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NZ107
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Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Mon Dec 06, 2010 11:52 pm

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Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Introduction

Those who have been reading my trip reports from the moment I started publishing them will be familiar with the title used for this one. Air New Zealand has a website called grabaseat.co.nz and they post ‘ludicrously low fares’ every day. Usually these are domestic flights that are slightly discounted from their usual lowest price for a certain period but every now and then, they have very tempting flights on offer. They include $1 one way domestic fares and also some great international deals (in the past they’ve had $1 plus taxes for international flights and also NZ$13 one way all inclusive AKL-OOL which I just missed out on). Obviously, these are planned to be for the off-season of the airline and luckily, one of those times happens to be mid-late November – perfect for the university student who finishes exams in early-mid November to get away before the school holidays start when fares rocket through the roof!

One day in October, some fares from Auckland to San Francisco popped up for some dates in the future. I thought a little about it but then decided to wait as I believed Los Angeles would pop up in the coming days. So a week later, I was proven right and some AKL-LAX flights popped up for NZ$999 return – just less than half price for an ‘on special’ fare to LAX (in fact, AKL-YVR specials popped up the week after too). Upon glancing across the few dates available for AKL-LAX, I purchased tickets for my first long haul adventure on Air New Zealand.



Greetings to you all and welcome to my 17th trip report. This report covers my flight on NZ2 from Auckland to Los Angeles on a Boeing 747-400. The flight number NZ1/2 is the number which signifies the most importance of any Air New Zealand route- the flagship route from Auckland to London via Los Angeles. It has been operated by a 747 for many years but will soon be replaced by the 777-300ER as NZ phase the jumbos out of service. I’m only going halfway this time but I do hope you enjoy this report of mine which happens to be my first long haul flight in many years.

Air New Zealand is my home airline, hence my username also partially depicting that. Their website is super easy to navigate and it’s probably too easy to purchase tickets! They allow seats to be selected immediately after you book. By the time I had come to seat selection, most of the plane was full so I settled with a window seat towards the rear of the aircraft. The Air NZ website is so easy to use. I kept changing seats to one where there was an empty middle seat in the block of 3 next to the window.
It's all about the destination AND the journey.
 
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NZ107
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RE: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Mon Dec 06, 2010 11:54 pm

18 November 2010

With exams over the week before, I was super excited for the trip. The week flew past and the day finally came where I’d be jumping on my first 747 flight in 9 years. I watched the sun set as I headed for the airport.

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Not long after, I arrived at the airport and headed straight for the check in counters at 8:25pm. There was a fairly large and ever growing queue of passengers with only 3 or 4 counters open. It took them 15 minutes to realise that this was insufficient and the line was moving too slowly so they suddenly doubled the number of counters. This sped the process up a lot and not long after that, I was on my way after a pleasant experience at check in and getting the seat I had requested.


Entrance to the Air NZ check in area – left for the self serve check in kiosks for those going to Australia/Pacific Islands and right for long haul
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Check in area
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Boarding Pass
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Auckland Airport is gearing up for the Rugby World Cup which is happening later next year. So one of the main sponsors, Emirates, has a mini grandstand in the area just before passing through immigration!

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FIDS
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Plane ‘ride’ in the kids’ corner
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Smartgate, the electronic system setup for passengers with Australian and New Zealand passports is now ready for use when departing the country. It was not quite available by the time I left for USA but it means bypassing the queues when heading airside.

Those barriers would be removed now!
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Individual smartgate machine
Nice roomy area before passing through customs
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After saying goodbye to my parents, I was off upstairs for the usual visit to the observation deck at AKL. Being so late in the evening, there was basically no traffic apart from some Convairs doing freighter runs down the country. On the way to the observation deck, they had a small photography display area:

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And also a view on the progress of the airside.. More about it later.

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The observation deck looks over the even numbered gates on the main pier (Gates 2-8). The aircraft which was happily waiting at Gate 6 was ZK-SUH and it was being prepared to take me to LAX.

ZK-SUH
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Because there were few movements, it wasn’t long before I was bored so I headed airside. There was no queue at immigration and I was straight through without any problems or random bomb screening. All staff were helpful and friendly, like they should be to give people a final good impression of this country. Once through the security checkpoint, you’re airside and bombarded with the two duty free stores at AKL: DFS and JR. They’re quite nice but not quite tempting enough.

Cool feature directly after customs/security
JR Duty Free
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DFS[b/]
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So a bit more about the revamp at AKL for the World Cup. Auckland Airport decided to expand the customs area and cut down on the landside area of the departures hall. This had led to a much larger area airside for things uniquely New Zealand with areas for things like wine tasting. There’s also a massive tree-like structure which marks the centrepiece of this new design. It was seen a few pictures earlier too but looks much more impressive from ground level. I hope it’s a bit closer to completion when I next pass through in January.

[b]The ‘Tree’

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This area is extremely spacious right now. I really hope it remains that way.

Airside FIDS is a little different to the landside one. It gives approximate boarding times, eg. “15 mins until boarding”, unlike the ones landside. The digital clock is also a nice feature!

Gate 2’s markings with a few aircraft types which haven’t been here for a while!
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Down the new pier
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I also came across this FIDS which was completely screwed up.. Frozen from 5 hours prior to me taking a look at it!

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At least the main one was fine though.
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I refilled my bottle airside and was glad to know that I didn’t have to re-empty it before going through the second checkpoint. There was this awesome bottle refilling machine I had never seen before – you just place your bottle on the machine and it automatically fills.




I really don’t see the point of the numerous PA announcements telling everyone who is heading to North America to clear customs immediately. There is no need for immediately clearing security, even if there are 2 security screenings to be performed – one directly after customs and another just before the gate. With nothing else to do between the normal airside and US airside, I decided to pass through the next security checkpoint so I could rest and listen to my iPod while waiting for my flight.

Looking towards the security checkpoint
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There are 2 gates at Auckland Airport which are sealed for when flights are leaving to North America. These gates are Gates 6 and 8, both of which can hold widebodies (obviously required). Little did I realise what was actually beyond that checkpoint. There were seats around the 2 gate areas, 2 vending machines, a coffee cart and 4 toilets. Just before the flight, there was a huge queue for these toilets. I’d hate to find out what it’s like when there are 2 flights departing at the same time to North America.

The small gate area: Gate 6 is in the picture and Gate 8 is beyond the toilet block centre screen
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A bit of relaxing at the empty and dark area around Gate 8 finally made way for a boarding call that wasn’t heard well from where I was but it started on time. A whole lot of people were just waiting back from the boarding area so I assume I only missed the J, Y+, *A Gold, Koru Club members, families and assistance required boarding call. Eventually they called for those in the last section of Economy to board and so I was onboard at 10:40pm. There was a “Thank you, Mr Young” as the stub was ripped off and the larger portion of the boarding pass was handed back to me.
It's all about the destination AND the journey.
 
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NZ107
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RE: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Mon Dec 06, 2010 11:56 pm

Flight Information

18 November 2010
Routing: Auckland – Los Angeles (AKL-LAX)
Airline: Air New Zealand
Flight: NZ 2
Scheduled Time of Departure: 2300hrs (GMT+13)
Actual Departure: 2302hrs (pushback), 2315hrs (rotate) (GMT+13)
Scheduled Time of Arrival: 1400hrs (GMT-8)
Touchdown: 1331hrs (GMT-8)
Flight time: 11hr 29 min
Aircraft: Boeing 747-400 (-475)
Registration: ZK-SUH, City of Dunedin
Seat: 62K


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Photo © Sam Chui
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Photo © JetPix



ZK-SUH has an interesting history. It was delivered new to Varig at the end of May 1991 and served for 3 years before being taken up by ILFC and not long after was leased by Air NZ on the 8th November 1994 making it 10 days past its 16th anniversary for flying with NZ. The registration comes directly from the initials of the man in charge of ILFC back then – Steven Udvar-Hazy. SUH is apparently destined to stay on as one of the two 744s retained beyond the 777-300ER EIS.


Boarding
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Only one airbridge is used – only 2 gates at AKL have dual airbridges and they’re both on the new pier for the A380 which NZ doesn’t use frequently.

Down the airbridge
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At the door of my first 747 in a long time!
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I was warmly welcomed on board, not by name though, and politely asked to take the far aisle.

Stairway to heaven (Yes, I do use this term a lot but the upper deck is full of so much exclusivity!)
Where I belong for this flight
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Window block
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My seat next to the window


So I reached my seat. Row 62 on Air New Zealand is the first row affected by the tapering of the aircraft fuselage and is shown by the misalignment of the tray table to the seat. But in saying that, it’s minimal enough to not really notice. The only drawback I notice after reviewing the photos is the reduced under seat storage space for the window seat. The wall alongside the seat tapers in quite a bit compared with the seats further in front which have a massive area underneath the seat for storage. The IFE box didn’t worry me at all. The seat pitch is 34” in Air New Zealand’s 747-400 and allows for a lot of stretching space for someone like me! Too bad that once the 744s are phased out, the biggest seat pitch in the fleet will be 32” shared by both the 772 and 77W. The seat itself is quite comfortable.

Tonnes of legroom
Tray table misalignment
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The IFE system currently on the 744 and 772 is a Rockwell Collins one and is about 5 years old now. With the 77Ws coming with the Panasonic system, the 772s will be retrofitted with them when they get around to it. That should be done by the end of 2012.. By then, EK would probably have found a better version of ICE to replace what they already have  

The selection is definitely not as thorough as EK’s – no airline’s selection is. But it has semi recent movies and (hopefully) enough of them to keep one entertained for the flight. Music selection is fairly limited and I was surprised to see some of my favourite bands missing from the album list (Coldplay, U2). The remote is in the armrest and in a much better position than the QF A330 because it is extremely hard to knock and change channel etc. It isn’t a touch screen unit so you have to use the remote.

Air New Zealand recently removed the inflight magazines from every seat pocket on these long haul international flights to save weight. So if you want one, you need to ask the flight attendant.

IFE main menu
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The remote
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IFE guide
Airshow – for some reason it displays a 772!
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As time ticked closer to pushback, it seemed that the seat would remain empty next to me. And it was the case when the 2L was closed for takeoff. It’s interesting that Air NZ don’t have the announcement that EK has of “all ground crew should be off the plane now, this plane is bound for XXX”. I noticed a lack of air vents again - I guess it’s not a feature of any widebodies either Boeing or Airbus? But I suppose the ventilation is very good on these flights – it was just the right temperature and never got too cold/too hot. The captain made an announcement before pushback estimating a flight time of 11 hr 25 min. It wasn’t long until we were pushed back from the gate and eventually all 4 GE CF-6 engines were fired up.

Window view
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Empty apron looking back to the main part of the terminal
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Cabin from my seat
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Bye Auckland!
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Airshow
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Lining up 05R
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And we were off, hurtling down 05R with much more of a roar than an A380 and off into the skies above Auckland.

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Off into the darkness
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7 minutes after takeoff, the seatbelt sign was switched off. A water run was made to my surprise, directly after the switching off of the seatbelt sign, after the lack of water runs on the EK A380 in the past. US immigration forms were handed out soon after. Hot towels were also circulated around the same time. I decided to watch a movie and planned for it to finish around the time of dinner being collected so I could get some sleep. There was so much legroom that I used my bag as a footrest and stretched out fully. My Bose noise cancelling headset must have drastically improved the quality of the sound over normal headphones.



Air NZ utilise the IFE system very well to inform the passengers of things instead of blasting it over the PA. You just hope that most people understand English.

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Done for me already – meal choices. No idea what the light choice is!
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There was another announcement made in the same fashion to ask for the window shades to be lowered as a courtesy of other passengers who were trying to sleep.

So dinner was served 1 hour after takeoff. With the choice of beef casserole or fish pie, I opted for the beef. I’ve been advised that the fish pie has actually been pulled from the long haul menu due to being quite umpopular, only surviving 3 weeks and has now been replaced by chicken. This is all bound to change when the 77Ws come online and the food produced from the onboard ovens will make for a much different aircraft food experience. The drinks cart soon followed and I opted for a ginger ale (Cheers, PH!) and a Pinot Noir. The starter was some sort of pasta salad dish with a few raisins in it. On the tray was also a bun, some cheese and crackers and also a tub of Kapiti double cream and cookies ice cream. The pasta was nice and refreshing. The main of beef casserole was very good and didn’t even require the extra salt and pepper. I couldn’t see the tomato in the dish which was apparently a main part of the dish. There was also not enough rice served on the plate for my liking. It’s great that NZ still use ceramic dishes to serve their food in. The ice cream was to die for and topped off the meal nicely.

Dinner
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Trays were cleared within 50 minutes after the meal being served. It was time for a short walk around the cabin before lights were dimmed. The lavatories are of a standard size but NZ’s economy lavatories have no extra amenities so it looks pretty bare.

Lavatory
Rear Economy cabin
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Lights were out 2 hours after takeoff and after I had settled back in my seat. By that stage, we were basically crossing the International Date Line and making our way back to Thursday, 18th November.

Crossing the International Date Line
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A good 2.5 hr sleep and I somehow woke up. I peered out the window to see just a little bit of light coming over the horizon and stayed up until the sun had risen. It was a magnificent sight, one I had never experienced before.

Light creeping around the corner while the Southern Cross and the Pointers can be seen
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http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TPt6q1RnTBI/AAAAAAAAFSg/EiUgc95BseY/s800/IMG_8330edit.jpg

Sun poking out
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Beautiful!
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That’s all I needed to see for a while and I was back for another sleep and managed another 3.75 hours of sleep. The sun was well up by the time I woke up again.

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Not that far to go


Cloud at 37,000ft
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The food must have been the thing to wake me up as a mere 5 minutes later, breakfast was served. The choice was scrambled eggs or pancakes with apple and blueberry bits. I went for the latter and was certainly not disappointed by the meal. It tasted really nice, especially with the apple and manuka honey syrup drizzled over the top of it. Bits of melon and pineapple were also served along with apricot yoghurt and orange juice on the tray table itself. I asked for an apple juice to accompany this meal when the drinks cart was wheeled through.

Breakfast
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Nice view while eating breakfast, most window shades remained closed until sometime after breakfast
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40 minutes later, breakfast was cleared and it was time for another stretch and more of a look around the Y cabin.

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Rear cabin from the other side
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Middle Economy cabin
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Front Economy cabin
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Interesting walkway at the back of the plane with mirrors
#4 GE CF-6
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TPt6yKymY_I/AAAAAAAAFTY/dY4MywszCL0/s800/IMG_8378edit.jpg

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TPt6zS4GPEI/AAAAAAAAFTg/pEVjqtsvzNA/s800/IMG_8380edit.jpg

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TPt6z_ownII/AAAAAAAAFTk/fiIfv1Gmnq4/s800/IMG_8382edit.jpg

Window shades were finally opened at the top of descent into LAX – about half an hour out from landing. The weather was great – you could see how far Los Angeles spread into the distance. It was such a smooth descent into Runway 25L at LAX and we touched down at 1:31pm local. And just like that, my long haul flight to LAX was over!

Nice bright 744 Economy cabin!
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TPt60moMcDI/AAAAAAAAFTo/oPn8NdPU8fU/s800/IMG_8384edit.jpg

Santa Catalina Island
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TPt622_jqaI/AAAAAAAAFT0/bnibnw5Ifhc/s800/IMG_8393edit.jpg

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TPt63WQwyGI/AAAAAAAAFT4/lizNI6GGOD4/s800/IMG_8398edit.jpg

Crossing the coast into USA
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TPt635fCvzI/AAAAAAAAFT8/UXB9idPwXWY/s800/IMG_8401edit.jpg

The vast urban sprawl of Greater LA
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TPt64oxM1tI/AAAAAAAAFUA/fINSS_m3lmc/s800/IMG_8404edit.jpg

Knott’s Berry Farm
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TPt65aphM2I/AAAAAAAAFUE/53wd5WgbR3c/s800/IMG_8406edit.jpg

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TPt654NqjyI/AAAAAAAAFUI/JUxF7Z-2E8w/s800/IMG_8410edit.jpg

Crossing the 405
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TPt66rB4YJI/AAAAAAAAFUQ/FtQcxl9g-P0/s800/IMG_8437edit.jpg

Short final
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TPt68PC0ZvI/AAAAAAAAFUU/-r-hT4ybJEE/s800/IMG_8443edit.jpg

Touchdown
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TPt68pHvYvI/AAAAAAAAFUY/8Lf8GhVGpkU/s800/IMG_8448edit.jpg

Spoilers up
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TPt69ADopJI/AAAAAAAAFUc/G2n2Xg2hPog/s800/IMG_8451edit.jpg
It's all about the destination AND the journey.
 
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NZ107
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RE: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Mon Dec 06, 2010 11:58 pm

Los Angeles has so many planes that don’t come to Auckland so the long taxi around to Terminal 2 from the southern runways was quite some treat! Because they are constructing a brand new TBIT, the taxiway I had once been familiar with from my first flight to LAX 9 years previously is now a massive construction site and so the planes are forced to taxi around all the hangars as well. But that gives a better view of the aircraft!

Vacating 25L, view of CA, El AL, CX, EK, AA, DL
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TPt69vizBHI/AAAAAAAAFUg/bowWm8Gr2m4/s800/IMG_8458edit.jpg

Crossing 25R
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TPt6-Jar61I/AAAAAAAAFUo/Cf8ip4yzbmo/s800/IMG_8462edit.jpg

Lufthansa
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TPt6-8bbEkI/AAAAAAAAFUs/UjWJ7OvwN9o/s800/IMG_8469edit.jpg

Construction site where the old taxiway used to be
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TPt6_YYAPTI/AAAAAAAAFUw/LEhaAk7S0hc/s800/IMG_8470edit.jpg

AA 752
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TPt6_9KV9YI/AAAAAAAAFU0/T_D79ivX46s/s800/IMG_8475edit.jpg

VA 77W
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TPt7AjyAmLI/AAAAAAAAFU4/zfEyFd_MUJE/s800/IMG_8476edit.jpg

The A380/RR saga was in full swing around the time of the trip so I was expecting to see a whole bunch of Qantas planes sitting around. I wasn’t let down as we passed right by them. I counted 3x A380s, 3x 744s and an A332. It made me feel as if I had landed in Sydney!

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TPt7BIRo1wI/AAAAAAAAFU8/rzE6wb_1MzE/s800/IMG_8478edit.jpg

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TPt7BlActeI/AAAAAAAAFVA/5fJd7KCdrZM/s800/IMG_8482edit.jpg

VH-OQF getting its engines removed
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TPt7CZ6ZpxI/AAAAAAAAFVE/h-Wr_M_caK4/s800/IMG_8484edit.jpg

SQ pushback.. A380 soon?
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TPt7C76qz4I/AAAAAAAAFVI/QoUdG4iBIIE/s800/IMG_8487edit.jpg

KLM 744 Combi
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TPt7DjupwuI/AAAAAAAAFVM/I_k5JGt3FUE/s800/IMG_8496edit.jpg

AF/KL in one shot at LAX
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TPt7D_gT2JI/AAAAAAAAFVQ/3v0pGDAalmU/s800/IMG_8499edit.jpg

SQ off to depart on 24L, AF making its way to the gate
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TPt7ET85xEI/AAAAAAAAFVU/n1995O92FiA/s800/IMG_8503edit.jpg

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TPt7FO_G3hI/AAAAAAAAFVY/gTGc9vKh9Xw/s800/IMG_8505edit.jpg

GPS proxy
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TPt7Fj3EQVI/AAAAAAAAFVc/FBuvD-Ym8A4/s800/IMG_8506edit.jpg

So the taxi in took about 15 minutes and I had quite a wait to disembark seeing that I was at the back of the plane. Another 10 minutes later, I was out of my seat, heading for terra firma of America. The pilots reminded everyone to take everything they owned off the plane as everything else would be removed from the plane.

Rear Economy cabin
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TPt7GYCEPlI/AAAAAAAAFVg/sHZd8eOhwTo/s800/IMG_8509edit.jpg

Premium Economy
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TPt7HDlsY5I/AAAAAAAAFVk/83KZHORBStw/s800/IMG_8513edit.jpg

Peek through to Business


I thanked the crew and disembarked the plane.

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TPt7IO0cvsI/AAAAAAAAFVs/KdkVa14FuXw/s800/IMG_8517edit.jpg

There was a huge line as we got off the plane but that was for transiting passengers, not those terminating at LAX. So down the escalator we competed for queue spots with those who had just arrived from CDG and lined up for US customs. The queue down at customs was probably longer than the transit line, especially in the ‘Non-US citizens” line. There were a couple of people from the AF flight who managed to cut the queue and amazingly nobody stopped them or told them off for doing it. They managed to save at least 30 minutes from doing that. I was talking to someone in the queue about it and she was telling me that if it was in Great Britain, they wouldn’t get away with it. It’s probably the same deal in New Zealand; but does France have different queuing etiquette? We were basically the last people out of the 2 flights to clear US immigration but it was simple enough with clear instructions as to what to do but it didn’t take long before I was landside at LAX. Someone had taken all the suitcases off the carousel so it was simply a case of pulling up the handle and walking to the ‘quarantine’ checkpoint where I was waved through, met my aunty at the other end and headed off for their place.


Conclusion

I can’t believe I hadn’t flown long haul with Air New Zealand (or even a Star Alliance carrier for that matter) prior to this flight. Air New Zealand provides an excellent product in Economy at present. You can’t complain about 34 inches of legroom for a long haul flight. Flight attendants couldn’t be faulted for their great service. Meals were of a decent size – enough to remain satisfied on. It would have been nice if mood lighting was introduced a lot longer before the current generation of planes – small tweaks such as mood lighting would make the 747-400 a superb aircraft. IFE has enough content to keep one entertained and also has some NZ comedy programmes such as Moon TV. I actually wished that the flight was longer to give me more time on an Air NZ 747 and receive more of the wonderful service! It was an amazing experience and I have no problems recommending Air New Zealand on long haul flights.


I thank you for reading if you have managed to get this far! Comments are greatly appreciated.


Regards,
Nicholas


Camera Equipment:
Canon EOS 40D
Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM
Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

http://www.flickr.com/photos/anz787900/


Previous Trip Reports:
Grabbing A Seat With Air NZ Part 1/2: AKL-ZQN-AKL (by NZ107 Dec 1 2008 in Trip Reports)
Grabbing A Seat With Air NZ Part 2/2: AKL-NPE-AKL (by NZ107 Dec 22 2008 in Trip Reports)
Air New Zealand: NZ105 AKL-SYD Economy (by NZ107 Feb 6 2009 in Trip Reports)
A Whale Of A Time: Emirates A380 Inaugural SYD-AKL (by NZ107 Feb 15 2009 in Trip Reports)
NZ Domestic Competition: Part 1 Air NZ AKL-WLG-AKL (by NZ107 Jun 24 2009 in Trip Reports)
NZ Domestic Competition: Part 2 JQ/DJ AKL (by NZ107 Jul 23 2009 in Trip Reports)
Joyrides Down Under Part 1: Air NZ AKL-CHC-AKL (by NZ107 Dec 23 2009 in Trip Reports)
Joyrides Down Under Part 2: EK A380 Revisited (by NZ107 Jan 8 2010 in Trip Reports)
Joyrides Down Under Part 3: East Coast Adventure (by NZ107 Feb 11 2010 in Trip Reports)
Joyrides Down Under Part 4: Int'l On Domestic (by NZ107 Feb 23 2010 in Trip Reports)
Joyrides Down Under Part 5: Capital Stopover (by NZ107 Apr 6 2010 in Trip Reports)
Joyrides Down Under Part 6: Homebound On EK A380 (by NZ107 Jun 27 2010 in Trip Reports)
Joyrides Down Under Part 7: The DUD Diversion (by NZ107 Jul 3 2010 in Trip Reports)
A Touch Of Nostalgia - Jumpseating The CV580 (by NZ107 Aug 6 2010 in Trip Reports)
Mission A340: Aerolineas Argentinas A342 AKL-SYD (by NZ107 Sep 1 2010 in Trip Reports)
Mission A340: Emirates A340-500 MEL-AKL (by NZ107 Nov 12 2010 in Trip Reports)
It's all about the destination AND the journey.
 
manfredj
Posts: 76
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RE: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Tue Dec 07, 2010 12:32 am

Wow, I'm certainly impressed with your trip report. This is the first of your's I've read and it will prompt me to look at more of them.
The first thing that struck me is how incredible the food looked. I would almost say the quality is as good as US carriers business class. The use of real plates is a nice touch and the pancakes looked quite good. Is that a real glass I noticed at dinner time?

The 747 looks to be in great shape and the IFE screens seem to be the perfect size. Over all, very impressive trip report. The 747 has a mystique about it unmatched by any other airplane. Thanks for the read.
757: The last of the best
 
N178UA
Posts: 1689
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RE: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Tue Dec 07, 2010 12:50 am

Hi Nicholas

Let me be one of the first to congratulate you flew on the Air NZ flagship route and share with us this great TR!

Seeing your TR illustation of Air NZ 744 Y, make me want to swap seats of my upcoming Business Premier trip on Air NZ 744 with Economy !  

Both meal looks very delicious. I love the Air NZ menu showing on the screen, and water right after takeoff approach.

Kudos to you and Air NZ!

Cheers and Congrat again! Trust you have really enjoyed USA

Sam
For more of myself and my flight reviews visit http://www.SamChui.com
 
jetblue777
Posts: 1200
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RE: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Tue Dec 07, 2010 1:01 am

Great trip report! NZ looks like it's an excellent airline! There has been talks around that 2 or 3 airlines will become a the newest full 5-star airline (Skytrax) and NZ might be one of them! Dinner looks good, glad that they served it in real ceramics; just like the one we had in our recent OZ flight. The breakfast looks amazing and it's quite unusual to see pancakes in Y class, its ALWAYS the usual soggy omelets and sausages these days. Anyways, NZ looks like a great carrier, too bad I probably have NO chance of flying with them, as I live in the east coast.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
but does France have different queuing etiquette?

Tell me about it, we arrived at JFK on OZ 222 from ICN last summer and after we landed, an XL 767 from Paris landed after us, I realized that XL operates out of T4, the same terminal we are arriving at. Long story short, we de-boarded at the same time, the XL flight at the A concourse, we de-boarded at the B concourse. We were one of the first ones to arrive in the immigration area since we were seated up front and it just so happens that the first few passengers from the XL also arrived, then hundreds of French tourists started running like hell to the non-citizen line, it was a chaos! They were running, we started running, as well as the other passengers in our flight. We ended up waiting 10-15 minutes, not that bad. Quite an experience.

Again, an amazing trip report!  
It's a cultural thing.
 
767747
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RE: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Tue Dec 07, 2010 2:23 am

Really nice report! Great pictures too from our journey. Your view from AKL brought back memories of a trip there many years ago .. I'd love to get back! I vaguely remember the airport ..

I also like approaching LAX from high above .. you do really get a good perspective of the vast area!

Thanks for sharing!

Matthew (767747)

[Edited 2010-12-06 18:24:10]
I love to fly!
 
aflyingkiwi
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RE: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Tue Dec 07, 2010 3:25 am

Hi Nicholas

I have to congratulate you for making an absolutely amazing report with many excellent pictures on NZ's Flagship Route. NZ's Long haul product definately is excellent and is something you look forward too whenever you fly with them.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
This report covers my flight on NZ2 from Auckland to Los Angeles on a Boeing 747-400.

I guess you wanted to make sure you caught an NZ 744 before they eventually leave the skies. The only time I ever flew on a NZ 744 was about 9 years ago and I hardly remember that flight.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
So a bit more about the revamp at AKL for the World Cup. Auckland Airport decided to expand the customs area and cut down on the landside area of the departures hall. This had led to a much larger area airside for things uniquely New Zealand with areas for things like wine tasting. There’s also a massive tree-like structure which marks the centrepiece of this new design. It was seen a few pictures earlier too but looks much more impressive from ground level. I hope it’s a bit closer to completion when I next pass through in January.

The transformation of Auckland Airport definately has impressed me. It looks really crisp and modern nowadays. A big    to AKL.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
The seat pitch is 34” in Air New Zealand’s 747-400 and allows for a lot of stretching space for someone like me! Too bad that once the 744s are phased out, the biggest seat pitch in the fleet will be 32” shared by both the 772 and 77W. The seat itself is quite comfortable.

It definately would be nice if NZ kept the 34' seat pitch on all of it's long haul aircraft. Something that will help keep the good perception NZ has as a carrier.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
It tasted really nice, especially with the apple and manuka honey syrup drizzled over the top of it. Bits of melon and pineapple were also served along with apricot yoghurt and orange juice on the tray table itself. I asked for an apple juice to accompany this meal when the drinks cart was wheeled through.

You don't usually see pancakes as a breakfast option in Y but that meal looks absolutely mouthwatering.

Thank you for your great trip report

Regards
aflyingkiwi
 
AirlineBrat
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RE: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Tue Dec 07, 2010 3:47 am

Very nice trip report. Excellent pictures. Your trip report is perfect timing. I am starting to research a 4 month RTW trip commencing in September 2011. If I purchase a *A RTW ticket, three of the legs I may select (SFO-AKL, AKL-NRT and LHR-LAX) are on NZ due to their superior reputation. While most airlines seem to be reducing the quality of their Y product, NZ continues to improve how they take care of those of us who usually can only afford to fly in steerage. If I can upgrade to a higher class this trip I will depending on the cost. According to the RTW fine print, I may be able to upgrade my ticket to Y+ on some of the longer legs.

Cheers,

Jim
I'm leavin on a jet plane. Don't know when I'll be back again....
 
flymia
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RE: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Tue Dec 07, 2010 4:08 am

Fantastic trip report! Makes me want to fly a long haul flight tonight! Thanks.
"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
 
777ER
Crew
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RE: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Tue Dec 07, 2010 4:46 am

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
This area is extremely spacious right now. I really hope it remains that way

One word best describes this WOW!


Did you get a photo showing the first few seats on the ABC side in economy which shows well the window locations?
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nethkt
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RE: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Tue Dec 07, 2010 5:40 am

I'm impressed, definitely 5 stars trip reports.
All the photos are amazing.
Many many thanks to you!
net-hkt
Let's just blame it on yields.
 
zkeoj
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RE: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Tue Dec 07, 2010 6:24 am

Hi Nicholas

great TR, and great to see you fly on NZ's B744 - still my favourite aircraft/airline combination   And I agree with your conclusion: NZ provides an excellent Y product, and can easily compete with any airline, including SQ and EK.

Thanks for sharing your trip with us!
micha
 
NZdsgnr
Posts: 46
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RE: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Tue Dec 07, 2010 6:42 am

hey! Nicholas, great report... Always good to see the NZ trip reports.

Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 8):
Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
The seat pitch is 34” in Air New Zealand’s 747-400 and allows for a lot of stretching space for someone like me! Too bad that once the 744s are phased out, the biggest seat pitch in the fleet will be 32” shared by both the 772 and 77W. The seat itself is quite comfortable.

It definately would be nice if NZ kept the 34' seat pitch on all of it's long haul aircraft. Something that will help keep the good perception NZ has as a carrier.

I'm pretty sure I have read that it is going to be 33in rather than 32in.

a reduction for the 744 for sure but an increase for the 772/W
 
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NZ107
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RE: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:45 am

Thanks everyone!

Quoting manfredj (Reply 4):
Wow, I'm certainly impressed with your trip report. This is the first of your's I've read and it will prompt me to look at more of them.The first thing that struck me is how incredible the food looked. I would almost say the quality is as good as US carriers business class. The use of real plates is a nice touch and the pancakes looked quite good. Is that a real glass I noticed at dinner time?

Hi manfredj, thanks for your comments! Indeed, the food blew me away too as I really didn't know what I wa expecting never having flown NZ long haul before. Indeed, that is a real glass glass at dinner!

Quoting manfredj (Reply 4):
The 747 looks to be in great shape and the IFE screens seem to be the perfect size. Over all, very impressive trip report. The 747 has a mystique about it unmatched by any other airplane. Thanks for the read.

Indeed, the 747 is a special bird. It'll be sad to see it go from NZ's fleet in a few years!

Quoting N178UA (Reply 5):
Let me be one of the first to congratulate you flew on the Air NZ flagship route and share with us this great TR!

Hi Sam,

Thanks a lot for comments! Glad you enjoyed.

Quoting N178UA (Reply 5):
Seeing your TR illustation of Air NZ 744 Y, make me want to swap seats of my upcoming Business Premier trip on Air NZ 744 with Economy !

Haha! Trust me, NZ J should be great. At least you won't disturb anyone when you get up out of your seat!

Quoting N178UA (Reply 5):
Both meal looks very delicious. I love the Air NZ menu showing on the screen, and water right after takeoff approach.

I haven't heard of any other airline doing this before. It sure saves weight instead of carrying around paper menus which they used to do a few years back.

Quoting JetBlue777 (Reply 6):
Great trip report! NZ looks like it's an excellent airline! There has been talks around that 2 or 3 airlines will become a the newest full 5-star airline (Skytrax) and NZ might be one of them! Dinner looks good, glad that they served it in real ceramics; just like the one we had in our recent OZ flight. The breakfast looks amazing and it's quite unusual to see pancakes in Y class, its ALWAYS the usual soggy omelets and sausages these days. Anyways, NZ looks like a great carrier, too bad I probably have NO chance of flying with them, as I live in the east coast.

Thanks JetBlue777! NZ is an excellent airline. Seeing that NZ placed 5th in the world on the Skytrax rating, I wouldn't be surprised but then again not many people here rely on Skytrax as it can be highly subjective sometimes. You could get a chance if you wanted to fly down under.. Just take some flight to LAX or SFO then jump down to NZ!

Quoting JetBlue777 (Reply 6):
They were running, we started running, as well as the other passengers in our flight

Sounds extremely interesting! I nearly felt like running because I saw so many people streaming out of the plane but I couldn't be stuffed..

Quoting 767747 (Reply 7):
Really nice report! Great pictures too from our journey. Your view from AKL brought back memories of a trip there many years ago .. I'd love to get back! I vaguely remember the airport .. I also like approaching LAX from high above .. you do really get a good perspective of the vast area!

Thanks for your comments Matthew! The airport has changed quite a bit since 'many years ago' and the only thing you might be familiar with is the check in area because quite frankly basically everything else has changed.

Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 8):
I have to congratulate you for making an absolutely amazing report with many excellent pictures on NZ's Flagship Route. NZ's Long haul product definately is excellent and is something you look forward too whenever you fly with them.

Thanks for commenting aflyingkiwi! The long haul product is superb, no doubts about that.

Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 8):
I guess you wanted to make sure you caught an NZ 744 before they eventually leave the skies.

Correct, well done! I actually had myself booked on a BNE-AKL sector for January but now I don't need to 'try' out the NZ 744. Long haul is the only way to really experience a flight anyway..

Quoting AirlineBrat (Reply 9):
Very nice trip report. Excellent pictures.

Thanks for your comments Jim!

Quoting AirlineBrat (Reply 9):
I am starting to research a 4 month RTW trip commencing in September 2011. If I purchase a *A RTW ticket, three of the legs I may select (SFO-AKL, AKL-NRT and LHR-LAX) are on NZ due to their superior reputation

My recommendation to you: Take the upgrade on LHR-LAX - the new Y+ cabin will be in full swing. Stay tuned and keep your fingers crossed for a trip report on the new Y+ seats of NZ. SFO-AKL seems likely to be a 744 if schedules stay as they are now so that's the one to choose Y for.. Unless you're keen to get the upper deck.

Quoting flymia (Reply 10):
Fantastic trip report! Makes me want to fly a long haul flight tonight! Thanks.

Thanks flymia! Writing these trip reports really makes me feel as though I'm flying it again.. I wish I was flying another long haul flight tonight!

Quoting 777ER (Reply 11):
Did you get a photo showing the first few seats on the ABC side in economy which shows well the window locations?

Hi Jase, not on this flight but I managed to get a shot of it on the return voyage. The left hand side matches the right hand side. Rows 36 and 37 definitely have windows, 38 - it's half on the seat, half behind it, 39 - no window, 40 - a big stretch forward to the window which can be used if the person in front is not reclined. 41 and 42 seem ok.

Quoting nethkt (Reply 12):
I'm impressed, definitely 5 stars trip reports.All the photos are amazing. Many many thanks to you!

Thanks nethkt! Glad you enjoyed it.

Quoting ZKEOJ (Reply 13):
great TR, and great to see you fly on NZ's B744 - still my favourite aircraft/airline combination And I agree with your conclusion: NZ provides an excellent Y product, and can easily compete with any airline, including SQ and EK.Thanks for sharing your trip with us!

Hi Micha, thanks for your comments! It felt good to finally get a flight on the NZ 744.. I have a nephew who is 1 and he has already been on 5 NZ 744 flights..

Yes, I do believe this product competes well with the likes of EK.. I can't say for myself SQ as I've never flown on them but I'd assume that the non-robotic service would win me over.

Quoting NZdsgnr (Reply 14):
hey! Nicholas, great report... Always good to see the NZ trip reports.

Thanks NZdsgnr! Yeah, it's nice seeing other people write NZ trip reports too. I'm glad grabaseat gave me the opportunity to try out NZ's 744.

Quoting NZdsgnr (Reply 14):
I'm pretty sure I have read that it is going to be 33in rather than 32in.

Going by the website, it says between 32 and 33 inches so I took a prudent measure. It'll be good if it does end up being 33 inches.. I'd be quite satisfied with that.


Thanks again everyone!

Cheers,
Nicholas
It's all about the destination AND the journey.
 
mal787
Posts: 477
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2007 4:25 pm

RE: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Tue Dec 07, 2010 9:05 am

Another excelent report, love reading them all and the pictures are great. NZ was my fav when i was in the AN FF program but have not flown them in ages since I joined OW with QF

mal787
BN2 Metro, 402,404, Conquest, king air, 707,727.200, 732,733,734,735,736,738,757,762,763,742,743,744, MD11, DC9,Westwind
 
ManekS
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RE: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:41 am

Great TR, NZ seems to be excellent. I wish they kept the Pacific Wave on the fuselage - the aircraft/livery looks pretty plain without it.
 
astockla
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RE: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Tue Dec 07, 2010 1:01 pm

Absolutely CRACKING Report.

I am flying RTW with NZ starting next week (TR will, hopefully, be provided) and will be on that exact flight in about 4 weeks time. Your report now gives me an idea of what to look forward to!

Alex
above us is only sky
 
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RE: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Tue Dec 07, 2010 3:10 pm

Thanks for your trip report, Nicholas. I can't wait for my own experience on an NZ 744 in about six weeks  

From reading your report, I'm very impressed by NZ generally - the seats look great (I have heard that NZ's long haul legroom is very good, but I had never seen just how good), the food looks great, and the crew were apparently very good. I also hope to encounter the same experience you had with friendly customs agents when leaving AKL.
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RE: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Tue Dec 07, 2010 5:46 pm

Hi Nicholas,

great report indeed, on your national carrier

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
There was this awesome bottle refilling machine I had never seen before – you just place your bottle on the machine and it automatically fills.

good stuff

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 2):
(GMT+13)

I've learnt something today, i thought bracket were -12/+12

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
I actually wished that the flight was longer to give me more time on an Air NZ 747 and receive more of the wonderful service

which airline will you fly for the return? otherwise why not trying the whole service to London  

regards

East African Spotter
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RE: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Tue Dec 07, 2010 7:12 pm

Hi Nicholas,

I have been waiting for this report. Marvelous installment of yours! Very entertaining from the beginning until the end. It feels like I was there with you!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
There was this awesome bottle refilling machine I had never seen before – you just place your bottle on the machine and it automatically fills.

Great feature!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 2):
SUH is apparently destined to stay on as one of the two 744s retained beyond the 777-300ER EIS.

For sentimental reasons apparently!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 2):
Airshow – for some reason it displays a 772!

Oops! Could NZ have wrongfully installed the seats destined for the 772?

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 2):
And we were off,

Great wing shot during night time!   

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 2):
Light creeping around the corner while the Southern Cross and the Pointers can be seen

Beautiful!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 2):
Interesting walkway at the back of the plane with mirrors

Very handy for the female travelers.


What can I say? I want more and eagerly looking forward to your next installment! Thank you for sharing this joyful experience on board of NZ.

Cheers,
Suryo
Friends forever
 
lychemsa
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RE: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Tue Dec 07, 2010 7:12 pm

Not many airlines offer such great Y service anymore unfortunately. Unfortunately NZ only fly to LHR from LA and not New York.
 
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RE: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Tue Dec 07, 2010 7:50 pm

Quoting CXB77L (Reply 19):
I also hope to encounter the same experience you had with friendly customs agents when leaving AKL.

From experience the customs in NZ are great... always friendly and courteous. they might even joke with you if you wanted to
 
jungersten
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RE: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Tue Dec 07, 2010 7:52 pm

Nice trip report! I am flying on NZ1 and NZ2 in February 2011, hoping to get a *A upgrade from premium economy to business class, I think you inspired me to do a trip report also on my flight. Thanks again!
 
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RE: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:15 pm

Hi Nicholas,

fantastic report about your NZ trip, really enjoyed reading. I had been looking forward to it. So good to see you had a great time on NZ's 744. You know that I recently enjoyed flying NZ on a very similar route.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
So a week later, I was proven right and some AKL-LAX flights popped up for NZ$999 return – just less than half price for an ‘on special’ fare to LAX (in fact, AKL-YVR specials popped up the week after too).

What a deal!

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
The registration comes directly from the initials of the man in charge of ILFC back then – Steven Udvar-Hazy.

Hey, that's interesting, didn't know that.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
. The seat pitch is 34” in Air New Zealand’s 747-400 and allows for a lot of stretching space for someone like me!

I had the middle seat on NZ039 (HKG-LHR) two years ago and it wasn't a problem at all.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 2):
A water run was made to my surprise, directly after the switching off of the seatbelt sign, after the lack of water runs on the EK A380 in the past.

Yes, there are frequent water runs on NZ long-haul flights, I noticed that on NZ008. And they have lemons in their water carafes.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
The drinks cart soon followed and I opted for a ginger ale (Cheers, PH!) and a Pinot Noir.

Cheers!   

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
This is all bound to change when the 77Ws come online and the food produced from the onboard ovens will make for a much different aircraft food experience.

Sounds interesting.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
The ice cream was to die for and topped off the meal nicely.

  

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 2):
The choice was scrambled eggs or pancakes with apple and blueberry bits. I went for the latter and was certainly not disappointed by the meal. It tasted really nice, especially with the apple and manuka honey syrup drizzled over the top of it. Bits of melon and pineapple were also served along with apricot yoghurt and orange juice on the tray table itself.

Wow, that looks really good!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
Knott’s Berry Farm

Great place - if you like rollercoasters...

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Crossing the 405

Always a great sight!


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
AI151
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RE: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:33 pm

Hey Nicholas,

Fabulous 1st part of your US visit. Loved all the pictures and that you were impressed with NZ. AKL airport seems to be coming along well before the Rugby World Cup kicks in next year.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
I’m only going halfway this time but I do hope you enjoy this report of mine which happens to be my first long haul flight in many years.

You should have come all the way to LHR, I'm sure you would have got some great pictures from the 27L landings.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
There was a fairly large and ever growing queue of passengers with only 3 or 4 counters open. It took them 15 minutes to realise that this was insufficient and the line was moving too slowly so they suddenly doubled the number of counters. This sped the process up a lot and not long after that, I was on my way after a pleasant experience at check in and getting the seat I had requested.

LOL! Normally its the other way round and a counter would shut down.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 2):
The seat pitch is 34” in Air New Zealand’s 747-400 and allows for a lot of stretching space for someone like me! Too bad that once the 744s are phased out, the biggest seat pitch in the fleet will be 32” shared by both the 772 and 77W. The seat itself is quite comfortable.

Same as my AI flight. I would have thought that the 77W would have a better seat pitch. Definitely won't be pleasant on a long trip to LHR.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 2):
US immigration forms were handed out soon after.

I never got one until I was about to disembark off my KU flight at New York. Apparently passengers had to ask for one. Surely they should have passed them out!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 2):
I peered out the window to see just a little bit of light coming over the horizon and stayed up until the sun had risen. It was a magnificent sight, one I had never experienced before.

Stunning pictures. Apart from sunrises, sunsets are the next best thing when it comes to pictures. I always try to get one shot if possible on each flight.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 2):
I was talking to someone in the queue about it and she was telling me that if it was in Great Britain, they wouldn’t get away with it.

I'm sure there would be mass commotion, especially if passengers had come off of a long haul flight. No one dares to queue jump, not even us Brits, and that's at LHR.

When you were in-flight and were taking pictures of all the cabins, did anyone say anything? The only reason I ask is that this is still one thing I'm not confident of doing in case someone says something.

Looking forward to the next installment.

Sandeep (AI151)
Modern Vision. Timeless Traditions...
 
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RE: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:44 pm

Great trip report, thanks for sharing. At some point I started wondering whether you were in premium economy class on this flight.   To me, the product that NZ offered looked very good, I'm also excited to see how their SkyCouch concept is going to work out.

As for your trip:

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
AKL

Looks like an interesting airport, architecture-wise.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Air NZ utilise the IFE system very well to inform the passengers of things instead of blasting it over the PA.

Smart idea, saves a lot of paper and still gives the passengers the possiblity to browse through a menu, albeit only virtual. I find that annoucements of the catering over the PA are often inarticulate and not so classy. The system of NZ could do with some polish, though.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Flight attendants couldn’t be faulted for their great service.

It seems like NZ regards their crew as their biggest asset.



Did someone say 'Otago'?  

[Edited 2010-12-07 13:09:40]
'He resembled a pilot, which to a seaman is trustworthiness personified.' Joseph Conrad
 
FLIEGER67
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RE: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:56 pm

Hi, Nicholas,

great stuff.
You know, I´ve followed you´re updates on FB closely, so waited for that interesting story.
Well done, superb pictures, sounds like a recommendable experience on NZ.

So, looking for the next part now.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)
Tripreporter.net
 
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RE: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Tue Dec 07, 2010 9:22 pm

Hi Nicholas,

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
I’d be jumping on my first 747 flight in 9 years

Great trip report and I can only imagine your joy on being on the 744 before they are actually gone!!

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Air New Zealand has a website called grabaseat.co.nz and they post ‘ludicrously low fares’ every day. Usually these are domestic flights that are slightly discounted from their usual lowest price for a certain period but every now and then, they have very tempting flights on offer.

Is this due to the heavy competition from EK, on the Australia to New Zealand routes? Not forgetting the other carriers that ply on the route as well.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Greetings to you all and welcome to my 17th trip report.
Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
but I do hope you enjoy this report of mine which happens to be my first long haul flight in many years.
Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Air New Zealand is my home airline, hence my username also partially depicting that.

17 trips reports before and your first long haul in a while....so your others are pretty much short haul ones...I have read your reports before as NZ107 is quite a popular username on this site  . Notice the numbers 1 and 7 are also in your name  . Also don't forget this was NZ1! So this report is quite special I guess lol

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
The Air NZ website is so easy to use. I kept changing seats to one where there was an empty middle seat in the block of 3 next to the window.

It's nice you could play around with the seats before making your final selection.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
Auckland Airport is gearing up for the Rugby World Cup which is happening later next year. So one of the main sponsors, Emirates, has a mini grandstand in the area just before passing through immigration!

EK are such showoffs lol

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
The digital clock is also a nice feature!

Would have been nice to have captured it at exactly 21:21  
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
There was this awesome bottle refilling machine I had never seen before – you just place your bottle on the machine and it automatically fills.

At least this prevents the opening of the bottle from being put close to the spout!! So many do it, it's not a very hygeinic thing to do.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
ZK-SUH has an interesting history. It was delivered new to Varig at the end of May 1991 and served for 3 years before being taken up by ILFC and not long after was leased by Air NZ on the 8th November 1994 making it 10 days past its 16th anniversary for flying with NZ. The registration comes directly from the initials of the man in charge of ILFC back then – Steven Udvar-Hazy

Very very interesting fact!! Thanks

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
The seat pitch is 34” in Air New Zealand’s 747-400 and allows for a lot of stretching space for someone like me!

Wow that is a lot of space... Nice that you could enjoy the freedom of that space. Later even use your backpack as a footrest

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
By then, EK would probably have found a better version of ICE to replace what they already have

The selection is definitely not as thorough as EK’s – no airline’s selection is. But it has semi recent movies and (hopefully) enough of them to keep one entertained for the flight.

Again with EK...are they the new benchmark in air travel lol.....I know what you mean but honestly not everything about them is fantastic....the biggest let down can be the cabin crew, and honestly I am sure you had far better dedicated crews on NZ!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
It’s interesting that Air NZ don’t have the announcement that EK has of “all ground crew should be off the plane now, this plane is bound for XXX”.

Etihad blasts those announcements too on their aircrafts lol

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
A water run was made to my surprise, directly after the switching off of the seatbelt sign, after the lack of water runs on the EK A380 in the past.

Hmm here we go with EK again!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
Air NZ utilise the IFE system very well to inform the passengers of things instead of blasting it over the PA. You just hope that most people understand English.

Again a cost saving method to eliminate menu cards, and like the Inflight magazines taken away to save on weight

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
Dinner
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
Breakfast

Both the dinner and breakfast look very appetizing! Especially the pic of the pancakes served for breakfast. Not sure if this was announced on your NZ flight, but the captains on my NZ flights to and from Los Angeles to Sydney apologised to passengers if their meal option was unavailable and would make sure it was met on the next round. How it worked out the first run was done from the front to back, while the second round was back to front  
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
I peered out the window to see just a little bit of light coming over the horizon and stayed up until the sun had risen. It was a magnificent sight, one I had never experienced before.

So unfortunate for those who sleep and miss out on the whole thing! It's one of the nicest things to see the first rays of light breaking in the horizon, tearing the dark of night with a thin dark orange line! And then the silouhette of the 744 wing and winglet is something to really cherish!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
The weather was great – you could see how far Los Angeles spread into the distance.
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 3):
I was expecting to see a whole bunch of Qantas planes sitting around.
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 3):
I counted 3x A380s, 3x 744s and an A332. It made me feel as if I had landed in Sydney!

Your approach was very much the same as the one on my QF 744 from Sydney. However the flight I took on NZ in 2001 arrived directly from over the Pacific Ocean on runway 7L or 7R at LAX. The approach into Los Angeles has to be the nicest ones out there, as you said you see how Los Angeles is spread out!
 
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RE: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:40 pm

Thanks again guys, it's a real pleasure to be able to deliver this TR to you all.

Quoting mal787 (Reply 16):
Another excelent report, love reading them all and the pictures are great. NZ was my fav when i was in the AN FF program but have not flown them in ages since I joined OW with QF

Thanks for your comments mal787! Glad you enjoyed. Maybe it's time to take another flight with them?  
Quoting ManekS (Reply 17):
Great TR, NZ seems to be excellent. I wish they kept the Pacific Wave on the fuselage - the aircraft/livery looks pretty plain without it.

Thanks ManekS! I think they are excellent although my limited flying means I don't really have too much to compare them with. Same here - I can't see why they couldn't just leave them on until they knew they were going to repaint the fleet.

Quoting astockla (Reply 18):
Absolutely CRACKING Report.I am flying RTW with NZ starting next week (TR will, hopefully, be provided) and will be on that exact flight in about 4 weeks time. Your report now gives me an idea of what to look forward to!

Thanks Alex! Actually thinking back, I can't remember if they gave hot towels or not.. But that's not to detract from anything due to it being a pretty minor thing. I do hope you enjoy it, along with great kiwi hospitality. I probably won't get the return home up by then however.

Quoting CXB77L (Reply 19):
Thanks for your trip report, Nicholas. I can't wait for my own experience on an NZ 744 in about six weeks From reading your report, I'm very impressed by NZ generally - the seats look great (I have heard that NZ's long haul legroom is very good, but I had never seen just how good), the food looks great, and the crew were apparently very good. I also hope to encounter the same experience you had with friendly customs agents when leaving AKL.

Not a problem Sam! I'm about 1.7m tall so if you put that into perspective of how much legroom I actually had, someone a little taller would still find it satisfactory.

With regards to the customs agents - if you have a chipped Aussie passport, you can bypass this while departing AKL and use smartgate instead. AKL is the only place in Australasia at the moment which allows departing passengers to use Smartgate.. Something I believe will mean that if you're flying trans Tasman AKL-Aussie, you can bring your passport out for scanning landside at AKL and not have to get it out again until you get home/reach landside in Australia.

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 20):
I've learnt something today, i thought bracket were -12/+12

Thanks for your comments East African Spotter! GMT +12 is the New Zealand standard time but during Daylight Saving, NZ goes forward an hour to GMT+13 and remains to the west of the International Date Line.

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 20):
which airline will you fly for the return? otherwise why not trying the whole service to London

NZ back to AKL. I'm not rich enough to make it to London!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 21):
I have been waiting for this report. Marvelous installment of yours! Very entertaining from the beginning until the end. It feels like I was there with you!

Hi Suryo,

Thanks a lot for your comments! Glad you enjoyed. You know what, there was a spare seat next to me and I guess that was reserved for A.Netters 
Quoting akhmad (Reply 21):
Oops! Could NZ have wrongfully installed the seats destined for the 772?

I think it's the fact that they only put the 772 into the IFE system. That plane needs to shed the Pacific Wave too!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 21):
What can I say? I want more and eagerly looking forward to your next installment! Thank you for sharing this joyful experience on board of NZ.

Hahaha! Patience, my friend! Not a problem!

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 22):
Unfortunately NZ only fly to LHR from LA and not New York.

Though if they did fly every single route we wanted them to fly, the airline might end up a bit like EK and very hard to maintain quality service throughout the vast majority of flights. You never know, they could get to NYC with the 789 one day.

Quoting jungersten (Reply 24):
Nice trip report! I am flying on NZ1 and NZ2 in February 2011, hoping to get a *A upgrade from premium economy to business class, I think you inspired me to do a trip report also on my flight. Thanks again!

Thanks for your comments jungersten! You're welcome. I hope you enjoy your flights! Good luck with your upgrade - J is a great product. Keep your eyes open for my return voyage sometime hopefully later this month.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 25):
fantastic report about your NZ trip, really enjoyed reading. I had been looking forward to it. So good to see you had a great time on NZ's 744. You know that I recently enjoyed flying NZ on a very similar route.

Hi PH,

Thanks a lot for your comments! Glad you enjoyed. I hope it either brought back some memories of your flight with NZ.. I'm waiting for yours to get a comparison of service etc!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 25):
Yes, there are frequent water runs on NZ long-haul flights, I noticed that on NZ008. And they have lemons in their water carafes.

I've been told that the guideline is every half hour. I couldn't care less about noting down water runs and tried to get as much sleep as I could.

Quoting AI151 (Reply 26):
Fabulous 1st part of your US visit. Loved all the pictures and that you were impressed with NZ. AKL airport seems to be coming along well before the Rugby World Cup kicks in next year.

Hi Sandeep,

Thanks for your comments! Glad you enjoyed. Yes, AKL is coming along nicely for the RWC.. The hotels are getting closer to completion and this whole airside departure area certainly looks impressive. I hope it has lasting impressions for whoever visits AKL!

Quoting AI151 (Reply 26):
You should have come all the way to LHR, I'm sure you would have got some great pictures from the 27L landings.

I wish.. Though I must admit that the season's not right for me! So in some cases I'm glad that I didn't get to London! But it's definitely high on my to go list.

Quoting AI151 (Reply 26):
LOL! Normally its the other way round and a counter would shut down.

Yeah, it wouldn't have been quite the same if it was the other way round!

Quoting AI151 (Reply 26):
Same as my AI flight. I would have thought that the 77W would have a better seat pitch. Definitely won't be pleasant on a long trip to LHR.

I'd be certain to make stopovers both ways if I was heading to Europe. 33 inches is only one less so I'm sure I could definitely deal with that.

Quoting AI151 (Reply 26):
Apparently passengers had to ask for one. Surely they should have passed them out!

That's so strange.. Maybe they wanted you all to be under the wrath of US immigration - showing up at the desk without the necessary forms then sending you away to go and fill it out and rejoin the queue at the back!

Quoting AI151 (Reply 26):
I'm sure there would be mass commotion, especially if passengers had come off of a long haul flight. No one dares to queue jump, not even us Brits, and that's at LHR.

Indeed, most other places that I've been to are civilised.

Quoting AI151 (Reply 26):
When you were in-flight and were taking pictures of all the cabins, did anyone say anything? The only reason I ask is that this is still one thing I'm not confident of doing in case someone says something.

Not a word. Everyone seemed fine. Either that or I did it so sneakily that nobody realised I was taking them   I never take them front on if you've noticed from my TRs. I'd rather take it from behind people so 1. they're not in the photo as recognisable; 2. they don't know if/when I take the picture; 3. most of them wouldn't really care as they're not 'in it'. I take pics of the front only if I remember while disembarking.

Quoting Luftfahrer (Reply 27):
Great trip report, thanks for sharing. At some point I started wondering whether you were in premium economy class on this flight. To me, the product that NZ offered looked very good, I'm also excited to see how their SkyCouch concept is going to work out.

Thanks for commenting Luftfahrer! No problems. Premium Economy is a different experience altogether! The product in Y on NZ is great. I'm also curious as to how this skycouch will go.

Quoting Luftfahrer (Reply 27):
Looks like an interesting airport, architecture-wise.

Makes up for the cargo building that is the domestic terminal 
Quoting Luftfahrer (Reply 27):
The system of NZ could do with some polish, though.

I guess we'll wait and see what the new system is like on the 77Ws.

Quoting Luftfahrer (Reply 27):
Did someone say 'Otago'?

I could have used that word many times! The plane I was on is named "City of Dunedin" and Dunedin is in Otago. I'm pretty sure that my Pinot Noir was from Central Otago..

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 28):
Well done, superb pictures, sounds like a recommendable experience on NZ.

Thanks for your comments Markus! NZ is highly recommended by me.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 29):
Great trip report and I can only imagine your joy on being on the 744 before they are actually gone!!

Hi Flightsimboy, thanks for your comments! Very true, I was over the moon when I saw those grabaseat fares pop up.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 29):
Is this due to the heavy competition from EK, on the Australia to New Zealand routes? Not forgetting the other carriers that ply on the route as well.

I can't recall fully but I believe it was originally designed to lower prices for domestic travel when Pacific Blue started up domestic services and the threat of either DJ or QF/JQ going regional rather than just the main trunk routes between AKL, WLG, CHC and ZQN.. But it proved so popular that they not only kept it going but expanded it to international flights as well.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 29):
17 trips reports before and your first long haul in a while....so your others are pretty much short haul ones...I have read your reports before as NZ107 is quite a popular username on this site . Notice the numbers 1 and 7 are also in your name . Also don't forget this was NZ1! So this report is quite special I guess lol

Indeed, my first long haul trip report. Close enough - it was NZ2 that I was actually on   For some strange reason, the flight numbers are really strange as not all flights out of AKL are odd numbered. If I was originally in charge of NZ, I would have made the outbound AKL-LAX-LHR NZ1.. But yes, it's still special for me!

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 29):
Wow that is a lot of space... Nice that you could enjoy the freedom of that space. Later even use your backpack as a footrest

I say make the most of it.. There could be a day where I'm packed like a sardine on an Air Asia X long haul flight!

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 29):
Again with EK...are they the new benchmark in air travel lol.....I know what you mean but honestly not everything about them is fantastic....the biggest let down can be the cabin crew, and honestly I am sure you had far better dedicated crews on NZ!

I'm only using EK as a comparison because it has been the airline I've flown most international voyages with over the last couple of years and it's fresh in my mind. Take the A380 service out of the frame and EK is still a great carrier. Their service can match what I experienced on NZ but the key word here has got to be consistency.

Compare NZ's flagship route against EK's supposed flagship route EK1 DXB-LHR on the A380 (I'm not sure if it is but going by the fact that they keep the flight number as EK1, it could well be) and I wouldn't be surprised to see NZ's service (in Y) outdo that of EK's.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 29):
Not sure if this was announced on your NZ flight, but the captains on my NZ flights to and from Los Angeles to Sydney apologised to passengers if their meal option was unavailable and would make sure it was met on the next round. How it worked out the first run was done from the front to back, while the second round was back to front

It wasn't announced over the PA. Come to think about it, you could be right about the switch of service. Because I was at the back of the plane, the last galley is in front of me so the dinner was served from the back so they ended up back at the galley. I wasn't paying much attention as I had just woken up before breakfast but it may have been done from the front. I'll see if I can get an answer to that.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 29):
So unfortunate for those who sleep and miss out on the whole thing! It's one of the nicest things to see the first rays of light breaking in the horizon, tearing the dark of night with a thin dark orange line! And then the silouhette of the 744 wing and winglet is something to really cherish!

Then again, there are those passengers who hate every aspect of flying and everything else to the point that a sunrise wouldn't matter to them! To us, it's pure bliss!


Cheers,
Nicholas
It's all about the destination AND the journey.
 
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RE: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Wed Dec 08, 2010 2:20 am

Hi Nicholas,

one of the best TR I have read in the last couple of months. I am very impressed with the NZ economy product offered especially the 34 inches of seat pitch. Too bad this will be reduced to 32 inches on the 777.

Your trip report got me in to the perfect mood for my upcoming trip to the US this coming Saturday which was also supposed to be my first A380 adventure.

Cheers from Brisbane,

Peter
 
NZ83
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RE: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Wed Dec 08, 2010 7:12 am

Where is the water bottle feature at AKL? Most impressed to see that. I hate having to use the fountains to fill my water bottle up!!!!
 
ZKSUJ
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RE: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Wed Dec 08, 2010 7:36 am

Nice report, great pics. The 744 is my Favorite aircraft and glad you enjoyed your trip. Look forward to the trip report for the return journey
 
mal787
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RE: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Wed Dec 08, 2010 9:52 am

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 30):
Thanks for your comments mal787! Glad you enjoyed. Maybe it's time to take another flight with them?

Maybe if they ever fly to Darwin   but I cant see it happening in my lifetime  

mal787
BN2 Metro, 402,404, Conquest, king air, 707,727.200, 732,733,734,735,736,738,757,762,763,742,743,744, MD11, DC9,Westwind
 
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NZ107
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RE: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:41 am

Quoting bps3458 (Reply 31):
one of the best TR I have read in the last couple of months. I am very impressed with the NZ economy product offered especially the 34 inches of seat pitch. Too bad this will be reduced to 32 inches on the 777.

Thanks for your comments Peter! Yeah it could be reduced to 33 inches but we'll have to find out when it actually comes configured.

Quoting bps3458 (Reply 31):
Your trip report got me in to the perfect mood for my upcoming trip to the US this coming Saturday which was also supposed to be my first A380 adventure.

Hope you're not flying the hopper service on an A332 via AKL! Such a shame about the A380s..

Quoting NZ83 (Reply 32):
Where is the water bottle feature at AKL? Most impressed to see that. I hate having to use the fountains to fill my water bottle up!!!!

Opposite the NZ international transfer desk on the pier, there are (were?) some water fountains.. And this machine sits in the same place as that. Anyway just around the corner from the bar to your right..

Quoting ZKSUJ (Reply 33):
Nice report, great pics. The 744 is my Favorite aircraft and glad you enjoyed your trip. Look forward to the trip report for the return journey

Thanks ZKSUJ! I'm glad I got on it before it becomes quite rare in the fleet..

Quoting mal787 (Reply 34):
Maybe if they ever fly to Darwin but I cant see it happening in my lifetime

Oh well! Next time you're looking to go to NZ then, maybe!


Cheers,
Nicholas
It's all about the destination AND the journey.
 
AKLDELNonstop
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RE: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Thu Dec 09, 2010 3:41 am

Great trip report NZ107. Your NZ flight seems to have had better food than my UA F flight across the pond.

Well, I will be on the LAX-AKL flight tomorrow night in Y. Hopefully it is as good. NZ have been very good in all my past flights with them.
 
NZ83
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RE: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Thu Dec 09, 2010 6:00 am

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 35):
Opposite the NZ international transfer desk on the pier, there are (were?) some water fountains.. And this machine sits in the same place as that. Anyway just around the corner from the bar to your right..

Thanks will have to check it out when i'm on NZ 2 to LHR in Feb.
 
JL418
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RE: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Thu Dec 09, 2010 7:58 am

Hello Nicholas,

it's the first time I'm commenting on a TR from yours, but I've read the whole "Joyrides" series and, needless to say, I enjoyed them a lot. This TR goes on the same trend, thank you for sharing with us!

I'm really surprised by Air New Zealand's offer on long-haul. You see, I met a lady from Cristchurch, in Japan, who was a real globetrotter and told me that ANZ's product wasn't really up-to-date and the service was nowhere near the one offered by the likes of EK or QR. I'm glad to see she was wrong! I loved the 744 seats (they look the same kind of those on LH long-range birds and I absolutely adore them), the cleanliness of the cabin and, of course, the in-flight meal offerings, great to see some porcelain even in the back of the bus. I'll never understand the insistence on asking to lower the shades which seems so popular with Asian carriers and at the Antipodes, I've always been able to sleep even in direct sunlight.

Anyway, I can't wait to read the return leg!
 
timb777
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RE: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Thu Dec 09, 2010 9:05 am

Hi Nicholas,
Another pleasurable report on the national carrier! I appreciated the crispness of the photos, the SLR certainly takes good pics. Looking forward to the return.....
Timothy.
 
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NZ107
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RE: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Thu Dec 09, 2010 10:52 am

Quoting AKLDELNonstop (Reply 36):
Great trip report NZ107. Your NZ flight seems to have had better food than my UA F flight across the pond.Well, I will be on the LAX-AKL flight tomorrow night in Y. Hopefully it is as good. NZ have been very good in all my past flights with them.

Thanks for your comments AKLDELNonstop! Interesting, I must say. NZ's food does impress. Have a good flight - tell me how it goes!

Quoting NZ83 (Reply 37):
Thanks will have to check it out when i'm on NZ 2 to LHR in Feb.

Oh and also - the 2nd security checkpoint at AKL doesn't worry about liquids.. I already asked  
Quoting JL418 (Reply 38):
it's the first time I'm commenting on a TR from yours, but I've read the whole "Joyrides" series and, needless to say, I enjoyed them a lot. This TR goes on the same trend, thank you for sharing with us!

Thanks for your comments JL418! You should comment more, it makes us trip reporters glad!  
Quoting JL418 (Reply 38):
'm really surprised by Air New Zealand's offer on long-haul. You see, I met a lady from Cristchurch, in Japan, who was a real globetrotter and told me that ANZ's product wasn't really up-to-date and the service was nowhere near the one offered by the likes of EK or QR. I'm glad to see she was wrong! I loved the 744 seats (they look the same kind of those on LH long-range birds and I absolutely adore them), the cleanliness of the cabin and, of course, the in-flight meal offerings, great to see some porcelain even in the back of the bus. I'll never understand the insistence on asking to lower the shades which seems so popular with Asian carriers and at the Antipodes, I've always been able to sleep even in direct sunlight. Anyway, I can't wait to read the return leg!

Interesting.. It could depend on what/when she flew. If she flew on a 763 to Japan before 2008, she might have had a case. The product on the 747 and 777 is great and the 763 has since been refurbished.

I think it helps as a courtesy to others, especially when eyeshades aren't given out (I always carry a pair anyway). The sun rose quite early in my flight and if all the window shades were open, it probably would have annoyed a lot of passengers. But that's what I think anyway.. It's good to try and get into some pattern early so you don't feel as jetlagged at the end of it all.

Quoting timb777 (Reply 39):
Another pleasurable report on the national carrier! I appreciated the crispness of the photos, the SLR certainly takes good pics. Looking forward to the return.....

Thanks Tim! Yes, the DSLR takes good pics but it's definitely balanced out by the burden of having such a big camera. I'm used to it now though.


Cheers,
Nicholas
It's all about the destination AND the journey.
 
MSS658
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RE: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Thu Dec 09, 2010 12:44 pm

Nice report, enjoyed the different angles used in your pictures.

I like how the AKL airport is designed as well.
Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
 
JL418
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RE: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Thu Dec 09, 2010 2:54 pm

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 40):
Thanks for your comments JL418! You should comment more, it makes us trip reporters glad!

Will surely do!
 
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RE: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Fri Dec 10, 2010 7:05 am

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 41):
Nice report, enjoyed the different angles used in your pictures.I like how the AKL airport is designed as well.

Thanks for commenting, MSS658! Glad you enjoyed. Yes, I like how the international terminal is designed apart from the fact that the landside observation deck only sees a fraction of the planes.


Cheers,
Nicholas
It's all about the destination AND the journey.
 
mdavies06
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RE: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Sat Dec 11, 2010 8:38 am

Thanks for the TR Nicholas. Great pics and hope you'd enjoyed LA. It reminds me of the only long haul I have flown on with NZ and the opposite legs to yours - NZ38/39 LHR-HKG and return. The 34 inch leg room will be sorely missed !

[Edited 2010-12-11 00:40:18]
 
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RE: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Sat Dec 11, 2010 8:52 am

Hi, Nicholas!

Great report, and as I'm used from you, some great balanced pictures included! Nicely written also, good to hear you got one of the deals on NZ. So, also NZ 34'' in Y on the 744, similar to MH. One of the main reasons to fly MH for me. We're thinking about visiting HKG at some point, and taking NZ LHR-HKG is very high on my list to try out. Also after your report, because the meals looked very good in both quality and quantity. Looking forward to your intra US and even more, the return flight  

Regards
Eric
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
 
NZdsgnr
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RE: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Sat Dec 11, 2010 9:31 am

Well I saw AKL-SFO-AKL for $999 on grabaseat this week... it might be time for them to bring back the $1 fares from last year haha
 
ronerone
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RE: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Sat Dec 11, 2010 11:34 am

Nicholas,

SUPERB TR! .. I have followed the trails of this trip on Facebook, and i finally get to read the report itself! Apologies for the late response though!

Just like New Zealand itself, NZ seems just as fantastic, and i really want to fly with them!

The cabin of that 747 seemed like that of a brand new aircraft, as everything was spotless fresh! And the meals were so nicely presented and looked mouth watering! Especially those pancakes!

Furthermore, those simple small touches such as the mini service updates on the IFE screens can go such a long way; simply great all over!

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
The Air NZ website is so easy to use. I kept changing seats to one where there was an empty middle seat in the block of 3 next to the window.

Interesting! .. I usually just find the best seat available at the time of booking and i stick to it. But i think i like this idea more. I should do that for my upcoming trip(s)  
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
has a mini grandstand in the area just before passing through immigration!

I tell you, i spent quite sometime just hovering around this while i awaited boarding of my flight! haha

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
All staff were helpful and friendly, like they should be to give people a final good impression of this country.

An all-over super NZ experience for me!

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Where I belong for this flight

A sight like this, coupled with the mechanical sounds of the APU mixed with the intended calming moods of the boarding music that is played alongside the backdrop of the boarding bustle always sets the preliminary tone of that long-haul flight that is about to happen  
Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Tonnes of legroom

Quite impressive!

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Air New Zealand recently removed the inflight magazines from every seat pocket on these long haul international flights to save weight. So if you want one, you need to ask the flight attendant.

Interesting .. I wonder how many people actually request for a copy?

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Air NZ utilise the IFE system very well to inform the passengers of things instead of blasting it over the PA. You just hope that most people understand English.
Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Done for me already – meal choices. No idea what the light choice is!

Very creative! ..

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Dinner
Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Breakfast

Great presentation! .. I usually do not opt for pancakes, but these looked quite nice!

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Interesting walkway at the back of the plane with mirrors

Must be the crew bunk and the mirrors are purposely there for them! haha.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Rear Economy cabin

Looks too neat to be after a long flight. It is normally a war zone after such a flight with Emirates  


Thanks a lot for sharing! .. Looking forward to the next!

Cheers,
Roni
Fly Roni. Aviation Journeys. Photos. Videos.
 
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NZ107
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RE: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Sun Dec 12, 2010 5:52 am

Quoting mdavies06 (Reply 44):
Thanks for the TR Nicholas. Great pics and hope you'd enjoyed LA. It reminds me of the only long haul I have flown on with NZ and the opposite legs to yours - NZ38/39 LHR-HKG and return. The 34 inch leg room will be sorely missed !

Thanks mdavies! You're welcome! LA was fun.. There are a lot of planes there which I never get at home. Yes, the 34 inches was a definite luxury!

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 45):
Great report, and as I'm used from you, some great balanced pictures included! Nicely written also, good to hear you got one of the deals on NZ. So, also NZ 34'' in Y on the 744, similar to MH. One of the main reasons to fly MH for me. We're thinking about visiting HKG at some point, and taking NZ LHR-HKG is very high on my list to try out. Also after your report, because the meals looked very good in both quality and quantity. Looking forward to your intra US and even more, the return flight

Hi Eric,

Thanks for your comments! Much appreciated. I wonder if I'd even bother with a trip report if my photos were substandard!   Yes, I'd believe MH would be a nice one to try. Interesting.. You can either take the 772 product as it is now or wait a couple of years and try out the retrofitted product (Y or Y+) coming new in the 77Ws. Meals were great ex AKL but my cousins who just came through this morning said that the food wasn't that great ex LAX in their opinions.. You'd think that LHR would be ok, well at least better than LAX! I hope I can get onto writing them soon!

Quoting NZdsgnr (Reply 46):
Well I saw AKL-SFO-AKL for $999 on grabaseat this week... it might be time for them to bring back the $1 fares from last year haha

I saw them too.. They sold out though so it shows that they don't need to drop it to $1 when they can actually get a little more!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 47):
SUPERB TR! .. I have followed the trails of this trip on Facebook, and i finally get to read the report itself! Apologies for the late response though!

Hey Roni,

Thanks a lot for your comments! Not a problem.. I know you're super busy - I'm the one who's on holiday!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 47):
Just like New Zealand itself, NZ seems just as fantastic, and i really want to fly with them!

The service is provided with a slice of kiwi, well especially for those routes served by the AKL crew!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 47):
The cabin of that 747 seemed like that of a brand new aircraft, as everything was spotless fresh! And the meals were so nicely presented and looked mouth watering! Especially those pancakes!

I can also tell you that the 772s look immaculate too! All the 744 needed was new style overhead bins/ceiling and mood lighting (maybe plus external cameras).. I wish it was more economical though so that more airlines would keep it. Mmm, those pancakes.. I wouldn't mind some right now actually!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 47):
Furthermore, those simple small touches such as the mini service updates on the IFE screens can go such a long way; simply great all over!

Small simple touches.. I guess it's something that you wouldn't like as it doesn't mean a paper menu is given  
Quoting ronerone (Reply 47):
Interesting! .. I usually just find the best seat available at the time of booking and i stick to it. But i think i like this idea more. I should do that for my upcoming trip(s)

When you're by yourself, you've gotta try and make it easier for you especially on long haul flights. There's no point in trapping yourself in when there are places with spare seats around!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 47):
I tell you, i spent quite sometime just hovering around this while i awaited boarding of my flight! haha

Haha.. Did you take a seat?

Quoting ronerone (Reply 47):
Must be the crew bunk and the mirrors are purposely there for them! haha.

My initial thought of it was to break up the dullness of 2 bare white walls.. I didn't see anyone using them!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 47):
Looks too neat to be after a long flight. It is normally a war zone after such a flight with Emirates

We look after our cabins  

Haha nah, it could have been just that row!


Thanks again guys!


Cheers,
Nicholas
It's all about the destination AND the journey.
 
mal787
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RE: Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route

Sun Dec 12, 2010 6:15 am

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 48):
I hope I can get onto writing them soon

SO Nicholas when will we get to see them , there great for a wet sunday arvo read

mal787
BN2 Metro, 402,404, Conquest, king air, 707,727.200, 732,733,734,735,736,738,757,762,763,742,743,744, MD11, DC9,Westwind

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