Air New Zealand Business Class: Auckland - Tahiti - Auckland

Airline: Air New Zealand
Aircraft: Boeing 767
Class: Business
Route: Auckland - Tahiti - Auckland
Date: August 2009

We just had flown in from Beijing, and after 12 hrs stopover in Auckland (Koru Lounge) the last part of our journey (on miles) to the South Seas was about to begin: the flight to Tahiti.
We went to the gate and waited for boarding. Business Class was allowed to board first. The cabin of this 767 still featured the "old" leather seats (cradle seats / recliners). We were welcomed warmly, our coats and bags was taken care of and immediately champagne or orange juice was served in fine glass ware. The amenity kit was placed in the seat pocket. This time it was no pouch, but a big envelope made of thick brown paper with New Zealand nature patterns printed on it. The content was the same as before (ear plugs, Pacifica skincare, eye shades, ballpoint pen, socks).
Seat pitch was still quite generous, but I have to add that there was nobody seating in front of us (we were in row 2). The menu cards were given out.
Boarding was completed soon, and we took off to Tahiti. The flight was quite uneventful. Dinner was delicious again and I just watched a movie. As the entertainment system was older of the ones in Business Premier, the quality wasn't that good, but still acceptable. Afterwards I had a short sleep, which was rather a nap. I just prefer sleeping on my side and this is not possible in cradle seats. But they are good to rest and relax, there are definitely worse options! However, taking the prices that Air New Zealand usually charges for that route, it would be better to have real flat seats. Although I have to admit that Business Premier had really spoilt me...

We landed in time and the luggage was delivered quickly. Afterwards we picked up our rental car.
Here some impressions from the islands:

View from Le Méridien Tahiti over Moorea

Botanic garden, Tahiti

Tefaaurumai Waterfalls, Tahiti

Under our overwater bungalow, Raiatea

Raiatea Hawaiki Nui Hotel

Motu between Raiatea and Taha'a

Under our overwater bungalow, Raiatea


Approaching Bora Bora

Hilton Bora Bora Nui

Hilton Bora Bora Nui

Bora Bora

Leaving Bora Bora (sorry for the dull photo, the windows of the Air Tahiti planes are so blurry and dirty because of the salt water)

Moorea Bellevue

Whale watching, Moorea

Whale watching, Moorea

Whale watching, Moorea


Legends Resort (Villa Iti), Moorea
Flight Moorea - Tahiti
 The flight back to Auckland started very early in the morning. The lounge in Tahiti is small, but sufficient. Security checks were very lax. The flight was quiet, so there was enough time to sleep some more time, have a tasty breakfast (served on fine china again) and finally look out of the window. It was nice to descend to Auckland and see all the islands!

Approaching Auckland


Air New Zealand Business Premier: Beijing - Auckland

Airline: Air New Zealand
Aircraft: Boeing 777
Class: Business Premier
Route: Beijing - Auckland - Beijing
Date: August 2009

On our way from Germany to Tahiti, we took Lufthansa from Frankfurt to Beijing and Air New Zealand from then on. As we've heard only great things about Air New Zealand Business Premier, expectations were high ... and we were not disappointed!

A very warm welcome - Kiwi style!
Welcome on board! Never before had I been welcomed as warmly (and by name) as by NZ's flight attendant. She showed us our seats, helped with coats and luggage, introduced her colleagues to us (with shake hands), offered champagne and showed us around in the Business Premier cabin. As it was high noon, all window blinds were closed and mood lighting switched on, so a great atmosphere was created. The amenity-kit was a pouch in cord-style, filled with anti-slippery-socks, eyeshdes, earplugs, eye-gel, lip balm, luggage freshener and a ballpoint-pen. Slippers were also waiting at your seat.
The seats are arranged in herringbone-style, one at the window, two in the center, so everyone has easy access to the aisle. A small companion seat (with own seat belt) which is at the same time a stool and a really huge table come in handy as they make it possible to dine together. Chocolate brown leather and crème-coloured dividers combined with turquoise cuddle pillows gave a fresh touch to the cabin. A small table for drinks (lighted by an LED-lamp) was just at hand, and lots of storage space made it easy to stow hand luggage and things you want to have at hand during the flight (like books, wollen jacket, glasses, shoes, items of personal care etc.). During take-off you could already watch a movie (you just had to leave the monitor locked) or move your seat into a relax-position, so the classic "upright position" is obsolete.

Dine in style
Right after take-off hot towels were provided and beverages were offered. A box full of a variety of teas was taken to your place if tea was the desired drink. The flight attendants explained the menu to every passenger and very soon the dish of your choice was brought to your seat. No trolley was used, you were served like in a restaurant! Dining together in one place was a very nice experience.
The food was extremely delicious, served on exquisite porcellain. Thoughtful little details delighted the passengers, like small stone-shaped salt and pepper shakers or table napkins made of fine linen. The butter rested on a small plate. For those who ordered Chinese dishes, woodden sticks were handed out.

A sound sleep
After dinner, the flight attendands made the bed for everyone. The back of your seat was flipped over, so the backside served as mattress. It is covered with soft cloth. Additionally, a thin extra mattress was put on your bed, a big white pillow and a duvet made your bed in the sky complete. LED reading lights made it possible to read in bed without disturbing other passengers. Every passenger got a bottle of water. A snack bar was set up close to the kitchen, so everyone could get himself fruit, cookies or chocolates during the night. I slept for 8.5 hours of the 13-hour-flight. Wonderful!

Mood lighting simulated sunrise, so waking up was almost a pleasure. Hot towels and smoothies helped to get refreshed, and then breakfast was served. The table was set and then a trolley filled with tasty dishes appeared in front of your seat and you could choose what you wanted: cereals and cornflakes (served out of a big bowl), yoghurt (nature or fruit, served out of porcellain), fresh fruit salad (presented in a glass bowl) and of course, French toast, pastries, eggs, soup, bacon, ham ... Hmmm!
Unfortunately this flight only lasted 13 hours! (And the flight back to Beijing was just the same pleasure.)

Koru Lounge Auckland
It's huge, but cosy. Lare woodden tables give you the feeling of dining at home in your own kitchen. A buffet provides you with a wide variety of dishes, changing with time of the day. Full hot breakfast in the morning, salad buffet and several hot dishes for lunch, pastries in the afternoon, hot and cold dinner in the evening. The showers are clean and each shower features your own small bathroom with hairdryer, body lotion, shampoo, towels, etc. Internet access is free as well (you get the code at the reception).

Résumé: Simply perfect!

Click here to read about the onward journey to Tahiti.


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