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Grabbing A Delay And An Upgrade: NZ5- Upper Deck  
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6406 posts, RR: 39
Posted (3 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 22403 times:

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUJVAfUP0AI/AAAAAAAAFrk/1O5-vI1uA-Y/s800/IMG_1287edittitle.jpg

Grabbing A Delay And An Upgrade: NZ5- Upper Deck


Introduction

Those who have been reading my trip reports from the moment I started publishing them will be familiar with the title used for this one. Air New Zealand has a website called grabaseat.co.nz and they post ‘ludicrously low fares’ every day. Usually these are domestic flights that are slightly discounted from their usual lowest price for a certain period but every now and then, they have very tempting flights on offer. They include $1 one way domestic fares and also some great international deals (in the past they’ve had $1 plus taxes for international flights and also NZ$13 one way all inclusive AKL-OOL which I just missed out on). Obviously, these are planned to be for the off-season of the airline and luckily, one of those times happens to be mid-late November – perfect for the university student who finishes exams in early-mid November to get away before the school holidays start when fares rocket through the roof!

One day in October, some fares from Auckland to San Francisco popped up for some dates in the future. I thought a little about it but then decided to wait as I believed Los Angeles would pop up in the coming days. So a week later, I was proven right and some AKL-LAX flights popped up for NZ$999 return – just less than half price for an ‘on special’ fare to LAX (in fact, AKL-YVR specials popped up the week after too). Upon glancing across the few dates available for AKL-LAX, I purchased tickets for my first long haul adventure on Air New Zealand.


More about the flight to LAX (in Economy) can be found here: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route (by NZ107 Dec 6 2010 in Trip Reports)


Kia ora everyone and welcome to my 19th trip report. This report covers my flight on NZ5 from Los Angeles to Auckland and also through the twists and turns of the events around this flight. Air New Zealand has twice daily or near twice daily flights to LAX throughout the year – one flight continues onto LHR (NZ1/2) and the other terminates in LAX (NZ5/6). By the end of the year, LAX will be operated by only 77Ws as NZ is phasing out most of the 744s.

Air New Zealand has reduced baggage allowances from two bags to one bag for flight to USA. I knew that when I bought the ticket, I’d be either paying for excess baggage or looking for an upgrade to Premium Economy which allows a second bag for no extra cost. Enter trusty dad with his air points to allow me to purchase a standby upgrade which wasn’t guaranteed so I needed to hold behind at least US$50 just in case I wasn’t upgraded and had to pay for excess baggage. Because I was on a grabaseat fare, I tried looking for things saying that this certain fare cannot be upgraded on. Upon failing to do so, I kept my fingers crossed throughout the trip that I would get upgraded. Not only that, but it was a chance (if I was upgraded) to finally try out the upper deck of the ’Queen of the Skies’ itself, the 747.


It's all about the destination AND the journey.
60 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6406 posts, RR: 39
Reply 1, posted (3 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 22615 times:

28 November 2010

I had a great time in USA and was semi prepared to head home by then; although obviously wishing I had more time to fly around the place. An interesting piece of news came across the computer a couple of days earlier as I was checking the New Zealand Herald website, saying that the runway lights at AKL malfunctioned and were cut for a few hours. (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10690619 – love the media btw, there’s a picture of a Saab 340 wing when they were retired many moons ago)
They reported that the lights went out at 10:40pm, meaning that NZ2 would not have been able to get off in time and it would have disrupted NZ’s flights into and out of LAX. With this in mind, I decided to check out the arrivals and departures information on the day of travel. I saw on the Air New Zealand website to see NZ5 from the previous day scheduled to depart at 10am LA time and I was a little concerned when my flight didn’t appear on the schedule for that evening. So I called up Air NZ reservations to hear the news about the rescheduling of my aircraft and that the plane would depart at 10am the following morning. He also told me that I would be offered a hotel room and also meal vouchers to compensate for the extra night I was to stay in LA for. I was told to go to the airport for more information about the situation (and also my upgrade) where I’d be given all that offered. In the end I turned it down to spend quality time with my family (I later realised by reading in the flyertalk forum that passengers were put up in the Hilton with a US$40 food voucher and breakfast provided, as well as the fact that some passengers were put onto NZ19 (LAX-RAR-AKL)). My experience with NZ’s customer service was strikingly contrasting to the other person’s experience where he wasn’t offered any accommodation.

Deciding not to bother heading to LAX that evening, I stayed over at my cousin’s house for one last night before heading home, not needing to be at the airport until 7-8am the following morning.

In-N-Out isn’t just for when you’re spotting! Only the bottom right one is mine..
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUKB-1n_ECI/AAAAAAAAFrw/ff9LV0xQ3wI/s800/IMG_1079_1.jpg


29 November 2010

After a good night’s sleep, I was ready for the adventure which would be hard to come across sometime in the future – a day crossing of the Pacific Ocean back to Auckland. Basically all scheduled flights operated to/from USA from the southwest Pacific are overnighters.

I was dropped off at the airport by my cousin. The police control at the entrance to the terminals at LAX was long gone – whatever there was of a Thanksgiving rush was nearly over. But by no means was LAX quiet on the Monday morning. Terminal 1 (Southwest’s terminal) was packed and I was glad I only had to get to Terminal 2 and not have to endure a long wait to go further around the terminal buildings. Terminal 2 was seemingly quiet in contrast to the rest of the airport. I made my way into the terminal and lined up in the Economy line – I think I was entitled to use the Premium check-in queue but I was unsure so I stuck with the Economy line.

The first thing that struck me was that there were no check-in agents to be seen. Indeed, it wasn’t a usual time for people to be checking into Air NZ flights but it was the same case the day before. The premium queue was quite a bit shorter than the Economy one but it still wasn’t that full as many had already checked in the day before. Eventually some ground staff turned up to check people in. 3 desks were open for Economy. My turn checking in came some 20 minutes after arriving at the terminal. I was quick to ask: “I’ve got a standby upgrade, can you tell me if I’ve been upgraded?”
Her reply was: “You’ll definitely get it. Where would you like to sit?” I was quite surprised at how quickly that popped up (and also very excited) but nonetheless I asked for an upper deck window seat. She told me that there were only “A” side upper deck window seats remaining. Air New Zealand’s Premium Economy layout is 3-2 with the row of 3 seats ABC next to each other and the other two are on the other side of the aisle. That was sorted out efficiently and after wishing me a good flight, I was off with my boarding pass.

The extra security screening of checked baggage meant that the bags came back to my side of the scales after the baggage tags had been attached and I had to wheel it over to the TSA agent manning the machine. I believe that’s the only thing I wouldn’t have to do if I had gone to the Premium check-in desk. I was also informed that the lounge was available to Premium Economy passengers for that flight probably due to the delay. I waved goodbye to my luggage and was off to security.

Check-in queue
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Where I could have lined up
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LAX’s iconic building
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Boarding pass
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LAX is definitely a shambles. Many talk about it being that way but now I can say that I’ve experienced it. There’s a dedicated ‘Premium’ checkpoint where your documents are scrutinised but that day, they decided to put the slowest officer on that desk. I watched too many just take the ‘normal’ route and beat me to the queue. After passing that with ease, I headed up the stairs to join the monstrous queue for security screening. There were at least 8 lines. After standing in that queue for a while, I saw this TSA agent standing at the rear of the queue by some sort of signpost and people were bypassing huge chunks of the queue. I was later in a position to read the sign and it said ‘Premium Passengers’. That lady wasn’t at the sign when I got to the top of the stairs. Los Angeles Airport really needs to sort out their act in terms of a priority lane for premium passengers. The queue inched forward at an extremely slow pace. Terminal 2 has body scanners installed. They’re painstakingly slow to process people doing two people for every 6 or 8 through the metal detector. The two people in front of me were body scanned (I only realised later that you have some sort of choice between taking the metal detector only line or the line which you could be body scanned) so I was spared of any embarrassment/awe/excitement or whatever you’re to feel about going through the body scanner. But anyway I was clear through all of that in half an hour and airside at 830.

Airside – Stairs to the left lead to the lounges
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What a treat it was to be able to experience the Air NZ lounge at LAX. For starters, I hadn’t had breakfast so I was lucky to be able to eat something. A friendly welcome at the door by one of the staff was the start to a relaxing time inside the lounge. Air New Zealand’s lounge is very long and offers excellent views over the apron towards Terminal 3 and also runway views out towards the 24s. So why not do some spotting while enjoying a quick bite? There are plenty of facilities at the lounge – computer stations, a kids area, free wifi and an open bar. That’s right, get it yourself and you could knock back a few scotches before the flight! There were 9 wines (5 white, 1 sparkling, 3 red), beer, soft drinks, juices, hot beverages and spirits – not to mention a whole lot of 42 Below vodka in different flavours. Obviously, it wasn’t full of stuff you’d usually have before 9am on any particular day. I saw a lot of Bloody Marys made from my wanders around the lounge.

Entering the lounge
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Taken from the corner, looking back towards the entrance
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Food offerings
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Drinks fridge
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Self service bar
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Tea/coffee and snacks
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Toilet
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Remembering the lesson of not eating too much in the lounge from a previous lounge visit before a flight where I had no appetite for Business Class food when I got onboard, I decided to have some cornflakes with yoghurt. There wasn’t much of an offering but it seemed ample for a lounge which doesn’t usually open at that time and when compared to other US lounges, I’m sure it’d still be considered pretty good. I went back for a few helpings, also for a muffin which was also offered.

Breakfast
Let the spotting begin!
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Two Mexican narrowbodies
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US A320
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AA MD-80
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CO 752
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VX A320
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UA EMB-120
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Copa 738
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AS 734
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AA 752
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View of the departures hall from the lounge
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Sorry Roni, I can’t make Bloody Marys! It tasted horrible!
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WN 73G
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Darn pole. JL 77W
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http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUFYt7n380I/AAAAAAAAFk0/ROPZ52BcCtQ/s800/IMG_1167edit.jpg

Volaris A319
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUFYuo1ho7I/AAAAAAAAFk4/73Fjuz7rUi4/s800/IMG_1169edit.jpg

AS 738
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUFYwA3sKSI/AAAAAAAAFk8/ppLpl4VD-CY/s800/IMG_1176edit.jpg

Bombardier Global Express
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QF A332 to JFK as QF107
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I had a chat with a woman who was interested in my photo taking of planes in the lounge (how many people would pull out a white lens in the lounge?) and told me she was a train spotter. We had a nice conversation about her experience over the delay of our flight and various other things including her epic adventure from Scotland to get to LAX and then onward on my flight back to AKL. While we were chatting, the FSM (flight service manager) Anthony did the rounds and personally introduced himself to everyone in the lounge. I thought that this was a fantastic touch for them to greet everyone in the lounge and ask if everything was ok. I later found out that this was protocol/normal from Air NZ? A PA rang out through the speakers, informing everyone about the expected boarding time. The boarding call was made in the lounge at 935 and people started to file out of the lounge towards the aircraft waiting at Gate 25.

My ride home – ZK-NBU
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Boarding for Economy had already commenced. There were no signs saying where Premium passengers were to go so I followed some into cutting the queue. The gate agent welcomed me with a “Thank you, Mr Young” and I was off down the air bridge for my flight home.



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6406 posts, RR: 39
Reply 2, posted (3 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 22578 times:

Flight Information

29 November 2010 (Delayed from 28 November)
Routing: Los Angeles - Auckland (LAX-AKL)
Airline: Air New Zealand
Flight: NZ 5
Scheduled Time of Departure: 2300hrs (GMT-8)
Actual Departure: 1015hrs (pushback), 1028hrs (rotate) (GMT-8)
Scheduled Time of Arrival: 0750hrs+2 (GMT+12)
Touchdown: 1926hrs+1 (GMT+12)
Flight time: 12hr 11min
Aircraft: Boeing 747-400 (-419)
Registration: ZK-NBU, City of Rotorua
Seat: 24A


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Photo © Dana Low
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Photo © Jerry Pang


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Photo © Sam Chui
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Photo © Colin Hunter


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Photo © Sam Chui
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Photo © Jordi Grife - Iberian Spotters


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Photo © Tsuyoshi Hayasaki - AroundWorldImages
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Photo © Tsuyoshi Hayasaki - AroundWorldImages



(There are far too many good pictures of this plane in the db!)

ZK-NBU was delivered new to Air New Zealand on 11 September 1992. It possesses Rolls Royce RB211 engines. This plane is destined to be gone from the fleet by the time NZ receive all of the 77Ws they have ordered.

Down the air bridge
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FSM Anthony greeted me at the door and upon showing him my boarding pass, his reply was: “Ooh, up the stairs for you!”

And so here I was, climbing the stairway to heaven for the first time as a passenger seated on the upper deck! It just felt so good making my way up to the secluded space in the bubble. The flight attendants were already very energetic and most helpful. I asked them what was offered for breakfast and his reply was “We’ve got lunch for you, it’s even better because you get more to eat!”


From the top of the stairs
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Before trying out Air New Zealand’s Premium Economy, I thought that the product was just an ordinary Economy class seat with a bit more legroom plus better meals. It was true to some extent but it still went way above my expectations. The seat has the same IFE system. There is extra recline in the seats and also a footrest which goes above and beyond what’s offered in the Economy seat. The legroom was superb. Each seat was decked out with a pillow, blanket, an amenity kit (pictures at the end of the report), a water bottle and noise cancelling headphones. The amenity kit was decked out with a toothbrush, toothpaste, earplugs, socks, eyeshades and some lip balm and came in a nice cardboard box. The footrest itself was a bit of a nuisance however – it was just a bar and was pretty hard and uncomfortable against shoeless feet but was in a way necessary when the footrest was extended.

The wonderful feature onboard the 747s are the storage bins underneath the window. Why can’t every window seat have such a luxury!? My camera bag just snuck into the bin where it stayed for the rest of the flight. Everything in those bins are easily accessible and the best thing about them is that you can chuck just about everything in there and not have to worry about using the overhead bins. It’ll be a shame to see them go as the 77W doesn’t have them. The suede finish on the seats gives them a much more premium feel over the standard Economy seats. The pair of noise cancelling headsets on my seat were broken but I had my Bose noise cancelling headphones with me which did a far superior job of reducing noise than the ones provided. It’s a wonderful investment! Not the same could be said about the windows however. They were quite bad for taking pictures out of, due to the fact they were similar to A380 windows – the space between the outer pane and the inner pane was quite large and allowed for a lot of glare. If I get another chance to fly Premium Economy in the 747, I’m sure to take a seat on the lower deck.

After settling down in the seat, the flight attendants Chris and Hayley came around with pre-takeoff drinks – orange juice and Piper Heidsieck champagne came around on trays and was served to everyone. It may have been plastic but I guess everyone held their cups for takeoff so it could be easily put somewhere.

The flight crew came over on the PA making their pre-flight announcement. It started off with an apology about the delay of the aircraft – something to do with crew rest regulations on top of the complications at the airport. Expected flight time was 12 hours and 10 minutes.

The seat
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUFY3KlRANI/AAAAAAAAFlY/syfu4Aeorio/s800/IMG_1203edit.jpg

Storage bins
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Is there such thing as too much legroom sometimes?
Air bridge directly underneath the window
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Tray table
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Pre-takeoff champagne
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Pushback occurred at 1015 local, taking the plane out of the apron area and providing good views of the terminals. We had to wait for a bit of smaller traffic before we lined up Runway 24L and lifted off from US soil.

Southwest
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Look towards the runways
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More Southwest
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Wing view
Overlooking Runway 24L
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUFY_9lBDfI/AAAAAAAAFmI/8BgYhP3PRts/s800/IMG_1229edit.jpg

Lining up
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http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUFZA6i7zcI/AAAAAAAAFmQ/aHmr896P9i0/s800/IMG_1235edit.jpg

HA A332 and UA EMB120
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http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUFZBzh4kvI/AAAAAAAAFmY/xpTrGRkgWxw/s800/IMG_1241edit.jpg

[b]Still a QF A380 here..

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Airborne! A couple of VA 77Ws and a TN A343
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Farewell to the SoCal coast!!
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http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUFZECUHXYI/AAAAAAAAFmo/ANRiQo3Az4M/s800/IMG_1249edit.jpg

Looking out to Santa Catalina Island
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The seatbelt sign were turned off a mere 3 minutes after departure. Immigration forms were handed out quite early in the flight and the FAs also did the rounds for another drink order. Hot towels were later distributed too.

Continuation of the use of messages over the IFE
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Very comfortable!
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUFZGkIJHJI/AAAAAAAAFm4/Vcr2D7x3VbY/s800/IMG_1254edit.jpg

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUFZHnZmkMI/AAAAAAAAFm8/EnpN_C3nWMQ/s800/IMG_1255edit.jpg

A massive area for the camera
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUFZIAlHx9I/AAAAAAAAFnA/rwQQ4tIhFuM/s800/IMG_1258edit.jpg

Air New Zealand’s hot towels
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUFZIuK0HFI/AAAAAAAAFnE/4dXcQBLuhE8/s800/IMG_1259edit.jpg

Interesting cloud formation
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUFZJK4HYQI/AAAAAAAAFnI/mzGHYh0JAE4/s800/IMG_1260edit.jpg

View of the upper deck
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUFZJ73oJgI/AAAAAAAAFnM/vVg9LYjQbc8/s800/IMG_1261edit.jpg

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUFZKaRPaKI/AAAAAAAAFnQ/ppjbVLWrCKM/s800/IMG_1263edit.jpg


After being able to snap a few photos, I saw that the FAs had started distributing the drinks ordered earlier so I headed back to my seat. My drink of orange juice was delivered along with a pack of the cassava crisps they regularly have onboard domestic flights within New Zealand.

Post-takeoff snack
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I must have annoyed my seat mate as I got up plenty of times at the wrong time to take pictures.. But I wanted to make the most of it before lights were dimmed.

Upstairs Lavatory
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUFZNoPGx6I/AAAAAAAAFng/f15EsLOyUeU/s800/IMG_1268edit.jpg

Lavatory amenities: body lotion, two moisturisers (one each for men and women) and a facial cleanser
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUFZOWwGO9I/AAAAAAAAFno/TaZZuZxLFqU/s800/IMG_1269edit.jpg

Cotton towels in the lavatory
Looking back down the stairway from heaven
Business Class on the upper deck
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Looking through to Business Class on the lower deck
The view from the lower deck out at the 2 port Rolls Royce engines hanging from the wing


By then, lunch service was just about to begin and I made it back to my seat just in time for Hayley to reach our row.

Hayley with the trays and entree, Chris at the back with drinks
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http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUFZUWBFc_I/AAAAAAAAFoI/vDAMpii-ZnY/s800/IMG_1288edit.jpg

The tray was served with the starter already on it consisting of raw salmon with a potato salad. Hot buns were also distributed. Hayley also poured out glasses of water for those wanting it, seeing that the drinks trolley could take a little while to get down the cabin. The salmon was fresh and tasted good; and so did the potato salad. The drinks trolley finally reached us where there was a comprehensive range of wines and other drinks available. I opted for a Syrah (aka in Australia as Shiraz) which tasted really nice and also complemented the main course which was to follow.

Starter
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUFZVCwsK3I/AAAAAAAAFoM/I8MlqMSpz1s/s800/IMG_1289edit.jpg

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUFZWvioEnI/AAAAAAAAFoQ/z4pJ29TPlxE/s800/IMG_1290edit.jpg

Interim ‘reading’- What’s that second plane I wonder..


Forty minutes later (the wait was a bit long I think), the main meal was served. There was a choice of lamb or fish. I opted for the lamb which was served with beans, carrots and parsnip. It was a good tasting meal – what one would expect from NZ’s premium meals. It took me a while to eat it and within that period of time, the cheese plate had already come and gone. Chris came around while everyone was eating the main asking if anyone wanted their wine glass topped up.

Main course – Lamb
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http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUFZZmz2OvI/AAAAAAAAFoc/usLBEJ6op9M/s800/IMG_1295edit.jpg

The dessert consisted of some chocolate mousse/cake thing which wasn’t too bad although I’d probably take the small tub of ice cream over it. It’d be good if an option was provided such as the one for ice cream.

Another 40 minutes passed since the delivery of the main before everything was tidied up. I jumped out of my seat for another chance to take pictures of the cabin before lights were dimmed for the vast majority of the rest of the flight.

Economy
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Can’t get enough of the staircase!
Relaxing with a red somewhere over the Pacific
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUFZdTUASHI/AAAAAAAAFoo/yHh8TV8FwHE/s800/IMG_1307edit.jpg

And then the imminent happened, not too long after things were tidied up.
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUFZd1J6ikI/AAAAAAAAFos/BZ99vqG_0hs/s800/IMG_1309edit.jpg



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6406 posts, RR: 39
Reply 3, posted (3 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 22521 times:

I rested for the next phase of the flight, trying to get enough sleep to be able to stay up for a ‘normal’ day when I got back home. There was a possibility of getting a good 5 hours of sleep. Daytime flights are great for taking pictures.. Although pretty boring when you’re only travelling over water. The self service bar was quite well stocked throughout the flight, carrying things from biscuits, sandwiches (particularly nice!) and fruit to Coke and L&P (A soft drink found basically only in New Zealand). I got up a couple of times to get some bits and pieces to nibble on throughout the flight. Some annoying passengers behind me were quite inconsiderate and continued chatting and laughing pretty loudly throughout the flight and someone on the opposite side kept their window shade open. He wasn’t looking out of it either but wasn’t told by any of the flight attendants to close it for the sake of others onboard. This is what leads me to believe that if you were to fly Business on Air NZ, fly on the lower deck where there’s much more privacy.

Photos between snoozing:

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUFZeeJHkzI/AAAAAAAAFow/zTIAofEQaAo/s800/IMG_1313edit.jpg

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUFZe-CIsdI/AAAAAAAAFo0/yhBV3ugXm-0/s800/IMG_1314edit.jpg

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUFZfu0jOGI/AAAAAAAAFo8/VbU15g2sfs0/s800/IMG_1317edit.jpg

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUFZgGxOhRI/AAAAAAAAFpA/x0_dVGBPFYU/s800/IMG_1319edit.jpg

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUFZgqxBlII/AAAAAAAAFpE/igPXuWzLS4M/s800/IMG_1321edit.jpg

Phone against the size of the window
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUFZiizAY7I/AAAAAAAAFpU/44gW0544iRs/s800/IMG_1331edit.jpg


Well, before I knew it, I could smell food from the galley. It meant that dinner was on its way and we weren’t too far away from AKL. At 5pm NZDT (9.5 hours into the flight), there was another round of hot towels. 15 minutes later, the entree was served on the tray – this time it was a pork entree with relish and bean sprouts on top. It was a good way to start the dinner service. The sesame and ginger dressing which was served alongside the entree was a great addition to the meal.

Entree
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http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUFZjxIvcEI/AAAAAAAAFpc/uHj8T-oj0Pw/s800/IMG_1333edit.jpg

Green vein cheese!
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUFZkqiNFWI/AAAAAAAAFpg/QYaCQk8VX2Q/s800/IMG_1334edit.jpg


The meal followed a little later. The choices given were fish, duck or lamb. The lamb looked like a big tortellini so I opted for the duck. The duck was cooked Chinese style with capsicum on rice and some bok choy on the side. The duck was very good. But there was insufficient rice (us Asians need our rice!  ) and the bok choy was overcooked so much that it was impossible to cut. But it’d be hard to get vegetables cooked perfectly without having proper cooking facilities like what will be onboard the new 777-300ERs. Nonetheless, it was very enjoyable alongside the Central Otago Pinot Noir and the duck was particularly nice with the sesame and ginger dressing.

Main course of Duck
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http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUFZmFzNMtI/AAAAAAAAFpo/uAFdBSXT4ow/s800/IMG_1338edit.jpg

The dessert was a carrot and raisin cake with pineapple on the top, served with some hazelnut/cinnamon type cream. Once again, I wouldn’t have minded ice cream as an option for dessert and could have tasted just as good, if not better, as the dessert given. But it topped the meal off nicely, along with the cheese and crackers left over for the end. I’ve since heard that dessert wine is generally offered after the meal but also the fact that some crew cut corners. It would have been nice to have been offered it.

Trays were packed away and not long after, the cabin was being prepared for landing.

Not surprising seeing cloud while approaching New Zealand
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUFZmjMNy_I/AAAAAAAAFps/8b1fF1BWo_Y/s800/IMG_1351edit.jpg

Coming in over Waiheke Island, Ponui Island visible centre screen
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUFZnVX_PyI/AAAAAAAAFpw/GdCDAq_zjZ4/s800/IMG_1356edit.jpg

Crossing mainland North Island, New Zealand; near Clevedon
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUFZoPFzxjI/AAAAAAAAFp0/5PF_bKycK2U/s800/IMG_1360edit.jpg

What a lot of Rural New Zealand looks like
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUFZpfYShDI/AAAAAAAAFp4/STA8uCfRDeo/s800/IMG_1365edit.jpg

Over suburban Manukau
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUFZp8z4spI/AAAAAAAAFp8/8a22LzkXXVQ/s800/IMG_1369edit.jpg

Rainbow’s End – NZ’s biggest theme park (ie not very big)
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUFZqusTsOI/AAAAAAAAFqA/tgp6-Yj2fIk/s800/IMG_1372edit.jpg

A look back at the engines with the slats out


We touched down at 2025 local after a scenic approach over the Hauraki Gulf and across the rural area of the Franklin District.

Touchdown, reverse thrusters deployed
Vacating Runway 23L
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International Terminal in sight
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUFZs2FNyaI/AAAAAAAAFqQ/7jCtVdTRNbw/s800/IMG_1385edit.jpg

What’s this? The plane I flew on to LAX!
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUFZtr7V79I/AAAAAAAAFqU/nBQYK8BlpCE/s800/IMG_1389edit.jpg

We pulled into Gate 2 and that signalled the end of the wonderful flight. Just before descending the stairs, I quickly asked the flight attendant to ask the pilots whether I could quickly visit the cockpit. Since I was already up there, it made it much easier. So they allowed me to snap a few quick shots of the cockpit. They also said that they’d have invited me to visit the cockpit during landing if it wasn’t for 9/11..


Looking back across the apron
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUFZuFh7B1I/AAAAAAAAFqY/i3EACgPOc54/s800/IMG_1393edit.jpg

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUFZumLPwyI/AAAAAAAAFqc/xraaKCvmjt0/s800/IMG_1394edit.jpg

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUFZvB1tNSI/AAAAAAAAFqg/1TAg5XSch9c/s800/IMG_1395edit.jpg

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUFZv8RZS7I/AAAAAAAAFqk/vHQMAuQYsLA/s800/IMG_1397edit.jpg

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUFZwWeHpUI/AAAAAAAAFqo/YRbP3gmeKXk/s800/IMG_1398edit1.jpg

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUFZxLL_GzI/AAAAAAAAFqs/98kqxUNOng8/s800/IMG_1400edit.jpg

Been there, done that!
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUFZxlN2oFI/AAAAAAAAFq0/qoNrIxL5btE/s800/IMG_1402edit.jpg

I passed through customs with no sweat and made my way landside, back on home soil again.

The new Novotel hotel going up where the car park was
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUFZyUSMltI/AAAAAAAAFq4/4h9zRjUerdU/s800/IMG_1404edit.jpg

Amenity kit:

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TUFZz8Nb0sI/AAAAAAAAFrA/U6xBLYkx7qk/s800/IMG_7386edit.jpg

Conclusion

Air New Zealand’s Premium Economy product provides those wanting a little more over the current Economy product. Comfort, along with better food and service, is probably what drives this product to be one that is chosen by a lot of people for their trips on long haul journeys. The extra legroom is more than welcomed. It’ll be interesting to see how the new Premium Economy seats will compare to the current ones although they look to be very impressive.

Despite the hiccups before the flight, Air New Zealand (from my perspective) seemed to handle everything smoothly and professionally. Of course I would have no hesitations in choosing to fly Air New Zealand again. The Premium Economy cabin in the 777-200ER (at present) does not match the comfort level of the 747-400 Premium Economy so be sure to pick the right flights. The 777-200ERs will be retrofitted starting in 2012 to eventually have the same cabin as the 777-300ER. I’ll definitely miss the 747 and I hope I get another chance to fly it again soon.


Thank you for reading; I do hope you’ve enjoyed this adventure of mine to USA. Comments are most welcome – don’t be afraid to comment at all!


Cheers,
Nicholas



Camera Equipment:
Canon EOS 40D
Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM
Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

http://www.flickr.com/photos/anz787900/


Previous Trip Reports:
Grabbing A Seat With Air NZ Part 1/2: AKL-ZQN-AKL (by NZ107 Dec 1 2008 in Trip Reports)
Grabbing A Seat With Air NZ Part 2/2: AKL-NPE-AKL (by NZ107 Dec 22 2008 in Trip Reports)
Air New Zealand: NZ105 AKL-SYD Economy (by NZ107 Feb 6 2009 in Trip Reports)
A Whale Of A Time: Emirates A380 Inaugural SYD-AKL (by NZ107 Feb 15 2009 in Trip Reports)
NZ Domestic Competition: Part 1 Air NZ AKL-WLG-AKL (by NZ107 Jun 24 2009 in Trip Reports)
NZ Domestic Competition: Part 2 JQ/DJ AKL (by NZ107 Jul 23 2009 in Trip Reports)
Joyrides Down Under Part 1: Air NZ AKL-CHC-AKL (by NZ107 Dec 23 2009 in Trip Reports)
Joyrides Down Under Part 2: EK A380 Revisited (by NZ107 Jan 8 2010 in Trip Reports)
Joyrides Down Under Part 3: East Coast Adventure (by NZ107 Feb 11 2010 in Trip Reports)
Joyrides Down Under Part 4: Int'l On Domestic (by NZ107 Feb 23 2010 in Trip Reports)
Joyrides Down Under Part 5: Capital Stopover (by NZ107 Apr 6 2010 in Trip Reports)
Joyrides Down Under Part 6: Homebound On EK A380 (by NZ107 Jun 27 2010 in Trip Reports)
Joyrides Down Under Part 7: The DUD Diversion (by NZ107 Jul 3 2010 in Trip Reports)
A Touch Of Nostalgia - Jumpseating The CV580 (by NZ107 Aug 6 2010 in Trip Reports)
Mission A340: Aerolineas Argentinas A342 AKL-SYD (by NZ107 Sep 1 2010 in Trip Reports)
Mission A340: Emirates A340-500 MEL-AKL (by NZ107 Nov 12 2010 in Trip Reports)
Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route (by NZ107 Dec 6 2010 in Trip Reports)
Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO (by NZ107 Jan 5 2011 in Trip Reports)



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineCXB77L From Australia, joined Feb 2009, 2597 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (3 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 22257 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
CHAT OPERATOR

Wow, Nicholas, what can I say except that I'm jealous! Congratulations on getting the upgrade and a ride on the upper deck! If only I were so lucky ...

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
And so here I was, climbing the stairway to heaven for the first time as a passenger seated on the upper deck! It just felt so good making my way up to the secluded space in the bubble.

I can imagine! For now, I'll have to live with simply looking up those stairs into an exclusive club when I walk by to my seat in the back of the plane  
Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
It was a good tasting meal – what one would expect from NZ’s premium meals.

I'm glad it tasted good. While mine looked good it didn't taste that great. But I suppose that's the difference between Economy and Premium Economy.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
And then the imminent happened, not too long after things were tidied up.

I can't say I like the idea of having window blinds closed at all. Nothing wrong with leaving them open, in my view. Why not just offer some eye shades to passengers that want to sleep? The view is so nice outside. Anyway, I suppose that's an entirely different topic for debate.

How did you manage to get yourself a visit to the cockpit? I asked when I disembarked at YVR if I could see the cockpit, but they said that they don't do cockpit visits anymore  

I love the Premium Y cabin on the upper deck. You're right about the storage bins by the window, it certainly makes storage of carry-on luggage far more convenient. I really hope to get a ride on the upper deck of the 744 before they're all phased out for good.

Nice trip report, Nicholas. I really enjoyed reading it.



Boeing 777 fanboy
User currently offlineaflyingkiwi From New Zealand, joined Nov 2010, 514 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (3 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 22023 times:

Hi Nicholas,

A pleasant surprise to see this report pop up and once again it's a fantastic read. Nice to see NZ Y+ report, I don't think I've seen one of these before.

NZ's Premium Y cabin sounds like a very nice product and it's also cool that they have these seats on the upper deck. I should probably take advantage of the new Works Deluxe fares and book a flight on the 744's to get a seat on the upper deck but I'll probably try one of the spaceseats on the 77W's before I do that.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Enter trusty dad with his air points to allow me to purchase a standby upgrade which wasn%u2019t guaranteed so I needed to hold behind at least US$50 just in case I wasn%u2019t upgraded and had to pay for excess baggage.

Lucky you   BTW how many airpoints did the upgrade cost?

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
passengers were put up in the Hilton with a US$40 food voucher and breakfast provided

That sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 2):
The wonderful feature onboard the 747s are the storage bins underneath the window. Why can’t every window seat have such a luxury!? My camera bag just snuck into the bin where it stayed for the rest of the flight

That looks like a very useful storage space.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 2):
It was a good tasting meal – what one would expect from NZ’s premium meals.

Nice to see that the food was excellent. One thing I must comment about is that NZ don't provide metal cutlery in Y+. I know that the plastic cutlery isn't that bad but I think that metal cutlery should be provided in premium classes especially considering quite a few airlines offer that in Y.

Once again very nice report and pictures  

Looking forward to your next report.

Regards,
aflyingkiwi

[Edited 2011-01-30 23:27:54]

User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1893 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (3 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 21934 times:

Thank you for a wonderful report and it is a definitely unusual daytime flight from LA to Australia/NZ.

Air NZ offers a very good Premium economy product and the service looks excellent.
The amenity kit is very nice!

Thanks for sharing!

Carfield


User currently offlineRyan h From Australia, joined Aug 2001, 1532 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (3 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 21924 times:

Great report. Good to get an idea what premium economy looks like.

I will be flying to Vancouver with Air NZ later in the year, and paid a bit more for the premium economy.

When doing the booking, put in a request for seats upstairs, so I hope we get them as I have never been upstairs on a 747.



South Australian Spotter
User currently offlineJL418 From Italy, joined Jun 2009, 493 posts, RR: 6
Reply 8, posted (3 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 21636 times:

Brilliant TR Nicholas, was waiting for the return leg ever since I read the outbound journey. As usual I'm deeply envious about your pictures, they are neat and clean as always (I wouldn't drag along so many lenses and a DSLR through airports and airplane, but I respect you for the effort!).

I'm happy you've been in the upper deck of the 744, I've done MXP-NRT and back up there back in 2009, but the big difference is that JL stuffed the whole cabin with a 3-3 Y configuration which make the whole place a lot more cramped that it appears on ANZ. Oh, and of course there weren't personally adjustable air vents. But the feeling... well, I guess now you know that.  

I particularly enjoyed the views of rural New Zealand, makes me feel like going down there to have an hop around on a Beech propper...but, instead, I'm trapped in snow.


User currently offlinejamesontheroad From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 541 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (3 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 21572 times:

Nicholas... What a great report. Thank you for taking so much time to write it and illustrate it with such great pictures.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
This is what leads me to believe that if you were to fly Business on Air NZ, fly on the lower deck where there’s much more privacy.

  

Well that's good to hear, because this morning I just selected 6A on NZ2 LAX-LHR next month. My first time with NZ, my first time on a 747 and my last blow-out redemption of BMI Diamond Club miles. An incredible deal and I will be sharing my trip report with you here later in February. Your peak into Business Class and your description of the friendly NZ service is making me very excited. Watch this space!


User currently offlineDelboy From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 725 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (3 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 21166 times:

Fabulous report and great photos.

I've been lucky enough to experience a lot of jump seat rides for landing and take off. 9/11 has a lot to answer for.


User currently offlineBMIFlyer From UK - England, joined Feb 2004, 8810 posts, RR: 58
Reply 11, posted (3 years 5 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 20964 times:

What an amazing report, with fab pictures as well  

Cheers!



Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
User currently offlineluxair747SP From Germany, joined May 2010, 504 posts, RR: 17
Reply 12, posted (3 years 5 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 20487 times:

Hi Nicholas, what an amazing TR
Very detailed and with many high quality pictures.
On the first look, I thought Premium Eco looks like the normal Y-class, but the service and especially the space you have is far superieur.
The two meals had C-class standards and overall I found the service business classish.
Thank you a lot for sharing
Cheers Johannes


User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2438 posts, RR: 53
Reply 13, posted (3 years 5 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 20008 times:

Nicholas,

I am speechless. Since I got ot know about the upgrade, I have been waiting for this report to come. And it has exceeded my expectation.

It is amazing how you have deepened your Premium Economy experience in so many details. From the lounge food and beverage offering, the presence of the FSM in the lounge, the seat features, the inflight service all along, the cockpit visit and the interesting geography lessons. All surrounded with crisp and high quality pictures.

Feels like I was there with you. Thanks a lot for this superb installment to finish your USA journey.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
Only the bottom right one is mine..

Yeah, right!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 2):
must have annoyed my seat mate as I got up plenty of times at the wrong time to take pictures..

I don't think that it could have been a problem. He could remain seated anyway as you passed by.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 3):
(us Asians need our rice! )

Spot on!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 3):
They also said that they’d have invited me to visit the cockpit during landing if it wasn’t for 9/11..

Sad to hear, isn't it?  

Thanks again.

Cheers,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From France, joined Sep 2003, 5136 posts, RR: 55
Reply 14, posted (3 years 5 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 19917 times:

Hi, Nicholas,

what a reat story and also pictures.

I´am impressed about NZ around you´re flight, looks like perfect and also on the upper deck of the 747, really well done.

It feels like the situation with the delay was well handled, good work here with NZ.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)



Next: How to deliver a present in style!.
User currently offlineSASDC8 From Norway, joined Mar 2006, 736 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (3 years 5 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 19738 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Wow NZ premium economy looks really good and their catering excellent   

Is there no divider between business class and premium economy? It seems rather strange to be in business class on the upper deck on the 747 only to share it with premium economy?

Still premium economy looks like a stellar product  

Cheers
Stein



2-3-2 is NOT a premium configuration
User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1915 posts, RR: 24
Reply 16, posted (3 years 5 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 19220 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Wow, great report!

Air New Zealand looks fantastic, and their Premium Economy service has to be the best out there! Wow, what a nice looking food service! Very cool that you got an upgrade on the 747-400.

Thanks for sharing!

Matthew (767747)


User currently offlineMH017 From Netherlands, joined Apr 2005, 1684 posts, RR: 31
Reply 17, posted (3 years 5 months 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 18870 times:

Really love your photography on this TR; apart from the airport, lounge and onboard experience, it shows very well your Air New Zealand experience on Premium Economy !!!

NZ has a very good seat-product in this class; catering looks to be very good too...

Your 747 down to the US, seems to have a different engine-type: does NZ operate two different types of engines on the 747 ? Mainentance-wise, that must be a headache...

Wonder why NZ did not inform you about the schedule-change; if I understand correctly, you had to find out yourself by stumbling upon that article about the runway lights yourself. The offer of Hilton and 40 Dollars for meals seems a very good one (even for the fare-basis you paid)...

Once again: great TR and thanks a lot for sharing...



don't throw away tomorrow !
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6714 posts, RR: 78
Reply 18, posted (3 years 5 months 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 18869 times:

Hi Nicholas,

I had been waiting for this report and I can say it is excellent, as expected. You wrote all the details and added fantastic pictures, what a pleasure to read.

NZ's Premium Economy product seems to be worth the extra investment. Congratulations on getting the upgrade!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
In-N-Out isn’t just for when you’re spotting! Only the bottom right one is mine..

I may soon grab such a burger again at the famous In-N-Out...

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
ZK-NBU was delivered new to Air New Zealand on 11 September 1992. It possesses Rolls Royce RB211 engines. This plane is destined to be gone from the fleet by the time NZ receive all of the 77Ws they have ordered.

Good to see you also got a RR-powered bird. Those are my favorite 747s.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Let the spotting begin!

Great shots!

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
The seat

That looks very comfortable.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Amenity kit:

Basic, but pretty.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinekiwiandrew From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 8544 posts, RR: 13
Reply 19, posted (3 years 5 months 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 18851 times:
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Quoting MH017 (Reply 17):
Your 747 down to the US, seems to have a different engine-type: does NZ operate two different types of engines on the 747 ? Mainentance-wise, that must be a headache...

NZ's initial 744s were RR powered , then they moved onto GE for later ones . I am not sure but I think they may be on some form of power-by-the-hour agreement so not sure if it is really that big a deal from the maintenance point of view .



Moderation in all things ... including moderation ;-)
User currently offlineNZdsgnr From New Zealand, joined Jul 2008, 260 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (3 years 5 months 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 18758 times:

Awesome trip report Nicholas! loved it... but now... will you just stop teasing us with photos from the 77W and do us the trip report already!  
Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 5):
Nice to see that the food was excellent. One thing I must comment about is that NZ don't provide metal cutlery in Y+. I know that the plastic cutlery isn't that bad but I think that metal cutlery should be provided in premium classes especially considering quite a few airlines offer that in Y.

the last time I flew AKL-PPT-AKL in business we had metal cutlery.


User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6406 posts, RR: 39
Reply 21, posted (3 years 5 months 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 18624 times:

Hi everyone,

Thanks a lot for your comments so far!

Quoting CXB77L (Reply 4):
Wow, Nicholas, what can I say except that I'm jealous! Congratulations on getting the upgrade and a ride on the upper deck! If only I were so lucky ...

Hi Sam,

Thanks for your comments! I'm sure you'd enjoy it a lot if you were upgraded but it's a shame that nowhere on the plane is immune to turbulence in your case.

Quoting CXB77L (Reply 4):
I can imagine! For now, I'll have to live with simply looking up those stairs into an exclusive club when I walk by to my seat in the back of the plane

One day you'll get there, I'm sure! A fellow TRer told me that and I eventually got there!

Quoting CXB77L (Reply 4):
While mine looked good it didn't taste that great. But I suppose that's the difference between Economy and Premium Economy.

Well technically it's a Business Class meal so in some respects it cannot really be compared against an Economy meal.

Quoting CXB77L (Reply 4):
I can't say I like the idea of having window blinds closed at all. Nothing wrong with leaving them open, in my view. Why not just offer some eye shades to passengers that want to sleep? The view is so nice outside. Anyway, I suppose that's an entirely different topic for debate.

There are a lot of times when I would agree with you. But this guy wasn't looking out the window, nor was there anything more to see than cloud most of the time or ocean. There was no land mass that we flew over (ie LHR-LAX would be a flight where I'd refuse to lower the blind because there is quite a bit to see). The eyeshades didn't block out 100% of the light either and the light was coming from the perfect angle to annoy me.

Quoting CXB77L (Reply 4):

How did you manage to get yourself a visit to the cockpit? I asked when I disembarked at YVR if I could see the cockpit, but they said that they don't do cockpit visits anymore

It must surely help to be sitting on the upper deck.. And I believe it's highly dependant on who you actually ask. You see, the flight attendants who were serving me saw me taking photos throughout the flight and because the pilots themselves were only 5m away, there was no hesitation to ask. The whole 9/11 security thing just sounds like the easy way out for the FAs who can't be bothered. But on my flight with EK, I asked the FA who declined my request for that very same reason to ask the pilots themselves whether I could visit the cockpit - which I was allowed after their permission. That's what I think about it anyway.

Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 5):

A pleasant surprise to see this report pop up and once again it's a fantastic read.

Thanks for your comments Aflyingkiwi!

Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 5):
NZ's Premium Y cabin sounds like a very nice product and it's also cool that they have these seats on the upper deck. I should probably take advantage of the new Works Deluxe fares and book a flight on the 744's to get a seat on the upper deck but I'll probably try one of the spaceseats on the 77W's before I do that.

It is a very nice product. I don't think filling the rest of the upper deck up with J would be feasible - it's a good number of Y+ seats as it is without having to find a different configuration when it comes to having a whole 'normal' row to fill up with Y+. Taking one way on the 77W and the return on the 744 could be an option you know (or the other way around).. That's what I had planned for my TT trip but I changed the return from the 744 upper deck seeing that I had flown the upper deck itself when I went to LAX.

Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 5):
BTW how many airpoints did the upgrade cost?

220 Airpoints dollars for Y to Y+.

http://www.airnewzealand.co.nz/airpoints-upgrade-chart for more info.

Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 5):
One thing I must comment about is that NZ don't provide metal cutlery in Y+. I know that the plastic cutlery isn't that bad but I think that metal cutlery should be provided in premium classes especially considering quite a few airlines offer that in Y.

Don't worry, they have started doing so in the 77Ws. TR to come sometime in the future!

Quoting Carfield (Reply 6):
Thank you for a wonderful report and it is a definitely unusual daytime flight from LA to Australia/NZ.

Thanks for your comments Carfield! It was such a great flight, partially due to it being a daytime flight I reckon!

Quoting Ryan h (Reply 7):
I will be flying to Vancouver with Air NZ later in the year, and paid a bit more for the premium economy.

When doing the booking, put in a request for seats upstairs, so I hope we get them as I have never been upstairs on a 747.

Thanks for your comments Ryan! Make sure you choose the starboard side where there are only 2 seats. If the flight happened to be full, you'd be squeezed in by 2 seats, just like Economy and that wouldn't be too pleasant having spent that extra money to get to Y+. I suppose you're going both ways in Y+? I recommend the lower deck port seats for travel in NZ's Y+, unless you love the upper deck that much. The mini cabin alongside the stairs feels pretty exclusive too.

Quoting JL418 (Reply 8):
Brilliant TR Nicholas, was waiting for the return leg ever since I read the outbound journey. As usual I'm deeply envious about your pictures, they are neat and clean as always (I wouldn't drag along so many lenses and a DSLR through airports and airplane, but I respect you for the effort!).

Thanks for your comments JL418! I spend a long time editing the photos to make them nicer for the eye to look at and that's probably what you're generally waiting for with my TRs! It takes a long time, especially when you have over 100 photos to edit.

Quoting JL418 (Reply 8):
3-3 Y configuration which make the whole place a lot more cramped that it appears on ANZ

I'd bet. I would have chosen the other side had it not been full already. Maybe if I had gone to the airport for the scheduled check in time it could have been a different story..

Quoting JL418 (Reply 8):
Oh, and of course there weren't personally adjustable air vents.

I'm actually not sure if any large aircraft has personal air vents. I've flown on A380s, 777s, A340s and 747s and none of those flights had air vents.

Quoting JL418 (Reply 8):
I particularly enjoyed the views of rural New Zealand, makes me feel like going down there to have an hop around on a Beech propper...but, instead, I'm trapped in snow.

Do come down here sometime! The breathtaking scenery is waiting for you... 
Quoting jamesontheroad (Reply 9):
Nicholas... What a great report. Thank you for taking so much time to write it and illustrate it with such great pictures.

Hi James,

Thanks for your comments! It was certainly my pleasure! Now if only my close friends appreciated them as much as most people here do..  
Quoting jamesontheroad (Reply 9):
this morning I just selected 6A on NZ2 LAX-LHR next month. My first time with NZ, my first time on a 747 and my last blow-out redemption of BMI Diamond Club miles. An incredible deal and I will be sharing my trip report with you here later in February. Your peak into Business Class and your description of the friendly NZ service is making me very excited. Watch this space!

Good choice. You won't have any annoying Y (or Y+) passengers going anywhere near you! I'm looking forward to how your experience goes and I wouldn't be surprised to see the same meal options that you had! I do hope you have a great flight with NZ.

Quoting Delboy (Reply 10):
Fabulous report and great photos.

I've been lucky enough to experience a lot of jump seat rides for landing and take off. 9/11 has a lot to answer for.

Thanks, Delboy! Yeah, I was lucky enough to experience one jumpseat adventure - if you take a look at my list of TRs at the end of this report, you'll find it there. Good old New Zealand. If it weren't for 9/11, I would have had a jumpseat landing in at least an A343 and a 744 by now.. Oh well.

Quoting BMIFlyer (Reply 11):
What an amazing report, with fab pictures as well

Thanks BMIFlyer!

Quoting luxair747SP (Reply 12):
Hi Nicholas, what an amazing TR
Very detailed and with many high quality pictures.

Hi Johannes,

Thanks for your comments! Glad you enjoyed.

Quoting luxair747SP (Reply 12):
On the first look, I thought Premium Eco looks like the normal Y-class, but the service and especially the space you have is far superieur.

Very much so. Just like my initial thoughts!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
I am speechless. Since I got ot know about the upgrade, I have been waiting for this report to come. And it has exceeded my expectation.

Hi Suryo,

Thanks for your comments! Glad you enjoyed it. Sorry about the wait but I'm sure you understand just like most people who post TRs here about the length of time it takes one to get a report up.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
It is amazing how you have deepened your Premium Economy experience in so many details. From the lounge food and beverage offering, the presence of the FSM in the lounge, the seat features, the inflight service all along, the cockpit visit and the interesting geography lessons. All surrounded with crisp and high quality pictures.

I don't think it'd be me if I didn't go into so much detail. I don't think I could limit it much if I tried without making the report somewhat substandard. All aspects combined help me convey the Air New Zealand experience.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):

Feels like I was there with you. Thanks a lot for this superb installment to finish your USA journey.

You're most welcome. Thanks for waiting!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
Yeah, right!

Hey, they're so good I would have said I had two if I did! 
Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
I don't think that it could have been a problem. He could remain seated anyway as you passed by.

Actually, it was still somewhat a squeeze when the person in front was reclined. The recline in Y+ goes beyond that offered in Y so it's still hard not to disturb someone when climbing out of the window seat.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 14):
what a reat story and also pictures.

I´am impressed about NZ around you´re flight, looks like perfect and also on the upper deck of the 747, really well done.

It feels like the situation with the delay was well handled, good work here with NZ.

Hi Markus,

Thanks for your comments! It was a great flight and it was topped off by my first upper deck experience. Yes, I believe NZ did a good job given the situation they were in because none of it was their fault.

Quoting SASDC8 (Reply 15):
Wow NZ premium economy looks really good and their catering excellent

Is there no divider between business class and premium economy? It seems rather strange to be in business class on the upper deck on the 747 only to share it with premium economy?

Thanks for commenting Stein!

This Y+ product won't be around for too much longer though as the 77Ws slowly enter the fleet and the 772s are converted from next year.

No, there is no divider apart from the emergency exit door between J and Y+ on the upper deck. There doesn't really need to be one either in my opinion. None of the Y+ people head up there because there's nothing beyond the J seats apart from the cockpit door. And there could be some problems with regards to safety and emergency situations if there was a curtain placed in between the 2 classes. Nevertheless, the service is basically the same for both cabins so having nothing in between really helps the flow between J and Y+ and also makes the mini cabin a bit more spacious.

Quoting 767747 (Reply 16):
Wow, great report!

Air New Zealand looks fantastic, and their Premium Economy service has to be the best out there! Wow, what a nice looking food service! Very cool that you got an upgrade on the 747-400.

Thanks for your comments Matthew! I believe that their next product will be world beaters for those who are less than 1.8m tall. More on that in my next TR.

Quoting MH017 (Reply 17):
Really love your photography on this TR; apart from the airport, lounge and onboard experience, it shows very well your Air New Zealand experience on Premium Economy !!!

Hi MH017,

Thanks for your comments! Glad you enjoyed it!

Quoting MH017 (Reply 17):
Your 747 down to the US, seems to have a different engine-type: does NZ operate two different types of engines on the 747 ? Mainentance-wise, that must be a headache...

That's correct. NZ received their own brand new 744s with RR engines. The ones with GE engines were leased, but were from other cancelled orders too. However the good thing about the GE engines are that they can be swapped onto a 767, given the necessary rating tweaks and used for a dual purpose. NZ's 742s originally had RRs so their decision could have stemmed from that.

Quoting MH017 (Reply 17):
Wonder why NZ did not inform you about the schedule-change; if I understand correctly, you had to find out yourself by stumbling upon that article about the runway lights yourself. The offer of Hilton and 40 Dollars for meals seems a very good one (even for the fare-basis you paid)...

Either way, if you showed up at the airport at the normal check in time, you would have been handed the hotel keys (lol, well you know what I mean). But if you were urgently needing to get to AKL, I'm sure they could have tried their best to fit you onto NZ19, the 763 service via RAR. I'm not to know those details seeing that I didn't go to the airport that night.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 18):
I had been waiting for this report and I can say it is excellent, as expected. You wrote all the details and added fantastic pictures, what a pleasure to read.

Hi PH,

Thanks a lot for your comments! I just can't afford to create a bad TR now, can I?  
Glad you enjoyed!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 18):
I may soon grab such a burger again at the famous In-N-Out...

Animal Style, that's the key. Don't forget it! But Lars will probably get you on the right track in terms of what to get!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 18):

Good to see you also got a RR-powered bird. Those are my favorite 747s.

A 744 is a 744 to me   Seeing that I've flown on very few, I cherish every second I'm on one, regardless of the engine type! But I must say that I'm impressed because the size of the RR engine is deceiving.. You wouldn't expect that thing to be able to get a 744 into the air - much like the A340 but in a different way!

Quoting NZdsgnr (Reply 20):
Awesome trip report Nicholas! loved it... but now... will you just stop teasing us with photos from the 77W and do us the trip report already!

Thanks for your comments NZdsgnr! Haha. My friend Kereru still has his A.Net signature as "Good things take time." and that's something I believe in! Patience!


Cheers,
Nicholas



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineBA174 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2009, 753 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (3 years 5 months 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 18595 times:

So there is no actual curtain between Y+ and J on the upper deck?

Very strange thing for ANZ to do. On BA it is complained about Y+ being further forwards up the aircraft on some 744s instead of J but at least they still have their seperate cabins.


User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6406 posts, RR: 39
Reply 23, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 17879 times:

Quoting BA174 (Reply 22):
So there is no actual curtain between Y+ and J on the upper deck?

No, there is nothing in between the cabins. Nobody seemed to care though. But I'm sure that the well travelled J flyers would stick to the nose rather than the upper deck.


Cheers,
Nicholas



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlinetimb777 From New Zealand, joined Dec 2009, 201 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 17761 times:

Great Report NZ 107, I personally find these premium cabin reports much more interesting and rare that the many Y ones on this forum, and enjoyed the quality of this one- Well done.

I'll miss the current Y+ when it goes, for it provides a level of legroom that is sorely lacking in the 77W due to the hard shells. For me, this ability to stretch out along with J food is why i chose Y+, not for the seat width which I personally never find to be an issue. Also, i believe that the new Y+ cabins has slightly downgraded food to a level between Y and J, once again a shame for me. So personally, I will be going against the majority and picking the 772ER over the 77W for Y+ as long as it is around. I'll also try and fly 772ER's and 744's as long as I can for I HATE the new Y 77W 10 abreast rubbish. While the seat is only slightly narrower, it is the small gap between the seats that has been removed, creating NO personal space around shoulders etc. Halfway across the Tasman recently I was considering asking for a mid flight cash upgrade to regain some individual space and sanity.
Although, I must admit that the legroom was still fine (as you can still put your feet under the seat in-front). Arguably better than the new Y+. The new BP looks great from what i've seen (not tried this refresh yet though...).
Sorry for my ramble, good report, good photo's,
Timb777


25 Post contains images akhmad : Of course, no worries. It was well worth the wait! You put it aptly.
26 CXB77L : Ryan, if I'm not mistaken, NZ only uses the 744 to YVR during peak season. Otherwise a 772ER would be used instead. I don't know if the 744 will be u
27 Ryan h : The flight details on the air new zealand webiste said 747.
28 Post contains images NZ107 : Thanks for your comments Tim! I personally think that Economy reports can be good if they're done well. It's only because there are more things to fi
29 akhmad : I hope before next Wednesday because then I am flying myself.
30 lukeyboy95 : Well done Nicholas. I am sorry that I have not the time to go through the verbatim in greater detail, but I thoroughly enjoyed this report, and bloody
31 Post contains images NZ107 : Sorry Suryo, I wish I had more spare time! Hey Luke, Thanks for your comments! Hope all is well with you. Not a problem, I understand what little tim
32 lukeyboy95 : A good man.. an enterprising young dude also! Yes... those are the best options. There is for example one QR flight between DOH and LHR which I think
33 Post contains images exFATboy : A great report with fantastic pictures, thanks! It's nice to see reports from Premium Economy, and I have to admit the legroom and food looked better
34 Post contains images ronerone : Heya Nicholas! Superb TR once again! What an AMAZING feeling it must be to get this upgrade, and it just could not have been better timing than to hap
35 chepos : Thank you very much for the entertaining read, awsome pictures. Was the meal tray a plastic trasnparent tray? What is the low season for travel to NZ?
36 flightsimboy : Aren't you just lucky to ride the upper deck of the 744! I wonder how NZ's Premium Economy compares to QF's? I declined the free upgrade to Premium Ec
37 Post contains images airbuseric : Hi Nicholas, I really enjoyed the report. Perfect photos once again, you're becoming a real pro! NZ Y+ is really nice, I am especially surprised by th
38 PlaneHunter : I'm sure you'll never create a bad one! Yes, can't wait to go. PH
39 ba319-131 : Hi Nicholas, Apology,for the late reply, time to sit and read has been in short supply of late! Despite the delay it looks like you had a great flight
40 Post contains images NZ107 : Thanks again for your comments! The Air New Zealand grabaseat deals are different - basically only available ex AKL which is great for me. I sometimes
41 AlwaysOnAPlane : Very nice report and a very nice Y+ product by the looks of it. The seat looks quite comfy with ample room and your food along with the way it was pre
42 NZ107 : Hi Lee, Thanks for your comments! Indeed, it is a nice Y+ product. I sure hope I have more chances in the future to climb the 'stairway to heaven'! Y
43 Post contains images CXB77L : I managed to get a cockpit visit on my return trip! It was my first time climbing those stairs on a 747, let alone the cockpit. In my excitement, tho
44 Post contains images RAGAZZO777 : Hi Nicholas, Congratulations, this is a great trip report ! Loved it ! Actually I 'followed' you from Auckland to LAX and from LAX to SFO and vicevers
45 Post contains images NZ107 : Great news! Yeah, I 'forget' taking pics of the cabins I pass through to get to the cockpit.. But sometimes it's out of courtesy as I'd much rather g
46 CXB77L : ZK-SUH. Exactly the same aircraft I flew on before on my AKL-YVR leg. And, by the looks of it, also the same aircraft that took you to LAX!
47 Post contains images airpearl : Hey there Nicholas Sorry to have "grabbed a delay" myself and be arriving at your report many days late - and that's without the excuse of a shut-down
48 Post contains images abrelosojos : Nicholas, What an amazingly well written and detailed report. Pretty neat stuff. Finally catching up on all those reports ... and you're right, I have
49 Post contains images NZ107 : Oh, right. What a pity you didn't get another 744 to try! Yep, indeed! You'll see pics of your seat in my report! Hi Airpearl, Thanks for joining the
50 The777Man : Hi Nicholas! A very nice report with very nice pictures! NZ premium economy looks fantastic almost like business class, very impressive! It seems well
51 NZ107 : Hi Lars! Thanks for your comments! I probably wouldn't say it's almost like business although it's a long way ahead of economy! It certainly is worth
52 lychemsa : Y is so good (legroom) that I don't see the point of Premium Economy. Are the fares much higher.
53 NZ107 : Each to their own. The 777s will soon mean that the fleet offers 32-33" of seat pitch. The fare is about 50% higher than usual Y fares so looking at
54 Econojetter : Hello Nicholas, Thanks for another very enjoyable and informative report. It looks like NZ really does deserve the good grades it usually gets from pa
55 NZ107 : Hi Econojetter, You're welcome! Thanks for your comments. I believe they do. They surprise many Americans with their food offerings, that's for sure.
56 MSS658 : Nice trip report, good to hear you have got the upgrade to Y+. Must have added to the enjoyement of your flight.
57 NZ107 : Thanks MSS658, it was great to be upgraded. The extra room, better food and everything else that I explained above was something special and added to
58 aklrno : A few comments from a frequent flyer on that route: Premium check-in at LAX still requires you to take your bags over to TSA. If you have a lot of stu
59 Post contains links and images jamesontheroad : You can read all about that trip - it's right here: NZ: LAX-LHR (C) - Business Premier For £15.20! (by jamesontheroad Feb 19 2011 in Trip Reports) A
60 NZ107 : Thanks for your input, aklrno! Much appreciated. The funny thing is that the Premium desk is located further away from the TSA x-ray machine.. Who kn
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