Air New Zealand B777-200 Business Class Trip Report HNL-AKL

Flight Date: 12AUG13—My last trip to New Zealand was in 2004 so I was excited at the prospect of returning to one of my favorite places on the planet. Air New Zealand usually operates B767s on the Auckland-Honolulu route however, due to increased winter season demand they have started using their B777-200 aircraft. Whereas the Air New Zealand B767 business class product is basically a glorified economy class seat, the B777-200 product is the real deal. Wow! What a difference.

Air New Zealand B777-200 Gate 25 Honolulu International Airport

Air New Zealand B777-200 Gate 25 Honolulu International Airport

Air New Zealand’s Honolulu-Auckland flight departs at 23:00. With only a two hour time difference (actually 22 hours) the overnight service works out perfectly; especially with the lie-flat seats in business class. After a quick bite to eat you can easily catch some Zzz’s and wake up refreshed.

Check-in at Honolulu International was a bit hectic. There was only one check-in clerk and although there were separate queues for business, premium economy and economy; people were sneaking over to the premier lane and this meant it took several minutes to get processed through. The check-in clerk was nice though and I felt a sorry for her having to deal with all those passengers by herself.

Honolulu International Airport Main Terminal

Honolulu International Airport Main Terminal

Air New Zealand do not have their own lounge and use JAL’s Sakura Lounge instead. I reviewed this lounge in April so please check out that trip report for info. and photos.

The gate was close by and I headed over early to snap some shots of the plane and the boarding area.

Gate 25

Gate 25

All seats were taken so I found a spot close to the jetway entrance under a monitor. The helpful clerk from check-in saw me and warned me by pointing up. A bird (Zebra Dove) had made its way inside the airport and was perched atop a video monitor. Uh oh…too late my feathered friend decided to relieve himself of some guano and it landed right on my bag! Oh well, I took this as a sign of good luck and since I was staying at the Skycity Grand Hotel, which has a casino, in Auckland I decided to try my luck after arrival.

Zebra Dove Post Guano Attack

Zebra Dove Post Guano Attack

Boarding was called and I made my way to seat 3K. The cabin lights were dimmed in the 1-2-1 configured business cabin and this gives my photos a cool purple hue. This is not Air New Zealand’s newest business class product, which can be found on the B777-300 aircraft, but nevertheless the herring bone-style cabin looked spotlessly clean and inviting.

Air New Zealand B777-200 Business Class Cabin

Air New Zealand B777-200 Business Class Cabin

Flight attendants were passing through the aisles greeting passengers and offering orange juice and champagne and I quickly finished off two glasses of bubbly. 🙂

Bubbly

Bubbly

Due to the late departure I had assumed the dinner service, if any, would be just an appetizer. To my surprise, they did offer a proper dinner service after all: with appetizer, main dish and dessert.

Air New Zealand Business Class Appetizer

Air New Zealand Business Class Appetizer

I chose the salmon pasta dish accompanied by my favorite wine: New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.

Air New Zealand Business Class Main Dish

Air New Zealand Business Class Main Dish

I’m not a big dessert eater, but the ice cream on today’s flight was really good!

Ice Cream!!

Ice Cream!!

Similarly to Virgin Atlantic and Singapore Airlines; the NZ business class seats require you to stand up and flip over the seat back in order to create the bed. I prefer the traditional: press the button and go flat type, however the flight attendants were more than happy to help out and once in bed mode the seat is quite comfortable.

Air New Zealand Business Class Amenity Kit. Not Much To It...

Air New Zealand Business Class Amenity Kit. Not Much To It…

Air New Zealand B777-200 Business Class Seat

Air New Zealand B777-200 Business Class Seat

Air New Zealand B777-200 Business Class Cabin. Note  Difference Between Night and Day Lighting

Air New Zealand B777-200 Business Class Cabin. Note Difference Between Night and Day Lighting

Air New Zealand In-Flight Magazine, Entertainment Guide, Menu & Wine List Aug. 2013

Air New Zealand In-Flight Magazine, Entertainment Guide, Menu & Wine List Aug. 2013

I decided to forgo breakfast in order to get as much sleep as possible. Thanks to the comfy seats I was able to get six hours of much needed sleep. Before I dozed off, I had a quick glance at the entertainment guide and noted the dearth of movie choices. I wonder if their new B777-300 and B787 planes offer a better selection?

Final Thoughts—
I enjoyed my flight with Air New Zealand and the lie-flat business class seats on the B777-200 really made the difference. The flight attendants were cordial, efficient and quick to offer help when called upon. The in-flight meal service was slightly above average, but nothing to write home about. Loved the ice cream though, yum! Only three wine choices on board was a bit disappointing. The seats, while not the newest product around these days, were comfortable and I was able to get a full night’s sleep. I’m looking forward to the NZ B777-300 featuring their new business product which I will try out later in the year. I wouldn’t hesitate to fly with Air New Zealand again.

One Response to Air New Zealand B777-200 Business Class Trip Report HNL-AKL

  1. Mitchell T says:

    Wonderful review yet again, I liked how much mood lighting changed the environment!

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