LAX to Auckland on Air New Zealand

I’ve done a good bit of flying during my travels, but I’ve yet to get the chance to fly on an airline that wasn’t based in the US. This flight definitely gave me a good taste of what’s out there and definitely got me hooked on Air New Zealand.

Off to New Zealand

Air New Zealand flight 1
LAX [Los Angeles] to AKL [Auckland]
April 19, 2017
Depart: 9:30 PM
Arrive: 5:15 AM
Duration: 12hr45min
Aircraft: 777-300
Seat: 12A

After a lengthly time waiting at the gate, Business Premier passengers were called to board. Excitedly, I made my way down the jetway and onto the plane.

Onboard, I was greeted by lovely purple accent lighting, and once at my seat, I was given a glass of pre-departure champagne.

Air New Zealand’s Business Premier seat
Pre-departure glass of Champagne
Love the cabin lighting that Air New Zealand uses
My personal television, which folds out for viewing

The business class seats on this aircraft are arranged in a herringbone layout, giving every passenger access to the aisle. The seats recline a modest amount and then are designed to flip over when you make up the bed. The only caveat to the layout I found, was the lack of elbow room for a person of my size. Nonetheless, it made for a spacious bed and allowed me to get up at any point without having to disturb someone sitting next to me.

Air New Zealand 777-300 seat map

After a smooth takeoff, the crew came by to begin the meal service. I went with the appetizer of chicken and cranberry and the Za’atar wood roasted chicken as my entree. I also ordered a glass of scotch as my drink.

I will have to add that every interaction I had with the crew seemed very warm and genuine. They seemed very happy to take care of me and did everything they could to make my flight as comfortable as possible.

Dinner menu
Appetizer of chicken and cranberry
Za’atar wood roasted chicken
Strawberry and rocky road ice cream
Cheese and crackers with a glass of dessert wine

The dinner service was on point. My entree was delicious and the ice cream was flavorful and not too rich. Although I was pretty stuffed after dessert, I couldn’t turn down the chance to try the cheese plate as well. The dessert wine was definitely more to my liking than the port normally served in most business classes.

Since I’d been up for almost 20 hours straight, it was about time to turn in for the night. As I went into my bag to grab a shirt to sleep in, one of the flight attendants asked if I would like him to make up my bed for me…before I even had the chance to ask.

My bed all made up

After a restful night’s sleep, it was time for breakfast. Just as I was preparing to go change back into my clothes, one of the flight attendants appeared and asked if I would like my bed converted back into a seat.

Soon after returning to my seat, I was asked if i would like some juice or a breakfast smoothie. Being that I’d never had a smoothie on a plane, the latter was the obvious choice. I’m still unsure of how they were able to achieve the perfect consistency, even after refrigerating it overnight.

Breakfast smoothie number one

I then made my breakfast choices. For the main course, I decided to try the pancakes, as I wanted to see how well they could do them in the air, as most airlines simply serve an omelet or something similar.

I turned out to be pleasantly surprised. The pancakes were relatively fluffy and the the syrup was served piping hot. Nothing ruins a plate of pancakes like cold syrup.

Breakfast menu
Granola with fruit and yogurt
Warm croissant and danish
Pancakes with hot syrup

After a sumptuous breakfast and one more smoothie, it was time to begin our descent. Once we landed and pulled up to the gate, the captain was gracious enough to let me come up to the cockpit for a chat and snap some photos.

On the way up, I got a good shot of the cabin layout. Although I’d prefer a reverse herringbone layout with better shoulder room and a better view out the window, this definitely is an improvement over many of the seating layouts out there.

The four-across herringbone seating
The cockpit of the 777-300

After my cockpit tour was complete, it was time to deplane and make my way to the lounge, to await the next leg of my journey.

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