This week, Air New Zealand began direct flights from Auckland to Houston, Texas. Working with its codeshare partner, United Airlines, which has a large hub in Houston, the airline opens up the American South to Kiwi travellers. It’s not just New Zealanders who will benefit from the arrangement. While Australians have had the option of flying to Dallas Fort Worth with Qantas for a while now, they can tap into Air New Zealand’s alliance with Virgin Australia to get to Auckland for the direct service too.
Air New Zealand has its signature route from Auckland to Los Angeles, and another option to San Francisco established more recently, but this is the first non-East Coast, mainland USA destination for the airline. Most importantly, it is hoped that the direct Houston to Auckland flight will encourage some of the 30 million American travellers who say that New Zealand is on their travel bucket list, to make the decision to visit.
US Ambassador to New Zealand, Mark Gilbert was on the inaugural flight, and agrees that the route should be attractive to East Coast, or Southern-based Americans. “They may have always thought about going to New Zealand, but felt that it was too far. Now it’s a short connection to Houston, and you wake up in New Zealand.”
Houston is the fourth largest city in the USA, and is known as a logistics hub. Air New Zealand will fly up to five times a week with their 777-200 aircraft. It is the longest flight on their network, at around fourteen hours. Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport is one of America’s busiest, with 5 terminals. It is United Airlines Headquarter and hub, and has more flights directly to Mexico than any other US airport.
What to do in Houston?
The first stop in any Houston vacation has to be the Space Center, the official visitor’s experience of NASA’s headquarters. The range of attractions there are truly out of this world, multi-media, and hands on. Houston weather is warm enough that audiences can attend plays at the Miller Outdoor Theatre for eight months of the year. For a souvenir with a difference, like some pre-loved cowboy boots or a genuine Texan Ten-Gallon, browse in the Texas Junk Co, in Welch Street. Get an all-American sporting experience at Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros Major League Baseball team. The stadium is adjacent to Union Station, right in downtown Houston. A vintage locomotive runs along 800 feet of track inside the stadium.
Where to go from Houston?
They say that Texas is more than a state, it’s a lifestyle. What better way to experience it than in a rental car, and VroomVroomVroom can make sure you get the best deal, with a convenient pick up from the airport. You can explore the Lone Star state with easy driving distances to Austin and San Antonio, both around three hours. Or how about a Gulf of Mexico road trip? It’s a five hour drive to the home of jazz, New Orleans. You can then continue to Tampa or Orlando in Florida.
Book your road trip from Houston using VroomVroomVroom’s website. By just entering a few simple details into the search engine, you will be able to see all the available vehicle’s and the cost for your trip. Don’t forget we have a best price promise.
Visiting Auckland from Houston?
We can sort you out for that too! We are experts on New Zealand road trips, and you can read all about it here. We have a fantastic range of cars available in Auckland and across the country.