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(you just had to leave the monitor locked) or move your seat into a relax-position, so the classic "upright position" is obsolete.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.