We recently flew business class with between Australia and New Zealand onboard the Air New Zealand Dreamliner.
Air New Zealand's Dreamliner business class is laid out in the sometimes controversial herringbone configuration with all seats angled toward the middle of the plane.
The biggest gripe from passengers about this configuration tends to be about feet. And we must admit, if you look down the aisle, the most noticeable thing is everyone's feet pointing out into the aisle.
However, once tucked away in your seat, especially with your screen extended and your seat reclined a little, this configuration is very private, you'll find yourself tucked away in your pod.
Inside your pod you'll find all your gadgets, storage and control panels within easy reach. Over your shoulder you'll find a drinks table, below which is your TV controller (moveable) and 2 storage holes, one magazine/tablet sized and a smaller compartment which was perfect for small items eg phone, glasses.
There are 2 control panels to operate your seat. One panel has your in-seat controls including buttons to recline your seat and return it to the upright position. Along with lumbar support adjustment and a 5th button that releases your tray table from its compartment in your seat wall.
The panel to convert your seat to a bed is located at the aisle end of your seat pod as the seat is required to be vacated to convert to a bed.
WATCH: Business class seats convert to a fully flat bed at the touch of a button.
At the press of another button, your personal entertainment screen is released from the wall on an adjustable arm, allowing you to move the screen position to your preferred viewing position.
A handy video is available within the inflight entertainment system explaining how to use all of the controls in your seat. The flight attendants also offered to run each passenger through the controls and systems.
As our flight was in the morning we were offered breakfast onboard. I'm always keen to sample airline breakfasts as I think it is the hardest dish for airlines to perfect on long haul flights.
We started with the choice of pre-departure juice, water or champagne. Following take off we were offered a mixed berry, coconut yoghurt, and chia seed smoothie which was delicious and very refreshing.
The inflight meals were served restaurant style with each course being delivered separately to the each passengers needs. Following the smoothie a choice 'From the pantry' was offered including fresh fruit salad, yoghurt, or muesli (or all of the above).
Next came the choice 'From the bakery' a selection of fresh danish pastries, croissants and fruit or regular toast were offered by the flight attendants. I chose the danish pastry which was light and flaky and served warm.
The cooked portion of the meal 'From the stove' included a choice of Scrambled eggs with kransky sausage, Apple hot cakes with lemon curd yoghurt (vegetarian option), or a Bacon and egg panini served with green tomato and jalapeno chutney. Heavily swayed by the chutney, I chose the panini and was not disappointed.
No amenity kit was available onboard this flight due to it being the shorter leg, however the flight attendant happily brought me a toothbrush kit when I requested one.
All in all, I found Air New Zealand business class to be very comfortable, I even managed an hour or so sleep on the short flight. I was dubious about the herringbone configuration, compared to the more traditional 'reverse herringbone' configuration as seen in Finnair or Cathay Pacific. The seats do take a little getting used to and there are some glitches like making sure your screen is on the correct side of your tray table when the food is placed down to be able to continue watching your entertainment while you dine. The flight attendants were very happy to assist with these issues though if anyone did find themselves a little restricted. The pods were also a lot more private than I imagined. With the seat reclined an the screen extended into viewing position the high walls between the seats created a very enclosed space.
The Dreamliner is a beautiful plane, the noise from the plane it's self was non existent and the lighting inside the plane was calming and inoffensive. Beyond all of this the service from the Air New Zealand flight attendants was exceptional, making this an extremely enjoyable flight.
Contact our Flat Beds Airfare Consultants to book your Air New Zealand Business Class flights.