Insane deal to NZ on Air New Zealand which ALSO means cheap surfboard bag fees. Availability goes down in April which is a good time to go surf someplace warm, but also a great time to score the first real south swells of the year pumping up form the southern ocean.
Boston to New Zealand almost always runs $1500+ — these cheap surf flights save 80% and get you there with One-Stop on Air New Zealand.
This is 100% a price mistake. Airlines don't discount things 80% on long routes on purpose BUT $300 might just be enough to get Air NZ to honor this one. I got to greece for $360 this fall on a similar deal that was accepted, so book NOW and ask questions later.
I love New Zealand AND I love the fact that Air New Zealand doesn't charge surfboard bag fees. While they do specify that this counts for board bags 6'5'' or under, there were a couple of guys bringing longboard board bags on with them last time I went and they didn't get hassled (YMMV!).
If you have friends in Philly or New York, put the word out, there are great deals over there as well.
- $353 RT Flight Philadelphia to New Zealand: Surf Trip
- $303 RT Flight NY/NJ to New Zealand: Surf Trip
All of these are part of the same Air New Zealand price mistake but each city has different dates / availability.
Surfboard Bag Fees
As mentioned a lot of the cheapest flight options have your connection to the west coast on United (where you then pickup Air New Zealand to Auckland). The ones I would look to book are badged as Air New Zealand, but operated by United.
The key here is that Air New Zealand has surfboard bags / coffins under 6'5'' for free. Not only that but I have see people fly with bigger stuff and not get hassled. United is a different story as Surfboard Bags run $150 each way (Ugh).
While I don't think you can argue your way out of baggage fees entirely (United charged $25/$35) you MAY be able to argue them down a bit on this if you buy the flight that is badged as Air New Zealand. Particularly if you go the extra mile and book on Air New Zealand's site.
Worst case scenario you have to pay to get your boards to the west coast adding $300 to your total bringing you in at $603 Round-Trip with boards which is still a steal.
Exchange Rate 40% Bonus
So as another option I figured I would mention that the U.S. dollar currently gets you roughly a 40% bonus down in New Zealand. That's roughly the same as my last trip and just like this board bag fees were nuts.
I ended up not bringing my decks and just bought a board down there (since the exchange was so good). Got a brand new HIC, performance fins, track pad, leash and form fit bag for $400USD out the door.
Not a bad option since you then cut your board bag fees down to just the $150 to bring it back. Plus no haggling with United hah
That 40% off knocks down your Hotel, Food Costs, Car — EVERYTHING is dramatically cheaper.