As part of our Air New Zealand competition, which launches today, I will be taking a look at the unique features of the ANZ in-flight product. This is what you will experience if you choose to fly them from London to Los Angeles and, optionally, on to Auckland.
Air New Zealand runs a three-class service out of Heathrow, consisting of:
Economy, including the patented Economy Skycouch
Premium Economy, featuring the impressive Premium Economy Spaceseat, a substantial step up from the BA and Virgin premium economy options in my view, and
In the current Air New Zealand sale, which ends on 23rd September, prices start at £449 for Economy, £870 for Premium Economy and £2,327 for Business Premier.
In this article, I want to focus on their Economy service and the Economy Skycouch. This is, after all, the prize that one Head for Points reader will be winning. Articles on Business Premier and Premium Economy will follow over the next couple of weeks.
It wasn’t practical for me to fly to Los Angeles and check out their seats and service for myself. Air New Zealand did arrange the next best thing, however. I was given a private tour of their new Boeing 777-300 aircraft whilst it was on the ground at Heathrow.
The 777-300 has 244 economy seats in a 3-4-3 formation. seatguru.com gives a seat width of 17.1 inches and a pitch of 32-33 inches. The width is slightly narrow than a British Airways 777-300 which is nine across, but this is partially offset by additional legroom.
Other key features of the ANZ economy product include:
Armrests which disappear fully into the back of the seat, allowing additional space for couples and groups
10.6″ TV screen with over 1,700 hours of content including TV, box sets, films and video games
USB and iPhone / iPod connections
On-screen snack ordering. I was impressed by this – if you are feeling peckish between meals, you can order a variety of snacks via your TV and the crew will deliver them to your seat. I’d be happy to see this in Business or First Class, to be honest, so to find it in Economy was pleasantly surprising.
The Air New Zealand Skycouch
The key differentiator with other airlines, however, is the patented Economy Skycouch.
The Skycouch is installed on rows 37 to 46, which is the ‘front’ economy cabin immediately behind Premium Economy. This means that there are 20 Skycouches in total, 10 of each side of the aircraft in the block of three seats by the window.
Here is an animation of the Skycouch in action:
and here are some far less professional images that I took:
and in couch mode:
The Skycouch allows a 3-seat block of economy seats to be converted into a flat surface measuring 74cm x 155cm.
There are a number of ways in which you can use the Skycouch, and any combination will be available for the winner of our competition.
A family of two adults and one child can reserve a Skycouch for an additional £100 for the group
A couple can reserve a Skycouch for an additional £299 per couple. This guarantees an empty middle seat as well as the ability to turn the seats into a couch.
A solo traveller can reserve a Skycouch from £599. This guarantees the traveller two empty adjacent seats and the ability to turn the seats into a couch.
These prices are each way, based on travel from Heathrow to Los Angeles.
You can find out more about the Economy Skycouch on the Air New Zealand website here.
As a member of Star Alliance, you will also collect miles and status points with any Star Alliance loyalty programme when you fly Air New Zealand.
If this sounds interesting, you can win your own Skycouch flight to Los Angeles in our competition which launches today.