Airlines add new routes all the time and as you may suspect, most aren’t very exciting or newsworthy. Air New Zealand is however expanding their US reach, with a new direct flight between Auckland and Chicago and it’s very exciting. Even if you don’t live in New Zealand or Chicago, the flight brings a lot of new possibilities to a US market desperate for more direct flights to the South Pacific. Here’s why you should get excited…

Less Transit

East Coast passengers en route to Australia or New Zealand are accustomed to the 5+ hour journey to California to connect onto their 12+ hour journey onward to the South Pacific. As if 12 hours on a plane isn’t grueling enough, the extra five just to get there certainly were. This new flight will put many US cities within an hours connection of a direct flight to New Zealand.

More Points

Air New Zealand is one of the most sought after ways to spend Virgin Atlantic, United and other points currencies. Without many flights, the competition made things extremely tenuous. But with the addition of a new Chicago flight, there will be increased chance to redeem points for a comfy ride between New Zealand and Chicago.

Less Jet Lag

The choices you make before and during the flight will contribute to your eventual jet lag, but Air New Zealand will fly new Boeing 787 Dreamliners on this new route, which are known to help passengers reduce the effects of jet lag. Improved cabin pressure, humidity and space make these planes a very cozy way to fly – in any cabin. These planes even feature the much sought after SkyCouch setup in economy, pictured below.

More Competition

The more airlines compete, the more passengers benefit from low fares. With more routes, more seats and new airline competition we can expect to see increasingly exciting flash sales to New Zealand and Australia. It’s no secret that Qantas is interested in launching direct flights to New York. Tickets have historically been over $1000 for round trip economy, but we could easily see $700 becoming the new “norm”.

Exciting Details

The new flight will launch November 30th, 2018. Air New Zealand partner United Airlines will also make their San Francisco to Auckland flight a year round service, rather than just seasonal. The flight will be the longest flight in the Air New Zealand network, with at least 15 hours of flight time.

Will you seek out this new option to New Zealand?