Air New Zealand (Premium) Economy 787-9 Christchurch to Auckland

I decided to split my time in New Zealand between the South and North Island. I enjoyed my time in Christchurch, though three nights were more than enough. Luckily, I had the chance to experience the countryside, which was amazing!

I bought a ticket on Air New Zealand from Christchurch to Auckland. The fare was relatively cheap — it cost me 83 NZD, roughly around 55 USD. It was a “basic economy” fare, but with my Star Alliance Gold status, I was entitled to an additional cabin bag and reserved seat in advance. What even better was the flight was operated by a Boeing Dreamliner. Since they didn’t sell business class seats, I was able to snag a premium economy seat for free, and those who are willing to pay extra get to select a business class seat.

In this series:

As I mentioned in my previous post, the check-in agent wasn’t particularly friendly and knowledgeable about elite benefits. She persisted that I wouldn’t be allowed to bring two cabin bags without paying for a checked bag. Sometimes it puzzles me when a customer knows more about the airline policy than the airline staff themselves. She finally just shrugged her shoulders and stopped arguing.

After visiting the impressive Air New Zealand Domestic Lounge, I headed downstairs and walked to the gate. Though boarded had not started so I had to wait for a couple more minutes.

Flight Number: NZ594
Route: Christchurch (CHC) – Auckland (AKL)
Schedule: 11:30 – 12:55
Duration: 1h 25m
Aircraft Type: Boeing 787-9
Cabin: (Premium) Economy
Seat: 25A
Date: January 01, 2020

Moments later, boarding started. We boarded the aircraft through door 2L and were greeted by a friendly flight attendant.

Waiting at my seat was a plush pillow, which was impressive, considering it was a relatively short domestic flight.

Air New Zealand premium economy cabin has the typical 2-4-2 configuration with a decent seat recline and footrest.

Once boarding completed, the main door closed. We pushed back, taxied to the runway and started rolling down the runway in no time.

I wasn’t sure if its the weather or just the window, but when I looked outside, it seemed pretty hazy.

On this short flight, there wasn’t any meal service, except a cookie and water — there wasn’t even an option for sodas, tea or coffee.

The flight was pretty uneventful. Though for some reason, we cruised at a very high altitude — 41,000 feet!

Also, please note that Wi-Fi on this flight was free.

While still in the air, I also checked out the lavatory, which was pretty standard.

On the descent, I looked out of my window and noticed what appeared to Mount Taranaki — very cool!

We touched down 7 minutes ahead of schedule and parked at a remote stand. What I really love about parking at a remote stand is that you get to deplane using stairs — you get a close-up view of the plane! I guess that just my inner aviation geek. 😉

We then got on the bus and headed to the terminal.

Once you exited a small baggage claim, there was a kiosk where you can get a bus ticket to the city. I would highly recommend taking the SkyBus because it was pretty easy and straightforward. It only cost 35 NZD for round-trip fare, which took about 45 minutes to get to Auckland city center.

Conclusion

Air New Zealand domestic flight was a limited-service product, meaning it takes you where you need to be without providing full service. I think it was still an excellent option considering the fare wasn’t that expensive, and I still had access to the domestic lounge in Christchurch. The service was good, but nothing to brag about. All in all, it was a nice flight. I would fly with them again over the low-cost competitors.

3 comments

  1. For the record, the check in lady was correct. You were not entitled to an additional bag as your ticket was seat only. Keyword for this benefit is ‘additional’.

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