Ricardo Simich flies Air New Zealand's flight NZ10 from Auckland to Honolulu.
The EVA Aircraft is leased by Air NZ for the route at present. EVA is a Boeing 777-300 aircraft similar to Air NZ's 777-330, Although not as shiny and new, EVA is comfortable, with I think a little more room.
Price: One-way special sale fares from $1499, on sale until Jan 18.
The seat: 1K — at the front, right behind the cockpit and galley. It was nice and handy, with fine views from the beak when seeing the sun rise, lighting up on Oahu. I am sure EVA was designed for taller people as at 6'1", I could have had 4 more inches and still lain flat.
Luggage: One carry-on and one suitcase.
Airport experience: The Koru Lounge was surprisingly chill, and made the prep for the very long (nearly a kilometre, I think) walk to gate 17 at the other end of Auckland International Airport, less strenuous. On arrival at Honolulu, some complain about the bus shuttle to the arrivals' terminal at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. I found it tranquil. Flight time: Things went like clockwork. Arrived on time at 6am.
How full: Half full up front, enough space to give Dame Trelise Cooper a Business Class nod and air-kiss hello.
The entertainment: OK, so EVA doesn't have Air New Zealand's usual extensive library, but if you dig around the box, there are plenty of gems to keep you amused. Service: Chief Steward Dee was on form, getting passengers up to speed on EVA. She also did a great job getting us holiday-ready and excited about landing in the Friendly Islands.
Food and drink: Two glasses of Laurent Perrier Brut NV were perfect before and after take-off. Eating's cheating before bed — so the best of Peter Gordon's fare waited until morning. Breakfast was gobbled up, fruit and yoghurt, followed by a peach and apple Danish, finished with a three-cheese omelette with Italian sausage, fingerling potatoes and a very good cup of coffee.
The bottom line: I had been on EVA to Honolulu before, and I can tell you the Economy seats have good leg-room for the eight-hour trip. Flying Business was heaven. I hit the ground buzzing and ready to take on the day, with the warmth of EVA and Dee making the perfect start to my week of work, celebrating Honolulu Gay Pride.