Thursday, March 10, 2011

Air New Zealand 777-300 Review

Just had the pleasure of viewing one of the new 777-300 planes from Air New Zealand. A lot of good things and a few bad things to comment on:

  • Arm rests fold up in economy. Great if travelling as my wife and I normally do.
  • Sky couch can hold two people who weigh up to 150kg each. (300 Pounds on the leg rest alone)
  • Touch Screens work like a charm and at last no need for the annoying remote control
  • Remote/Phone stowed in-front and not in the side (why did they not think of that earlier?)
  • New menu is supposed to be much better (I'll wait and see)
  • Power sockets also in economy. (Which laptop battery lasts for 12h-24h?)
  • Headrest holds up! (That drove me mad in the old planes. Always falling down again.)
  • Special cushions that attach to headrest. No more fussing with the cushion when standing up and sitting back down again.
  • Sections are shorter with an added canteen in the middle. Means less people running past and faster service all round.

Not so Great:

  • Seats narrower and Aisles narrower in economy.
  • Premium Economy lacks leg-room due to hard case shell design of seats. Max height for premium economy passenger: 178cm. Anything beyond that and you're bound to get sore legs as you can't stretch them completely. 
  • SkyCouch not very spacious. Gonna be very cuddly! And be sure not to stretch your legs or you'll hit the person in the middle aisle.

Secret Tips:

  • Three rows of two seaters at the back of the plane. Great for couples. Also have 1inch more leg-room!
  • Don't take a seat in the 3-person row right in-front of those two-seaters. Armrests don't go all the way up but are stuck at horizontal. 
All in all I am looking forward to flying long haul in the new Boeing 300s. It looks like it will be very enojyable  and no, I won't be upgrading to premium economy on those flights. Unless I could choose my seats before booking the flight. Now that would be just perfect!

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