Do you remember the standby fees in 2011 that let you travel last-minute around the country for just $69 (including baggage)?
Turns out it's still around and we had no idea!
According to one writer from Stuff, they discovered that Air New Zealand still provides discounted airfares when he was recently travelling. He overheard a group of travellers chatting at the Air New Zealand Lounge.
So apparently it only applies to regional routes: Blenheim, Gisborne, Hamilton, Hokitika, Invercargill, Kerikeri, Napier, Nelson, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Rotorua, Taupō, Tauranga, Timaru, and Whangārei.
The writer compared prices and found a difference of nearly twice the amount, so that means you could be getting an almost 50% off.
The last-minute fare from Nelson to Auckland on that day they checked showed that it cost $313 and $410 including bags. But with the travel hack he shared, you could be on the same flight for only $169 including bags. Airpoints and status points will all be added as you'd normally get.
Now the real question is: How do you get a discount?
You will have to turn up at the airport 60 to 90 minutes before the flight and ring Air New Zealand's contact centre. If you're lucky and there are spare seats, you'll be offered the deal. If not, you'll wait for the next flight and repeat that.
Things to remember:
1. You cannot be holding a booking for the same day for the same route.
2. Flights can be full - so there is no certainty that you'll get a flight. So it may be a bit risky to leave it for an important day, or a get-together where everyone's expecting you to be there.
3. Unfortunately this is only for regional flights so it does not apply to your main centres that are any flights between Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, Queenstown and Dunedin.
So next time when you book a last-minute flight to go anywhere in the country except these four major cities, you might be surprised to pay a much lesser fee than you've anticipated.