Flight Review: Premium Economy to London with Air New Zealand – Leg Two – Auckland to Los Angeles (NZ2)

Photo Supplied by Air New Zealand

Earlier this week, Jennifer started her journey to London with Air New Zealand with her first leg from Melbourne to Auckland (You can read that review HERE). Today she takes us on the second leg, from Auckland to Los Angeles on Air New Zealand‘s remarkable Premium Economy “Spaceseat” service, abroad their stunning Boeing 777-300 aircraft.

Airline: Air New Zealand
Route: Auckland – Los Angeles NZ2 (ongoing to London)
Seat: 23K
Aircraft: B777-300

Scheduled Flight Time: 12 hours and 15 minutes.
On Schedule?: Departed on time at 2150 and arrived a little early into LA, which was just as well with the transit process we were about to encounter… more on that later!

Frequent Flyer: Air New Zealand Airpoints & Star Alliance Network

Check-in & Baggage:  

Allowance for Premium Economy is 2 checked bags (23 kg each) and Premium Check-in.  Pre-flight seat requests available.  No collection or check-in of bags required as they were checked all the way through to London Heathrow from Melbourne.

Meal Service:

Premium meals and drinks, with on-demand snack and drinks menu via touchscreen throughout majority of flight.  Menus are distributed just after boarding.  Lunch and dinner includes a starter, main, dessert, hot bakery items, and cheese and crackers, as well as the choice of hot and cold drinks.  A late dinner service was provided, though I really didn’t have the appetite for a large meal at 10pm.  I ate some of my meal and left the rest, only because I didn’t want to feel uncomfortable for the long NZ-LA leg.  Breakfast was served about 90 minutes out of Los Angeles and I opted for a bowl of fresh fruit and a cup of coffee.  There was a hot option but I declined.

In-flight Entertainment:

Movies, TV, music, and games. Seat chat.  Other features include the drinks and snacks on-demand system, and the airshow. The entertainment can be operated either by touchscreen or by using the remote control, which is stored in the hardshell around your seat.  I’m not really a great flyer, and an even worse sleeper, so I was grateful for the extensive entertainment range on board.  I watched The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, followed by The Devil Wears Prada, and then what felt like the entire catalogue of The Big Bang Theory.

Comfort:

I had the same seat as on the flight across the Tasman, though it was a different aircraft.  It was great to have the extra space you get in Premium Economy, and I was able to turn onto my side, albeit not fully reclined, and grab a few power naps, but I can’t honestly imagine anything giving you proper comfort on those long flights. Mind you, I’ve never tried Business Long Haul, so maybe one day I’ll eat my words.  The phased sunrise lighting Air New Zealand use to wake you is excellent.  It’s so much nicer for your tired body to wake/stir to soft orange/pink/red lighting than to have someone suddenly throw on the lights, which has happened on other airlines.  All the small touches like this make a huge difference to the whole experience.

Customer Service:  

Again, very professional and friendly staff at the gate and onboard.  I always feel well attended to and that nothing is any trouble.  With my various anxieties it’s a nice feeling to not worry that you’re going to be sneered at if you need a blanket or similar.

Once you arrive in Los Angeles, if you are ongoing to London on NZ2, you’ll have to endure a transit procedure that is… well, I’m just going to have to leave this for the next article. Stay tuned! If you want to look back to my first leg, click HERE.

To book yourself a journey with Air New Zealand, visit their official website.

The author flew at her own expense in June 2016.