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CHC airport connection from Air NZ to QF

Los Angeles, CA
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CHC airport connection from Air NZ to QF

Hi! My fiancee and I are visiting NZ as part of our honeymoon next year. As part of our trip, we are arriving in Christchurch on an Air NZ flight and then connecting (with a 1h 45m layover) to a QF flight to Queenstown. I have a few questions regarding what we need to do.

(1) After clearing NZ customs in CHC, is there an international transfer desk we can visit to check our bags on the QF flight? Or, do we need to go out to the general QF check-in area?

(2) Is the layover time we have alloted enough to make this international -> domestic connection? I saw somewhere (either QF or JQ website) that 1h45m is the recommended connection time, so I feel like we should be OK. But I just wanted to see if any of you had any experiences with this.

Thanks!

Queenstown, New...
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1. Re: CHC airport connection from Air NZ to QF

Have you already booked your tickets? If not I highly reccommend you stick with Air NZ flying into Queenstown. Qantas have a bad reputation for not always landing in Queenstown due to the weather, as they don't have the navigational equipment Air NZ do.

So if with Qantas, you may get redirected to Invercargill or back to Christchurch if they can't land. And if that does happen you'll be put in a bus to Queenstown, or rebooked for the next available flight.

Los Angeles, CA
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2. Re: CHC airport connection from Air NZ to QF

We haven't booked our tickets yet, but we wanted to go QF because the NZ flight from CHC to ZQN is on a prop plane (ATR-72) as opposed to a Boeing 737 jet (as is the case with QF).

New Zealand
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for South Island
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3. Re: CHC airport connection from Air NZ to QF

statistically you are safer in a prop plane than a jet if problems develop

and statistically you are more likely to actually land at Queenstown airport if flying with Air NZ rather than Qantas (instead of being bused in)

however also statistically if your put your head in a hot oven and your feet in a bucket of ice you will feel a comfortable temperature...

so what's the conclusion? fly Air NZ!

... and yes, there is a transfer desk to recheck your luggage :)

Christchurch, New...
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4. Re: CHC airport connection from Air NZ to QF

just to add my 2 cents worth here. The flight from Christchurch to Queenstown is actually pretty scenic as you fly down with the Southern Alps spread out before you and you see a lot more from the lower flying ATR than a jet.

You just have to make sure you get seats on the right hand side of the aircraft so when you book the flights request seats at the same time.

Qantas has a really bad reputation here, well deserved I'm afraid for terrible reliability in and out of Queenstown. I've been a victom of this myself and wouldn't go near them again if I could help it.

Christchurch is a really small airport so once you've got through the lines at Customs and get out into the public areas it is about a 1 or maybe 2 minute walk to the gate where your next flight goes from.

Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Airlie Beach, Whitsunday Islands
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5. Re: CHC airport connection from Air NZ to QF

DO NOT do the QF trip,

as mentioned it gets cancelled becuase the plane is bigger. This is not just in Winter but also in Summer. We got caught this time last year. We had a 2 day wait for a flight if we had wanted to fly but hired a car instead. Q offered a bus transfer of over 10 hours (not what you need if flying from LAX).

Christchurch, New...
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6. Re: CHC airport connection from Air NZ to QF

The Christchurch terminal building is quite compact. From the international arrival hall to the Qantas ccheck in counter is about 100 meters within the same building. There is a better than average chance Qantas will be running late anyway. I think there are transit facilities after you have cleared customs, but if not it's a 5 minute walk. Clearing customs, agriculture and passport in NZ is usually quite efficient. (just don't bring your favourite fruit!) If it takes more than 10 minutes you are probably directionally challenged. Qantas have good service but their route is Rotorua CHCH Q'town and there are often delays.

Wellington, NZ
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7. Re: CHC airport connection from Air NZ to QF

Travelling on the same airline for both international and domestic legs is much more convenient if your international flight gets delayed. Happened to me flying back from Vanuatu - we would have missed our domestic flight, but AirNZ announced over the plane's intercom that they had booked us on a later flight.

Rarotonga, Cook...
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8. Re: CHC airport connection from Air NZ to QF

Wholeheartedly agree with Weta - staying with same airline for both international and domestic flights offers greater flexibility - then if any delays, Air NZ are obliging and will most likely support a change to booking etc - unless it's one of those 'grab a seat' special type of fare - where the risk of missing a flight are clearly spelt out on purchase. On occassion when I haven't used the same airline and there's been a delay, it's been a lot more difficult to sort out a later connection - as you can imagine.

Christchurch, New...
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9. Re: CHC airport connection from Air NZ to QF

Safety will not be an issue on either airline. The biggest risk is being struck by multiple lightening bolts on the walk to or from the plane. Qantas have as many gizmos as any airline. There is a problem though in that Queenstown is subject to bad weather and flights are disrupted. QF have a small fleet in NZ and are subject to more sheduling problems. I havn't caught the Queenstown flights but have on 3 occasions used the continued flight to Rotorua with Qantas. Each one was delayed. Also if you are flying in on the Air NZ flight and it's a bit behind Air NZ will wait a few minutes for you to connect. They are building an alternate airport at Twizel, but thats some way off! If you are in the bus for a day from Christchurch to Queenstown you will probably wish you went somewhere else!

Sticking with the same airline will make life a lot easier. You probably won't have to carry your bags the 50 meters (Air NZ is closer) to the domestic gates and you probably would have been checked in in LA.

Brooklyn, New York
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10. Re: CHC airport connection from Air NZ to QF

i am sorry to take up this post, but i have a similar question. we are booked on Qantas from Christchurch to Sydney at 3.20pm. We will be in Dunedin prior to this. We have a choice between an Air NZ that gets into Christchurch at 11am, or one that gets in a 1.40pm. I would love to take the 1.40 flight, and not spend that much time at the airport. but will we have enough time to collect our bags and recheck for an international flights with Qantas? or should we just stick with an earlier flight, and find a bar to pass the time?