||Overall impressions of Air New Zealand were very poor on the long haul side, but quite positive on the short haul side.
The ZEAL operated A320 SYD-AKL could not be faulted with a small delay handled well and excellent cabin service.
The B744 from AKL to LAX was dreadful, with a disinterested crew and uncomfortable seating. From LAX to LHR the London based crew were streets ahead however the airline took over an hour to deliver the priority bags to the carousel.
A aircraft malfunction departing from LHR was only acknowledged after a taxying tour of the airport just prior to engineers reentering the aircraft. A brief announcement from the Captain explained little and three hours were soon lost. Again the London crew were good in making tea and coffee and talking to the passengers. The delay was increased in LAX as all the cargo had to be removed and re-weighed. A brief letter was passed to us apologising for the inconvenience.
A late arrival in AKL meant our original connection to SYD had been missed however an announcement was made that we had been rebooked on a later flight and to go to the transfer desk upon arrival.
The staff member (yes, only one) at the tranfer desk was much to busy talking to his significant other and a five minute wait was met with "you'll have missed that one". After explaining that we were told we would be tranferred he said "Hmm, well I guess I could ring the gate". After hanging up the phone we were told "you had better run". When we got to gate 1 a queue of approximately 50 people were still waiting to board.
The B767 was comfortable and the crew excellent, but we were tired, smelled nasty (liquids were banned ex-LHR) and opver the whiole experience.
We made it to Sydney, our bags didn't. Qantas handles Air NZ at SYD and the poor woman was being berated by about 10 people whose bags had been lost, some just from AKL! Later in the day Qantas delivered our bags to our home.
All in all an inconsistent airline that made an effort with refurbishments, but fell short. Staff generally seem to lack interest and often were downright rude.
I would consider flying Air NZ trans-Tasman over the likes of Jetstar, but would never fly them again long-haul.Flew LHR to Hong Kong & back Economy. Checkin not well organised, took 2 hours, only 3 economy check-in desks open. The ANZ 747 is great with their 34" pitch seats and marvelous entertainment centres. Food was very good, plenty to drink, young and friendly cabin crew. Same treatment upon return. When you're flying 13 hours and on a budget too you really couldn't beat ANZ for value and service. I would use them again without hesitation.