As I boarded my 13.5 hour flight from Auckland to Houston I was convinced I was in for a long night of movies, snacks in place of plane food, and hopefully an hour or two of rest before landing in Texas. While that doesn’t sound too bad, I was about to find out that it could be much, much better. As I approached the line to check in for Premium Economy, I soon found my ticket rejected and – much to my disbelief – I was upgraded to Business Class. Winning!
Here is a full review of my Air New Zealand Business Class experience and I’ve gotta say, this is one of my all time airlines and business class products on the market!
Air New Zealand Business Class
As I had only found out the minute I went to board the flight that I had been upgraded, I had spent the hours leading up to my flight trying to decipher a plan as to how I’d keep myself busy on board. As someone who needs a good night sleep to rest, I was reluctant to board the flight that had me landing in Texas 13.5 hours later and in the middle of the day. As someone who has battled jet lag and finally knows how to overcome it, I knew that switching my body clock sooner rather than later would be the only way I would survive once on the ground.
But alas, Air New Zealand had other plans. Other plans in the form of an upgrade to Business Class, complete with fully lie flat beds, a mattress, a cozy duvet and only the cutest eye mask + sock combo you have ever seen!
The airline staff were immediately warm and welcoming, though this hardly came as a surprise after flying with Air New Zealand for the past four flights throughout the country. The country as a whole is an incredibly friendly place, but this experience always starts on board your Air New Zealand flight into the country where each passenger is treated like a friend rather than a customer.
Shortly after I was being offered a glass of bubbles, juice or water. As someone who never drinks alcohol on flights I opted straight for the water as I settled in to my cozy seat and began perusing the on board entertainment selection.
Food & Entertainment
Not long into the flight I was offered another beverage and nuts but neither were too appealing, so I opted to wait for dinner. On this 13.5 hour flight the menu included a three-course dinner and a la carte breakfast, with snacks on offer in between.
For dinner I chose the vegetarian soup as a main and rhubarb the tart for dessert. While the soup was delicious and didn’t make me feel sluggish after eating it, the healthier options were slim as most dishes contained pasta or starch – something I always avoid, especially on planes! The dessert was pretty dismal but luckily the cabin crew saw that I had barely taken a bite and offered to replace it with the ice cream selection which was a MUCH better option (in hindsight I should have gone for that selection in the first place!)
The snacks in between meals consisted mainly of chocolates, crisps and muesli bars. I gladly helped myself to a few too many chocolate bars throughout the first half of the journey, before switching off my light and settling in for a full 6 hours sleep.
Roughly two hours before landing the breakfast service began. Being pretty skeptical of scrambled eggs on board any flight (yes, even in business class they look a little questionable!) I opted for the muesli and yogurt with fresh fruits. This was served fresh by the cabin crew at your seat so I could opt for more yogurt and an abundance of strawberries. Delicious!
Entertainment on board was quite good with a strong selection of new movies, classics, and a good range of comedies and chick flicks. The television selection would be the one area I think they could have improved on as each show only had a few episodes, whereas on most other airlines you can watch entire series.
All in all I really (really, really, really) enjoyed this flight and without the five star service on board Air New Zealand flights, the 13.5 hour flight would have been much less enjoyable. I’ll certainly choose to fly ANZ any time in the future, especially when I head back to New Zealand which already couldn’t come quick enough!
Thanks to Air New Zealand for welcoming me to experience New Zealand for the first time! I couldn’t be more grateful to explore this beautiful country. My airfare was originally in Premium Economy but I lucked out on an upgrade at boarding which enabled me to write this review. Talk about a win!