Review of Air New Zealand flight Sydney Auckland in Business

Airline Air New Zealand
Flight NZ110
Class Business
Seat 1A
Aircraft Boeing 787-9
Flight time 02:30
Take-off 25 Aug 17, 13:50
Arrival at 25 Aug 17, 18:20
NZ   #28 out of 123 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 79 reviews
Rewardflying
By GOLD 1551
Published on 17th October 2017
photo nz110 cover

Greetings Flight-Report #avgeeks. Thanks for hanging out in Sydney with me for my 7 hour layover. We're waited for the Air New Zealand flight to Auckland which is this report.

jetBlue A320 Ecomomy service ORD-JFK
Singapore Airlines A380 Suites Class JFK-FRA / JFK Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse
Singapore Airlines Suites Class FRA-SIN / FRA Air Canada Lounge
Thai Airways A350 Business Class SIN-BKK / SIN The Private Room
Thai Airways B747 First Class BKK-SYD / BKK Thai Royal First Lounge and Spa

Air New Zealand B787 Business Class SYD-AKL / SYD Air New Zealand Lounge


Air New Zealand A320 Economy Class AKL-WLG / AKL Air New Zealand Domestic Lounge
JetStar A320 Economy Class WLG-AKL
Emirates A380 Business Class AKL-BNE / AKL Emirates Lounge
Qantas B737 Business Class BNE-SYD / BNE Priority Pass Lounge
American Airlines B777 First Class SYD-LAX / SYD Qantas First Class Lounge
Virgin America A320 First Class LAX-ORD

After completing the third overnight flight in 4 days an arrival routine was established. Shower first. I headed through Sydney's transit security then up the stairs to Air New Zealand's lounge within five minutes of saying goodbye to Thai's 747.

photo sydnzl entry 2photo sydnzl entry 1

After admittance I made a beeline to the shower room. Adequate, nothing special. Mission accomplished.



The lounge was large for a non hub facility considering many flights from Sydney to New Zealand are on A320's which don't have a business class cabin. It was empty when I arrived around 7AM. By 9AM it was full.

photo sydnzl room 1

After the morning rush it cleared out.



The lounge offered great views of gates 53-59 and the adjacent taxiways.

photo sydnzl scenic 2

The original choice across the Tasman had been this LATAM 787, however when this trip was scaled back the LA 787 got axed.

photo sydnzl scenic 1

The replacement was this NZ 787. Unfortunately I'm not getting the all black version which had been a major hope/goal that will now be forever wanting.

photo nz110 plane 1

Food and beverage was plentiful. One thing I can confidently say about Air New Zealand lounges is they do not skimp on food in their lounges.



Barista bars are common in NZ and QF lounges.

photo sydnzl bar

I'd left the lounge and gone into the terminal to do some sightseeing and store a bag. The amenities collected from three prior first class flights didn't need to cross the Tasman and on the trip back home I'd be connecting through Sydney. Back at the lounge I still had 90 minutes to go. NZ110's flight status suggested to relax. I wonder what the departure board says when the aircraft door is about to close? Run? Panic?

photo sydnzl dep board

Finally it was off to Gate 60, just 2 minutes downstairs from the lounge where I met Chip. Chip was standing right in the middle of the boarding area where he (it) was continually speaking to no one in particular. He was saying if anyone had any questions he could answer them. I'm not sure what questions someone would want to ask, maybe how long the flight is, if it's on time, weather, etc. But no one asked Chip those questions. They just tried to slip him up, like asking him to take a photo, or a selfie. Chip was undeterred not falling for such foolery. He remained focused on flight details, I guess.

photo nz110 boarding 1

See you later Chip. Time to board.

photo nz110 boarding 2

Yes it is a beautiful cabin. The devil is in the details.

photo nz110 cabin a-1 seats

Air New Zealand has 18 business class seats.

photo nz110 cabin a seats

Three across and six deep. 

photo nz110 cabin center seats

Between door two and the business class cabin are 21 premium economy seats in 3 rows of 2x3x2.

photo nz110 cabin pe 1

If I were purchasing a flight on Air New Zealand I'd go with premium economy. 

photo nz110 cabin pe 2

Last year flying NZ's 787 I reserved 6A which is a seat in the back of the cabin where no one can stare at you. Air New Zealand now blocks this seat from pre-assignment which I assume elite status can reserve. So this time I reserved 1A.

photo nz110 seat 1 adj

My view would be the cockpit, at least until I strapped myself into the coffin.

photo nz110 cabin cp view

The ottoman has a seat belt.

photo nz110 seat 2 ottoman 1

Underneath the ottoman is your main storage area other than the expansive 787 overhead bins. 

photo nz110 seat ottoman 2 adj

On the left side the ottoman takes up around 25% of the aisle. On the right side where two ottomans protrude out, I wonder if the aisle is any wider?

photo nz110 cabin aisle

Sorry, I'm just setting up for my rant on what a silly design this is for a business class seat. After flying Virgin Atlantic in this type of seat a few months back, I complained in that report about sitting in row 2 and being unable to reach the window control. You had to actually get our of your seat to adjust the window tint, unless you were a contortionist. I also suggested that having flown Air New Zealand where I was able to adjust the tint, albeit awkwardly, that they must have a different configuration.

Wrong. 

On Air New Zealand's 787 you can only reach the window adjustment when sitting in rows 1,  3 and 6 as shown below. (The Elite's pillow blocks 6A's control.)



If you sit in rows 2, 4 and 5 you can't reach the button while sitting down as shown below.



On your left side, and actually behind you is a drink tray. 

photo nz110 seat 12 bev tray

Surely unintended, extending the tiny monitor provides a better shelf for your nuts and drink.

photo nz110 food 1

You have an elbow rest on the left side as it's not long enough to qualify for the description of armrest.

photo nz110 seat 4 armrest up

And if you want some more room, which you do, it can be lowered. 

photo nz110 seat 3 armrest down

On your right side is a full arm rest, well for short arms, along with the seat controls. The seats do not fully recline and when converting to the bed the entire seat is flipped over. It's similar to Singapore Airlines's premium class seat/bed. 

photo nz110 seat 10 adjust

This can't be considered a reading light. Maybe it's a night light. 

photo nz110 seat 5 light

Forgive me, I was inaccurate when I said the only storage was underneath the ottoman. How could I have missed this!

photo nz110 seat 6 storage

Down in the storage area next to the seat, along with the magazines, placards, headphones and water bottle are the power ports. Fortunately there's a light so you can locate them.  If you need a USB there's one located under the monitor. 



Assuming you can find the monitor as it's rather small. 

photo nz110 ife 1

You are probably thinking, well if he hated this plane so much why did he take it? Fair enough. Last years flight was pleasant. Great crew and good food made for a nice trip. Plus this flight was part of the 40,000 point Thai first class trip so essentially it was free. (I will miss United's reward fares from South Asia to Australia for sure when they change 11/1/2017.) Of course flying a third overnight in four days and a seven hour layover prior to this flight didn't set the stage for an enjoyable experience. Yes I was tired. 

Time to go.

photo nz110 away they gophoto nz110 away they go 2

Ellie and Nellie were the cabin attendants on this flight. Nellie was back to work after 5 weeks off, having gotten married and just back from her honeymoon. So you know where her mind was. And so went the service today. Yes it was adequate, but remindful of US domestic service. 



Much ado about the wines, stating of a couple Hawke's Bay bordeaux style wines but following Star Alliance partner United Airlines' infinite wisdom of, "Please ask your flight attendant" for what's on board today. Then I stumbled across another menu of wines for today's flight on the IFE.

photo nz110 menu 5 wine

It appears the red choices are one of the bordeaux styles, a syrah and malbec.

photo nz110 menu 6 wine

But not really as the only choice for today was one of the bordeaux style reds from the menu. 

photo nz110 menu 7 wine

While I didn't partake in the champagne, the Te Mata Coleraine was a very, very nice wine. 

photo nz110 bev champ ratingphoto nz110 bev wine rating

I still love the 787 windows, assuming you can adjust the tint. 

photo nz110 cabin window tint

Today's late lunch offering. 

photo nz110 menu 2 foodphoto nz110 menu 1 food

For starters was a nicely presented New Zealand smoked venison 

photo nz110 food 2


But I don't recall any turbulence. Even still it was the highlight of the meal.

photo nz110 food 3

As the north island snapper was boring which was too bad as I love barramundi.

photo nz110 food 4

Albeit a nice portion. 

photo nz110 food 5

I passed on dessert and probably passed out as well. 

photo nz110 ife 2photo nz110 ife 3

Fortunately this is a short flight, only 2 1/2 hours. We arrived at sunset. Somehow I managed to twist my body and get a grainy photo of the arrival.

photo nz110 scenic arrival 1

The entrance to immigration, New Zealand style.

photo nz110 arrival 1

Flight path

photo nz110 flight path
See more

Verdict

Air New Zealand

5.1/10
Cabin4.0
Cabin crew6.0
Entertainment4.0
Meal/catering6.5

Air New Zealand Business Class Koru Club Lounge

7.5/10
Comfort6.0
Meal/catering8.0
Entertainment8.0
Services8.0

Sydney - SYD

8.0/10
Efficiency8.0
Access8.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Auckland - AKL

7.5/10
Efficiency8.0
Access8.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness7.0

Conclusion

This was an average flight. Sorry, I simply do not like the seats. But it's a 787 on a short flight so complaining really should fall on deaf ears. And Air New Zealand really tries with their catering, I just happened to get something that wasn't all that great. However the beverages were quality choices, especially for a short flight. While their crews have always been pleasant and friendly, today's was just average. For those that wonder why I gave such a poor rating, I base 5 as average and work from there. In the future I would not take NZ on a long haul flight. My desire to fly NZ again could be rekindled if they decide to get a different premium class product. Maybe they'll reconfigure that black 787 with a new seat for me some day??? Nah.

Informations on the route Sydney (SYD) Auckland (AKL)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 12 reviews of 5 airlines on the route Sydney (SYD) → Auckland (AKL).


Useful

The airline with the best average grade is with /10.

The average flight time is 3.0 hours and 2.0 minutes.

  More informations

7 Comments

  • Comment 416554 by
    JW19 92 Comments

    Agree with your thoughts on the seat. Those are some woefully awful seat with little shoulder room and storage space.

  • Comment 416563 by
    loukas SILVER 232 Comments

    Thanks for this report! This is one of the worst business classes I've seen so far, it looks more like a doctor's waiting room. Definitely nothing to pay extra money for!

  • Comment 416589 by
    Rewardflying GOLD AUTHOR 401 Comments

    JW19, thanks for reading and your comments!

  • Comment 416590 by
    Rewardflying GOLD AUTHOR 401 Comments

    Hi Loukas, haha, that's a good way to describe them. Thanks for reading!

  • Comment 416628 by
    toyion 21 Comments

    Thanks for your nice report.
    Just flew NZ for once only on B777-200ER.

    Just a bit curious on the flying time, was it possible for just 1h10m to fly from SYD to AKL?

  • Comment 416649 by
    Rewardflying GOLD AUTHOR 401 Comments

    Hi Toylon, thanks for reading. It's a 2 1/2 flight as I mentioned in the report. The 1 1/2 hour comes from flight-reports calculation using the departure and arrival times I inputted and there is a 2 hour time difference from SYD-AKL. I'll change it to reflect the proper flying time, Thanks.

  • Comment 420037 by
    socalnow GOLD 734 Comments

    Hi Mark - Thank you for this look at ANZ and their SYD ops.

    "The lounge offered great views of gates 53-59 and the adjacent taxiways. "
    -I like the TG and SQ in the same frame.

    "Food and beverage was plentiful. One thing I can confidently say about Air New Zealand lounges is they do not skimp on food in their lounges. "
    -A nice spread for, as you say, an outstation lounge.

    "NZ110's flight status suggested to relax. I wonder what the departure board says when the aircraft door is about to close? Run? Panic? "
    -This made me smile. So Kiwi.

    "Yes it is a beautiful cabin. The devil is in the details."
    -I just don't understand this seat on a new airplane.

    "Sorry, I'm just setting up for my rant on what a silly design this is for a business class seat. "
    -Amen brother, there are many improved options on the market...

    "Of course flying a third overnight in four days and a seven hour layover prior to this flight didn't set the stage for an enjoyable experience. Yes I was tired. "
    -Certainly a factor in anyone's ability to enjoy an experience.

    "I still love the 787 windows, assuming you can adjust the tint."
    -Great picture, Mr. Snarky. ;)

    "For starters was a nicely presented New Zealand smoked venison."
    -Wow, that dish reads and looks beautiful. I'm glad it was enjoyable. The fish does look rather pedestrian.

    "Maybe they'll reconfigure that black 787 with a new seat for me some day??? Nah."
    -You don't think so? Even after your glowing review of the ANZ product? ;)

    Thanks again Mark for another fantastic read. Happy flying.

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