Sponsor Message:
Aviation Trip Reports Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Y+ Spaceseat, The Trial: NZ 77W Inaugural AKL-MEL  
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6407 posts, RR: 38
Posted (3 years 5 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Premium Economy Spaceseat, The Trial: NZ 77W Inaugural AKL-MEL[b]



[b]Introduction


Air New Zealand ordered the Boeing 777-300ER in August 2007 as a replacement for the 747-400. Having initially ordered 4 with 3 options, only one of those options has so far been exercised with the reason being that the economic climate at the time wasn’t right for purchasing excessive aircraft. Originating from the purchase of the 787-9 and the willingness to want to change the way people fly, Air New Zealand set off to find ways of how to revolutionise travel. As you’re probably well aware, a lot of planning led to the design of the Economy Skycouch, which is a bed made up from 3 seats and the gap being filled by a footrest; and also the Premium Economy Spaceseat – the showpiece of today’s report.

A while back, Air New Zealand had the 77W up for operating its first commercial flight from Auckland to Brisbane on NZ135. Not thinking it’d change, I couldn’t be any more wrong.

Air New Zealand has changed the fare structure on flights to Australia (excluding Perth) and the Pacific Islands. You can buy just the seat (no meal, no movies, no luggage), the seat and a bag, “The Works” (just like how Economy has been for the last few years) and the more expensive fare “Works Deluxe” which allows 2 bags, premium check in, lounge access and premium seating.

The removal of Business Class from the A320 fleet means that Works Deluxe is now the top product offered out of all the other international airports apart from Auckland where Business Class still exists on the wide bodies. This in turn means that the Premium Economy cabins in the 747s and the 777s turn into Works Deluxe areas and even then, you’re guaranteed an empty seat next to you in the ‘old’ Y+ seats of the 744 and 772.

So this is where it all starts off. I purchased a Works Deluxe fare for what I thought was going to be the inaugural flight of this NZ 77W to Brisbane. Everything was set.. I had self-connecting domestic tickets in hand as well. The whole new fare structure was confusing to customer service people and nobody could give me a reason for me not being able to select a window seat, nor could anyone select one for me. It took a little while for that to be solved. Anyway, a couple of months out from the flight, I noticed that the seat map for the flight had suddenly changed and was showing a 772. A little check to the timetable on the website showed that the January 10 flight to Brisbane was indeed a 772 but the same day’s flight to Melbourne was now a 77W. So much for booking early, I now had a booking change to deal with. The moral of the story being don’t book too far out from an inaugural flight – they could just change the destination on you! The only way for one to change flights on Air NZ in this situation is to either go to the airport or ring up their customer service line. I rang them and got an extremely unhelpful person who hung up on me 3 times after waiting for long periods of time. I finally got a friendly person on the other end a day later but the bad news was that I’d have to pay heaps to change my flights. Not being able to do anything else, I went with it and changed my flights.


That seemed enough of an intro! Welcome to my 20th trip report. This report covers my flight on the first commercial flight of Air New Zealand’s brand new 777-300ER in the stylish Premium Economy Spaceseat.

Some photos in this report have been kindly provided by fellow A.Net photographer Sarmad Al-Khozaie, who tried out the new 77W a few days later. His photos are credited accordingly. Photos in this report are copyrights of their respective owners.

So thinking I had got through the hassle of changing my flight, there was one final unexpected hurdle to jump. 2 days out from the flight, I checked the seat I had reserved again to find that the seat number had been taken off again.. Meaning only one thing – there was an equipment change. Surely enough, the 772 was shown to be operating this flight. Frantically trying to see when it was being pushed back to, I eventually found out it was operating the day after it was scheduled to depart so the panic began. I’m not sure if I would have made it without the help of an Air NZ staff member. Luckily enough for me, there was still room on this flight and I was relieved to have a ticket in my hand for the inaugural 77W flight, now happening on Tuesday the 11th of January. It did seem strange sitting at home on that Monday, watching NZ135 fly out to BNE as one of the flights I could have been on had the schedule remained the same.


It's all about the destination AND the journey.
43 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6407 posts, RR: 38
Reply 1, posted (3 years 5 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

11 January 2011

It was an early wake up for me.. The alarm was set for 5:15am but due to the excitement, I don’t think I got much sleep. I was awake to watch the sun rise spectacularly with brilliant shades of blue, violet, purple, red and yellow; similar to the wonderful sunrise I experienced on my flight to LAX. My uncle picked me up at 5:45 and without any traffic on the road, it took no time at all.




So, being a Works Deluxe passenger today, I was entitled to use the Premium check in facility at AKL. It is a separate room on its own to the side of the Air NZ check in desks which I’ve never had the opportunity to use before. It used to look much more flash before they gave it a facelift to match what they were doing for the rest of their check in area. It does utilise more space than the previous version but all they have done is added a small desk, a couple of self service check in kiosks and a bag drop area. I arrived at the area to find one person helping out a couple to check in and no other free ground staff around. I proceeded to check myself in which didn’t take long at all. The difference between these machines and the ones in the domestic terminal is that the international ones have passport readers, making it compulsory to scan your passport. So, what is the consequence of being understaffed in this situation? A queue builds up for the bag drop off area. At least 4 minutes of waiting around seemed like much longer and I wondered if I would have been better off going to the check in counter further down or even to the normal check in kiosks like the rest of Economy. In fact, I probably would have saved time going over there to drop my bags off. Never mind that, there was an apology for the wait and I was finally free to go.

Premium check in area
Check in kiosk



The great thing about the positioning of the Air NZ premium check in facility is that it’s directly underneath the immigration checkpoint. One short lift ride from that secluded area means that you don’t have to walk a long way just to join the queue with everyone else – your very own immigration officer is waiting at the top of the lift! It didn’t take long for him to check my passport although it would have been fun to have used Smartgate to leave NZ as well. It was much faster than waiting to drop my bag off.

As you know from my previous trip report, the airside area at AKL has undergone a makeover for the Rugby World Cup in October/November 2011. It wasn’t quite ready in November but it was officially opened in December to reveal a spacious area. The ‘tree’ is the centerpiece and most of the shops are around this area.

After security
The tree



Nothing else was new so I headed to the Air New Zealand lounge.

Emirates Lounge, obviously closed at this time of day
Qantas Lounge – a bit blurry but not much to see from here
The Air New Zealand Lounge – directly opposite the Qantas one


I was warmly greeted by the ground staff at the entrance area of the lounge.

Air New Zealand’s lounge is quite big – at least it felt that way so early on in the morning. I wouldn’t imagine it being full to the brim but there must be times where the lounge is bustling. There are many TVs around the place, a couple of bars closely resembling what the one at LAX looks like, a quiet area, business area and free wifi. Being open for the vast majority of the day, it would be expected of them to serve various different meals during the day. I wasn’t disappointed at the selection when I took my first look. Hot food, cold food, a barista on duty for any espresso coffee one could simply order – I guess the only ‘complaint’ could be the wait to use the small toaster! There were plenty of people on hand to help out if necessary.

Breakfast – Yoghurt and fruit in the front and scrambled eggs in the warmer
Pancake machine
Selection of cereals
I’ve seen this fridge before! Similar content but more NZ beers
Healthy lounge breakfast
2nd bar area
Ad inside the lounge for the new Spaceseat



So after eating a little and doing a bit of dozing off in the lounge, it was soon time for boarding. I didn’t wait for the announcement but I knew it would have been any moment. Today, we were departing from Gate 3. What a magnificent sight it was to see this brand new 77W waiting for its first revenue flight! Now you could just imagine what my face would look like if they had done another switcheroo on me..



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6407 posts, RR: 38
Reply 2, posted (3 years 5 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

The other side of it



So, waiting for boarding to begin, the person announcing the boarding over the PA was just as confused as everyone else. She said that boarding would begin shortly but people were already being let onboard due to an earlier announcement made by another staff member. She clicked about a minute later. It was a pretty tight squeeze and nobody could really tell if there was a separate line for premium passengers or not. But anyway, a nice greeting by the people at the gate saw me on my way down the air bridge and onto the first commercial Air New Zealand 777-300ER flight.

Boarding passs
Just about to board this brand new plane!
Flight Information

11 January 2011
Routing: Auckland - Melbourne (AKL-MEL)
Airline: Air New Zealand
Flight: NZ 123
Scheduled Time of Departure: 0800hrs (GMT+13)
Actual Departure: 0819hrs (pushback), 0837hrs (rotate) (GMT+13)
Scheduled Time of Arrival: 1000hrs (GMT+11)
Touchdown: 1003hrs (GMT+11)
Flight time: 3hr 42min
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER (-319ER)
Registration: ZK-OKM
Seat: 27A Premium Economy Spaceseat


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Nicholas Young
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Colin Hunter


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Colin Hunter
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Jonathan Rankin


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Nicholas Young
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Nicholas Young


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Jonathan Rankin
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Sarmad Al-Khozaie




Air New Zealand took delivery of ZK-OKM, their first 777-300ER, on 24 December 2010. It is the first of 5 on order. 3 will be in the fleet by April when the 77W will be deployed daily on NZ1/2 – AKL-LAX-LHR. Air New Zealand have laid it out so that basically half the plane is for premium seating and the rest is Economy.



GPS Info – Gate 3 AKL
Melbourne approach
Into Gate 10, new pier isn’t on the map yet
The FA crew rest bunk, located at the rear of the plane – A place I didn’t visit
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5052/5464637460_78735373a8_b.jpg
ZK-OKM New Crew Rest area by Tranquillity Aviation, on Flickr
Copyright Sarmad Al-Khozaie

The mood lighting which created a very pleasant atmosphere in the Business cabin faded into the full glary white, as what was seen in the Premium Economy cabin. It would have been so much nicer had mood lighting been used throughout the plane.


Walking through Business


So for those who have travelled in Business on the old seats, there is basically only a cosmetic change:

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5253/5464637284_e6c6c109f7_b.jpg
New Business Class on ZK-OKM by Tranquillity Aviation, on Flickr
Image Copyright Sarmad Al-Khozaie

First step into Premium Economy
The bulkhead Y+ seats – 23A and B. The B seat has probably the most legroom out of all the Y+ seats.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5217/5464037195_d60d87c62c_b.jpg
ZK-OKM Premium economy by Tranquillity Aviation, on Flickr
Copyright Sarmad Al-Khozaie

Side seats angled towards the window
Looking over the middle seats, angled away from each other
A look at the middle seats
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5051/5464637396_6f1929151a_b.jpg
ZK-OKM Premium economy by Tranquillity Aviation, on Flickr
Copyright Sarmad Al-Khozaie


There were plenty of FAs to assist passengers in the Premium Economy cabin – two were in my aisle. I reached my seat to find my seatmate already seated (hence lack of space to take pictures of the row.. The aisle was pretty packed actually, impossible to take many pics) and since nobody has grasped the way Air NZ designed the seats allowing the person seated on the aisle to swivel in his seat towards the aisle to allow the other person access to the window, he got out of his seat so I could get in. It felt like a bit of a squeeze to get into the somewhat secluded seat facing the windows with my belongings. What made it worse was the fact that there were these huge down pillows just filling up the space on the seat. Everyone in Premium Economy also had a noise cancelling headset waiting for them.

The Spaceseat

There certainly has been some talk about the new seats Air New Zealand has come up with for Premium Economy. Remember, it is only Premium Economy after all. The layout of 2-2-2 (50 seats in total) in a widebody does make it sound roomy but the legroom provided isn’t the greatest. Being seated at the window didn’t give me a good opportunity to test out the other 2 types of seats within the class – the aisle seat on the sides and one of the seats between the aisles. There has been word that the window seats have the most legroom out of the normal Premium Economy seats (excluding the bulkhead). For someone like me who is only 1.7m (5’7”) tall, the seat is great. There is definitely sufficient legroom for someone my size although add 10cm onto the height and it’ll start to push the comfort levels when in the fully reclined position. The B and J seats didn’t seem to offer very good legroom at all. There is virtually no underseat storage space – the underlying rule seemed to be that if the FAs couldn’t see it behind the beanbag, it was considered ok. I would have had a little more legroom if I had stored my camera bag in the overhead bins but even with it sitting behind the beanbag, it was more than comfortable.

The seat itself, along with the Economy Skycouch, was thought up by the innovative people at Air New Zealand down by Auckland Harbour. It is a hard shell seat whereby the recline ‘eats into’ your legroom. As I mentioned above, you’d be a pretty spoilt person if you were shorter than 1.8m and found yourself uncomfortable with the legroom. There’s a ‘tilt’ button as well which, in short, means that the bottom cushion of the seat tilts down on an angle (when reclined) to support the back of the leg without feeling of you slipping off the seat. The position was extremely comfortable for me.

Middle seats (taken at an earlier date)
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4111/5085330880_357a9c03b7_b.jpg

The buttons, located just under the seat
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4090/5084735337_5c507a62d6_b.jpg

Recline
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4103/5085331036_370aed47a0_b.jpg

Recline and tilt (hard to notice)
Recline + Tilt


Instead of having a footrest built into the seat, they decided that a beanbag would be a good idea so that people could position it in a way that it would be comfortable to people. It was nice to be able to do that – a big step up from the hard bar footrest found in the old Premium Economy product.

One armrest for those seated on all window facing seats has to be stowed for takeoff and landing. I don’t like it myself as I like having both armrests in reach to rest on. But the huge pillow was stuffed under my elbow to try and create the same effect. There are no adjustable winged headrests in Premium Economy, hence the huge down pillows on offer. I would probably actually prefer the winged headrests as they don’t take up much space and they’re not bad at keeping their position.

Getting out of the window seat may prove a problem on a long haul flight. There is absolutely no space to get out when the TV screen and tray table are extended. It’d be a real challenge to get out if the person on the aisle is sleeping.

The seatbelt is similar to how the Business Class one is – it includes an airbag and resembles an old car’s middle seat’s belt more than the traditional plane buckle.

The colour of the seat has got me guessing how long it’ll last. The leather is quite white and soft and I don’t think it’ll take much to mark and tarnish.


Gap between seat and window
Angle of the seats
View from the seat
View looking where the seat points
Relaxed position still with plenty of room in front
IFE handset and a light to the side, plus noise cancelling headset
Retractable armrest, must be stowed for takeoff and landing (annoying!)
View of the wing
View of the huge GE90-115B engine
The rest of the cabin from my seat
In-flight Entertainment

Air New Zealand has released a new version of IFE to replace the Rockwell Collins system which is currently in the 744s and 772s. The new one is made by Panasonic and is similar to the one used on the A320 and 763 fleets. The name given to it by Air NZ is Kupe. It is powerful and holds much more content than the system on the 744 and 772. It has music, movies and TV shows but also has a few Youtube clips which have been put onto the system for people to watch onboard. You can order snacks and drinks through the system like how you can currently do on Virgin America’s IFE. There are other nifty things included and the Airshow function is superb. One wish would be that they added metric measurements! -69F doesn’t mean a thing to me, other than it’s cold..

The TV itself is touch screen but can also be controlled by the handset provided. The TV pops out on the press of a button and swivels out on an arm and can be positioned on any angle you want, including being tilted up and down to cater for the height of the passenger. It is quite ‘in your face’ when extended as far out as possible but I guess you get used to it as the flight progresses.

The PTV extended


[url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUc9v2UJifY]A youtube clip of IFE[/b]

IFE and tray table deployed
Airshow menu – the following titles referring to the various different modes
“Total Route”
“Time Zone”
“Auto Zoom”
“High Resolution”
“World Explorer”
Click on the city and a pop up window displays with a bit of data
“Location Indicator”
With locations being able to be changed
Movies
A selection of Youtube clips available to watch[b]


[b]TV – Also classic All Blacks rugby matches

Music Videos
Audio options
Much bigger music selection than on the old IFE – U2’s various albums



There’s this awesome new function called My Flight which tells you when things are available and other bits of information such as when the lights were going to be on or dimmed.

Other useful information
About Air NZ
Power, USB and iPod viewing cable (The ordinary cable can only charge, you have to hire/buy the cable that can enable viewing on the screen)
News (didn’t seem to be in operation for this flight)
Food and drinks menu
Not operational on this flight, unfortunately
Items for hire



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6407 posts, RR: 38
Reply 3, posted (3 years 5 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Ok, back to the flight.


The Air NZ Star Alliance liveried plane rolls into Gate 2
What would be straight if the seat was straight
Nice size for a window
The design of the ceiling/overhead bins
2 windows to yourself



As you may have noticed, all of the above photos were taken prior to us even pushing back. The FA came on over the PA after a little while and said that there had been a catering stuff up which was keeping the flight delayed and it meant that the food which was supposed to be trialled never made it near the plane. But it was fine for me as it meant I had more time to explore the seat and spend longer relaxing in the comfort of the Spaceseat. Finally, 19 minutes after scheduled departure, we pushed back. We were pushed back a long way to be alongside the new pier and as it worked out, NZ5 from LAX was pulling into Gate 15 which explained why we were towed so far back.


Pushback
CX A343 doing the morning flight



The safety video has been shown all around the world via Youtube.

Air NZ 77W Safety Video

The start up of the huge GE 90-115B engines is a delight to most. When Air India brought their 77L to Auckland to take athletes over for the Commonwealth Games in Delhi 2010, the plane was late in departure but I knew to expect it soon after I heard the start up of the engines (I couldn’t see it). It was no different this time – only my second experience of being inside a 77W! We were finally able to move once the NZ 744 had pulled into the gate and made our way to Runway 05R for departure to the east. The power of the engines is fantastic! We used just under 2km of the runway to take off and we were finally on our way to Melbourne. It didn’t seem too loud but it was certainly louder than an Airbus of a similar size. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a plane which has taken such a quick and sharp turn after departure from AKL! It was a great feeling!


ZK-SUJ pulling in
See you soon?
Carriers from all around
GPS was a little off..
New planes come with shiny wings!
Lining up 05R
Just a few hundred metres off
Takeoff roll
Rotate! And so the commercial life of this 777-300ER begins!
Early turn to the south
The turn wasn’t that sharp!
A long way in the distance – the Central Plateau consisting of (left to right) Mt Tongariro, Mt Ngauruhoe and Mt Ruapehu
And also Mt Taranaki
Leaving the NZ coast


The seatbelt sign was turned off quite early into the flight so I was quick to get up and take a wander around the cabin.

Premium Economy cabin
Normal sized lavatory
Chandelier wallpaper decorations inside the lavatory



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6407 posts, RR: 38
Reply 4, posted (3 years 5 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

As I walked into Economy, the first thing to notice was the tight aisle people had to squeeze down to get to their seats. Secondly, the whole front of the seat is black, not only adding to the claustrophobia, but also making it harder to see where you’re going.


Economy Class, front section
Rear section


Upon my entry back through the curtains to Premium Economy, some person noticed me taking pictures and introduced himself as one of the operations manager overseeing the 77W EIS (entry into service) and the onboard product for it. It was quite an interesting chat talking about the product and that there’ll be something new for when the 787s are delivered. I bet he has received a barrage of complaints about the seats since!


Back in Premium Economy – I missed some announcement which is displaying on all PTVs
Back in my seat, Mt Taranaki can still be seen
A very comfortable position
Cruising over the Tasman Sea
Another look at the Airshow application
Changeable locations
Beautiful wing flex and the raked winglet of the 77L/77W
Lights and the ‘no electronics’ light replacing the no smoking sign


Hot towels were soon passed out to prepare everyone for breakfast. With that was an apology by the flight attendants about the late commencement of the meal service due to the fact that the caterers had made a blunder. A PA was also made, notifying that due to it being the first flight of this 777-300ER, everyone on the flight would receive free drinks, even those who only paid for just the seat. The announcer also noted that this was a sample of what it’d be like getting breakfast on a long haul flight. I hoped for a trial of their new food but I realised that the catering problem meant we’d just get normal food.

I decided to test out the games section. Bad idea, the screen froze and the system crashed. I pressed the call button and not long after, a FA attended to it and rebooted my system on request.

Games? The controller looks identical to EK’s
Reboot
All ready to go again! Welcoming me back onto the flight


Finally, 1 hr 20 min into the expected 3 hr 30 min flight, the carts were wheeled to the front of the Premium Economy cabin to begin the breakfast service. Shirley, one of the two FAs operating the service in the Premium Economy cabin, called out to everyone before commencing service that it was the first time a meal was to be served on the commercial flight. This was followed by an applause led by her and eventually people started receiving food.

The tray table is cool as it’s not the traditional one. It used to be in the armrest of the old Premium Economy seats. When the button to release it is pushed, it comes down in the same way as a soft closing toilet seat. You can keep it in the half open form if you’re wishing to just hold your iPod or a drink on it but it extends further and can be swivelled around to match the angle of the seat.

Pressing the button (the other deploys the TV screen

VI/AAAAAAAAF1M/69NyIGeDXYI/s800/IMG_3541edit.jpg" border="0"/>Angled correctly
Opened tray table
If pulled out far enough, the tray table can be turned around like so
The commencement of the breakfast service
Getting close to my row!
Special narrow trolleys made to fit down the aisles with a big flat top to increase space for things to be placed on the cart



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6407 posts, RR: 38
Reply 5, posted (3 years 5 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Air New Zealand have done away with trays (in the meantime anyway) in Premium Economy. Now there is a purple rubber placemat which is shaped for the tray table. It also serves as a non-slip surface. That is handed out first, followed by the cutlery (metal for Y+!). The cutlery was nice being metal but the spoons were awfully impractical – too shallow for any use. Today, there was a range of drinks on offer to go with the starter which were already on the cart. This included a few juices, a banana smoothie and water. The starter tray was also delivered, comprising of fruit in a bowl, yoghurt and a croissant. Just the usual here, nothing special. A miscommunication and probably due to my lack of awareness meant that I cleared my stuff away after the starter, thinking that there wasn’t going to be anything else offered. I should have realised with the amount of cutlery given out! A ceramic mug was given out if people wanted hot drinks which would come through later.

Placemat
Cutlery and starter
Starter all set up
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5135/5475700173_6b17a5107c_b.jpg


Breakfast entertainment – All Blacks vs Australia 1996- Athletic Park, Wellington (yes, ABs won)
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5053/5476296242_5474eefa20_b.jpg

After the starter
The huge disabled lavatory on the rear left hand side of the Premium Economy cabin – wallpaper of a bookshelf
Tonnes of space!


The Y+ galley is in between the two toilets located at the rear of the Y+ cabin. I saw the main being delivered as I was passing so I asked the FA to be told it was part of the meal.. I still have no idea why I thought that the starter was all I was getting! I saw pancakes going out (wouldn’t mind having them again!) and I had to ask for a spare fork as my cutlery had been cleared away. The main was delivered an hour before landing. I had no choice of what I got but I was definitely satisfied with the meal I received – scrambled eggs and sausages with mushrooms on top with tomato and potato. It was well cooked and tasted fine. Eggs weren’t rubbery and tasted fine. Sausages were nice, well accompanied by the mushrooms. It is what you’d expect for a Premium meal and probably matched what the pancakes were like. I had a coke to accompany the meal – funnily enough, it was made in USA so it seemed to have remained on board from the media/delivery flights down from Everett via Los Angeles.


Main


It didn’t take long to clear everything away as they needed to quickly before descent into MEL. There wasn’t much else to do but to relax for the remaining 30 minutes before landing. There wasn’t much else to see out the window but cloud. It seemed like a standard approach into Melbourne but this time, as we were in a big plane, we were to use the longer runway out of the 2 in Melbourne. This meant we took a more southerly route over the city. I have a feeling that those on the right hand side of the plane would have had a nice view of Melbourne as we turned onto final. But at least I got to see something of significance – the F1 track at Albert Park where the Australian Grand Prix is held. It was a very smooth approach and we touched down not too long after scheduled arrival.

Over Victoria
Phillip Island in centre screen
Greater Melbourne
Albert Park – Melbourne’s F1 venue
Base turn to final over Melbourne CBD
II/AAAAAAAAF3I/2FI4xVwC-y4/s800/IMG_3636edit.jpg" border="0"/>Over the runway
Slowing down on Runway 34
Vacating the runway


Just as we started the taxi towards the terminal, the captain came over the PA saying that there was a shortage of gates and we had to wait until our assigned gate had freed up. I watched as an EK 777 pushed back and a D7 A333 took its spot at the terminal. I didn’t see the plane who vacated our gate but 22 minutes after landing, we finally made our way into Gate 10 to complete this first commercial flight of an Air New Zealand 777-300ER. I thanked the crew, disembarked and headed to clear customs.


Crossing the crosswind runway
Halted for a while with the D7 A333 pulling into the gate
On the move!
Passing a QF A380
Interesting line up
Disembarking
Farewell to my seat!
Front of Economy
Back of Economy
Loo with a view in Business.. But not very big compared to the other one!


Conclusion


It was a nice experience to try these seats out. Air New Zealand is trying hard to revolutionise Premium Economy like we’ve never known it to be – more towards a J- than a Y+. From the pictures, the seats look excellent. It certainly has the potential to be a really nice seat but it’s surely not suited to every shape and size. I think it’s clear why they can’t simply remove a row and give the Premium Economy seats a bit more legroom. Everything is designed to fit with the current spacing and there’s a lot that would need to be changed to get everything right to suit a bit more legroom. The angle at which the seat faces could even change if they came to a decision to increase legroom.

I do like the 777-300ER but I don’t quite agree with what NZ has done with it – it seems as though they could have been better off ordering the 748i where the 3-4-3 arrangement in Y would have suited. Maybe the Spaceseats would have been given a bit more room too. I didn’t try out the Economy seats so I have no verdict on them apart from the fact that the aisles were very narrow and the black didn’t seem to suit as an inviting colour.

Comparing this new Spaceseat to the old Premium Economy – there are a lot of differences. First of all, the storage given with the old seat (especially the windows of the 744) was far superior – nothing could come close to the amount of storage I had on the 744 flight. Compare it to the 77W where I could only just fit the camera bag behind the bean bag and had my backpack in the overhead locker. The new seat can’t be compared to what was basically an Economy seat. The beanbag, as I said earlier, is a huge improvement over the metal bar which served as a footrest in the old seat. Legroom isn’t very good for a tall person – they’d much prefer the old style seats where you’ve got a greater pitch. Only having a maximum of one person to climb over has its benefits but it’d provide a real challenge if the person in the aisle was sleeping. In saying all of that, I’m keen to try the Premium Economy seat on a long haul flight to actually test the seat out in terms of sleeping and the likes; also the new service of order when you wish, if they still have that going (heard that meals have been taking 3 hours to deliver). Flying it short haul doesn’t quite match up to long haul travel. So there are a lot of things which NZ has to fix up before this product becomes something that matches what NZ has been known for.

The Y+ seat isn’t all bad but it’s definitely not as spacey as the title ‘Spaceseat’ implies. I do hope NZ can solve these problems and act upon them before they start losing customers.

My lesson has been learnt about booking inaugurals – don’t book too early but don’t leave it too long! Hopefully that won’t happen next time as well.

That comes to the end of this very long report of mine.. Congratulations if you have made it through that. Thanks for reading, any comments are welcome! Bear in mind that there is a separate thread on the criticism of these seats in the Civil Aviation forum and it’d be appreciated if relevant comments were directed there unless it’s a part of a longer comment about the report as well.

Cheers,
Nicholas



Acknowledgements
To all those who helped made this trip happen. You know who you are. Thanks again so much!
To Sarmad Al-Khozaie for letting me use the wonderful pictures in this report. Thanks a lot!


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 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)
Grabbing A Delay And An Upgrade: NZ5- Upper Deck (by NZ107 Jan 30 2011 in Trip Reports)



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlinejamesontheroad From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 541 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (3 years 5 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Congratulations on an historic flight, and an historic trip report for a.net ! Thank you for spending the dollars and taking the time to take us with you on the trip.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
The seatbelt is similar to how the Business Class one is – it includes an airbag and resembles an old car’s middle seat’s belt more than the traditional plane buckle.

Aha! Maybe I'm just dumb, but I never knew that was an airbag.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
The colour of the seat has got me guessing how long it’ll last. The leather is quite white and soft and I don’t think it’ll take much to mark and tarnish.

+1. I think it's a very risky decision to go for white seats. It could just take one passenger wearing brand new unwashed jeans on a long haul flight to mark one of these seats, and NZ may not have the time or resources to clean them often enough. Fingers crossed they know what they're doing.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
It was a nice experience to try these seats out. Air New Zealand is trying hard to revolutionise Premium Economy like we’ve never known it to be – more towards a J- than a Y+.

For long haul and ultra-long haul that's a great move. North American carriers have generally treated it as a Y+, as a perk to pacify frequent flyers who can't be bumped into C or F. However, some carriers have been smart about Y+. When BD introduced new sleeper seats to their small A332 fleet out of MAN, they moved the old C cradle seats back into Y+. Likewise a couple of AC's older 767 fleet that couldn't be modernised with the Executive First suite have now reclassified the old business seats as Economy Extra, and restrict them mostly to sunshine and seasonal European routes.

Once again - great writing and great photos. Thank you.


User currently offlinebaguy From Australia, joined Mar 2006, 546 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (3 years 5 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Fantastic TR - thanks a lot!

I have to see that that is an amazing seat for Y+ - your 'J-' sums it up perfectly - many carriers have the same catering for both Y and Y+ so improved meal service looks like a big bonus.

How big a premium do NZ charge for this over Y on average?

BAguy


User currently offlineAlwaysOnAPlane From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2010, 305 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (3 years 5 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Really enjoyed your report after seeing a photo on here of the new Y+ product. Certainly looks the part thats for sure. A totally different league to say BAs Y+. It does look a little cramped, but with everything else your getting in The Works product i guess NZ have to draw the line somewhere. I thought the "themed" wallpaper was a nice touch.
Also really enjoyed your wing view shots. Always nice to see a massive GE90 from that perspective.

Thanks for the report Nicholas.

Cheers, Lee


User currently offlineluxair747SP From Germany, joined May 2010, 504 posts, RR: 17
Reply 9, posted (3 years 5 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi Nicholas,

tika hoki very much for this reaaaalllllly long TR.
I was looking forward for that one to see how the NZ 773 is in reality.
The so called space seat, looks like a business class seat on the first view, but after your TR, I see it more, as Y-class seat with a lot of plastic around.
Surely it is far better than the normal Y-class in 3-4-3 layout, which is horrible for the long haul.
The breakfast looks really tasty and the IFE excellent with all the choices if they work.
Thanks a lot for sharing
Cheers
Johannes


User currently offlinedebonair From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2399 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (3 years 5 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Nice TR! Great pics!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
The B and J seats didn’t seem to offer very good legroom at all.
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
The B seat has probably the most legroom out of all the Y+ seats.

   I am a little bid confused...


User currently offlineaflyingkiwi From New Zealand, joined Nov 2010, 514 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (3 years 5 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Ahhh, the long awaited NZ inaugural 77W report. Thanks for getting this fantastic report up with the usual array of brilliant pics.

The Background of the flight sure seemed like a lot of hassle though I'm glad that you were able to get on the inaugural flight.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Air New Zealand has changed the fare structure on flights to Australia (excluding Perth) and the Pacific Islands. You can buy just the seat (no meal, no movies, no luggage), the seat and a bag, “The Works” (just like how Economy has been for the last few years) and the more expensive fare “Works Deluxe” which allows 2 bags, premium check in, lounge access and premium seating.

I don't really agree with the new fare structure but one thing I do like is that flying Y+ isn't that expensive any more with the Works Deluxe fare.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
Air New Zealand’s lounge is quite big – at least it felt that way so early on in the morning. I wouldn’t imagine it being full to the brim but there must be times where the lounge is bustling.

Sounds like a nice place to be before a flight.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 2):
The layout of 2-2-2 (50 seats in total) in a widebody does make it sound roomy but the legroom provided isn’t the greatest.

I haven't been inside the 77W yet so I can't say too much but boy the legroom looks cramped and I can definitely see why taller people haven't been terribly receptive of the new product.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 2):
The name given to it by Air NZ is Kupe. It is powerful and holds much more content than the system on the 744 and 772. It has music, movies and TV shows but also has a few Youtube clips which have been put onto the system for people to watch onboard. You can order snacks and drinks through the system like how you can currently do on Virgin America’s IFE.

The new IFE looks fantastic. The snacks and drinks ordering system sounds potentially useful while it's good to see NZ go into the new age by adding some youtube videos (do any other airlines do this?).

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 4):
As I walked into Economy, the first thing to notice was the tight aisle people had to squeeze down to get to their seats. Secondly, the whole front of the seat is black, not only adding to the claustrophobia, but also making it harder to see where you’re going.

Those aisles do look tight and the seat colour doesn't look really appealing.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 4):
Changeable locations

I like the masses of destinations they have, really Helena,MT & Harbin.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 5):
The huge disabled lavatory on the rear left hand side of the Premium Economy cabin – wallpaper of a bookshelf

The wallpaper ads a very unique touch to the lavatory. I hope nobody tags on it though.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 5):
That is handed out first, followed by the cutlery (metal for Y+!). The cutlery was nice being metal but the spoons were awfully impractical – too shallow for any use.

Oh yes!, very nice to see metal cutlery though I hope they can fix the spoon issue.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 5):
I had no choice of what I got but I was definitely satisfied with the meal I received – scrambled eggs and sausages with mushrooms on top with tomato and potato. It was well cooked and tasted fine.

The starter & the meal both looked very good. The NZ PE catering definitely is top-notch.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 5):
It certainly has the potential to be a really nice seat but it’s surely not suited to every shape and size. I think it’s clear why they can’t simply remove a row and give the Premium Economy seats a bit more legroom.

Having seen all the complaints, NZ probably need to do something but barring a major product overhaul, there doesn't seem that NZ can do too much.

Once again a fantastic report.

Regards,
aflyingkiwi


User currently offlinejgw787 From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 208 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (3 years 5 months 6 days ago) and read 32767 times:

Do they give you a priority tag if you use the self check in system and have to tag your own bag.

User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From France, joined Sep 2003, 5138 posts, RR: 55
Reply 13, posted (3 years 5 months 6 days ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi, Nicholas,

congrats to score these mighty machine.

Superb picures and a well written story.
Now I know every detail around these seats!.
And it seems you´re really lucky in the end with the right date and right flight for the inaugural service.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)



Next: How to deliver a present in style!.
User currently offlineflightsimboy From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 1236 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (3 years 5 months 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Excellent report as usual, and a great one as it was an inaugural flight.

I have to say the seat looks great, but they look really cramped. I felt my knees ache just looking at the pics! How is one even supposed to get out of those seats!! Luckily though they bend towards the window allowing you to recline with your feet near the window, but isn't that a bad angle for your back? I recall seeing the Premium Economy seats on QF being a lot better, even with the regular steel footrest.

And what's up with the all Y class seats. It seemed like an endless expanse of black sea! However the veiws from behind are not so bad, with all the seat back TVs.

I have flown on EK and EY B773ERs, which appear a lot much nicer! I think I'll have to pass flying with NZ on this new flagship B773ER jet (that is if I ever get a chance)


User currently offlineNZdsgnr From New Zealand, joined Jul 2008, 260 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (3 years 5 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Thanks a lot for that long awaited TR! awesome reporting as always

User currently offlineA340600 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2003, 4105 posts, RR: 51
Reply 16, posted (3 years 5 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Excellent and detailed report. The window-view shots are brilliant.

As per the product, from purely pictures I am not convinced. Having been a Flight Attendant myself it screams awkward for the crew; fitting down those aisles, telling people to do the opposite to usual with their armrest on the space-seats, no trays during service, ordering coming from TV's constantly etc etc. I would be interested to hear what they think when more of them have worked on it.

From a pax point of view, those on aisle seats in Y will surely get bashed non-stop and the layout of the Y+ seats seems awkward (up against a wall in particular). The entertainment looks incredible and the artwork in the toilets is a simple yet nice touch.

Thanks for sharing the experience.



Despite the name I am a Boeing man through and through!
User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1916 posts, RR: 24
Reply 17, posted (3 years 5 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Another great report! Wow, Air New Zealand looks awesome! I love the wallpaper in the lavatories   How unique!

This has got to be one of the best (if not the best) Premium Economy cabins out there.

Thanks for sharing! Good photos from the trip ... really good documentation of the whole journey.

Matthew (767747)


User currently offlinetriple7man From Thailand, joined May 2005, 739 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (3 years 5 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Thank you for your TR. I did not know NZ ordered 777-300ER's so yours was a welcome TR. I have only flown NZ once and that was SYD-LAX in 1999 on a 747-400. The service was very nice, and I thought their 747-400 had more legroom in economy than QF. I also got to visit the cockpit in flight, something I don't think they do anymore.

It sound like the reservations agents were not very helpful when you called to change your flight. (I am a retired reservations supervisor from another airline. Anytime you encounter a rude agent like this, you should ask to speak with a supervisor). That's good you were able to be on the inaugural flight of the 777-300ER, even though you had to change your reservations.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
The start up of the huge GE 90-115B engines is a delight to most

The 777-300ER GE 90-115B engines do make a distinct and delightful sound on startup. A little loud, but that's ok.

Thank you for all the excellent pictures you took...both inside and outside the airplane. I hope to see more of your TR's like this one.



Have you kissed a 777 today?
User currently offlineronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1653 posts, RR: 53
Reply 19, posted (3 years 5 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Congratulations on your latest masterpiece! An excellent detail on the first peek into NZ's revolutionary 77W product! Something that was much anticipated here, and it was well worth the wait   ..

These 'inaugural glitches' seem to be quite normal, and it is amazing that they can still happen even with a fleet type with great commonality. A new plane is a new plane and that's that. I am suddenly reminded of EK's inaugural A380 flight which of course, expectedly, had oodles of hiccups!  
Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Air New Zealand set off to find ways of how to revolutionise travel. As you’re probably well aware, a lot of planning led to the design of the Economy Skycouch, which is a bed made up from 3 seats and the gap being filled by a footrest; and also the Premium Economy Spaceseat – the showpiece of today’s report.

Out of all the 77W's around, SQ may have kick-started it back in the day, but Air New Zealand clearly put a lot of effort in making the offering on their's quite the eye opener! .. Who would have thought that flat bed seating is now in Economy Class! However, it does seem that the new Y+ concept will be a bit of a challenge to tweak!

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Air New Zealand has changed the fare structure on flights to Australia (excluding Perth) and the Pacific Islands. You can buy just the seat (no meal, no movies, no luggage), the seat and a bag, “The Works” (just like how Economy has been for the last few years) and the more expensive fare “Works Deluxe” which allows 2 bags, premium check in, lounge access and premium seating.

Very interesting.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
I now had a booking change to deal with. The moral of the story being don’t book too far out from an inaugural flight – they could just change the destination on you! The only way for one to change flights on Air NZ in this situation is to either go to the airport or ring up their customer service line. I rang them and got an extremely unhelpful person who hung up on me 3 times after waiting for long periods of time. I finally got a friendly person on the other end a day later but the bad news was that I’d have to pay heaps to change my flights. Not being able to do anything else, I went with it and changed my flights.

And i can totally imagine the amount of stress you had gone through! But, the airline really should have made the effort to contact all customers, as it is an inaugural flight!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
As you know from my previous trip report, the airside area at AKL has undergone a makeover for the Rugby World Cup in October/November 2011. It wasn’t quite ready in November but it was officially opened in December to reveal a spacious area. The ‘tree’ is the centerpiece and most of the shops are around this area.

Nice makeover! How long did it take to complete?

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
I wasn’t disappointed at the selection when I took my first look. Hot food, cold food, a barista on duty for any espresso coffee one could simply order – I guess the only ‘complaint’ could be the wait to use the small toaster! There were plenty of people on hand to help out if necessary.

Exactly the same offering when i was there last November. Great pancakes!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 2):
Just about to board this brand new plane

And that purple mood lighting sets just the right tone for the upcoming inugural activities you were about to experience!  
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 2):
Looking over the middle seats, angled away from each other

From t his view. These seats can remotely compete with CX's new J class seat! .. Am i even allowed to devise such a comparison?  
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 2):
The colour of the seat has got me guessing how long it’ll last. The leather is quite white and soft and I don’t think it’ll take much to mark and tarnish.

I have the same thoughts. Though the white leather is very attractive and slick!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 3):
CX A343 doing the morning flight

You should try out that flight soon  
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 4):
Shirley, one of the two FAs operating the service in the Premium Economy cabin, called out to everyone before commencing service that it was the first time a meal was to be served on the commercial flight. This was followed by an applause led by her and eventually people started receiving food.

LOL ... That is very a.nettish! ... I like it  
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 5):
and a D7 A333 took its spot at the terminal.

You wouldn't want to see the check-in queues for a sold out AirAsia X A333 flight at MEL. I was practically scarred for life after seeing the amount of humans they can pack into that plane! Haha  
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 5):
It was a nice experience to try these seats out. Air New Zealand is trying hard to revolutionise Premium Economy like we’ve never known it to be – more towards a J- than a Y+. From the pictures, the seats look excellent. It certainly has the potential to be a really nice seat but it’s surely not suited to every shape and size. I think it’s clear why they can’t simply remove a row and give the Premium Economy seats a bit more legroom. Everything is designed to fit with the current spacing and there’s a lot that would need to be changed to get everything right to suit a bit more legroom. The angle at which the seat faces could even change if they came to a decision to increase legroom.

I do like the 777-300ER but I don’t quite agree with what NZ has done with it – it seems as though they could have been better off ordering the 748i where the 3-4-3 arrangement in Y would have suited. Maybe the Spaceseats would have been given a bit more room too. I didn’t try out the Economy seats so I have no verdict on them apart from the fact that the aisles were very narrow and the black didn’t seem to suit as an inviting colour.

It would be very interesting to see how they can tweak it around, as i am certain their will be a phase of some sort of optimisation. I am wondering why it would be difficult to remove a row of the Y+ seat for better legroom though?


Many thanks for bringing this to our screens fairly quickly! A job well done as usual!  

Cheers,
Roni



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6716 posts, RR: 77
Reply 20, posted (3 years 5 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi Nicholas,

I had been looking forward to this 77W inaugural report - what a great piece of work you have delivered! Your fantastic pictures show all details, well done!

I'm glad you were able to get on that flight after nerve-wracking schedule and equipment changes. I can imagine how you felt during that phase of uncertainties.

However, I'm not sure what to think of the cabin layout and choice of colors. Black and white - very elegant, but probably not useful on the long term. The Spaceseat design is quite impressive, but getting out of your window may be a serious problem under certain circumstances.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Air New Zealand has changed the fare structure on flights to Australia (excluding Perth) and the Pacific Islands. You can buy just the seat (no meal, no movies, no luggage), the seat and a bag, %u201CThe Works%u201D (just like how Economy has been for the last few years) and the more expensive fare %u201CWorks Deluxe%u201D which allows 2 bags, premium check in, lounge access and premium seating.

Very interesting concept - this provides an answer to the threats by Emirates and low-cost carriers. We'll see whether it turns out to be successful.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Now you could just imagine what my face would look like if they had done another switcheroo on me..

Pure horror...

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
The other side of it

The waves are missing, the plane looks so...unfinished.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
The colour of the seat has got me guessing how long it%u2019ll last. The leather is quite white and soft and I don%u2019t think it%u2019ll take much to mark and tarnish.

That's what I thought, too. Will be interesting to see what happens after two or three years...

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
You can order snacks and drinks through the system like how you can currently do on Virgin America%u2019s IFE.

I still prefer printed menus...

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
The huge disabled lavatory on the rear left hand side of the Premium Economy cabin %u2013 wallpaper of a bookshelf

Another good idea!

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
The main was delivered an hour before landing. I had no choice of what I got but I was definitely satisfied with the meal I received – scrambled eggs and sausages with mushrooms on top with tomato and potato. It was well cooked and tasted fine. Eggs weren’t rubbery and tasted fine. Sausages were nice, well accompanied by the mushrooms. It is what you’d expect for a Premium meal and probably matched what the pancakes were like.

Wow, looks very good.


Thanks again for posting this review, I know how long it takes to compose a high-quality report.

PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineairpearl From Malaysia, joined May 2001, 943 posts, RR: 26
Reply 21, posted (3 years 5 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 32716 times:

Hi Nicholas

Absolutely stunning! Thanks for this REALLY comprehensive, much awaited first A.net report on NZ's 77W - what more aboard its unique Y+ class. I am impressed at how you persevered through the early changes - firstly of destination, then date - but it seems to have been worth it! Thank you for sharing this fantastic report - it's a gem.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
Today, we were departing from Gate 3. What a magnificent sight it was to see this brand new 77W waiting for its first revenue flight! Now you could just imagine what my face would look like if they had done another switcheroo on me..

Hmmm, lucky then this wasn't the story in The New Zealand Herald on Jan 12: A Melbourne-bound Air New Zealand passenger ran amok Tuesday at Auckland Airport and refused to board his flight unless the airline reinstates an originally scheduled plane..."I am not going to Melbourne in an A320," the man said repeatedly, as he was taken away by airport police.   But seriously though, I think the NZ livery is just too plain and the 77W does exacerbate that white space...

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 2):
The mood lighting which created a very pleasant atmosphere in the Business cabin faded into the full glary white, as what was seen in the Premium Economy cabin. It would have been so much nicer had mood lighting been used throughout the plane.

Absolutely. The difference is immediately noticeable in your pics. I would imagine it's a matter of cost - as with everything else these days - but I just wonder how much more expensive it is to use mood lighting throughout.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 2):
So for those who have travelled in Business on the old seats, there is basically only a cosmetic change:

Looks nice. But I'm still not sure about the color though (applies to Y too) - I wonder how it'll stand up against the years of passenger abuse to come. From some reports I've seen, some of the light-colored Business Class seats on SQ that are newish are already not faring too well in the wear-n-tear department.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 2):
The buttons, located just under the seat

It does look like some very hard to find buttons! Is it any more intuitive when sat in the seats?

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 2):
It%u2019d be a real challenge to get out if the person on the aisle is sleeping.

That's not so good. The adverts make them look like there's so much space!

I have to say it again: this is an excellent review of the new Economy Premium. Thanks so much. For all its weaknesses, this does look like a big step forward and sets a new standard in Y+. It'll interesting to see what other airlines will do in the next few years to match.

Cheers
airpearl

[Edited 2011-02-26 02:09:42]

User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1710 posts, RR: 14
Reply 22, posted (3 years 5 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 32156 times:

Good evening Nicolas!

What an excellent report you've made this time, with some stunning pics as always!

It's interesting how NZ have decided to end their full-service concept for Y class and go over to giving the costumers the option to purchase extra services such as meals, lounge access, luggage and better seats. I found the Works Deluxe option to offer great value for the money, in fact I think it's a bargain really since they basically offer everything you'd expect from a J class ticket at a fraction of the cost. If only the stupid airline *cough*SAS*cough* we have up here would come up with a similar idea...

The NZ Lounge in AKL looked really nice. Breakfast offerings seemed very generous, I found the pancake machine to be a nice touch, though IIRC it didn't produce the best pancakes? How was the Barista service, was it up to par with what you'd expect from a real café?

The Y+ seat on NZ's 77W looked great, and I couldn't agree more with the fact that it's more like a Business Light product rather than Premium Economy. I did however find it strange that the TV-screens in Y were bigger than the ones in Y+.
Catering appeared to be almost up to par with what you'd expect in J. The individual table setup added a nice premium touch. The rubber table cloth didn't look that nice, but then again they need something to distinguish Y+ from J.

Hope to see more reports from you Nicholas!
Thanks for sharing

//Jonas



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3203 posts, RR: 12
Reply 23, posted (3 years 5 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 31932 times:

Looks like NZ have been busy coming up with some interesting new ideas - I'm keen to find out what Y pax think of the skycouch - seems way too overambitous, but good luck to them.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 4):
Upon my entry back through the curtains to Premium Economy, some person noticed me taking pictures and introduced himself as one of the operations manager overseeing the 77W EIS (entry into service) and the onboard product for it. It was quite an interesting chat talking about the product and that there’ll be something new for when the 787s are delivered. I bet he has received a barrage of complaints about the seats since!

Did you let him know your extra expenses incurred due to them chaning the inagural dates?



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LHR-GVA-LHR-TXL-LHR-VE-PRN,SPU-OSL-LHR, LGW-DXB-BKK-DXB-LHR
User currently onlinekiwiandrew From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 8544 posts, RR: 13
Reply 24, posted (3 years 5 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 31857 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 19):
It would be very interesting to see how they can tweak it around, as i am certain their will be a phase of some sort of optimisation. I am wondering why it would be difficult to remove a row of the Y+ seat for better legroom though?

My understanding as that because of the angling the current seat pitch means that peoples leg will line up with the "gap" in the row ahead , if you alter the seat pitch then peoples legs will "miss" the gap which could effectively reduce rather than increase the leg room even though technically the pitch would be greater .



Moderation in all things ... including moderation ;-)
25 NZdsgnr : The concept of buying what you want is only available to flights betweent New Zealand-Australia and New Zealand-Pacific Islans (excluding Tahiti) and
26 MSS658 : Nice trip report, but the spaceseat does look a bit cramped IMO. Have you seen people use the skycouch in Y?
27 akhmad : Hi Nicholas, I have been waiting for this report of yours! I must say I am speechless. Many thanks for the in-depth observation of this innovative pro
28 Post contains links and images NZ107 : Thanks for the comments so far, everyone! Thanks for the comments so far, everyone! Hi James, Thanks for your comments! In the end, it was satisfying
29 Post contains images NZdsgnr : Good on you for being so good at keeping your self-imposed deadline Now thoughts about the products... I think the seats do look great, I absolutely
30 christao17 : Interesting and detailed review of the new premium economy product on ANZ for us, thank you. The more I look at the pictures, the more I'm disinclined
31 PlaneHunter : Interesting, I didn't know that. What's the background for this? PH
32 flightsimboy : Nope they were definitely the Premium Economy seats I passed on the way out, as I looked at them closely as I exited the aircraft. I gave up the upgr
33 The777Man : Hi Nicholas! Thanks for an amazing trip report with amazing pictures! I'm happy that everything worked out for you and that you still were able to go
34 Genius12 : Really great detailed report, with excellent photos to match - thanks for sharing! The NZ Premium Economy product on the 77W certainly looks interesti
35 Post contains images NZ107 : Yeah, it's the huge contrast I'm not liking. I'm wondering if my next trip to LA should be on QF or NZ. It's a shame they didn't stick to 3-3-3 or at
36 abrelosojos : Nicholas, Thanks for taking the time to write this report. It is very well detailed and I am sure took an incredible amount of time. Some points I jot
37 Post contains images stipica : Nicholas ! I joined recently but since the beginning of 1998 I read almost daily airliners.net and i must say your work is truly among the best on air
38 lh526 : Great TR! About NZs new B777: Wonderful design and perfect seats, great Brand, excellent choice of fabrics styles, colours, etc ... stunning!! This is
39 NZ107 : Hi Alex, Thanks a lot for your comments! Not a problem. It took ages but I'm glad no other TRer had flown on it/published their report before me! It
40 Braniff747SP : Product looks nice...
41 Post contains images oa260 : Some great pics there. I love the J class and the Y+ is certainly an interesting concept. Never flown NZ , they are on my to do list. Thanks for the i
42 kurt : Wow, what a report. I'm going to go and check my Mileage Plus account for the miles AKL-MEL, because I feel like I actually took the flight! NZ's 77W
43 Post contains images NZ107 : The onboard product does look nice. I hope to try out the other cabins one day! Hi Phil, Thanks for your comments! Not a problem. Do try it someday!
Top Of Page
Forum Index

Reply To This Topic Y+ Spaceseat, The Trial: NZ 77W Inaugural AKL-MEL
Username:
No username? Sign up now!
Password: 


Forgot Password? Be reminded.
Remember me on this computer (uses cookies)
  • Trip reports only! Other topics here
  • If criticizing an airline, express yourself in a dignified manner.
  • No adverts of any kind. This includes web pages.
  • No hostile language or criticizing of others.
  • Do not post copyright protected material.
  • Use relevant and describing topics.
  • Check if your post already been discussed.
  • Check your spelling!
  • DETAILED RULES
Add Images Add SmiliesPosting Help

Please check your spelling (press "Check Spelling" above)


Similar topics:More similar topics...
MEL-AKL NZ Econ, AKL-MEL EK Econ posted Sun Feb 5 2006 01:57:14 by Antskip
NZ Trip Report: MEL-AKL-CHC-ZQN | AKL-MEL posted Tue Jan 15 2002 07:34:33 by Skystar
EK 345 Bizz(J) AKL-MEL-AKL To Avalon Airshow 2009 posted Sun Feb 14 2010 01:56:36 by timb777
NZ/AA: CNS-AKL-LAX-DFW-IAD In Y (pics) posted Sat Jan 23 2010 18:16:48 by FlyPNS1
Belated Picture TR - AKL-MEL On QF In C posted Thu Apr 23 2009 16:09:44 by Henkybaby
SYD-AKL-MEL-SYD W/QF New Logo & Interior Many Pics posted Sat Sep 15 2007 11:27:10 by QFFlyer
Air NZ From LAX-AKL-WLG, B772 And B733 posted Sat Sep 8 2007 12:14:52 by 777ER
Jet Star Inaugural Flight MEL - HNL Delayed (pics) posted Thu Jan 11 2007 05:09:44 by Safs
AKL-MEL On Emirates First Class A345 With Pix/vid posted Wed Nov 15 2006 12:45:29 by Eoinnz
NZ/SQ: WLG-AKL-SIN-ZRH-MAN, With Photos/video posted Thu May 18 2006 00:20:49 by Noelg
NZ Trip Report: MEL-AKL-CHC-ZQN | AKL-MEL posted Tue Jan 15 2002 07:34:33 by Skystar
To The Other Side Of The World, Part 1:ZRH-SIN-AKL posted Sun Jun 10 2012 07:34:04 by infodesk
Sydney Bound On The Big Bird! EK A380 AKL-SYD posted Sun Feb 12 2012 23:08:34 by aflyingkiwi
A Couch Across The Atlantic, NZ 1&2 LHR-LAX Y Skyc posted Sun Jul 3 2011 10:11:13 by pjack
EK 345 Bizz(J) AKL-MEL-AKL To Avalon Airshow 2009 posted Sun Feb 14 2010 01:56:36 by timb777
NZ/AA: CNS-AKL-LAX-DFW-IAD In Y (pics) posted Sat Jan 23 2010 18:16:48 by FlyPNS1
Belated Picture TR - AKL-MEL On QF In C posted Thu Apr 23 2009 16:09:44 by Henkybaby
SYD-AKL-MEL-SYD W/QF New Logo & Interior Many Pics posted Sat Sep 15 2007 11:27:10 by QFFlyer
Smaug To LAX In J (Air NZ 77W AKL-LAX) + SXM posted Wed Jul 2 2014 07:07:48 by byronicle6
Return From The Tropics Air NZ Bizz (J) PPT-AKL posted Mon Jan 25 2010 00:48:33 by Timb777
MEL-AKL NZ Econ, AKL-MEL EK Econ posted Sun Feb 5 2006 01:57:14 by Antskip
NZ Trip Report: MEL-AKL-CHC-ZQN | AKL-MEL posted Tue Jan 15 2002 07:34:33 by Skystar
Chasing The Betterfly! Royal Brunei B787 BWN-MEL posted Wed May 14 2014 09:58:55 by dirktraveller
Comparing The Competition: BA/VS Inaugural MAN-LHR posted Sun Mar 31 2013 07:49:26 by jwhite9185
Brazil Part 1 | AA 77W Inaugural DFW-GRU posted Mon Feb 25 2013 23:01:43 by mhkansan
To The Other Side Of The World, Part 1:ZRH-SIN-AKL posted Sun Jun 10 2012 07:34:04 by infodesk
Sydney Bound On The Big Bird! EK A380 AKL-SYD posted Sun Feb 12 2012 23:08:34 by aflyingkiwi

Sponsor Message:
Printer friendly format