A few months ago, Air New Zealand made some changes around their domestic fare products, effectively introducing a domestic version of ‘Seats to Suit‘ (where you are able to add on upgrades to your basic seat, as you require). The changes had quite a large campaign program to promote it, including ads on TV, YouTube, online and on billboards – You would have likely have seen some form of advertising at some point about it:
Air NZ state that the changes were made to provide flexibility, affordability and choice, which they do provide. In fact the seat and seat+bag options are still the same as the previous ‘grabaseat’ and ‘grabaseat+bag’ products, the main changes are to what was the ‘super saver’ and ‘flexi’ fares, which have been replaced with flexitime and flexiplus fare options.
One of the biggest pet peeves which I have when doing online shopping (and of course, air tickets are no exception) are credit card transaction fees.
Over the past years, credit card and transaction fees are becoming increasingly more and more common, and more and more expensive – I find it is to the point where if I am not being charged a fee to use my credit card it is a pleasant surprise, like discovering a extra present hidden in the corner behind the Christmas tree. 😀
Most of my revenue travels (trips I pay for using cash) are on Air New Zealand, which is one of the more ‘deal orientated’ airlines – It is easy to find flights domestically within New Zealand for less than $100, and with grabaseat, sometimes it’s possible to grab a steal like $5 or even $1 fares. — We New Zealanders love our deals!
..then it comes to that time where you go to pay for the ticket and find that the card payment fee is almost as much as the fare itself!
Credit card payment fees used to be a charge reserved for low cost carriers such as RyanAir; but in mid-2009 they were added to bookings made on the AirNZ Australia website, before being introduced in NZ at the end of 2010. The fee was initially $2 per person, per one way journey.
Today, the card payment fees are:
$4.00 per person per one way journey for domestic New Zealand fares
$6.00 per person per one way journey for short haul Tasman and Pacific Island fares (such as to Australia)
$12.00 per person per one way journey to Bali
$17.50 per person per one way journey for long haul International fares including Honolulu
You don’t pay a credit card payment fee if you use POLi(a form of internet banking supported by NZ banks), Airpoints Dollars (APD) or Travelcard (only for businesses).
However, something I have found is if you purchase tickets for two passengers on the same booking (same PNR), but pay for one passenger with Airpoints dollars and pay for the other passenger with cash, you are not subject to card payment fees for both travellers.
Travel – It’s always exciting once you’ve begun and are on your journey, but beforehand there is always the tedious task of packing, and possibly the difficulty of *trying* to fit everything in for the big trip.
The most efficient way of rolling clothes, particularly shirts, is by rolling them to save space and make it easier to pack in your suitcase. It can also help to reduce wrinkles as well.
wikiHow details this method quite nicely, with captioned pictures for t-shirts, pants and socks: How to Roll Clothes
Edit: US Airways have since merged with American Airlines and consequently decided to (eventually) adopt American Airlines’ branding and loyalty system in future. This has resulted in their exit of the Star Alliance and the new American Airlines continuing their relationship with OneWorld. I will be looking to create a new step-by-step tutorial at some point in the near future – In the meantime, please feel free to contact me or leave a comment if you have any questions!
So you’ve heard all about the way to book a cheap business class airfare to almost anywhere in the World by purchasing a Star Alliance Award ticket, possibly by reading my overview post earlier this week here.
You might had a bit of a think, perhaps done some initial planning, and have decided that this is something that you want to give a go. This post is to help guide you step-by-step on how to go about doing it.
Create a Dividend Miles membership
First off, you need to sign up for and create your US Airways Dividend Miles membership. It is free to sign up, just go to the US Airways website and click on the “Join Dividend Miles” link.
Signing up will require you to fill in various personal information, including your address, phone numbers, and details to create a login and password. The next steps will be to fill in various items of interest you may want to subscribe to, before verifying your information and submitting it to create your new account. Shortly afterwards, you will receive an E-Mail to the E-Mail address you used to sign up for your new account, which will have your Dividend Miles membership number and a virtual ‘membership card’. Take a note of your membership number – This will be useful later down the line when you need to purchase miles, and access your profile.
Important Note: If you are looking to take advantage of the current US Airways Dividend Miles 100% Bonus Promotion (expires 31 May 2013) then you need to set an account up now. The terms and conditions of the promotion state that accounts must be open for a minimum of 12 days before any miles can be bought or gifted, however there have been reports of people purchasing them straightaway – As sign up is free, it does not hurt to set up the account now and it will be ready in under 2 weeks (plenty of time for you to do some thorough research and find a good itinerary ready to book!)