Select Page

AIR NEW ZEALAND: Complicates fare structure for short haul flights

AIR NEW ZEALAND: Complicates fare structure for short haul flights

Remember the days when all fares were all inclusive? They all included meals and drinks and luggage.

Call me a dinosaur, but I still remember those halcyon days.

More choice, really?

Presented as providing more choice, but really a way for AirNZ to make some more money, the airline has announced today changes to its fare structure or ‘Seats to Suit’ applying to new fares purchased from now for travel from 11 June 2024.

Essentially you are going to have to know what you want to do, and how much luggage you want to travel with when you book, instead of maintaining that choice until you board, knowing that you won’t incur any penalty.

These changes will apply to flights across the Tasman – that is between Australia and New Zealand, and to Pacific destinations

a group of people sitting in an airplane
Air New Zealand Premium Economy [AirNZ]

The good bits in the change

Although I am a bit dark on some of their changes, to be fair there are some good attributes. The following come with all fare catagories:

  • In flight entertainment
  • a snack or meal, depending on the destination
  • Refreshments of tea, coffee, water and juice
  • A flexible fare option in each cabin

Flexi fares are fully refundable and changeable without a fee, but you will have to cough up any fare difference.

“We want every customer to have an exceptional experience onboard. Part of our promise is to provide manaaki to all who fly with us so we’re excited that everyone onboard will now be treated to full in-flight entertainment. Seat-only customers will now also be offered one of our incredible new snack options too.

Jeremy O’Brien, Air New Zealand General Manager Short Haul

The so-so and bad bits of the change

Some of these are a result of the change to the ‘Seats to Suit’ fare structure, and others are not that connected

  • The former ‘Seat+bag’ fares are out the window. You will be able to add a bag to any non-bag fare for a cost of NZ$30
  • Purchase of bites on board will be stopped – only beverages will be available for purchase, but card only, no cash, only Visa, Mastercard, or Amex
  • On board purchase vouchers, formerly purchasable at the airport will no longer be available

New Fare Types

Here is a chart of the old categories of Seats to Suit and what you get in each category:

Carry-on bag (up to 7kg)1 bag1 bag1 bag1 bag2 bags¹2 bags¹
Checked bag (up to 23kg)Not included1 bag1 bag2 bags2 bags3 bags
Tea, coffee and waterYesYesYesYesYesYes
Gate to gate, seat-back inflight entertainment: TV, music, gamesYes*Yes*Yes*Yes*Yes*Yes*
Gate to gate, seat-back inflight entertainment: including moviesYes*Yes*Yes*Yes*
Complimentary meal & drinksYesYesYesYes
Kids meal Yes*Yes*YesYes
Standard seatselect includedYes*Yes*YesYes
Premium check-inYesYesYes
Priority baggageYesYesYes
Priority boardingYesYesYes
Lounge access (where available)Yes
More personal spaceYesYes
Neighbour free guaranteeYes
This chart is taken for the Air New Zealand website

Air New Zealand has not released a similar chart for the new categories, but here is what we have deduced about the new Seats to Suit based on the media release:

Fare TypeSeatEntertainmentBagSnackMeals & BeverageTea/Coffee/
Premium Economy
How the new Seats to Suit categories will look
a woman serving food in an airplane
Air New Zealand cabin crew [Air NZ}

2PAXfly Takeout

These sorts of changes are always claimed to be a response to what customers asked for, but they are usually what the airline wants to deliver to maximise income, tempered only slightly by research with customers. Well that’s my cynical story and I’m sticking to it! See what Jeremy says:

“Our customers have told us affordable flexibility is important, especially for many of our frequent fliers, so we’re introducing a new fully flexible and refundable fare option in each cabin.

“The new Seats to Suit updates are based on customer feedback and changes our passengers were looking for. We’re excited to make these a reality for those jumping onboard for short haul international travel and can’t wait to see them introduced in June.”

Jeremy O’Brien, Air New Zealand General Manager Short Haul


  1. Bill

    ”they are usually what the airline wants to deliver to maximise income, tempered only slightly by research with customers. Well that’s my cynical story and I’m sticking to it”

    You are right just a money grab.

    Its like a potato crisp company dropped the weight from 200g to 170g but still sold at old weight price, when asked about the price.

    Reply: owing to consumer demand.

    You might be better taking your eats/drinks for Flights on 2 hours.

    Enjoy your articles keep up the good work.

    • 2paxfly

      Thanks Bill,
      Glad you agree and thanks for the kind words.

  2. Prilin

    Air New Zealand’s changes to Seats to Suit seem like a good move for travelers who want more flexibility and control over their inflight experience. I especially like the idea of everyone getting a snack and entertainment included on short-haul flights. Thanks for the clear explanation of the new fare options.

    • 2paxfly

      Thanks Prilin for your kink words. I still think this ‘flexibililty … over their inflight experience.’ as you say, is more about income maximisation of airline income rather than customer choice.


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Previously . . .

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive regular updates about 2PAXfly.

Reviews, deals, offers, and most of all opinion will be in your inbox.

We won't spam you, and we won't share your details with others.

Newsletter Regularity

You have Successfully Subscribed!