Stephanie Holmes flies American Airlines from Los Angeles to Auckland.

The plane:

A Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Class: Economy.


My seat: 30C — an aisle seat in the 3-4-3 configuration.

Price: Auckland to LA return fares for select dates are on sale for $1098, until February 18.

On time: We left right on time.

How full: Pretty jam-packed. Not very pleasant.

Fellow passengers: Mostly Americans going on holiday. Many of whom forgot their personal hygiene routine before getting on the plane — the Economy cabin smelt distinctly like BO. The guy in front had his seat reclined from the moment he sat down, with no consideration for the people behind trying to get into their cramped spaces.

Entertainment: A great selection of movies and a good-quality touchscreen TV.

Service: A mix of older women and younger men. I know some readers will balk at me saying this, but I worried the older women would struggle with the heavy doors and inflatable rafts in the event of an emergency.

Food and drink: Dinner was served not long after take off — chicken pieces with mashed potato, gravy, soggy carrots and beans, a dense cold bread roll and pre-packaged caramel brownie. Breakfast was better — a flavourful cheese omelette with potatoes.


Toilets: Clean and well-stocked throughout

Airport experience: Surprisingly simple. I arrived at LAX on a connecting flight from Chicago. I had only to walk the 10 minutes from terminal 6 to terminal 4, without needing to clear Customs. It made me feel I was doing something wrong. Terminal 4 didn't have much in the way of shopping but it was less than 10 minutes walking distance to Tom Bradley terminal B, which has high end stores and dining options.

Flight time: 12h 30m.

Would I fly again? The Economy cabin felt cramped. If I was able, I'd choose Premium Economy, which I experienced on the journey out. It's a much more comfortable experience.