Recognition Upgrades

Elite, Gold and Silver Airpoints™ members receive Recognition Upgrades each membership year, as a thank you from us for your ongoing loyalty.

These are valid for one year and can be used to Upgrade one cabin class (for example, Premium Economy to Business Premier™) for one sector of a journey. If you're entitled to Recognition Upgrades through your Airpoints™ status, they'll be visible in your Air New Zealand account.

Allocation of Recognition Upgrades

  • Elite members receive two full Recognition Upgrades and one Elite short haul Recognition Upgrade per membership year, plus the ability to gift these to anyone on their gifting register
  • Gold members receive two full Recognition Upgrades per membership year
  • Silver members receive one full Recognition Upgrade per membership year

How Recognition Upgrades can be used

  • On 777 or 787 aircraft operating between New Zealand and Eastern Australia or the Pacific Islands, excluding flights to Perth, Tahiti, Honolulu and Bali or between Sydney and Rarotonga, members can move from Economy to Business Premier using one Recognition Upgrade
  • For medium or long haul flights on 777 or 787 aircraft members can combine two of their Recognition Upgrades to move from Economy to Business class
  • Recognition Upgrade requests are made for each sector of a journey.

Requesting a Recognition Upgrade

To request a Recognition Upgrade, sign into your Air New Zealand Airpoints account and go to the My Bookings section. Alternatively, you can call our contact centre

To improve your chances of having your Upgrade confirmed, it's best to request a Recognition Upgrade at the time you book or at least seven days before your flight. This will allow us to assess your request prior to processing any OneUp Upgrades.  

If you would like to use your Recognition Upgrade in conjunction with a passenger on your booking who is using an OneUp Upgrade, please call our contact centre. They will divide your booking. Also if you are looking at using a combination of Recognition Upgrades and OneUp offers for different sectors of your journey then you will need to request your Recognition Upgrade first, after this you may make an OneUp offer on the remaining sector. 

Confirmation of upgrades


Upgrades confirmed

Up to 355 days prior to the scheduled flight time if the upgrade booking class is available.


Upgrades confirmed

Up to 6 days prior to the scheduled flight time after Elite upgrades are confirmed.


Upgrades confirmed

Up to 6 days prior to the scheduled flight time after Elite and Gold upgrades are confirmed.

If your Recognition Upgrade isn't confirmed, and providing it hasn't expired, your upgrade will be refunded back into your Air New Zealand account.

Upgrades are subject to availability and high load factors may prevent us from confirming Recognition Upgrades in advance. When this happens, Elite, Gold and Silver upgrade requests are prioritised at the airport for any remaining seats by order of tier status.

If your Recognition Upgrade request is unsuccessful, the fare conditions of your original booking applies. 

Other things you should know 

Air New Zealand upgrades are only available on Air New Zealand operated and ticketed flights. Airpoints members will earn Airpoints Dollars™ and Status Points according to the earn rate of the original fare purchased.

Airpoints upgrades cannot be requested for companion tickets, travel industry fares, prize and promotional tickets, grabaseat™ greenlight fares and flights booked in certain discounted or low cost booking classes, including F class.

Frequently asked questions

Could I miss out on my Recognition Upgrade to someone making a strong OneUp™ upgrade offer?

Can I request a Recognition Upgrade for myself and a OneUp™ offer for my companion?

Why can't I use a Recognition Upgrade?

Can I transfer my Recognition Upgrade to someone else?