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There are a number of discount airlines servicing New Zealand. I just found a new one - so I thought I would provide a list of the discount airlines now that I am aware of:
1. China Southern Airlines - See their website. They fly to Sydney, Brisbane, and soon to Auckland (NZ). Looking at their website, its a shocker. A sign that Chinese companies just have no idea about customer service. They are expensive too, but more importantly, it would be a nightmare to compare prices. I'd hate to think about the actual flight expensive. I am having flashbacks of a Garuda flight years ago...when they lost my luggage for 4 days. I went to a conference in Goa (India) in my Bali shorts.
2. Air Asia X Airlines - See website. They are based in Kuala Lumpur, so this will most likely be your transit point. The positive aspects about KL is that its a pretty attractive city, far cheaper than Singapore, just as beautiful, without being as clinical, or broadly as authoritarian...just tight on the social values, so you probably shouldn't feel your GF's legs at the dinner table. They fly to Gold Coast, Perth, Sydney I think, as well as Christchurch (NZ).
4. Jetstar - Jetstar is a Qantas subsidiary, so they fly out of all Australian cities, as well as Auckland and Christchurch. They probably represent the best value, but the service is often dodgy. I've had many issues. i.e. Like telling my family they can't fly through Sydney when they knew we could. They refused to listen until the nth hour. Yes, that's you Page in Christchurch. Problem with Australian immigration as well. They didn't know the rules.
5. Pacific Blue - see website. They fly out of most Australian cities to NZ, Asia, etc. I always find them more pricey than Jetstar. Recently they curtailed their flights inside of NZ, so they have a more limited offering now.
Air NZ is of course a more expensive service provider, and they come highly regarded. Frankly I tend to risk it on Jetstar. The flights are cheap, the planes are great, so I suffer the risk and impertinence of poorly trained staff and web sites with 9-page contracts, and a Filipino call centre which functions inefficiently.
In fact, Jetstar in an alliance with Australian Immigration are causing a lot of international travellers transitting in Australia a lot of grief. They are a real heartbreaker because people fly through Australia, and certain travellers from certain countries are not aware that their country is not covered by a certain convention. Rather than place them on a flight which would allow them to transfer in Australia, they are obliged to wait until the NZ airport immigration counter opens to get a temporary visa to stay within the confines of Australia's airports for less than 8 hours. How accommodating is my government? Fascist idiots to be sure! That rule pertains to people with checked in baggage. Don't ask me why. We were wrongly affected by this rule. On another trip we saw other people affected. It is government ruining people's lives. Some of these people don't have the money to stay in a hotel until the airline can rebook them because immigration officers work normal hours. :(
Its a problem for NZ too because its the Australian government ruining the lives of people in NZ, so the problem reflects on NZ. And guess what - Jetstar makes money from the process. These people have to rebook their flights, and Jetstar charges them a rebooking fee. They might even have to get a more expensive flight. We were different - we actually complied with the rule - its just that the Australian Immigration officer who responds to Jetstar inquiries at 6AM did not know the rules. Jetstar - not helpful - despite my partner's knowledge of the facts. We went on the website to prove it to them. Fortunately for us we had laptops. We saw this happen again. That is too frequent.