Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Community > Trip Reports
Reload this Page >

Air NZ Biz SFO-LAX-AKL-SYD-AKL-LAX-SFO

Air NZ Biz SFO-LAX-AKL-SYD-AKL-LAX-SFO

Old Jul 4, 07, 12:26 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: San Francisco, CA
Programs: Delta Silver Medallion, PC, AA, UA
Posts: 183
Air NZ Biz SFO-LAX-AKL-SYD-AKL-LAX-SFO

This trip report can’t compare to the incredible report posted by Lucky9876coins, but it’s the best I could do for my first report. I need to figure out a good place to post and share pictures of the trip. Hope everyone enjoys the report as much as we enjoyed the trip.

April 15, 2007: LAX – AKL NZ05 Biz Premier

Arrived via SFO earlier in the day (our UA flight was cancelled due to a mechanical issue. they put us on a Fronteir flight that left 4 hours later. good thing we had scheduled a whole day in LA before our evening flight to AKL. I asked UA to refund us some miled since we had been booked in First for the SFO-LAX flight and they gave us both 7K miles refund...very nice.) So we arrived in LA around 1pm and we spent some time with a friend. The friend dropped my wife and I off at LAX Terminal 2 around 6:30pm for our 10:30pm flight. We wanted to check out the Theme Restaurant near the tower but apparently it’s out of business. So we checked in and went right up to the lounge. Food there was a corn chowder and a sandwiches and cheese. The usual selection of NZ wines (mostly Oyster Bay) and 42 Below Vodka along with the makings for special cocktails. We each had a Honey Infused Vodka/Apple Juice cocktail…not bad. A table was reserved beside us and it appeared that some foot......s and their wives were either returning to AKL or going on to LHR that night. They had their Champagne and what not and left before we did. The Steward in charge of our flight came around and introduced himself to everyone which was a nice touch. A short while after 10 we were called to board. We took our seats in 5A and 5K. The menus were waiting for us on the seat with a wine guide and a plastic amenity pack that contained the basics. We settled in with a glass of Champagne and some Veggie Crisps. We were airborne by 10:35. I was slightly odd to be looking directly across the plane and not forward. You get a totally different experience looking this way and seeing the earth fall away below you outside the opposite windows. Soon enough we were at altitude and they told us about the flight and the entertainment system. They took our drink order. I asked about the reds. They were serving only two. I was a little surprised because the wine guide lists almost 20 different reds. I would come to learn that the most flights would carry a selection from the list. Not everything on it. Fair enough. I asked for a glass of both reds. A 2004 Palliser Estate Pinot Noir and a 2003 Pegasus Bay Merlot Cabernet. Both were very good. I had another glass or two of the Pinot.

Supper (that’s what the menu called it):
We started with “Olive Oil poached New Zealand salmon with haricot vert, frisee, mache, balsamic red onions and hazelnut aioli. Very good. For the main I had “Pan roasted New Zealand Snapper with truffled corn coulis, rock shrimp spatzle, sweet peas, summer corn and suated pea greens.” Again very good. The dessert was a “gourmet ice cream of caramel cone and double chocolate chip ice cream with vanilla almond wafer. Of course then we had the New Zealand cheeses and a glass of port (not sure which one). The meal and service was very good to excellent.

After dinner I watched the James Bond movie and fell asleep. The bed was fitted out with a mattress pad, pillow and comforter and was very comfortable. But with all the wine and drink in my system I probably only slept 4-5 hours. Not bad but could have been better if I was more sober. Woke up with about 2-3 hours to go and they served breakfast.

Breakfast:
I had coffee and an apricot smoothie. The smoothie is more like flavored yogurt but still good. They offered fruit and cereal and a variety of baked goods but I passed. I did have the “Orange brioche French toast with passion fruit cream and manuka honey and apple syrup. Not a bad way to start the day.

About 45 minutes prior to landing they shut down the entertainment system. We flew over Auckland in the dark. By the time we reached our gate it was just about day break. We went up to the lounge and had a nice shower. Looks like they reuse the bars of soap, I didn’t, which was a little odd. After the shower we had a second (of three we’d have that day) breakfast in the lounge. Some Bircher muesli (I tried it and I like it) and some baked goods, fruit, and coffee. The lounge was very nice and we found a nice sofa in the second room with some nice big windows to watch the morning take shape. So far the trip had been everything we’d expected. Awesome.


April 17, 2007: NZ 703 AKL-SYD

I had requested the second row on this A320 but for some reason we were put in the first row. We took our seats and I was immediately disappointed in the legroom. It was only a 3.5 hour flight but after coming from the wonderful seat on the 747 it was a bit of a let down. They brought us some Mimosas which were very good and we settled in. They brought out the personal DVD player which was nice but proved a bit cumbersome when you were trying to eat. We are both vegetarians (actually pescatarians) and both breakfast options included meat so we went with the omelet since the meat was on the side and we could just not eat it. The omelet was pretty sad. Not very tasty but maybe by then our taste buds had shut down since this was our third breakfast of the day. Hey, we’re on vacation. The flight was over before we knew it and we were finally in OZ for the first time in our lives. Very exciting!

April 30, 2007: NZ 102 SYD-AKL

Arrived in the lounge around 2 hours prior to our flight that would leave at 9:30am. The lounge in SYD was really nice. I used the Internet on one of their PCs and had some breakfast. Watched the action out the window and made a few phone calls. Our first trans Tasman flight was on an A320 and this flight would be a 767 so I was curious what to expect. Well, it was no comparison. The 767 were the hands down winner. The DVD player was in the armrest so you didn’t have to struggle with it. We had and awesome lunch with a variety of great options, and most of all it felt like the legroom was substantially greater on the 767 than on the A320 (we were in row one on the 320 so maybe that was the reason for the limited legroom). Again we started with some Champagne and browsed through the movie list. The menu listed lunch and not breakfast which I was really pleased about.

Lunch:
For lunch I had the “Homemade gnocchi in horopito cream sauce with sautéed leek, carrot and bell peppers and shaved parmesan” which was great. Of all the food and drink on Air New Zealand my favorite thing was the 2005 Highfield Estate Pinot Noir. I had more than my fair share on this flight. It agreed with me.

Needless to say, I enjoyed the flight. Touched down in AKL around 3pm. We’d have a week in NZ and we were really looking forward to it.


May 6, 2007: NZ 006 AKL-LAX

We’d usually dread flying back home after a three week vacation (well, we’d never been on a three week vacation before so actually we wouldn’t know what it felt like to return home after one) but knowing we had the biz premiere seats for the AKL-LAX return really took the sting out of the sadness that goes with the end of any great vacation. We arrived at AKL about three hours prior to our 7:30pm departure and checked in through the Biz Premier check in. Looked around the shops and duty free. Almost bought some 42 Below Vodka in the nice bottle but it was twice as much as Absolut and I can’t say it’s that much better to me. Unique yes, but not worth twice as much. We went up to the lounge and had some snacks. They had a beautiful selection set up at the buffet. We tried a bunch of things including the hummus. Very good. I had another 42 below cocktail and we chatted with a couple from Christchurch. Before long it was time to board. We took our seats and this time we were right next to each other in 4A and 5A. After trying both the side by side and across the aisle seating arrangement for my wife and I, the conclusion is that they are both fine. Some will prefer one over the other but honestly, either is fine.

Dinner (not "Supper" as it was listed on the outbound LAX-AKL):
For dinner on this flight we started with “Manuka poached king prawns with fennel, baby curly endive, mango and dill dressing.” Next it was the 42 Below vodka marinated and carmelised salmon with asparagus, kaffir lime mash, citrus crème fraiche and watercress.” Of course we had the cheese selection and a desert of “lemon meringue pie ice cream and manuka honey chestnut ribbon ice cream with vanilla almond wafer. Alongside this was an apple and black doris plum tart with titoki liqueur cream. Everything was great.

After dinner I watched another move…can’t remember what it was, then fell asleep. Woke up 4 hours later and waited ‘til breakfast. For breakfast I had the Lemon curd ricotta cakes with yohurt and pohutukawa honey cream and fresh strawberry compote along with the usual fruit smoothie, coffee, and a piece of toast. Everything was excellent.

As we approached LA we flew over Catalina and the view was incredible. Very clear day. Came over Long Beach and then headed north to LAX. Touched down on time but had to wait about 20 minutes for some equipment around our gate to be moved. We left the plane and waited almost an hour for our bags. Apparently it was a very busy day. Walked over to the United Terminal and had an uneventful flight back up to SFO.

This is my first trip report posting and I realize it’s too long. I haven’t even mention the highlights of the trip. Snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef, Dinner at The Cinema Restaurant in KeriKeri, The Stone Store Lodge in Keri Keri, golf at a great country course in Ahipara (northern NZ), and lunch at Te Wahu on Waiheke Island near Auckland, the Quadrant Hotel in Auckland, and all of the great places, wine, food and people we found in these two great countries.
bobgold is offline  
Old Jul 4, 07, 12:49 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Arizona, USA
Posts: 2,298
Wow. The food on Air New Zealand sounds fantastic. I've only flown on them in economy and the food was quite good, but this sounded amazing. I'm glad that you had a pleasant trip.
Mats is offline  
Old Jul 4, 07, 12:51 pm
  #3  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 23,996
Let me be the first (ok, apparently second) to say this is a very nice report and brings back some great memories (although not even too long ago!). It looks like you enjoyed your flights a lot on NZ, as much as I did! I agree that Biz Premier is a great product, and besides the new SQ C, probably one of the best. The one slight thing where I differ in opinion with you on is the 767 vs. the A320. I personally enjoyed the A320 more because it was much more modern and had pretty good legrests. While the DVD player is not practical, I do like the fact that it's AVOD, not to mention that the trays are designed so that you can fit both on the tray table. Thanks again!^
lucky9876coins is offline  
Old Jul 4, 07, 3:23 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Programs: NZ Koru
Posts: 5,860
Originally Posted by lucky9876coins View Post
Let me be the first (ok, apparently second) to say this is a very nice report and brings back some great memories (although not even too long ago!). It looks like you enjoyed your flights a lot on NZ, as much as I did! I agree that Biz Premier is a great product, and besides the new SQ C, probably one of the best. The one slight thing where I differ in opinion with you on is the 767 vs. the A320. I personally enjoyed the A320 more because it was much more modern and had pretty good legrests. While the DVD player is not practical, I do like the fact that it's AVOD, not to mention that the trays are designed so that you can fit both on the tray table. Thanks again!^
Note the from Mid next year this problem with the IFE will be fixd as Air NZ will instal PTV's with AVOD in all classes on the A320 and B767.
http://www.airnz.co.nz/aboutus/media...7s_26jun07.htm

There is also a rumor that biz class will be removed from these aircraft during the upgrade and replaced with Y+.
cavemanzk is offline  
Old Jul 4, 07, 3:29 pm
  #5  
Moderator, CoronaVirus and Hilton Honors
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: on a short leash
Programs: some
Posts: 71,020
Nice report bobgold ^
Kiwi Flyer is offline  
Old Jul 4, 07, 9:33 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Paris, France
Programs: United 1K - Starwood LifetimePlatinum - Air France/KLM Flying Blue Platinum - Singapore Airlines PPS
Posts: 4,826
Nice report, Thanks ^
couscous is offline  
Old Jul 5, 07, 6:14 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 6,000
Nice read...thankyou....^

I'm sitting here (it's 9 pm) drooling over the thought of THAT ice cream and THOSE wafers....

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm........................... ...
trooper is offline  
Old Jul 5, 07, 9:10 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: DUB
Programs: EK Gold, BA Gold
Posts: 2,121
Great report, well done
modularmayhem is offline  
Old Jul 6, 07, 8:23 pm
  #9  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: DEN
Programs: UA 1MM, Delta Plat
Posts: 11,224
What happened between April 17 and April 30?
redbeard911 is offline  
Old Jul 6, 07, 10:01 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: LAX
Posts: 282
Great report! Sounds like you do it like I do...Tasting all the libations!

Just a point of information. The Encounter theme resturant is not out of business it is closed down for a complete skelatal stucco reconstruction. It seems about 3 months ago a huge piece of the stucco surrounding the "legs" fell to the ground. Upon closer inspection, it was found that the entire stucco structure was in need of repair. The airport commission in one of its most expediant moves granted a couple of million dollars to correct the problem immediately.

Click below to see the details

http://www.lawa.org/news/newsDisplay.cfm?newsID=898

The next time you travel through LAX do try the Encounter. It is really a cool resturant and bar.

Happy travels!
upgrade lover is offline  
Old Jul 10, 07, 10:39 pm
  #11  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Oakland, California, USA
Programs: AA PLT,AS,UA PP,J6,FB,EY,LH,SQ,HH Dmd,Hyatt Expl,Marriott Plat,IHG Plat,Accor Gold
Posts: 10,524
Very nice report that has me very interested in taking these flights whenever my wife and I vacation to New Zealand or Australia. Since we've already been to NZ, it's likely to be Australia first. Which brings me to a question...if you were simply going to Australia instead of both countries, would it be worth it to you to transit through LA and Auckland the way you did as opposed to taking UA nonstop from SF to Sydney? The Air NZ flights sound a lot nicer than UA C class, plus I know Auckland is a nice airport to transit through. (Wish I could say the same for LAX!)
Thunderroad is offline  
Old Jul 11, 07, 3:11 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Programs: NZ Koru
Posts: 5,860
Originally Posted by Thunderroad View Post
Very nice report that has me very interested in taking these flights whenever my wife and I vacation to New Zealand or Australia. Since we've already been to NZ, it's likely to be Australia first. Which brings me to a question...if you were simply going to Australia instead of both countries, would it be worth it to you to transit through LA and Auckland the way you did as opposed to taking UA nonstop from SF to Sydney? The Air NZ flights sound a lot nicer than UA C class, plus I know Auckland is a nice airport to transit through. (Wish I could say the same for LAX!)
Doesnt UA only fly LAX-SYD not SFO-SYD

tho its much much of a big deal to go on nz as you do not have to go via lax as airnz flys SFO-AKL direct daily
cavemanzk is offline  
Old Jul 11, 07, 10:37 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Programs: Various
Posts: 6,438
Originally Posted by cavemanzk View Post
Doesnt UA only fly LAX-SYD not SFO-SYD

tho its much much of a big deal to go on nz as you do not have to go via lax as airnz flys SFO-AKL direct daily
Nope, UA also flies SFO-SYD. The previous poster is right, though, that the NZ product can be nicer than the UA C one...it kind of depends on whether or not you like the "pod" style seating.
mechteach is offline  
Old Jul 11, 07, 8:17 pm
  #14  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Oakland, California, USA
Programs: AA PLT,AS,UA PP,J6,FB,EY,LH,SQ,HH Dmd,Hyatt Expl,Marriott Plat,IHG Plat,Accor Gold
Posts: 10,524
Originally Posted by cavemanzk View Post
tho its much much of a big deal to go on nz as you do not have to go via lax as airnz flys SFO-AKL direct daily
Thanks. I hadn't realized that.
Thunderroad is offline  
Old Jul 13, 07, 12:23 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: SYD
Programs: UA 1K, VA Platinum, IHG Spire Ambassador, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Gold, Coles FlyBuys
Posts: 2,769
Originally Posted by bobgold View Post
This is my first trip report posting and I realize it’s too long...
Ha! No such thing as too long. I really enjoyed this TR, it brought back great memories for me as well.
TrayflowInUK is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: