Evaluation: Air New Zealand Enterprise Class 787-9 (AKL-LAX)
To complete off my two journeys to the Southern Hemisphere, I flew Air New Zealand’s Boeing 787 enterprise class from Auckland to Los Angeles. It had been years since I had flown Air New Zealand enterprise class, so I used to be excited to test it out once more.
Properly, what an underwhelming enterprise class product, with uncompetitive seats, small leisure screens, and no Wi-Fi. The smooth product in any other case ranged from okay to fairly good, however nonetheless, enterprise class is in the beginning concerning the seat. Air New Zealand’s new enterprise class can’t come quick sufficient — then once more, even that doesn’t look business main.
How I booked my Air New Zealand enterprise class ticket
Air New Zealand is likely one of the stingiest airways on this planet in relation to making enterprise class award seats accessible. So I used to be excited when I discovered availability on the Auckland to Los Angeles route.
Air New Zealand and Virgin Atlantic have a partnership, and redeeming Flying Membership factors on Air New Zealand is an unbelievable worth. Particularly, I paid 62,500 Flying Membership factors plus $38.84 in taxes & charges for the next section in enterprise class:
9/21 NZ4 Auckland to Los Angeles departing 11:15PM arriving 4:20PM
I acquired these Virgin Atlantic factors by transferring them from Amex Membership Rewards when there was a 30% switch bonus, so actually I paid simply 49,000 Amex Membership Rewards factors for this ticket. What a deal!
Air New Zealand Auckland lounge & boarding
Within the earlier installment I reviewed the Air New Zealand Lounge Auckland. My flight was departing from gate 18, which is kind of a trek from the central a part of the terminal.
Boarding was scheduled to begin at 10:15PM, one hour previous to the scheduled departure time. In actuality the crew solely began to leisurely board at 10:20PM, after which passenger boarding began at 10:45PM.
Air New Zealand 787 enterprise class cabin & seats
I boarded by means of the second set of doorways, after which turned left into the enterprise class cabin. Air New Zealand has herringbone seats in enterprise class, which have been at one level innovative (simply not up to now decade). The cabin contains a complete of 27 seats, unfold throughout 9 rows in a 1-1-1 format.
Be aware that the middle seats face towards the proper aisle, so I believe it’s rather more fascinating to take a seat on the left aspect of the plane, so that you just’re dealing with a wall quite than different passengers.
I assigned myself seat 9A, the seat within the final row on the left aspect. This labored out nice, since each 7A and 8A remained empty, which means I had the entire again left a part of the cabin to myself.
It’s wonderful how a lot enterprise class seats have advanced through the years, as a result of I member again once I thought of this to be an incredible seat. Sadly within the meantime this seat is very uncompetitive — it faces away from the window, it’s a must to rise up as a way to flip your seat right into a mattress, there’s nearly no storage, and I really feel like so many elements of the seat design are poorly thought out.
Every enterprise class seat options an ottoman, which in principle can be utilized as a buddy seat in order that two individuals can dine collectively. Nevertheless, this may be actually tight.
Many of the seat capabilities are to the left aspect of the seat.
On the again left of the seat is a studying gentle, in addition to a small drink tray that may be lowered. I’ve to think about individuals always knock their drinks off of this by accident, as a result of the seat is fairly tight.
The monitor in enterprise class is just 11″, and in addition isn’t very excessive definition. Because it’s to the aspect of the seat, you’ll be able to push a button in order that it’s as a substitute in entrance of you. Whereas that’s higher than nothing, it additionally makes it onerous to maneuver the display whereas there’s something in your tray desk.
There’s additionally an leisure controller on a twine, which is identical mannequin you’ll discover on many airways. The display can be touchscreen, so that you don’t even have to make use of this in the event you don’t need to.
The tray desk folds out from the left aspect of the seat, and is kind of giant. Simply do not forget that you received’t be capable of simply rise up if that is prolonged. The tray desk additionally will get a bit tight in case you have each the monitor out and also you’re attempting to eat.
Additionally beneath the seat and to the left is an AC energy outlet. Greatest I may inform, there was no USB outlet.
So far as seat controls go, there are two separate units of controls. On the entrance left of the seat are two pre-sets, the place you’ll be able to both put the seat within the upright place, or flip it right into a mattress. This requires getting out of your seat, because the mattress is made by the seat basically flipping over.
Then the again proper of the seat has the restricted seat capabilities, together with having the ability to recline the seat barely, and in addition extending the tray desk.
Don’t count on a lot when it comes to seat recline — it simply reclines barely (pictured under), after which the one possibility past that may be a totally flat mattress.
The overhead console had studying lights, however no particular person air nozzles.
Looking the window in these seats isn’t really straightforward, since it’s a must to flip your head fairly a bit to look outdoors.
I a minimum of appreciated being in a quiet a part of the cabin, as the 2 seats in entrance of me have been empty, and I wasn’t instantly dealing with any passengers.
Sadly the cabin had seen higher days. So lots of the surfaces have been scratched and worn, and my ottoman simply form of got here aside throughout the flight.
I notice some will disagree, however that is only a plain disappointing enterprise class product to me these days. The irony is that this product makes use of house so poorly. There have been solely 27 enterprise class seats between the primary and second set of doorways, whereas different airways with higher seats have 30 enterprise class seats in the identical house. It reveals how seat producers have gotten rather more artistic and environment friendly with how they use house.
In fact it’s price acknowledging that Air New Zealand plans to introduce a brand new enterprise class product as of 2024. Nevertheless, that’s nonetheless fairly a while from now, the product doesn’t look wonderful, and who is aware of how lengthy it is going to be earlier than these seats can be found all through the lengthy haul fleet.
Air New Zealand enterprise class facilities
Ready at every seat upon boarding have been a pair of headphones, which didn’t do a lot to cancel out noise, and have been flimsy and uncomfortable.
The menu for the flight was additionally positioned on every ottoman previous to boarding.
There was additionally a pillow and blanket at every seat, which have been cozy. This was solely a part of the bedding, because the airline affords turndown service when it’s time to sleep (frankly that’s essential, since for many passengers, turning the seat right into a mattress isn’t intuitive).
Shortly after boarding, every enterprise class passenger was provided a pre-departure drink, with the selection of champagne, orange juice, or water. I chosen a glass of champagne (Air New Zealand serves Laurent-Perrier Brut NV), and I beloved the flute it was served in.
Heat towels have been distributed later within the boarding course of.
Every enterprise class passenger was additionally provided an amenity equipment, that includes socks, eyeshades, earplugs, a pen, a dental equipment, hand cream, lip calm, and mouthwash.
Air New Zealand doesn’t provide pajamas in enterprise class (in contrast to Qantas), and doesn’t even provide slippers, which I discovered unusual.
Air New Zealand 787 departure from Auckland
Boarding completed up by 11:10PM, with 21 of the 27 enterprise class seats occupied. Round this time the captain got here on the PA so as to add his welcome aboard, informing us of our flight time of 11hr45min, and our preliminary cruising altitude of 35,000 toes. A second later the inflight service supervisor added her welcome aboard, after which the protection video was screened.
Air New Zealand is thought for its artistic security movies, so under is the one at the moment being proven.
At 11:20PM we started our taxi. The crew instantly took their jumpseats — in contrast to different airways, there’s no “flight attendants, put together for takeoff,” or chime when the airplane will get on the runway. We have been cleared for takeoff at 11:30PM, and rocketed off into the night time.
Air New Zealand 787 leisure & Wi-Fi
As we climbed out I browsed the leisure choice. Whereas the leisure display is small and never very excessive definition, the number of motion pictures and TV reveals was fairly good. There have been a complete of roughly 120 motion pictures and TV reveals, although lots of the TV reveals had a number of episodes (which I’m not counting towards that complete).
I ended up watching some episodes of Mr. Mayor, a present I had began watching throughout my outbound flight on Fiji Airways. I respect how Air New Zealand doesn’t have advertisements with its inflight leisure (I’m undecided if that’s at all times the case, or simply displays that the provider’s lengthy haul community was largely suspended for thus lengthy).
The leisure system additionally had a map characteristic, which I loved keeping track of all through the flight.
Air New Zealand additionally has a seat chat characteristic, although that’s not one thing I used.
Frustratingly, although, this Air New Zealand Boeing 787 didn’t have Wi-Fi. The airline is within the course of of putting in Wi-Fi on its 787s, however a majority of planes nonetheless don’t have it. Not having Wi-Fi on a 787 is fairly uncommon these days, so it’s one other space the place Air New Zealand is caught up to now.
Air New Zealand enterprise class dinner service
The seatbelt signal was turned off simply 5 minutes after takeoff, and the crew shortly sprung into motion to begin the dinner service. You will discover the dinner menu and drinks listing under.
Impressively, I used to be served my first drink 25 minutes after takeoff. I ordered a glass of sauvignon blanc (from New Zealand, in fact), and was provided some cashews to associate with it.
I used to be served my appetizer round 45 minutes after takeoff. The crew supplied this service from carts, after which set the tray tables instantly, quite than serving the meal on trays. There have been two decisions for starters, and I chosen the ahia smoked moki, fried capers, shaved fennel and orange salad, and black olive crisp.
I used to be additionally provided a range from the breadbasket — Air New Zealand’s bread is most undoubtedly above common. To drink I had a refill on my sauvignon blanc, and a glass of glowing water.
I used to be intrigued by the cutlery. Not solely did it have Air New Zealand branding, but it surely additionally listed the month and 12 months it was produced, I assume? I don’t suppose I’ve ever seen that earlier than.
Round 75 minutes after takeoff I used to be served my primary course. There have been 4 decisions, and I chosen the baked Marlborough salmon with preserved lemon couscous, inexperienced beans, ras-el-hanout, tomato purple pepper sauce. It sounded fairly interesting, however I discovered the dish (and specifically the fish) to be fairly dry and pretty flavorless.
90 minutes after takeoff dessert was served. I chosen the triple chocolate ice cream with caramel sauce and hokey pokey crumble. In fact it was scrumptious.
I used to be requested if I needed a cheese plate as effectively. I figured OMAAT readers would respect an image, so I stated sure. 😉 This was really served on two plates, with one plate having crackers, and the opposite plate having cheese and chutney. It was undoubtedly an above common enterprise class cheese plate.
All-in-all, the meal was fairly good. Was it epic and memorable? No. However I appreciated how the meal was served instantly on the tray, and the meals high quality was largely fairly good.
Air New Zealand 787 enterprise class mattress
After dinner I requested for turndown service, which the crew gladly supplied. Air New Zealand’s bedding is nice, as you get two pillows, a mattress pad, and a cover. The mattress pad is most undoubtedly wanted, since in any other case the floor is basically onerous.
The problem with the beds on this configuration is that there’s no approach to sleep at a slight incline, aside from utilizing pillows. Personally I normally prefer to put the seatback up a bit when sleeping, however that’s not attainable right here.
Whereas I’m in no way a fan of the herringbone seat design, one huge good thing about that is that your toes don’t have to suit right into a small footwell, so you may get fairly snug. Simply be certain your toes don’t stretch out too far, otherwise you’ll get hit by somebody within the aisle.
I fell asleep just below two hours after takeoff.
I managed to recover from 5 hours of sleep, and awoke round 4.5 hours earlier than touchdown. As a really unhealthy airplane sleeper, that’s fairly good for me.
I’ve usually written about how I’m not a fan of the Boeing 787 having electrical window dimmers quite than correct window shades. Simply to clarify why in an image, under is what the cabin regarded like whereas on the darkest attainable setting.
Air New Zealand 787 toilets
One superior side to Air New Zealand’s Boeing 787s is the toilets. The airplane had one toilet in entrance of enterprise class and two behind enterprise class (which have been shared with premium economic system). Very similar to on KLM, the toilets have cool wallpaper in addition to music if you lock the door. It’s cool how every toilet even has completely different wallpaper.
Whereas the toilet design was cool, it wasn’t stored clear in any respect. I think Air New Zealand doesn’t ask their crews to wash toilets (guidelines differ by airline), however the toilets have been all a multitude by the top of the flight.
Air New Zealand enterprise class breakfast service
Between meals there was a snack basket and bottled water within the galley, which passengers may assist themselves to. The snack basket had corn chips and chocolate chunk cookies.
Shortly after waking up I ordered a cup of espresso, and was proactively served a cookie and chocolate bar with it.
I acquired some work carried out on my laptop computer and watched a number of TV reveals, and earlier than I knew it, the breakfast service started. Round 2.5 hours earlier than touchdown, the crew began turning on a few of the temper lighting.
quarter-hour after that heat towels have been distributed, and 5 minutes after that breakfast orders have been taken. You will discover the breakfast menu under.
Two hours earlier than touchdown, the selection of juice or smoothies have been served, and I chosen one of many smoothies.
90 minutes earlier than touchdown a cart was rolled down the aisle to begin the correct breakfast service. I used to be requested if I needed fruit, yogurt, and/or muesli. I requested for some contemporary fruit with yogurt, in order that was ready for me proper there, and all served in a single bowl.
I used to be additionally provided a range from the breadbasket, and selected some toast.
For the principle course I chosen the smoked ahia moki and leek omelette with skillet kumara, rocket, and candy paprika cream. I appreciated that it was a bit completely different than your typical airplane omelet, although it’s humorous that that they had ahia moki for each the dinner and breakfast service.
Air New Zealand enterprise class service
I’m conflicted concerning the crew. They have been largely pleasant, although additionally form of stand offish. It was unusual, as a result of normally I come away from a flight with a powerful opinion concerning the service, whereas I’m undecided what to suppose right here. At occasions the flight attendants have been good, whereas at occasions they got here throughout as boastful (a minimum of to me), although on some degree I believe it could simply be a distinction in how some Individuals and Kiwis talk.
In the course of the meal service the crew was fairly pleasant and attentive, whereas they by no means handed by means of the cabin between meals.
There was additionally one flight attendant who stored commenting on my image taking. I’m undecided if she was aggravated or attempting to be humorous, however the fixed references to it made me really feel form of uncomfortable in a manner that nearly by no means occurs (and I each fly and take footage so much, for apparent causes).
Air New Zealand 787 arrival in Los Angeles
The crew slowly began to arrange the cabin for touchdown round an hour out, and so they additionally handed out little candies to every enterprise class passenger.
At round 3:35PM native time the captain introduced we’d be descending shortly, and can be touchdown at 4:05PM. We had some completely beautiful views on method, as we flew proper over Catalina after which over Lengthy Seashore, earlier than finally turning round to land at LAX.
We had a easy landing on runway 25L at 4:05PM.
From there we had a roughly 10 minute taxi to our arrival stand. We parked at gate 203, situated within the TBIT Midfield Satellite tv for pc Concourse.
From there I headed by means of immigration, and caught a redeye again to Miami (which I received’t be reviewing). Thanks for following alongside on this journey, and keep tuned for extra evaluations shortly!
Air New Zealand’s 787 enterprise class expertise wasn’t nice, plain and easy. The airline has outdated herringbone seats, and the cabin is beginning to present its age, regardless of being a 787. The airplane additionally didn’t have Wi-Fi, and had a small leisure display.
When it comes to smooth product, I’d say Air New Zealand is pretty good, with some excessive factors (like fairly good meals and nice bedding) and a few low factors (like no slippers, unhealthy headphones, and soiled toilets).
New Zealand is one in all my favourite nations on this planet, although I’ll be trying to fly one other airline the following time I journey there (and that’s good, since Air New Zealand not often makes enterprise class award seats accessible anyway). Right here’s to hoping Air New Zealand’s new enterprise class represents an enormous improve for the airline.
In case you’ve flown Air New Zealand enterprise class, what was your expertise like?