Lincoln Tan

Lincoln Tan is the New Zealand Herald’s diversity, ethnic affairs and immigration senior reporter.

Flight check: Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Lincoln Tan flies on the first China Southern Airlines Dreamliner flight to Auckland.

The China Southern Airlines 787 Dreamliner on the tarmac at Auckland International Airport. Photo / Greg Bowker
The China Southern Airlines 787 Dreamliner on the tarmac at Auckland International Airport. Photo / Greg Bowker

The route: Guangzhou, China to Auckland. 9310km.

The plane: Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Class: Business, in a cabin with 24 seats in a 2-2-2 configuration.

The seat: 188cm seat pitch with 55cm width that reclines into a flat bed. Comfortable, but beware of items slipping down the side of the seat while you sleep.

Price: From $4900 return on business class, but economy starts from around $1500.

On time: Flight CZ305 took off on time from Guangzhou, but the faster aircraft cut flying time and landed in Auckland nearly 90 minutes ahead of schedule.

Fellow passengers: Executives of China Southern, an Auckland Airport senior official, media and additional hand-picked crew for the inaugural flight.

Entertainment: A selection of the latest movies, Asian, Chinese and classics shown on a personal 38cm screen. The aircraft provides audio and video on demand, and also has a power socket and USB port.

The service: All smiles and attentive, with the crew happy to chat in both English and Mandarin.

Food and drink: A good selection of Western and Asian meals. However, the crew had little knowledge about their wines, referring to them as "red" or "white".

The toilets: Upmarket hotel feel complete with a fresh flower display, and luxury toiletries.

Luggage: Three pieces of checked luggage weighing up to 32kg plus 7kg carry on.

The airport experience: Business class passengers enjoy a red carpet check-in at the airline's new Sky Pearl lounge at Baiyun International Airport.

Would I fly this again? I'm already planning the next family trip on China Southern's Dreamliner.

- NZ Herald

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