runway23
Posts: 1916
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2005 2:12 am

NZ SYD-AKL. Business Class. (Pics)

Sat Apr 26, 2008 3:39 am

Air New Zealand (Star Alliance)
Tuesday 19 February 2008
Flight NZ 704
From: Sydney (SYD), Australia.
To: Auckland (AKL), New Zealand.
Aircraft: Airbus A320-232. ZK-OJN (CN 2594. Del. 16 Nov. 2005 to Freedom Air).
STD: 1130LT (AM).
STA: 1630LT
Flight Duration: 2hr40.

http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/NZ704SYDAKL/IMG_0730.jpg

After arriving from LAX on UAL 839, passing through a strict security (and resulting secondary search of my bags) and getting my boarding pass for my following flight which was NZ 704. Check-in was done by Qantas, and the lady was very pleasant in checking me in. A 10-15 minute walk ensued and I was off to the opposite side of the terminal in Sydney. SYD kind of reminded me of LHR as there are shops all over the airside concourse. Nowadays, when I enter into malls I almost feel as if I’m in an airport and vice versa.

http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/NZ704SYDAKL/IMG_0710.jpg
http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/NZ704SYDAKL/IMG_0713.jpg

I reached the Air New Zealand lounge well ahead of time, in fact about 3 hours prior to the flight. I felt relaxed and not at all tired thanks to sleeping a solid 9 hours on my flight down from California. One thing I was in need of was a shower, and I was quickly on my way to one of the numerous ones at my disposal.

http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/NZ704SYDAKL/IMG_0737.jpg
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http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/NZ704SYDAKL/IMG_0720.jpg

The NZ lounge was very large, had a lot of seats, food and beverage. Even the Flight status was spotter friendly with registrations, flight loads, bay positions. Quite a remarkable thing which I haven’t seen in any other lounge. The lounge dragons were extremely friendly and gave me advice on what to see in Auckland. All in all, the product was excellent and I for once felt like a valued customer (very rare in my mind). Things were looking good even before the flight.

http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/NZ704SYDAKL/IMG_0721.jpg
http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/NZ704SYDAKL/IMG_0714.jpg
http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/NZ704SYDAKL/IMG_0722.jpg
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http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/NZ704SYDAKL/IMG_0724.jpg

Boarding commenced about 30 minutes prior to departure. I was the first one on board. There also, NZ’s welcome onboard was different to any other airlines. “Welcome aboard Mr. Runway23. Let me escort you to your business class seat 2F.” This was on an A320 trans-tasman flight, another positive was the small business class cabin (8 passengers). The flight attendant offered me a blanket and asked if I would care for a pre-flight drink, whilst handing out the menu.

http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/NZ704SYDAKL/IMG_0742.jpg
http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/NZ704SYDAKL/IMG_0744.jpg
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http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/NZ704SYDAKL/IMG_0739.jpg
http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/NZ704SYDAKL/IMG_0740.jpg

The seat itself was very comfy and similar to first class seats in the United States. Not much more was really needed for a 2hr30 flight. The economy class cabin also looked immaculate.

http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/NZ704SYDAKL/IMG_0743.jpg

My neighbour installed himself next to me. A Japanese business man, who was extremely friendly and spoke fairly good English. What came next is one of those moments which impress you and almost make you choke on whatever you are reading. The flight attendant welcomed the passenger and spent a good 5 minutes speaking to him and addressing all his needs in Japanese (the flight attendant was a kiwi). What a refreshing change from US airlines where some flight attendants don’t even speak English (as on a recent CLE-BWI flight on ExpressJet).

We pushed back and taxied out to the runway, whilst catching a glimpse of Sydney before taking off.

http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/NZ704SYDAKL/IMG_0748.jpg
http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/NZ704SYDAKL/IMG_0755.jpg
http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/NZ704SYDAKL/IMG_0763.jpg
http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/NZ704SYDAKL/IMG_0767.jpg
http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/NZ704SYDAKL/IMG_0770.jpg

After departure, one of the flight attendants asked if I would care for a DVD player and movie. As I was not planning on sleeping, I took her up on the offer and my DVD player was at my disposal shortly after.

http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/NZ704SYDAKL/IMG_0777.jpg
http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/NZ704SYDAKL/IMG_0786.jpg

The snack was a pack of (excellent) cassava crisps. Yummy!

http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/NZ704SYDAKL/IMG_0778.jpg
http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/NZ704SYDAKL/IMG_0779.jpg

The appetizer and main course were handed out. Both were well presented and excellent to eat. Take note United, your first class meals do not compare favourably to NZ’s trans-tasman meals.
Finally, the ice cream handed out was very tasty also.

http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/NZ704SYDAKL/IMG_0780.jpg
http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/NZ704SYDAKL/IMG_0783.jpg
http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/NZ704SYDAKL/IMG_0784.jpg

All in all, a brilliant meal. I was really surprised by how good NZ’s ground and air product is.

We arrived in Auckland on time, during some light drizzle. Temperature was a very pleasant 23C, really the temperature which I like (not too warm not too cold). All in all, I give top marks to Air New Zealand for service and food. The seats were not quite there (but as I said I don’t expect much more for anything of that flight duration). This flight was probably my best flight in the past 3-4 years.

http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/NZ704SYDAKL/IMG_0797.jpg
http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/NZ704SYDAKL/IMG_0802.jpg
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http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/NZ704SYDAKL/IMG_0822.jpg

I was through immigration in about half an hour. The immigration lady gave me strange looks when I told her I was only staying for two days. I had planned my trip with more time to visit Sydney than Auckland which I had heard was not all that exciting as a city (which was quite true, and sadly I had no time to discover the natural beauty of New Zealand).

[Edited 2008-04-25 20:44:26]
 
User avatar
NZ107
Posts: 4946
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2005 6:51 pm

RE: NZ SYD-AKL. Business Class. (Pics)

Sat Apr 26, 2008 5:58 am

Nice TR! Thanks for sharing! Woah I'm quite impressed by the food in business.. Also the stuff in the lounge! What a change compared to the QF one in AKL IMO. However I don't think I'll ever fly AKL-SYD on business. Pics are great too!
It's all about the destination AND the journey.
 
nicholaschee
Posts: 225
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2005 9:55 pm

RE: NZ SYD-AKL. Business Class. (Pics)

Sat Apr 26, 2008 6:26 am

Great TR! Still in doubt over a MR on AN fo SYD-AKL-SYD but I must say that your TR has made me want to try NZ now! I have heard many negative comments Flyertalk about AKL's immigration.
 
DALCE
Posts: 1612
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2007 7:45 pm

RE: NZ SYD-AKL. Business Class. (Pics)

Sat Apr 26, 2008 9:37 am

Great report! The quality offered by NZ is jsut great!
Can we have this in Europe too??? Big grin
Thanks for sharing!

Cheers,
Joost ( D-ALCE )
flown: F50,F70,CR1,CR2,CR9,E75,143,AR8,AR1,733,735,736,73G,738,753,744,77W,788,319,320,321,333,AB6.
 
davescj
Posts: 1105
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 1:46 am

RE: NZ SYD-AKL. Business Class. (Pics)

Sat Apr 26, 2008 10:49 am

Awesome TR! I greatly enjoyed reading about NZ. Sounds like an airline to try trans-pacific!

Dave
Can I have a mojito on this flight?
 
kaitak
Posts: 8942
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 1999 5:49 am

RE: NZ SYD-AKL. Business Class. (Pics)

Sat Apr 26, 2008 5:46 pm

Great report; did you pick the 320 specially, since presumably NZ has 744s and 777s on that route? I'm wondering if some pax choose the 320 because they prefer the conventional layout, rather than the J class seats on the 744/777, which don't really offer much of a view?
 
ZKSUJ
Posts: 6808
Joined: Tue May 18, 2004 5:15 pm

RE: NZ SYD-AKL. Business Class. (Pics)

Sat Apr 26, 2008 11:01 pm

Nice report dude, glad you enjoyed NZ

Quoting Kaitak (Reply 5):
since presumably NZ has 744s and 777s on that route

They don't. It is usually a mix of A320s and 767s on AKL-SYD
 
N787ZZ
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2008 8:22 pm

RE: NZ SYD-AKL. Business Class. (Pics)

Sun Apr 27, 2008 12:32 am

Thanks Runway23 for this fantastic trip report.  

It's sad that on a short 2 1/2 hour flight on an A320, NZ provides a level of service that blows United's transpacific F out of the water.  

[Edited 2008-04-26 17:39:13]
 
VHVXB
Posts: 5309
Joined: Tue Apr 25, 2006 7:54 pm

RE: NZ SYD-AKL. Business Class. (Pics)

Sun Apr 27, 2008 3:32 am



Quoting ZKSUJ (Reply 6):
Quoting Kaitak (Reply 5):
since presumably NZ has 744s and 777s on that route

They don't. It is usually a mix of A320s and 767s on AKL-SYD

They operate the 777 to SYD once a week (usually an afternoon departure out of SYD).

Nice TR by the way
 
ba319-131
Posts: 8132
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

RE: NZ SYD-AKL. Business Class. (Pics)

Tue Apr 29, 2008 8:33 pm

Great report, thanks!

Quoting Runway23 (Thread starter):
The NZ lounge was very large, had a lot of seats, food and beverage

- Looks pretty neat, like it.

Quoting Runway23 (Thread starter):
Even the Flight status was spotter friendly with registrations, flight loads, bay positions

- Now that is cool, do like that!

Quoting Runway23 (Thread starter):
What a refreshing change from US airlines where some flight attendants don’t even speak English (as on a recent CLE-BWI flight on ExpressJet).

- A shame, real shame but I've seen it myself.

Quoting Runway23 (Thread starter):
The appetizer and main course were handed out. Both were well presented and excellent to eat. Take note United, your first class meals do not compare favourably to NZ’s trans-tasman meals.

- I'm not suprised, UA is pretty poor these days.

Really enjoyable, thanks.

Mark
111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
 
Khaleej777
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 4:08 am

RE: NZ SYD-AKL. Business Class. (Pics)

Wed Apr 30, 2008 6:33 pm

Hi Runway23,

Thanks for a great trip report and pictures. The NZ experience on the ground and inflight looks top quality (apart from the rather dubious brown upholstery).

Quoting Runway23 (Thread starter):
I for once felt like a valued customer (very rare in my mind)... This flight was probably my best flight in the past 3-4 years.

...that says it all.

Best wishes, Khaleej777
 
Ryanair!!!
Posts: 4071
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2002 8:55 pm

RE: NZ SYD-AKL. Business Class. (Pics)

Thu May 01, 2008 8:36 am



Quoting Runway23 (Thread starter):
Even the Flight status was spotter friendly with registrations, flight loads, bay positions. Quite a remarkable thing which I haven’t seen in any other lounge.

This feature is also available landside at the skydeck cafe.

Quoting Runway23 (Thread starter):
The flight attendant welcomed the passenger and spent a good 5 minutes speaking to him and addressing all his needs in Japanese (the flight attendant was a kiwi). What a refreshing change from US airlines where some flight attendants don’t even speak English (as on a recent CLE-BWI flight on ExpressJet).

Yes compared to your last UA international flight in First Class, this is a world of a difference. It is kind of sad, isn't it? So much effort is put into this relatively short regioinal flight but the long-haul across the Pacific was below par.
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