Tejas Lamb flies from Auckland to San Francisco aboard Air New Zealand.
A Boeing 777-300ER.
Class: Premium Economy thanks to a surprise upgrade organised by Dad!
Price: One-way Premium Economy fares start from $2189.
Flight time: Scheduled 12 hours. There was a slight delay of 5 minutes as a passenger wasn't feeling well, so they deboarded and our flight got on normally after that.
My seat: 27K. In Premium Economy on the 777-300ER it's the SpaceSeat, which is a wonderful enhancement to the Air New Zealand product. This is a big seat which has the usual screen (that can fold out), tray table and recline, but you are in a white pod that is very private. I went straight to sleep and woke up in time to explore the entertainment system.
Passengers: The passengers in the Premium Economy section were mostly holidaymakers heading to the US.
How full: Almost completely full as it was the start of the school holidays.
Entertainment: It was very easy and simple. The wide choice of TV, movies and games made this trip very enjoyable.
The service: The service was very good in line with Air New Zealand's standard. The flight attendants were very helpful with all sorts of queries from passengers.
Food: The vegetarian dinner meal was good — unusual in my experience as a vegetarian — with tortellini and cheese sauce with spinach on the side. For breakfast we were served cereal with milk and a croissant to start followed by tofu "eggs" which tasted unpleasant, with a tough, chewy texture.
Toilets: Clean, and one was spacious due to being wheelchair accessible. I never had to queue to use them.
Luggage: You are permitted to take two checked in bags at 30kg each and two carry on bags at 7kg each in Premium Economy.
Airport experience: Auckland International was busy given the start of holidays but the self-check in was easy to use. Air New Zealand's Koru lounge is amazing — the buffet is good and you get wonderful views on to the tarmac. Arriving in San Francisco was even better, we headed straight out to collect our bags and drop them off — they were tagged for our connecting flight to Washington DC. The airport staff were kind and friendly, to our surprise, and made sure we got to the gate on time for our flight.
Amenity kit: The amenity kit includes toothpaste, a toothbrush, Ashley and Co. hand lotion, earplugs, an Air NZ pen, an eye mask and a pair of socks.
Would I fly again: Definitely.
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