Air New Zealand has revamped its partner reward booking table for all reward bookings using Airpoints Dollars from the 5th November 2018.
Air New Zealand Airpoints members can book reward seats using Airpoints Dollars (APD) on almost all flights by other Star Alliance carriers, along with non Star Alliance partners Etihad and Virgin Atlantic.
All flights are booked into specific reward booking classes, so the catch is they are subject to availability - as always the earlier you book, the better your chance of finding a free seat.
All reward bookings have to be done through the Air New Zealand call centre. A booking fee of NZ$100 applies for all reward bookings, and taxes are also additional. Depending on the destination and booking class, these taxes can be anywhere from around $50 up to around $300. The booking fee and taxes have to be paid for by credit card - you can't use Airpoints Dollars for these.
The changes mean reward bookings are now distance based rather than zone based, and see changes both good and bad for those looking to score a reward booking.
Many Economy Class reward seats are now cheaper, many First Class reward seats are now significantly more expensive, and Business Class bookings are a mixed bag depending on your route.
It does see some genuine bargains disappear - previously First Class seats on Etihad from Sydney to Abu Dhabi were available for APD$1965 and a popular booking for those who were aware of the bargain it represented. The cost of this reward flight is now APD$4000
There is now no mention on the Air New Zealand website about the booking classes for Virgin Atlantic flights. Previously reward flights in Upper Class (their Business Class) were charged at the First Class rate. If the assumption is made that these are now booked at the Business Class rate it will mean that many are now cheaper.
To calculate distances I recommend using the Great Circle Mapper website. This site allows you to calculate distances between airports globally, remembering that since the earth is probably not flat that aircraft don't necessarily fly in straight lines.
The following is the new rewards table for reward bookings up until the 5th November 2018 -
For reference the following is the old rewards table for reward bookings up until the 5th November 2018 -