Unfortunately Air New Zealand gets poor marks for releasing reward travel space through Star Alliance partners and their own program is prohibitively expensive. The only route that was consistent with premium availability has been Shanghai - Auckland. However recently some premium reward space between the US and Auckland has been made available. An interesting route they fly is LA to London that's had some space available as well. Air New Zealand gets high accolades for its business class, so continued reward availability from the US would be welcome indeed. Connectivity from Auckland in premium class is rare, yet recently I've seen some flights to Brisbane and Sydney available. Hopefully this is a trend as the more ways to get down under the better. Skytrax has awarded Air New Zealand with best Premium Economy cabin, seats and catering while AirlineRatings voted them airline of the year.
Air New Zealand operates Boeing aircraft and has begun taking delivery from the ten 787-9 aircraft it has ordered. Maybe it's the paint job, but Reward Flying wants to fly this plane! Visit Air New Zealand for more info.
Air New Zealand Premium Class
Business Premier as it is called has been given high marks for its seat comfort and culinary treats. In addition to the 787, Air New Zealand also flies 2 variants of the Boeing 777. The 787 cabin is in a 1x1x1 configuration with 18 seats while the triple 7 is 1x2x1 with the 200 series having 26 seats and the 300 series 44 seats. For US routes the 777-200 will fly to Houston beginning in 2016 while the 300 variant flies to London from LA.
The seat design is licensed from Virgin Atlantic who developed the concept of herringbone layouts. Manufactured by Contour Aerospace, now Zodiac UK, the seat has a unique feature that flips the seat over to make a bed surface different from the seating surface. Due to the partitions separating each seat, the overall width of the seats's space can be confining and has received some negative reviews, such as the "coffin class". While Virgin Atlantic has committed to this type seating on their new aircraft, other carriers such as Cathay Pacific and Air Canada are moving away in favor of a reverse herringbone layout.
Air New Zealand Aircraft and Business Class Seat Specifications
images courtesy Air New Zealand, Boeing
Have you flown with Air New Zealand? Share your experience with others in the comments section.