777-300 ER mini-reviews

Old Dec 31, 10, 7:34 pm
  #1  
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777-300 ER mini-reviews

Borrowing from Ann Tyrol's Premium Economy mini-reviews thread, here's one for 777-300 ER flights commencing 10 Jan 2011.

Originally Posted by Ann Tyrol View Post
... a thread for people to put their own mini-review of what they thought of the ... service.
Route
Day/Night flight
Cabin / Seat No. (aisle / window / middle)
Seat comfort (width ok?)
Legroom
Ease of getting in and out
Food
Drink
FA attentiveness
AVOD
Would you do it again?
Other thoughts?
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Old Jan 13, 11, 3:20 am
  #2  
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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  
Old Jan 13, 11, 7:24 am
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thank you very much for the first review.

can you provide a bit more information regarding #6? this sounds as if the new pe+ is more suited for day flights or is it possible to get some sleep? regarding the dvt: is the bean bag not big enough so it can not be reached in a reclined position if one is < 6ft?

the seat looks a bit hard on the images or is it ok for longer flights?
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Old Jan 13, 11, 8:19 am
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The NZ Jet Cadets are a part of the new cabin sevice. Aimed at kids aged 5-12 or thereabouts, I believe. Should be perfect to keep me occupied on the long hauls!
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Old Jan 13, 11, 10:41 am
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Thanks for the detailed review kiwibigdave ^
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Old Jan 13, 11, 11:03 am
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Thanks for an excellent, comprehensive review kiwibigdave ^^

Originally Posted by kiwibigdave View Post
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.
...
(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.
I'm interested in your comments about legroom and the JK seats. Did your 6'2" neighbour find that without twisting around, his feet were jammed up against the seat in front? That sounds like a bit of a worry - as a 6'2" person myself I always avoid bulkhead seats (like the old row 1 A320 J seats) for that very reason. Also, from your comment it sounds like the window seats have even less legroom - is that right?

Also, how hard is it for people in the window pairs to interact with each other, compared to, say, how hard it is in the current J seats if you're in seats one behind the other?

Originally Posted by kiwibigdave View Post
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.
I'm not sure if you were being sarcastic... but if not this might help jog your memory
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Old Jan 13, 11, 12:16 pm
  #7  
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Originally Posted by Trafficbroker View Post
can you provide a bit more information regarding #6? this sounds as if the new pe+ is more suited for day flights or is it possible to get some sleep? regarding the dvt: is the bean bag not big enough so it can not be reached in a reclined position if one is < 6ft?
The seat has two separate movements, with a lever each; recline and tilt. I guess my point is that I don't understand why the second is needed, as what it does is raise the front of the seat cushion and drop the rear. This has the effect of lifting your knees and sinking your butt. This won't affect anyone's ability to sleep - just don't action the lever. Ditto the bean bag, easy to reach either sitting or reclined, but if you activate the tilt it gets further away from your feet. I just don't know why you'd do that unless you were tall, in which case you lose recline as your butt sinks.

Originally Posted by Trafficbroker View Post
the seat looks a bit hard on the images or is it ok for longer flights?
I didn't find it hard at all.



Originally Posted by mad_atta
I'm interested in your comments about legroom and the JK seats. Did your 6'2" neighbour find that without twisting around, his feet were jammed up against the seat in front? That sounds like a bit of a worry - as a 6'2" person myself I always avoid bulkhead seats (like the old row 1 A320 J seats) for that very reason.
He wasn't my neighbour, but I could see his legs from where I was sitting, so went to take a look. In any case your conclusion is the one I was suggesting; every Y+ seat is essentially a row 1 seat. e.g. In Y, if you're tall, you can always hunker down a little more and get your legs further under the seat in front. In this seat, as you've figured, once you hit the wall you hit the wall.

But I really don't want to make this sound worse than it is by accident. There is legroom, but it runs out. I'll be looking to hear from someone taller to report back on their actual experience.

Originally Posted by mad_atta
Also, from your comment it sounds like the window seats have even less legroom - is that right?
"My bad" - as they say up over. No - not less leg room, I was referring to the ease of getting in and out of the herringbone. Not impossible by any stretch - certainly easier than a middle seat in Y, but I believe much harder than it would be from the window Y+ seat on a 747.

Originally Posted by mad_atta
how hard is it for people in the window pairs to interact with each other, compared to, say, how hard it is in the current J seats if you're in seats one behind the other
Not as difficult as the J seats, but not by much. i.e. You do have to lean a reasonable way forward to even sight the person next door, and that wouldn't be comfortable for long. In fact, further to my comments about the monitor arm, I now wonder that you might not be able to lean far enough forward at all if the monitor was rotated out? You'd just scone yourself. Hmmm, maybe someone else can test that out?


Originally Posted by mad_atta
re Paul Smith
OK, that made me smile No, not being sarcastic, when I saw the name tag it just made me think I'd seen the name in an NZ context. i.e. I'd have got a similar feeling if the name tag said "Bruce Parton" - it just rang a bell.

kbd
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Old Jan 13, 11, 1:59 pm
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I sawmentioned somewhere that the seat tilt is there to help stop those in smooth clothes(slippery, not specifically suave) from sliding down the seat when reclined. This seems like a nice idea in theory, but I'm not sure how well it would actually work in practice.
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Old Jan 13, 11, 3:39 pm
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Originally Posted by NZ*Trout View Post
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I sawmentioned somewhere that the seat tilt is there to help stop those in smooth clothes(slippery, not specifically suave) from sliding down the seat when reclined. This seems like a nice idea in theory, but I'm not sure how well it would actually work in practice.
I saw that as well.
However when I sat in a mock up in the WLG KC, I did not think that the "recline" was that impressive, I did notice the seat pan went forward.
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Old Jan 14, 11, 5:51 pm
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Thanks kiwibigdave for the information,
It looks like there is no risk of the new PE cannibalising Business. My travel policy will not be changing, for one.
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Old Jan 15, 11, 1:36 pm
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Old Jan 15, 11, 5:10 pm
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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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Old Jan 15, 11, 6:13 pm
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Originally Posted by Gotta Requalify View Post
... 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. ...
It seems it's upon us ...
Originally Posted by serfty View Post
Looks like the first transpacific operational flight is scheduled for TODAY!

NZ 6 AKL 16/01/11 7:15 PM LAX 16/01/11 10:30 AM 773
C2 D0 Z0 J0 U0 E0 O0 A0 Y7 B7 M2 H2 Q2 V0 W0 T0 L0 S0 G0 X0 K0 P0

NZ 5 LAX 16/01/11 10:00 PM AKL 18/01/11 8:00 AM 773
C2 D0 Z0 J0 U0 E0 O0 A0 Y7 B7 M7 H7 Q7 V6 W5 T2 L1 S0 G0 X0 K0 P0
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Old Jan 16, 11, 12:37 am
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Flew the new 777 to Melbourne on NZ123 last wednesday. Was booked into 23 behind the bulkhead which was a little tight, but the plane wasn't full so swapped across the aisle.

Found the new seating very good even though sitting on an angle was a bit disconcerting at first. The new IFE was much improved although my elbow kept on bumping the remote and stopping the movie - until I worked out what was going on!

Its also very convenient have AC jacks close by.

All in all, much improved from the old PE.
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Old Jan 16, 11, 1:28 am
  #15  
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I am surprised how excited people are about the 773. Aircraft wise a 777 is about the least comfortable plane IMHO. Loud, big, unpleasant. I can see the appeal for PE and maybe the skycouch but for Y or C I'd rather be on a 747.

Don't get me wrong, I like what NZ has done to PE and J on this bird, it really is just about the aircraft itself.

Just my $0.02.
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