View Single Post
Old Jan 13, 11, 3:20 am
  #2  
kiwibigdave
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,315
Route AKL-MEL
Day/Night flight Day (AM)
Cabin / Seat No. (aisle / window / middle) Y+, JK seats
Seat comfort (width ok?) The seat was impressive.

Seat pros? Significantly better than anything in Y. The 'bulkhead' / frame of the seat will give pax who can't normally sleep sitting straight and upright a few more options to contort themselves for comfort. If you're travelling solo the AB and JK seats will give a whole extra degree of privacy. The 2+2+2 configuration.

Seat cons? No one big thing, but I just have to wonder about numerous little things, for no other reason than I can. (But let me be clear; this Y+ seat will be a fabulous bonus as a Space+ equivalent when flying TT.) However, just a few niggles, for things I think NZ had an opportunity to get right. My comparison point is Y+ on a 747 or 777-200. And I stress, these are just wee niggles.
  1. There is nowhere to rest a cup or store a water bottle without opening the tray table. Even in Y on other aircraft you can store a water bottle in the safety card / magazine pouch. And certainly this whole Y+ seat structure has loads of spare real estate where a cup holder seemed it could go.
  2. The tray table has a fixed depth aspect, so you can't open it out then pull it closer towards you. You can half open it at the seat back. And you can fully open it and swing it across your body (from left to right in the starboard side herringbone in my case). But you can't get it fully open and closer.
  3. A pet peeve with aircraft headsets, where the plug socket is on the right hand side of the seat but the cable connects to the left ear-piece, so the cable drapes across your body if you wear them 'the right way around'. (Excellent, comfy, noice cancelling headset though.) And ditto the AVOD remote; the cable connects to 'the wrong end' when you're holding it the right way up as a gaming controller.
  4. The AVOD, as Freeth mentioned in another thread, seems a lot more responsive. That's good. However, of the two positions you can effectively have the thing running in; in place in the seat back in front, or rotated out in front of your body, in the former you can't tilt the screen, and in the latter it just seemed really really close - even though there was the real estate to push it further away from you, albeit you couldn't because the arm was at its capacity. Just a strange set-up, IMHO.
  5. The orientation of the seat was just a little unnerving, in that the seat back in front is square to the fuselage, but the seat itself herringboned. So I found myself sitting a bit sideways in the seat by default, which was bizarre, and no doubt a personal failing, but I mention it because it was so noticeable. My own NZ experience is that you can sit comfortably square in Y, and (more than) comfortably herringboned in J, but ... yeah ... unnerving is all I can say to describe the apparent mix in this cabin.
  6. I couldn't really 'get' the tilt function of the seat. You can recline it easily enough; back drops down a little, seat cushion pushes forward. But the tilt seemed to reverse most of that; lowering the rear of the seat cushion and raising the very front edge. So you ended up back in a 'straight L' overall position, just tipped back a bit. Maybe that's a fix for the tall folk, but for shorter folk that position is a DVT risk waiting to happen.
  7. The armrest on the aisle side - which is raised when you arrive, has a little release lever labelled 'Pull' that is supposed to drop the arm. It needs to say 'Twist or pull or push until you fluke a release'.

Legroom More than fine for me at something under 6ft, with the 'foot well' and foot cushion combo being significantly better than the next to useless footrest in PE on the 747. However, for taller pax there will be no escaping there being no such thing as 'under the seat in front of you'. i.e. The back of every seat is a bulkhead in its own right. The chap in 23F - who was easily 6'2", had his body twisted to get his legs out across the aisle.

Ease of getting in and out From the B, D, F and J seats fine. From the A and K seats a bit of a challenge, because the herringbone is so pronounced there.

Food Above average, due to the crew practicing a long-haul breakfast service on a TT flight, to generally familiarise themselves with the 77W set-up. A fruit salad to start, and then a choice of scrambled eggs, pancakes, or Bircher muesli. On proper (non-plastic) plates, with proper (non-plastic) cutlery / silverware. Nice. Yoghurt and croissants were offered separately. The kids got scrambled eggs, baked beans and sausage, plus a box of fruit-juice.

Drink NZ still does a great smoothie.

FA attentiveness Impressive, with that refreshing Kiwi air of familiarity; "I'm Kathy, and you are?" before take-off, and then "excuse me Dave" for the rest of the journey.

AVOD Outstanding compared to any other system on any other airline.

Would you do it again? If I scored these seats TT? Absolutely? With wife and kids in tow? Ditto, though I'd definitely select the DF seats for everyone, because they're "less private". (It's really hard to interact with your neighbour in the JK seats.) On a long long-haul? I'd do it for me and / or family for sure. Would I recommend it for someone over 6ft versus Y+ on a 747 / 777. A tough call.

Other thoughts? I wandered back to Y a couple of times, to see what I could see, and a couple of observations. It just looks cramped. 320 style cramped. Really narrow aisle cramped. And the plane was packed to the gills, with not a single skycouch in couch mode.

Overall impression? This new Y+ seat is a real innovation, and does NZ proud. In a MKII version they could address some minor niggles. If you're tall, don't choose a window seat. If you're really tall, save up for J

Other, other observations? The kids got a nifty 'NZ Jet Cadets' kiddie pack, which might have been a unique thing for this being an early flight for the new aircraft. The crew were absolute professionals - presumably hand-picked to get the early experience. The ISD or whatever they're called now was Paul Smith. Why does that name ring a bell to me? The flight left 40 minutes late, made it nearly all up before descent, then lost 20 minutes in a protracted go-round.
kiwibigdave is offline