Air New Zealand AU and NZ Price Discrepancy

When booking Air New Zealand flights across the Tasman I have noticed that there is often an observable price difference when booking the same flight on the NZ or AU websites. Even when taking the exchange rate in to account there is sometimes a significant difference.

The situation is particularly bad at the moment because the Australian website has a deal on Sydney to Auckland/Wellington flights. For example, booking a flight from Sydney to Wellington current costs AUD231 on the Australian website and NZD333 on the New Zealand website. Using today’s exchange rate of 1NZD->0.92AUD that works out to be $333 versus $251.09 (in NZD). Thats a difference of NZD81.91. The following two pictures show the difference in price of the same flights.

Note that the flights are specials on the Australian website so they come with less Airpoints and status points. Also note that when you attempt to log in to your Air New Zealand Airpoints account, a message is displayed suggesting that you navigate to the New Zealand website with the higher prices. If you enter the Airpoints number later in the purchasing process, you are still able to get the benefits such as selecting frequent flyer seats, claiming status/airpoints etc. So it would appear that not a whole lot is to gain by navigating to the New Zealand website and paying the higher price.

I would like to see Air New Zealand make the pricing more consistent between the two websites (obviously with some leeway for exchange rate movements).

Update:

I received this from Air New Zealand in response to a question asking why the pricing is different,

Hi Joel, thanks for getting in touch. Our Revenue Management department as well as Marketing teams, determine the pricing strategies for the various regions we operate to and from. There are many factors and considerations involved in this pricing. Air New Zealand does not operate a cost-plus pricing strategy that would result in identical pricing across all points of sale. If we did operate a cost-plus pricing strategy, you would not see tactical prices at the levels you see today because these do not recover the cost of operating the flight. Instead, we have a pricing strategy that is driven by market forces dictated by the market in which the sale is made. Market forces unique to each region of sale will determine how much travelers are prepared to pay for travel compared to other goods in their home country and indeed for New Zealand travel compared to other destinations. With this type of pricing strategy, you will see differences between fares available in different sales regions. These can be aggravated from time to time where currency fluctuation occurs. Hope this clarifies things for you.

They are saying that the price difference is to support local marketing strategies for the market. I would argue however that the market is not truly local, given that globally anyone can buy the same ticket from another website (with a different top-level-domain). Having the ability to access the site and purchase with an international credit card with no terms denying international customers turns the market global.

This feels to me like Air New Zealand is using a lower price in their ‘virtual’ local market to compete with competition from air lines commonly used from within that same market. At the same time they are punishing users in a different ‘virtual’ market for not checking elsewhere. The model appears to rely on users in general not bothering to check if the price is cheaper through other entry points. For example, if _all_ users check all of the localised web site prices then they could not use this as a marketing strategy at all.

Wellington Storm Damage – Weather Time-lapse

Motivation

I was poking around MetService’s publicly available data (as a tend to like doing :-P) on the weekend and stumbled across their weather radar images folder.

This folder is home to about 15,000 images spread across 5 days, that cover all the different monitored areas. I thought it might be fun / an interesting learning experience to get all of the full New Zealand weather radar images and make a time-lapse.

I was particularly interested in doing this because of the storm that hit New Zealand recently causing some widespread damage. I am currently living in Wellington as of two weeks ago which got hit hard by the storm.

Image Retrieval

The 15 thousand images all sit in the one directory – ‘http://www.metservice.com/IcePics/ob/‘.

For the purposes of an overall New Zealand weather radar time-lapse we are only interested in the images that have filenames ending with ‘ImgPlayerNZ.jpeg’. Apache has a handy feature that lets you apply pattern matching to select what files to display in the index.

P=pattern lists only files matching the given pattern

The full url that just lists the files that we want is: http://www.metservice.com/IcePics/ob/?P=*ImgPlayerNZ.jpeg

Now we can use wget to automatically download all of the images based on that url. Without going in to all the wget options used, here is the command:

wget -np -nH –cut-dirs=2 -R index.html http://www.metservice.com/IcePics/ob/?P=*ImgPlayerNZ.jpeg

This matched and downloaded just under 700 images into a folder.

Building The Time-lapse

I used Picasa to build the time-lapse which makes the process very easy.

  • Select the images
  • Click ‘Create -> ‘Move’ -> ‘From Selection’ from the menu bar.
  • Select ‘Time Lapse’ as the transition type and pick an appropriate transition speed.
  • Then just render and save!

Result

The 700 images are displayed in 32 seconds (~21 fps). The time-lapse shows the storm coming in from the west and covering the country. It is interesting to watch the Wellington area of the North Island near the end of the storm. There is a visible circular motion going on.

The result can be viewed on youtube.

Vodafone and Telecom Twitter Relationship

Vodafone and Telecom had some entertaining tweets between them today.

They were talking about the following picture taken of the Vodafone office in Auckland.

looks chilly over there. any body home @vodafonenz or did you... on Twitpic


View Telecom and Vodafone offices in a larger map

The tweets:

Telecom Tweet to Vodafone 1

Vodafone Tweet to Telecom 1

Telecom to Vodafone Tweet 2

Edit: More tweets

Vodafone to Telecom Tweet 3

Telecom to Vodafone Tweet 3

Telecom to Vodafone Tweet 4

Vodafone to Telecom Tweet 4

Vodafone to Telecom tweet 5

It is good to see a friendly relationship between the two telecommunication rivals.

Epic Spam Fail

I don’t actually see spam emails very often these days. Gmail does an excellent job of keeping them hidden away and seems to have a very low false positive rate.

Spam Fail

I received an email the other week that failed at trying to convince me that this was a noteworthy email. This SPAMer really needs to run some tests on their software before mass sending.

On second thoughts. No they don’t. Spamming is virtually free…

 

Evidence for the Existence of Senor Craigos

Señor Craigos, a Mexican/Wizard cross, flats with us. His past time activities include Alchemy and other modern day chemistry in his garage laboratory as well as being the beginning of a human chain where by the participants chant “Señor Señor Craigos, Señor Señor Craig”.

However such fame appears to be hidden amongst the Internet as shown in some quick google searches.

For example, the searches for both:

Senor Craigos” and “Señor Craigos

at the time of writing this had no google search results!

May this post remind us all of the great wizard who caused the global gold stocks to crash.