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February 2015 will be our first trip to Australia and New Zealand. We have never flown on either Air New Zealand or Qantas and would appreciate any advice regarding the comfort of both airlines premium economy and business class seats on their various planes, e.g. 777,747 etc., as well as your overall experience with each airline. We will most likely be flying LAX to Sydney and returning Auckland to LAX.

Edited by R & R Carroll
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I have not flown Qantas as I tend to stick with Star Alliance partners. I have flown Air NZ in business and love the product. Very similar to Air Canada with individual pods that are fully reclining and offer great privacy. Layed out in a herrinbone fashion in the cabin. The only thing about this layout that some don't like is that since you are not sitting directly next to your travel partner communicating can be a little bit more cumbersome. I am actually looking at them for our travel to Australia in Feb 15 as well.

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February 2015 will be our first trip to Australia and New Zealand. We have never flown on either Air New Zealand or Qantas and would appreciate any advice regarding the comfort of both airlines premium economy and business class seats on their various planes, e.g. 777,747 etc., as well as your overall experience with each airline. We will most likely be flying LAX to Sydney and returning Auckland to LAX.

 

I haven't flown with either yet, but I'm booked to fly home in Premium Economy on Air NZ this fall. I'm impressed and looking forward to the herringbone configuration and larger seats (not just more legroom) of their Spaceseat, but that's not available on all their flights (I think it's only on the 777-300).

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Agree 100% with Gunner22aa's comments about Air New Zealand. Excellent, friendly service with equally excellent food and wine. Seats/bed are comfortable with an entertainment system that has so many choices, one could never experience them all during the flight.

 

Have not flown on Qantas so I cannot compare them with ANZ.

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Just booked on Air NZ for next February LAX-AKL, SYD-LAX. Once you get into the process of booking lots of seat/upgrade options appear at reasonable prices. We have economy preferred seats w extra legroom on the way out and premium economy (in the space seats) on the way back for about $250 each above the standard economy price. Book early before these types of seat are gone.

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I have not flown Qantas as I tend to stick with Star Alliance partners. I have flown Air NZ in business and love the product. Very similar to Air Canada with individual pods that are fully reclining and offer great privacy. Layed out in a herrinbone fashion in the cabin. The only thing about this layout that some don't like is that since you are not sitting directly next to your travel partner communicating can be a little bit more cumbersome. I am actually looking at them for our travel to Australia in Feb 15 as well.

 

Not all of ANZ planes have the herringbone Premium Economy layout. It may depend on which flight you are on. I have had some with and some without.

 

But that said, I would absolutely pick ANZ over Qantas. The overall service is better. There is nothing that makes a 14+ hour flight something to look forward to, but it is far better on ANZ than on any other airline.

 

Also, if you don't have to fly through LAX, I'd consider going through SFO. It's so much nicer! (Admittedly, I have NEVER had a good experience in LAX, I have never had a flight land or take off on time, and every time I have flown though I have had issues. I will do just about anything to avoid LAX.)

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Air NZ is a decent/good airline, but Qantas are better. NZ have more cramped cabins and Qantas operate the Airbus 380 which is a substantial step above the Boeing 777.

 

So, if price is substantially better on NZ you'll still have a good experience on them compared to say US airlines. But if everything else is the same, I'd choose Qantas.

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I'd agree that Qantas offer the better service. I've flown both - Air NZ internationally and Qantas domestically (my domestic flight was a Business Class flight) and I'd prefer Qantas service over Air NZ service. I'm not saying the service on Air NZ is bad ... it is really very good ... I just prefer Qantas.

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Air New Zealand Business Class is superior to Qantas in all regards.

From the US & Canada you can fly ANZ from Vancouver, San Francisco or Los Angeles . You fly to Auckland then onto Sydney, or change at Auckland for Melbourne. Return trip same drill .

 

If you fly with Qantas you can only fly out of Los Angeles direct to Sydney or Melbourne, or out of New York or Dallas Fort Worth direct to Sydney .

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Agree. Air NZ offers more flexible options and the layover in Auckland is easy. Not sure about LAX or San Fran but the flights to/from Vancouver are overnighters so you depart around dinner time, get some sleep and arrive early the following morning which helps minimise jet lag IMO.

 

I also think the relaxed, friendly, laid back service on AirNZ is superior to Qantas. Oh and their price is often better too!

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Agree. Air NZ offers more flexible options and the layover in Auckland is easy. Not sure about LAX or San Fran but the flights to/from Vancouver are overnighters so you depart around dinner time, get some sleep and arrive early the following morning which helps minimise jet lag IMO.

 

I also think the relaxed, friendly, laid back service on AirNZ is superior to Qantas. Oh and their price is often better too!

 

Flights from SF depart between 7-8 pm so you board, have dinner and then the cabin lights are dimmed for the overnight portion. It's not a bad flight.

 

I've aways landed in Auckland around 5am local time, but it's a nice airport with a very nice transit area. I find dining options limited, but it's still one of the easiest to transit airports I've been through. (I've only ever been through as a transit passenger, I have no idea how it is if you are beginning/ending flights there.)

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Any airline or flight is only as good as the cabin crew so it can sometimes boil down to pure luck. We had a shockingly bad experience with Emirates First Class recently and a memorably good one with budget, no frills Tiger, and all because of the attitude and ability of the flight attendants.

 

But the overnight AirNZ flights to/from US/Oz are still a big plus too.

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I've been following along this thread for info too. We will be flying to Sydney next Jan/15 for our cruise. Trying to decide which airline would be best for our flight. We will probably fly out of Cleveland. We do not have any type of airmiles to redeem. I have been watching the pricing. The return trip is not out yet for Qantas. We are not returning until Feb. 28, at the earliest. I was hoping we might be able to get a stopover in Tahiti for a very minimal cost (maybe just have to pay for food and lodging). I still have alot to learn about the international flights! Thank you all for your input. It has been very helpful!

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I've been following along this thread for info too. We will be flying to Sydney next Jan/15 for our cruise. Trying to decide which airline would be best for our flight. We will probably fly out of Cleveland. We do not have any type of airmiles to redeem. I have been watching the pricing. The return trip is not out yet for Qantas. We are not returning until Feb. 28, at the earliest. I was hoping we might be able to get a stopover in Tahiti for a very minimal cost (maybe just have to pay for food and lodging). I still have alot to learn about the international flights! Thank you all for your input. It has been very helpful!

 

Have little knowledge about this, but if you would like a stopover in Tahiti, you might look into Air Tahiti or Air Tahiti Nui, I am not sure what the proper name of the airline is. I am relatively sure that they serve both New Zealand and Australia via Papeete.

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I've been following along this thread for info too. We will be flying to Sydney next Jan/15 for our cruise. Trying to decide which airline would be best for our flight. We will probably fly out of Cleveland. We do not have any type of airmiles to redeem. I have been watching the pricing. The return trip is not out yet for Qantas. We are not returning until Feb. 28, at the earliest. I was hoping we might be able to get a stopover in Tahiti for a very minimal cost (maybe just have to pay for food and lodging). I still have alot to learn about the international flights! Thank you all for your input. It has been very helpful!

I have looked at flying via Hawaii and Tahiti. I was not too impressed with the Tripadvisor reviews for the hotels on the Air Tahiti Nui promotions.

As it was getting way too complicated for me --I gave up and booked our flights on Air New Zealand out of LAX. We are returning on Feb 28 from Sydney. We have the seats we want at a price we are okay with so are happy. The right seats are more important to us than a prolonged quest for a low price. Check on SeatGuru for any hints that may be helpful on seats to avoid. FlyerTalk may be useful also.

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I've flown both airlines long haul to the US: Air NZ in economy, premium economy and business. Qantas in economy and business.

 

AirNZ is better in all classes and not just a bit better but vastly better. In business the AirNZ seats are superior and the bed is fairly comfortable whereas in contrast the Qantas bed isn't comfortable. Air NZ service is better, the food is better, and the entertainment is better.

 

I'm off to the US business class again in three weeks and I'm going Air NZ (departing from Brisbane with transit through Auckland then on to SF and ultimately DC).

 

The space seats on AirNZ are okay - they're better than economy but they're not close to as good as business. You need to be on a 777-300 to get these seats; if you take a 777-200 or a 747 then you'll likely get a standard economy seat with considerably more legroom and this just isn't worth it imo.

 

In economy on both airlines you're in like a sardine; here it's just the difference in service and entertianment and AirNZ wins - Qantas aren't even in the race.

 

Air NZ has Sky Coach in economy that converts three seats into a sort of bed but sadly this doesn't really work unless you're a very short and slim person; also the anchors for the seat belts will dig in to your back leading you to wonder whether the seats had been tested by anyone before they were installed. Possibly this option is okay if you get two rows (six seats) as we did and then let the kids sleep with the adults wishing they'd bought a seat further forward on the plane.

 

If you research Qantas you'll discover that they appear on the verge of going belly up; AirNZ on the other hand is raking in profits. I'm not surprised since AirNZ is a great airline and Qantas is something quite different.

Edited by MrYellowDuck
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We have flown 8-12 hour flights on ANZ a few times, variously in Economy, Premium Economy (not the Space Seat version), and Business. Our impression has been generally positive compared with United and Air Canada.

 

A few months ago, my wife and I flew LAX to AKL on an ANZ B777-300 in Economy / Sky Couch when we were unable to upgrade to business. For two adults (one of them 6'1"), we expected Sky Couch to be of no more than marginal benefit, for the reasons mentioned in the previous post plus the known close spacing (pitch) of the Economy seats on that aircraft type. However, Sky Couch actually proved to be worthwhile for us. Being assured of having 3 Economy seats for two people was a big benefit in itself. Also, it was possible for at least one of us to lie more or less prone at any given time. It was cramped and not at all comparable to a lie-flat business class seat, but as compared with standard ANZ economy, Sky Couch was (for us) worth the extra money on a long-haul overnight leg.

 

John

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I have looked at flying via Hawaii and Tahiti. I was not too impressed with the Tripadvisor reviews for the hotels on the Air Tahiti Nui promotions.

As it was getting way too complicated for me --I gave up and booked our flights on Air New Zealand out of LAX. We are returning on Feb 28 from Sydney. We have the seats we want at a price we are okay with so are happy. The right seats are more important to us than a prolonged quest for a low price. Check on SeatGuru for any hints that may be helpful on seats to avoid. FlyerTalk may be useful also.

 

Thank you for this information. I have already looked at SeatGuru for hints. I have also been reading FlyerTalk forums. Some great information out there!

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If you research Qantas you'll discover that they appear on the verge of going belly up; AirNZ on the other hand is raking in profits. I'm not surprised since AirNZ is a great airline and Qantas is something quite different.

 

Although everyone's entitled to their opinions, yours is an odd view and the above is particularly misleading. Qantas is in a strong cash position and nowhere near going "belly up."

 

What can be said is that Air NZ are currently more profitable than Qantas, which is a turnaround for both over the past couple of years.

 

However, that profitability has come out of passenger comfort. For example, they are flying their 777-300 in a configuration as low cost carriers do, rather than full service i.e. by squeezing an extra seat in every row. The standard config is 3-3-3 (9 abreast), whereas Air NZ configure it in 3-4-3 (10 abreast). As you can imagine, that is a good way to increase revenue and profits. Comfort not so much.

 

To squeeze the extra seat in, they have had to shrink the seat width, making them 17" wide. Full service seating (e.g. Singapore, Virgin, Malaysian) is 18.5-19". That's a 2" or 5cm difference, think about the difference that will make on a 13 hour flight.

 

To make matters worse, the slimmer seats don't make up for that extra squeezed into each row, they also slice a chunk off of the aisles.

 

To see the practical effect, here's the standard config:

http://www.seatmaestro.com/images/comments/1322404.jpg

 

And here's an AirNZ plane: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/86/Air_New_Zealand_Pacific_Economy_777-300ER_cabin.jpg

 

Looks at the man in the aisle in this picture, he only fits with his hands raised, and he is normal weight wise. Compare that, to the standard, much wider seats, and a much wider aisle. Which even then is still a squeeze.

 

In addition to this, Air NZ operate a 32" pitch, which is near the bottom.

 

Is it any wonder profits are up?

 

As for Qantas, they don't operate 777s. However, A 747 in a 10 abreast layout is similar to a 777 in a 9 abreast layout. And their A380 is easily the nicest of the three.

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Air New Zealand Business Class is superior to Qantas in all regards.

From the US & Canada you can fly ANZ from Vancouver, San Francisco or Los Angeles . You fly to Auckland then onto Sydney, or change at Auckland for Melbourne. Return trip same drill .

 

If you fly with Qantas you can only fly out of Los Angeles direct to Sydney or Melbourne, or out of New York or Dallas Fort Worth direct to Sydney .

 

You can fly non-stop from Sydney to Dallas on Qantas, as I did this 3 weeks ago in coach...and lived to tell about it! :D It is currently the longest flight in the world by mileage: http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2014/03/18/longest-flights-in-world/?intcmp=HPBucket However, you cannot fly from Dallas non-stop to Sydney due to the winds. (**Qantas #8 stops in Brisbane before continuing to Sydney.)

 

We used American Airlines miles for our flights to and from Australia/NZ. We flew from Dallas to Honolulu on AA in first class (with the lie-flat seats), and from Honolulu to Sydney on Hawaiian Airlines in business class. (AA was much nicer.)

 

I didn't experience either Air New Zealand or Qantas in first/business class, but they seemed very similar in their coach service. I flew from Auckland to Queenstown, NZ on Air New Zealand; from Queenstown to Sydney and Melbourne on Qantas; from Melbourne to Hobart on Virgin Australia; and from Hobart to Sydney to Dallas on Qantas.

Edited by NancyIL
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We've found good rates on Virgin Australia for an open jaw LAX-AKL, SYD-LAX for Feb.-Mar. of next year. What are thoughts on Virgin Australia?????

 

Also a good choice. Standard to good on each element e.g. food, seats, service.

 

They fly 777s on that route. However, they have not tried to squeeze more people in to increase revenue like Air NZ.

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Air New Zealand flies Vancouver/Los Angeles or San Francisco to Auckland, the flights then continue to either Sydney or Melbourne. If the service continues to Sydney then there is a connection at Auckland to Melbourne. If the service continues to Melbourne there is a connection to Sydney .

 

Same in reverse you can fly out of either Sydney or Melbourne with ANZ to Auckland where you continue or change for Vancouver, San Francisco or Los Angeles . Air NZ use Boeing 747 and 777 aircraft on these services .

 

Fact : Qantas currently loses money on its International services, whereas Air NZ run theirs at a profit, albeit Air NZ flies to more Overseas ports than Qantas but with a much smaller fleet with greater frequency !!!

Edited by kuldalai
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