AIR NEW ZEALAND NZ0002
ROUTE: AUCKLAND-LOS ANGELES
AIRCRAFT: BOEING 777-300
CLASS: PREMIUM ECONOMY SEAT 26K
DURATION: 12 HOURS 15 MINUTES
The first sign that I’ve made the right decision to upgrade to premium economy on my flight from Auckland to Los Angeles with Air New Zealand comes the moment I step on board.
Years of development have resulted in Air New Zealand revolutionising its in-flight experience. Its state-of-the-art Premium Economy Spaceseat™, with its 42” seat pitch, has more personal space than any other premium economy seat I’ve experienced.
The design of the Spaceseat™ has a fixed shell so the person sitting in front of you can’t recline into your personal space. Instead, the seat slides forward and angles up as it reclines into the shell, similar to an armchair in your living room. There’s a comfy purple squashy beanbag cube instead of a footrest.
The 44 premium economy seats are arranged in a 2 – 2 – 2 configuration, so all seats are either a window or aisle. The seats that run through the centre of the cabin are designed for couples, so they can relax together, or turn to face each other to share a meal. The seats on the sides of the cabin cater more for those who need some uninterrupted work time, or for those like me who prefer to keep to themselves during a flight.
My first action once on board is to turn on the touch screen in the seatback in front of me, which works from the moment you get on board. The aircraft features around 1400 hours of on-demand in-flight entertainment, so there’s lots to catch up on.
Air New Zealand has also upgraded its menus with dishes sourced from New Zealand’s finest natural produce. My dinner comprises salmon with roasted grapes, tabouleh salad and preserved lemon mayonnaise for starters; followed by my choice of lamb with golden kumara mash, green beans, spinach and pea medley with mint jus, complemented with a fine NZ pinot noir from the on board wine cellar. I usually don’t eat dessert with flying, but the white chocolate and rosewater panna cotta with pistachio cream is impossible to resist. And if you feel peckish at any time, simply order a snack direct from your personal entertainment screen.
All in all, it makes for a comfortable flight, or as comfortable as one can be without flying up the pointy end.