– I’m currently in Queenstown, New Zealand taking advantage of the Business Class award space that has opened up on Air New Zealand for ANY partner (Star Alliance or others).
Air New Zealand does not have fuel surcharges so miles from a program that charges them are ‘more valuable’ for booking the airline. I used Lufthansa Miles & More but the best deal is using Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles.
Awards can be booked one-way on Air New Zealand. You can put awards on hold and when traveling from Los Angeles to Australia it’s just 45,000 miles one-way. You can transfer to Virgin Atlantic from Citibank ThankYou, Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express and SPG Starpoints.
If you like to connect on United Airlines to/from Los Angeles, Houston, San Francisco than Star Alliance partner award tickets allow you to include United flights (in First Class). With Virgin Atlantic award ticket you need to fly solely on Air New Zealand.
– Asiana has been adding the A350 to Los Angeles since May 1st as a second daily frequency
The airline is now running a sweepstakes with a free flight and a number of prizes to popularize it.