While sales on revenue fares are pretty normal, sales on award tickets are a bit more unusual. They’re not unheard of, though they typically only apply for travel on the airline with which you have your miles. For example, in the off season it’s not unusual to see a promotion offering discounted award tickets for select flights with low loads. After all, the marginal cost of carrying a passenger when the seat would otherwise go out empty is very low, and ultimately the airlines would like the liability of mileage off their books.

Then there’s ANA, which is offering 30% off award tickets on Air New Zealand for a select time period, a promotion that totally blows my mind.

The promotion is valid for tickets booked between September 10 and December 7, 2012, for actual travel between November 1 and December 11, 2012.

The irony is that Air New Zealand has to be one of the stingiest airlines when it comes to releasing award space. But more than that I really wonder what would cause a promotion like this. Airlines have to pay each other for award tickets booked on partner airlines, so it makes you wonder whether this promotion was prompted by ANA or Air New Zealand. What incentive would ANA have to take in fewer miles for Air New Zealand award tickets while they’re still paying Air New Zealand the same? Or what incentive would Air New Zealand have to offer ANA members a discount to redeem on them, especially given that November and December aren’t exactly the low season in Australia/New Zealand?

While I don’t think there are many practical uses of this given how stingy Air New Zealand is with award space, I just find it interesting.

The execution of the promotion is also pretty funny. When you find the award space you want they don’t show the discounted price unless you tick the circle saying you want to take part in the campaign.

So, airline alliance experts, who has an explanation for these airline shenanigans?

(Tip of the hat to Del)

  1. October 24th, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    David said,

    Japan is low yield for NZ an I suspect they have offered to decrease the price that NH buys tickets at. This will be aimed solely at filling up the NRT and KIX services.

  2. October 24th, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    Del said,

    WOOT!!! Now the world knows!! :-)

  3. October 24th, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    nun said,

    Is it possible there’s some quota agreed upon and they want to burn it up before 2013?

  4. October 24th, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    ralf said,

    I had noticed this a while ago, but AFAIK, only applies to economy, so I’m not interested.

  5. October 24th, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    Duncan said,

    It;s to cover the launch window of “The Hobbit” across the ditch they are using this as part of their new tourist campaign. In addition the Japanese market fell of a cliff after the Christchurch earthquake and they have been offering greatly reduced prices from Japan-NZ for almost 3 months.

  6. October 24th, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    Joe Jones said,

    Also Nov-Dec is low travel season for Japan, if not for NZ.

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