The plane: Boeing 777-300.
On time: A four-hour delay because of engineering requirements on NZ6 meant we would have missed our connection to NZ2. Air New Zealand quickly arranged to transfer us on to NZ2 all the way to Heathrow. NZ2 departed 30 minutes late from Auckland and was subsequently 30 minutes late leaving LA.
Flight time: Ten hours each leg.
Price: $5640 for two passengers, including all surcharges.
My seat: Luckily, we managed to purchase Airpoints upgrades, putting us in the middle section of the Premium Economy cabin. Spaceseat was comfortable and gave plenty of privacy and room.
Fellow passengers: Mixture of ages and nationalities.
How full: It was full on the first leg to LA; the second leg to Heathrow had spare seats.
Entertainment: Great system, large touch screens, and a vast choice of TV, movies, and music.
The service: Friendly and accommodating, as you would expect from Air New Zealand.
Food and drink: Excellent.
The toilets: One either side of the Premium Economy cabin area. Kept clean by the cabin crew.
Luggage: One checked-in bag, plenty of room in the locker overhead and under the seat.
Unfortunately, with changing flights after our luggage had been loaded on NZ6, our bag made it to London two days later than we did. The Air New Zealand rep met us straight off the plane and helped us through the process of getting reunited with the bag. Once again, excellent service from Air New Zealand when plans went slightly awry.
The airport experience: Auckland was great leaving. The Koru lounge is a terrific place to relax and start the holiday. LAX customs is a lengthy procedure. Such a shame that travelling via LA means going through full security screening (not "in-transit" as experienced outside the US). Once that's done though, the lounge in LAX is excellent.
Good showers and a pager system that means you don't have to hang around waiting for a shower to come free. Go and get a Bloody Mary at the bar and wait for the pager to sound before getting a refreshing shower. Unfortunately, only having 15 minutes in the lounge because of the time it took to get through security meant we didn't get to make the most of those luxuries.
Would I fly this again? Yes. Going via LA is the only way to get full Airpoints flying Air New Zealand all the way to the UK. We wish there was another way.