Sponsor Message:
Aviation Trip Reports Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Air New Zealand - Business Premier SEA-SFO-AKL-CHC  
User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9580 posts, RR: 52
Posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 16035 times:

Thanks for choosing to read my report. If you want to skip ahead to the Air New Zealand portion, then go start reading at the second break. I will start by saying that I made a stupid mistake again. I brought my camera with me when I went to Seattle for the holidays, but I stupidly did not charge the camera battery and did not bring the charger. So what that means is that there are no photos of this journey.

So I was really looking forward to this trip in Business Premier with Air New Zealand. I have flown on NZ many times before. The last time was in 2003 in first class. Since then the first class has been removed and replaced with the Virgin Atlantic style suites. Ever since seeing the new design, I wanted to experience it. For this trip I was going to New Zealand to visit family and celebrate my mother's 50th birthday with her friends and family down there from when she grew up. So what this meant was that I would be traveling in a group of five including me, my parents, my sister and her boyfriend. It is weird to go as a big group with my family, but we all converged on Seattle for Christmas (I live in the Midwest and my sister lives in Las Vegas). We were going to Christchurch for family and Queenstown for fun. We originally were going to fly SEA-LAX-CHC, but after talking to fellow anetters including NZ1, we found out that we would be in an unrefurbished 747, which is not desirable. So we changed our bookings and decided to go SEA-SFO-AKL-CHC. A little longer, but hopefully it would be more comfortable.

United Airlines
December 25th, 2005
Flight: 993
SEA-SFO
Departs: 12:09pm
Arrives: 2:13pm
Flight Time: 1hr 51min
Equipment: A320
First Class Seat 3A
Load Factor: 100% (overbooked economy, complimentary upgrade)


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Anne Deus



We got to the airport at about 10:45am on Christmas morning. We had etickets from SEA to SFO on UA as we booked that separately and used a consolidator to get paper business class tickets at $5,600 per person from SFO to New Zealand. We went to the Premier/Premier Executive/1K/Business Class/First Class line. After about two minutes we were called up and gave our package of tickets. There were two agents working the eticket machines for all of the premium passengers. We handed over our paper tickets to an agent wearing a read sweater vest with the Shuttle by United logo on it and she started working. It took her a long time to get everything processed. Since Air New Zealand limits cabin baggage to only 7kgs maximum, we all had a piece of luggage to check in. The agent was able to print all boarding passes for us and tag our bags to CHC even though we would have to collect them for customs formalities in AKL.

After about 10 minutes we were all done and had our tickets. We were all seated in economy since we just bought discount tickets for this leg since it is so short. My parents are 1Ks with my father being a million mile flyer. I am Premier Executive and my sister and her boyfriend had just recently enrolled in mileage plus (they live in Las Vegas). We went through the express security lane. We had about 30 minutes before boarding time, so I suggested that we got to the new central terminal area to grab a bite to eat. We went to a Mexican restaurant there which is awesome. I am still amazed at how beautiful it is, but it cost way too much money to build. Oh well, at least it is nice to spend time in.

My father felt the need to go to the red carpet club, so we walked off over there. We spend about five minutes there before proceeding up to the gate. As soon as we got to the gate, three of us were called up to the counter. The agent then tells us that because economy is overbooked, they will be upgrading the three of us elite flyers to first class for free. That was very nice. I have only had that happen to me once before. We didn't even request upgrades, but UA gave them to us. I was happy about that. But when the agent tried to print out boarding passes he realized that our passport numbers were not properly entered. So we had to wait for that process to happen again and ended up being the last to board. But that was ok since we had checked luggage and didn¡¦t have any rollaboard carryons like normal.

The A320 was nice and clean. I took my seat which was 3A. I sat back and read a book. This was a pretty generic flight. The door was closed and the crew prepared us for departure. I was reading Raising Atlantis and sat back as we pushed back. The safety demonstration was played over the monitors, but as usual no one in first class was watching it. It was a pretty quiet Christmas morning and we had no delay on our taxi to the north end of the field. There were a couple little decorations on the plane, but nothing special.

We made it to the north end of the airport and departed on runway 16L. It was a nice forceful run. We rotated adjacent to the north satellite into a cloudy sky. Weather wasn't bad, which was good for us. But we did have a 5hr 30min layover in SFO just in case. There was a later flight from SEA that would have given us enough of a connection time, but we didn¡¦t want to chance it.

I listened into channel 9 and we were cleared up to 15,000ft and then 23,000ft and finally to our cruising altitude of 36,000ft. The purser asked me for a beverage choice and I asked for ginger ale. This was a pretty short flight, so there would be no food service. Not even the fruit and cheese plate that UA likes serving on short flights nowadays. I remember the days when AS advertised low fares, full service and offered a warm meal on flights between the bay area and Seattle in economy. That was only about 10 years ago. Aviation has certainly changed. But I also remember flying Malaysia a few months ago and getting a warm meal in economy on a flight that was half the length of this one. Anyways I got my drink and the snack mix. The snack mix sucks since it is pretzels, corn chips and soybeans - certainly not good tasting things at all. Oh well. The purser who was a younger gentleman announced that he could not find the short subject video for this flight, so he was going to put in a movie. He played the Polar Express. I hadn't seen it and since it was Christmas, I decided to watch. [complaing]I am actually glad he couldn't find the short subject programming because it sucks. It completely sucks beyond words. It consists of some stupid attempt at an entertainment show that essentially is one huge advertisement for NBC shows and people that need to boost their careers. And on top of that there are all of these commercials for gadgets and services that are supposed to appeal to business customers. You are lucky if you can see a single episode of a show like Joey or Will and Grace. UA, please improve your short subject shows. It sucks and is not worth watching. [/complaining] Ok rant over. The movie was good enough.

Before I knew it we began our decent into SFO. It was cloudy, so there was no view outside. The movie just finished up as the seat belt sign came on. The flight attendants prepared the cabin for arrival. They all seemed cheery enough for working on Christmas day. They seemed a lot better than the AA crowd that I experienced when flying SEA-DFW-CUN last year on Christmas. I like flying on Christmas since I don't really celebrate the holiday and things tend to be less crowded

We popped out of the clouds right over OAK. I saw a nice blue WN 737 on final approach as we cruised over the bay to land in SFO. The landing was a nice enough one and we were about four minutes early. Overall good job UA. A nice reliable flight.

We taxied over to the gate and I was the third one off the plane after smiling and saying Merry Christmas to the purser. I always feel bad for people that have to work on holidays that don't want to, but this crew seemed happy enough. As I was walking up the jetway an alarm went off as someone opened the door into the terminal. It proceeded to go off as all of the passengers exited the plane. It was a horrible loud pitch noise and no one did anything to stop it. That was annoying.

After all of us met up, we went to the Red Carpet Club in the UA domestic gates. We thought we would wait there for a bit and then make our way to the international terminal. We had boarding passes, but wanted to check with the Air New Zealand representatives about frequent flyer numbers, so we decided to wait until they opened up their counters. The UA red carpet club at SFO is quite nice. It has a lot of San Francisco character. It is long and has very good airport views with plenty of seats by the window. Unfortunately there wasn¡¦t much going on outside and it was raining, so it wasn't great. But I did see some impressive 747 takeoffs and landings that would have made great shots with all of the water splashing from the wet runway.

I had a coke and watched some football as I tried to waste away five hours. Eventually my family went off to the International terminal, but I stayed back to make some phone calls and spend some time away from the family. At about two hours prior to departure time I made my way to the International terminal.

Air New Zealand
December 25th, 2005
SFO-AKL
Flight: 7
Departs: 7:15pm
Arrives: 5:15am
Flight Time: 11hrs 40min
Equipment: 777-200ER
Business Premier Seat 5K
Load Factor: 22/26 in Business Premier


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

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

Photo © Jonathan Rankin



I followed the signs and it was a pretty short walk. I could see the beautiful month old 777 sitting there waiting for us surrounded by a few planes that would be on their way to Asia. I was really looking forward to this flight. I went to the counter and got my frequent flyer number entered into the system. I then cleared security. They TSA agents seemed very friendly and were wishing everyone a happy holiday.

I walked the length of the international terminal trying to find the Red Carpet Club. I eventually walked all the way back to only see that it was right next to security. The terminal was very empty and quite nice and new. There were only a few people in a bar. I went into the RCC and found it to be huge. Lots of little rooms connected to each other. Eventually after walking through the maze of quiet rooms, I found my family behind the bar drinking and arguing with each other. I guess that is the joy of family. We had about 30 minutes. I watched some CNN and declined a visit to the bar. Drinking is not the best of ideas on long hauls as you get dehydrated enough on a plane without alcohol in your system.

At 6:25pm we started walking to the gate after over four hours in SFO. That was more than enough time for my liking. I was ready to just get on a plane. We went all the way out near the end to find our 777. Just as we went down the escalator, they began boarding Business Premier. We boarded through the first jetbridge and were welcomed aboard. My first thought was of amazement. The whole cabin was lit in a soft purple and pink hue. The seats were a relaxing brown color and peaceful scenes were visible on the PTV screens. All of the passengers seemed to be amazed by the cabin. It looked nothing like what you would expect from business class; especially when compared to the old configuration of old seats with just 50 inch pitch.

I made my way to my seat and got my things in order. Each seat had its own overhead compartment which was nice. An older male FA came by and asked if I wanted anything to drink. I asked for orange juice and began to settle down and explore the seat. I then went over to the other aisle to chat with my sister and her boyfriend. Lots of people were taking pictures. My sister took some of the seats and even a movie. I will try to get them from her and upload them. Overall it was very comfortable. An FA came around and as many people were curious about the seat performed a tutorial for the entire cabin. About 10 people crowded around as the lady showed us how to recline the seat, take out the tray table, play with IFE and how to convert it into a bed and where the linens were. It was very nice of her to do that. At this point my sister realized that her seat wasn't really working. She couldn't recline the seat. Since there were only 22 of 26 seats occupied, she moved to a different seat. Upon arriving at a new seat she discovered that the tray table would not come out. The flight attendant said that there are issues with the tray table and that they are currently working on redesigning the mechanism that latches it in place since pretty much everyone had trouble using the tables and the FAs had to assist everyone. Well my sister's tray wouldn't come out, so her and her boyfriend moved across the aisle to try seat number three. Finally the seat seemed to be adequately functional. I think Air New Zealand is having some teething issues with the new planes and new seats. They are a revolutionary design, but there are some quirks. I overheard some passengers complaining and thinking that this was an old plane. When they found out that it was only a month old, they were confused as to why a new plane would be breaking. Oh well, at least my seat had no issues with it.

Next a flight attendant came by with baskets with different amenity items in them. There were toothbrushes, socks, eyeshades, ear plugs and lip balm. I took one of each in order to maximize my amenities in flight. I ended up using them all. I am glad that NZ still offers amenities to passengers. I think offering passengers to take what they want is best. SQ has eliminated amenity kits in business class and makes you ask for things, but they don¡¦t really let you know what is available. I would prefer a whole kit to myself, but I am satisfied with taking what I want.

By this time the front door was closed and boarding was being completed. The captain came over the PA and welcomed us aboard the brand new 777. Our flight time would be 11hrs 40min. There would be some turbulence for the first few hours before the flight would eventually smooth out.

The second door was shut right on time and the safety video was played over the PTVs. I looked around and people seemed to be paying attention. The crew then did their final preparations for departure as we pushed back. We made our way very slowly in the cold wet night. We eventually taxied and were ready to takeoff in an easterly direction. The takeoff was a smooth one as the beautiful engines roared to life. We rolled to the left for noise abatement before continuing our climb into the clouds. There wasn't much to see as it was overcast at about 3,000ft. The 777 definitely took its time in climb. We were slowly making our way into the sky on our way to the South Pacific.

At about 10,000ft the seatbelt sign was switched off. US airlines definitely wait a lot longer to turn off the seat belt sign. You have to almost be in cruise before you are allowed up nowadays. It was smooth and the flight attendants began scurrying to get the meal ready. It seemed like they had an awful lot of work to prepare the meal service as they were working quite hard for 10-15 minutes before they attended to the passengers. The menus were passed out. It was a simple piece of cardboard paper folded in half and wasn't in color or anything. Overall very cheap, but it still accomplished what it needed to. The in flight manager explained the services for the flight over the PA.

Ed was serving my side of the cabin for our flight. There were three flight attendants for the Business Premier passengers. This meant a ration of 7 to 1, which always means good service. Table linens were passed out. Next came a salad with scallops and I had a glass of Chardonnay to accompany it. (While enjoying the glass of wine I raised it in a toast to Anetters that wished me a good trip and especially to Door5right who was jealous of me for getting the opportunity to enjoy superior service on one of the world's best airlines). There were lots of little scallops that I didn't really care for on the salad. I ate the lettuce and passed on the scallops. I did have two helpings of garlic bread though. It wasn't freshly baked or even adequately heated, but it was ok. The meal service was being accomplished at an adequate pace. I was really glad for this because so often meals take almost two hours to be completed. During the meal service I was watching Wedding Crashers. I have been told that it is a funny movie, but I didn't really find it that great.

After the plate was collected Ed came by and asked what I would like for dinner. I chose the steak and it came in a tiny bowl. I am guessing that it was about four ounces of meat surrounded by a few vegetables. The amount of food served was tiny. My father was livid when he saw the portions given. I am a lightweight myself and found the amount of food to be adequate, but my father was so upset and asked for more. They eventually gave him an economy meal. But despite the dinner's size, I did enjoy it. The meat was moist and tasted good. I felt adequate. I had a third glass of wine which is my limit as Ed collected the bowl. Dessert came by next. Knowing that New Zealanders like bitter desserts, I had some ice cream instead of the other choice. It tasted good although it was somewhat melted. It wasn¡¦t as good as the ice cream sundaes that some airlines serve, but it was adequate.

After I was finished Ed collected everything and I passed up on more wine and cheese. I had a few glasses of wine to put me to sleep. I personally am not a big drinker, but felt the need to go to sleep. Throughout the meal service the seatbelt sign had been on as there was some light chop. It didn¡¦t feel too bad and I really needed to go to the lavatory. So I got up and quickly went to the one right behind my seat. Once I made it back to my seat I was ready to run in for bed, so I folded the seat down and turned it into bed mode. I opened up the mattress cover and blanket and got the bed ready for sleeping. It looked very comfortable.

I layed down in the bed and felt very good. I had a nice meal and was ready to go to sleep. There were about 10 hours left in the flight. I am 5'11" and fit very well into the bed. It was plenty long when including the ottoman. By the way the ottoman is a very nice feature. It is nice to have a seat if you want to talk to someone briefly, although it is uncomfortable to sit on for extended periods of time. Also it serves as a nice foot rest at a good distance from the seat. Overall the seat design was perfect from a comfort level, but mechanically has some issues that still need to be worked out. The back side of the seat that you sleep on is very soft and comfortable.

I put on my blindfold and earplugs and went to sleep in the turbulence and pretty much was out. I briefly woke up with about 6 hours left in the flight and went to the lavatory, but then went back to my seat and to sleep. I noticed that pretty much everyone was asleep. It looked like everyone else was enjoying the seats. I was out again and slept very soundly. That little bit of wine definitely knocked me out. I woke up with about 40 minutes to go in the flight. I completely slept through the breakfast service, which was good as I don't like eating right when I wake up. I am so glad that Air New Zealand flight attendants don't wake passengers up for meal services. I remember an experience when an SQ FA was pushing on my shoulder and thrusting a hot towel into my face and trying to get me to eat which royally pissed me off. I had slept for about 9hrs and 40min. I felt great. I sleep well on planes, and the amazing comfort provided by the suites just made me sleep better. My mother had some issues sleeping since she was allergic to the feathers in the pillow, but I was fine.

I made sure my immigration forms were in line and then I went to the lavatory to freshen up and brush my teeth. I came back and Ed was there. He offered me some orange juice and I folded up the seat. I noticed that the cabin was now a bluish green color. I really liked the mood lighting. It makes it more comfortable and relaxing. Also when I first saw that Air New Zealand has brown leather, I thought the plane would be ugly. But in reality it looks very good and relaxing. A+ to the Air New Zealand interiors.

I then sat back and looked at the IFE. There was announcement that they system would be shut down in about five minutes. I looked at the airshow moving map, but wasn't that happy with it. It is supposed to be the latest in technology, but I didn't think it was that good at portraying what you want to see. It didn't do a good job of showing where you are and the flight information. Overall the IFE is pretty good. It wasn't as easy and seamless to use as SQ's Krisworld, but the On Demand feature was good. I liked being able to choose what to watch and when to watch it. It really makes me get annoyed when I go back to flying UA and do not get to choose when and what to watch. AVOD is amazing.

The IFE was turned off and they showed a video about arrivals in Auckland. We were descending in the dark. It was overcast below us, but the arrival was pretty smooth. I was happy to finally be in New Zealand. I think the service was good. The crew was a little on the older side. I remember past experiences when NZ had younger crews, but that doesn't mean that they didn't provide good service. I was happy enough with what we got and need to remember that this was business class. You would think that it is first class since it is more comfortable that those old seats on Air New Zealand, but it isn't.

We made it to the runway in the dark and had a beautiful landing. We taxied to the terminal which was pretty empty since it looked like the arrivals from LAX had not made it in yet. We exited through door two and the FAs were nice enough to help the business class passengers out first. We made it into the terminal and quickly walked towards immigration. Unfortunately there was a line there, so the rushing served no purpose. But after about 20 minutes we all made our way through.

Our bags were already on the carousel for collection. We grabbed our bags and headed to customs. In New Zealand they Xray every bag regardless of what is declared. After making my way through my family heads to the Air New Zealand domestic transfer counter. There was a little line, but we made it up to the counter. My father had some issues finding his boarding pass as he was exhausted after a long flight and some whiny woman behind the counter was yelling at him. She was not friendly at all and seemed to have some stuff loaded up her behind. But anyways I found it among his stuff and she put our bags onto the belt.

Air New Zealand
December 27th, 2005
AKL-CHC
Flight: 503
Departs: 7:10am
Arrives: 8:30am
Flight Time: 1hr 10min
Boeing 737-300 Seat 4E
Load Factor: 60%


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Gabriel Savit
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Colin Hunter



We went outside and followed the blue line to the domestic terminal. There is a bus that runs every twenty minutes, but we felt like taking the one kilometer walk. It still confuses me how domestic carriers in New Zealand need to have their own terminals. But anyway we walked over there and then headed over to security. The security in New Zealand is far less strenuous than in the United States. It was like security was five years ago. We make it through with no problem and head to the Koru Club. I grabbed some toast and juice as my father had a shower. I relaxed a bit. I then noticed that I was assigned seat 23F while the rest of my family was in row 4 and 6. So I went up to the front desk and they printed me a new boarding pass for row 4. That was important because my family does not like waiting.

At 6:50am we went to the gate. They were about to begin boarding. They started with rows 12 and up and then two minutes later welcomed everyone aboard. It was very orderly. I was glad about that.

I boarded and found my seat. I had a nice young woman sitting next to me though seat pitch sucked. The domestic economy seats on Air New Zealand aren't good at all. Service is also poor. It wasn't long ago when they served hot meals on flights between AKL and CHC, but now you only get tea or coffee. After everyone had boarded I noticed that no one took seat 4D, so I moved over to the aisle so that I could have some more space. It seemed like the seats were assigned somewhat randomly since there were multiple empty rows, yet some rows were completely full.

We pushed back on time and the flight attendants performed the showed the safety demonstration. NZ has 733s that have the drop down LCD monitors. Usually you only see these on the 737NGs, but Air New Zealand has the last 733s produced and have some extra features. However the monitors are only used to play the safety demonstration as there is no IFE during the flight on the domestic legs.

We made our way to the runway behind a LAN jet which I believe would be headed to Australia. Take off was fast and smooth as the little jet moved into the air. The skies were light out now and it was clearing up a bit. I started reading my book since I couldn't look out the window  .

The seat belt sign went out at 10,000ft. The flight attendants first passed out water and then offered coffee and tea. There is no juice or anything else offered. At least domestic US airlines have a full beverage service. I think more than tea and coffee should be offered. But it is just a short flight. I guess it would be an RJ in the US and that would mean only water.

We began our descent into CHC. I was glad to almost be there it had been a long flight. I tried to look out the window, but I couldn¡¦t see much from an aisle seat. We made a smooth but fast approach. We definitely were moving fast. The plane flared but still smashed into the runway and we bounced. It wasn't a very good landing by the crew. But we taxied towards the terminal. I was one of the first off the plane and made my way into the terminal. I met up with family members who drove us to the Clearwater Resort to stay in Christchurch for two days. We would then head to Queenstown before returning. Keep an eye out for those trip reports and I will try to get some pictures if I can.

Summary:
Air New Zealand is a still a good airline although some cost cutting maneuvers are obvious. NZ use to have bad seats and interiors in its premium cabins but really good service. Nowadays service has declined due to smaller meal portions and reduced staffing. But overall Air New Zealand is still a good carrier. All flights were on time, which is always really important. I have not flown Qantas to New Zealand, but I think that the level of comfort in the new suites is better on Air New Zealand. This is a special airline. Kiwis are great friendly people that provide amazing service in all industries. It isn't like America where you only get good service if you give people tips. But NZ can still improve. Increasing the quality of the food service would help and offering more than tea and coffee on domestic legs would be nice, but I doubt it will happen.

Thanks so much for reading my trip report. I apologize for the lack of pictures, but I tried to make up for it with detail. Please leave comments about what you liked and didn't and I will try to make my return trip report better as I want to make sure you guys like it and want to read it since it takes a number of hours to write a trip report like this. Keep an eye out for it.

[Edited 2006-01-02 02:24:55]

[Edited 2006-01-02 02:28:10]


If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
25 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineTG992 From New Zealand, joined Jan 2001, 2910 posts, RR: 10
Reply 1, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 15991 times:

RoseFlyer, glad you had an overall good trip on NZ. You're lucky to have had 3 FA's - usually only 2 work the Business Premier section. I'm assuming the Y class load was light or the ISD was able to assist in Y class. Unfortunately soon the ISD position will change to an onboard manager role, and they won't be taking part in the service at all..

Can I please beg you to write Air NZ customer relations (flightcomment@airnz.co.nz) regarding the portions of your meal, and get your father to write in seperately too. The company needs to be aware of how major an issue this is - and the only way they will listen is if people write in, the more the better!



-
User currently offlineNZ1 From New Zealand, joined May 2004, 2253 posts, RR: 25
Reply 2, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 15948 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR

Very interesting trip report. Glad you enjoyed your stay in NZ. Please do ask TG992 asks and send in your comments to flightcomment@airnz.co.nz You will be adding more weight behind the claims of crew and it may just make Rob Fyfe change his mind on a few issues.

NZ1


User currently offlinePhilSquares From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 15947 times:

Quoting RoseFlyer (Thread starter):
SQ has eliminated amenity kits in business class and makes you ask for things, but they don¡¦t really let you know what is available. I would prefer a whole kit to myself, but I am satisfied with taking what I want.

FYI, on SQ you shouldn't have to ask for anything. In the J class lavs there is a compartment labeled "Amenities" in there you will find everything you need.


User currently offline767ER From Australia, joined Apr 2001, 1092 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 15882 times:

RoseFlyer

That TR pretty much mirrored my experience on flying SFO AKL on the 772. I recall we had 3 FAs in Business Premier. I didn't get to sample the steak as thye had run out by the time it got to me but the quiche like I had was delicious though the portion was very pathetic.

As TG992 says, for those of you that issues with the food, etc, you should email Air NZ.



Aircraft flown:F27,Viscount. EMB120, SAAB340, ATR70, 737-200.737-300,DC8, DC10,747-100,747-200,747-300,747-400, A320, A3
User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9580 posts, RR: 52
Reply 5, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 15881 times:

Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 3):
FYI, on SQ you shouldn't have to ask for anything. In the J class lavs there is a compartment labeled "Amenities" in there you will find everything you need.

Not everything is in there or at least from experience. Blindfolds and earplugs which I wanted inflight were not there. Only the bathroom stuff like toothbrushes was in there. There is something special about being given that type of stuff. Hiding it away in a drawer in a lavatory isn't as nice as having it given to you. It really is a stunt to make only the people that really want a 50 cent plastic toothbrush to get it so that people use less of them in my opinion. Although it can be interpreted as a feature to have those items available right there in the lavatory where you would use them.

Quoting TG992 (Reply 1):
You're lucky to have had 3 FA's - usually only 2 work the Business Premier section. I'm assuming the Y class load was light or the ISD was able to assist in Y class.

The plane definitely had a light load on Christmas Day. There was one FA in the galley and one working each aisle. With just two FAs, then the service would have been much worse. NZ use to have much better service, but I guess that is true in most industries.

Quoting TG992 (Reply 1):
Can I please beg you to write Air NZ customer relations (flightcomment@airnz.co.nz) regarding the portions of your meal, and get your father to write in seperately too. The company needs to be aware of how major an issue this is - and the only way they will listen is if people write in, the more the better!

I most certainly will. If you went to a fancy restaurant and were given a meal that small then you would be livid and demanding a refund. It is enough food to satiate your appetite, but not fill you up. It felt more appropriate for a lunch service.

[Edited 2006-01-02 04:22:59]

[Edited 2006-01-02 04:53:08]


If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineS12PPL From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 15740 times:

Excellent report! ANZ's 777's sound like they are increadible! They're seats look like Virgin's new first suites. Pretty lucky you got to experience it all!!

User currently offline9V-SVA From Singapore, joined Aug 2001, 1860 posts, RR: 8
Reply 7, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 15698 times:

Quoting RoseFlyer (Thread starter):
SQ has eliminated amenity kits in business class and makes you ask for things, but they don¡¦t really let you know what is available. I would prefer a whole kit to myself, but I am satisfied with taking what I want.

Not true. SQ still gives them out in business, or you can always help yourself in the toilet.



9V-SVA | B772ER
User currently offlineMr AirNZ From New Zealand, joined Feb 2002, 855 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 15643 times:

Quoting RoseFlyer (Thread starter):
I boarded and found my seat. I had a nice young woman sitting next to me though seat pitch sucked. The domestic economy seats on Air New Zealand aren't good at all. Service is also poor. It wasn't long ago when they served hot meals on flights between AKL and CHC, but now you only get tea or coffee. After everyone had boarded I noticed that no one took seat 4D, so I moved over to the aisle so that I could have some more space. It seemed like the seats were assigned somewhat randomly since there were multiple empty rows, yet some rows were completely full.

Do you really need a meal on a flight that at times is less than an hour? Seat assigning is random. We check you in and the system picks a seat (unless pre-assigned eg. Groups, Frequent Flyers etc.).


User currently offline3201 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 15597 times:

Quoting RoseFlyer (Thread starter):
Our flight time would be 11hrs 40min.

Are you *sure* about this? On a normal day, I'd think that time would correspond to a 744 flying at a very high CI or Mach, faster than a 777 could or would ever fly (and in fact faster than I'd ever expect a 744 to be used operationally unless something very strange was happening). I'd think a 777 flying a normal speed would take more like 12:40-13:00, and could only do 11:40 if it had a remarkable tailwind. Did they say anything about unusually favorable winds?

(Maybe you're confusing directions, since 11:40 would be very reasonable in the other direction?)


User currently onlineFlyer732 From Namibia, joined Nov 1999, 1367 posts, RR: 21
Reply 10, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 15494 times:

Quoting 3201 (Reply 9):
Are you *sure* about this? On a normal day, I'd think that time would correspond to a 744 flying at a very high CI or Mach, faster than a 777 could or would ever fly (and in fact faster than I'd ever expect a 744 to be used operationally unless something very strange was happening). I'd think a 777 flying a normal speed would take more like 12:40-13:00, and could only do 11:40 if it had a remarkable tailwind. Did they say anything about unusually favorable winds?

(Maybe you're confusing directions, since 11:40 would be very reasonable in the other direction?)

11:40 would be about right, figure a ground speed of 495 kts, (which I randomly pulled from an OZ 777 in flight right now) over the distance of 6500 miles, would give an air time of 11:26.


User currently offlineZKSUJ From New Zealand, joined May 2004, 7092 posts, RR: 12
Reply 11, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 15484 times:

Great report, also I would urge you to write in about the 'flaws' in the trip. Constructive criticism is a good thing.

I find that tea/cofee is adequate for domestic in NZ, seeing as no flight is longer than 2 hours. Though I would prefer if they gave a sandwich and offered juice as well.


User currently offlinePilotdude09 From Australia, joined May 2005, 1777 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 15342 times:

Quoting RoseFlyer (Thread starter):
there is no IFE during the flight on the domestic legs.

On most domestic legs they will have the radio going, on my chc-akl and dud-akl the capt said the radio is on for those who wish to enjoy it, and i just asked for a headset on the dud-akl leg and they went and got me one. Or am i just lucky?

Also on a CHC-DUD leg on the ATR they had music playing the whole 45 min flight even during takeoff and landing over the pas system.



Qantas, Still calling Australia Home.........
User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9580 posts, RR: 52
Reply 13, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 15288 times:

Quoting Mr AirNZ (Reply 8):
Do you really need a meal on a flight that at times is less than an hour?

Not really. I did feel that it used to be a bit excessive. However a full beverage service with juices and other drinks would be nice on domestic flights.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineDoor5Right From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2005, 707 posts, RR: 16
Reply 14, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 15258 times:

Nice One Mr Roseflyer - most enjoyable.


My soul is in the sky...
User currently offline3201 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 15211 times:

Quoting Flyer732 (Reply 10):
11:40 would be about right, figure a ground speed of 495 kts, (which I randomly pulled from an OZ 777 in flight right now) over the distance of 6500 miles, would give an air time of 11:26.

Without climb, descent, and winds, maybe. If you use a real flight planning system with real winds in the correct direction, I don't think so. In fact, even using a great-circle route I'm showing 12:25 today, and 12:35 with departures and approaches.

Which direction was the OZ 777 you checked going? SFO-AKL it looks like 480 is more reasonable.

Also this flight is blocked at 13 hours, even these days 1:20 of taxi time seems a bit excessive.

[Edited 2006-01-02 20:20:59]

Edits: add block time, update data, remove irrelevant other considerations

[Edited 2006-01-02 20:40:03]

User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9580 posts, RR: 52
Reply 16, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 15211 times:

As far as flight time goes, I wrote down 11hrs 40min, although memory tells me that it could have been 12hrs and 20min. That was over a week ago, so I am not truly certain. I didn't write down lift off and touch down times. The flight is blocked at 13hrs from departure to arrival.

I sent in this email in to Air New Zealand complaining about meal quantity. I'll let you know if I get a reply.


Hello,

I recently flew from San Francisco to Christchurch via Auckland and Queenstown to San Francisco via Auckland in your new Business Premier cabin. I flew SFO-AKL-CHC on December 25th and ZQN-AKL-SFO on December 31st. I was very pleased with the comfort of your new suites. They were wonderful to sleep on although the mechanics of the seat still need to be worked out since there were troubles with the tray table on both sectors (the first flight on a 777 in 5K and the second on a 747 in 12A). I presume you are working on that. My seat would not fold over into the bed position on the second leg and the flight attendant had to manually force it. But that was fine as quirks are expected with new designs.

My biggest problem was with meal quantities. I found the main course serving size to be extremely small. It seemed as if there were only about 4 ounces of meat compared to the 8-12 that I would expect. If I had been served your meal in a restaurant, I would have sent it back to the kitchen or demanded a refund. Your multiple course meal format was nice, but the main course was too small although it tasted good enough. I had the beef on one leg and chicken on the return. It seemed like the quantity of food was more apporpriate for a lunch service. I don't know if it is because of cost cutting moves or what, but I have had far better meal quantity on other airlines including your competition. Your meal satiates an appetite, but does not leave a person feeling full. My father was so diappointed at the quantity of food that he confronted a flight attendant who then served him an economy meal.

Your service in other regards was nice, but full sized meals would be appreciated. After all I was travelling with my family of five and we payed over $5,000 USD each for those tickets.

Thank you very much,
Javid Khan


I personally wonder if people involved in customer service relations actually read websites like this. It would give valuable insight on how to improve service in comparison to other airlines.

[Edited 2006-01-02 20:27:14]


If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineZKSUJ From New Zealand, joined May 2004, 7092 posts, RR: 12
Reply 17, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 15137 times:

Do let us know if you get a reply.

That was a short stay in NZ, any chance of a 744 report back?


User currently offlineGardermoen From Australia, joined Jul 1999, 1522 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 15031 times:

Hi.
Interesting report. I flew NZ myself a few days ago MEL-AKL on a refurbished 747-400 "Kaikoura". The PTVs really do make a difference. I noticed NZ had no duty free service. No mention of it on board, and nothing in the magazine and not even a seperate duty free catalogue.

Has NZ ended duty free sales? If so, when did this happen?


User currently offlineBoeing744 From Canada, joined Jun 2005, 1833 posts, RR: 23
Reply 19, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 15015 times:

Great report! It doesn't matter that you had no pics, because you were so descriptive! Smile Thanks for sharing!

For your return, are you taking the same routing? I look forward to your r/t report.


User currently offline767ER From Australia, joined Apr 2001, 1092 posts, RR: 4
Reply 20, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 14990 times:

Air New Zealand ended duty frees sales a few years - I don't think it was a great money spinner.


Aircraft flown:F27,Viscount. EMB120, SAAB340, ATR70, 737-200.737-300,DC8, DC10,747-100,747-200,747-300,747-400, A320, A3
User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9580 posts, RR: 52
Reply 21, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 14541 times:

Here is the response I received from Air New Zealand regarding the meal size. It was rather prompt which was nice.


Dear Mr Khan

Thank you for taking the time to contact us at Air New Zealand.

We were most concerned to read your comments regarding the meal you received on your flight. It is disappointing to learn of occasions when our standards, and equally importantly our customer's expectations have not been met.
Thank you for your comments regarding the quantity of meal served. We appreciate your comments as they help us to effectively monitor our products and service. You can be assured our Route Catering Manager is aware of your concerns and will be using your feedback in his next review.

Mr Khan, we appreciate you taking the time to provide us with your feedback. It is only with feedback are we able to make the necessary changes that will benefit our passengers. We look forward to being of service to you in the near future.

Yours sincerely
Fearwin Winnie Tuai
Customer Support Specialist
Phone: 09-255-8758
Fax: 09-256-3531
Email: flightcomment@airnz.co.nz


Also I am working on the TR for the return trip (ZQN-AKL-SFO-SEA). I should have it done by the weekend.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineLH459 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 886 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 14343 times:

Hi,
I'm very curious which agency you used to purchase your tickets, as the fare you mention is cheaper than the net our local wholesalers offer! In the past, some agencies would purchase NZ tickets through agents in the UK or elsewhere in Europe, to take advantage of fares restricted to those markets (but not for sale in the US). These were known as "grey market" tickets, but NZ did a major crack down on this practice about 2 years ago. You mention your tickets were paper tickets--did you happen to notice where they were issued? Did they show a fare, or were they bulk tickets? Sorry for all the questions. You can message me if you'd prefer not to respond in the thread.
Thanks!



"I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is temporary; the evil it does is permanent" - Ghandi
User currently offlineStevenUhl777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 14266 times:

Quoting RoseFlyer (Thread starter):
Thanks for choosing to read my report.

You're welcome! I've read several of your other reports and greatly enjoyed, regardless of picture quantity. I look forward to reading more in the future.

Quoting RoseFlyer (Thread starter):
The 777 definitely took its time in climb.

Hmm...I think this was probably a weather and ATC issue for departures out of SFO than a specific aircraft performance issue.

Thanks for your report...great job!


User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9580 posts, RR: 52
Reply 24, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 14082 times:

I have posted the return trip now on a 747 with the new Business Premier cabins in a new thread:
ZQN-AKL-SFO-SEA On Air New Zealand BusinessPremier (by RoseFlyer Jan 7 2006 in Trip Reports)

Also I posted a report about a flight within New Zealand as well:
Air New Zealand Link Christchurch-Queenstown ATR72 (by RoseFlyer Jan 3 2006 in Trip Reports)

Quoting StevenUhl777 (Reply 23):
Quoting RoseFlyer (Thread starter):
The 777 definitely took its time in climb.

Hmm...I think this was probably a weather and ATC issue for departures out of SFO than a specific aircraft performance issue.

I don't think it was an ATC issue, as ATC doesn't tell pilots to slowly climb to altitudes. ATC only tells pilots to climb faster when necessary. We didn't really step up either. I presume we were cleared to our cruising altitude early on. Afterall, not many planes leave SFO and head out to sea in a Southwest direction.


I think it had more to do with a having a loaded 777 on a long route and either the pilot not using all of the possible power available, or the pilot tyring to get a higher ground speed but slower climb rate. Those are just guesses though.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineNZCH From New Zealand, joined Jan 2006, 119 posts, RR: 0
Reply 25, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 14027 times:

Well done excellent report of the journey good on ya.

Regards NZCH



Airlines flown: BA,BD,NZ,SQ,FR,ZB,EK,JQ
Top Of Page
Forum Index

Reply To This Topic Air New Zealand - Business Premier SEA-SFO-AKL-CHC
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...
Air New Zealand Business Class, SYD-AKL posted Wed Apr 23 2003 01:39:30 by B-HXB
Air New Zealand Business Class, BNE-AKL posted Thu Jan 30 2003 23:32:39 by MattNZ
Air New Zealand Business Class, SYD-AKL posted Tue Jul 9 2002 11:14:22 by B-HXB
Air New Zealand Business Class, AKL-SYD posted Tue Jul 9 2002 02:03:19 by B-HXB
Air New Zealand Business Cass And 'Express' posted Wed Feb 12 2003 00:59:55 by 767er
ZQN-AKL-SFO-SEA On Air New Zealand BusinessPremier posted Sat Jan 7 2006 19:34:59 by RoseFlyer
Air NZ Business Premier 777 SYD-AKL With Photos posted Fri Nov 18 2005 04:54:09 by Eoinnz
WLG-CHC-WLG On Air New Zealand posted Mon Sep 12 2005 11:49:32 by Adam T.
Air New Zealand AKL-NAN (Fiji) Rtn W/ Pics posted Sun Feb 27 2005 02:19:24 by NZ747
Air New Zealand WLG AKL SYD posted Fri Feb 14 2003 03:44:23 by 767er

Sponsor Message:
Printer friendly format