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How to use Virgin Atlantic miles to get to Auckland

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Reader Charlie dropped me a note about an interesting Virgin Atlantic partner redemption that he has booked to get to Auckland.

Virgin Flying Club is a partner with Air New Zealand.  We don’t cover this much because Air New Zealand very, very rarely makes much reward space available between London and Auckland, which routes via Los Angeles.

Air New Zealand has other routes, of course.  The one that Charlie spotted was Tokyo to Auckland.

Redemption pricing for Air New Zealand is shown on the Virgin Atlantic site here.  As you can see, Tokyo to Auckland is just 40,000 miles each-way in Business Class.

This is for an 11 hour flight remember.  More interestingly, taxes are exceptionally low:

Tokyo to Auckland in Business Class is £35 one way

Auckland to Tokyo in Business Class is £16 one way

Obviously you need to get to Tokyo in the first place.  However, this is generally not a bad route to get seats compared to, say, Singapore:

you can fly on Avios via British Airways – or, if you are not using a 241 voucher, JAL

you can fly on Flying Club miles via ANA (we reviewed ANA’s Business Class here, redemption pricing is here)

Redeeming Virgin Flying Club miles on Air New Zealand

There is currently decent availability in Business Class for Tokyo-Auckland in March 2019 with some from Auckland during February 2019.  Air New Zealand seems to release seats on a rolling basis so future months should appear as time goes by.

There is an identical option available from Hong Kong.  This is still on Air New Zealand and with the same pricing.  Hong Kong is even easier to reach from the UK with either Avios or Virgin Flying Club miles.

Singapore and Shanghai are other possible starting points in Asia served by Air New Zealand although you are at the mercy of their erratic reward seat availability.

You can check Air New Zealand reward availability by using the United Airlines website.  You don’t need an account with United.  When you find a day with seats, simply call Virgin Flying Club to book – the availability should match.

How to earn Virgin Atlantic miles from UK credit cards

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Virgin Flying Club miles from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Virgin Flying Club miles.  That page is regularly updated with the latest special offers and will still be accurate even if you are reading this article months after publication.

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  1. O/T – anyone know how the Virgin Money Virgin Atlantic Credit Card treats topping up revolut? Are there any charges (like cash advance) or anything like that? I know pre interchange cap they (revolut) charged 1% so I never bothered…

  2. OT, thoughts please:
    I bought a non-refundable BA economy return ticket to Boston for next month, but my travel plan changed and I have to return from Philadelphia instead of Boston. I have now booked a single Avios ticket from Philadelphia to London (hence will be No Show for the original return leg). On BA system there are two tickets in my name for the same day: Boston-London (planned No Show) and Philadelphia – London. Is this going to be a problem?
    Thanks in advance.

    • No, will be fine.

      • Perfect. Many thanks Rob.

        • What were the charges on the one way back to London ? ( Arm and a leg ?)

        • One way back to London is an Avios reward ticket which is reasonable (comparing to cash fare). If I knew that I need to return from Philadelphia, I would have booked two one way reward tickets – cheaper and much more flexible.

    • There might be a chance they’ll cancel your first booking if they think you’ve booked a cheap return to avoid paying for an expensive one way ticket and never intended to show up for the return sector. I don’t know if any HFPs readers have ever been in the same situation.

      • Hope they won’t. It doesn’t make sense for me to do so, the return ticket I paid for is more expensive than a one way Avios ticket (London to Boston).

    • Whilst non-refundable, would it not be worthwhile still cancelling the Boston flight to prevent any issues on the day with the flight you will be taking?

      • I was told a re-calculation is required, which I assume is based on the current one way fare (very expensive).

    • The number of entries in EY raffles is often huge, I am surprised more airlines have not gone down this route.

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