PlaneHunter
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Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744

Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:50 pm

Quality and Style in Economy Class:
Hong Kong-London on Air New Zealand Boeing 747-400




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Photo © Sneeze Lam




Intro
The final part of my recent trip report series will give an impression of Air New Zealand's long-haul Economy Class product on the Hong Kong-London route. Lufthansa short-haul flights can be found here frequently, so I won't go into detail about the connecting flight to Munich.


Background
Back in September, after finding the reasonably priced Hainan Airlines one-way connection between Munich and Beijing, we needed to add a one-way return flight from Hong Kong. Air New Zealand was offering the most attractive fares (via London Heathrow, including a Lufthansa connection), so it was a quick decision - considering that all NZ long-haul planes had already been equipped with the revamped Economy Class.

All those who have missed parts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 or want to read more about the background of the trip simply need to click here:
Striking Newcomer: Berlin-Beijing On Hainan A330
PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
SHA-SZX, Shanghai 757: Delayed By The Military
"The Wings Of Taiwan": EVA Air A332, 744 Combi
Taiwan Trio: TransAsia, UNI Air And The Taipei 101




Chek Lap Kok Spotting
After returning from our short side trip to Taiwan we had one full day left for spotting at Chek Lap Kok Airport. However, when we stepped off the train at Tung Chung station at Lantau Island we realized with disappointment that the approach direction still hadn’t been changed - aircraft were landing on runways 07L and 07R (opposite side of the main terminal complex) which makes it almost impossible to take good pictures. Nevertheless, we took a bus to the top end of the island while hoping for the best.

We stepped off the bus near the HAECO maintenance area and discovered a very interesting bird: ex-Cathay Pacific Airbus A340-642, still registered B-HQA, but already painted in Hainan Airlines colors:



We walked to a place near the water and sat down on some rocks. It was very windy and visibility was limited. Aircraft were using the more distant runway 07L for landing - and it was difficult in many cases to see the registrations.



At least it was easy to see the departing aircraft clearly. China Airlines Airbus A340-300 bound for take-off and a parked Dragonair Boeing 747-300F:



Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 undergoing maintenance:



We met some spotters from England who weren't amused about the situation either. After about two hours we left the scene and tried to find a place where we could see the planes shortly after take-off. We finally sat down on a grass field close to numerous logistics warehouses - but security staff sent us away after a short discussion. On the way to the bus station we passed Cathay Pacific's headquarter, named Cathay City. This is VR-HDA "Niki", a DC-3 on public view outside the Cathay Flight Training Centre:



We went to the main terminal hall, still hoping for the best, but the approach direction wouldn't change. I could get a limited number of registrations while having a seat in the terminal, but many aircraft were already too high. In the early afternoon we decided to return to Kowloon. I had logged 62 new registrations which is not bad - but much less than expected.

The view from our hotel room was not as spectacular as during our first stay in The Salisbury, but still enjoyable:




”A Symphony of Lights”
After having dinner in the Harbour City shopping mall it was time to watch "A Symphony of Lights" from the pier – a multimedia presentation named "World's Largest Permanent Light and Sound Show" by the Guinness World Records. The daily show creates an all-round vision of coloured lights, laser beams and searchlights performing a spectacle synchronised to music and narration.





The cruise ship Costa Allegra at the Harbour City pier:





Sunday, 09 November 2008
Hong Kong (HKG) - London (LHR)
Air New Zealand, NZ039
08:21-13:57 (08:15-13:35)
Flying time: 13:06 (hrs)

Boeing 747-419
ZK-NBV "Christchurch" (s/n 1180), delivered in 10/1998
Economy Class, Seat 62J



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Photo © Dmytro Myrnyy
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Photo © David Roura - Iberian Spotters




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Photo © Ian Schofield
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Photo © Tsuyoshi Hayasaki - Aeroentusiasta




The Endless Check-in
NZ039 was scheduled to leave Chek Lap Kok at 08:15, so we had to be at the airport very early. We took a taxi to Kowloon station and bought tickets for the first Airport Express train departing at 05:50. We stepped off the train 24 minutes later and walked straight to the Air New Zealand check-in area. After ten minutes in queue, a friendly agent welcomed us and entered our data. We got the reserved seats on the NZ flight (row 62), but not the requested rear cabin seats on the Lufthansa flight. Apparently the system had allocated seats on the LH sector automatically, but the agent then promised to change it manually. We thought it wouldn't be a big deal, but it took no less than 20 minutes to get it fixed. I don't know which problem occurred, but the agent had to call a colleague who took the boarding passes and disappeared again. We were kindly asked to step aside so that we wouldn't block the counter any longer. Finally, we got new boarding passes with the requested seats. The waiting time was really long, but they had managed to solve the problem. Alternatively, in order to get rid of the problem quickly, they could have advised us to change the seats after arrival in London. So one can be satisfied with that kind of service.

We quickly passed security and soon discovered ZK-NBV, a 1998 model named "Christchurch".




Cabin Comfort
Friendly flight attendants welcomed us at the door and in the aisle - some of them were tall and brawny men, apparently well-prepared to deal with any kind of air rage.  
The slimline seats were very comfortable...



...and seat pitch was simply amazing. According to Satchmo, the rather small IFE box under the window seat wasn’t a problem either.



Large and well-adjustable inseat screens:



Rear cabin view (picture taken later in the flight):


Picture by Satchmo


In-flight Entertainment
NZ's 747-400s are equipped with an audio and video on-demand (AVOD) entertainment system which is called KiaOra.
The system offers a wide selection of entertainment options:

  • - More than 75 movies (including Chinese, Japanese and Korean original movies)
  • - More than 65 TV features
  • - 17 radio channels
  • - More than 260 music CDs (playlist builder)
  • - 20 video games
  • - Airshow channel with in-flight data and maps
  • - Destination information and travel guides

KiaOra was easy to operate and all options were available without interruption or other problems. The entertainment guide was quite useful, too. Main menu:




Departure
The flight was completely full, at least in Economy Class I didn't spot an empty seat. Not surprisingly, it took a while until boarding was completed. Honestly, I wasn't sure whether it would be such a great pleasure to spend more than 13 hours in the middle seat...

ZK-NBV left the gate six minutes late and started taxiing to runway 07R.





Final turn...



...also visible on the map:



The four GE CF6-80 engines started howling and the heavy plane began its rather long take-off roll.


Picture by Satchmo


Picture by Satchmo


Picture by Satchmo

Shortly after lift-off we passed Hong Kong Island:


Picture by Satchmo


Picture by Satchmo


Picture by Satchmo


Breakfast
The flight attendants started serving breakfast about 45 minutes after take-off. I ordered the Western option, consisting of scrambled eggs, sausage, hash brown and grilled tomato.



The sausage was quite tasteless, but the eggs were really good. I also liked the fruit salad which tasted really fresh. I can't complain about coffee, either. Apart from the quality of the (filling) meal, one has to praise the presentation.

Impressive Scenery
After breakfast it was time to have a closer look at the entertainment system. Of course, sometimes it was worth it to switch to the window:


Picture by Satchmo

Cruising altitude 9144 meters, still more than 10 hours to go:



Different view:



Snow covered mountains:


Picture by Satchmo

All the snow had disappeared again just one hour later:


Picture by Satchmo


Snack
The flight attendants started serving a snack about five hours after breakfast. We got a tasty ciabatta bread sandwich with ham, cheese and tomato sauce as well as a delicious "cookie & cream" ice cream.



When drinks were offered some minutes later it was time for the "ginger ale test". First of all, I got a Britvic 150 ml can which didn't taste bad. Some time later, when another round of drinks followed, I ordered ginger ale for the second time. The friendly female flight attendant opened several compartments of her trolley and finally said: "I’m sorry, there’s no more ginger ale left." However, I had spotted a well-known can and told her: "But I have seen one!" She checked again and suddenly confirmed my sighting: "Oh, you are right!"  
So I got a 330 ml can of Schweppes ginger ale this time - which I liked better than the former.




Places of Interest
NZ's excellent IFE helped a lot to kill the time. When we were cruising over the Baltic Sea I was quite surprised to find the same odd entry on the map as on the Hainan Airlines TXL-PEK flight: "Wilhelm Gustloff, 1945". The entry refers to the sinking of the German passenger ship Wilhelm Gustloff in 1945, actually the worst maritime disaster in history.



Another entry on the map referred to the sinking of the "Kronan" in 1676. I hadn't seen similar entries before on my numerous flights, but I was told there are indeed other carriers also showing disaster sites on the map.

Passenger Conflict
After more than 10 hours in the air, some passengers' nerves were apparently overstrained. Only a few meters away, one man jumped up, turned around and angrily shouted at an older passenger sitting directly behind him. It was only a matter of seconds until one of the brawny flight attendants showed up and unmistakeably told these guys to stop the dispute immediately. The older (German speaking) man and his wife then tried to argue with the flight attendant, but the latter explained that he doesn’t speak German and refused to start any discussion about the issue. Apparently, the older guy had constantly been pressing against the reclined seat back in front - which had turned the other man crazy after a while…

Lunch
Almost two hours prior to our arrival it was time for lunch. I ordered beef with mashed potatoes and vegetables - and again I was surprised by the quality of the food and the presentation.



Except for one fatty piece of meat, the main course tasted really good, no matter if sauce, vegetables or mashed potato. While I couldn't complain about the fresh tasting salad, the dessert wasn't my favorite: it was a vanilla pudding apparently accompanied by a ginger sauce. Again, a very friendly flight attendant offered drinks and I ordered a half glass of white wine. She was actually very generous and almost filled it up. She smiled and said: "Well, it's a good half glass of wine."  

Approach
Some 18 minutes prior to our arrival, ZK-NBV was flying at an altitude of 5180 meters:


Picture by Satchmo


Flying over London is always a pleasure...



Arsenal London's home, the Emirates Stadium:


Picture by Satchmo




Picture by Satchmo

Strong winds were turning the final approach into a bumpy one.



We finally touched down on runway 27L at 13:49, after a flying time of 13 hours and six minutes.



Sunday, 09 November 2008
London (LHR) - Munich (MUC)
Lufthansa, LH4757
15:34-18:11 (15:25-18:15)
Flying time: 01:16 (hrs)

Airbus A321-231
D-AISF "Lippstadt" (MSN 1260), delivered in 06/2000
Economy Class, Seat 36A



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Photo © Gilles Bausch




Bumpy Take-off
It took about 30 minutes to reach the gate for flight LH4757, the last sector of our tour. Due to construction work in that part of Terminal 2 it wasn't easy to see the movements outside. At least I managed to get 22 new registrations until we left the ground again. D-AISF "Lippstadt" was scheduled to operate the flight today - we hadn't expected to get a -200 version because most A321s based at MUC are -100 models.



We left the gate only a few minutes late, but the captain informed us that we wouldn't be able to take off for another 20 minutes. United's Boeing 767-322ER N653UA painted in Star Alliance colors:



The well-known ZK-NBV together with the company's Boeing 777-219ER ZK-OKA (flying to AKL via LAX) and South African Airways Airbus A340-642 ZS-SNC, painted in Star Alliance colors:



That's what’s left of the Boeing 777-236ER once registered G-YMMM:



Strong winds were still blowing at Heathrow which resulted in a bumpy take-off on runway 27L:




Dry Sandwich
The remaining flight was rather uneventful. However, I was a bit surprised about the slightly worn interior and a dirty seatback - and I was quite disappointed by the catering. Flight attendants offered cheese sandwiches and Giotto candy - which seemed to be ok at first sight. However, the sandwich was extremely dry - quite ironic to see the new "Discover Flavour" logo on the paper bag...    At least the coffee was good, the flight attendants were quite friendly and the flight arrived on time.



Conclusion
I had read many reviews of Air New Zealand prior to the trip - and now I know that all the positive talk about the airline's Economy Class is justified. It's a high-quality Economy Class product with style: comfortable seats, generous legroom, clean cabin in good shape, advanced AVOD entertainment, friendly and motivated staff, tasty and well-presented meals and snacks, a large selection of drinks. What else do you need? I spent more than 13 hours in the middle seat and didn't feel wrecked at all after landing in Heathrow. No doubts, I would fly Air New Zealand again and can only recommend anyone to give that fine airline a try.

For the record: Apart from flying on several new airlines and visiting many great places during the tour I logged a total of 421 new registrations – not as many as during the Japan tour in 2007, but still hugely satisfying.


Best Regards,
PlaneHunter

[Edited 2009-03-10 13:13:53]
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
MHTripple7
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Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 12:17 am

RE: Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744

Tue Mar 10, 2009 8:12 pm

Very nice TR with some GREAT pics, PlaneHunter! The NZ Y product looks very good. I definitely wouldn't mind flying on one of their 744's from LAX to AKL one day. Thanks for sharing.
 
palmjet
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Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2001 2:35 pm

RE: Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744

Tue Mar 10, 2009 8:35 pm

P/h thanks for a great report and pics. I flew NZ38 in Sept 2007 and can validate everything you say about NZ Economy. It's one of the best Economy class products around - light years ahead of any US carrier I have ever travelled on. Excellent also even by Asian standards. Well done NZ!
Eastern - Number One To The Sun
 
FLIEGER67
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Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2003 4:43 am

RE: Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744

Tue Mar 10, 2009 8:40 pm

Hey, PH,

great final story, but nothing else expected.
Surrounded by nice pics.
And it seems NZ is worth to try sometimes.

So, after that superb interesting bunch of stories, what´s coming up next?.

Regards,
Markus (FLIEGER67)
Tripreporter.net
 
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IrishAyes
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RE: Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744

Tue Mar 10, 2009 8:43 pm

Outstanding TR. One of the best I've ever read. How did you manage to take so many good pics even though you were in the middle seat? You had great weather along the way as well which afforded some nice shots!
confidence is silent. insecurities are loud.
 
PlaneHunter
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RE: Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744

Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:06 pm



Quoting MHTripple7 (Reply 1):
Very nice TR with some GREAT pics, PlaneHunter!

Thanks!

Quoting MHTripple7 (Reply 1):
The NZ Y product looks very good. I definitely wouldn't mind flying on one of their 744's from LAX to AKL one day. Thanks for sharing.

I'm sure you'd enjoy it a lot - personally I also wouldn't mind to try NZ's 777, too. Well, maybe I'll wait for the magnificent 77W.  Wink

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 2):
P/h thanks for a great report and pics. I flew NZ38 in Sept 2007 and can validate everything you say about NZ Economy. It's one of the best Economy class products around - light years ahead of any US carrier I have ever travelled on. Excellent also even by Asian standards.

Thanks, Palmjet. Indeed, NZ's product is definitely competitive with certain Asian carriers' offerings.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 3):
Hey, PH,

great final story, but nothing else expected.
Surrounded by nice pics.

Hi Markus, thanks for your feedback!

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 3):
And it seems NZ is worth to try sometimes.

No doubts about that.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 3):
So, after that superb interesting bunch of stories, what´s coming up next?.

The next report series will cover my recent short trip to the US - some old, loud, beautiful Red Tails included.  Wink

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 4):
Outstanding TR. One of the best I've ever read.

Thanks a lot, IrishAyes!

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 4):
How did you manage to take so many good pics even though you were in the middle seat?

Well, my friend Satchmo in the window seat took many of them.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 4):
You had great weather along the way as well which afforded some nice shots!

The weather during the flight was indeed good, but we weren't lucky on the day before.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
Flanders
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RE: Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744

Tue Mar 10, 2009 10:31 pm

Excellent report & beautiful pictures! I flew NZ LHR-HKG-LHR in 2007 and this report brings back the good old memories! It's just too bad NZ doesn't have the in-town check-in at HKG central... it's very convenient.
 
caleb1
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RE: Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744

Wed Mar 11, 2009 12:36 am

Excellent TR. Very informative and a nice mix of pictures and text. Well done.
 
TheCommodore
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Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2007 2:14 am

RE: Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744

Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:57 am

A really great report.

Thanks, as it makes it much more interesting when there GOOD well written T/R's

Air NZ seem to be light years ahead of the competition on many sectors.Great food ,entertainment and FA's who do the job with pride (and not attitude as is the case a lot these days).I will be going to the US later this year , for business not pleasure. I will be going on Air NZ not a US carrier, have had way way to many drama's on US airlines in the past to make that mistake again !!!
Only flown on LH once, FRA/DUS and it was very forgettable.

Enjoyed reading your other reports.

Keep em coming !!

Cheer's
TheCommodore
“At first, they'll only dislike what you say, but the more correct you start sounding the more they'll dislike you.”
 
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airbuseric
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RE: Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744

Wed Mar 11, 2009 3:01 pm

Hi PH,
thanks for the great report, and NZ really surprises me. Very good product, and the meal looks almost like C class  Wink That icecream is also a good one to offer on such long flights, and far better icecream then offered on numerous other airlines.
Great pics, and good writing! When is your next trip?  Smile
btw, we're maybe planning a HKG citytrip for December, and NZ is now also considered.
Gruß
eric
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
 
Globetraveller
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RE: Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744

Wed Mar 11, 2009 3:09 pm

Hi there PlaneHunter!

An excellent end to your trip report series. I really enjoyed the pictures and all the information you provided about your experience. This TR was a thoroughly enjoyable read.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
"A Symphony of Lights"

I really like these two pictures - they are probably the best in this TR!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
...and seat pitch was simply amazing. According to Satchmo, the rather small IFE box under the window seat wasn't a problem either.

Wow... This looks more like premium Economy Class. What a generous offering!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Rear cabin view (picture taken later in the flight):

The entire cabin looks very clean and modern, especially for a 747. Air New Zealand has obviously done an amazing job when it comes to maintenance and refurbishing. Very impressive.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Apart from the quality of the (filling) meal, one has to praise the presentation.

The trays are so clean and not cluttered. Again, this very good indeed.

I have now read several Air New Zealand reports and all of them seem to be very positive. Sadly, they do not fly the routes I usually find myself on, because I would really like to give them a try!

Thank you for all your efforts.

Globetraveller
 
PlaneHunter
Topic Author
Posts: 6512
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RE: Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744

Wed Mar 11, 2009 7:29 pm



Quoting Flanders (Reply 6):
Excellent report & beautiful pictures! I flew NZ LHR-HKG-LHR in 2007 and this report brings back the good old memories!

Thanks, Flanders!

Quoting Flanders (Reply 6):
It's just too bad NZ doesn't have the in-town check-in at HKG central... it's very convenient.

Yes, would be a nice feature.

Quoting Caleb1 (Reply 7):
Excellent TR. Very informative and a nice mix of pictures and text. Well done.

Thanks, Caleb!

Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 8):
A really great report.

Thanks, as it makes it much more interesting when there GOOD well written T/R's

Special thanks, TheCommodore, nice to hear.

Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 8):
Only flown on LH once, FRA/DUS and it was very forgettable.

That's one of the shortest LH hops. Haven't flown LH for many years on a long-haul route, but I have heard many positive remarks about the product in the past months.

Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 8):
Enjoyed reading your other reports.

Keep em coming !!

I'll start working on the next series soon!

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 9):
thanks for the great report, and NZ really surprises me. Very good product, and the meal looks almost like C class

Hi Eric, thanks for your feedback. The meal presentation is really good - judging from the pictures posted here on a.net, NZ's Eco meals look better than certain airlines' Business Class offerings.

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 9):
That icecream is also a good one to offer on such long flights, and far better icecream then offered on numerous other airlines.

It's nice to get ice cream altogether - not very common in Economy Class.

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 9):
When is your next trip?

Just spent a few days in the US - and I'll head to Doha next week. Several reports planned, but I have to find the time to write...

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 9):
btw, we're maybe planning a HKG citytrip for December, and NZ is now also considered.

Yes, you should indeed consider NZ, too.

Quoting Globetraveller (Reply 10):
An excellent end to your trip report series. I really enjoyed the pictures and all the information you provided about your experience. This TR was a thoroughly enjoyable read.

Thanks a lot for your feedback, Globetraveller.

Quoting Globetraveller (Reply 10):
I really like these two pictures - they are probably the best in this TR!

It took a while until I was satisfied with the pics on that evening...

Quoting Globetraveller (Reply 10):
Wow... This looks more like premium Economy Class. What a generous offering!

Yes, I'd say the seat pitch is even better than on MH.

Quoting Globetraveller (Reply 10):
The entire cabin looks very clean and modern, especially for a 747. Air New Zealand has obviously done an amazing job when it comes to maintenance and refurbishing. Very impressive.

One has to praise NZ for refurbishing almost the whole fleet, including A320s, 767s and 747s.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
tonyban
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RE: Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744

Wed Mar 11, 2009 7:52 pm

Probably the best pics I ever seen on a trip report.
Excellent !!!
 
toby25
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RE: Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744

Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:31 pm

hi Plane Hunter,

Nice report, really enjoyed it!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
NZ039 was scheduled to leave Chek Lap Kok at 08:15, so we had to be at the airport very early

Yes, I remember having to wake up very early to check in for this flight; it wasn't the highlight of my trip!!

Did they offer you hard boiled sweets for landing?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
After more than 10 hours in the air, some passengers' nerves were apparently overstrained. Only a few meters away, one man jumped up, turned around and angrily shouted at an older passenger sitting directly behind him

Yes, I am not surprised at this. when I was flying back to UK in the day light for such a long flight I was on the verge of going mad, i prefer night flights then early morning flights. im glad it didnt develop into anything more serious but it would of been some good entertainment!!!

Which bus did you catch to get off near the HAECO maintenance hanger? is it from the main airport bus station? I am off to HKG next month (but with VS!) and i would like to visit that area to do some spotting; are you allowed to take shots along that stretch of road?

Thanks again!
Toby (o_^)v
Seriously dude! I swear!
 
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NZ107
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RE: Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744

Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:50 pm

Hi PH,

Excellent TR, well done! It was worth waiting for  Wink
Glad you enjoyed it - it complements my relatively short haul TRs very well. Funnily enough, I haven't flown NZ on a long haul sector yet! But definitely willing to give it a try.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Large and well-adjustable inseat screens:

They seem smaller than the ones they put on the A320s and 763s..

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
KiaOra was easy to operate and all options were available without interruption or other problems. The entertainment guide was quite useful, too.

But at least everything works!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Shortly after lift-off we passed Hong Kong Island:

Wow. Amazing pictures. Too bad the flightpath didn't enable a better picture of the waterfront too!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The flight attendants started serving a snack about five hours after breakfast. We got a tasty ciabatta bread sandwich with ham, cheese and tomato sauce as well as a delicious "cookie & cream" ice cream.

Very impressed by this snack. I wouldn't have thought they'd give something out mid-morning! And Haagen Dazs as well! NZ's choice of ice cream is fantastic. Kapiti Ice Cream for flights leaving New Zealand (premium ice cream from here) and then Haagen Dazs.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
NZ's excellent IFE helped a lot to kill the time. When we were cruising over the Baltic Sea I was quite surprised to find the same odd entry on the map as on the Hainan Airlines TXL-PEK flight: "Wilhelm Gustloff, 1945". The entry refers to the sinking of the German passenger ship Wilhelm Gustloff in 1945, actually the worst maritime disaster in history.

Hmm.... Any similarities in the IFE system?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Almost two hours prior to our arrival it was time for lunch. I ordered beef with mashed potatoes and vegetables - and again I was surprised by the quality of the food and the presentation.

Very appetising. I just wish NZ would do meals like that for the Trans Tasman sector - such a move would completely cement them as the top airline serving the Tasman. Now I'm hungry!


Thanks again for writing this TR, can't wait for any future ones from you!

Regards,
Nicholas
It's all about the destination AND the journey.
 
ZKOJH
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RE: Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744

Thu Mar 12, 2009 2:12 am

fantastic report, always my choice of airline to New Zealand. looking foward to the 77W'S to operate this route from next year..
Vietnam time..
 
DALCE
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RE: Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744

Thu Mar 12, 2009 3:37 pm

Hi PH,

Great report on NZ, an airline which really is better than I thought!
They are really above par I would say!

The LH sandwich doesn't surprise me! Although I have not flown on LH for about a year, their snadwiches are always of rather low quality!

Thanks for your great report!
Viele Grüsse,
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.
 
SIN7
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RE: Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744

Thu Mar 12, 2009 4:11 pm

Hi
Thanks for providing this fantastic TR on NZ.
I've always flown only NZ domestic. The crew's always friendly and with genuine warmth to all pax. I'm asian and was never treated differently among almost all kiwi pax.
They really enjoy their work and it really shows.
Do you have pics of their crew in their updated uniform?

The meals looks good. NZ has a good catering team which focuses on simple uncomplicated meals which pax are familiar. Most importantly, melas are simple for flight kitchen to prepare that it has prob been perfected over all these years.

BTW, how were the sandwiches sreved? Individual tray for each pax (which does not seem to be from your pics) or crew pass around large tray/basket with the sandwiches for pax to pick? Nice to see NZ offers cheese, ham ciabatta. BA, QF serve awesome sandwiches like tikka chicken and pesto veg. Some Asian carriers' F&B are still hell bent on offereing the boring ham, cheese, egg or tuna saying that these new sandwich fillings are too 'new' for their pax. Huh  confused  ??
 
ba319-131
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RE: Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744

Thu Mar 12, 2009 5:04 pm

Great report PH, shame the series has come to and end.

Shame the spotting @ HKG did not pan out, did you not consider going to the observation deck?

NZ certainly look pretty decent in economy, the legroom looked great and the meals pretty nice, especially the beef!

The LH catering looks poor, soes not look good for my flights with them next month  Sad

Regards

Mark
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The777Man
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RE: Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744

Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:03 am

Hi PlaneHunter!

Excellent report as always! Seats on the 744 seems to be exactly the same as on the 772 that I flew on about three years ago.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
For the record: Apart from flying on several new airlines and visiting many great places during the tour I logged a total of 421 new registrations – not as many as during the Japan tour in 2007, but still hugely satisfying.

That's very interesting! It says a LOT about spotting in Japan!

Spotting at HKG is not great; best views are from airside. There's an observation deck on Terminal 2 which is a terminal with only bus gates. Not sure what kind of view you have from there though.

The777Man
Boeing 777s flown: UA, TG, KE, BA, CX, NH, JD, JL, CZ, SQ, EK, NG, CO, AF, SV, KU, DL, AA, MH, OZ, CA, MS, SU, LY, RG, PE, AZ, KL, VN, PK, EY, NZ, AM, BR, AC, DT, UU, OS, AI, 9W, KQ, QR, VA, JJ, ET, TK, PR, BG, T5, CI, MU and LX.. Further to fly.. LH 777
 
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RE: Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744

Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:30 am



Quoting The777Man (Reply 19):
Seats on the 744 seems to be exactly the same as on the 772 that I flew on about three years ago.

Albeit the 772 has 2 inches less legroom. They retrofitted their 744s at around the same time they were getting the 772s to have a standardised long haul fleet.
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cabinboy
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RE: Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744

Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:12 pm

what camera are you using?
 
PlaneHunter
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RE: Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744

Sun Mar 15, 2009 8:21 am



Quoting Tonyban (Reply 12):
Probably the best pics I ever seen on a trip report.
Excellent !!!

Thanks a lot, Tonyban!

Quoting Toby25 (Reply 13):
Nice report, really enjoyed it!

Thanks Toby, nice to hear!

Quoting Toby25 (Reply 13):
Did they offer you hard boiled sweets for landing?

I can't really remember, but I guess no.

Quoting Toby25 (Reply 13):
im glad it didnt develop into anything more serious but it would of been some good entertainment!!!

It wouldn't have been a long quarrel.  Wink

Quoting Toby25 (Reply 13):
Which bus did you catch to get off near the HAECO maintenance hanger? is it from the main airport bus station?

Satchmo will tell you details about the bus connection (see my message).

Quoting Toby25 (Reply 13):
are you allowed to take shots along that stretch of road?

It depends where you are going. We were asked to leave near some warehouses.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 14):
Excellent TR, well done! It was worth waiting for

Thanks a lot, Nicholas!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 14):
They seem smaller than the ones they put on the A320s and 763s..

Even larger ones on these models? Not bad!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 14):
Wow. Amazing pictures. Too bad the flightpath didn't enable a better picture of the waterfront too!

Yes, but it was still a nice view.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 14):
Very impressed by this snack. I wouldn't have thought they'd give something out mid-morning! And Haagen Dazs as well! NZ's choice of ice cream is fantastic. Kapiti Ice Cream for flights leaving New Zealand (premium ice cream from here) and then Haagen Dazs.

Praise for NZ here.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 14):
Hmm.... Any similarities in the IFE system?

I haven't checked yet which IFE provider NZ has picked - but the systems aren't really similar.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 14):
Thanks again for writing this TR, can't wait for any future ones from you!

I will start working on my new US series next week - as soon as I return from my upcoming trip to Doha. In May I'll head to the US again, so numerous reports to follow...

Quoting Zkojh (Reply 15):
fantastic report, always my choice of airline to New Zealand.

Thanks!

Quoting Zkojh (Reply 15):
looking foward to the 77W'S to operate this route from next year..

That will be a hot bird to fly on, no doubts!

Quoting DALCE (Reply 16):
Great report on NZ, an airline which really is better than I thought!
They are really above par I would say!

Thanks, Joost!

Quoting DALCE (Reply 16):
The LH sandwich doesn't surprise me! Although I have not flown on LH for about a year, their snadwiches are always of rather low quality!

They should really improve the quality again.

Quoting SIN7 (Reply 17):
Thanks for providing this fantastic TR on NZ.

Thanks a lot!

Quoting SIN7 (Reply 17):
The crew's always friendly and with genuine warmth to all pax. I'm asian and was never treated differently among almost all kiwi pax.

That's very good to hear.

Quoting SIN7 (Reply 17):
Do you have pics of their crew in their updated uniform?

No, unfortunately. The males' uniforms look quite casual.

Quoting SIN7 (Reply 17):
NZ has a good catering team which focuses on simple uncomplicated meals which pax are familiar. Most importantly, melas are simple for flight kitchen to prepare that it has prob been perfected over all these years.

Interesting to know.

Quoting SIN7 (Reply 17):
BTW, how were the sandwiches sreved? Individual tray for each pax (which does not seem to be from your pics) or crew pass around large tray/basket with the sandwiches for pax to pick?

The sandwiches were packed in foil and handed out together with the ice cream - without a tray.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 18):
Great report PH, shame the series has come to and end.

Thanks Mark! More reports to follow soon.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 18):
Shame the spotting @ HKG did not pan out, did you not consider going to the observation deck?

No, but I will give it a try next time.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 18):
The LH catering looks poor, soes not look good for my flights with them next month

Well, I guess it depends where you are going to. Euro flight or long-haul?

Quoting The777Man (Reply 19):
Excellent report as always! Seats on the 744 seems to be exactly the same as on the 772 that I flew on about three years ago.

Hi Lars, thanks for your feedback.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 19):

That's very interesting! It says a LOT about spotting in Japan!

Yes, it definitely does!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 19):
There's an observation deck on Terminal 2 which is a terminal with only bus gates. Not sure what kind of view you have from there though.

That will be on my agenda next time.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 20):
Albeit the 772 has 2 inches less legroom.

Interesting to know!

Quoting Cabinboy (Reply 21):
what camera are you using?

I have a Sony DSC-W5, not really the latest model any more. Satchmo uses professional spotter equipment, but I don't know any details, to be honest.


PH
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ba319-131
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RE: Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744

Sun Mar 15, 2009 8:27 am



Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 22):
Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 18):
Shame the spotting @ HKG did not pan out, did you not consider going to the observation deck?

No, but I will give it a try next time.

- Do, well worth it, will be a couple of pictures from there in my final part of the Asia travels.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 22):
Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 18):
The LH catering looks poor, soes not look good for my flights with them next month

Well, I guess it depends where you are going to. Euro flight or long-haul?

- Euro, off to ATH via FRA.

Cheers

Mark
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RE: Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744

Sun Mar 15, 2009 9:46 am



Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 22):
I haven't checked yet which IFE provider NZ has picked

I think NZ initially picked Rockwell Collins for their 744/772 but didn't like the bugs that were associated with it. I doubt they've changed systems. The 763s and A320s have Panasonic - very similar to EK's and SQ's A330 IFE. Maybe the 77W will come with the new IFE!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 22):
I will start working on my new US series next week - as soon as I return from my upcoming trip to Doha. In May I'll head to the US again, so numerous reports to follow...

Great! This will keep me well entertained and no doubt make me very jealous of all the travelling you get to do!


Regards,
Nicholas
It's all about the destination AND the journey.
 
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OA260
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RE: Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744

Sun Mar 15, 2009 2:32 pm

Nice report . NZ look good as I have always thought. Would like to try them one day.
 
Contact Air
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RE: Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744

Sun Mar 15, 2009 7:24 pm

Hi PH,

A really interesting report about your return flights - I enjoyed reading a lot. And of course accompanied by a fantastic selection of pictures. Air New Zealand's Economy product seems to be very good indeed, especially the food selection with two main meals and a snack service was more than I would have expected.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Shortly after lift-off we passed Hong Kong Island:

Fantastic pictures!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Flying over London is always a pleasure

Yes, I enjoy flying into LHR as well as it usually offers great views to the City of London.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I spent more than 13 hours in the middle seat and didn't feel wrecked at all after landing in Heathrow.

That's probably one of the most positive comments that can be used to describe an Economy Class product.

Regards
Christoph
 
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Zkpilot
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RE: Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744

Mon Mar 16, 2009 1:35 am

Great! Excellent TR!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 14):
They seem smaller than the ones they put on the A320s and 763s..

These screens are about 3 years old, the A320s and 763s screens are less than a year old and are the newer Panasonic System.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 11):

Yes, I'd say the seat pitch is even better than on MH.

NZ has 34" in Y on its 744s with slim line seats. Most carriers only have 31". NZ 772ER have 32" but wider seats and because they are a new slimline design they give decent amounts of legroom.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 22):


Quoting SIN7 (Reply 17):
Do you have pics of their crew in their updated uniform?

No, unfortunately. The males' uniforms look quite casual.

Males F/As on NZ have an optional tie, otherwise the collar shirt has an embroidered pattern down the front for when a tie is not worn. As with many airlines, the female staff have a large choice of what they can wear with their uniform including on NZ -hats (thunderbirds style).
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CBERFlyer
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RE: Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744

Sun Mar 22, 2009 3:10 am

Great report! I recently booked a LAX-AKL-SYD-CHC-AKL-LAX trip on NZ... and now look forward to it even more (if that's at all possible). The LAX-AKL segments will be on the 744 in premium economy... which from what I've read elsewhere sounds very good. If basic economy is as good as described, premium must be wonderful.

Thanks, Planehunter!
 
PlaneHunter
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RE: Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744

Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:36 pm



Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 23):
- Euro, off to ATH via FRA.

I'm looking forward to the report!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 24):
I think NZ initially picked Rockwell Collins for their 744/772 but didn't like the bugs that were associated with it. I doubt they've changed systems. The 763s and A320s have Panasonic - very similar to EK's and SQ's A330 IFE.



Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 27):
These screens are about 3 years old, the A320s and 763s screens are less than a year old and are the newer Panasonic System.

Thanks for these updates!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 24):
Great! This will keep me well entertained and no doubt make me very jealous of all the travelling you get to do!

But writing will take a long time...  Wink

Quoting OA260 (Reply 25):
Nice report . NZ look good as I have always thought. Would like to try them one day.

Thanks, Phil. I'm sure you'd enjoy flying NZ.

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 26):
A really interesting report about your return flights - I enjoyed reading a lot. And of course accompanied by a fantastic selection of pictures.

Thanks a lot, Christoph.

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 26):
Air New Zealand's Economy product seems to be very good indeed, especially the food selection with two main meals and a snack service was more than I would have expected.

Indeed. I hadn't expected such a high-quality catering prior to the trip.

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 26):
That's probably one of the most positive comments that can be used to describe an Economy Class product.

That's probably true.

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 27):
Great! Excellent TR!

Thanks, Zkpilot!

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 27):
NZ has 34" in Y on its 744s with slim line seats. Most carriers only have 31". NZ 772ER have 32" but wider seats and because they are a new slimline design they give decent amounts of legroom.



Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 27):

Males F/As on NZ have an optional tie, otherwise the collar shirt has an embroidered pattern down the front for when a tie is not worn. As with many airlines, the female staff have a large choice of what they can wear with their uniform including on NZ -hats (thunderbirds style).

Interesting to know!

Quoting Cberflyer (Reply 28):
Great report! I recently booked a LAX-AKL-SYD-CHC-AKL-LAX trip on NZ... and now look forward to it even more (if that's at all possible).

Thanks, Cberflyer!

Quoting Cberflyer (Reply 28):
The LAX-AKL segments will be on the 744 in premium economy... which from what I've read elsewhere sounds very good.

Sounds good - will you write a report?


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
seemyseems
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RE: Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744

Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:13 pm



Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Arsenal London's home, the Emirates Stadium:

Wow good picture! Still think Goodison is the best though!
seemyseems
 
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Topic Author
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RE: Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744

Sat Mar 28, 2009 2:40 pm



Quoting Seemyseems (Reply 30):

Wow good picture! Still think Goodison is the best though!

Last time on approach to LHR I noticed a stadium with Qatar Airways titles - which one is that?


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
kiwiandrew

RE: Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744

Sat Mar 28, 2009 3:29 pm



Quoting Flanders (Reply 6):
It's just too bad NZ doesn't have the in-town check-in at HKG central... it's very convenient.

I flew NZ from HKG to AKL in January and checked in at HKG Central station ( which I agree is VERY convenient ) when did you fly them ? I am trying to work out whether they have done away with the station checkin since I flew them - a real pity if they have
 
seemyseems
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RE: Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744

Sat Mar 28, 2009 5:33 pm

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 31):
Last time on approach to LHR I noticed a stadium with Qatar Airways titles - which one is that?


Well... QR have sponsors at Stamford Bridge and I think they have them at Old Trafford, Gulf Air sponsor QPR, they actually have the Gulf Air logo on their kit. Its good to see so many foreign airlines sponsoring English clubs, the biggest being Emirates of course. AA have sponsors at Fulham, and I'm sure I have seen LH sponsors in the past, I think that was at Anfield or the City of Manchester Stadium.

[Edited 2009-03-28 10:38:51]
seemyseems
 
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RE: Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744

Sun Mar 29, 2009 8:05 am



Quoting Globetraveller (Reply 10):
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
...and seat pitch was simply amazing. According to Satchmo, the rather small IFE box under the window seat wasn't a problem either.

Wow... This looks more like premium Economy Class. What a generous offering!

Premium economy simply feels like heaven (compared to Y), and I simply refuse to fly Y on longhaul with NZ anymore (unless its my only option)

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 11):
Quoting Flanders (Reply 6):
It's just too bad NZ doesn't have the in-town check-in at HKG central... it's very convenient.

Yes, would be a nice feature.

When I was in HKG in September, I checked in at the railway station check-in.
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Ryanair!!!
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RE: Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744

Sun Mar 29, 2009 9:04 am

Thank you for the BEAUTIFUL report with all those pictures. Funny as I wasn't the only one observing the "tall and brawny" ANZ stewards, I have seen them myself and by golly they are specimens of beauty indeed. Pity they do not fly to Singapore anymore.


Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Another entry on the map referred to the sinking of the "Kronan" in 1676. I hadn't seen similar entries before on my numerous flights, but I was told there are indeed other carriers also showing disaster sites on the map.

Yes I noticed the same thing on my Air Asia X flight recently with all these wierd looking indications with a "date [year]" stamp on it. So is that what it was? Disaster sites?
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PlaneHunter
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RE: Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744

Sun Mar 29, 2009 7:14 pm



Quoting Seemyseems (Reply 33):
Well... QR have sponsors at Stamford Bridge and I think they have them at Old Trafford, Gulf Air sponsor QPR, they actually have the Gulf Air logo on their kit. Its good to see so many foreign airlines sponsoring English clubs, the biggest being Emirates of course. AA have sponsors at Fulham, and I'm sure I have seen LH sponsors in the past, I think that was at Anfield or the City of Manchester Stadium.

Interesting stuff, thanks!

Quoting 777ER (Reply 34):
Premium economy simply feels like heaven (compared to Y), and I simply refuse to fly Y on longhaul with NZ anymore (unless its my only option)

What you say about NZ's Premium Economy sounds good - but the regular Economy product still beats many competitors. You don't find such a generous seat pitch on many carriers.

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 35):
Thank you for the BEAUTIFUL report with all those pictures.

Thanks a lot for the feedback!

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 35):
Yes I noticed the same thing on my Air Asia X flight recently with all these wierd looking indications with a "date [year]" stamp on it. So is that what it was? Disaster sites?

Yes, disaster sites. Interesting to hear Air Asia X is another carrier with such entries on the maps. That's what Hainan Airlines had to offer:




PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
abrelosojos
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RE: Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744

Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:14 pm

May I join the chorus in applauding your TR. NZ-Y seems to be a good option - and I am sure the passengers on the HKG-LHR segment has noticed their good service and hence the great load.

Thanks for a great TR.

Saludos,
A.
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Ryanair!!!
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RE: Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744

Mon Mar 30, 2009 1:00 am



Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 36):
Yes, disaster sites. Interesting to hear Air Asia X is another carrier with such entries on the maps


Look on the top middle portion of the IFE screen. So I guess this was referring to a ship named "RAPID" which sunk in 1811?
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PlaneHunter
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RE: Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744

Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:12 pm



Quoting Abrelosojos (Reply 37):
May I join the chorus in applauding your TR.

Thanks a lot, Abrelosojos.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Reply 37):
NZ-Y seems to be a good option - and I am sure the passengers on the HKG-LHR segment has noticed their good service and hence the great load.

The question is how many of them had also booked the low-fare special.

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 38):
So I guess this was referring to a ship named "RAPID" which sunk in 1811?

Yes, just found out that it was a US-registered three masted wooden vessel.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
CBERFlyer
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RE: Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744

Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:56 am



Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 29):
Quoting Cberflyer (Reply 28):
The LAX-AKL segments will be on the 744 in premium economy... which from what I've read elsewhere sounds very good.

Sounds good - will you write a report?

I just might... it would be my first report.
 spin 
 
PlaneHunter
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RE: Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744

Wed Apr 01, 2009 5:31 pm



Quoting Cberflyer (Reply 40):
I just might... it would be my first report.

Yes, why not - just do it!  Wink Would be nice to see an NZ Premium Economy report.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
StefanPAD
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RE: Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744

Sun Apr 05, 2009 4:34 pm

Hi PH!

Nice TR. NZ long haul reports are not very often. I enjoyed reading your report and all the pictures. What a pity NZ has no other destinations in Europe.

Gruß,
Stefan
 
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RE: Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744

Thu Apr 09, 2009 6:40 pm



Quoting StefanPAD (Reply 42):

Nice TR. NZ long haul reports are not very often. I enjoyed reading your report and all the pictures.

Thanks a lot, Stefan.

Quoting StefanPAD (Reply 42):
What a pity NZ has no other destinations in Europe.

Yes, would be nice to see NZ in Germany again.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!

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