Changes Coming To Air New Zealand’s Airpoints Program (A Frightening Glimpse Of A Revenue Based Program)

Don’t get excited, from what I can see it’s still a revenue based program meaning you earn “Airpoints dollars” and redeem based on the cost of the ticket you are buying.  But if you are a member of this program you will have been emailed the following video.

Most of the changes seem to affect status credits which are usually not a concern of eco-tourists unless you happen to have a job that requires a lot of flying.  What we are concerned with is REDEEMABLE MILES or in this case “Airports dollars”, the currency of the program.

The changes are listed in detail here.   I have been trying to find some way to make use of this program since I live in Australia but the US programs such as United Mileage Plus, American AAdvantage and US Dividend Miles (soon to merge with AAdvantage) are so much better even with United’s recent devaluations.

The main thing I would like to see change is that Air New Zealand needs to start playing fair with its Star Alliance partners.  It’s virtually impossible to get a business class seat and on some routes such as those to Pacific Islands and between New Zealand and several major Australian cities such as Brisbane, Gold Coast & Perth are non-existant.

Members of Air New Zealand’s program are able to redeem on Star Alliance airlines so they should be giving up seats for their partners to redeem on as well!

Here is an example of what you would earn if you credited a United flight from Frankfurt to Loos Angeles to Air New Zealand’s program.


This is how you use Airpoints Dollars.


This is what you need for a Star Alliance award.


This is what you would need to redeem one way from Auckland to Tahiti (PPT).  I just did a fare quote on a random date in low season to determine the price.


Yes, that’s right.  You would earn a whopping 26 Airpoints Dollars on a discount economy ticket from Frankfurt to Los Angeles which would be 6611 miles via Houston.  But you need 481 Airpoints Dollars to redeem a one way ticket from Auckland to Tahiti, a distance of 2544 miles!

If this happened to US frequent flyer programs, it would be a disaster!