I undertook a round the world trip in the summer of 2012 and flew with Air New Zealand on every leg of my journey. Some of my flights were just over 13 hours long and I am incredibly happy that I took these journeys with this incredible airline.
I journeyed on a few different plane models, as different sized planes were used for shorter or longer trips, but each and every one was very, very comfortable. For starters, the leg room on these plans was great, much better than airlines I had previously flown with. The seats were comfortable, reclining for mid-flight naps, and it was never a struggle trying to fit down the aisle on your way to the toilets!
The cabin crew aboard the planes were true to their Kiwi stereotypes - quite possibly some of the friendliest people on earth. They were always visible in case you needed something, or if you used your 'call' button then someone would be with you within a minute. They were always checking if we were okay, and when meals and drinks were handed out they could not have been any lovelier, asking if we'd like anything with our meal, ice in our drinks, sugar for our teas, all with a very big smile on their faces.
Meals were distributed quickly too, which I was very impressed with. As usually with airline food you have to smell it and watch it being handed out in front of you for a good half an hour before you finally get yours. But no, not with this airline, it was in front of me very quickly, and the food was AMAZING. Delicious warm bread rolls accompanied every meal and these were my favourite part of flying! But the meals themselves were so tasty. There was always a choice and I never witnessed either choice running out without everyone on board getting their first choice. The food was quality I would expect to find in high end restaurants in the UK, I couldn't grumble at any part of it.
The in seat entertainment systems aboard their long haul flights were wonderful. Featuring movies, television shows, music, radio and games, there was something for everyone and the range of choice was unbelievable! I was watching films that had only just finished being shown in cinemas, incredible!!
Overall I have to say that Air New Zealand is by far my favourite airline, the greatest I have flown with. This being said even after I have flown on long haul flights with Emirates, who are supposedly rated the number 1 airline! Pfft, they have nothing on Air New Zealand!!
Great Job NZ!
I have flown with Air Newzealand twice and each time they were fantastic.
I recently took a trip to L.A with them with my boyfriend and they couldn't have been more helpful! I have a fear of flying and they could tell i was extremely nervous before take off and they moved us to more private seats (as it wasnt a full plane) so we had 4 seats between the 2 of us. They brought me some water and a magazine before take off and they checked on me numerous times throughout the flight to check I was ok.
Again on the way back from L.A they took good care of me and checked on me throughout the flight. I even emailed them when i got home to say thank you as they were so great.
The food on the plane is pretty good too! I chose the vegetarian option and included a rice/tomato sauce meal with bread roll, chocolate pot and fruit salad. The breakfast was a mushroom omlete and they will bring you whatever drink you need. The leg room on the plane (economy) was suitable for me and i was comfortable enough. I would definately fly with them again!
Air New Zealand have to be my favourite airline, and I've flown with a fair number. This is all talking about economy class...
The seat pitch in economy class on their 747s is a very generous 34", which I believe is nearing being one of the best economy leg rooms. I'm quite a big, lanky guy but I had no issues staying comfy for the whole ~24 hour flight. I've also flown on one of their 777s which was obviously set up for shorter-haul flights and slightly less spacious in the seating arrangement, but it was still comfortable for an economy cabin.
The seats (and entire cabin) were very clean on all the flights I've been with them. It sounds trivial, but the relaxed colour scheme is quite refreshing compared to the gaudy seat colours found on some some airlines - these kind of small things make a huge difference when you're stuck on the same plane for a day though!
As far as I've experienced the food is consistently excellent, in particular the blueberry and white chocolate pancakes that came as a pleasant and tasty surprise for breakfast on one flight. No complaints there. The flight attendants are also very friendly and never abandon you for too long before offering you more drinks and snacks (the manuka honey biscuits are really really good) and are easy to approach if you want something.
The on-demand inflight entertainment selection wasn't as extensive as some airlines I've been on, but at least it was there and working well (on one flight I went on with a different airline the system was constantly crashing and requiring reboots throughout the flight) and there were still plenty of decent films to keep you going for the whole flight.
The main downside for me was the lack of power outlets in the economy seats, which is a shame as its not as if laptops whilst travelling has only just recently expanded from being only something that businessmen do!
The planes and service are obviously geared up to keep the round-the-world passengers comfortable and happy, but that doesn't mean that you can't take advantage of this good airline if you're not going to New Zealand... a group of my friends recently used Air New Zealand to fly to LA and back, which worked out at the same price as all the other airlines but they said it was a very enjoyable flight.
I have flown Air New Zealand multiple times in the past year, in fact, I've just earned Silver status and am quickly on my way to gold status with this airline. You would think the problems regarding the true, factual experiences of a more valued customer would be heeded, but this is not the case. Without whining about the details, a brief summary of the factual events are below. I am happy to discuss in greater detail, and am willing to provide details to journalists who need evidence to write articles about either Air New Zealand, or its Premium Economy class of service.
1) Tried to charge me a US$150 change fee to upgrade from regular Economy to Premium Economy, when the fare terms state that this fee was to be waived when upgrading to a higher class of service. Had to argue with customer service agent for 45 minutes until he finally logged in as me on my online profile and saw that I was right. I did purchase Premium Economy service at an extra cost of US$903 for an Auckland-San Francisco segment.
2) One of the reasons I upgraded was supposedly power ports in "most of the seats". I was told by the gate agent that no power ports existed in the Premium Economy cabin on this flight. Writing Air NZ customer service later, they now argue that this was not the case (essentially calling me a liar). This is in direct contradiction to the onboard power ports advertised on their website (ask me for a print-out of the airline's website page)
3) The food, which was supposed to be the same as business class, was disgusting (in particular, a fish dish). The food in regular Economy cabin has always been much better.
4) Due to the change in daylight savings time, the crew got our arrival time wrong and therefore only Business Class passengers got breakfast. All other passengers were not offered any meal service whatsoever. This seems odd to me - why would business class passengers be served an hour earlier than regular passengers? This sounds calculated to me.
5) Bags of Premium Economy and Business Class passengers were supposed to be delivered at the same time - earlier than regular economy passengers. Mine were delivered a full THIRTY Minutes after the other premium economy/business class passengers. Huge waste of my time.
In summary, Air New Zealand's "Pacific Premium Economy" service means a premium profit for the airline. True, you get more leg room, a cheap amenity kit, and nicer headphones, but these are small wins in the face of the other shortcomings. Most importantly, and disappointingly, my follow-ups have been completely disregarded by the company. I receive lip service but the airline will not stand by its mistakes. I cannot recommend Premium Economy on Air New Zealand. It was a complete waste of my money. I will also be trying the nonstop Auckland-Los Angeles service on Qantas Airlines in the future. Perhaps they will value my business more.
To the airline's credit, I have no issue with the flight attendants. The inflight service was very good. However, it was the airline's complete post-flight washing its hands of responsibility that have irrevocably disappointed me, and which are the impetus for my crusade to share the truth with other passengers who regularly fly between the US and New Zealand.
I recently used Air Newzealand for a return flight to Los Angeles from London Heathrow. I had no idea before I did some research that the airline did this route but it turned out they had the cheapest fare at the time I booked so I thought I'd give them a go even though I knew nothing about them.
I always choose an aisle seat when flying as I like the freedom to move around. I was pleasantly surprised to find the that leg room was not really an issue in economy class and there was plenty of space in my seat (Although I am only 5'4" :-)).
I was a little worried about having to fly for 11 hours but the first thing I noticed when I sat down was the brilliant selection of in flight entertainment the airline had to offer. There were probably upwards of 50 movies to choose from as well as whole television series and programmes. I really was spoilt for choice. I also discovered that unlike other longhaul airlines I've travelled on you can play, pause, rewind and fastforward films, or just abandon them all together. I thought this was great and a feature I've not experienced before on longhaul.
Two meals were served throughout the flight. One was a hot meal and the other a 'light option' which was a toasted sandwich. All the meals I recieved were quite decent for aeroplane food and came with side dishes as well. Drinks were available included throughout the flight which was really convenient.
The luggage allowance is another factor which I feel I should mention. Two check in bags are allowed up to a maximum weight of 46kg between them. I thought this was great as it meant I didnt have to worry about going over my allowance as 46kg is a lot! I think the maximum weight for just one bag is 32kg which is still very heavy and means you don't have to worry about extra payments.
Both my flights were on time and the check in staff were really friendly. The staff on board were very helpful as well and as I was upset about leaving my boyfriend behind they comforted me and made me feel a lot happy to be flying on my own across the Atlantic.
*In flight entertainment
*None that I experienced
I would definately recommend checking out Air NZ for any of the routes they fly as I really had a great flight experience on my long journey.
Air New Zealand are towards the upmarket end of the non-luxury airlines. Reliable and professional, they aren't by any means the cheapest, but the Economy class is comfortable, the service excellent and gets you where you need to go. Book well in advance for the cheapest fares - if you decide to go at the last minute like we did, it's pricy (around 1700 pounds if you book 2 weeks before you go).
When I went to New Zealand in April 2009, I flew economy class with Air New Zealand. Our route took us from Heathrow to Auckland via Hong Kong, with the return journey starting in Queenstown and a stopover in Los Angeles.
My first encounter with the staff was at the checkin desk in Heathrow. The staff there were polite and friendly. They had an additional member of staff in the queue verifying that we all knew about the new requirements for an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation) to make sure that we would be allowed through the US on our return trip.
On our outward trip, the in-flight staff were polite and helpful, though rather overworked, so it sometimes took a while if you needed assistance.
In flight, the seats were comfortable enough, though nothing particularly special. There was plenty of space for hand luggage. In economy, the 747s have a seat pitch (the distance from one back to the next) of 34", the 777/767s have a 32" pitch and other planes 30". Entertainment systems were fitted in the back of the seat in front and had a wide selection of films, television, music and games that could be watched on demand. I particularly liked that you could create a play list of your favourite songs from many different albums.
Luggage allowances are generous, but if you are going from Europe then my tip is to return via the US - luggage allowances are even higher when you go via the US (2 pieces totalling 46kg per person vs. 25kg per person if you fly via Hong Kong)
The in-flight food was tasty enough, though like most airline food nothing to write home about. They had a wide selection of special meals that could be ordered in advance (I had no idea there were so many different types of vegetarian - the list of options ranged from "regular" ovo-lacto veggie at one extreme to Jain or raw fruit at the other) Be warned about some of the special meals though - the so-called vegan meal for one of our party contained a portion of cheese in one meal and a container of milk in another, which doesn't inspire confidence that the rest of the meal is vegan! Like most other airlines, the special meals are delivered first, which is great if you are hungry, but bad news if you want to wait for everyone in your group to get their meal before starting (Tip: forget restaurant manners and just tuck in. You'll be waiting half an hour and your food will be cold otherwise!).
For our return flight, we were sat by the exit aisle next to the galley. This meant we got a lot of legroom, but at the expense of light and noise all night (take ear plugs and an eye mask!). Because these seats have the table in the armrest, they are quite a bit narrower. The jump seats for the stewardesses were opposite us, so we chatted to them and got given some excellent travel tips of places to go for the future.
When checking into our domestic flight on our way back, we asked as to whether we needed to pick up our luggage when we transferred to the international flight. We were assured that no worries, once we checked our bags in, we wouldn't see them again. Then came a big pause as he realised what he said by our hoots of laughter "Until you get to Heathrow, of course".
In conclusion, all the staff that we met were friendly and helpful in a very informal and laid-back way. I would use this airline again. The facilities were good enough, seats fine, food OK.
In the past 12 months I have been on around 20 international flights (not very environmentally friendly, but the only way to see the world!) with 6 different airlines and I would say that all round Air NewZealand were the best of the lot.
The best thing about Air NewZealands plane has got to be the entertainment system, on all the flights I was on the planes had the latest entertainment system on it, which featured on demand films, music, games, tv shows and the "airshow". The selection on the plane was incredible with so much choice that sometimes it was really difficult to decide to watch one film over the other! There definitely is something for everyone in there with the latest films and music to the classics, the films also include subtitles in other languages, if you need that.
Another positive about the airline was the food, now I must admit that I am not really a fan of airline food however the food on the flights was very good and everyone seemed to really enjoy it which is odd to see on a flight. There is options for vegetarian etc if you pre arrange and each meal comes with 2 choices of main meal ie chicken or beef.
The only negative could be that the drinks cart does not come around quite enough however if you press the service button there always seems to be a friendly member of staff willing to top you up. Other than this I honestly can't think of any other negatives.
I am a kiwi living in the UK and recently flew home for a visit. On the return flight from NZ to UK I got a had a broken chair which reclined at random times by itself. I was promised the offending chair would be fixed at the Hong Kong transit. It wasn't. I was then given the option to re-locate to a worse seat which I did. It was a 26 hour nightmare. But the worst thing was the service after the flight - none. I sent 2 complaints to Air NZ via their own feedback pages on their website - both were not only unanswered, but actually expired!! My third complaint (to a customer service (I use the term loosely) email address) was met with a £50 compensation offer. I think this is outrageous. Half of my expensive round-trip flight was uncomfortable and potentially damaging and I get offered £50 back!!! Fly with Thai or Singapore to and from NZ. Their aircraft are nicer, their attendants are nicer and their customer service is better!
I flew with Air New Zealand this summer just gone, we flew to Hong Kong for just £500 return each! We thought this was fabulous and we had a look on the website and couldn't believe we'd booked with what seemed like such a nice airline.
We flew from London Heathrow and Air New Zealand had a separate check in area to the other flights, all the staff were lovely and they allowed us to check in slightly early.
Once on the plane we decided straight away that we'd happily fly with Air New Zealand again, especially after walking through business class. Economy was perfectly alright, there was plenty of leg room and each seat had a TV screen behind the head of the seat in front, and the screen was quite a good size. We had an astounding amount of in-flight entertainment, from games to an endless supply of different albums to listen to, there were hundreds of films, old and new and hundreds of TV shows and documentaries. We wished the flight was longer so we had enough time to make the most of all these facilities! The only problem I had with the in-flight entertainment is that my head was too small for the headphone they provided us with, so it was quite a struggle to keep them on!
The staff on the flight were all friendly and helpful, the pilot was rather chirpy too. Another bonus about the in-flight entertainment was that you could follow the progress of the flight and see where you were and how long till we were due to arrive. It was very exciting.
The flight lasted about 12 hours, and on that flight we had one main meal the food was delicious as far as plane food goes. You could choose between a choice of two main meals, and got a salad, a starter, some bread and butter and a dessert with it. There was also a complementary drinks service that came round now and again, although not frequently enough for my liking!
The flight seemed to go incredibly fast and before you knew it you were in Hong Kong. This airline is brilliant and I would definitely fly with them again.
A few years back I went on a rugby tour to new zealand and flew with Air New Zealand. Although I had regularly endured the 8 hour transatlantic flights, I had never had to do one quite son long.
We departed from Heathrow and flew via LA. The plane itself was very old, however I do not know if the whole fleet is like this. We had to share one big screen for each cabin instead of personal screens where you can watch what you want, this for me was annoying, as we had to endure 2 6 hour flight like this, not choosing what we could watch and therefore if you didnt like, time dragged.
Although the plane was old it still had sufficient leg room, by far the best I had ever enjoyed, it was excellent for cattle class, now I am not sure if this is requirement for such long flights but eitherway it is great to not have your knees digging into the seat in front.
The staff were very friendly and polite as you would expect and the food was not bad at all.
All in all I seem to remember the flight as flying by considering its length which is a testimony more to the service than facilities onboard.
This was the first time i done a long haul flight, and i thought id pick air newzealand as it was the place i was flying to.
I flew from london heathrow via los angelas and its the best flight i have ever been on.
I was given a window seat and the sites were amazing that we went over.
The seats were very comfortable, they laid back just enough to sleep on.
The flight attendants were very polite and helpful anything you needed they were there to help.
The great thing about flying with air newzealand is all the food and drink is free, the food is not that bad(some aeroplane food is disgusting)and you get a breakfast lunch ad dinner all depends on where you are flying too.
The plane was very clean ,toilets were to an excellent standard and all in all i had a smooth flight.
Also when booking with air newzealand you can get an open air ticket and this is a great thing to have if you domt know how long you intend on staying there.
All in all a smooth transit from the uk to newzealand.
Air New Zealand were the first (and the only, to date) company I flew long haul with alone. Having spent a long time searching for flights to Hong Kong for September last year (2007), Air New Zealand eventually came out as the cheapest option.
I flew from Heathrow, and when I arrived to check in the staff were incredibly helpful, and the man I was dealing with told me to ask when I reached the boarding gate and see whether they were able to sort me out with a better seat, as I was a solo traveller (they reserve a certain number of aisle/window seats and then release them at the end of they're not occupied, I believe). Sure enough, when I arrived at the boarding gate, I didn't even have to ask and was ushered straight over to a desk, where I was given a window seat.
The first, and most lasting impression I have of Air New Zealand is the friendliness of their staff. From saying hello with a smile, and taking the time to personalise the greeting by reading the name on my boarding card, to the high level of service throughout , I really couldn't fault them.
My flight out was a night flight, and we were served a lovely meal, with complimentary drinks throughout. The seats were comfortable with plenty of leg room, and I managed to get a decent few hours sleep. Breakfast was also served before we landed, and overall the service was again brilliant. On landing, bag collection was speedy and efficient, and barely took any time at all.
My flight home was a daytime flight. I was given an aisle seat on check in this time (which is definitely my preference for a long haul flight - plenty of room to stretch your legs!), and again the service was friendly. Being a day flight, this time we were served breakfast and lunch, again accompanied by complimentary drinks throughout the flight, and for plane food, really rather tasty!
This time, as I was wide awake, I took advantage of the in-flight entertainment system, and Air New Zealand really do excel themselves. The titles may not be the most recent, but they have a huge selection to cater for all ages and tastes, and during both flights I think I watched about five films and a good few hours of tv shows! Really makes the difference on a flight of that length, to have such a selection of meda to watch. Alongside films and television, there's also a huge selection of music, radio and albums to listen to!
Overall therefore, I really couldn't fault Air New Zealand, wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to other people and would definitely use them again!
During a recent trip to New Zealand, it was necessary for me to fly between cities on some legs of my little tour. Not that long ago, I would have had a choice of one whole airline, but times have moved on in New Zealand, thankfully.
As the largest and most popular carrier in New Zealand, Air New Zealand was probably the inevitable choice. It was able to offer a better selection of flight times than the competitors and price-wise, while not always the cheapest, was ever only a few dollars different than, say, Pacific Blue.
That did indeed prove to be the case as I aimed more for mid-afternoon flights between cities whereas Pacific Blue seemed to deal with mornings and early evenings only, though as mentioned above, prices were not that different between the airlines. Prices were slightly more expensive than UK equivalents, but only by a few pounds each time.
It was easy enough to find flight times on the Air New Zealand website and the booking process was fairly standard for a domestic carrier. There are several price points for each flight - Smart Saver, Flexi Saver and Flexi. Smart Saver is the cheapest and I used this on all flights. I didn't really see why I would pay more as I got the same treatment as everyone else on all of the flights. I guess the differences were all in the small print about the ability or cost in changing flights.
I was impressed by the email confirmation from Air New Zealand. It was a text-only affair, but came with an A4 Adobe PDF attachment that had all my details on it. As I was printing out a lot of stuff to take with me, it was nice just to have one piece of paper for each flight was the relevant details on it rather than four pages of guff and clauses that I seem to get when printing out EasyJet bookings. Other airlines that sell direct could learn from this! Easyjet, I'm looking at you!
Air New Zealand requires passengers to check in 30 minutes before the scheduled departure of the flight rather than the UK standard of 1 hour.
The one negative point I had with Air New Zealand was that my final flight from Christchurch to Auckland on the day I was returning home was a two legged flight, stopping at Wellington on the way. What should have been a flight of just over an hour ended up being just short of three hours. As a foreigner, I had no concept of flight times between cities so the long flight time didn't set any alarm bells ringing and the website and subsequent email confirmation didn't mention a stopover in Wellington. This would have been a deal breaker for me and I could have gotten an earlier or later flight that was direct. I wanted to minimise disruption in case there were problems checking in to my long haul flight home and as it happens, due to a late passenger in Wellington, the flight was delayed by about 30 minutes. I think the problem here was that the journey was considered to be one continuous flight all the way through. Other flights through Wellington from Christchurch required a change of plane and have different flight numbers and these ARE clearly marked.
Other than that one incident, I had no real complaints about any of my flights with Air New Zealand. The planes were always clean (and looked fairly new). All flights, apart from the short Wellington to Nelson one, were on Airbuses of some description and were more than comfortable. On each flight, the cabin crew would come round and offer refreshments (usually tea, coffee and crisps or nuts) for free, which was unusual to me as I only ever fly bargain basement carriers in the UK where they charge you for blowing your nose.
All flights were on time (apart from that one mentioned above) and all the Airbuses had drop down screens that provided lots of NZ-related trivia which the younger travellers (and me!) seemed really interested in, plus it helped time pass on dull flights.
The staff, (both cabin and ground crew, were excellent and a lot more friendly than their UK counterparts. Part of that was because they (the cabin crew) didn't seem as focussed on selling you stuff, but part of it is that Kiwis are chattier in general.
For the most part, I think I got good value for money from Air New Zealand over the half dozen or so flights and it was nice to book a flight without the airline trying to get the arm in with "preferred passenger boarding" or having to pay for sticking a bag in the hold or any of the other nonsense that's tarnished the UK domestic market in my opinion. It was the way flying should be (and use to be in the UK): relaxed.
Travelled from London Heathrow to Auckland via Los Angeles on Air New Zealand's recently upgraded Boeing 747's.
The investment has really paid off as the seats are comfortable, the inflight entertainment excellent, plus the most generous legroom in economy class among all the airlines. The only slight hitch was that they had to reboot the entertainment system during one of the flights which meant it was off line for around half an hour. It is not as fast as Singapore Airlines' system and if you try to be too quick with it the software can lock up.
Food and drink was plentiful (wine straight from the bottle) and regular runs offering alcohol and water throughout the flight from friendly staff.
Got to be up there with Singapore Airlines as one of the best in the world now. Excellent
At the moment I am writing this in California which is on the west coast of North America. So to get here I had to get on a plane and the airline that I chose was Air New Zealand. We were on a flight from London Heathrow to Auckland but stopping off in LAX (Los Angeles in the middle.) Our plane was a boeing 747-400 which is on that I have never heard off. My mum booked them over the internet.
I flew form London Heathrow and because I have never been to the states before our family had to fill out immigration forms which we got in check-in we really werent sure how to fill them in so we waited until we got on the plane. At check in the people who check your bags in were very helpful they reminded you of some things they asked whether your hand luggage was less than 7KG (That is important because with air Malta my bag was over 7KG and so they took it off me in security and I had to pick it up on my way back.) And they did the whole process really quickly. With it being the states then you need a lot of security checks after the 9/11 incident. After security we went to the lounge and after the normal couple of hours wait we were on the plane no problem. And the plane took off on time too. The leg room on the plane was nothing special but you could live with it.
Once we got on the plane the cabin crew were very welcoming they gave my two brothers a back-pack which contained lots of little things to entertain them on the flight. We got put in an area called "pacific class" which I think is a posh word for cheapo persons. They gave out complimentary newspapers which were the real thing real daily mail not some cheap stuff that the other airlines give you. Once we were settled the plane starts to move for the runway.... They showed the safety video and done the demonstration and then it was take off......The pilot was very confident in that I mean their was no messing around straight off and in the air.
Once we were in the air they handed out complimentary headphones now other airlines you normally have to pay for the headphones which are rubbish. So after half an hour in the air the pilot took the fasten seatbelt sign off and the in-flight entertainment starts the first film they showed was the good life which in my opinion was a pile of rubbish. Midway through that they brought out the food which was like a lamb and mashed potato and triple chocolate muffin for desert........mamma.
They showed numerous other film such as Agatha Christies maple and the best film of the night Electra.... They also showed another film called after the sum which I had never seen before but was quite a good film. The only problem was their was not enough TV's everyone had to move their head to find one.
Earlier I spoke about the immigration forms we decided to get them out on the plane and ask for help so thats exactly what we did and they were tremendous they showed us all that we needed to know and were very helpful in doing so. I saw a boy next to me who was feeling sick (he was not next to me he was in the next row across.) So the cabin crew were very comforting to him which I thought was quite nice seeing as how they could be puked on any minute. .... As it was an 11 hour flight they handed out really nice blankets and pillows.
When we were ready to land the captain again was superb in the landing as in their was no bumbs that is what I like to see.... Once the plane had landed the cabin crew were very polite as in thanks for joining us and another airline which I dont want to mention for the embarrassment said get out.
So all in all I think Air New Zealand come top in my all time airlines list although I am only 13 and so their will be plenty more to come.
* * * * * (five star)
If you have any comments on how to improve this or any of my there reviews please tell me....thanks