timb777
Topic Author
Posts: 159
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2009 8:22 am

Air NZ Business (J) MEL-CHC Inc. SQ MEL Lounge:

Thu Mar 18, 2010 12:03 pm

Hello and welcome to my latest Trip report.
This Report covers a Trans Tasman J class flight on Air New Zealand from MEL-CHC.

9th Dec 2009
NZ 194
Airline: Air New Zealand
Airliner: a320
Seat: 1 F

This flight was the return sector from a trip to Australia in Dec 2009 for my uncles 50th. I have since done the same flight in Y in Feb. for my cousins 21st, which was also very enjoyable in the Y+ seating. The in-flight entertainment in Air New Zealand’s a320's is top notch with the added bonus of being able to watch content / listen to music from gate to gate. Air New Zealand has recently ordered more a320's to replace the remaining 737's (actually the existing ones will go domestic, and the new ones (with the 'sharklets') will do the short haul international). As much as I like a Boeing product, and although the 737 may be better built with less reported corrosion etc, I must admit that I think the 320 has the edge in the passenger comfort department.

We arrived at the airport and checked in smoothly. We then proceeded through immigration down to the airline lounges. I was excited to see that the SQ lounge was open due to an evening a380 departure for SIN. I dropped my things in the Air NZ lounge and headed off to explore the SQ offering. The receptionist initially seemed hesitant to let me in, saying "air NZ has a lounge downstairs" i responded by telling her that i thought star J pax got access, she then warmed a little and let me in. She said the J load to Singapore that evening was 100%, while the F cabin had only 2 pax. A good premium load overall though. The lounge was ok, not as good as NZ though in terms of size and food offered. It did has a luxurious feel, and nice look however. The downside of the lounge is that it does not have views over the airport.
Here are some pictures of the SQ lounge:
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz339/timboeing777/Mel%2009%202/mrl132.jpg
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz339/timboeing777/Mel%2009%202/mrl131.jpg
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz339/timboeing777/Mel%2009%202/mrl128.jpg
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz339/timboeing777/Mel%2009%202/mrl126.jpg
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz339/timboeing777/Mel%2009%202/mrl130.jpg
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz339/timboeing777/Mel%2009%202/mrl127.jpg

SQ then called boarding of the a380, wich meant that the lounge would be closing. I thus went back to the NZ lounge.
Here are some pictures from the Air NZ Koru Club, located on the ground floor of MEL's international terminal:
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz339/timboeing777/Mel%2009%202/mrl159.jpg
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz339/timboeing777/Mel%2009%202/mrl158.jpg

A light meal in the lounge:
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz339/timboeing777/Mel%2009%202/mrl133.jpg
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz339/timboeing777/Mel%2009%202/mrl138.jpg
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz339/timboeing777/Mel%2009%202/mrl141.jpg
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz339/timboeing777/Mel%2009%202/mrl140.jpg
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz339/timboeing777/Mel%2009%202/mrl134.jpg

View from the lounge:
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz339/timboeing777/Mel%2009%202/mrl147.jpg
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz339/timboeing777/Mel%2009%202/mrl148.jpg
Look at the flex in this 744 wing!:
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz339/timboeing777/Mel%2009%202/mrl152.jpg

My a320:
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz339/timboeing777/Mel%2009%202/mrl154.jpg
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz339/timboeing777/Mel%2009%202/mrl157.jpg

It was then time to board the aircraft.
Waiting for yours faithfully:
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz339/timboeing777/Mel%2009%202/mrl160.jpg

When i sat down i was initially in row 2. The leg room was great, however, one of my taller companions seated infront of me in row 1 Foxtrot was most uncomfortable with the row 1 leg room, so i swapped. It was fine for me, but shockingly tight for J class. You would get more leg room in an ordinary Y+ seat. Also, the PTV's have to be stowed for takeoff/landing in row 1, which means that you cant make the most of Air New Zealands gate to gate viewing system. So i recommend row 2 over 1 by far.

Pre takeoff drink:
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz339/timboeing777/Mel%2009%202/mrl162.jpg

A bare apron tonight:
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz339/timboeing777/Mel%2009%202/mrl163.jpg

Flight deck prior to door being locked:
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz339/timboeing777/Mel%2009%202/mrl164.jpg

Views of terminal / the ANZ flight to WLG after pushback:
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz339/timboeing777/Mel%2009%202/mrl166.jpg
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz339/timboeing777/Mel%2009%202/mrl167.jpg
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz339/timboeing777/Mel%2009%202/mrl169.jpg
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz339/timboeing777/Mel%2009%202/mrl171.jpg
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz339/timboeing777/Mel%2009%202/mrl172.jpg

Hive of QF Activity:
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz339/timboeing777/Mel%2009%202/mrl174.jpg
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz339/timboeing777/Mel%2009%202/mrl178.jpg
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz339/timboeing777/Mel%2009%202/mrl181.jpg

Takeoff was uneventfull. It was a beautiful day for flying:
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz339/timboeing777/Mel%2009%202/mrl184.jpg
MEL Coastline:
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz339/timboeing777/Mel%2009%202/mrl186.jpg
Tasmania Ferry:
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz339/timboeing777/Mel%2009%202/mrl187.jpg
Post takeoff drinks were then served:
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz339/timboeing777/Mel%2009%202/mrl189.jpg
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz339/timboeing777/Mel%2009%202/mrl190.jpg

Next up was the starter, which was prawns, very well done at that:
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz339/timboeing777/Mel%2009%202/mrl192.jpg
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz339/timboeing777/Mel%2009%202/mrl193.jpg
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz339/timboeing777/Mel%2009%202/mrl194.jpg

Next up was the main. 3 choices were given. I selected the chicken, which was tasty:
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz339/timboeing777/Mel%2009%202/mrl195.jpg

The desert was amazing, the best NZ J desert i have had thus far:
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz339/timboeing777/Mel%2009%202/mrl196.jpg

Moderate Cheese selection:
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz339/timboeing777/Mel%2009%202/mrl197.jpg

Sunset over the Tasman with a cup of tea, what a view!
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz339/timboeing777/Mel%2009%202/mrl202.jpg
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz339/timboeing777/Mel%2009%202/mrl203.jpg
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz339/timboeing777/Mel%2009%202/mrl206.jpg

The landing was smooth. The FA's said that the flight the day before was so bumpy that they could not do the meal service at all!

Heres a pic of the cabin after landing:
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz339/timboeing777/Mel%2009%202/mrl210.jpg

I welcome any comments / questions about NZ.
Thanks for reading,
Tim
 
EL-AL
Posts: 1416
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2001 8:29 am

RE: Air NZ Business (J) MEL-CHC Inc. SQ MEL Lounge:

Thu Mar 18, 2010 1:15 pm

Hey Tim,

Thx for the report - very interesting and nice photos (you made me a bit hungry, actually  ).

ANZ short houl biz class looks exellent.

LY.
every day is a good day to fly
 
SASDC8
Posts: 530
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 10:01 pm

RE: Air NZ Business (J) MEL-CHC Inc. SQ MEL Lounge:

Thu Mar 18, 2010 2:22 pm

First of all, thank you for a great report with superb pictures  
Quoting timb777 (Thread starter):
I must admit that I think the 320 has the edge in the passenger comfort department.


Totally agree with you here  
Quoting timb777 (Thread starter):
The lounge was ok, not as good as NZ though in terms of size and food offered.


Wow, I must say that to me it looks like the Koru Club is miles ahed of the SQ lounge. Especially in terms of food on offer.

NZ inflight product, both soft and hard, looks great for such a (relativly speaking) short flight.

Cheers
Stein

[Edited 2010-03-18 07:26:03]

[Edited 2010-03-18 07:27:18]
2-3-2 is NOT a premium configuration
 
richcandy
Posts: 622
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2001 4:49 pm

RE: Air NZ Business (J) MEL-CHC Inc. SQ MEL Lounge:

Thu Mar 18, 2010 6:47 pm

Hi

The Air New Zealand Business class product looks great. I have to say the cups, plates and napkins all look very good. Sometimes airlines have very boring crockery, you are meant to feel like you are getting a smart product for your money, nice to see crockery that would not look out of place if used not on an aircraft.

The SQ lounge does not look as good as the NZ one.

Thanks for your report.

Alex
 
rdwootty
Posts: 689
Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2005 4:28 am

RE: Air NZ Business (J) MEL-CHC Inc. SQ MEL Lounge:

Thu Mar 18, 2010 8:02 pm

Just laughed a bit at the comment
" Just a light meal" in the lounge!
Looks like a good meal to me, mind you the best snack I ever had was in the QF business Lounge at Sydney. Braised beef and mash superb
 
ManchesterMAN
Posts: 1040
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2003 10:57 pm

RE: Air NZ Business (J) MEL-CHC Inc. SQ MEL Lounge:

Thu Mar 18, 2010 8:34 pm

Thanks for reminding me what a great service NZ offer on these Tasman routes. Its a real shame NZ are scrapping biz class on this and other A320 routes in the next few months  
Flown: A300,A319,A320,A321,A330,A340.A380,717,727,737,747,757,767,777,DC9,DC10,MD11,MD80,F100,F50,ERJ,E190,CRJ,BAe146,Da
 
767747
Posts: 2126
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2005 10:08 am

RE: Air NZ Business (J) MEL-CHC Inc. SQ MEL Lounge:

Fri Mar 19, 2010 1:21 am

Great report on Air NZ! Wow, their J product looks very nice .. I really like your zoom up shots of the food service. Very cool!

767747
I love to fly!
 
Flightsimboy
Posts: 1408
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2005 12:49 pm

RE: Air NZ Business (J) MEL-CHC Inc. SQ MEL Lounge:

Fri Mar 19, 2010 1:58 am

You guys are setting the standard really high with all these awesome photos! Some great angles there.
 
timb777
Topic Author
Posts: 159
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2009 8:22 am

RE: Air NZ Business (J) MEL-CHC Inc. SQ MEL Lounge:

Fri Mar 19, 2010 10:34 am

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 1):
Thx for the report - very interesting and nice photos (you made me a bit hungry, actually ).

ANZ short houl biz class looks exellent

Hi there,
I often find myself getting rather hungry when reading Trip Reports aswell!
Short haul business is certainly great in terms of lounges and onboard food, although the leg room is good enough in Y+.

Quoting SASDC8 (Reply 2):
Wow, I must say that to me it looks like the Koru Club is miles ahed of the SQ lounge

HI Stein,
thanks for your comments. Yes the nz louge is much better, but the SQ lounge is a long way from the SQ home turf. Maybe SQ will upsize soon with the a380 putting a strain on its seating capacity. The NZ lounge is also used by many of the star airlines (apart from SQ ad Malaysian) as it is open all day unlike the other 2, as they only open for specific flights.

Quoting richcandy (Reply 3):
have to say the cups, plates and napkins all look very good.

Hi,
I agree, i also find that the SQ crockery is also quite creative from what i have seen.

Quoting rdwootty (Reply 4):
Just laughed a bit at the comment
" Just a light meal" in the lounge!
Looks like a good meal to me, mind you the best snack I ever had was in the QF business Lounge at Sydney. Braised beef and mash superb

HI,
lol, i find it so hard to hold back in the lounges. I enjoy my food, and often find it to be the best part of the trip! I like to board the aircraft full, so i can enjoy the flavours of the food offered rather than eating fast to fill myself up. Also, the human tongue loses 30% of its buds at altitude- so eat heaps on the ground and savour at altitude (but still eat everything). From what i have heard QF has excellent lounges in SYD. A shame they are not in star!

Quoting ManchesterMAN (Reply 5):
Thanks for reminding me what a great service NZ offer on these Tasman routes. Its a real shame NZ are scrapping biz class on this and other A320 routes in the next few months

Hello,
Yes it is indeed. I guess this is being done to coincide with the role out of the new Premium Economy which is 4 abreast on the 777's! So i guess they dont want to have a J seat that offers levels of comfort below the Premium eco seats (which will operate on some tasman flights from AKL). Also the new cabin, with its 4 levels of service will allow the airline to better compete with DJ and Jetstar on the tasman route.

Quoting 767747 (Reply 6):
Great report on Air NZ! Wow, their J product looks very nice .. I really like your zoom up shots of the food service. Very cool!
Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 7):
You guys are setting the standard really high with all these awesome photos! Some great angles there.

Thankyou for your nice comments! I enjoy taking close up photos of food, mainly as i love food (as stated above)!
 
Camohe
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 3:07 pm

RE: Air NZ Business (J) MEL-CHC Inc. SQ MEL Lounge:

Sat Mar 20, 2010 6:55 am

Great trip report. I had three great flights last year in J with NZ on the A320. Fantastic food and service. I'm really disappointed NZ are scapping J on the A320. Oh well, looks like QF or EK for me from now on...
 
smi0006
Posts: 828
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 7:45 am

RE: Air NZ Business (J) MEL-CHC Inc. SQ MEL Lounge:

Sat Mar 20, 2010 7:03 am

Great report!! Great photos! Yeah looks like the SQ lounge needs a revamp doesn't it? Their ground staff could do with some new uniforms too!

Quoting richcandy (Reply 3):
The Air New Zealand Business class product looks great. I have to say the cups, plates and napkins all look very good. Sometimes airlines have very boring crockery, you are meant to feel like you are getting a smart product for your money, nice to see crockery that would not look out of place if used not on an aircraft.

You are quiet right! NZ seems to have a great deal of style about the company doesn't it? I first noticed this when I read a long haul NZ trip report and it is certainly a common theme; Stylish food crockery and decor for lounges and aircraft interiors. Shall only improve once the new uniforms are rolled out. Shame some of the bigger airlines our there couldn't do the same bring some class back
to travel!
 
ba319-131
Posts: 8132
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

RE: Air NZ Business (J) MEL-CHC Inc. SQ MEL Lounge:

Sun Apr 04, 2010 3:27 pm

Nice stuff Tim.

ANZ do seem to have a pretty decent J product, judging by the recent TR's of the product/service.

Food and presentation looks excellent, I'd like an excuse to try them out one day.

Regards

Mark
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