NZ v VA to LA | Australian Frequent Flyer
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NZ v VA to LA

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Homer

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I want to book a trip for four in J SYD-LAX over the June school holidays. We usually fly VA to LAX in J, however NZ is about $2,000 cheaper per person at this time. Given that we will earn VA status on NZ (and I need to re-qualify so this is important to me) I think it's worth considering.

I've never flown NZ internationally so I was wondering whether anybody with experience of both would like to give me their thoughts on the pros and cons?
 

rioter

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Nov 17, 2013
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You wont be disappointed (at least in my experience).
I will give my best comparison.

You use the same lounge in Sydney.
The lounge for airnz in LAX is horrible. The new lounge for VA in TBIT is pretty good. I love the terrace if the weather is good, not great for a late VA departure though.

Departure time - I find that because the flight leaves at a later time from NZ so you get on, have a quick meal nap and be woken up coming into LAX. Usually after a shower and some exercise i am good to go for the entire day. The return flight leaves at a similar time to VA2.

Service, the service seems to be more personal on NZ. Although i only have a handful of flights on VA to compare against.
Fairly good status recognition, a personal greeting from the CSM.
Food both about equal in my books. Since you will be on their flagship 777, try the burger.
Bed airnz wins here, herringbone layout similar to the VS seats. Seat flips over and the put down a memory foam mattress and it turns into a really comfortable bed. Everyone has isle access.

In my experience you won't be disappointed if you can deal with the relatively easy transfer and a less than ideal lounge in LAX.
 

Homer

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Thank you rioter, that is very helpful. But I'm confused about this:

The lounge for airnz in LAX is horrible.
As a VA Plat, flying NZ, wouldn't I have access to the new Star Alliance lounge at TBIT and the First Class Lounge within it?
 

rioter

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Thank you rioter, that is very helpful. But I'm confused about this:



As a VA Plat, flying NZ, wouldn't I have access to the new Star Alliance lounge at TBIT and the First Class Lounge within it?
I am not sure to be honest. They do depart from separate terminals terminal 2 vs TBIT. So the pain of dealing with TSA twice would be enough for me to just suck up the airnz lounge.
The strange thing is, the new star alliance lounge is actually operated by airnz.
 

Boris spatsky

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The old airnz lounge is no longer. I have not trued the new one but have heard it is great.

I have flown both CA and NZ in J and now go NZ everytime. Cheaper and better overall. Love the bed.
 

Boris spatsky

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Ahh actually the old one might still be used until June when NZ move to TBIT according to the *A website. My bad. I haven't been there personally since December, when the lounge staff told me it would be early 2014.
 

Denali

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Im debating this for our next US trip and my first choice is NZ because overall, their J seats are much better. VA are a 2-3-2 configeration and eventually someone has to climb over someone to get to the aisle. NZ J seats win for me.
 

Denali

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Don't forget you get an extra 60 SC each way for connecting in AKL
I know when Ive checked routes/pricing from Sydney, the NZ website prices us flying SYD>AKL in economy so check if its a mixed fare before committing.
 

TomVexille

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I know when Ive checked routes/pricing from Sydney, the NZ website prices us flying SYD>AKL in economy so check if its a mixed fare before committing.
Very good point. I didn't know SYD didn't get a daily 777 that connects to the USA flights.
 

Homer

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Yes the first time I searched it offered me Y on a 767 between SYD and AKL connecting to J on a 777. But there is an all J option if you check carefully. Definitely something to watch out for.
 

lovestotravel

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Both products on this route are great

The VA 777-300ER in business and the NZ 777-300ER in business!

However, NZ have 4 aircraft that fly between SYD-AKL and on different days it's different

The A320 doesn't have business class
The 767 has "business class" but it's like Y+
The 777-200 has the older business class
The 777-300ER has the new business class

Both the 777 products are similar but the 777-300ER is great

Looking at random days in June, it appears mostly A320/767's flying between SYD-AKL-SYD

If you can get the 777 for the flight to/from NZ then YES book NZ

If you are stuck on the A320/767 then VA would be better IMO
 

Denali

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The 767 is 2-2-2 larger leather seats so not "like" Y in my personal experience, not as nice as the 777s but considering its only a 3hr flight and the kids aren't sitting in the back of dad's Holden I don't think a Y to ALK is too great a burden for them either.

I thought the 772 flew to SF and the 773 to LAX but please correct me if I'm wrong.
 

Boris spatsky

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I used to go through MEL on AirNZ to get the 773 all the way to LAX via AKL and back. Worth considering.
 
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