It seems like a lifetime ago I was sitting in my Premium Economy seat aboard an Air New Zealand jumbo jet, poised for 11hours in the sky which may as well be an eternity. You see, although I really do adore California, the only thing that stops me from going to spend a week there every month is the flight. It is long, boring and wreaks havoc on my skin. For my last trip, I was invited to review Air New Zealand’s Premium Economy service between London and LAX. Having never flown with Air NZ before, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Sure, I had seen their adverts (who hasn’t? These things have gone viral) and I had also heard legends about their lavatories and general atmosphere. Still, as I boarded the plane I was dubious: after all it is still only a flying tin can, which I will use mostly as a receptacle for all the boredom in the world for half a day. As for Premium Economy, I have of course flown this way before and I never found it offered that much more comfort considering the hefty price difference. I generally prefer a bulk head economy seat to a Premium Eco one.
Well… That was before I discovered the Premium Economy service on Air NZ! As soon as I sat down, I turned to my flight companion and exclaimed “this feels more like Business class than Premium Economy“. Because it really does! Mainly due to their brand new Space Seats which are basically sweet individual pods, complete with little foot rests, adjustable head rest and a comfortable pitch for your legs. I suffer from terrible swelling in my legs when I fly and being able to stretch and raise them is a plus for me. These seats were a godsend and I was able to not terrorise Los Angeles upon arrival. But it isn’t just about the seat pitch, of course not. Otherwise, you could just book yourself an exit seat. It is about the service you receive also – this makes a difference. Champagne as soon as you are airborne, an entertainment system that is switched on on the ground and more than jovial cabin crew make for a very enticing atmosphere. Even while 10.000 ft up in the air it felt more like a strange bar than a plane, in the best possible way.
After a nice dinner, a movie and a good old chat session with Emily, I was ready to doze off and wish the remaining few hours away. When we finally arrived at destination, we disembarked swiftly (another perk of Premium Economy) and managed to get out of the airport in record time, perhaps because we felt so fresh after a truly pleasant flight experience. Will definitely fly with Air New Zealand again!
Mademoiselle Robot was a guest of Air New Zealand in Premium Economy on the London to Los Angeles route. Flights from £500 return in Economy, £800 with a Sky Couch or £1200 in Premium Economy.