toby25
Posts: 97
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 1:28 pm

I 'Heart' Air NZ-LHR/HKG/LHR & SZX/CKG

Sun Sep 21, 2008 12:19 pm

WOW Air NZ is truly a diamond in the rough! A benchmark that other airlines ought to follow; the four leafed clover glowing amongst the three leafed weeds; the brightest star shining in the inky moonless night, truly a masterpiece! You get my drift! Lol! This was my first time flying this amazing airline and will most definitely not be my last!

This is my second trip report, I'm British Born Chinese (BBC) and I often go back to my parents’ hometown in HK to do family stuff and to soak up the HK atmosphere. When flying to HK there seem to be more and more airlines operating this route which is good as it gives me an excuse to try other airlines than the usual BA and CX I'm used to.

I was looking at flying with QF initially as the airfare was the most competitive; with CX and VS the highly priced return economy ticket. BA was also another option but I wanted to try out another airline and so I turned my attention to Air NZ to see what they could offer. Their return ticket was slightly more expensive than QF but not a great deal however the clinch came when I realised that QF departs HK at a eye-watering 07:30! This was way too early as my bus to the airport would not arrive in time for me to adequately check in etc. NZ departs HK at 08:45 although still early was do-able if I set my alarm in advance the evening before.

I booked on their website sometime in May to fly out on 03 September and return on 19 September. After a month or so I had to re-schedule my outbound trip due to work commitments and instead to fly out on the 04 September. I paid the princely sum of GBP20 for the change which is a heck of a lot cheaper than CX when I changed my return ticket of which I had to shell out GBP50!!

The night before my trip I started to pack my clothes etc which is normal practice for me. I do not understand those people who pack weeks in advance- too organised for my liking lol!! Hey hum, my mother accompanied me to the train station using the good olde number 25 bus to the town centre. I don’t trust my mother to drive my car haha! I took the 12:36 GNER (I cannot remember their rebranded name!) direct to London Kings Cross. I arrived on time and then took the underground service to London Heathrow Terminal 1, 2 and 3. Well I actually went to T5 as I wanted to check the place out.

T5 is truly wonderful: clean, bright, spacious and modern. Just outside the terminal I spent 20 minutes watching the planes take off before heading to T1 to check in.

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T5 check in area - Very Nice!

I took the Heathrow Express train which links T5 to T1, 2 and 3. After disembarking the train I walked what seemed like miles of underground to reach T1. NZ uses aisle R to check in which is kinda separate from the main terminal with its own security check point to the departure lounge. NZ employ ground staff from United Airlines and I must comment the lady who checked me was rude, none – forthcoming, blunt and a bit ditzy.

Ditzy United Airlines lady: To Hong Kong?
Me: Yes, is the flight full?
Ditzy United Airlines lady: hmm...kinda. do you have a Hong Kong ID card?
Me: Yes.
[I give her my ID card]
[Ditzy United Airlines lady starts talking to the check in lady next to her about their evening plans]
Hands me back my ID card.
Ditzy United Airlines lady: Did I ask you the baggage security question yet?
Me: erm…no (!)
[Ditzy United Airlines lady asks me security question]

She then tags my bag to HK but leaves it on the conveyor belt and me being suspicious waited until she sent it through which she did eventually. I checked in a little early and decided to go to T3 and the car park just opposite to do some plane spotting. I even saw Iran Air take off which I thought was interesting. The car park people have put up signs saying no plane spotting – please leave, which I thought was a bit harsh.

I then went back to T1 and went through security. Just before heading through I watched some Asiana passengers check in through to Seoul. I'm quite fascinated with Korea; I spend some time learning the language but gave up – I wonder if there a lot of Koreans living in UK – I've never met any. The departure screen displayed that the gate information will open at 19:35 but being impatient I went and explored the terminal. I found the aircraft at gate 52 all alone with Asiana next to it and SAA to Johannesburg.

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Empty Gate Area near Gate 50

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Asiana 777 - Nice Colours!

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I will visit Korea...One Day!

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SAA A340-600 to Cape Town or Johannesburg, can't quite remember!

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Don't you just love it?!!

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MY RIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Love the colour scheme..very Kiwi...not like I know what Kiwi means!

What I liked about NZ 747 is that they have cool names; the aircraft I was on was named Routonga or something beginning with R! Boarding commenced at 20:15 for the 21:05 departure. Passengers boarded at the back of the aircraft so I joined the queue for the 11 hour flight to HK.

Air New Zealand, NZ038
London (Heathrow) – Hong Kong
747-400
04 September 2008
Scheduled Departure Time: 21:05
Actual Departure Time: 21:15
Scheduled Arrival Time: 15:50
Actual Arrival Time: 15:10
Load: ~95%
Seat Number: 60G

I think I've fallen in love with the New Zealand accent; it’s somewhat different from Australia, very sexy and smooth! However the flight attendants were London based and I must comment they were simply one of the best group of cabin crew ever. Efficient, polite, smiley, friendly, courteous and funky – the uniforms, in my opinion, are quite trendy and laid back.

The seat next to me remained empty and I was praying that it would remain like that when the cabin doors closed. To my amazement, this was a first, it did!!! It was still a full flight but I had an empty seat and I loved it! The seat pitch was an amazing 34’’ and this was economy with AVOD entertainment, coupled with a brilliant and friendly crew and nice aeroplane food the 11 hours simply flew by!!!

The seat was comfortable with an adjustable head rest that you can slide up and down. There is no foot rest but that doesn’t bother me but I was surprised that they do not hand out any amenity kits like tooth brushes or eye shades. I didn’t bring a tooth brush so I couldn’t brush my teeth – not pleasant! Also NZ seem to lack inflight sales – maybe they are missing out on extra revenue? What I liked was that they made announcements in Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, French and German to introduce the languages the crew spoke at the start of the flight. I was a little concerned that no announcements were made in Cantonese Chinese not even on the return leg.

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Leg Space - 34'' so they say!

One thing I noticed is that they made so many announcements which was then repeated on your PTV, such as the menu, to close your window blinds, to put your seat in the upright position for meals which I thought was a bit distracting when watching your film. Full bar service started after take off where I asked for apple juice. The menu was chicken which I chose and something else which I have forgotten.

I normally don’t eat aeroplane food or just pick at it but I must confess that the NZ catering was amazing! The chicken was juicy and succulent, simply tasty. I didn’t eat all of it as I ate before the flight but it was very nice. The meal was accompanied by some kind of moose with chocolate topping, bread, pasta salad with cheese and crackers. Also the main meal is served in a ceramic plate rather than a foil or plastic tray.

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Dinner

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Anyone feel like Chicken Tonight?!

There were plenty of movies to watch and I watched Indiana Jones, and (hiding my head in shame) Sex and the City. I also watched this simply funny New Zealand cartoon called Bro’ Town which is so funny. I don’t think it is aired in the UK so I'm gonna buy the DVD on the Internet. Is it big in New Zealand anyone know? I was laughing out loud. This episode was when one of the kids wanted to be an artist but the father wasn’t supportive of him and kept ruining his work…trust me it was funny hahaha!!

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Flying

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Still Flying!

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Video Entertainment

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Fying some more!

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Over China Somewhere!

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Morning!!!

The AVOD allows you to create your own playlist from a number of music CD’s and radio shows. The moving map was also quite novel, it is in 3D and they have a shot where you are looking out of the pilot’s window with cities below. The lights were turned off after the meal service and I slept on and off for a while. Breakfast was served a couple of hours before arrival. The choices being pancakes or omelette I think. I chose the pancakes which were accompanied with a muffin, fruit, yoghurt and juice. The pancakes were not very nice but OK. What I liked was that the captain thanked the crew for their hard work on the flight which I thought was a nice touch.

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Breakie!

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Pancakes a la New Zealand!

We started to commence our descent almost an hour before the scheduled arrival time and landed at around 15:10, parking at gate 42. Passengers continuing with the flight to Auckland were required to leave the aircraft at the same time and head towards transfers. HK airport is still impressive almost 10 years on and I was out of the airport and catching the A43 service to Sheung Shui in record time.

Air China, CA4344
Shenzhen - Chongqing
737-700
12 September 2008
Scheduled Departure Time: 11:30
Actual Arrival Time: 11:30
Scheduled Arrival Time: 13:25
Actual Arrival Time: 13:05
Load: ~95%
Seat: 21L

I wanted to go back to Chongqing to see my friends in Central South-West China and was looking at air fares from HK. I was shocked to see that return economy fares with KA started at almost GBP360! Shocking! Shenzhen is only a stone throw away from my hometown in Sheung Shui, the next station on the KCR train and return tickets came in around GBP120.

Air fares within China are much more affordable flying from Guangzhou or Shenzhen rather than from HK where the price can be almost double. To get to Shenzhen airport take KCR West Rail from HK, the starting station is East Tsim Sha Tsui going through Mong Kok and my hometown in Sheung Shui. Stop off at Lo Hu station and go through the necessary boarder control requirements and enter China. The bus station will be to your right, continue walking and you will see an open air bus station. Go inside the bus station and find the number K568 which will cost you RMB20 for the ticket. The journey is about 1 hour and will probably hit traffic so best to travel early. You can enter the airport by entering the arrivals hall and taking the escalator to the departures level.

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Take the KCR West

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To China, Please!

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Off to see the Wizard in Shenzhen!

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First View of SZ after Passport Control... I don't think I'm in Kansas anymore!

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Find this sign to the airport, oh Intellectual One!

Shenzhen Airport has two terminal and CA flights leave from T2. Both terminals are connected by an airbridge so you can travel easily between the two. Check in opens normally 1 ½ hours before scheduled departure time. Shenzhen airport is quite big and spacious with lots of eateries and places to buy suitcases. Why would you buy a suitcase at the airport?? Armed guards are dotted around the terminal and they mean business!

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Terminal B & its many wives!

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SZX 1

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SZX 2

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SZX 3

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SZX 4

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SZX 5

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Change the Chanel!

Headed through security where they stamp your boarding card and waited outside gate 10. There are plenty of seating around the gate and good views of the apron and a Jade Cargo B747F waiting on the other side. Whenever I visit China there always seem to be a new airline company, how long has Shenzhen Airline or Juneyao Airlines been in operation?

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Near Gate 10

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The Control Tower!

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Stunning piece of Jade, huh!

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Juneyao Airlines???

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One of Asia's best Value Airlines - Taken from Ugly Betty but change Asia to Queen's & Airlines to Colleges!

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Zhong Guo! Jia You! Go China!

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Shenzhen Airlines??

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Movement in Action!

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Pimp my Ride..seriously very boring colour scheme...in my opinion!

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CA 737-700 to ChongQing!

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China Eastern.

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Just to make sure im heading in the right direction!

The flight was pretty full and I purposely asked for a window seat at check in but when I got to my row an old biddy was sat in my seat reading a newspaper. Being a gentleman I let her sit there and took the aisle seat instead. I was kinda gutted and kept looking at the back of the aircraft to see if they was an empty window seat but there were none.

We departed on time and a full meal service began with either chicken or beef being the choices. The meal was accompanied along with a bread roll, fruit and some chillied eels. I didn’t touch the meal and I forgot to take a photo - sorry but I ate already and couldn’t stomach anymore food. There were 4 crew members manning this flight, one for first class and three in economy. The crew made two rounds with the drinks cart which was very good for such a short flight.

I actually nodded off during take off!! I could feel the sleep wash over me and I was out for about 15 minutes. There were no TV monitors on the aircraft so I listened to my music player for a bit. The flight was scheduled for 2 hours but in all honesty we were in the air for about 1½.

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A bit cramped!

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Flying...again!

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Yep, im higher than a bird!

We had a pretty rough landing once we touched down and made a quick taxi to the gate stand. My baggage was one of the first one off the aircraft. You are required to show your baggage receipt to the attendant to ensure you have collected the correct baggage in order to leave the baggage reclaim area.

Chongqing is an amazing place if you never been. I lived there for 6 months after graduating. It is a hilly and hot place and extremely cold during the winter months.

Part 2 continued below...
Seriously dude! I swear!
 
toby25
Posts: 97
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 1:28 pm

I 'Heart' Air NZ-LHR/HKG/LHR & SZX/CKG

Sun Sep 21, 2008 12:25 pm

China Southern, CZ3456
Chongqing - Shenzhen
A319
16 September 2008
Scheduled Departure Time: 15:55
Actual departure Time: 16:20
Scheduled Arrival Time: 18:05
Actual Arrival Time: 18:00
Load: ~85%
Seat: 19F

There is no bus service direct from central Chongqing to the airport so I took the taxi and haggled down the price from RMB110 to RMB70 lol! Chongqing airport is relatively small but they have an amazing 34 gate stands in operation! CZ checks in at the far side of the terminal building and I noticed there was another flight to Shenzhen leaving 5 minutes before us.

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China Southern Check In Area

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My Flight is the very last one listed!

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CZ Check in area still

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CKG Airport 1

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CKG Airport 2

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Very romantic  Smile

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This service straight from the heart haha!

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YEAH, DICOS!!! A Fast Food Restaurant!

After a tearful farewell to my friend who saw me off at the airport I went to gate number 4. We didn’t start to board until 15:50 and there was no way we would make the scheduled departure time.

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CKG Airport 3

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Don't tell me, another unknown Chinese Airline?!!

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To SZX  Smile

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For my friend from Xi'an

This time I made sure that if someone did sit in my assigned seat I would tell them to leave – gentleman or no gentleman! Thankfully no one was sitting there so I was happy! We made a speedy taxi to the runway. I don’t have many photos of this portion of the flight as literally my camera was out of juice! I was also very hungry as I didn’t really eat much and wanted to try the airline food – so I was looking forward to the meal after take off.
I think they were 4 crew members on this flight. They introduced themselves and made a small bow to the passengers. Not a full Japanese style bow but more a nod of the head but I thought it was a nice touch.

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Leg room on A319

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Obligatory window shot lol!

After take off, it was not a very powerful take off but then again it was only an Airbus A319, the drinks service began. I chose the coconut milk which was very nice and then the meal service. OK, let’s eat! To my horror the meal consisted of a bread roll, a cake, a bit of fruit and some chillied eels! Where was the hot meal?? The meal was served in a cardboard box and that was it – kinda of gutted, I should have eaten the meal on the outbound service! I was very hungry!  Smile I hope the airlines recycle all this cardboard they use, in fact I think all this cardboard they use is not necessary. Again, the crew made two rounds on the drinks front. The flight arrived a little early and we taxied to a remote stand where we were picked up by the bus to the domestic arrivals hall.

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Im like a bird..i wanna fly away... who sang this song?

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Fly away!

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Cabin shot

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Hope they recycle this!

Again, my bag came out quickly and I was out navigating my way to the bus stop to Lo Hu train station. If you want to cross the boarder back into HK, find the ticket booth selling tickets to Lo Hu train station. I forgot to take a photo of it but it is quite visible with a person in this window booth with Chinese letters saying Lo Hu train station (罗湖火车站) The bus number is 330, which is a modern air conditioned bus. The ticket price is RMB20 and is quite a long journey. You receive a yellow sticker with a number if you need to put luggage in the hold. Ride the bus to the very last stop, don’t be fooled as many people get off at the second to last stop, you need to travel one further stop.

Once at the train station, you will see a white pedestrian bridge crossing above you, cross the bridge and turn right and follow the signs to Hong Kong (香港) and you will see the boarder crossing into HK.

Overall the two flights pretty much arrived on time and it was a smooth journey throughout. Nothing much more to write about the flights, maybe next time I will try their inflight catering! Entertainment was none existent on both sectors but CZ did have drop down screens playing constant advertisements! Maybe if I flew domestic within China to try out the less prominent airlines, like Chongqing airlines, even my friend from Chongqing has never heard of this airline! I made a joke saying there is Shenzhen Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Sichuan Airlines, Xiamen Airlines but is there a Chongqing Airlines? Guess there is haahaha!!

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Big up ChongQing Airlines!!

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ChongQing Airlines..where you flying to?

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I went a bit too crazy with the photos...me and my friend had a good chuckle though!

Air New Zealand, NZ039
Hong Kong – London (Heathrow)
B747-400 (Dunedin)
19 September 2008
Scheduled Departure Time: 08:45
Actual departure Time: 09:00
Scheduled Arrival Time: 14:35
Actual Arrival Time: 14:30
Load: ~95%
Seat: 60J

Setting my alarm for 04:00 is not natural I tell you! I fell out of my bed and took a shower which didn’t really wake me up. Did some last minute packing and headed towards the bus station to catch the first bus scheduled at 05:20. HK was still so hot at 05:00, I was feeling a tad uncomfortable with the weather but snapped a shot of my idols S.H.E, a Taiwanese girl group, stunning! (Selina, Hebe and Ella haha!)

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S.H.E...WO AI NI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Their new album is out this week  Wink

The bus finally arrived at 05:40, not impressed! At least the bus was air conditioned and we were at the airport in record time with so little traffic on the road at this ungodly hour! I knew this flight was gonna be packed so I was bracing myself but I called NZ reservation team to reserve my seat. That’s one thing: NZ do not have self check in so you have to go to the airport and do it the old fashioned way. NZ uses aisle G at HK next to United Airlines and opposite Orient Thai.

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Check in for NZ039

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Still Queueing!

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AIR NEW ZEALAND  Smile

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My Flight is from Gate 41.

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Herpa Wings.

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Herpa Wings some more

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This EK was way expensive at around at around GBP35

The queue was pretty long considering the flight was also carrying passengers from Auckland and therefore not in the queue to check in. After a long wait it was my turn. My luggage came in at 20.1kg so that was OK and was checked through to London LHR. The time now was 07:10 and the gate would open at 08:05 so I decided to head through into the departures lounge. Once in I went and bought a bottle of water for the flight from Mannings. I took a stroll around gates 17-18 where BA normally depart from and then headed towards gate 41, the boarding gate number for NZ039. I watched the Air India flight to Seoul push back and the Thai International to Bangkok push back too. There was not much activity as this time of the morning so unfortunately there were not much in the way of exotic airlines, apart from Air NZ of course! The QF flight to London was also underway and I watched it take off.

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TG to BKK

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AI to ICN

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CX to...somewhere

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NH to NRT

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AF to CDG

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QF to LHR

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NW to NRT and LAX...or maybe to SFO i think!

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CX747 to somewhere exotic no doubt!

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What is the collective term for a group of KA's?

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Parent and Child relationship!

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AI named aircraft to ICN!

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Konnichi wa Nihon!

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Progress HK.. Oh course!!

Boarding commenced at around 08:15 and I was one of the first to board. I had to go through a second security check where this man asked me where I was heading and looked at my passport. I walked towards the aircraft to see 4 male crew members welcoming passengers, the passenger in front of me tripped as she entered the aircraft which I didn’t care cos I was very tired – I know a bit selfish – I'm sorry but one of the crew members caught her! Above and beyond the call of duty, hey!!

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My Ride!!!

http://i528.photobucket.com/albums/dd325/toby1983_2008/gran278.jpg
Dunedin...is that in NZ? I will visit there one day!!!

http://i528.photobucket.com/albums/dd325/toby1983_2008/gran279.jpg
AIR NZ039

http://i528.photobucket.com/albums/dd325/toby1983_2008/gran277.jpg
To LHR

http://i528.photobucket.com/albums/dd325/toby1983_2008/gran276.jpg
For the Chinese Literate  Wink

I was seated right at the back of the aircraft where the aircraft tappers in and there are only 2 seats next to the window. I was seated next to the window and secretly hoping no one would sit next to me but someone did but not to worry. Whilst boarding a KLM 747 from Amsterdam just arrived. What was perplexing to me was the door opening where the passengers sit! Do passengers not sit at that bit of the aircraft? It just seemed odd that cargo would be placed there, is HK – Amsterdam not a good money earner in terms of passenger revenue for the Flying Dutchman?

http://i528.photobucket.com/albums/dd325/toby1983_2008/gran284.jpg
KL from AMS

http://i528.photobucket.com/albums/dd325/toby1983_2008/gran286.jpg
Do passengers not sit here??? A new class of travel?..travel in Cargo Class!!!

Again, the crew were London based and a bit more laid back than the outbound crew. They did not introduce themselves in the languages the crew could speak but the captain was quite friendly in that New Zealand accent haha! As I was seated where the aircraft tappers in I had loads of space to throw my stuff and to stretch out so I was very happy. A nice touch was that the captain said that even though you maybe frequent flyers and may have watched the safety brief many times he would appreciate if we could spend a few moments to watch the video. Many airlines just show it and are gone with it. I always watch the safety brief but many people chat or just sleep, like the guy seating next to me!

http://i528.photobucket.com/albums/dd325/toby1983_2008/gran283.jpg
Obligatory Window Shot Again!

http://i528.photobucket.com/albums/dd325/toby1983_2008/gran288.jpg
Lots of space!

http://i528.photobucket.com/albums/dd325/toby1983_2008/gran282.jpg
More Space

We had a painfully slow taxi to the runway but I did catch sight of Hainan Airlines A340 in a very nice colour scheme, sashes of red and gold! We made a powerful take off and blasted through the smoggy HK skies. This was a morning flight throughout the whole journey so it was pretty light in the cabin. After take off the crew made the first drinks round and meal. It was breakfast with either shredded pork noodles and pak choi or egg tart and potato. I chose the egg tart and realised it was simply a quiche! I should have chosen the noodles. I forgot to take a photo but it was accompanied by fruit, orange juice, bread roll and a yoghurt pot.

The entertainment was the same as the outbound but instead I watched The Happening directed by the bloke who also directed Sixth Sense and Signs. I really like his movies but this movie was terrible, it just didn’t make sense and the story was so weak, not one of his best films, in my opinion. I didn’t watch anymore films as I slept a lot to make up for the early start. Halfway through the flight the crew came round with a sandwich and Cookies and Cream Haagen Daaz ice cream!!!

http://i528.photobucket.com/albums/dd325/toby1983_2008/gran293.jpg
Obligatory toilet shot hahahaha!!!

The crew regularly came round with water and requests were very promptly carried out. I pushed the call button to ask if they could refill my water bottle and the flight attendant was at my seat within seconds!

http://i528.photobucket.com/albums/dd325/toby1983_2008/gran292.jpg
Flying

http://i528.photobucket.com/albums/dd325/toby1983_2008/gran295.jpg
Over Russia!

About 2 hours prior to arrival we were served dinner which we had the option of either chicken breast or pasta in pesto sauce. I chose the chicken and it was very nice with carrots and green beans and mashed potato in a nice sauce. It was also accompanied with a bread roll, salad and dressing, vanilla cake with custard and cheese and crackers.

http://i528.photobucket.com/albums/dd325/toby1983_2008/gran289.jpg
Yummy!

http://i528.photobucket.com/albums/dd325/toby1983_2008/gran290.jpg
Hmm still yummy???

We arrived on time and taxied to the T1. When we were approaching the runway, I think the captain said R9? We passed some really nice views of London and this marsh, I'm not too sure what it was called but it looked really idyllic and out of place in London before passing a busy motorway crossing and landing next to T5 with all the BA birds parked outside. We parked next to El Al Israel 777 I think and disembarked the aircraft from gate 52 the same gate I boarded a couple of weeks back. Once in the airport I noticed the other NZ flight from LAX was parked at gate 50.

Passport control was quite fast no part helped by the fact a new kiosk opened and I ran towards the head of the line! However, baggage took FOREVER and when I mean forever it was 40 minutes. I was so scared my bag did not make it with me and was starting to get nervous I might be travelling home without my luggage, without all my clothes and fake DVD’s I bought in China!! Eventually it appeared and I was so relieved! I then made my way to the underground to Kings Cross and back up north.

Overall I really enjoyed Air NZ and I think they need to advertise more about their services to HK as it’s a class above CX in my opinion. They have a great product coupled with a brilliant and very friendly London based crew. I'm not too sure what the New Zealand based crew are like but I'm sure they are friendly. One thing I noticed is that NZ do not fly to many destinations. There only European city is London, America I think is LAX and SFO with NRT, PEK, PVG and HKG making the Asian leg. Oh well if they continue like this my next flight will be with NZ. I've already told my family to fly with them instead of BA and they said they would!

Thank you for reading this and thank you to NZ and the wonderful crew!

I ‘heart’ Air New Zealand.

http://i528.photobucket.com/albums/dd325/toby1983_2008/gran151.jpg
This is me  Wink

VIDEOS

Inflight Map


Random Clip of HK near gate 41


taxi to take off NZ039


Hainan Airlines A340 1


Hainan Airlines A340 2


Preparing to Land NZ039


Landed into LHR NZ039

THANK YOU; DANKE; MERCI; XIE XIE; GRACIAS, ARIGATO!!!

Toby
Seriously dude! I swear!
 
joka
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 12:17 pm

I 'Heart' Air NZ-LHR/HKG/LHR & SZX/CKG

Sun Sep 21, 2008 2:06 pm

Great TR Toby. Really enjoyed the reading and pics.
In answer to one of your questions "why do they sell luggage at the airport" that is so when the airline smashes your luggage on a connection, you can buy some new stuff for them to try and destroy  Cool
 
SQ772
Posts: 1647
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2001 5:16 pm

I 'Heart' Air NZ-LHR/HKG/LHR & SZX/CKG

Sun Sep 21, 2008 2:15 pm

Thanks for the great and entertaining read. NZ's Y class certainly looks decent and comfort enough for a long haul flight. Having flown them only domestically, I found their inflight service more than adequate albeit not too friendly. Did they offer 'sweets' prior to take-off or landing?

I'll be making a trip to Chongqing sometime next month, while i'm primarily there for work, but I'd be very appreciative if you could highlight some of the must-see/go/do places in Chongqing to me  Wink

Quoting Toby25 (Reply 1):

http://i528.photobucket.com/albums/dd325/toby1983_2008/gran276.jpg
For the Chinese Literate Wink

Interesting that "Heathrow" is called "Xisilu" in HKG... I've always thought it's "xisiluo" - - 希思罗, or at least that's what we call it over here in SIN.
There's always a better way to fly...
 
Globetraveller
Posts: 352
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:36 pm

I 'Heart' Air NZ-LHR/HKG/LHR & SZX/CKG

Sun Sep 21, 2008 2:16 pm

Thank you for putting together this detailed trip report Toby. It was a very nice read.

Quoting Toby25 (Thread starter):
A benchmark that other airlines ought to follow;

I'm don't think I really agree with this. Saying that NZ are good is one thing, but to say that they are a benchmark that others should follow is a little extreme in my opinion. I have flown NZ in the past and they were good, but there were surely not out of this world. Maybe you should try SQ or EY, because I am sure you will change your mind!

Quoting Toby25 (Thread starter):
truly a masterpiece!

Again, I'm not really sure NZ Economy Class is a masterpiece. Maybe the EK A380 First Class or the SQ A380 Suites are masterpieces... Don't you think you are being a little extreme about how good NZ really was? I mean the food looks good and the seats are not bad either, but still... I know there are better things around.

Nevertheless, I hope to see more trip reports from you soon Toby!! Thanks again for all your efforts.

Globetraveller
 
sagorion
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2005 1:38 pm

I 'Heart' Air NZ-LHR/HKG/LHR & SZX/CKG

Sun Sep 21, 2008 2:41 pm

Excellent trip report! Thanks for sharing!
 
ThomasCook
Posts: 681
Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 12:43 am

I 'Heart' Air NZ-LHR/HKG/LHR & SZX/CKG

Sun Sep 21, 2008 3:22 pm

Hey!

Excellent trip report! I was actually on that Qantas B744 you pictured pushing back at HKG. I would have just about been arming my door by that point!

:D

Regards
ThomasCook
A380 Crew
 
thegivenone
Posts: 171
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 3:05 am

I 'Heart' Air NZ-LHR/HKG/LHR & SZX/CKG

Sun Sep 21, 2008 4:31 pm

Fantastic report!

I have been thinking of flying NZ on the same sector (LHR-HKG) and was cruising the forum recently for appropriate trip reports. So thanks for posting this excellent account!

Thegivenone
 
PlaneHunter
Posts: 6525
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 3:17 am

I 'Heart' Air NZ-LHR/HKG/LHR & SZX/CKG

Sun Sep 21, 2008 4:34 pm

Very entertaining report with many nice pics, Toby. I read with special interested because I will also fly on NZ039 in November - and I will probably visit Shenzhen, too.

Quoting Toby25 (Thread starter):
What I liked about NZ 747 is that they have cool names; the aircraft I was on was named Routonga or something beginning with R!

It was ZK-NBU "Rotorua" - powered by RR engines (your return aircraft was ZK-SUH with more common GE engines).

Quoting Toby25 (Thread starter):
The seat pitch was an amazing 34’’ and this was economy with AVOD entertainment, coupled with a brilliant and friendly crew and nice aeroplane food the 11 hours simply flew by!!!

Very good to hear!

Quoting Toby25 (Thread starter):

I normally don’t eat aeroplane food or just pick at it but I must confess that the NZ catering was amazing! The chicken was juicy and succulent, simply tasty. I didn’t eat all of it as I ate before the flight but it was very nice. The meal was accompanied by some kind of moose with chocolate topping, bread, pasta salad with cheese and crackers. Also the main meal is served in a ceramic plate rather than a foil or plastic tray.

All the food looks excellent, the meals are well presented. Definitely some of the best looking Economy meals I have ever seen.

Quoting Toby25 (Thread starter):
The AVOD allows you to create your own playlist from a number of music CD’s and radio shows. The moving map was also quite novel, it is in 3D and they have a shot where you are looking out of the pilot’s window with cities below.

Well done, ANZ.

Quoting Toby25 (Thread starter):
Air fares within China are much more affordable flying from Guangzhou or Shenzhen rather than from HK where the price can be almost double. To get to Shenzhen airport take KCR West Rail from HK, the starting station is East Tsim Sha Tsui going through Mong Kok and my hometown in Sheung Shui. Stop off at Lo Hu station and go through the necessary boarder control requirements and enter China. The bus station will be to your right, continue walking and you will see an open air bus station. Go inside the bus station and find the number K568 which will cost you RMB20 for the ticket. The journey is about 1 hour and will probably hit traffic so best to travel early. You can enter the airport by entering the arrivals hall and taking the escalator to the departures level.

Interesting stuff. Probably I will also take the train between Shenzhen and HK. Airfares between HK and mainland China are really expensive in comparison.

Quoting Toby25 (Thread starter):
Zhong Guo! Jia You! Go China!

I had planned to book Air China (MUC-PEK-HKG ret, including A332s & 772) - but fares were changing several times, flights shown in reservation systems allegedly don't exist (according to their German hotline) - and after adjusting the travel plans the end cheap flights were gone. Now I'll try Hainan Airlines (A332) on the way to PEK.

Quoting Toby25 (Thread starter):
Don't tell me, another unknown Chinese Airline?!!

One of so many new ones - Chongqing-based West China belongs to the HNA Group and operates three 733s.

Quoting Toby25 (Thread starter):
Whilst boarding a KLM 747 from Amsterdam just arrived. What was perplexing to me was the door opening where the passengers sit! Do passengers not sit at that bit of the aircraft? It just seemed odd that cargo would be placed there, is HK – Amsterdam not a good money earner in terms of passenger revenue for the Flying Dutchman?

It's a 747 combi.


Again, well done. It seems ANZ offers a very competitive product. In contrast to other views posted here, I wouldn't put EY into a different class. The EY product I have seen was quite inconsistent (FAs, meals, service in general switching between excellent and average). My flights were in 2005 - but surprisingly, according to reports here, the phenomenon of inconsistency hasn't disappeared until recently. Probably an effect of rapid growth. At least the last non-PTV A330 was retired earlier this year...


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
maxisno1
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2007 12:13 am

I 'Heart' Air NZ-LHR/HKG/LHR & SZX/CKG

Sun Sep 21, 2008 5:19 pm

Fantastic trip report, suburb writing! So glad you enjoyed flying NZ!

Quoting Globetraveller (Reply 4):
Maybe the EK A380 First Class or the SQ A380 Suites are masterpieces... Don't you think you are being a little extreme about how good NZ really was? I mean the food looks good and the seats are not bad either, but still... I know there are better things around.

Actually I thought the same a few years ago, and up until last year I was flying EK, QF & SQ not to mention a few others. But when I had to fly NZ to LHR from AKL it completely changed my whole outlook on them, and with EK service going down the crapper it actually is really impressive - I've yet to have a bad flight with them. Perhaps they aren't the best there is but they are still up there in comparison with most world class airlines.

And I think he was just talking about NZ Y.

Quoting Toby25 (Thread starter):
the aircraft I was on was named Routonga or something beginning with R!

Rotorua perhaps? It is located in the middle of the North Island, and perhaps if you have seen Lord Of The Rings then I can say that you will find the hobbit houses there!

Quoting Toby25 (Thread starter):
Dunedin...is that in NZ? I will visit there one day!!!

Yes is is located in the South Island, a city famous for it's student population (University of Otago) & cold winter weather, but still a very nice, traditional place to visit!

Hope to see you here soon!  wave 

Cheers,
Max
 
MHTripple7
Posts: 591
Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 12:17 am

I 'Heart' Air NZ-LHR/HKG/LHR & SZX/CKG

Sun Sep 21, 2008 5:20 pm

Great TR! I loved the pics and videos.

Quoting Toby25 (Thread starter):
One thing I noticed is that they made so many announcements which was then repeated on your PTV, such as the menu, to close your window blinds, to put your seat in the upright position for meals which I thought was a bit distracting when watching your film.

Jet Airways does the same thing on their 777's, however, they only did it on the descent to tell passengers to put their seats in the upright position.
 
ba319-131
Posts: 8165
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

I 'Heart' Air NZ-LHR/HKG/LHR & SZX/CKG

Sun Sep 21, 2008 5:21 pm

Hi Toby,

Great report and pictures, really enjoyed the read.

Quoting Toby25 (Thread starter):
The seat next to me remained empty and I was praying that it would remain like that when the cabin doors closed. To my amazement, this was a first, it did!!! It was still a full flight but I had an empty seat and I loved it

- Always nice  Smile

ANZ does indeed look pretty good, though not sure they are that good, if you know what I mean.

Love the Chinese domestic flights, always enjoy looking at pictures of air travel in China, such a diversity of airlines, fantastic!

Look forward to more TR's in the future.

Regards

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
 
pumaknight
Posts: 227
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2004 3:23 am

I 'Heart' Air NZ-LHR/HKG/LHR & SZX/CKG

Sun Sep 21, 2008 9:05 pm

Great report....thank you for writing and sharing.
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OA412
Crew
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I 'Heart' Air NZ-LHR/HKG/LHR & SZX/CKG

Sun Sep 21, 2008 10:08 pm



Quoting Toby25 (Reply 1):
Do passengers not sit here??? A new class of travel?..travel in Cargo Class!!!

It's a 744 combi. The passenger compartment is ahead of doors 4L/4R with the cargo compartment aft.
Hughes Airwest - Top Banana In The West
 
ZKSUJ
Posts: 6823
Joined: Tue May 18, 2004 5:15 pm

I 'Heart' Air NZ-LHR/HKG/LHR & SZX/CKG

Mon Sep 22, 2008 2:47 am

Quoting Toby25 (Thread starter):
I think I've fallen in love with the New Zealand accent; it’s somewhat different from Australia, very sexy and smooth

Why thank you   and its great to know that some find us different to Ozzie accent 

Quoting Toby25 (Thread starter):
I also watched this simply funny New Zealand cartoon called Bro’ Town which is so funny. I don’t think it is aired in the UK so I'm gonna buy the DVD on the Internet. Is it big in New Zealand anyone know?

Its OK, but IMO as they have more and more seasons, the show becomes a little bit lame

Your first aircraft was probabvle named 'Rotorua' which along with 'Dunedin' and every other name the 744s have are named after places in NZ.

Cheers for the report, a great read

[Edited 2008-09-21 20:21:47]
 
ca228
Posts: 88
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2005 8:17 am

I 'Heart' Air NZ-LHR/HKG/LHR & SZX/CKG

Mon Sep 22, 2008 2:46 pm

Hi Toby
I saw your report and amazing pictures on Sunday when you first released it but they don't show up anymore - message from photobucket says it exceeded the bandwith. Can you put us to a link so we can see those photos again?
Mike
 
cabinboy
Posts: 150
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2000 1:58 am

I 'Heart' Air NZ-LHR/HKG/LHR & SZX/CKG

Mon Sep 22, 2008 5:41 pm

cant see the pics either..shame!
 
toby25
Posts: 97
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 1:28 pm

I 'Heart' Air NZ-LHR/HKG/LHR & SZX/CKG

Mon Sep 22, 2008 6:15 pm

hi the pictures should be ok now!  Smile
Seriously dude! I swear!
 
toby25
Posts: 97
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 1:28 pm

I 'Heart' Air NZ-LHR/HKG/LHR & SZX/CKG

Mon Sep 22, 2008 6:39 pm

Hello everyone, thank you all very much for your comments - i didnt know if i went over the top with pictures or not enough with the details.

thanks Joka - you have solved one of my life's mysteries!!

SQ772 - Yes, NZ does offer you sweets just before landing - which is a nice gesture, i remember BA used to give you sweets or was it CX. but they stopped now!

i think you will like CQ, it's a vibrant, colourful and exciting place to visit. CQ is famous for the spicy hotpot, a pot filled with chillies where you cook all sorts of meats and vegetables. they say some chillies are so hot they it will numb your tongue!!

http://i528.photobucket.com/albums/dd325/toby1983_2008/gran090.jpg
HOT!!

The main shopping district is Jie Fang Bei where most of the clubs, designer outlets etc are. if you are looking for technology and gadgets head to Sai Bo. Or if you want a taste of old China head to Qi Ci Kou, a good tourist destination.

If you have time catch the ferry at Chao Tian Men and go to Ghost City or Gui Cheng, very spooky and demonic place!

Globe Traveller - maybe I went overboard with the description! but i do think NZ is one of the best Y products in the market at the moment - i do think they need to get on the self check in band wagon and let us choose our seats!

Thomas Cook - cool, i would love to be a flight attendant for Qantas, im just not polite enough! If QF left HK at bit later i would have chosen QF over NZ. Do you get a lot of passengers boarding the flight from HK at that time?

Planehunter / OA412- thank u, you have enlightened me - i had no idea a 747 combi existed!! so i assume cargo is more profitable for KL on this route?

maxisno1 - thank u - yes, i flew on Rotorua and i will visit Dunedin one day, if not just to hear the sexy NZ accent hahah!!!

ZKSUJ - i have ordered season 1 of Bro'Town, hopefully the episode wil not be too lame haha! i absolutedly loved the episode i watched, im still laughing now!

Thank you all again

Toby
Seriously dude! I swear!
 
palmjet
Posts: 1230
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2001 2:35 pm

I 'Heart' Air NZ-LHR/HKG/LHR & SZX/CKG

Wed Sep 24, 2008 7:39 pm

Thanks for a great report with lots of interesting pics.

I too flew NZ 38/39 in Y around the same time as you - but in 2007 and I would agree with you. Both flights were fantastic - the catering out of London was better than any other airline I have flown from the UK to Australia with - including EK and SQ. The seat was more comfortable than EK or SQ's (744) product out of London and I would not hesitate to fly them again to HKG and beyond.

Air NZ have always been way above when it comes to flying at the back of the aircraft in Y - even back in 199 when I flew LHR - LAX - AKL - BNE, they were brilliant.
Eastern - Number One To The Sun
 
danild
Posts: 91
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 11:29 am

I 'Heart' Air NZ-LHR/HKG/LHR & SZX/CKG

Thu Sep 25, 2008 5:57 am

Thanks for the GREAT TRIP REPORT!!!!

I just flew Air NZ from LAX to AKL and then on to MEL and it blew my mind away!!!! I had big expectations but AirNZ quickly jumped to the top of my favorite airlines in the world!.

A quick note, I spilled some of the chocolate ice cream on my shirt (My partner and I were flying business class) and the FA said literally "NO NO NO NO NO, Give me your shirt and I will take care of that for you!!!!!" She literally made me take off my shirt. She WASHED IT and DRIED it and gave it back to me before landing in AKL! I understand that this goes WELL BEYOND her duties but what a great love for service!!!! After that gesture I LOOOOOVE AIR NZ!.

On the other hand Asiana, might have good looking planes and a supposedly 5 Star rating but Korea SUCKS! (it's a bizarro version of Japan) (I Had a bad experience, that's all!), and their service is way too overrated we flew First Class from ICN-ORD, but Air NZ Business Class is 1000 times better.
Danild
 
Jokestar
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 3:32 am

RE: I 'Heart' Air NZ-LHR/HKG/LHR & SZX/CKG

Sat Sep 27, 2008 12:22 pm

I'm booked on NZ039 from AKL-HKG in December and seriously can't wait. I am also from 9W from PVG-SFO shortly after and will be very interested to see the differences between the airlines, which I'm sure will be vast in many areas.

Excellent trip report! It made me even more excited about my trip!!!

Cheers
 
777ER
Crew
Posts: 9896
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2003 5:04 pm

RE: I 'Heart' Air NZ-LHR/HKG/LHR & SZX/CKG

Sun Sep 28, 2008 7:05 am

I flew the LHR-HKG sector with NZ late last month. Maybe you should try Premium Economy (Y+) next time you fly with NZ and enjoy business class service! I only fly in Y+ on NZs long haul flights and once you try Y+ you will totally understand why NZs Y+ product is the best Y+ service in the world!

Quoting Toby25 (Thread starter):
Love the colour scheme..very Kiwi...not like I know what Kiwi means!

The Kiwi is our national icon, which is a flightless bird.

Quoting Toby25 (Thread starter):
I was on was named Routonga

Rotorua or in airport codes its ROT

Quoting Toby25 (Thread starter):
One thing I noticed is that they made so many announcements which was then repeated on your PTV, such as the menu, to close your window blinds, to put your seat in the upright position for meals which I thought was a bit distracting when watching your film.

I prefer the messages to come via the PTV screens and always having the movie/TV show/CDs paused always annoyed me......especially when the movies always got paused during the good moments

Quoting Toby25 (Thread starter):
That’s one thing: NZ do not have self check in so you have to go to the airport and do it the old fashioned way

At the Airport train station in Kow loon (think thats how its spelt), all pax had to check in their luggage at the train station, which made it 100% easier

Quoting Toby25 (Thread starter):
Dunedin...is that in NZ? I will visit there one day!!!

Dunedin is New Zealand southern city. In airport codes its DUD

Quoting Globetraveller (Reply 4):
Maybe you should try SQ

And pay higher fares for a over rated service in Y? No thanks!
Head Forum Moderator
moderators@airliners.net for all Moderator contact
 
buck3y3nut
Posts: 824
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2006 1:38 am

RE: I 'Heart' Air NZ-LHR/HKG/LHR & SZX/CKG

Thu Oct 02, 2008 3:23 pm

excellent trip report mate. After reading this report, I really want to try out Air New Zealand sometime... Hopefully soon enough  Smile
thanks a bunch for writing this report and sharing it with us...
 
autobahnal
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2008 2:18 am

RE: I 'Heart' Air NZ-LHR/HKG/LHR & SZX/CKG

Sun Oct 12, 2008 11:30 pm

Thanks for a great report, Toby!

I'm flying to HKG for the first-time in a couple of weeks--what/where is the store with all of the Herpa models? Landside or airside?

Also, when you arrive at HKG, can you access airside shops (like at AMS), or do you immediately get sent to immigration?

Thanks for your help, Adam
 
united905
Posts: 157
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2005 12:38 pm

RE: I 'Heart' Air NZ-LHR/HKG/LHR & SZX/CKG

Mon Oct 13, 2008 1:40 pm

Great trip report.Realy refreshing.Good pics to.
thank you for flying united
 
CO7e7
Posts: 2687
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2004 3:39 pm

RE: I 'Heart' Air NZ-LHR/HKG/LHR & SZX/CKG

Mon Oct 13, 2008 7:12 pm

Very well written report..i really enjoyed the pix.

Thanks for sharing.
 
User avatar
Zkpilot
Posts: 3803
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RE: I 'Heart' Air NZ-LHR/HKG/LHR & SZX/CKG

Wed Oct 22, 2008 4:36 pm

Great TR! thanks!  Smile

Quoting Toby25 (Thread starter):
NZ employ ground staff from United Airlines and I must comment the lady who checked me was rude, none – forthcoming, blunt and a bit ditzy.

and people wonder why most of the USA airlines are struggling!

Quoting Toby25 (Thread starter):
Love the colour scheme..very Kiwi...not like I know what Kiwi means!

It used to have 2 wavey stripes in front of the wing but they took those off recently. There is a completely new colour scheme in the works but it has been delayed for various reasons. It should involve a darker green that extends from the tail along the aircraft with design motifs included.

Quoting Toby25 (Thread starter):
However the flight attendants were London based and I must comment they were simply one of the best group of cabin crew ever. Efficient, polite, smiley, friendly, courteous and funky – the uniforms, in my opinion, are quite trendy and laid back.

LHR based fly to LAX and HKG only. Their uniform is designed by renowed designer Zambesi, however the first itineration of it wasn't very well received...the V2.0 is however much better.

Quoting Toby25 (Thread starter):
The seat pitch was an amazing 34’’ and this was economy with AVOD entertainment

Most airlines have 31" so its quite a big difference!

Quoting Toby25 (Thread starter):
The seat was comfortable with an adjustable head rest that you can slide up and down. There is no foot rest but that doesn’t bother me but I was surprised that they do not hand out any amenity kits like tooth brushes or eye shades. I didn’t bring a tooth brush so I couldn’t brush my teeth – not pleasant! Also NZ seem to lack inflight sales – maybe they are missing out on extra revenue? What I liked was that they made announcements in Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, French and German to introduce the languages the crew spoke at the start of the flight. I was a little concerned that no announcements were made in Cantonese Chinese not even on the return leg.

I'm not too sure why they don't do the amenities anymore however I think you can ask for some if you want them. (Cost cutting I presume most airlines don't do them anymore and most people take a toothbrush with them lol).
Until recently my understanding was that NZ did do announcements in Cantonese but since the flight carries on to LHR and a lot of Mandarin speakers are onboard they do the announcements in Mandarin (as a rapidly growing proportion of HKG now do).

Quoting Toby25 (Thread starter):
The pancakes were not very nice but OK.

Thats not how most Kiwis have their pancakes... those are Brit pancakes.... we tend to do ours like Americans...with Maple Syrup.

Quoting Toby25 (Thread starter):
One thing I noticed is that NZ do not fly to many destinations. There only European city is London, America I think is LAX and SFO with NRT, PEK, PVG and HKG making the Asian leg. Oh well if they continue like this my next flight will be with NZ. I've already told my family to fly with them instead of BA and they said they would!

YVR (Canada also). I think NZ still fly to KIX but they dropped NGO (or the other way round). A lot of their flying is within the Pacific (Fiji, Rarotonga, Samoa, Tonga, Hawaii, Tahiti, Australia). Flights from many of these carry on to LAX. NZ flies to many destinations in Australia (including a longhaul direct flight to PER from AKL something which no-one else does). As for Europe, NZ used to fly via LAX to FRA but dropped it to *A partner LH. There is talk that NZ will soon start up either PVG or PEK to Europe (FRA/MUN/ZRH) and possibly have LAX/SFO/YVR - MAN (however the credit crunch has put a freeze on these plans it seems).
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