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Flights, Baggage Allowance and Bank Accounts

Flights, Baggage Allowance and Bank Accounts

Old Feb 27th 2014, 7:13 pm
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Default Flights, Baggage Allowance and Bank Accounts

OK, so I am thumb twiddling whilst waiting for the ex's decision on whether I need to take him to court to remove the wee one to NZ.

Thumb twiddling has involved looking at the best/most convenient/cheapest options for:

Flights from London (Heathrow or Gatwick) to Auckland, any options that allow extra baggage and associated costs.

Bank accounts in NZ - pros and cons and whether it's worth trying to get one before we go.

Transferring funds from UK to NZ when we leave. Possible costs and delays in doing so.

Anyone got any experience of any of these things?
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Old Feb 27th 2014, 7:29 pm
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Default Re: Flights, Baggage Allowance and Bank Accounts

bank accounts are easy to set up from the UK. and transferring money is again easy. We used HiFx, over a certain amount you don't pay fees.

As for flights bit difficult to say as they change so often. we did Heathrow, Seoul (put up in a hotel as stop over was 18hrs or so) Auckland. then we did an internal flight down to Wellington. Luggage went all the way through to Auckland without having to collect, rescan and reload.
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Old Feb 27th 2014, 10:17 pm
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Default Re: Flights, Baggage Allowance and Bank Accounts

Hi Whattodo.

I landed here in July, I was able to quite easily set up an online saver account with Westpac from the UK and transfer funds into that. All I needed to do when I landed was attend an appointment at a branch with ID and they upgraded me to a full account and gave me my EFTPOS card that day. I am assuming other banks (ASB, ANZ etc) allow similar things I just went with Westpac because that's my friend's bank.

I also wanted to take more than one suitcase to a new life. I booked my tickets with Air New Zealand but the opening flight was actually on Virgin Atlantic. All I did was pay about (£50?) not a huge amount anyway, for an extra suitcase which was really really handy.

There ARE costs on international transfers. I tend to pay about $20 per transaction and the £6 again whenever I transfer any money. You will also need to get used to being asked for SWIFT codes or IBAN codes which Westpac very helpfully provided to me to make it all easier. You can do the transfer yourself cheaper online though and the UK banks will try to make you pay through the nose for doing it in branch.
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Old Feb 27th 2014, 10:21 pm
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Default Re: Flights, Baggage Allowance and Bank Accounts

Thanks Laura,

Can I ask how you booked your flight? I have looked on the Air New Zealand webiste but it will only allow me to book extra baggage on routes that are all ANZ, the ones that have Virgin or whatever at the start it says extra baggage is not bookable.
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Old Feb 27th 2014, 10:29 pm
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Default Re: Flights, Baggage Allowance and Bank Accounts

I rang the airline and asked that question myself. I ended up having to pay the extra AT the airport because the code sharing meant I couldn't book it ahead. I was really anxious they'd decide they'd told me wrong but they assured me I could do that and indeed I could
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Old Feb 27th 2014, 10:40 pm
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Default Re: Flights, Baggage Allowance and Bank Accounts

Brilliant, thanks. The Virgin/ANZ route is one o the ones I looked at
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Old Feb 27th 2014, 10:42 pm
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Default Re: Flights, Baggage Allowance and Bank Accounts

Happy to help, just as a disclaimer I'd ring and make sure they haven't changed policy on you. I like the Virgin/ANZ one because it's two big chunks and its easier psychologically to manage. NEVER again will I fly Emirates to NZ.
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Old Feb 28th 2014, 2:33 am
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Default Re: Flights, Baggage Allowance and Bank Accounts

I would like to throw Qantas into the mix (If they still do business by the time you come to NZ!) They do a immigrant airfare which gives you twice the usual baggage allowance. They do need you visa details as part of the fare, but it was painless.

Banking-wise, we used Westpac and opened the account from the UK. Very easy.
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Old Feb 28th 2014, 3:15 am
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Default Re: Flights, Baggage Allowance and Bank Accounts

Not just Qantas

Singapore Airlines and Emirates allow you take up to 50kg in baggage (2 suitcases) if you can show that you have a valid visa in your passport

We bought 2 suitcases full of clothes n stuff when we came over with Singapore Airlines. Great airline
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Old Feb 28th 2014, 8:26 am
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Default Re: Flights, Baggage Allowance and Bank Accounts

We did not enjoy a code share flight with air nz and virgin atlantic - apart form the hassle of passing thru the USA - having to collect baggage and check it in again, fingerprints etc etc - we also couldn't pre-book seats on the VA leg and got rubbish seats. cabin crew on VA also have something of a reputation in the industry for being unhelpful (it was true on our flight - I'm sure other people have had better experiences).
We have had better flights on the chinese and malaysian airlines with stopovers in KL, taipei, guangzhou, usually with a free hotel provided.
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Old Feb 28th 2014, 6:50 pm
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Default Re: Flights, Baggage Allowance and Bank Accounts

Originally Posted by WhatToDo82 View Post
Brilliant, thanks. The Virgin/ANZ route is one o the ones I looked at
We travel extensively and use QANTAS a lot. However, if you are coming straight through, check out Singapore Airlines as it is only one stop at Singapore between London and Auckland, and a much easier transfer at Singapore than anywhere in USA or Canada. If you phone Singapore Airlines in UK, ask them if they do an immigrant fare and baggage allowance that will help you.

Re banks, as we say in NZ, easy as. Contact any of the banks and they will set you up so that all you do is go to the branch on arrival in Auckland and the task is complete.

Re moving money, avoid the banks as they charge more than the international currency brokers. I use HiFX for most of my transactions, but Foreign Currency Direct (Jonathan Watson) is also very good and both of these always beat the banks when quoting me rates. Watch out for transaction fees though. The way that they work is that you sign up with them first, and when you want to move money, they quote you on the phone (or sometimes online), you then internet transfer the UK pounds to them within a time limit of, say, three days, and they transfer the funds as soon as they receive them from you. BUT, you need to set up your NZ bank account first. Watch out also to ensure that your Internet banking limit is high enough to be able to transfer the funds from your UK bank account.

I hope that this helps as you ponder your future.
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Old Feb 28th 2014, 6:54 pm
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Default Re: Flights, Baggage Allowance and Bank Accounts

Thanks nzneville, lots to look into. I have emailed Qantas, but will contact Singapore Airlines too, compare and contrast and all that shiz!

Glad to hear it's easy to setup up an account before we go, and transfer the money over into said account, so it's all ready to use when we arrive, subject to popping in with ID Phew, will make life much easier!
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Old Feb 28th 2014, 8:04 pm
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Default Re: Flights, Baggage Allowance and Bank Accounts

Singapore airlines are fab, flew with them in August. Phoned and spoke to someone and was given as extra few Kgs of baggage as I was only flying one way and I only had a work visa! Also use HiFx for money transfers, tend to tell them how much we have and what rate we would like, they then make contact when the rates right ie we have a transaction going through at the moment as we wanted £1 - $2 as soon as it hit they got in touch and now I'm just waiting for funds to hit my Westpac account that we opened in their London branch
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Old Feb 28th 2014, 10:00 pm
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Default Re: Flights, Baggage Allowance and Bank Accounts

Hi everyone. I dont want to hijack this thread but do the airlines give you the same extra baggage allowance if you are going back home for good from NZ to the UK? It would make things easier.
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Old Mar 1st 2014, 3:08 am
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Default Re: Flights, Baggage Allowance and Bank Accounts

pippa - the things that are mentioned above about extra luggage -i was never entitled to when i asked. i always fly with emirates as you get 30kg and they never check the weight of hold luggage.

when i enquired with qantas, air nz and virgin, i was told plainly that another 20kilo suitcase would cost me another £180. things may have changed recently, but that was my experience. cheers.
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