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For fewer points than most people will use to fly economy, how do flat beds on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner in business class sound? Yeah, we thought so. There’s a fantastic way to use points, offering extreme value for money. For once, creating the points is easy too. You can instantly create the points you need for less than $400, even if you have no points. And if you have Citi, Amex, Chase, SPG or Virgin Atlantic points, you can do this almost for free!

the interior of a planeWhat

Air New Zealand offers a wonderful business class experience on their 787 Dreamliner. These planes offer better air pressure, bigger windows and cleaner cabin air. Throw in a flat bed, great food and New Zealand wine – and you’re in for a treat. Using Virgin Atlantic miles, you can book any flight between Australia and New Zealand in Air New Zealand business class for just 15,000 points one way in either direction. That’s a ridiculously low rate, for some very long flights – like Perth to Auckland!


If you’ve got Virgin Atlantic, Citi, Chase, Amex or SPG points, you can do this with ease. If you don’t you can actually buy the points you need, via an amazing sale – for less than $400. These tickets retail for more than $2500, making this one heck of a deal.The key is wrangling together 15,000 Virgin Atlantic points, which you’ll then use on Air New Zealand. All the points mentioned above can be converted into Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Miles.

a pool with lounge chairs and a building with water in the backgroundWhen

These flights can be booked any time, provided there’s a seat available in business using points. The easiest way to find out is to search United.com and selecting “Search for Award Travel” and then “Nonstop”. Simply search between any two cities Air New Zealand flies direct and you’re all set. You can likely add a connection on for free, if needed. You’ll want to look for routes operated by Boeing 777 or 787 to get the best flat bed experience.


Once you’ve found “saver” availability in business class on the United website, for travel on Air New Zealand between Australia and New Zealand in either direction, you’ll call Virgin Atlantic to book. Ignore the rates you saw on United or anywhere else, Virgin Atlantic charges just 15,000 points one way or 30,000 round trip. Contact Virgin Atlantic to book here, and be ready to give flight numbers and dates with the “saver” availability you found. You can save $1000s versus the cost of paid tickets, and receive the same experience! The lounges are very nice too. If you don’t see seats available at first, check out these tips for getting emails when they pop open!

a bed in an airplaneNeed Points?

If you’re now excited about the opportunity, but have no points, as we mentioned – you can buy them. Starwood points can be transferred to Virgin Atlantic, and they’re currently on sale. It’s important to remember that availability can change in the time it takes to buy the points and transfer them to Virgin, so if you have no flexibility, be smart. But if you do have some flexibility and want to save a fortune, buy points here. You’ll then be able to transfer them to Virgin Atlantic, call up Virgin and get booked on one of these amazing flights.

Are you going to take advantage of this awesome points redemption?

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. This is a joke… Have you ever seen a business class seat available on this route? Maybe you should guide those to find availability before transferring their points to an otherwise rather useless program. There are pretty much zero days available.

    Sending your readers looking for unicorns is a nice way to write articles or give advice.

    1. No Ryan, you’re the joke. Telling people things can’t happen that happen every day makes you just another naysayer. I’ve booked PER-AKL, SYD-AKL, and countless other flights using this method. Availability regularly pops up, and we illustrate how to do that. And Virgin is far from a useless program. It’s got arguably some of the best redemption values left in travel.

      So why don’t you find better ways to spend your day than leaving utterly useless comments on my articles. I see numbers going up every day, with people searching for these exact opportunities. It’s a shame you don’t have the sense to do the same. Mic.Drop.

      Does this seem harsh? Then perhaps think about phrasing your comments respectfully next time, along the lines of:

      This isn’t an easy seat to find, perhaps give a bit more context as to how many are available, etc. You call my work a joke, you become the joke.

    1. That’s your takeaway? I write 7 articles a day without help. You’re welcome to edit my articles for free at any point.

  2. Just wanted to say that I have had the most success booking awesome reward flights using advice given here.

    Asiana points for EY, Virgin for ANA are 2 examples.

    This is the only blog that talks about some really smart redemptions.

    All airlines will have variable access. We all know how CX and JAL availability via AS miles is. That doesn’t mean the seats aren’t available. I have just booked x3 seats using Alaska miles 25k each ONLY for J flights from DEL to TYO to SIN. Amazing! Flying in November. Not short notice flights.

      1. Thank you. Truly. I don’t have the energy some days, but this post made me so happy. Amazing work securing those! Was that with JAL via Alaska or ANA via Lifemiles?

        1. JAL was with Alaska. easy online booking. The value is ridiculous considering the cost of the actual tickets.

          Then its back to LHR via the new SQ a380. hoping to score an upgrade to the new J – will book a flight with upgrades.

          I must add one thing – with the miles game flexibility is must. If you have restricted travel dates due to work rules (I am lucky enough to be my own boss and my wife’s workplace allow some degree of ‘work from home’ which helps) then its a lot more difficult.

  3. I do not think my comments are useless. Its a valid point that Auckland-Perth is a near impossible route to book. If you do find availability how do you lock it in as your points transfer? What do you do if your 15,000 points are now sitting in Virgin Atlantic’s program and the seat is gone?

    *Are the transfers instant?
    *Does Virgin allow holds?
    *Are there really any days where you can find a business class seat? If you can is there a back up date nearby incase that one goes before you book it?

    Lots of awards are tough to book, any thing with Air New Zealand to anywhere on their Dreamliners except SYD and PVG/PEK are unicorns.

    VK: Your comments have nothing to do with the article. At-least mine are aligned with the topic.

    Was not trying to be a jerk. Just being realistic.

    1. But why come guns blazing? Why insult someones hard work, when you’re speaking on more finessing terms, such as availability. This is not “a joke”, it’s a regularly available way to use points. Calling Qantas First from the US to Australia a unicorn is equally worthless, because all the time – people disprove that caveat. It’s not the easiest, BUT IT’S AVAILABLE. And people are happier to know about it than not.

      As to your points:

      I already addressed them in the post…

      ” It’s important to remember that availability can change in the time it takes to buy the points and transfer them to Virgin, so if you have no flexibility, be smart”.

      And Yes, Virgin DOES allow 24 hour holds.

      Despite your efforts you were a jerk. You called my days work and my living a “joke”. I would never do that to you – or anyone.

      Can’t wait to book one of these… again.

  4. I did not call you or your days a work a joke. The fact that you can get Air New Zealand business class award seats AKL-PER is, because they never make them available… ever! You are correct, this is a great deal. I am also correct in warning all that this particular route does not ever have award availability. Same chances as getting Swiss First Class on partner miles (or less)

  5. a dollar. Now go do it and show you book one in a post in next two days. Or just disappear forever.

  6. Maybe you can find a seat on a day sometime in the next year. The fact is these posts make people think they can book something that they can’t . I think the post would have been better prefacing how hard it is to book this route. As in slim to none

    1. It’s GSTP, but thanks. And no, I don’t. I provide free information with the potential to unlock thousands upon thousands of dollars in free or discount travel to anyone with an internet connection. I engage with readers who email, help book flights and never pimp useless stuff for money. If someone comes and insults my life’s work, they better expect I’ll defend myself. This is my life. I suggest you find one of your own.

  7. Ryan haven’t you got anything better to do? It’s not like you are actually trying to positively help anyone it it? And actually this site does offer some genuine advice – and what does it cost us? I know it’s hard to use FC miles on Air NZ for UK flights, I wasn’t even aware the flights talked about here were possible. So they are hard to get, so what? Tried booking an avios 241 flight to Oz? Lots of redemptions are hard work.

  8. I’m a little stunned by the vitriol in the comments. I love GSTP to learn about the sweet spots using mileage programs I wouldn’t normally consider (but are Chase or Amex transfer partners). I’ve definitely used some of his advice in the past with great success; for instance, the AMAZING SYD-BKK-HKG redemption in Thai First using United miles (RIP). I love this blog. I learn from it. I get inspired by it. I’m sorry that some of you don’t feel the same way and you feel deceived, but no one is forcing you read it. I value this information, but you might not (and that’s ok).

  9. GSTP- you are the best blogger around.y family and I have actually saved thousands of pounds and travelled in cabins and on trips never before available to us due to using your knowledge and expertise. Thank you Gilbert. Your work is very much appreciated 🙂

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