Morgan Tait is the NZ Herald's police reporter.

Flight check: Seattle to Auckland

Morgan Tait climbs aboard for the inaugural flight of Air New Zealand's new Dreamliner.

Air New Zealand's first 787-9 Dreamliner. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Air New Zealand's first 787-9 Dreamliner. Photo / Brett Phibbs

The plane: Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. The national carrier has taken delivery of the first Dash-9.

Class: Premium Economy.

Price: We didn't pay for this - we were hosted by Air New Zealand as this was the delivery flight of a new aircraft. Seats were unavailable for purchase and there is no existing service between Seattle and Auckland.

On time: Right on the button - although unfortunately the foul weather above Auckland ruled out the planned circuit of the city before landing.

My seat: Very comfortable, large seats with extendable foot rest and reclining ability. These premium economy seats are different from the white, wide-body Spaceseats that feature in the 777-300 fleet.

Fellow passengers: Airline, Boeing and Rolls Royce executives plus international media. There was lots of walking around and interaction between passengers, all of whom were pretty excited to be aboard.

How full: 1/3

Entertainment: The new inflight entertainment system operates like a tablet and not only has viewing material but allows you to call staff, order food and drinks and even turn on a reading light. Very easy to use.

The service: Excellent.

Food and drink: A special delivery-flight menu offered three-course breakfast, lunch and dinner with a range of choices.

I had fruit and granola for breakfast followed by a salmon and fish entree for lunch with an antipasto platter and dulce de leche icecream. For dinner, I had a duck breast entree with a chicken breast and rice pilaf main.

The toilets: Very clean and had been stocked with luxury Antipodes soap.

Luggage: No problems there, plus plenty of room in the overhead locker for carry-on.

The airport experience: We departed from the Boeing Delivery Centre in Seattle so it was relaxed and stress-free compared with larger airports. In Auckland, we were greeted with a haka.

Would I fly this again? Definitely ... if the chance arose. Unfortunately, delivery flights for brand new aircraft like this are rare.

Video: Inside Air New Zealand's Dreamliner


- NZ Herald

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