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NZ End First Class, When?

Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:34 pm

I was looking at some pictures on Airlinemeals.Net of a First Class service on NZ from LAX-LHR on a 747.
The meal presentation was fabulous,great plate design and wonderful food, made me wonder when did NZ drop First Class service Int, the pictures were dated May 2008. TIA
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RE: NZ End First Class, When?

Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:20 pm

I was sure that it was before 2008. IIRC they started to introduce Business Premier in 2005 and they only had 8 747-400s to refit, I really can't imagine the change having taken 3 years to implement. The old first hard product was really dated and uncompetitive.
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RE: NZ End First Class, When?

Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:23 pm

Business Premier really killed off first class for Air New Zealand. Air New Zealand had a horribly dated product when they announced business premier. Their first class seats were not flat and just outdated recliners and their business class was 50'' pitch. The business premier seat in my opinion is actually better than the first class seat was.

I flew the NZ first class shortly before it was removed in 2003. Service was spectacular, but the product wasn't. Compared to what first class was, the recliners with only two functions (recline and leg rest) were wide, but not that great for sleeping compared to the suites on other airlines.

Finally the price was quite high for the seats. New Zealand is not a wealthy country or a vacation destination for the enough of the rich and famous to warrant first class. The market for business travel to New Zealand is slim compared to Australia. Not many airlines even offer First Class to New Zealand. Two class makes sense for the market.
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RE: NZ End First Class, When?

Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:51 pm

I've often thought about this. I fly NZ long haul business class all the time. On 747 and 777 it is far better than first class was 20 years ago. 767 hasn't changed and is now unacceptable to me. Premium economy is now about where business class was 20 years ago. Economy has sunk some on the 77W.

On most US airlines things have gone the other way. Domestic first class is at best the same as business class years ago. Economy plus is about where economy was, and US domestic economy is generally at the level of 3rd world airlines I used to laugh about. What was a humorous experience in China in the early 90's is just horrible in the US today.

Even if NZ offered the kind of first class you see on the 380 today I don't think I would even consider the upgrade. Business class on a 777 is just fine.

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