Award for best premium economy ever goes to Air New Zealand

Last week I flew out to Los Angeles from London. Usually this flight is a killer. It’s long, very long, and most uninteresting. I’ve made the trip over two dozen times over the past couple of years and it seems to just get tougher the older I get.

Yes, I’m just an old lady these days. I think about things like drinking enough water and making sure my skin is moisturised. Snooze fest, right? Gone are the days of hopping on a plane with no consideration for obstacles like swollen ankles or red eyes. Those days disappeared with my twenties. That all being said, there are ways to make the trip feel like a holiday from the moment you step on the plane. Naturally, flying first class racks up points there. It’s usually the only way, in fact, that plane travel can go from “bus in the sky” to eleven hours of luxury living. Let’s just call out the fact, however, that first class without air miles is damn near next to impossible to afford.

Londoners with Los Angeles on your mind, let me introduce to you luxury living in the sky without having to beg, borrow or steal your way in. For the first time, I made my trip to Los Angeles from London with Air New Zealand. I’m gonna go ahead and throw out the fact that I had no clue that there even was a flight from London to Los Angeles on Air New Zealand. Call me geographically challenged but it didn’t occur me that the airline would do a flight to NZ with a stopover in LA. Of course it makes perfect sense, but it wasn’t on my radar until now. In fact, I must admit it was the advert for Air New Zealand’s Sky Couch that got me thinking about the airline as a potential partner in traveling crime. I looked a little further into class options and found a great deal on Air New Zealand Premium Economy to Los Angeles.

Booked and ready to fly, I did a little more research and discovered I was in for quite the in air treat. And upon arriving on the plane, I was downright excited about the next eleven hours ahead. The seats are more or less the equivalent of a business class seat on any other airline. You have your own compartment, or the option of a more share-friendly-space if traveling with a partner, which allows for complete comfort. The amenity bags are filled with goodies, including an eye mask and pen I actually pocketed for my perma-travel kit, and everything else you’ll need to travel in comfort. 

For eleven hours I enjoyed the lovely staff, the magnificent food and the surprisingly spacious and hilariously decorated bathrooms. Seriously, I actually want to leave the decor of the bathrooms as a surprise as they are absolutely brilliant (plus, I thought it might send the wrong message to walk in with my camera). It really was the littlest things that made this flight special – the real silverware, the full size coffee mug and after dinner chocolate mints served alongside and so much more. In fact, the service doesn’t start and stop with the passing carts. There’s a system in place by which you can order snacks and drinks straight from your entertainment system. You feel more like you’re in a hotel and less like your on a plane. You can also create movie and tv playlists to keep you entertained throughout the flight, and it’s entertainment that starts the minute you get on the plane. So if you’re into your takeoff distractions, this is your dream scenario. 

Now, I’ll leave the best for last… they have boxes of doughnuts on board! You can tell what side my bread is buttered on. Every airline in existence should take note… serving doughnuts is an instant winner.

In  a nutshell, if you’re headed to LA and you want luxury on a budget, get yourself over to Air New Zealand. Oh, and you better believe I put together a visual diary. So here’s a look at the many reasons you should be embracing the Kiwi way. Maybe I’ll see you on the next flight? It looks like my life is becoming one which is constantly in motion between the two cities. But, more on that later!


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