What's the deal with outrageously cheap airlines?
July 27, 2008 1:49 PM   Subscribe

Air Pacific: too good to be true?

I am looking at visiting New Zealand this Dec/jan. I just looked up roundtrip flights from Los Angeles to Auckland. Everything is around $2600, except two from Air Pacific, which are under $1400. They have one stop in Fiji.

Before I buy, I'm wondering if I'm missing something. Why so cheap? I googled reviews and found nothing terrible, except one person claiming they were stranded on Christmas Island for 3 days, which actually sounds fun to me.

So, has anyone flown Air Pacific? Is there a catch? Are these prices common or is it some kind of fluke I need to jump on right this second?

posted by drjimmy11 to Travel & Transportation (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If they're allowed to fly to the United States, I'd presume that the planes they use are in working order and that their pilots are trained; the Air Pacific plane I see at LAX all the time is a 747, so it's not like you'll be on some tiny puddle-jumper. I say jump on the fare so you actually end up going on your trip instead of wondering what might have been!

In any case, Wikipedia says they're part owned by Qantas and Air New Zealand, as well as by the Fijian government, so I imagine the airline will be around for a while (at least until your trip is over!). If you're really having doubts, spend a little extra for some trip cancellation insurance or something, but yeah, go for it. I've flown a bunch of non-developed-world airlines before and I'm still here!
posted by mdonley at 2:05 PM on July 27, 2008

One more thing: looks like Air Pacific doesn't even fly to Christmas Island, so you're in the clear!
posted by mdonley at 2:07 PM on July 27, 2008

Maybe they were stranded on Christmas Island because of an emergency landing?
posted by sharkfu at 2:08 PM on July 27, 2008

Maybe they were stranded on Christmas Island because of an emergency landing?

yeah, that was the story I think. It didn't really worry me, I only mention it because it was the only really "bad" review on a page of good-middling ones.

And like I said, getting stranded somewhere like that sounds awesome to me, as long as my life isn't actually in danger.
posted by drjimmy11 at 2:13 PM on July 27, 2008

I fly Air Pacific all the time (out of necessity) and the LAX-NAN flights lately have been full of people taking advantage of cheap fares for connections through to Auckland and Sydney. Expect a full plane, but you needn't worry about safety. If you're among the last to disembark, be prepared for a bit of a wait at the transfer desk in Nadi, as they only ever have two people handling transit passengers there.

I have never found the service to be anything other than friendly. The 747 interiors are a little dated, and they often have problems with the in-flight entertainment systems. Take a book and a positive attitude and you'll be fine.

And don't worry about getting stranded on Christmas Island (more correctly Kiritimati, one of the islands of Kiribati), as Air Pacific only stops there once a week, en route from Honolulu to Nadi. The airstrip there can't take anything larger than a 767 anyway!
posted by Tawita at 2:50 PM on July 27, 2008

I should have added that, on the rare occasions where they have had to delay flights, they look after their disrupted passengers very well. That said, travel insurance is always money well spent.
posted by Tawita at 2:52 PM on July 27, 2008

It might be worth noting that Qantas has never had a plane crash. The closes thing to it happened recently when a plane was damaged on landing.
posted by cmoj at 4:45 PM on July 27, 2008

The closes thing to it happened recently when a plane was damaged on landing.
Well, it actually appears that an oxygen bottle exploded midflight and blew a big hole in the fuselage. They've been criticized by their mechanic's union for letting their maintenance go downhill, so it couldn't have come at a worse time. Nonetheless, they are quite safe, but their reputation isn't quite what it was.
posted by Lame_username at 5:08 PM on July 27, 2008

I got my ticket, thanks everybody! Upon going directly to airpacific.com I found even cheaper prices than what i saw before!
posted by drjimmy11 at 6:29 PM on July 27, 2008

« Older How can improve my sinister lifestyle?   |   Tom Waits on a Penny-Farthing! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.