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Air New Zealand is known for their attention grabbing inflight safety videos.

The airline started with a disco themed one with Richard Simmons (access here), then introduced one with Betty White (access here) and a Hobbit themed one came out less than a year ago (access here).

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Now the airline has teamed up with Sports Illustrated Swimsuit to create a new video and get the attention of many travelers. [click to continue…]

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Star Alliance had launched a Gold Game that testes your knowledge of the alliance by asking five questions. You can win one of the 36 prizes of Star Alliance Gold status in one of the participating programs.

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This offer is valid for all other current Star Alliance members except TAM that leaves the alliance in March and US Airways that is trying to merge with American Airlines and exits the alliance upon merger completion. [click to continue…]

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There has been quite a turmoil recently with airlines making partnerships outside of alliances. Qantas stroke a deal with Emirates that is a rival of Qatar that is set to join Oneworld in late 2013/early 2013. AirBerlin is getting cosy with Air France-KLM, although it is a new oneworld member.

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Now, Air New Zealand, Star Alliance carrier, is forming a strategic partnership with Cathay Pacific, oneworld alliance member, for flight between Auckland and Hong Kong. The airlines will codeshare each other’s flights on this route and will extend (some of) the frequent flier benefits regardless which airline operates the flight.

Also, the Air New Zealand will drop the Hong Kong to London flight, but continues to operate Auckland to London via Los Angeles.

The last flight from Hong Kong to London on Air New Zealand will depart on March 3 and the flight from London to Hong will depart March 3rd as well. Customers that are booked on Air New Zealand on that route beyond the March 3rd will be rebooked on Cathay Pacific flights.

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It is very interesting to see all these partnerships popping up between airlines that are not within the same alliance. Hope that this arrangement works for Air New Zealand. If I would be flying from Auckland to London I would rather not go via Los Angeles due to the rather unpleasant transfer experience.

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When I did the multi-carrier redemption couple of weeks ago using Continental miles on Lufthansa, Virgin Atlantic, ANA, Thai Airways, and Air New Zealand, I had the pleasure of trying to get all the seats selected for the itinerary.

For this purpose, I requested from Continental all the carrier specific PNR’s. The Lufthansa’s website allowed be to request seat from all the carriers on this Continental ticketed itinerary, but those seat selections didn’t stick.

Virgin Atlantic, ANA, and Thai required me to call their reservations number to have the seats selected. I used ExpertFlyer first to find out what seats were available on the flights that I was booked on. Especially calling Virgin took forever because there was some snow around in the Heathrow area that had led to numerous cancellations. ANA and Thai were both easier.

But the best of all and the easiest was the Air New Zealand. You only needed the record locator and could do everything online without needing to call the reservations. It makes you wonder, why all the airlines don’t have this. For sure it would decrease the number of phone calls to the reservations that are purely for selecting a seat.

Here are the seat selection screens that I just did for two Air New Zealand flights later today.

Apia to Auckland:

air-new-zealand-seat-request

Auckland to Shanghai:

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