Sunday, October 05, 2008

Air New Zealand - Great Service Wins Out

The 2008 Conde Nast Travellers Awards has rated Air New Zealand as the top airline flying between Australia and New Zealand to North America in both the Long Haul Leisure and the Business class award sections. (Air New Zealand comes in at number 6 across the whole world).

This doesn't surprise me as my Sydney to New Zealand flights with Air New Zealand have all been a pleasure due to the good customer service and the passion of the staff.

In addition in August I travelled to San Francisco with Air New Zealand and was pleasantly surprised with the experience.

Unlike North American airlines, Air New Zealand has followed the Asia route of travel and increased services for all travellers.

The flight from Auckland to San Francisco gave me the opportunity to try out their new entertainment system which allows you to watch movies of your choice or listen to music and more from the moment you are seated on the plane right to you reach the gate at the other end. This service is currently only on their long haul flights but is been introduced progressively on the Trans Tasman service. 

Flying in Pacific Economy the quality of food and general level of service was excellent on both the three hour flight from Sydney to Auckland and on the twelve hour flight from Auckland to San Francisco. 

Been a New Zealander living in Australia it was great to be able to catch up on some New Zealand TV shows on the in flight entertainment system but there was plenty to choose from no matter what you were interested and of course there is always the games. 

Oh the best bit about the TV screens is that rather than making announcements and interrupting the entertainment system they simply put a text message on the top of the screen to let you know such things as what the meal selection was, etc. 

Basically the only announcements were the one at the beginning when they welcomed you aboard, followed by the safety message then the announcement when we landed. This is something other airlines could emulate.

In-Flight Concierge

When I originally heard that Air New Zealand had introduced an in flight concierge on their long haul flights I had thought what would they do. However on the return flight from San Francisco I talked with the concierge and found out how they can assist.

Some of the key things they can do is assist with queries about your destination, custom clearance information, connection information and much more. One crucial thing they do is if for any reason the flight is delayed they will assist you with your connections to make sure you get where you are going. You will find the concierge very knowledge and they are available to all passengers no matter whether you are flying economy, premium economy or business class.

Premium Economy

There is nothing nicer than handling your passport over at check in and been told you have been upgraded. This happened to me on the return flight from San Francisco so I had the opportunity to experience Air New Zealand Premium Economy.

Been used to flying economy - the reality when you are a small tourism company - it is always a pleasure to be upgraded.

The biggest difference is the additional leg room on the seats and the ability to recline 50% more than economy seats. This certainly allows you to sleep comfortably.

The other major difference is that the food and beverage service is the same as business class. While the economy food and beverage service is excellent the additional service in Premium Economy will make your mouth water.

Air New Zealand Staff

The airline staff are the best reason to fly Air New Zealand. They are a real asset to the airline and their relaxed and friendly manner mean that you feel like a welcome guest aboard the plane. It is amazing the difference this makes to how you feel about the airline.

Feedback
 
Air New Zealand is also proactively seeking feedback on flights. Talking with the crew on the flight it was clear that if there was an issue on the flight if they could fix it they would otherwise they would note it and it would be fixed as quickly as possible. The other place to provide feedback is the AirNZMyVoice.co.nz website.
 
Rainbow Tourism Recommendation

So for your next trip to New Zealand or Australia I would strongly recommend flying with Air New Zealand. You may also want to consider flying Premium Economy - you can actually decide to fly one way Economy and the other way Premium Economy if you budget doesn't stretch to both ways.

Air New Zealand are also offering some great flight deals from North America at the moment so why not check out the Air New Zealand website, book your flights, then book your accommodation on the Rainbow Tourism Website. If you want a real treat then why not let Rainbow Tourism book your whole trip and for a real taste of New Zealand try one of our new Local and Landscape packages.

If you need any more assistance please contact the Rainbow Tourism Concierge.

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