Premium Economy mini-Reviews

Old Oct 16, 06, 8:00 pm
  #1  
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Premium Economy mini-Reviews

A few mixed reviews have been circulating on Air New Zealand's PE service.

Thought I'd start a thread for people to put their own mini-review of what they thought of the PE service. If you could cut and past the bold headings below and just pop one or two points down about what you thought. I'm hoping that we can use the responses to figure out as a community whether the positives all have something in common and if the negatives have something in common (eg. aircraft flown, route, seat no., day/night flight), enabling us to book PE seats and flights more wisely.

These are the headers I was hoping to use:

Route / Plane
Day/Night flight
Seat No. (aisle / window / middle)
Check in ok?
Seat comfort (width ok?)
Legroom
Ease of getting in and out
Food
Drink
FA attentiveness
AVOD
Would you do it again?


I'll start with my brother's comments on a recent flight. Some info missing, which I will add after I speak to him nextL

Route / Plane - AKL - SFO 777

Day/Night flight - Night time departure (I think)

Seat No. (aisle / window / middle) - One of the middle ones in the PE cabin

Check in ok? - Very quick, very pleased

Seat comfort (width ok?) - No problem with seat size

Legroom - Good for sitting long periods

Ease of getting in and out - Difficult even with extra legspace

Food - knew it was going only to be Economy + cheese, but was disappointed anyway

Drink - Good wines but were only offered with prompting

FA attentiveness - Fine, except for drink top ups

AVOD - Huge imporvement over the old "share a movie", sometimes slow but good selection

Would you do it again? Maybe - he thought it was pretty average for the price difference, although seat pitch was good for long haul
Ann Tyrol is offline  
Old Oct 16, 06, 9:37 pm
  #2  
 
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Originally Posted by Ann Tyrol
A few mixed reviews have been circulating on Air New Zealand's PE service.
I've posted comments on this elsewhere, and wonder about the value of this exercise because all judgements are entirely relative to expectations, and some people having flown PE seem to be comparing it to Business Class, which it most definitely isn't. The seat isn't wide enough? Who said there was going to be a wide seat?

Anyway, I'll give it a go to see if it helps.

Route / Plane AKL-LAX-AKL / refurb 747
Day/Night flight Night
Seat No. (aisle / window / middle) 23K, the starboard side bulkhead window seat upstairs.
Check in ok? As usual in the premium check-in area(s).
Seat comfort (width ok?) As expected, with recline being more important to me than width.
Legroom Plenty of it in 23K, but the legrest was next to useless.
Ease of getting in and out No problem at all with the huge amount of room in that bulkhead row.
Food Nothing special, as expected.
Drink Not a big part of my flight experience, but adequate enough, as expected.
FA attentiveness Not flash, but again that's my expectation on that route on NZ. In relative terms that means exponentially superior to LCCs, hugely superior to most European and US flagship carriers, but just not as good as NZ used to be.
AVOD Again, not a big part of my flight experience, but adequate enough as expected.
Would you do it again? Yes.
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Old Oct 17, 06, 10:58 am
  #3  
 
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I'm looking into flying ANZ LHR - MEL return next August / Sept, so this thread is certainly of interest to me. I'm not really bothered about food or service, but I definitely want more personal space / legroom, and a couple of movies also help to kill time. Premium Pacific looks like the ideal solution without paying for full-on J. I have read that VS may be a better seat in PE, but I really want to go to MEL and understand that the transfer from International to Domestic at SYD is rather complicated. So ANZ to MEL in PE seems to tick all my boxes this side of a TARDIS.
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Old Oct 17, 06, 8:49 pm
  #4  
 
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Just briefly, have flown NZ Premium Econ a couple of times and I think it is overrated. I disagree with a previous poster about seat width. VS and Eva, to name just two airlines, offer wider seats in premium econ (for example, in the 747 VS layout in upper deck is 2-2 versus 2-3 for Air NZ. I also don't care about food and drink, and as a Star Gold can check in premium anyway. Having two crawl over two other passengers to reach the aisle in premium economy is a pain!

My overall impression is they have done this on the cheap, and missed a chance to create a really good product. You are better off in my view on United in the Economy Plus (which is free for premium passengers) or the old Thai planes, which have just as much or even more legroom in normal economy.

The only good thing in my view about the Air NZ premium econ is that you can try to use the standby 400 airpoints upgrade to get a business first bed.
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Old Oct 19, 06, 7:08 am
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Originally Posted by oranjemakker
You are better off in my view on United in the Economy Plus (which is free for premium passengers) or the old Thai planes, which have just as much or even more legroom in normal economy.
While I agree that it sounds like NZ have dropped the ball with a slightly half-hearted attempt at premium economy (I haven't tried it personally), that claim about the legroom is well wide of the mark. Thai have 34" of pitch in their best Y seats (the same as NZ's 744s, by the way; United have 34-35" in ther international Econ Plus product; AirNZ's premium Y is 38-40".

For me, the fact that the legroom in Y on NZ (in the 747s anyway) means that the sizeable price premium for Y+ just doesn't make sense, unless the seat really is a major leap forward in comfort and space, which it really doesn't seem to be (ineffective legrest being a particular culprit here). On a 777, where the Y legroom is less and therefore the incentive to pay extra might be more, the truly lame decision to go with 3+3+3 layout in Y+ rules that even further out of contention. The premium drink service is a great idea, but again it sounds like the reality is a bit half-hearted unless you know to ask for it.

Having said all that, it seems to be doing OK as a class. Just a pity they didn't put that bit of extra effort into it.
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Old Oct 19, 06, 2:37 pm
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Maybe I should check out VS after all. The new PE seats are 21.5" wide, as opposed to 18.5" for ANZ. Bother.

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Old Oct 25, 06, 6:45 pm
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Hi all,

Sorry, not quite a review, so possibly belongs elsewhere, but I've been looking at the benefits and customer reviews on AirNZ PE class from all across the internet, thought I'd summarise my findings in the hope that it may help others decide...

I'll do my own review on PE when I get back.....but not till next year..


My Summary of Others Thoughts on AirNZ Premium Economy.

1) 747 PE much better than 777 PE. But also note that 747 Economy much better than 777 Economy so that makes it tricky!! 747 only goes AKL-HKG-LHR and back, and some LAX-AKL flights, otherwise it's all 777.

2) Not really good value for money compared to cheaper economy prices, but certainly more recline and legroom, nicer (and self-service) alcohol selection, cheese at the end of main meals and access to the Premier toilets! So if your budget or airpoints can stretch it, for long haul, go on treat yourself, but don't expect luxury.

3) In theory better service than Economy, but reviews are very mixed across the board, from dismal to superb. Very much depends on how your crew morale feels on the day.

4) Much cheaper upgrade to Business class using airpoints, but only confirmable in advance with a U class PE fare, which is very pricey (Cheaper classes are O and E). Otherwise it's hope for a Standby Upg at the gate, good luck!!

5) Limited availability on 777's and not much more on 747. Also avoid the last row on 747 PE (25JK, and 26ABC, too close to the toilets).

6) Bulkhead row on 747 is now row 22, not 23 as previously reviewed. Has much more legroom, but possibly not as much width due to IFE and traytable being in the armrest.

7) Air New Zealand PE has more recline and legroom than almost all other PE's with other airlines, but is also more expensive than most, and without some other benefits that a few give.

8) Food is still Economy class (not getting good reviews, main complaint is size of meal), but with small cheese platter at the end, and better drinks.

9) Premium Check-In is a nice bonus, saves time, makes you feel important!!

10) You get to go upstairs on the 747!!!! Quieter (some noise during the night from flight crew though), more private, and hopefully no screaming babies!!

Hope this helps someone...

Cheers
TiggerK

Last edited by TiggerK; Oct 26, 06 at 1:21 am
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Old Oct 25, 06, 9:42 pm
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[QUOTE=mad_atta]While I agree that it sounds like NZ have dropped the ball with a slightly half-hearted attempt at premium economy (I haven't tried it personally), that claim about the legroom is well wide of the mark. Thai have 34" of pitch in their best Y seats (the same as NZ's 744s, by the way; United have 34-35" in ther international Econ Plus product; AirNZ's premium Y is 38-40".

mad-atta;
Thanks for the clarification... I should have checked my facts first on legroom first! I guess what i was trying to convey was that overall I did not feel it represented value for money, especially not in the 777. Actually am booked in PE on a flight to Hong Kong next week on the 747 but only because I am told I have a good change of getting a standby upgrade... fingers crossed!
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Old Oct 28, 06, 6:42 am
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Has PE got worse, I found it very good. I just want a slightly bigger seat with regular food and a little bit more FA attentiveness which I got. So PE suits my needs.

Route / Plane AKL-SFO-AKL 747 Oct 2005

Day/Night flight: Night then day then return during the night.

Seat No. (aisle / window; Left hand side 3 seater returned on the 2 seater side which was better, both times in row 24 I think. There was 2 of us travelling,

Check in ok? Premium checkin available which was nice.

Seat comfort (width ok?) Width ok; no problem

Legroom: Excellent, more than expected

Ease of getting in and out: No trouble

Food: Good enough; what I expected; dinner was nice; maybe breakfast could have been improved but I was overall happy with the meals.

Drink: first round alcohol and other drinks ok. Maybe more would have been nice but there was water available during the flight.

FA attentiveness: No problem; they serve the Premiere class first.

AVOD: Slow but still very nice. It was my first AVOD experience so great for what I wanted. Plenty of music and enough movies for me watch.

Would you do it again? Yes for sure, but wouldn't fly from Australia to NZ to get to Europe.

I booked PE within a week of it being offerred for sale April 2005 so got a excellent price. If I was going to the US again next year then would look at flying Air NZ PE. Didn't fly to the US this year. I dislike regular economy pitch, business is way out of my budget so PE is a nice inbetween.
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Old Oct 30, 06, 8:43 pm
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Hkg-lhr 29/10/2006

Route / Plane - HKG-LHR / B747-400 (Refurbished)

Day/Night flight - Day - Dep HKG 08:15 Arr LHR 13:35

Seat No. (aisle / window / middle)- 22A (Emergency exit window - not much of a window. You have to turn your head about 90 degrees)

Check in ok? - Used ITCI at Hong Kong Station, Central. Quick and courteous, very pleased

Seat comfort (width ok?) - Good recline, seat width as expected, nothing special. Preferred to use legrest without the foot bar.

Legroom - Plenty. No obstruction.

Ease of getting in and out - Excellent.

Food - Average. I've had worse and I've had better on other airlines. Nothing much to say. Meals for this sector: Breakfast, Afternoon Tea, Lunch.

Drink
- Asked for champagne and was told it was sparkling wine from New Zealand. Very nice FA let me try the Veuve Clicquot Ponsard from Business Premier throughout the flight. ^

FA attentiveness - Very good. Service with a smile. ^

AVOD - Not bad but a bit fiddly to use.

Would you do it again? - No, not for twice the price of normal economy.

Last edited by Strawb; Oct 30, 06 at 8:55 pm
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Old Oct 31, 06, 1:19 pm
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great report, thank you. Interesting.
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Old Oct 31, 06, 3:12 pm
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Yes thanks UK flyer, always keen to get more info...

I'll be in 22K, I assume the window is the same from what kiwibigdave has told me, is it actually a smaller window than normal, or is it just the 90 degree position that makes it not much of a window??

It's tossup between a decent view, and more legroom...

But then again, we've got 22JK on the way AKL-LHR via HKG and 23JK on the way back, so best of both worlds I suppose...

Is the self service area still there?? Some have said it wasn't.

Cheers
TiggerK
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Old Oct 31, 06, 3:40 pm
  #13  
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the emergency door doesnt have much of a window, and the windows in front of the emergency door are not clearly visible from "window" seat (except on the other side of the a/c) due to the door protrusion making the nearest window with best view the one behind the emergency door
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Old Oct 31, 06, 5:00 pm
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Originally Posted by TiggerK
I assume the window is the same from what kiwibigdave has told me, is it actually a smaller window than normal, or is it just the 90 degree position that makes it not much of a window??
Just to clarify, the only window you can see clearly out of whilst in the bulkhead K seat is exactly the same size as all the windows upstairs (except for the one in the UDR door) - but you can't see out of it without turning through 90 degrees because it's a little behind your shoulders. You can't see out of the UDR window - which is smaller, without getting out of your seat.

Originally Posted by TiggerK
It's tossup between a decent view, and more legroom...
Not for me You get the extra legroom for the entire duration of the flight, but the window might be worth looking out of for about 15 minutes at each end of the sector.
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Old Oct 31, 06, 8:23 pm
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I don't do trip reports on FlyerTalk but I did do a report for my flight which I posted on another site. Here it is:

NZ39 HKG-LHR Pacific Premium Economy
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