Flight-Report

Review of Air New Zealand flight Christchurch Auckland in Economy

Airline Air New Zealand
Flight NZ570
Class Economy
Seat 9C
Aircraft Airbus A320
Flight time 01:20
Take-off 01 Jan 19, 19:00
Arrival at 01 Jan 19, 20:20
NZ   #23 out of 128 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 79 reviews
bldavid
By SILVER 617
Published on 27th January 2019
We live in Iceland and several of our family members live near Melbourne, Australia, so we decided to spend Christmas there. The two airports - Keflavík and Melbourne - are not exactly close to each other, the distance being 10,539 miles (about 17,000 kms). If there was a direct flight it would overfly Svalbard, Eastern Siberia, North-East China and Eastern Indonesia and it would take about 21 hours. But there's of course no direct flight. So how should we get there?

We knew we didn't want to fly economy and we didn't have the budget for most business class flights, so we had to look for an exceptionally good deal in business class. Connecting flights from Iceland to Africa, Asia or Australia are never good value. London, Copenhagen, Frankfurt or Germany are usually among the more expensive departure airports. Amsterdam or Paris can have better deals but none was available at that time.

We checked premium economy as well, and although Singapore Airlines' great premium economy was bookable at a reasonable price from Stockholm to Melbourne via Moscow and Singapore, we still hoped for a good price in business.

We considered for a long time, and we even held a booking for some time, to fly from Cairo. A CAI-MCT-KUL-MEL in business class was offered by Oman Air and Malaysia Airlines at a price similar to many economy class flights from Europe to Australia. But direct flights from Europe to Cairo are overpriced even in economy and connecting flights can have unfavorable schedules.

So what was the solution? Oslo is usually, maybe surprisingly for some of you, the cheapest airport for long-haul business class flights from Europe. And there came a promotional offer: Oslo to Perth with Qatar Airways and Auckland to Oslo with China Southern. Yes, we wanted to fly to Melbourne but why not to visit Western Australia for a few days? And yes, the return leg was from New Zealand but we could finally visit NZ as well - and the flight was even slightly cheaper than a return from Australia.

The final routing was:

Keflavík to Oslo, SAS, premium economy
Oslo to Doha, Qatar, business
Doha to Perth, Qatar, business
Perth to Melbourne, Qantas, economy
Melbourne to Christchurch, Qantas, economy
Christchurch to Auckland, Air New Zealand, economy
Auckland to Guangzhou, China Southern, business
Guangzhou to Amsterdam, China Southern, business
Amsterdam to Oslo, KLM, business

"Hello, we're a family of four and we have a non-modifiable booking for the flight to Auckland at 8pm. Can you rebook us to the 7pm flight at no extra charge?"
"Let me see…, yes, no problem, here are your boarding passes!"

"Hi, we have four pieces of checked-in suitcase and one of them is a little bit heavier…"
"No problem, just put it on the belt"

Am I dreaming? I'm at an airport, the Air New Zealand ground staff allows me (with a smile) to modify to my booking to the flight that leaves one hour earlier (we were about 80 minutes before scheduled departure). I'm allowed (with a smile) to check in my luggage with the extra weight. There's no queue at all at security and all staff are happy and smiling. Where am I?

The terminal building from the outside

photo 01

Departures

photo 02


The airport was not crowded and very pleasant when we were there

photo 03


Most people check in here

photo 04


And put their luggage on the belt here

photo 05


The airport is easy to use

photo 06


This is not a lounge but just a normal waiting area

photo 07


Unusual wall decoration for an airport

photo 08


Kids Zone

photo 09


Air New Zealand's main hub is Auckland and most passengers travelling from the South Island to Oceania or Asia need to take a connecting flight there. All flights from Christchurch to Auckland have only economy class but those who have a booking on business on their onward flight can use the Koru Lounge

photo 10


The gate area also looks like a lounge but there's of course no free food

photo 11


But there's a good choice of snacks, books and magazines here

photo 12


Win a car for Christmas!

photo 13


Air New Zealand does not have any turboprop aircrafts but its subsidiary operates 27 ATR 72's

photo 14


Boarding started with some delays at 19.00 with a big smile of course and was completed by 19.10.

This A320-200 has a single class 3+3 configuration with all black seats

photo 16


One of the best legrooms I had for a long time in economy

photo 17


There are overhead screens.

Push-back was at 19.27 and take-off at 19.37 from runway for a scheduled departure time of 19.00.

Air New Zealand's on-board magazine

photo 18


Route maps



Air New Zealand's fleet

photo 22photo 23

Tea, water or coffee and chips or cookie were offered free of charge

photo 24photo 25

We landed at 20.40 and were at the bridge at 20.45 for a scheduled arrival time of 20.20.
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Verdict

Air New Zealand

8.0/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew10.0
In-flight Entertainment6.0
Meal/catering7.0

Christchurch - CHC

9.5/10
Efficiency10.0
Access10.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness10.0

Auckland - AKL

9.0/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness9.0

Conclusion

Overall an exceptionally positive airport experience thanks to the lovely Air New Zealand ground staff and the uncrowded and well designed Christchurch Airport. The flight itself was nice too with the best legroom I had in economy for a long time. The small delay was not an issue for me as I arrived anyway earlier than expected.

Information on the route Christchurch (CHC) Auckland (AKL)

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