Yesterday marked the beginning of Hawaiian’s New Zealand service via a nonstop flight from Honolulu to Auckland. The flight will have 3x weekly service this spring and summer before being upgraded to 4x weekly later this fall. So, how is the award availability using AA or DL miles? The short answer is that Economy is amazing (on American), though Business (two class First) is nearly impossible to find.
American – For 35k you can find good economy availability in April and May and outstanding availability in June, July, August, and September. Note that the majority of the economy availability below is for the direct HA flight, though a few of the dates have a Qantas connection via Sydney or Brisbane.
Business is a completely different story, I couldn’t find any availability on the direct flight in April, May, June, July, August, or September. The only available business class routing on any day was via a Qantas connection flight to Auckland.
So, if you can take the 9 hour flight in coach, you have a ton of availability to choose from but business at this point is not being released.
Delta – There were some rumors leading up to the launch that the Auckland flight would be included in Delta’s short list of flights that are available to book using SkyMilies. Currently, that includes inter-island flights and flights between HNL-MNL/SYD/PPT/PPG. After speaking with eight separate representatives, there’s no solid details on when or if the AKL flight will become available for SkyMiles redemption. Four representatives said that the flight was going to be bookable but wasn’t at this time, the other four had no idea that Hawaiian even operated a flight to Auckland. In any case, Delta agents can clearly not see HA T fares to AKL in addition to the normally blocked HNL-mainland and Japan/Korea flights. I expect to have a firm answer from Delta some time tomorrow or early next week and will report back regarding future plans for AKL SkyMiles availablity.
Hawaiian – Hawaiian’s availability for their own HawaiianMiles members is excellent in economy at the SuperSaver 40k level, though business was generally only available at the Flex level of 130k instead of the 65k Saver level.