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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)

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.

Comments (66)

  • Ian M says:

    OT – SPG Amex

    Has anyone received their points yet? 18th September now and still nothing for me.

    • KevMc says:

      Nope. Now missing the August and September points. I’m going to chase Amex about this today. Has anyone else had any sort of compensation from them over this matter?

      • Ian M says:

        Amex are blaming Marriott/SPG. More than likely they’re correct.

        I’ve not received my points for any spend since 1st July.

    • The streets says:

      Spoke to Amex yesterday and they said I will receive them on my next points run …which happens to be tomorrow. Let’s wait and see

      • E says:

        I am also missing August as September from my SPG card. July points took longer to come through, about a month, so had hoped to see at least August soon. Hope it isn’t next payment run as that is now October for me.

      • Ian M says:

        Keep us updated please

      • Munch says:

        Did you combine you account in Marriott? Still not sure if this will cause more confusion?

  • John says:

    Booked flexible rates and reward stays for Thailand several months ago for lower prices than this sale. Don’t see the point of eating in hotels in Bangkok unless you are so busy working that you can’t leave… But room service excluded

    Also the WA is 2-3x the price of the other Hiltons, and it has no lounge, so not interested.

    • BJ says:

      Out of interest John, which BKK Hilton do you favour? I’m amazed how low Millenium and Conrad cash rates have gone at times, cheaper than HIXs Siam and Sathorn on some dates. IHG must be laughing all the way to the bank getting customers through the door at over £60 a night when the those prdmium Hiltons are struggling to do the same.

      • TripRep says:

        How is the Conrad BKK.. Quite fancy staying there, plus I know the management 😉

        • BJ says:

          Don’t know, never stayed there sorry. Used to have a house there and now stay with friends or rent a condo if staying longer. Tend to track Hilton and IHG for promotions though and ended up in two HIX for 4 nights last time to complete accelerate. Not sure Conrad works on points, John could advise. One thing is for sure, there is no point staying Conrad at £150/night unless you need the points or elite qualification. I have seen it at £73 though IIRC which is a totally different ball game.

        • Chris Palmer says:

          Conrad Bangkok is very good. It is currently undergoing some refurbishment due to being a little tired in places. I particularly like the pool area.

        • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

          I really liked the Conrad. A bit businessy perhaps, but that didn’t bother me (we had two shortish stays at the start and end of a trip to Thailand that was flying in/out of BKK). Not a perfect location (although a convenient side of town for getting to the airports), but nicely appointed and great, polished service (memorable example is that the doorman knew when we were returning when we were checking out the first time e.g. ‘See you next Friday’).

          We did also pop over to the Millennium to check out the rooftop bar and were suitably impressed.

      • John says:

        I like all of them if the price is right! The Millennium is good if you want to do touristy things by the river and have time to wait for the boat. Conrad if you want to be around shopping malls and markets. The DT has the largest breakfast range I’ve ever seen for a property that isn’t meant to be at the height of luxury. I’m staying the Sukhumvit Hilton for the first time next week, as I haven’t gotten it cheap in the past.

        • BJ says:

          DT is only one I see me doing, at 80k for 4+1 nights it is the one that works on points although I think I saw the Millenium go down to 24000 a night which is temoting if you don’t mind the location.

    • Darren says:

      Is the WA Bangkok a refurb/rebrand?

      • Rob says:

        New build IIRC

        • Darren says:

          That’s interesting, 2 trips planned in the coming months and would like to see something new. Park Hyatt was the one I had my eye on.

          One thing I’ve yet to find is the best lounge in BKK, thinking of the Cathay when I return on BA next year but first it will be Etihads best option or Platinum access or P Pass, the CP/Miracles don’t do anything for me.

        • BJ says:

          @Darren, I am hearing a lot of people staying at Imperial Suites on Wireless Road close to Lumpini Park. There is also the new Marriott Suriwongse which is well down the Road towards the river. It looks good but tragic is a nightmare around there.

      • BJ says:

        Part of a new mixed block on Ratchadamri next to Erawan.

      • Roger C says:

        We were there in the first week on a Reward stay. All very impressive, if a little eerily quiet. Teh staff couldn’t have been more willing to help, but they were rather under-employed…

  • John says:

    Re: AKL, my idea was to try the new QF direct to PER and redeem on PER-AKL (7 hours on 777) but I can’t get the price of the QF flight down and QR has had decent offers….

    • pauldb says:

      15k VS for PER-AKL would be a nice deal. There have also been very cheap fares KUL/SIN-PER that might stitch this all together.

    • Lumma says:

      The LHR-PER flight seems to be priced ridiculously high, especially when, unless your final destination is Perth, it doesn’t seem to be any better than changing planes in the Middle East or SE Asia. Other than telling people “I flew UK to Australia non stop”

  • Matthew says:

    Don’t forget you can fly Iberia to Tokyo in business for a very reasonable amount of Avios and taxes.

  • Anna says:

    OT – my OH had a message on his Platinum Amex account yesterday offering 5k bonus points to add a supplementary card. Applied and points have appeared this morning.

  • Alan says:

    The Hilton sale isn’t bad actually – looking at Conrad Singapore and in the sale is coming in at £160/night vs 60k Hilton points. My dates are fixed anyway with flights so may well go for it.

    • Chris Palmer says:

      Unfortunately, it appears they increased the prices in the weeks leading up to the sale. For example, the Conrad Bangkok was about £135 per night (flexible). Then, a week ago, the price shot up to £180 (flexible). Then we hear of a sale…

      • Stu N says:

        @Alan – would you rate Conrad Singapore? We have a stay in Singapore in the spring, generally favour Marriott/ Starwood/ Hiltons so it’s one option.

        • Rash says:

          We rated the Conrad Singapore when we stayed this year but I know a couple of others on here find it a little bland. Fantastic service from the team who went the extra mile for my wifes birthday!

        • Genghis says:

          Yes, we stayed at Conrad Singapore last year and thought it was a bit rubbish. Breakfast not too bad. The lounge was always way too busy and the food a bit rubbish when there’s fantastic food courts on your door step. We much preferred the service and the room we got at the Intercon on Middle Rd as SE AMB.

        • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

          I wouldn’t recommend Conrad Singapore. Tired decor and lacklustre service (also our room wasn’t ready at 3). Not in the same league as Tokyo, Dubai or Bangkok. Apparently the newish JW Marriott by Raffles is much nicer.

        • Alan says:

          Genghis and I have opposing views on this old chesnut 😀 I really like the Conrad, I’ve had absolutely superb upgrades on multiple occasions (corner suites, etc.) and they even looked after my parents on their trip (Silver but I emailed them as Diamond to ask for a favour). I really enjoy the breakfast spread in the restaurant too, but have found it so extensive I don’t really need lunch 😛 Location works for me too, easy to/from the airport, walking distance to Gardens by the Bay, etc. They’ve also been excellent with late checkouts.

          Have stayed at the IC on Middle Road as AMB – received an OK upgrade (as a ‘special exception’ given it was a reward stay) but of course no breakfast as it’s not part of the benefits. Was underwhelmed overall.

        • Scott says:

          Try JW South Beach. I used to stay at Conrad then switched to here. Bit more modern and pool area is not quite as ‘resort’ style but fantastic rooms and great lounge.

        • Stu N says:

          Thanks, will look at those options.

      • BJ says:

        Yes, according to John they did as he has been monitoring regularly. This is their usual practice. At gines during the last couple of years I have seen Milleenium Bangkok sink as low as 2300 baht and the Conrad to jusg under 3000 baht. Even so tgere ard better oogion in Bangkok at those prices.

  • swhostring says:

    Free BA Amex – my wife got a mystery 1000 point bonus for a £250 PayPal transaction. It’s not the 1000 for hitting spend target. It’s not the 1000 for adding new supp. It’s just a mystery.

  • Lee says:

    Sorry about completely OT, I thought I will ask any question here these days.
    We are travelling to Maldives from Heathrow this Christmas connecting at Rome. Are we entitle to buy VAT free things for non-EU travelling or that restricted because we will connecting at Rome?