Winston Aldworth

Winston Aldworth is the Herald's Travel Editor.

Flight check: Auckland to LA on Air NZ

Winston Aldworth flies NZ2 from New Zealand to the west coast of the USA.

This must be a nice run to work: Most of the other passengers flop into their seats, get some food and wine in their bellies and fall asleep. Photo / NZPA
This must be a nice run to work: Most of the other passengers flop into their seats, get some food and wine in their bellies and fall asleep. Photo / NZPA

The plane: 777-300.

Class: Premium Economy.

Price: Return tickets go for $5272.48, but Air New Zealand fronted the tab on this one.

On time? Perfectly.

My seat: 29J. This is the airborne armchair of the Pacific. The seats are at a 45 degree angle, giving passengers more legroom and they have good width, but they don't recline to a fully flat bed. Still, with a neck rest, you'll get a comfortable night's sleep. The window seats seem to have more legroom. There's an ottoman, which gets mixed reviews, but I found it handy to raise my feet when I wanted a snooze.

Fellow passengers: A couple of young families and a lot of business-y looking folk and Dinks off to La-La land. I'm sitting next to someone from the national carrier's social media team, we have a good old natter about plane geek stuff and marketing geek stuff. She was lovely (if that doesn't get this Flight Check a retweet from @AirNZ fairy, nothing will).

How full? This is a busy route for the national carrier. Business was chocka, as was Premium Economy and there were only a handful of spare seats in Economy.

Food and drink: A credit to the carrier.

Service: Superb. This must be a nice run to work: Most of the other passengers flop into their seats, get some food and wine in their bellies and fall asleep. The crew are relaxed and cool and have an easy task satisfying the few of us who are night owls. As Mike Hosking - or possibly Jeremy Wells - would say: Happy days.

Toilets: Spic and span.

Luggage: Two pieces, weighing up to 23kg each.

Airport experience: There I was in Air New Zealand's excellent Koru Club at Auckland Airport enjoying a drink with my colleague, the legendary Herald photographer Brett Phibbs, when the WORST THING POSSIBLE occurred: Phibbsy got an upgrade to Business and I didn't. O' Pegasus, god of flight, doest thou have no justice?

Would I fly this again? In a flash. I found the seat comfortable and service superb.

- NZ Herald

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