Air New Zealand has a low fare to multiple airports in Australia at about $729 to $750 round trip via Auckland for flight departures from July through November 2016.
This is a challenging low fare ticket to find due to Google Flights showing all kinds of $740 fares on United nonstop flights to Sydney and Melbourne, however, Air New Zealand is shown as the low ticket price and their website comes up with different flights and different pricing structure and higher fares for many of the dates I searched. And the flights are on Air New Zealand via Auckland and not United Airlines nonstop to Australia as shown on Google Flights for $740 USD.
The good news is Google Flights takes you to Air New Zealand’s website where there is a fare calendar by week that works quickly to scroll through weeks of dates and find highlighted low fare dates.
Google Flights shows many dates with low Air New Zealand fares for United Airlines nonstop flights from LAX and SFO to Sydney. I did not locate any of these low fares for United-operated flights.
I found several low fare dates for LAX and SFO to Melbourne, Sydney, and Gold Coast Australia flying Air New Zealand for around $740 USD round trip. I saw Brisbane on sale too, but did not search other cities in Australia.
Air New Zealand Los Angeles LAX – Sydney, Australia SYD
$748.56 USD Tuesday July 5 – Wednesday July 20
Even with fewer miles, Air New Zealand $740 beats United $990 to Australia
The deal breaker for some here is the economy fare codes G and S for the long-haul transpacific flights do not earn frequent flyer miles in any program, except Virgin Australia or TAP Portugal (S earns 100% miles in TAP Portugal and G or S earn 25% miles Virgin Australia). Tasman Sea flights in Air New Zealand V class earn 50% miles in United Mileage Plus. Unless you are Mileage Plus high elite, the fewer United Mileage Plus redeemable miles earned is offset by saving over $200 on current United Airlines fares to Australia.
Redeemable miles earned on Air New Zealand ticket are 1,345 miles for the one way flight distance Auckland to Sydney in NZ economy V class earns 50% miles. Auckland, New Zealand to Sydney, Australia is 1,345 miles across Tasman Sea.
I priced United Airlines SFO-SYD ticket Sep 6-20 at $989.36. The base fare $840 x 5 miles earns 4,200 miles for a base member in Mileage Plus. Air New Zealand $749 ticket trades 2,800 extra frequent flyer miles in Mileage Plus for a $280 lower fare. Air New Zealand is still a good deal, even with reduced frequent flyer miles earned on the ticket.
Air New Zealand Los Angeles LAX – Melbourne, Australia MEL
$735.96 USD Sunday Nov 13 – Friday Nov 25
Air New Zealand San Francisco – Sydney, Australia SYD
$748.56 USD Tuesday Sep 6 – Tuesday Sep 20
Air New Zealand San Francisco – Gold Coast, Australia OOL
$728.36 USD Monday Sep 5 – Sunday Sep 18
Loyalty Traveler – Hotel Promotions Guide May 2016.