Having just stepped off what I swear will be my last Qantas flight ever (ex-SYD leg was above average save for the use of a domestic-configured 767 but the ex-AKL sector was appalling with the same domestic 767 and crew who made me feel like I'd intruded on a funeral with the countenance to match - not one smile during the whole flight and a cabin services director who was more incompetent than Bush at grammar), those Air NZ A320s are looking even more attractive than ever - even with a 42" pitch in J, which couldn't possibly be worse than whatever miserly seat pitch is fitted on those QF domestic ZX* series.
The question: is cabin separation enforced on the Air NZ A320? The reason I ask is mainly a bathroom issue - from my understanding of the 320 there is one bathroom forward and two bathrooms at the back - so, as Air NZ have advertised on their website, 2 for the Y pax and the front one for the 8 J pax. Does this work in practice? On the BA Airbuses the Y pax often go forward to use the front bathroom, and I wouldn't be too happy to see that on NZ.
Air New Zealand are pretty good about keeping the dedicated J toilets separate from Y by the mere fact that the keep the separating curtain closed for most of the flight - except for landing and take off.
Your Qantas flight sounds dire! How was the catering?
Catering was pretty much the only high point on the AKL-SYD flight (breakfast). Coming back the dinner was better than in the past - QF have put in a starter and a separate tea/coffee service a la Air NZ and I actually stepped off the plane not feeling hungry, which doesn't happen very often
But the service on the first leg was enough of a miss to make me not want to fly QF again, even for the miles.
Programs: OZ*G, QF QPPS, VA silv, NZ*roach, Former 'bottom-feeder' AC*G
You should give the A320 service a try, B-HXB - you may be pleasantly surprised. The seats are ultra wide and very comfy; there's a nice smell of new leather; catering is back to its normal standards (though some would argue that quantities are down - personally I didn't notice that); and the pitch is absolutely fine for that length of flight - the only drawback is that recline is not particularly impressive if you are wanting to sleep. I was certainly not aware of anyone from Y coming forward into the J cabin - the curtain was kept firmly closed at all times. The only intrusion was me stumbling drunkenly into the Y cabin... but that's another story!