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Old Jan 15, 11, 5:10 pm
Gotta Requalify
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: BNE Aust
Programs: SQ *G, QF S, Hilton Gold, SPG Gold, Accor Advantage Platinum
Posts: 685
Route AKL-MEL - NZ123 – Jan 15
Day/Night flight Day (8am)
Cabin / Seat No. (aisle / window / middle) Business - Window

Seat comfort (width ok?) Yes, not a lot of difference from the old business seats. I didn’t try the bed in bed mode, but it is lot more softer and has a felt rather than leather for the sleeping side. They also have two bigger pillows now and the small blue one has gone.
Buttons for seat, converting to bed etc. are in the same location, but are not touch sensitive, they are now buttons, that need to be pressed, so no accidental brushing. I think this was very positive.

Legroom Herringbone - easy to stretch out. Seat reclined a lot more so gap between seat and ottoman appeared less, when stretching out.

Ease of getting in and out No problem.

Food What food? As stated by KiwiBigDave, they are trying the Transpacific offering on Trans Tasman. Apart from getting a pre-departure drink, I was served nothing else for over 2 hours in a 3:15 flight. No Water, no other drinks, no food. When my main course for the breakfast did turn up 50 minutes before arrival, the serving size was larger than previous, the plates are larger, but the food was cold. You can see what they are trying to do, but they need more practise.

I was travelling with my family – the two children had special meals. One was a childs meal and the other was gluten free – their pre-plated meals turned up 45 minutes before arrival. They had nothing delivered to them before that. The child's meel was the same as the one described by KiwiBigDave. The Gluten Free Meal was Scrambled Eggs, Sausages and Hash Browns - Good Size as well. I had the hot cakes but they were cold.

Drink With 30 minutes to go I got served my first drink since before takeoff. They also have new glassware and plates for everything. The sparkling wine glasses are different.

FA attentiveness Sort off – They came and explained the new meal options and what they were trying. They rushed past every so often, but coming and seeing us – 2 hours into the flight before my table was set. They forgot table items and seemed stressed because they couldn’t get the galleys working properly. They tried to be attentive when you could get to talk to them. But failed overall.

AVOD Wonderful. Touch screen. Very responsive. Wouldn’t say better than other airlines. But vast improvement over the previous Air New Zealand system. Pressing the screen actioned straight away. Only slow part was the maps. You had to wait 30+ seconds after you touched the screen for anything to happen for the flight show, but other than that, everything was instant. Under TV, they had full seasons of The Simpsons, Family Guy, Glee, 6+ episodes of other TV series. Easy to navigate and find things.

The remote is there, but with everything on the screen, apart from volume control didn’t use it. The headphone socket is easy to see now and use. Apart from power, you also have a USB plug and the Apple iphone / ipod / ipad DIN connector to view your movies on the screen. But I didn’t use this option.

You could see the options for the order meals on demand, but these weren’t loaded on this flight.

Would you do it again? No – not for another 2-3 months until they sorted themselves out. I would also make sure I wasn’t on the first Trans-Pacific flight. They need a lot more on-board training, not just to get use to the new galleys and layout, but also the new eat when you want system, setting the tables, process flow for getting meals out of the galley.
Give it 3 months and they know what they are doing – you bet ya. The IFE is way better, the seat is more confortable.

Other thoughts?
They gave us some of the new amenity kits that they will be using long haul. Once I get my photos loaded, I will give you a better description of that. But early reaction is cute – but fails at a few basic levels., like reusability. Kids also got the

I flew RAR-AKL on Friday on the 772, and AKL-MEL on Saturday on the 77W so it was easy to compare the two planes. They have a different Safety video at the start. The 772 has the All Blacks one, on the 77W they have one featuring Rico. Not living in NZ, or watched any of the commercials, this was the first time I had seen or heard him. Everything in the video is subtitled except what Rico says. So I missed most of what he said. For the All Black safety video, it was interesting and worth watching each time. I doubt I would pay attention to the Rico one again, as it not attention grabbing.

The crew in Business had the new uniform on. It looked a lot better. I have a photo of old vs new to post.

Overall I can see where they are heading. It is in the right direction. But didn’t like the practise they gave on me. Waiting for over two hours in business class for any sort of service item was a bit too long.
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