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Business Class Auckland to Sydney – Air New Zealand Review
Flying is one of the necessities of modern day life and whilst there are a few things you can do to enjoy your flight, going business class is one of the ultimate remedies for any form of flying. But what is the national carrier of New Zealand like when it comes to their trans Tasman business class offering? This review from Natural South looks at the good, the bad and the overall experience to give you a better understanding of what to expect from Air New Zealand business class.
This review was performed on the 9.45 am short-haul flight (so not sleeper business class) from Sydney, Australia to Auckland, New Zealand on October 25th, 2014.
Believe it or not the check-in was outstanding and better than what you would expect from business class. The staff (who were very friendly) went out of there way to help me get checked in and on my way, they even opened a weigh station for my bags due to a queue building. We appreciate that this is not really part of the on-board business class experience but what Air New Zealand clearly understand is that your experience and, therefore, impressions starts at the very beginning of your journey.
Again, what Air New Zealand have got a great grasp of (and many other airlines have not, especially Air Canada in my humble opinion), is that professional customer service is crucial to ensuring your overall experience is excellent. On this flight the service was instant, friendly and exceedingly professional with no issue too big or too small. A cliched description but customer service has never been rocket science.
You can read and view more about the menu below but needless to say, it provided some great food choices, was seasoned well and more importantly tasted the way food should despite being 30,000 feet in the air and sucking back on dry air. Obviously I was not expecting a Michelin star meal but what was delivered was more than satisfactory and again because is was brought through by the staff in a non-regimented fashion and a simple smile, made it all the better.
The legroom was obviously ample and the seat well equipped to cater for your every comfort whim. No complaints here although slightly rough around the edges compared to other carriers.
The in-flight entertainment choices were slightly dated but in all honesty this was more down to flying at the end of the month (movies change out at the beginning of every calendar month) matched with a personal penchant for movies which means I had already seen a lot of them. My only suggestion for Air New Zealand on this would be to turn this into a positive and look to engage with business class (and potentially all classes) passengers before they fly to find out what they have watched, and what they like. Then turn their screens into a personal movie experience a la Netflix, ensuring they are only served content from the available catalouge that they want to watch and have not seen…..who knows, Air NZ are a innovative bunch so maybe they might even think about partnering with Netflix on an offline content plus account (connecting your Air NZ account to Netflix) basis so all the heavy lifting (outside of hardware upgrades and other integration’s) is sorted out. But I digress.
Not only was the movie choice poor but the screen size was just the standard size. Now this is not a game changer but my personal expectations (and that of many others I would imagine) is that you would expect a few more inches in this class based on the premium you are paying? Every centimeter counts on a plane and it’s easier said than done when it comes to installing new hardware but entertainment is such a huge factor in the overall experience that it’s worth pushing this more aggressively so the customer is happy.
The in-flight menu
Airlines face many difficulties when it comes to offering food on a flight 35,000 feet in the air, with expectations of a reasonable standard to uphold within business class. So what did Air New Zealand have on the menu on this particular day?
Australia to New Zealand – Lunch
Spiced chicken with grilled pineapple and chicory salad and mango yoghurt dressing
From the bakery
Sourdough and wheat rolls, garlic bread and black olive loaf
- Red wine and tomato braised lamb shank with blue cheese polenta, green beans, sage, garlic and parmesan
- Gourmet style fish and chips with panko crusted hapuka potato and fennel gratin, crushed peas and lemon ailoli
- Poached chicken salad with red grapes, toasted pecans, cucumber, gem lettuce and sour cream dressing
- Gourmet dessert of nectarine and muscovado ice cream
- Cherry crumble tart with spiced custard and cherry compote
- A selection of fine New Zealand cheese served with fruit paste and cracker selection
The flight was easy from whoa to go with no issues what so ever and as mentioned numerous times, their customer service was impeccable. I know this experience was based on a short-haul flight and that the long-haul version is another step up due to the sleeper seats you are given in business class. However, we hope this review has given you a good indication of what to expect regardless.
Would we recommend flying Air New Zealand business class? Absolutely!