So I noticed this little picture below on the Air New Zealand homepage on the weekend, which was a bit of a surprise. Looks like the Night Rider service is back, just as we knew it, with all seats $29 each (or $39 for a seat+bag).
- Auckland – Nelson (and vice versa)
- Auckland – Christchurch (and vice versa)
The available travel period is very short too, at only a month from mid-February to mid-March: 20 Feb – 19 Mar 2015, perhaps suggesting that this may be a trial/temporary route.
In fact, The Herald reported that after this period, the Night Rider service will run on other routes, including some other new regional centres, with Palmerston North highlighted as another regional centre in line for the return of the service in the future, with “further Night Rider services (to) be announced periodically on a surprise and delight basis.”
Personally, I think it is great to have the Night Rider service back – It is hard to get to many places for $29 ($60 return), and this especially applies to the regional centres. It creates a good opportunity for travellers to explore NZ for cheap, or perhaps enjoy a short mid-week or weekend getaway, as well as encourages tourism to some places where people may not have otherwise considered visiting otherwise.
Miss. Kiwi Globetrotter and I for example are big fans of the Nelson region, and we would definitely welcome a Night Rider service there from Wellington anytime. Here’s hoping for this route sometime in the future!
Just like last time these services operated, remember that these special fares have some extra restrictions:
- The late night flights skip the traditional inflight drink and snack service
- Passengers travelling on these fares won’t be eligible for Koru Lounge entry prior to departure
- Elite, Gold Airpoints and Koru members won’t be able to request premium seats in advance
- Unaccompanied minors and pets travelling as checked baggage are not accepted on Night Rider flights
- Night Rider flights can’t be booked as part of a through fare domestically or internationally
- All seats on this flight are one price so there are no group fares available
What do you think of the Night Rider service returning? Feel free to post your comments below.