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How to Book a Cheap Flight to New Zealand

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Save Money on Flight Tickets to New Zealand

A New Zealand adventure starts with the flight. And with this comes a question: How to get cheap flights to New Zealand? Because these islands in the South Pacific are so far away from anywhere, except these very few countries, you can guarantee that the flight is going to take a good chunk from your bank account bad times. However, as budget travel know-it-alls here at, we are going to give you some top tips to book a cheap flight to New Zealand and how to compare flights to New Zealand so you can spend it on the more important stuff like jumping from planes instead.

So, from the cheapest days to travel to the cheapest places to buy your plane ticket, here is a quick guide for getting “cheap as” plane tickets for your New Zealand adventure.

By the way, make sure you are aware of the airport arrival process by checking out our guide, Arriving in New Zealand: Airport Customs, Biosecurity & the Arrival Process. Plus, be sure to bookmark The Best Travel Guide to New Zealand for even more tips.

Quick Tips for Booking a Cheap Flight

Here is a list of quick tips to help you figure out how to get cheap flights to New Zealand:

  • Book 47 days before the date of the flight
  • The cheapest time to fly to New Zealand is mid-week; avoid weekends
  • If staying abroad for a few months, consider booking one-way tickets
  • Book your flights to New Zealand directly with the airlines
  • Be aware of extra fees, such as luggage allowance, meals, seat selection, etc.
  • Consider taking two different airlines if your flight involves a stopover
  • Use private browsing to see cheaper airfares
  • To find cheap flights to New Zealand, compare prices on flight search engine
  • Be flexible with seat assignments if travelling in a group or as a family – see more tips like this in the 5 Money-Saving Tips for Flying to New Zealand with Kids.©

The Cheapest Day and Time to Book a Flight to New Zealand

The number one rule for how far in advance you should book your plane ticket is: don’t leave it until the last minute! The closer to the flight date that you leave it, the more likely the prices will have rocketed! However, according to too-complicated-to-comprehend algorithms devised by various airfare websites, the magic date for booking the cheapest international flight is 47 days before your flight date. (Or some like to say 6 weeks-2 months, but you get the idea).

Additionally, booking a flight on a Tuesday is sometimes cheaper, as some airlines put prices up on a Wednesday. As for the time of day, there’s little evidence for a “golden hour” to book your tickets. However, some have suggested midnight at your chosen airline’s local time when booking direct (for example, Air New Zealand that would be midnight New Zealand Standard Time), so give it a shot!

For those that can’t wait until that special 47th day, you are still guaranteed to make some sort of saving on your flight ticket if you book 1-4 months in advance. Booking ridiculously early, however, is the not best way to score cheap flights to New Zealand as it won’t give you much of a saving.©

The Cheapest Days to Travel to New Zealand

When it comes to the cheapest time to fly to New Zealand, we’ve found that Tuesdays and Wednesdays are commonly known to be the cheapest days to fly on, due to the theory that everyone wants to fly on or for the weekend. Makes sense.

The actual best days to book a flight to New Zealand: According to a study of flight prices using flight metadata for a 5-year period, flights that depart on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday are the cheapest. It is on average 12% cheaper to book international flights to New Zealand on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday than over a weekend flight for instance. When it comes to domestic flights, it is 20% cheaper to book travel on those weekdays over weekends, for example.

Our advice is that the date you arrive in New Zealand on a working holiday should be pretty flexible more like having a preferred period you would like to arrive in, not necessarily a preferred day. With that in mind, you can select the cheapest day out of the week or two that you have selected. Especially those on a year-long working holiday, if you are going to be in New Zealand for a few months to a year, does it really matter what exact day you arrive on?©

The Cheapest Type of Flight Ticket to Book

We all want cheap flights to New Zealand and the good news is that there are multiple options to choose from. There are three types of flight tickets: one way, return and open-return or open-ended. The differences are as follows:

  • A one-way ticket is travelling in one direction with no flight back to where you started.
  • A return ticket is a flight out to your destination and back again via the same or similar route.
  • An open-return is a set flight date for getting to your destination, but the date to return is “open” allowing you to book the return flight you have paid for at a later date.

Which type of plane ticket you choose depends on your own choices, such as flexibility and ease. For a long-term stay in New Zealand, a one-way ticket both to New Zealand and back again is likely to be the cheapest and most flexible. An open-ended plane ticket is by far the most expensive.

For a full pro and con list for each plane ticket type, take a look at Flight to New Zealand: Return Vs. Open Return Vs. One Way.©

The Cheapest Place to Book a Flight

Here’s where you need to do a bit of research. First, start with the flight comparison websites which will hone in on the cheapest flight for you. They will also tell you what airlines the cheapest flight is with.

Be sure to be flexible and compare multiple departure cities especially as this can save you hundreds! The more you search, the better you will understand your route and the more chances you will have to find a great deal.

With that information, then go straight onto the airline’s website and book directly with the airline. They will either match the price or the flight comparison websites or be cheaper! It’s one of the reasons why it’s best to try booking directly before using booking sites.

If that isn’t displayed on their website, then give them a call to see if they will match. It’s worth a shot!

The Flight to New Zealand

Travel Tips for a Long-haul Flight to New Zealand

To make your flight as comfortable and entertaining as possible, we’ve put together some more flight-related articles:

Plus, find more essential travel advice in the 31 Tips for Travelling in New Zealand.


The information in this guide has been compiled from our extensive research, travel and experiences across New Zealand and the South Pacific, accumulated over more than a decade of numerous visits to each destination. Additional sources for this guide include the following:

Our editorial standards: At NZ Pocket Guide, we uphold strict editorial standards to ensure accurate and quality content.

About The Author

Robin C.

This article has been reviewed and approved by Robin, who is the co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. With more than 15 years of experience in the New Zealand tourism industry, Robin has co-founded three influential tourism businesses and five additional travel guides for South Pacific nations. He is an expert in New Zealand travel and has tested over 600 activities and 300+ accommodations across the country.

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