Air New Zealand flies 5 times per day between Auckland and Sydney. Four of these daily flights are on wide-body aircraft featuring Economy, Premium Economy and Business Class. In this review, we check out Air New Zealand’s Boeing 777 Premium Economy Class across the Tasman.

Flight Details

Flight number NZ101
Route Auckland (AKL) to Sydney (SYD)
Aircraft type Boeing 777-200
Class of travel Premium Economy
Seat number 24K
Route on-time performance 78% (my flight arrived on time)
Star rating 5 stars out of 5

The route

NZ101-route-map

Flight Cost

This flight cost $270 one-way for an Economy ticket. I placed a bid of $95, which was the minimum amount, to upgrade to Premium Economy using Air New Zealand’s OneUp upgrade bidding system and my offer was accepted.

Airport Experience

Normally as a Premium Economy passenger, you wouldn’t be entitled to lounge access. However, thanks to my Star Alliance Gold status, I was able to use the Air New Zealand Lounge and the premium check-in service in Auckland. So, admittedly, my opinion of the Air New Zealand airport experience might be a little biased.

Air New Zealand’s premium check-in area, located at the far end of the hall near International Arrivals, is fantastic. Upon entering the room, an Air New Zealand staff member immediately checks me in and takes my suitcase. From there, I can take an elevator directly to the immigration express lane and I’m through immigration & security in no time.

Air New Zealand Premium Check-in
Air New Zealand Premium Check-In at Auckland Airport

The Air New Zealand international lounge in Auckland is very quiet when I arrive at 5.30am, but quickly fills up. It’s a very nice lounge with some good food and drink options and plenty of different seating areas, as well as shower suites. My personal favourite place to sit is the covered outdoor terrace.

Air New Zealand international lounge, Auckland
Air New Zealand international lounge, Auckland

There is some great plane-spotting available from this lounge, and I can see the all-black Boeing 777 that will operate my flight to Sydney.

Air New Zealand Boeing 777
Air New Zealand Boeing 777

In this lounge I particularly like the barista coffee ordering system and the “plate of the day” that is prepared in front of you by a chef.

The Hard Product

Air New Zealand Boeing 777-200 Premium Economy seat
Air New Zealand Boeing 777-200 Premium Economy seat

I find the Air New Zealand Premium Economy seat on the Boeing 777-200 to be very good. The comfortable leather seats are laid out in a 2-4-2 configuration and the seat is sufficiently wide, with plenty of legroom.

Air New Zealand 777 Premium Economy legroom
Air New Zealand 777 Premium Economy legroom

Free wifi is available on this aircraft and the Air New Zealand in-flight entertainment selection is fantastic. There is an impressive variety of movies, TV and music content from all over the world, as well as some classic Kiwi TV shows like The Brokenwood Mysteries. I love the many music playlists, which I’m able to listen to using the airline-provided noise-cancelling headphones.

At the start of the flight, the audio on my in-flight entertainment system wasn’t working. But this was promptly fixed by the crew with a system reset.

The Soft Product

Speaking of the crew, they were great too! There were two dedicated cabin crew members looking after Premium Economy and they were friendly and engaging.

No amenity kits are provided on this 3-hour flight, but hot towels and menus were handout out before take-off. Here’s the breakfast menu for today’s flight:

Air New Zealand Premium Economy menu
Air New Zealand Premium Economy menu

After take-off, a welcome drink was offered of orange juice or – despite the early hour – sparkling wine. Breakfast was then served.

As far as breakfast on airplanes goes, this was pretty good. There was a fruit bowl and cereal to start…

Air New Zealand Premium Economy breakfast
Air New Zealand Premium Economy breakfast

This was followed by warm waffles and a croissant…

Air New Zealand Premium Economy breakfast waffles
Air New Zealand Premium Economy breakfast

The crew offered tea and coffee later in the flight, and I’m sure they would have been happy to provide anything else I wanted if I’d asked.

Air New Zealand Boeing 777 Premium Economy
  • Airport Experience
  • The Hard Product
  • The Soft Product
5

Final thoughts

I find it difficult to fault Air New Zealand’s Premium Economy service. The seat was comfortable, the food was good and the crew were engaging. This was a very nice flight.

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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]

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Brenda Hateley

Yes a fantastic service. Highly recommended