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dleighb

Advice on US to Australia to New Zealand

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We are getting ready to book our air and trying to figure out the best way to handle this. If I fly DFW- SYD-New Zealand  and then a return SYD-DFW, the cost of the ticket is $1000 more per person than if I book a RT DFW-SYD and book a separate one way ticket from Sydney to New Zealand. Financially, this seems like a no-brainer. What are the logistics? I assume that I will have to go through Customs upon arrival in Sydney, collect my baggage, and then I would have to go to my airline to from Sydney to New Zealand and recheck my baggage with them. Is having to recheck my bags on the second airline the only difference? How much time should I allow between flights since I would have to do this on my own and couldn't check my bags all the way to my final destination? Is there any reason I should not save $1000 USD per person by booking this as two separate flights?

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What airline?  You might want to try an open jaw fare and booking with the same airline.  Try AA, Qantas, Virgin Australia, Air New Zealand, United.

 

If you do buy two separate tickets, I'd recommend 4 hrs at SYD (entry can be as bad as in the U.S.).  If the airlines will interline (i.e., transfer bags at SYD), only an hour or so is required.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, cruising cockroach said:

What airline?  You might want to try an open jaw fare and booking with the same airline.  Try AA, Qantas, Virgin Australia, Air New Zealand, United.

 

 

Just for grins, I put in some dates into Google flights and found round trip tickets for the OP's itinerary for between $1000 - $1300 per seat depending on dates for economy.  Of course  the dates and preferred class of service can change things quite a bit.

Edited by SelectSys

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As cruising cockroach said, what airline, etc. Back in January, 2017 we did a Celebrity Solstice cruise from Sydney to Auckland. Granted we spent a day or two on each end so that may differ from your plans. However, you are correct booking RT from a US city to Sydney and then adding a one way flight between Auckland and Sydney is financially friendly compared to multiple city pairs.

 

We flew Virgin Australia RT from LAX (added our flight PHX to LAX on Delta due to codeshare) then booked a one way Auckland to Sydney on Air New Zealand. Agree 4 hours minimum for transfer at Sydney if you choose to do so. Yes you will need to clear customs and immigration, collect bags and proceed to the terminal for your next flight.

 

If time allows, do try to stay an extra night and see the surrounding areas of Sydney and Auckland. So much to see and do!

 

 

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We did this trip in reverse. Nonstop DFW to Sidney, and return Auckland- Sidney-DFW on Qantus. Easy ticket to book. Let me advise flying PE, if you don’t want to spring for BC. That 17.5 hour leg can get long!

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And realize if your flight to Sydney is delayed, you may miss the flight to New Zealand and have to purchase a new ticket for that leg. (And risk the same again for return flights.)

 

 

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I presume the cruise line's offering is not attractive? When we booked our Auckland to Sydney HAL cruise a few years back, their air add-on price was less than anything I could find.

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We did this when we took a NZ cruise a few years back.  The flight from Sydney to NZ was like flying Southwest fares.  Also, check flights roundtrip to Honolulu, and then roundtrip to Sydney or NZ might be cheaper.  Plus you can get a few days in Oahu before the cruise!!!  We did that, too.

 

Sometimes Hawaiian Air has some great flights roundtrip HNL.

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On 1/5/2019 at 7:10 AM, dleighb said:

Is there any reason I should not save $1000 USD per person by booking this as two separate flights?

 

Your flight from SYD to New Zealand won't be on the same PNR, meaning the carrier from Australia to New Zealand won't have to help if the DFW-SYD flight gets in late.

 

But generally speaking, flights from Australia to NZ are like Australian domestic flights: bookable one way with no discount for the return leg.

 

One small mercy is that, while you'd have to clear customs and check in again, you don't have to transit from international to domestic in SYD, which is awful...

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On 1/5/2019 at 2:09 AM, cruising cockroach said:

If you do buy two separate tickets, I'd recommend 4 hrs at SYD (entry can be as bad as in the U.S.).

 

Not if you can use the immigration machines, so it's worth checking whether you can.

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On 1/20/2019 at 10:34 AM, MELso said:

One small mercy is that, while you'd have to clear customs and check in again, you don't have to transit from international to domestic in SYD, which is awful...

 

I wouldn't do this just for fun, but it's not necessarily that bad. My best experience was the time from the international flight parking at the T1 gate to entering the lounge in the domestic terminal (T3) was 25 minutes.

 

Including having to collect and deal with a checked bag.

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Thanks everyone. We ended up going through the cruise line and booking there. The airline was Qantas, and I was also being switched back and forth between full RT pricing and individual pricing. It all got very confusing. In the end, the cruise line had a comparable rate which we don't actually have to pay for right now. The flights we want going into DFW-SYD-ZQN and then a return of SYD-DFW. Apparently that still qualifies for the lower RT price even with the jaunt over to Queenstown.  Now to figure out the other legs of the journey. I don't think we have very much time at all between the flights in Sydney, but at least we have US Global Entry, so we should be able to use the automatic kiosks and we should be staying in the international terminal. My research has confirmed what you all have said about the transfer between terminals being terrible.

Now, to figure out how to get the weight of a DSLR camera with a zoom lens and a 17in laptop under 7kg (which is not possible BTW), and we should be good to go.

Thanks for your help!

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37 minutes ago, dleighb said:

Now, to figure out how to get the weight of a DSLR camera with a zoom lens and a 17in laptop under 7kg (which is not possible BTW), and we should be good to go.

If there are two of you, you can mix & match the weighty stuff between you.

 

Has anyone ever tried a coat with a game pocket across the back for a laptop??  Might not work lol...

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There are two of us, but I already reach the limit with my camera and laptop and Kindle and noise cancelling headset. I really don't know how to do light carry on. I was just under 7kg on my last trip within the U.S. It's going to be tough for us. That rule was very obviously not made with photographers in mind!

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4 hours ago, dleighb said:

I don't think we have very much time at all between the flights in Sydney, but at least we have US Global Entry, so we should be able to use the automatic kiosks and we should be staying in the international terminal.

 

I guess it depends on the airline you’re flying but assuming QF for DFW-SYD-ZQN you won’t need to enter Australia, only clear security, so GE won’t help you. 

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12 hours ago, dleighb said:

The flights we want going into DFW-SYD-ZQN and then a return of SYD-DFW. ... I don't think we have very much time at all between the flights in Sydney, but at least we have US Global Entry, so we should be able to use the automatic kiosks and we should be staying in the international terminal.

 

7 hours ago, fbgd said:

I guess it depends on the airline you’re flying but assuming QF for DFW-SYD-ZQN you won’t need to enter Australia, only clear security, so GE won’t help you. 

 

If DFW-SYD-ZQN is all on one ticket, then I think that your bags should be through-checked whether your SYD-ZQN flight is operated by QF or by JQ (or even if it's operated by NZ, although that would seem unlikely anyway).

 

When you disembark, just look for the signs for international transfers. You'll clear security in the facility on the arrivals level, and then go up one floor to the departures level. As fbgd says, the kiosks are irrelevant here. But you may find them helpful when you get to ZQN, if you qualify to use the New Zealand kiosks.

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I'm a little confused.  The U.S. Global Entry is just for returning to the U.S., isn't it?  

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7 minutes ago, roothy123 said:

I'm a little confused.  The U.S. Global Entry is just for returning to the U.S., isn't it?  

Here's the info for international agreements:  https://www.cbp.gov/travel/trusted-traveler-programs/global-entry/international-arrangements:

 

https://www.cbp.gov/travel/trusted-traveler-programs/global-entry/international-arrangements

 

Edited by pcur

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1 hour ago, pcur said:

Here's the info for international agreements:  https://www.cbp.gov/travel/trusted-traveler-programs/global-entry/international-arrangements:

 

https://www.cbp.gov/travel/trusted-traveler-programs/global-entry/international-arrangements

 

 

A US citizen doesn't need to have anything to do with Global Entry to benefit from the electronic gate arrangements made by Australia and New Zealand. Global Entry is a complete red herring here - irrelevant.

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8 minutes ago, Globaliser said:

 

A US citizen doesn't need to have anything to do with Global Entry to benefit from the electronic gate arrangements made by Australia and New Zealand. Global Entry is a complete red herring here - irrelevant.

Then why does the CDP have this on their web site?

 

U.S. citizens with Global Entry membership traveling to New Zealand may use a dedicated lane arriving at Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch International Airports. The lanes will streamline border processing for U.S. Global Entry members.

 

Australia allows US citizens to use SmartGate, which does not require Global Entry, just a US passport:

 

The Australian Customs and Border Protection Service has extended the use of SmartGate to U.S. citizens. SmartGate is a simple way for eligible travelers arriving into Australia's international airports to self-process through passport control.

 

Seems the laws vary from country-to-country.

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5 minutes ago, pcur said:

Then why does the CDP have this on their web site?

 

U.S. citizens with Global Entry membership traveling to New Zealand may use a dedicated lane arriving at Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch International Airports. The lanes will streamline border processing for U.S. Global Entry members.

 

Because you wouldn't use this if you're using the electronic gates in NZ, which will be faster.

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Posted (edited)

We have used Jetstar and Scoot several times for inexpensive one ways.  Our flight today from Brisbane to Hobart was a code share with Qantas.  

 

We needed a one way home later this month so we booked a low cost Jetstar one way from Sydney to HNL.  With all the upcharges it was about $325 AUD.  We layover for a few nights and take an inexpensive (relatively) flight home to Canada.   

 

Scoot allows 10kg of carry on.  Jetstar allows 7 but you can add another 3kg.  Yes, they do check.  This morning they weighed our carry on bag and our small personal item.

 

Last time we booked SYD-HNL it was also a code share with Qantas.  We usually do either open jaws or one ways.

Edited by iancal

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On 1/23/2019 at 4:11 PM, dleighb said:

Thanks everyone. We ended up going through the cruise line and booking there. The airline was Qantas, and I was also being switched back and forth between full RT pricing and individual pricing. It all got very confusing. In the end, the cruise line had a comparable rate which we don't actually have to pay for right now. The flights we want going into DFW-SYD-ZQN and then a return of SYD-DFW. Apparently that still qualifies for the lower RT price even with the jaunt over to Queenstown.  Now to figure out the other legs of the journey. I don't think we have very much time at all between the flights in Sydney, but at least we have US Global Entry, so we should be able to use the automatic kiosks and we should be staying in the international terminal. My research has confirmed what you all have said about the transfer between terminals being terrible.

Now, to figure out how to get the weight of a DSLR camera with a zoom lens and a 17in laptop under 7kg (which is not possible BTW), and we should be good to go.

Thanks for your help!

 

Try a Scott Vest for your heavy items :)

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