a VirtualTourist member from Havre de Grace
my husband and i will be traveling from east coast of us to south island oct, 2013. we are in late 50's and wondering if worth extra money for mid-range air new zealand flights. would appreciate hearing from anyone who has taken this trip and suggestions for making it tolerable.
When you say "the east coast of us" it would be helpful to know where you live.
baltimore but will probably fly southwest airlines to west coast. thanks
whether something is worth the money is always subjective....it's a 12 hour slog across the Pacific with Air NZ, and the flight will terminate in Auckland...in the North Island...it's another 1 hour 10 to Christchurch, or about 50m to Wellington, plus the delay of getting through immigration and customs (Wellington might be appropriate if you plan to start in the Marlborough Sounds...3 hours 20 for the ferry to Picton)
So...plan to spend a day recuperating in Auckland. I guess you mean Premium Economy rather than "cuddle class" when you say "mid-range" ?. I'm early 60s and over 6ft and I'd keep the money and take the pain because I know I'm going to feel pretty awful anyway. I've done business class AKL - LAX when somebody else paid and ordinary economy and my body clock can't tell the difference
Not so long ago I flew Economy across the Pacific, and returned Premium Economy, better seats. But for the extra expense I didn't feel any huge difference comfort ways.
But I guess really it depends on the length of your legs. I have short legs :-)
I recommend Air New Zealand, they gave great service. I often find the excitement gets me through the long trip. Inflight entertainment is great these days, personal - you don't have to watch same movie as everyone else and the choice was varied and new.
If either of you are on the larger size, or have long legs, Premium Economy would be better.
I have not tried Premium Economy on Air NZ, so can't tell. But I have flown 14 hours in Premium Economy on a Qantas flight, it was fantastic, and if I could afford it I would always go for it. No-one knocks against your seat or at least you do not feel it because the seat is inside a stable "box", there is room to climb over your neighbour if you have a window seat without disturbing him, there is no elbowing, less people, less crying infants... I was more relaxed than after any other flight I have been on.
There might be someone who can compare this class on Air NZ and Qantas, I can't.
Otherwise I would just make sure to be in the middle with an aisle and the adjoining seat, so only you and your wife have to cope with each other ;-) I find it very annoying when you are in a three-seat row with an aisle and centre seat and the third person has to get out regularly and disturbs your sleep (if you can sleep as easily as I do).
Re. the flight to the South Island, I would opt for flying from Auckland to Christchurch and rent a car there and drop it off there, and fly back to Auckland. This is by far the most time- and cost-effective option.
I also think Air NZ has quite good service and the far better food than any US airline. Sorry to say that ;-))
might be worth a look at seatguru for a wider range of opinions (not necessarily better !) Air NZ could be flying 747-400 or 777-300 - your flight details will tell you what is scheduled...but that could change between now and October
Air NZ only fly the 747 on the SanFrancisco - Auckland route. They use 777s on the LAX - Akld route.
Sissi you just convinced me to use Premium Economy again :-) Your Qantas experience sounds much the same as AirNZ. I was even lucky enough to have no one sitting next to me which was a surprise as they told me the flight was full, and it seemed full too except for the seat next to me :-) I was upstairs in the 747 on the SF - Ak route. Lovely little area that is quiet and not so 'busy' even when full. I'd do that again for sure.
Of course the 747s are older than the 777s but still a nice experience. Air NZ has their last 2 in good shape :-)