Here it is, the first Business Class flight I have ever taken, and costing NZD$1499 (around USD$794) for the return journey to and from Brisbane, Australia. I think it was a relative bargain and it was at huge excitement even though I left home at 4:00am to get to Auckland International Airport.
The flight was NZ #131 leaving at 6.40am and was am ageing 767-200ER. The flight would take around 3 hours. The most amazing thing I felt was the check-in at Auckland, which was through the separate entry provided there. The attendant was friendly and it wasn’t long until I was entering the glass doors and up the escalator into security, which took all of 5-10 minutes the whole process from check-in to inside the shopping area!! I was very impressed by this first taste of Business Class.
The Air NZ Lounge was very nice when I entered, greeted by name as my boarding pass was looked at. There was an impressive array of beverages, cappuccino maker and assorted light breakfast items. However when I entered the seating area, I thought the lounge to be a little dark in places and the lack of technology was very evident for the business-traveller. I found the lounge an exciting novelty anyway! The boarding call was made and I proceeded into the cabin of the aircraft. I was in seat 1B this morning an aisle seat of the left side of the aircraft. The cabin is in a 4 row of 6 across in a 2-2-2 configuration, which seems to be adequate.
The first thing I noticed is the huge amount of space in the Business Class cabin. With 50in pitch the seats have a generous recline and legroom. The seats were however a little to be desired, looking a little tatty and worn around the armrests and fabrics. I have no help from the attendants for my heavy cabin baggage, which I was expecting; they would offer to help with. The seat operations were not shown to me and I had trouble figuring them out to start with, as the four buttons look like electric functions, and they were not, this is an area were Air NZ is falling behind.
The welcome drink was served with a choice of water, champagne (more about this later) and orange juice. I have to note that when you class something as champagne it is meant to be either Moet & Chandon or Dom Perignon, the so called champagne was sparkling wine, as this is what it should’ve been referred to as. The flight was delayed about 30 minutes, and then pushed back at around 7:00am. A delicious fruit berry smoothie was served shortly after levelling off, and was a new addition to the breakfast menu I heard, a found this to be a welcome addition. The breakfast menu was passed out entitled “ginger” our menu this morning, it read:
Start your day with an energizing breakfast drink, your choice of juice, freshly brewed or decaffeinated coffee, tea, herbal tea or hot chocolate.
Croissants, muffins, white and wholemeal toast, with fruit conserve
with fruit, assorted cereals and yoghurts
Filled with scrambled egg and chives, accompanied by grilled field mushrooms and slow roasted Roma tomato.
Tender sautéed lamb kidneys
With veal sausages, mushrooms and bacon served in a light tomato sauce with potato rosti.
The lamb kidneys must have scared the cabin as nobody ordered this out of the full 24 people in Business, this flight. The inflight entertainment was reasonably extensive and the screen itself pleased me. However this is when some of the problems arrived, firstly one of the attendants bumped into my leg and didn’t apologize at all, and this same attendant didn’t even try to smile the whole journey, when it was time to collect the headsets in she practically yelled at me to not wind the cord around them, the thing was I hadn’t winded the cord around anyway!
This was very bad service and attitude, the usual sweets were not handed out (they were on the way back) and the attendants weren’t all that much better than you would get in Pacific (Economy) Class. I am usually an easily pleased person, but I thought this was unacceptable, and hence I have been tempted to write to Air NZ management about this, the only thing stopping me was the impeccable service on the trip back (more on that later).
The arrivals through Brisbane were swift and no hassles on that side. Arrived at 7:30am Australia Time.
Part B is coming soon BNE-AKL.
(Sorry this is not the most detail as I would like it to be, I just wanted to get it out)