Tejas Lamb flies aboard Air New Zealand's flight NZ112, from Sydney to Auckland.
: A Boeing 777-300, ZK-OKM.
Class: We were upgraded to Premium Economy, which was a pleasant surprise.
Price: $352 one way, in Economy.
Flight time: Scheduled 3hr 10m but it ended up being 2hr 45m.
My seat: 23D, the very front of Premium Economy, with the IFE system that folds out from under your tray table (which is stored in your armrest) and makes it feel very luxurious, much like a Business Class seat. Air New Zealand's Premium Economy is excellent, the best part being the sheer amount of space you are offered.
Passengers: The usual mix of businesspeople and holiday travellers.
How full? Premium economy was about half full and I'm guessing economy would be about the same. In the 777-300, the first 22 rows are reserved for Business Premier seats but less than half of those were full on this flight.
Entertainment: The show Young Sheldon (pictured) is good for passing time on such short flights and the screen is large. There is an eclectic and vast selection of movies and TV shows, including radio podcasts recorded specifically for Air New Zealand flights. I think this is a good touch that impresses many travellers.
The service: Warm and genuine — NZ at its best.
Food: The vegetarian option was quite nice for once. The entree was a salad of lettuce, tomatoes, capsicums and olives with a lovely lemon-honey dressing. The main course was eggplant in a chunky, spicy tomato sauce. It was slightly salty but overall it was great, given the usual dire vegan option. The dessert was a rice pudding with coconut. It was okay but I would have much preferred the pink meringue and icecream that everybody else had. A note to Air NZ — vegetarian is not the same as vegan.
Luggage: We were permitted to take one 23kg bag per person, which is standard across the aviation industry.
Airport experience: Sydney airport was easy to use. The terminal is what's called a "quiet terminal" so there are no announcements made by airport staff; you have to check the screens yourself for flight information. After our whole family was swabbed for narcotics (random selection, I'm sure) we headed to the Air New Zealand Koru Lounge, which was great. The lounge was between lunch and dinner so there were mainly salads and one or two hot-food options to graze on and a good selection of drinks. The view was spectacular, looking across the tarmac. Once we got our bags, we had to go through security, which was efficient and quick.
Would I fly this again? Yes. The 777 is such a great way to fly.