I’m toying with the idea of taking a trip later to New Zealand this month, but I have to wonder whether it is worth the effort…or even plausible considering the razor-thin connection time in both Christchurch and Auckland.
Foolish? Tight Flight Connections In New Zealand
It has been years since I have been to New Zealand and I’d love to spend weeks (perhaps months) there. But life is far too busy in Southern California for that and even a few days away before the holidays is really pushing it.
United will start service from San Francisco to Christchurch later this month and I am thinking about taking the inaugural flight. The cost of the flight aside, I’ve got a big problem: I would have to leave on Friday and be back in LA early on Sunday morning.
Looking at the flight options, I see only one possible combination of three flights that would theoretically get me home in time:
The United flight to Christchurch:
Then Air New Zealand to Auckland:
(I could gamble and try to book an 11:00 am, betting on an early arrival, but that seems risky)
Then Delta back to Los Angeles:
It would be a shame not to spend time in New Zealand, but this would be a fun trip…and I even considered doing the AKL-LAX flight in economy class since I have never flown Delta on a longhaul flight behind the curtain.
The first connection in CHC would be “legal” (I’d have 1 hour, 25 minutes and the minimum connect time is 1 hour, 20 minutes):
But the connection in Auckland is more problematic. I’d have 1 hour, 25 minutes there too with a 1 hour, 15 minute minimum connect time. Sounds good, right?
Well, it has been a decade since I have been to New Zealand and I have never taken a domestic flight in New Zealand before. My understanding is that the domestic terminal in Auckland is a 10-minute walk or bus ride to the international terminal. That would cut it quite close…
I’m game for tight connections, but the reasonable part of me thinks this is disaster waiting to happen and that I should not bother to go at all.
But I thought I’d put it out to you…is there something I am missing? Is there a better way home?
Let me know your thoughts.