Tracey Bond flies Auckland to San Francisco on Air NZ NZ8.

The plane:

Boeing 777-300.

Class: Economy.


Price: On special, this flight was a touch over $1500 return.

Flight time: 12hr, 10m.

My seat: 57A — the front of a set of three doubles at the left rear of the plane. These seats cost slightly more but there is no middle seat and it's only a short trip to the back galley for snacks or the loo. Plus these seats have lots of legroom. The only drawback was being at the back of the plane where turbulence is more pronounced and this was a bumpy flight.

Fellow passengers: A mix of families and Kiwi travellers heading off on holiday and American tourists chatting about their New Zealand adventures.

How full: Only a smattering of empty seats.

Entertainment: Air NZ's full entertainment system including latest-release movies, box sets of popular TV shows and lots of games.

The service: Outstanding. When my husband put on a grumpy face when our choice of meal was unavailable, the steward produced a vegetarian option. The staff were friendly and helpful throughout this overnight flight.

Food and drink: Dinner of beef in tomato sauce with mash or chicken with steamed rice and green beans.


Breakfast was served a few hours before landing.

The toilets: Clean and basic.

Luggage: 23kg in the hold.

Final word: The service and entertainment on offer made the flight time fly by.