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#933127 by SlimpyJones
27 Feb 2017, 11:18
Hello all,

I'm planning ahead to a trip to Auckland (and NZ in general) over Christmas later this year. I'm keen to fly Westwards as much as possible to have 2 out of 4 sectors be daytime flights rather than fly East and have 4 overnights.

Searching on the VS site only seems to be giving me one outbound option which is to change at PVG. I'd prefer to fly to the US and connect there, so I'll either have to call up or book through Expedia or something. The return would be via PVG, again for the daytime return.

Will likely be flying PE on a Flexi ticket.

Anyway, the current options for US connections appear to be either changing at SFO with a 2 hour layover, or at LAX, with either 2h15 or 3h15 layovers. I've never done an international connection before, but am quite familiar with connecting at US airports. I have Global Entry, and therefore TSA PreCheck as well so immigration/security shouldn't be too much of a bottleneck.

My preference would be to connect at SFO as VS and NZ both use the International Terminal (as opposed to LAX where I'd have to go from T2 to TBIT), but despite having GE, etc, part of me is saying that 2 hours isn't enough, especially if NZ will want my bags dropped an hour beforehand.

Just wondering if anyone else has thoughts?
#933129 by gumshoe
27 Feb 2017, 13:24
You'll be able to use Global Entry to speed up your entry to the US, but not TSA Pre to speed up your exit as Air New Zealand don't participate.

Therefore I would suggest 2 hours is too short a layover - even with GE you'll have to collect your bags and recheck them before heading back airside so you won't have much wiggle room if the VS flight is late.

Have you considered taking NZ1 all the way? That lays over in LAX but NZ make arrangements for passengers travelling all the way from LHR to AKL and you won't have to reclaim & recheck your luggage. ... os-angeles
#933130 by SlimpyJones
27 Feb 2017, 15:44
I'm glad I'm not the only one thinking that then. Looks like an LAX transfer may be in order. All this of course assumes that over the next 10 months there will be no schedule changes... :-P hence one of the reasons I wanted a Flexi ticket.

I did indeed consider NZ1. However currently (and I acknowledge this could change) it's currently pricing higher for a non-flexi ticket than a fully flex one with VS/NZ. Plus no Clubhouse. Or as many TPs/miles. But then that's the price of convenience I suppose...
#933132 by tontybear
27 Feb 2017, 21:54
Are you strictly wanting to fly on VS and VS partners?

V Australia flies from LAX to SYD and then to AKL for example. they also fly SYD to HKG where you could pick up VS back to LHR.

Some of the round the world fares / passes could be better value for you.

Didn't SRB once boast that his were the only airlines that you could do a round the world trip on the same brand?
#933499 by Smid
14 Mar 2017, 16:06
I'd seriously consider westbound on QR business, status or not. Not quite sure if exists but CPH to AKL was about £1450 but would have to wait a bit longer to cover christmas period outwards (Dec 15th).

I've flown VS initially on my travels, so used to the Clubhouses, and VS service when it was good. Then switched to AA/BA, former good, latter sufficient. Done BA First.

I did FRA to AKL at christmas (CX from HKG and QF back to SYD for way back), and QR knocks the socks off the rest. Far more BA First than the rest (something which VS was like back in the days before they limited the booze and the staff). Food wonderful. PJ's, slippers...

If I could afford it, I suppose westbound would have been my choice. Now, via QR is my choice...
#933712 by SlimpyJones
23 Mar 2017, 10:08
Thanks all for your responses and other suggestions. For this trip I really needed flexibility so taking advantage of ex-EU J fares would have been far too pricey.

In the end I settled on an Eastbound routing LHR-PVG-AKL-SFO-LHR on VS/NZ. 4 night flights admittedly but the benefits were greater than going westwards, with more sensible layovers and flight times.

Here's to Christmas in the summer!
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