Flight ticket to New Zealand

Hi.

My son is planning to visit New Zealand in the summer and I want to help him get his ticket.

Do you have any recommendations of route, departure airport, where is the most ok to have stopover( max 1 stopover)?

I see that most routes, from what I've searched on the Zurich- Auckland route are 24-30 hours....

How to buy a ticket with flexible return date?

There are all sorts of tips on when to buy the cheapest flight ticket... does it work or is it pointless to try?

with one stop you already limited the options: Singapore, Doha, Hong Kong, and Dubai. These are all perfectly fine to change flights.

yes, it's that far...

buy the ticket as soon as the price is acceptable for you and never look back

It’s gonna be around 24 hours, that’s how long it takes to fly to the other side of the world.

Use booking.com to see who flies there and then book direct with the airline, do not book through a third party website, because if something goes wrong you will struggle to get help.

Go for a connection time of around 2 hours or a little more, less than 2 hours is really tight if you get a delay or for baggage transfer.

Flexible return date is not really a thing, better to just buy the return when you know (assuming NZ does not require you to have a return ticket on entry).

You are not going to beat 24 hours. For me the choice was always a mid-way stopover (yes with kids), or no stopover and as fast as possible. Plenty of choice of route and airline - check online for current prices and reviews. Most are two 12 hour flights going over Asia, some going the other way via the States. With Qatar over Doha is the exception. An 8 then an 18hour slog.

There no non-stop flights between NZ and Europe. And since Air New Zealand stopped their London flights there are no direct flights either. So connecting somewhere is necessary.

NZ is close to our antipodal point so travelling via North America is about the same duration as travelling via the mideast/asia.

Have a look at airlines that fly to both CH and NZ. Via N. America that would be Air Canada, United and American. Via Middle East: Emirates, Etihad, Qatar. Via Asia: Singapore, Thai, Air China, Japan Air Lines. These are the ones that come to mind.

Then there are the airline alliances that ‘code share’. They put their airline code on partners flights. Swiss for example, doest fly there but if you do you see they offer a connecting flight via Singapore both flights with LX flight numbers, but the second flight Singapore to Auckland.

I like to start here: https://matrix.itasoftware.com/search to narrow down the choices. You can’t book there, but it helps find the options. It’s a bit complicated but anyone can use it.

Also Passport is important. You need to check admissibility on both the destination and the connecting point.

Hi Arleena, little one made same trip last year with Swiss to USA and then NZ Air. Route Zurich, JFK, Aukland and return will be AKL, San Francisco, ZRH.

And all the fun parts !!!

Price was good, a bit more expensive than mixed airlines with 3 or 4 stopovers, but not much.

We used skyscanner for the price / route / date searches.

Make sure your son has ETA for USA and NZ, even if you don't need visa's. Cannot board plane without. Get these online well before travveling.

Agree with Island Monkey, book direct with airline ( for us it was Swiss !! )

You will enter USA landside, and will need to reclain and then re-checkin your luggage. Allow 4 .. 5 hours to be safe.

Had to rebook ZRK-JFK, no problem as we had Swiss direct booking.

ZRH..JFK, flight fairly busy but JFK..AKL the plane was 1/2 empty, so had 3 seats to stretch and sleep.

Air NZ is a very good carrier.

Enjoy your trip.

Travelling via the USA, as said, involves entering the US and claiming baggage, then re-dropping baggage etc. Travelling through the Middle East or Asia does not and is much simpler.

Via Canada it’s much simpler. With a direct connection you don’t need to ‘enter’ Canada, you stay airside.

By stop-over I meant a two-four day break. Malaysian airlines and Singapore used to offer reasonably priced stays either in the city or at close by beach resorts. This seems to be a thing of the past, stop-over now means a change of planes with variable time delays and it depends where and which airlines are involved as to whether you can get the bags checked through for the whole trip.

I flew from Australia to New Zealand almost 10 years ago and i remember that even if i had a return ticket i had to go to the airport to check in. Apparently i had to prove that i had a ticket to leave New Zealand to them and i had to go to a proper counter to do it. Not self service machines.

Use https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/# to check document requirements for NZ and intermediate points. Health requirements can also be found there

IATA is the airline’s trade association and their data is used by all airlines. It is updated frequently and can be trusted.

“ Visitors entering New Zealand without a visa (as visa waiver visitors) must have valid onward travel arrangements when entering New Zealand (for instance a return ticket or official confirmation that a ticket is booked and paid for).

The return ticket must be from New Zealand to a country they can enter.”

With many airlines you can buy a ticket, say economy plus or such like, which allows changes for free + the fare difference. But they are more expensive than a standard economy fare.

It's not necessarily pointless to try the tips but I've never had great success.

I flew to NZ the other year via Doha, 8 hours plus 17 hours. It will be similar via any other stop.

If you want an open return you have to book a flexible ticket. Some allow changes without a fee and others charge a fee. There's almost always a flight price difference to pay. I recently booked a fully flexible fair and a few weeks after could cancel and rebook at a cheaper price but that's a rarity.

For open returns check out the websites for Student travel. Most require membership but often they give the flexibility of open returns, subject to conditions- of course. The routings may not be as flexible and connections long but ...

I agree. To me, stopover = enter the country and sleep at least one night before continuing the journey. Layover = stay airside, spend some hours lurking at the airport before continuing the journey.

We have flown to Hawaii with a stopover in the mainland USA. We've also flown to Australia with a stopover in Singapore. It is nice to see a bit of the city, stretch our legs, sleep in a proper bed, etc. We felt so much more refreshed upon arrival at the final destination by splitting it up that way. But you usually end up with more total hours in transit, so if speed is your goal then stopovers aren't the way to go.