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Air New Zealand vs Qantas


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I find premium economy in ANZ out of SF about as comfortable as you can get on an airplane. I find the solid barriers between seats to be a bit annoying when I want to lean against my husband, but that's a minor complaint. I find no difference between the wind, middle and aisle seats on those flights and I usually get an aisle/middle seat in the center section.

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We are going to Syd next year and I have been looking at the NZ Prem Econ seats. How comfortable are there for the long flight out of SFO? And which are the best seats the ones in the middle or the one on the sides of the plane?

 

We flew from LAX to Auckland and found them very comfortable. I would book the middle seats so you are seated together yet you both have open access to an aisle.

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We flew from LAX to Auckland and found them very comfortable. I would book the middle seats so you are seated together yet you both have open access to an aisle.

 

Most flights out of SF do not have the "pod-style" premium economy seats. They have more traditional 3-3-3 configuration of standard-style seats.

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Most flights out of SF do not have the "pod-style" premium economy seats. They have more traditional 3-3-3 configuration of standard-style seats.

 

 

The 777-300 planes DO have the 'pod' style Premium Economy seats. Make sure the flight you book is on a 777-300/

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The 777-300 planes DO have the 'pod' style Premium Economy seats. Make sure the flight you book is on a 777-300/

 

Everything I have seen and read, and experienced, shows that the pod-style seating is only on the LAX-AUK flights, not on the SF-AUK flights. That may change, but nothing I have ever seen, read, or experienced shows that ANZ uses the pod-style seats on anything but the LAX routes. I've flown to/from AUK and both Vancouver and San Francisco in premium economy and have never had the pod-style seating on any flight. It may be possible, but in my experience, it is not very likely if you are flying from San Francisco. I would suggest that the PP be prepared to have standard seating on flights from San Francisco.

Edited by ellieanne
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Everything I have seen and read, and experienced, shows that the pod-style seating is only on the LAX-AUK flights, not on the SF-AUK flights. That may change, but nothing I have ever seen, read, or experienced shows that ANZ uses the pod-style seats on anything but the LAX routes. I've flown to/from AUK and both Vancouver and San Francisco in premium economy and have never had the pod-style seating on any flight. It may be possible, but in my experience, it is not very likely if you are flying from San Francisco. I would suggest that the PP be prepared to have standard seating on flights from San Francisco.

 

 

I flew in the pod-style Premium Economy seats from Auckland to SFO last November, and I figured it went the other way too. So, just for fun, I looked on their website for flights in the opposite direction (SFO to Auckland) and some of them are indeed on the 777-300 with the pod-like Spaceseats.

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Everything I have seen and read, and experienced, shows that the pod-style seating is only on the LAX-AUK flights, not on the SF-AUK flights. That may change, but nothing I have ever seen, read, or experienced shows that ANZ uses the pod-style seats on anything but the LAX routes. I've flown to/from AUK and both Vancouver and San Francisco in premium economy and have never had the pod-style seating on any flight. It may be possible, but in my experience, it is not very likely if you are flying from San Francisco. I would suggest that the PP be prepared to have standard seating on flights from San Francisco.

 

I am booked out of SFO on 4-1-15, on a 777-300. Premium Economy seat. Air NZ website shows the style of the PE seating on each of their types of planes. The 777-300 was not flying out of SFO until mid 2014. Possibly you flew before that time? I have confirmed with ANZ the 'style' of our seating.

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I flew before and after mid-2014 and have never had a pos-dtyle premium economy seat. I did a fake booking on the website and see some flights have the pod-style seating now, but not all. Maybe I was just unlucky with my choice of flight times. Or maybe the aircraft were substituted, and that does happen, particularly if a connecting flight is delayed. I was sharing my experience.

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I flew before and after mid-2014 and have never had a pos-dtyle premium economy seat. I did a fake booking on the website and see some flights have the pod-style seating now, but not all. Maybe I was just unlucky with my choice of flight times. Or maybe the aircraft were substituted, and that does happen, particularly if a connecting flight is delayed. I was sharing my experience.

 

Thats what CC is all about...sharing experiences. We were going to drive 400 miles to fly out of LAX just so we could have the 'pod' seats. Then ANZ added 777-300's to their SFO route. I was very, very, happy when that happened. We plan to go to Europe next year, and we are planning our trip to arrive and depart in London, because of ANZ premium economy!

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I flew the pod-style seat to SFO last week on an AirNZ 777-300 and the next cabin forward on the return trip.

 

If you want that style of seat you do need to choose a 777-300. The 777-200 has standard economy seats with a larger pitch.

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Maybe I was just unlucky with my choice of flight times. Or maybe the aircraft were substituted, and that does happen, particularly if a connecting flight is delayed.
Or maybe timetables just changed, as they routinely do at least twice a year. Aircraft types on particular routes can change at any time, but particularly so when there's a change of season. Just because an aircraft type operates on a particular route one month, there's no reason why it'll be the same aircraft type the next month (or week, or even day of the week).
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Better than first class flat beds?

 

I can't compare. I've never flown first class. Personally, if I'm going to spend that kind of money, it's going to be for something tangible. But in my opinion, nothing is really going to make a 14½ hour flight comfortable.

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But in my opinion, nothing is really going to make a 14½ hour flight comfortable.
Trust me, 14½ hours on seat that turns into a 6' 6"-long flat bed complete with mattress, duvet and pillow, and with decent food and wine, makes it a very comfortable way to travel. Like you, I wouldn't pay cash for it, but it's a very welcome treat whenever it's available.

 

Premium economy is all very well, and it's the cabin that we normally pay for, but it's not "as comfortable as you can get on an airplane".

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Trust me, 14½ hours on seat that turns into a 6' 6"-long flat bed complete with mattress, duvet and pillow, and with decent food and wine, makes it a very comfortable way to travel. Like you, I wouldn't pay cash for it, but it's a very welcome treat whenever it's available.

.

 

Agreed, definitely qualifies as comfortable.

 

You may wish it wasn't over. ;-)

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  • 3 weeks later...

We are merely thinking of doing a cruise to Australia/New Zealand, or vice versa, with the emphasis on NZ. I recently checked airfares to get some idea of the cost for that. I am pretty certain it was Air New Zealand that offered some of the flights on an airline that I THINK was called China Air. We have flown on Air China before (not exactly a premium airline for sure, but it sufficed), but now I am wondering if anyone who has booked with Air NZ ever found themselves on a China Air flight. (I may have the name slightly wrong, but "China" was part of the name and there was a flower in the logo.) If you have, please comment on this airline.

 

Although we don't live in L.A.,S.F. or Dallas, we would likely use FF points to get to one of those gateway cities. When do the lowest priced fares usually appear for flights in Feb/March"

 

Thanks for any info.

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J-D: U mentioned being on United. As we have miles, we have booked them for our R/ T Newark to Sydney and then Ackland to Newark. We have booked the premium economy. Is it so bad we will regret using United? Should we try to cancel and rebook for Air newzealnd or American? Anyone else who has also flown United for this long haul, comments? thanks all, elaine

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J-D: U mentioned being on United. As we have miles, we have booked them for our R/ T Newark to Sydney and then Ackland to Newark. We have booked the premium economy. Is it so bad we will regret using United? Should we try to cancel and rebook for Air newzealnd or American? Anyone else who has also flown United for this long haul, comments? thanks all, elaine

 

I am pretty sure United don't fly to NZ anymore so you could end up on AIRNZ as they are Star Alliance. In the past we have booked with United leaving NZ as they were cheaper for some reason but ended up on an AIRNZ plane

If you check your flight details it should show which airline you are actually flying with and what plane

I Could be wrong though but someone who is more up to date will correct me

Edited by Thecat123
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I've flown this route on United and I would never do it again, ever. It may have changed, but even in Premium Economy, there were not individual entertainment systems and I didn't find the service or the space significantly better than in standard economy.

 

The last time I flew United, every one of the flights were delayed and I had less than 5 minutes to change planes in Sydney to get to the Melbourne flight. It was a nightmare. Lastly on the flight from New Orleans to San Francisco, the airline destroyed, literally destroyed as in there was no way I'd ever use it again! my luggage and most of the contents were ruined -- and they claimed no responsibility because TSA inspected it and TSA destroyed the luggage. I had no real recourse because even if TSA had opened and inspected the bag, there was not enough left to contain the notice TSA would have put in.

 

The first time I flew United, I was coming into LAX and were delayed to the point that everyone missed connecting flights. The staff assigned to help passengers reschedule announced they had been at work for 8 hours and just left, in the middle of helping one passenger as it turned out. There was no further assistance offered, not even an instruction to go to the main check-in counter after clearing customs. Thankfully my parents had been watching my flight overnight and booked me a ticket on a Southwest flight out of LAX, otherwise I'm not sure I'd ever have gotten out of LAX.

 

My advice, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER fly United.

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We flew United from East Coast to San Fran. in Feb. to connect w/ANZ. The United Flight was 3 hrs. late going & about 2 hrs. late leaving. The last flight was so full that the last half of passengers to board had to check their carry on at the gate. The ANZ flight was great, especially the pod seats. If you use United, make sure you have enough time to make connecting flight when United is late. We originally had 6 hrs. so we were ok, many people were not. If you book ANZ & you have a connecting United flight, make sure you personally call United at the time of booking to get your seat assignment as ANZ does not give seat assignments for United & they have different booking #'s so get the United # from the ANZ rep.

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J-D: U mentioned being on United. As we have miles, we have booked them for our R/ T Newark to Sydney and then Ackland to Newark. We have booked the premium economy. Is it so bad we will regret using United? Should we try to cancel and rebook for Air newzealnd or American? Anyone else who has also flown United for this long haul, comments? thanks all, elaine

 

We have flown from Toronto to Sydney or (in the distant past) Auckland and return on United several times, either in Economy Plus or (on points) in Business. I also fly on United within North America whenever possible, in large part because my status on United allows me to book an Economy Plus seat at no extra cost. On most United flights, the seats and service in Economy Plus are the same as in regular Economy, but with an extra 4-5 inches of space between rows. We find that extra space to be a tremendous benefit (I am 6 ft 1"). IMHO, the extra space is far and away the most important consideration on a 14-hr flight from California to SYD.

 

However, Economy Plus on United is nothing like the premium economy service on some other airlines, e.g., the "space seats" on some ANZ flights. Flying from Auckland, you will probably be on ANZ even if it has a United flight number, unless United has recently resumed flying into AKL. ANZ has a variety of different premium economy seating options on their different aircraft types. If you have the option to fly in an ANZ premium economy Space Seat, I would certainly jump at that opportunity. (Conversely, regular economy on the B-777-300 aircraft that ANZ uses on the AKL-to-LAX flights is very cramped.)

 

If you have not already done so, you can use http://www.SeatGuru.com to get details on the seating arrangements for any specific airline and flight number. For any ANZ flight that is code-shared with United, you would need to know the actual ANZ flight number before looking up the seating on SeatGuru. On an actual United flight, you should find Economy Plus to be a worthwhile improvement over regular economy. Of course, if you have enough points to get Business-class flat-bed seats on either United or ANZ, that is by far the best alternative.

 

John

Edited by J-D
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I am pretty certain it was Air New Zealand that offered some of the flights on an airline that I THINK was called China Air. We have flown on Air China before (not exactly a premium airline for sure, but it sufficed), but now I am wondering if anyone who has booked with Air NZ ever found themselves on a China Air flight. (I may have the name slightly wrong, but "China" was part of the name and there was a flower in the logo.)
There are quite a few airlines with "China" in their name. Was it one of these?

 

Air China:-

2uzq6ty.jpg

 

China Airlines:-

1or9n6.png

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J-D: U mentioned being on United. As we have miles, we have booked them for our R/ T Newark to Sydney and then Ackland to Newark. We have booked the premium economy.
I've flown this route on United and I would never do it again, ever. It may have changed, but even in Premium Economy, there were not individual entertainment systems and I didn't find the service or the space significantly better than in standard economy.
The most important thing to remember, as J-D says, is that United does not have premium economy.

 

United offers only some seats with a little more pitch/legroom.

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