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
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.