount towards the end of the promotion period, so you may wish to hold off to see what eventuates.

Note that the programme revamped its website in February 2019. Reports from the frequent flyer community are that the website is more attractive but clunkier, and that Avianca may have more access to partner award space than before.

Why this guide is useful

LifeMiles is a primary way to get hold of Star Alliance Business and First Class award space, however, using the programme comes with a range of gotchas to be aware of.

In this guide, we cover the tips and tricks to buying miles, researching award availability and how you can use the current bonus promotion to score cheap Business and First Class flights on the likes of Air New Zealand, Thai Airways, and Air China.

Thai Airways First Class

You can use LifeMiles to fly THAI First Class for cheap

LifeMiles is for the more advanced points buyer who has some understanding of how to search for award seats with different airlines, and knows when they should and shouldn’t buy miles, and how willing they are to buy and hold miles to redeem in future.

Michael Kao, one of the Point Hacks Community’s longest standing members, is very familiar with the ins and outs of the LifeMiles programme and contributed to this article.

Current offer details

  • Current offer: 125% bonus (tiered)
  • Best value redemptions: cheap Star Alliance Business and First Class flight awards to/from North Asia with simple routings and minimal connections, plus no fuel surcharges
  • Book awards online or phone: online is recommended (US$25 redemption fee), over phone (US$85)

To take advantage of this promotion, you need to buy miles by 5 June (US time).

The bonus that you receive depends on how many miles you buy:

  • 1,000-50,000 miles: 100% bonus
  • 51,000-100,000 miles: 115% bonus
  • 101,000-200,000 miles: 125% bonus

You can buy a maximum of 450,000 miles (including the bonus) for US$6,600 at a cost of ~1.47 US cents per mile.

If you haven’t already done so, you can sign up for a LifeMiles account here.

Note that LifeMiles expire 12 months after inactivity—check this guide for more information.

You can buy LifeMiles here →

(we don’t receive commission)

You can also choose to sign up to a buy LifeMiles on a regular basis through a subscription.

Offer history

DateCost per point
(USD cents)
Notes
May-June 20191.47
February-March 20191.47
August-September 20181.47
May 20181.47
February 20181.47
November 20171.35cheapest
May 20171.47
February 20171.47
December 20161.47
November 20161.38
September 2016 (second half of the month)1.38
May 20161.47
November 20151.40
September 20151.40
Average1.44

Sweet spots for New Zealand in the LifeMiles award chart

The best value redemption for travellers in New Zealand is travelling back from North Asia (places such as Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing, Taipei and Hong Kong), for which you only need 40,000 miles one-way for Business Class or 50,000 miles for First Class.

Travelling from New Zealand to North Asia is more expensive, at 50,000 miles in Business and 62,500 in First—go figure.

For the South Asia region, which includes Singapore and Thailand but not India, you can fly back to New Zealand for 40,000 in Business (same as North Asia) or 60,000 in First (more expensive). You can fly from New Zealand for 50,000 in Business or 75,000 in First.

Here is the full LifeMiles redemption chart:

Advantages of LifeMiles

LifeMiles is the frequent flyer programme of Avianca, the national airline of Colombia based in Bogotá. Most of us have likely never flown this airline and are unlikely to fly it in the foreseeable future.

So, what relevance does it apply to us in New Zealand? Here is why it is one of the favourite programmes in the frequent flyer community:

  • It is a member of Star Alliance, therefore you can use LifeMiles to redeem on reputable airlines such as our own Air NZ (conditional on award availability) Thai Airways, Air China, ANA, Lufthansa and United (just kidding)
  • Their redemption rates are fairly reasonable, comparable to many US programmes
  • They do not impose fuel surcharges on award tickets, which can save you hundreds compared with many better-known programmes in New Zealand such as Qantas Frequent Flyer and KrisFlyer (more on that later). You’ll usually pay under $100 (except when departing from the UK, where it costs around $300)
  • You can redeem awards online, making it simple to book awards (with some caveats)
  • It allows one-way redemptions at half the price of return awards, giving you flexibility
  • It offers a miles and money option, meaning you only need 40% of the miles needed for the award and can pay the other 60% in cash

Redemption opportunities for travellers in New Zealand

The Star Alliance airlines that service New Zealand are:

  • Air Canada
  • Air China
  • Air New Zealand (limited award availability)
  • Singapore Airlines (limited award availability)
  • Thai Airways
  • United

Of this list, only Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines (Wellington and Christchurch) service cities other than Auckland, however both are notoriously tight at releasing their premium cabins as awards to their partners for flights.

While this makes redemption options for direct award flights out of NZ difficult, fortunately two destinations Air NZ do release regular business award availability are to Sydney and Brisbane which will open up connection options to the same carriers plus many more Star Alliance airlines servicing Australia, including ANA and Asiana.

Asiana from Sydney is fairly accessible for availability to its hub in Seoul and onto the US. You can fly in Business Class all the way to the US for 80,000 miles one-way. You can arrive to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago or New York, all usually with good availability.

Availability from New Zealand and Australia to Asia and Europe with Thai Airways is also usually wide open. If looking for first class you can usually connect through to Sydney and redeem First Class from Sydney to Tokyo, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Munich and Rome.

If you are willing to position yourself to a Star Alliance hub such as Singapore, Bangkok or Tokyo, your opportunities open up widely.

Limitations of LifeMiles

According to Michael:

LifeMiles is a strange beast. I have a love and hate relationship with it. In some ways, it is great for cheap luxury travel, but at the same time, its limitations can really make you go mad.

Its biggest limitation is its routing rules of no longer than eight-hour layovers, although the previous rule of not allowing mixed cabin redemptions has now been lifted, making it much easier to join together a Business and a First Class flight as you need.

One other issue is that while New Zealand is home to Air New Zealand, a major Star Alliance airline, they are shocking with releasing award availability to their partners, including LifeMiles.

On top of that, LifeMiles’s website is very temperamental, and sometimes it just crashes without reason.

Also, LifeMiles will not book any awards that cannot be booked online with their search engine. If you cannot see it on their website, even though it can be seen on the United or ANA website, LifeMiles will not book it for you.

Another worrying limitation is that there are reports that LifeMiles does not advise you if there is a change such as a schedule change or equipment swap on your itinerary. It is up to you to regularly check your booking on the airline/s on which you are flying to make sure that what you booked matches up to what is scheduled to occur. CheckMyTrip.com may also help you do this.

Finally, for any booking cancellations or changes, you will need to deal with LifeMiles’ infamous customer service. Refunds can take anywhere up to seven days, and there are language barriers all round.

Take all that into account before jumping in.

Share miles promotions

LifeMiles also runs 100% bonuses on shared miles a couple of times a year. The regular cost of sharing miles is US$15 per 1000 miles.

Normally you shouldn’t do it; the value just isn’t there. But during a promotion, you can share miles and earn the bonus, effectively ‘buy’ miles at 1.5 cents each.

An example:

  1. if you transfer 10,000 miles to someone else, they will receive 20,000 miles in their account at a cost of $150 to transfer
  2. You can transfer back the 20,000 miles to your account and get 40,000 miles by paying another $300
  3. You earn another 30,000 miles in the process for a cost of $450 in total, i.e. 1.5 cents per mile

The maximum amount of miles you can transfer is 75,000 per year (meaning you can get 150,000 with the bonus), but these miles do not count towards the 150,000 limit on purchased miles, so effectively you could buy 150,000 miles and share them, creating a total of 300,000.

To share miles, the accounts don’t have to be pre-existing. So you can create as many accounts as you like and keep on transferring, but that’s not recommended as there is no point of keeping hundreds of thousands of miles without any specific use in mind.

How to search availability and make a booking

You can search award availability on the LifeMiles website, which was relaunched in early February 2019.

To search:

  1. Log into your account

  2. Click on ‘Fly‘ in the top bar, and it will direct you to the search engine page where you can input a routing. You cannot input preferred dates at this stage. LifeMiles Fly Page

  3. You will be presented with a calendar where you can select your preferred departure date. This calendar does not hint at whether there is availability on any given day. LifeMiles calendar Page

  4. If there is a flight available on the date you pick, it will show you which flight/s are available. Click the one that you want. LifeMiles award available
    If no flights are available, it will show you two days before and after your selected date. You can see if there are other flights on other dates and classes if you are flexible, simply use the arrow buttons. LifeMiles not available
    Alternatively, you can look up award availability on a monthly calendar on the United website. Whatever is available to United as a saver award should be available to LifeMiles.

  5. At the bottom of the same page, you will see a pop up box, which shows a slider titled ‘LifeMiles + Money’. This is the miles and cash option mentioned earlier. As you adjust the slider, the fewer miles you will need for the redemption (but obviously you will need more cash). LifeMiles Flexible Payment Option 1
    If you cannot see the pop-up box, click on the three little bars: LifeMiles Flexible Payment Option 2

  6. After you have decided on the amount of miles and cash you want to pay, continue to the next screen, which will show you the taxes and fees payable, plus the cash component you chose to pay. You can still change the amount of cash and miles on this page.

  7. If you are happy, click Continue, and it will take you to input the passenger’s information.

  8. Once finished, click Continue and it will take you to payment page where you put in your credit card detail and submit payment, and your e-ticket will be emailed to you within 48 hours.

Double-check your credit card details are correct before you submit the payment, and make sure you have contacted your credit card company that you are making a purchase in Colombia. If the credit card gets declined, your reservation will remain in the system for three days until it is ticketed, or will return to the award inventory if not ticketed.

LifeMiles award changes and cancellations

All bookings can be changed or cancelled up to 24 hours prior to departure.

To change or cancel an award ticket, you need to call LifeMiles customer service. As there is no office in New Zealand or Australia, we recommend calling the US one on +1 800 284 2622.

To change an award ticket, there is a fee of US$150 and the origin and destination must be the exactly same airports. So, for example, if your destination is Tokyo Narita, you can’t change it to Tokyo Haneda.

Cancelling and redepositing miles for travel between two regions costs US$200 but for travel within a region it is cheaper at US$50.

If you do want to follow up on a refund, the Bogotá office is the best to call on +57 1 401 3434.

Summing up

Overall, Lifemiles represents a cheap option for Star Alliance redemptions. Alongside Air New Zealand’s Airpoints programme, and United’s MileagePlus, LifeMiles is one of the three primary options for miles purchases within Star Alliance.

There are many tricks and gotchas with LifeMiles, however due to its lack of fuel surcharges and cheap miles while on sale, there are bargains to be had as long as you are aware of its limitations.

Michael sums up as follows:

It is most useful for simple itinerary with minimal connections. It’s not the sole frequent flyer programme I use, but I use it to integrate with others to help planning my itinerary.

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150 Airpoints Dollars with the entry-level Westpac Airpoints Mastercard Guide https://www.pointhacks.co.nz/credit-cards/westpac-airpoints-mastercard-guide/ https://www.pointhacks.co.nz/credit-cards/westpac-airpoints-mastercard-guide/#respond Thu, 09 May 2019 22:30:01 +0000 Thu, 09 May 2019 22:30:01 +0000 Westpac are offering 150 Airpoints Dollars for new cardholders of the Airpoints Mastercard until 15 July 2019.

The Airpoints Mastercard is the entry-level Air New Zealand Airpoints Dollars (APD) earning Mastercard from Westpac.

A minimum spend of $1,000 within the first 3 months from approval is required to qualify for the bonus.

Westpac’s range of Airpoints earning credit cards includes the mid-level Airpoints Platinum Mastercard, their highest Airpoints earning card – the Airpoints World Mastercard and the SME-targeted Airpoints Business Mastercard.

Digging into the details of the Westpac Airpoints Mastercard

Card Details

CardWestpac Airpoints Mastercard
Loyalty ProgramAir New Zealand Airpoints
Airpoints Dollars earned from spend1 Airpoints Dollar for every $120 eligible spend on the card
Travel benefitsPay no international transaction fees (usually $8) when withdrawing money overseas from an ATM within the Global ATM Alliance.
Included insurancesNone
Annual fee$55
Foreign currency fee2.50% of NZD converted value of foreign currency transaction amount

Earning Airpoints Dollars from spend with the Westpac Airpoints Mastercard

The Westpac Airpoints Mastercard will earn you 1 Airpoints Dollar for every $120 spent on the card in NZ dollars, with an effective earn rate of 0.0083 Airpoints Dollars per dollar spent. This is on par with other ‘classic’ Airpoints earning cards in New Zealand.

In terms of cost and earn rate, the card is pipped by the American Express Airpoints card, which earns 1 APD for every NZ$100 spent with no annual fee. Mastercard is however more widely accepted both in New Zealand and abroad.

As most Kiwis and others with previous experience of the Air New Zealand’s Airpoints program know, it is not a complex program – 1 Airpoints Dollar = $1 of flight credit with Air New Zealand when it comes to redemption time and making use of the points earned with the card.

Airpoints Dollars Advance

Westpac will also provide an extra 50 APD advance (kind of like an overdraft facility) to the primary card holders Airpoints account, a useful extra benefit of the card when just a little short of a chosen Airpoints dollar redemption with Air New Zealand.

Extended Gifting

Air New Zealand allow you to gift flights for others who live in your household, through the use of Airpoints Dollars. The Westpac Airpoints cards offer an Extended Gifting feature, which allows you to gift flights to up to 2 people outside your household each year.

Giftees may be nominated during the first 12 month period after opening the account, with these nominations automatically expiring at the end of that 12 month period. Giftees will need to be nominated or re-nominated in every 12 month period thereafter. This offer is not cumulative with any other gifting rights under the Airpoints Programme (including gifting rights available to Gold or Elite Airpoints members).

You can set up your Airpoints Gifting Register by signing in to your online Air New Zealand account.

Westpac Apple Pay and Google Pay support

Westpac cards support Apple Pay, meaning you can use this card on your iPhone for easier payments. Find out more in our dedicated guide below.

There is no word yet if Westpac will support Google Pay in the future but they do have their own app for Android users called Westpac Pay.

Summing up – Westpac Airpoints Mastercard

The Westpac Airpoints Mastercard is a basic card that often comes with a decent Airpoints dollar sign-up bonus that will help cover the first year or more of the annual fee.

While the card does not offer any of the included benefits that come with the Westpac Airpoints World Mastercard, such as complimentary Priority Pass membership, two annual Koru Valet parking eVouchers, and included travel insurance, it is reasonable value for someone looking for a card that offers almost universal worldwide acceptance, with a low annual fee and at least some ability to earn Airpoint Dollars on everyday purchases.

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Where to find award charts https://www.pointhacks.co.nz/where-to-find-award-charts/ https://www.pointhacks.co.nz/where-to-find-award-charts/#respond Thu, 09 May 2019 04:30:13 +0000 Thu, 09 May 2019 04:30:13 +0000 You have been working hard to build up your points balances, have read our best uses of points guides, and now have your eye on a specific redemption. But where do you find these ‘award charts’?

Have you been in the same situation as me that you just can’t work out where to easily find the correct price for a redemption on the frequent flyer programme’s website? Given the myriad of tables and links that they publish, it can seem to be an attempt to confuse and discourage us from using our points for free/discounted travel.

Well, I’ve had that problem a number of times before too. So, I’ve collated the links to the award charts for key frequent flyer programmes used in New Zealand into just one place—here.

Why this guide is important

First of all, understand that those in the US win in the global frequent flyer game—the distances for most programmes are measured in miles, not kilometres.

Air New Zealand Airpoints is the interesting exception to this rule, with their partner chart being measured in kilometres. Kiwis are forever the trendsetters, so I am not too surprised by this move.

To calculate the distance between two airports, I’d recommend Great Circle Mapper. You can switch between miles and kilometres, depending on which award chart you’re looking at.

Some frequent flyer programmes like Qantas and Velocity have their own calculators, which are a little more exact for their redemptions but GCMap won’t be far off.

GCMAP example

GCMap calculates Melbourne to Hong Kong as 4,591 miles whilst Velocity puts it at 50 miles longer. That’s only an issue if the figures are near the cusp of a change in award zone, in which case you should go with what the official programme says

If you want to compare pricing across a number of programmes at once, you may consider a tool like AwardAce. However, note that they are not always 100% accurate, so be sure to come back to this list to confirm the correct pricing on the programme’s official site.

Lastly, devaluations by programmes are announced periodically – like Singapore Airlines and United MileagePlus in April 2019, as just two examples. Given that, I aim to update this guide with links to the most current award charts so that you are able to accurately plan your award travel.


Award charts for popular programmes for travellers in New Zealand

Air New Zealand Airpoints

Flights with Air New Zealand and on select codeshare routes are easy to figure out – 1 Airpoints Dollar will equal $1 NZD worth of flight value. There is no need to bother with award charts.

To redeem with one of their partners, including other Star Alliance airlines, you’ll need to refer to their partner award chart. This chart will also apply to any Air New Zealand leg combined with a partner redemption.

United

It’ll cost you less Airpoints Dollars to fly United to San Francisco than with Air New Zealand

Qantas Frequent Flyer

Qantas has four award charts depending on which airline/s you are flying with:

Did you know it is cheaper to fly the same distance on Emirates than on most other Qantas Frequent Flyer partner airlines?

Velocity Frequent Flyer

Compared to Qantas, Velocity has just two award charts, again depending on which airline you are flying with:

Virgin Australia partners

  • Table 1 (cheaper): for travel on Virgin Australia, Alitalia, Delta Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Delta
  • Table 2 (more expensive): for travel on Capital Airlines, Etihad, Hainan Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines, Singapore Airlines, SilkAir and South African Airways

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

Alaska has a quite simple and attractive award chart for travel on its own aircraft as well as partners such as Qantas, Fiji Airways and Cathay Pacific:

American Airlines AAdvantage

AAdvantage keeps it easy-to-understand with just two award charts for:

British Airways Executive Club

British Airways no longer publishes an award chart and has a really poor Avios calculator. It is further complicated by peak and off-peak pricing for British Airways and Iberia flights.

Therefore, my recommendation is to cut through all the muddle and use the following award chart broken down by distance and peak/off-peak pricing:

Avios redemptions can be hard to price if just using the BA website but buying Avios for last-minute redemptions in Qantas Business and Economy Class can represent excellent value

Note the following:

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

Asia Miles revamped its award charts in June 2018.

If you want to go around the world, then you might want to check out the:

Etihad Guest

This programme doesn’t publish an award chart for Etihad flights, so to calculate the redemption cost of your flight, go to the:

For Virgin Australia flights, see the fixed-price:

For all other partners like American Airlines and Hainan Airlines, go to the:

JAL Mileage Bank

Japan Airlines has a number of award charts, of which the most useful may be the ones for:

Korean Air SKYPASS

Korean Air have two award charts that you need to know about:

Be sure you familiarise yourself with on/off peak periods.

This is a niche programme, so you may also like to start with our guide on award pricing and confirming route availability.

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

KrisFlyer has the most award charts out of all of the programmes listed here but the most important three are:

Singapore Airlines A380 Business Class

Krisflyer does not apply fuel surcharges to redemptions on Singapore Airlines flights

If you’re travelling on Virgin Atlantic or another partner airline, check out the:

If you want to go around the world, then you might want to check out the:

United Airlines MilagePlus

United has dynamic pricing for their own flights, but still fixed pricing for their partners, which can be found using the:


Summing up

Being able to accurately price an flight redemption is important, especially when aiming transfer the correct amount of points from flexible points currencies like American Express Membership Rewards.

Feel free to comment below if you become aware of any updated award charts for any of the programmes above, or any new programmes altogether that you feel should be included.

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How to easily compare legroom across flights https://www.pointhacks.co.nz/legroom-for-google-flights-chrome-extension/ https://www.pointhacks.co.nz/legroom-for-google-flights-chrome-extension/#respond Wed, 08 May 2019 23:30:58 +0000 Wed, 08 May 2019 23:30:58 +0000 As Economy cabins become more cramped, getting the most legroom is increasingly important to our comfort, especially on longer flights.

When starting trip planning, Google Flights is usually my first stop. And it is even more useful with Legroom For Google Flights, a free extension available for Google Chrome web browser users. It helps you easily compare seat differences across a range of airlines and cabins.

Google Flights search results without the extension

Google Flights already displays seat pitch (the distance between your seat and the one in front of you). However, you have to click on each individual flight to access that information:

Legroom for Chrome

The Qantas Airbus A330 above offers average legroom at 31 inches

Google Flights search results with the extension

Economy Class

With Legroom For Google Flights, you can compare the seat pitch across all flights in one glance:

Legroom for Chrome

Did you know that Qantas and Scoot have less legroom than the Singapore Airlines and Emirates flights on the Melbourne – Singapore route?

Business Class

A standout feature is for Business Class passengers. They easily see which flights operate with a lie-flat (superior) or an angled-flat (inferior) seat.

Legroom for Chrome

You’ll want to avoid Emirates Business Class on this route as it doesn’t have lie-flat seats

Emirates Business Class

Would you prefer an angled-flat seat on Emirates…

Singapore Airlines A350 Business Class

…or this lie-flat seat on Singapore Airlines?

First Class

If you’re flying at the pointy end, you can choose between an individual suite and a standard lie-flat seat.

Legroom for Chrome

Given that Singapore Airlines has so many seat types, you’ll probably want a private suite rather than an open one.

Singapore Airlines old First Class Suite

Would you prefer a double bed on the Airbus A380

Singapore Airlines 777 Business Class

…or the open suite on the Boeing 777-300ER?

Premium Economy

Most results will just say ‘extra reclining’, so it’s hard to compare across airlines for this cabin. I’d suggest checking out SeatGuru as part of your research.

Baggage information for US flights

This is not a feature of the Chrome extension; rather, it’s built into Google Flights. You can get info on how the price changes if you have carry-on and/or checked baggage.

For example, if I were purchasing a ticket from San Francisco to Austin, I would opt for Alaska, as United does not allow a carry-on (these must be Basic Economy fares).

Legroom for Chrome

Google Flights shows me that United does not allow a full-sized carry-on; Legroom For Google Flights convinces me Alaska is the right choice with more legroom

You can see how the results change when I select a full-sized carry-on bag using the Bags filter.

Legroom for Chrome

Beware of the difference between Economy and Basic Economy fares

Read more in our guide on how to save on checked baggage fees on domestic US flights.

How to install Legroom For Google Flights

Time needed: 2 minutes.

  1. Install Google Chrome
    Make sure you have Google Chrome installed as your web browser.
  2. Install the Legroom For Google Flights extension
    it’s free!
  3. Enjoy improved results
    The extension will automatically appear in your next Google Flights search

Summing up

Google Flights is already quite a reliable and easy-to-use flight search engine. Installing this nifty extension from a third party developer is a no-brainer to help enrich your results.

Read more to learn how Google Flights can also help you to hack cheap or free stopovers and create price alerts.

Have you gotten any use out of this extension? Share your experience in the comments below.

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