Air New Zealand could revamp ‘Seats to Suit’ fares to Australia

Are enhancements on the way to the NZ airline's array of economy fares?

By David Flynn, September 10 2021
Air New Zealand could revamp ‘Seats to Suit’ fares to Australia

Air New Zealand appears to be considering changes – or that dreaded word, enhancements – to its trans-Tasman fares ahead of the return of flights to Australia.

A survey sent this week to selected members of its Airpoints frequent flyer program is seeking feedback on the airline's popular 'Seats to Suit' lineup of economy fares offered between New Zealand and Australia.

This divides economy class into four discrete offerings, from the basic Seat fare – which includes only one carry-on bag and tea, coffee or water – to Seat + Bag (which adds one piece of checked luggage), The Works (where you get seat selection and a meal) and Works Deluxe (an empty seat next to you, extra checked luggage and priority airport services).

"While we can't visit our Aussie neighbours at the moment, we're taking a good look at the fare types we have available on these flights. Your input in this survey will be used to improve the services we have available in the future," the email survey says.

Among the series of questions, Airpoints members are asked to rate which single aspect of each Seats to Suit they find the most appealing and the most important when they choose to travel on that fare.

Air New Zealand has been approached for comment.

The Australia-New Zealand market has long been a rich vein of both business and leisure travellers, and traditionally a four-horse race between Qantas, Virgin Australia, Air New Zealand and Jetstar, although Virgin has largely pulled out of overseas flying.

As previously reported, Air New Zealand has also been taking the temperature of its frequent flyers on adding a new top-rung Airpoints Elite Plus tier, along with lifetime status at lower tiers and other benefits for high flyers such as discounted upgrade offers and immediate confirmation of upgrade requests.

Read more: Air New Zealand mulls Elite Plus tier, lifetime status

[Source: NewsHub]

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Aug 2013

Total posts 237

How do they guarantee an empty seat next to you? Is the price like paying for 2x seats?

24 Jun 2016

Total posts 2

A few rows towards the front of each cabin are used to seat passengers that have paid for 'Works Deluxe' fares. For these rows, the middle seat of each group of three is not sold (for example on an A320, seats 1A and 1C might be occupied, but 1B is left empty). 

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

21 Jan 2016

Total posts 199

The base operating cost of the middle seat is split 50/50 with the two outer seat eg 50% of the cost of 1B  is added to 1A and the other 50% is added to 1C. The middle seat 'blocked out' in 'seat selection' function when making a reservation.

08 Jul 2017

Total posts 23

I received the survey.

S2S always griped me that while I did not want a checked bag but may want better F&B, I'd have to effectively pay for a checked bag with a 'works' fare.

(It is not specifically mentioned above that a "works" fare comes with a checked bag).

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1368

On Qantas  the front row in economy seems to be platinum plus and the next couple of rows for platinum (such as me). There is usually a clear middle seat but not always.

05 Dec 2017

Total posts 11

Popular? Really? Seats 2 Suit never actually suited because you only had the choice of a few preordained combinations of features. If an airline goes down this path then I'd much prefer it does it full hog - start with a seat and give me the choice of IFE, luggage, meals, seat selection, legroom, airports, flexibility etc. No wonder I let my Airpoints lapse.

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

21 Jan 2016

Total posts 199

The ability upgrade onboard product is available. You can start with a 'Seat Only' fare, than add a bag or two, seat selection, upgrade IFE/food and beverage or full on board product (Works Deluxe) up to 24 hours prior to departure date.

I use to do all the time.

20 Oct 2015

Total posts 194

I've always considered Seats to Suit as a great model for an airline which is basically mid-market and trying to cater to both ends, from price-sensitive leisure flyers to people wanting a full-service experience. It works especially well on all-economy flights. I would not have been surprised if Virgin Australia copied the Seats to Suit format in many ways.

Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles

16 Oct 2017

Total posts 131

Tasman travel for Kiwi business flyers other than via AKL has been a race to the bottom. No J nor PE on NZ and Works Deluxe 50% premium on Y and similar to Europe J (which is at best a poor cousin). J on QF at inflated fares. J on VA at sometimes reasonable fares and other times as bad as QF. There's an opportunity here for NZ. Put in some J seats (with suitable pitch) on the 320/321, skip lounge entry and the bad meals, set a fair fare and it could be a popular choice. VA take note also for the J seats they already have. Might even force QF to do the right thing up the front.


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