SU From Russia, joined Apr 2004, 360 posts, RR: 2 Posted (10 years 4 months 6 days ago) and read 8850 times:
Hi All and Happy Holidays,
I am not sure if this topic should be here or in trip reports sections, therefore my apologies.
I took NZ flight1 on December 28 from LAX to AKL in business class. After all I've read about NZ's new and praised service I was very excited to take the flight except in the end of the flight I was very disappointed with their service.
Before I write about their poor meal and beverage service, let me praise their sit. AWESOME!!! Very comfortable, wide, flat, big screen, good entertainment. I had a solid good 7 hours sleep (can't get sometimes that even at home)
I got a sit 2k which was in the front cabin of 747 with total of I think 14 sits.
So my question is - why such a poor meal and beverage service?
We were never offered premeal drinks, food consisted of very small bowl of salad/appetizer (three leaves of salad and small appetizer) and very small dish of dinner (tiny, tiny lamp chap and couple of veggies).
We were offered wine only once and my friend actually had to go to the galley and ask for more wine. (Lady in front of me had to do the same). No after meal drinks and I asked for desert/ice cream and never got it and again we were never offered any alcoholic drinks but one time wine with the dinner. Same think with the breakfast, was very small and robber tasted better then the omelet they offered.
The mid flight bar was never set up and only small plate of chocolate bar and chips was put there (not even water). There were only one flight attendant for the front business cabin of 14 people and he just did not have enough time to serve everyone.
I understand that was a night service but we took night flights before in business with difference carriers and they had a full service.
It was funny - as soon as we arrived at hotel in Auckland we ordered room serivce breakfast as we were starving after not eating much for around 20 hours.
Kahala777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (10 years 4 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 8649 times:
Quoting 767ER (Reply 4): Flew Business Premier in Nov LHR LAX and thought the catering was very substandard - the salad was a joke and the steak was just awful. However everything else about the flight was just SUPERB.
TG992 From New Zealand, joined Jan 2001, 2910 posts, RR: 10
Reply 7, posted (10 years 4 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 8531 times:
SU, as an NZ FA I'm really sorry to hear about the service you received on your flight. According to the service manual, you should have received a pre meal drink order after takeoff.
Wine should have been offered initially after the appertiser was delivered and offered again during the main course.
Following the main course being collected in, orders should have been taken for dessert and cheese accompanied by dessert wine, ports and liqueurs.
When dessert was cleared in, tea/coffee/liqueuers should have been offered.
The self service snack area during the flight should have had health bars, chocolate bars, cereal bars, apples, bananas, and grapes at least, together with water and juices.
One of these steps being missed is concerning - all of the steps that were missed on your flight is negligent. You need to report this to the address listed in a previous post (or if you prefer to email, firstname.lastname@example.org)
The more feedback that is received about the small meal portions, the more likely something will be done. I've heard many complain about them, and I hope they've all written in.
You may be interested to know that Air NZ crews 747s with up to 5 less crew than some of the Asian carriers. Since the new Business Premier aisles are too narrow to accomodate a cart, everything has to be delievered by hand, and there are three FA's on the lower deck to serve 36 Business Premier customers, assisted in theory by one FA who floats between the upper and lower decks - in practise, this is very hard or impossible when the upper deck is full with Business Premier and Premium Economy customers. This is why you MUST GIVE FEEDBACK.
On the plus side, I'm glad you enjoyed the seat - I had the chance to try it recently on a flight where one zone was empty, and it beats our crew bunks hands down!
Ikramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 22161 posts, RR: 59
Reply 8, posted (10 years 4 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 8434 times:
sounds like they are understaffed and the staff onboard is willing to cut service in protest rather than being overworked. thing is, considering the length of the flight, there really is no excuse for cutting services. sure, you could do it slower, but to not do it at all is just laziness. setting up the bar for instance can't take more than 10 minutes...
not a good situation for NZ, frankly. it's the fastest way to get a bad rep.
then again, I had similar service on QF business class 15 years ago. mostly ignored the whole flight. and I was always told QF had great service.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
Cedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8630 posts, RR: 53
Reply 13, posted (10 years 4 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 8199 times:
High expectations I think are the problem here. Air NZ are hardly a major flag carrier like BA, JL, CX, or even QF. I mean, New Zealand only has 3m people, right? I don't think you should expect premier division service on a small airline serving an out of the way country like NZ. Not wishing to be too mean, I've heard it's a great country to visit etc, but you're just not going to get Cathay Pacific style service in Air New Zealand. The only small airline that really offers service that competes with the BAs and CXs of this world is MEA, cos they used to be one of those big airlines so they have a history to draw on. Well, that's my guess. Anyway, the rest of them are just playing at being a big airline but forget stuff like decent food and plenty of drinks services and for that matter, plenty of cabin crew.
13 cabin crew on an ultra-longhaul 747? Oh man.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
I was lucky enough to be upgraded to business back in 2002 when flying from Tokyo to Christchurch (747-400 upper deck). I have also travelled in BA and Emirates business class and IMHO was as good as BA and way better than Emirates.
We were served champagne immedaitely we were seated, wine with our salmon appetiser, a whole bottle of wine (between 2) with our fillet steak main course (which BTW was melt in the mouth), dessert wine with dessert, port with our cheese and biscuits and finally, a liquer with our coffee. Breakfast was of equal quality and I have to say the overall experience was superb.
Quoting Cedarjet (Reply 13): I don't think you should expect premier division service on a small airline
Given the massive cost differential between ecomony and business, I think anyone travelling business has the right to expect a VERY high quality service, no matter who the airline!
FlyingKangaroo From Australia, joined Apr 2004, 532 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (10 years 4 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 6752 times:
Quoting Cedarjet (Reply 13): Air NZ are hardly a major flag carrier like BA, JL, CX, or even QF
Well it is the flag carrier of New Zealand. The airlines serves 47 destinations, with a fleet of 35 aircraft, plus 10 more aircraft to be delivered, I'd call it pretty major, definately overtaking MEA. Yeah New Zealand is a small country, but that doesn't mean its airline can't be of very high starndard. Anyone travelling on a long haul flight of a flag carrier, especially on the airline's brand new product, expects to receive a high quality product no matter how large the country is. Look at SQ and SIngapore.
Quoting Cxsjr (Reply 16): Given the massive cost differential between ecomony and business, I think anyone travelling business has the right to expect a VERY high quality service, no matter who the airline!
SunriseValley From Canada, joined Jul 2004, 6079 posts, RR: 6
Reply 16, posted (10 years 4 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 6686 times:
A question for those who know.... does NZ use London based crews for the LAX-LHR sector? Do they take care to measure the quality of these crews? Are they supplied by some contactor who just hires bodies to fill slots?
I have found over about 20 years of flying NZ from North America to New Zealand that the fair dinkum Kiwi , individually provides the best cheerful service. Sure I have run into the odd sourpuss but one of these in the usual group of three that work one side of the economy cabin ( front or rear ) does not affect things too much so long as the other two are cheerful and helpful. I struck one Asian girl once who I should have reported. I was told by someone who knew that Selwyn Cushing, Chair of the Board at the time, was always interested to learn personally of poor flight attendant attitude.
I have also noticed that the quality of the Inflight Service Manager can make a great difference. On recent flights I have never seen them and that is not good but there were two that I remember well who just walked around observing the quality of service being offered and chatting briefly with the odd passenger on how are we doing? My experience has been that the male ones have been superior to the female ones but this might be more a matter of managerial skills.
On the -400 it seems to me 4 teams of 2 are needed to handle the carts in the economy cabins. If they are cutting back to 11 that leaves three for the rest of the aircraft, too few I would say unless they plan to lengthen the time taken to provide meal service in economy by reducing the team to two of three persons.
I have also noted that food quality varies from one departure point to another.
I have always found AKL to be the best and that was certainly so this past June.; the roast lamb was as good as my wife can do it and that is saying something! SFO this past April was good . It is 3-years since I experienced LAX, if I remember it was so-so.
What I cannot understand is why with the big hoha about the celebrity chefs who design the menus that the execution cannot be more uniform. In my view this area of the operation needs constant surveillance and kick a...se of the catering contractor. The station manager should be required to inspect and taste the food before it is loaded and tell the contactor that if it is only a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10 then they will only be paid 70% of the contracted price.
NZ use to use a contractor out of HNL in DC10 days who produced the most delicious supper that was served right after the midnight takeoff. This experience was a real treat and showed that it is possible to prepare tasty airline food.
AirNZ From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (10 years 4 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 6671 times:
Quoting Cedarjet (Reply 13): High expectations I think are the problem here. Air NZ are hardly a major flag carrier like BA, JL, CX, or even QF. I mean, New Zealand only has 3m people, right? I don't think you should expect premier division service on a small airline serving an out of the way country like NZ
With all due respect, perhaps you should fly Air New Zealand before coming off with such unadulterated nonsense!! I can quite assure you that the service provided is certainly equal to, if not surpassing, CX or JL.
As for BA and QF.....other than NZ does not have F, their service standards couldn't touch Air New Zealand.
Rongotai From New Zealand, joined Sep 2000, 477 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (10 years 4 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 6598 times:
Well, setting aside the unintelligent diversions (small country, government owned, etc.), there is a big issue for me, an NZ Gold elite passenger and a regular on NZ1/2, and for my colleagues and employees for whom NZ is our preferred company carrier.
I have an absolute expectation that NZ will continue to deliver what it always has long-haul - superb cabin service and way above average check in and FF club facilities and service. If they trip up with these we have good alternatives nipping at their heels long haul - QANTAS, Emirates, SQ, CX. We may be Kiwis with a tendency to be loyal, but we aren't masochists.
We stuck with NZ while their seating and IFE products drifted behind the competition, and we have been rewarded for that with an absolutely stunning new fit out.
But - and it's a big but - I've been watching what has been happening with the cabin service, and it worries me.
After the post-Ansett melt down and the failure to link with QF, cost cutting has been king.
1. They reduced the number of FAs on board, and they sustained service by relying on the pride and commitment of the staff. I watched them continue to be a cut above the others, but begin to show a bit of strain around the edges.
2. They opened up a London FA base. The UK FAs that operate LHR-LAX are fine and competent, but they do not have that special something that links them to the Koru. Add to that the workload pressures, and now LAX-LHR no longer stood out above BA, UA, Virgin. LHR-LAX became a decision based on departure time, whereas previously I took a bit of time inconvenience to book NZ.
3. Now come the new cabins. Watching them I have absolutely no doubt that they are more difficult to work for the FAs. Now this MAY be just the shake down period, but I doubt it. So you put together reduced manning, a slight psychological loss of commitment in the workforce on LHR-LAX, and tougher working conditions, and suddenly they have become noticeably ragged, as has been reported here.
So - speaking for one previously loyal corporate customer - we will be giving them the benefit of the doubt for awhile. But the great seating will not, in the end, outweigh a decline in cabin service long haul.
Oh yes - and to conclude. For us NZ HAS to be better on board AKL-LAX-LHR to compensate for the utterly appalling stopover situation at LAX.
RoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 11166 posts, RR: 52
Reply 19, posted (10 years 4 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 6572 times:
Well I just flew SFO-AKL-CHC-ZQN-AKL-SFO on Air New Zealand in the past week in BusinessPremier. Look for a trip report in the next day or two detailing my experiences. I will say that the service was good, but not spectacular and food portions were definitely small.
NZ has good service and wonderful interiors now, but still are not perfect even though they like most kiwis strive for good service and can actually provide good service in a non tipping service industries.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
Monkeyboi From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 457 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (10 years 4 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 6445 times:
I remember a thread on here a little while ago about crew numbers on different aircraft with different airlines.
I remember being shocked at how few cabin crew AIR NZ have on their jumbo....I think it was only 12 or something close to that.
Maybe thats why service levels are suffering?
Quoting SU (Thread starter): There were only one flight attendant for the front business cabin of 14 people and he just did not have enough time to serve everyone
If this is the case Air NZ will lose a lot of premium passengers. One crew member is simply not enough for 14 premium passengers. If he gets delayed with a problem with one passenger the entire service will suffer.
Coa747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (10 years 4 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 6159 times:
My wife flew on NZ1 way back in January 2002 on our Honeymoon to New Zealand. We flew coach of course but none the less the experience was a very positive one. I went out of the way to have our travel agent book us on Air New Zealand instead of United which was still flying there at the time. My feeling was I can take United anyday but wanted to experience Air New Zealand's service. We were not dissapointed. Far above anything I expected. I had read all about their service and the awards they had won. While the offerings were probably no different than Qantas or Cathay in coach class the crew made us feel like we were flying first class and that is what made the difference to me. Most airlines treat the average joes in the back like second class citizens but not Air New Zealand. Air New Zealand may not be of the size of BA or QF but just because your the biggest doesn't mean your the best. We found New Zealanders to be among the most friendly and pleasant people we had ever met and hope to go back to New Zealand very soon. So to the NZ flight crews I say keep up the good work.
TNboy From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 1131 posts, RR: 18
Reply 23, posted (10 years 4 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 5972 times:
My experiences of NZ Business Class were on the direct SYD-LAX service a few years ago, when their seats and inflight entertainment were slipping behind the competition. The food was good, and the portions were large enough. Crew were friendly, but a bit disorganised.
On the flight to LAX, it was interesting to me that Business Class was served lunch and breakfast; while economy had lunch and dinner (no breakfast). Our arrival into LAX was around 0645-ish. The Business breakfast service on the Upper Deck was done by three crew, and was incredibly rushed - they looked very flustered.
On the return trip, we had two dedicated crew on the Upper Deck, one of whom was asleep somewhere for all but the meal service, the other was up the back reading a book. But they were friendly, and the meals were quite substantial. Beverage service was fine on both flights.
Not spectacular service, but still quite good.
Aerorobnz From Rwanda, joined Feb 2001, 8231 posts, RR: 17
Reply 24, posted (10 years 4 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 5746 times:
Quoting SunriseValley (Reply 18): does NZ use London based crews for the LAX-LHR sector? Do they take care to measure the quality of these crews? Are they supplied by some contactor who just hires bodies to fill slots?
Yeah anything through London has/will have London based crew. There is a recruitment agency that deals with it and they have the same criteria as NZ based staff, but they must have EU passports to be hired there, They used to just send FAs from here up on a 3 year stint but I believe they stopped that a while ago.
: Yes the LHR LAX flights are all crewed from the LHR base....mixture of Brits and London based Kiwis. I was talking with one of the Kiwi FAs and she sa
: I just posted a detailed trip report about my SFO-AKL-CHC flight last week. It includes a lot of details about the service for those of you that are c
: Rongotai, this post is superb and really pinpoints the difficulties we face with our reduced staffing level. The new cabin is far more difficult to w
: Thats right. Going off memory, our 744's have 24 crew seats on them, next to each pax door. TG992 can confirm the number. HAven't been near a 744 for
: Very strange, NZ normally is very good. I've had *FAR* better service on SU.. in Economy -Mr. X
: From memory its 4 million plus NZs operating fleet is 52 owned, 42 leased with 25 on order and close to 70 options on the B777 and B787, A320 family,
: 777ER - do your fleet stats allow for the 2 787 options that have just been converted into orders? Which now makes 4 firm 787 orders.
: Anyone with info on Virgin Atlantic's cabin crew numbers? I have traveled VS 744 Upper Class (similar to NZ Premier Business) on severel occasions an
: Yes I have. NZ had 42 B777 and B787 options, take away the 2 extra B787 orders and you have 40 options, I wasn't sure how many options NZ had on the
: SU what did you think of the lounge in LAX?
: Hi all We flew back from AKL to SYD last October. We was booked in business class, but as the flight was a 744, we was "upgraded" to the old first cla
: In 2003 I think it was NZ re-branded Trans-tasman and Pacific island flight, just like how Domestic was re-branded due to demand. I never knew long h
: 777ER, are you flying to SFO or LAX in July? I'm off to the UK on July 17 for the Farnborough Airshow, going to try Air NZ's Premium Economy. Hope I w
: I'm not sure if I'm going to SFO or LAX yet as I'm going on an upto 4 month working holiday. I will know where I'm going and will know if I'm going v
: The lounge in LAX was amazing and one of the nicest lounges I have ever been. Staff was very friendly, plenty of food, snack and drinks. Designe and
: Did you not stuff your face with all the goodies on offer? I know I would have...
: I think it makes sense for NZ to focus very much on the wellbeing/relaxation/satisfaction and cabin issues of the long haul F/A's. If for example QF h
: To put just my 2cent to the topic.... I was curious about the new Premium Business and booked SYD-AKL-MEL in December on a trip to Australia and New Z
: You might be interested to see the reply I got from Air New Zealand after complaining about the catering on NZ1....At least, hopefully, the more peopl
: Uhh... How about SQ or LX. I think you need to get out more
: StuckInCA - do you really think SQ qualifies as a small airline ? ( though I concede that these days LX probably does ) though I agree that Cedarjet
: No. I guess I was addressing his thought that New Zealand's population has so much to do with their ability to have a really nice airline when I refe
: Wow, no wonder service is suffering with 13/14 cabin crew on board a 744, MH have 18 cabin crew on their 744's, I suppose that does ease the load for
: I'm sorry but I've been flying EK for years and years and would have to disagree with you here. I have found EK staff on the whole the best in the sk