Review: Down to Modern Middle-earth – NZ 087 Auckland to Hong Kong 777-200 Economy Class

Introduction
CX 197 HKG – AKL 343 Y
Treetops Lodge and Estate Rotorua
Exploring Rotorua
Waterfront Suites HBC Paihia
Exploring Paihia
Exploring Auckland
NZ 087 AKL – HKG 772 Y

Comfort 4/5 Service 3/5 Amenities 3/5 Little things 4/5 Meals 4/5 Overall 4/5

Cathay Pacific has a codeshare on this flight (CX 7402), so we decided to take this flight because of the better timing and seats that really recline. When going there we had to celebrate with our family (Year of the Horse), so we couldn’t really go so early at 7:05pm (the only NZ flight from HKG to AKL). When coming back the schedule was better for us, so we went with NZ.

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AKL Terminal

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NZ Check-in

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Looking into Premium Check-in

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On time!

We made it to Gate 2 with minutes to spare, and the ground crew let us go through Premium Boarding (since there were so many other passengers and all Business passengers had boarded, they split the queue).

Air New Zealand Flight 087
Saturday, February 8th, 2014
Origin: Auckland (AKL) Gate: 2 Dep: 23:59 (00:00)
Destination: Hong Kong (HKG) Gate: 35 Arr: 06:05
+1 (05:50)
Duration: 11 hr 06 min (10 hr 50 min)
Aircraft: Boeing 777-200
Seat: 44H (Economy Class)

Boarding was swift, and we waited a little for the rest of the passengers to go past the horrifyingly long economy queue as I tested out the seat.

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Premium Economy

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Premium Economy

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Premium Economy legrest

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Economy Class

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Economy Class

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Our seats

The entertainment system, I thought, was broken at my seat, but it restored quickly after the door closed.

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My entertainment screen upon boarding

The seats were noticeably wider than a Cathay Pacific A340’s, and I liked the curvature of the 777-200 cabin.

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Air New Zealand 777-200 Economy Cabin

Soon enough we were all settled, and the safety demonstration began. It was the nifty The Hobbit video, not the All Blacks video on the All Blacks Air New Zealand planes.

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Safety Demonstration

Takeoff was quite quick and we were in the air quickly. After takeoff a flight attendant roamed around the cabin asking “Would you like some water?” I declined.

Air New Zealand is quite humorous when it comes to advertising, and this was clearly seen:

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Vomit bag

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Vomit bag

I couldn’t resist taking a legroom shot.

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Ample legroom

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Ample legroom

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Cabin after takeoff

Unlike on Cathay, who actually has menus, Air New Zealand talked about the economy catering choices over the PA system. I ordered the orange chicken, which was…interesting. Sorry I forgot to take a picture…I was ready to crash at this point.

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Table (no power points)

Air New Zealand didn’t have wifi so checking Facebook/Twitter/Google+/Grindr wasn’t an option. Neither was working on my trip reports.

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AVOD Remote Control

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Airshow

Service during the night wasn’t really good. I didn’t see the cabin crew during the night. I know they have to rest, but this was in stark contrast to my Cathay Pacific flight (although on that flight they were just pushing trolleys.)

I didn’t really feel like watching a movie at this point, so I went on AVOD (which is the old, laggy Kia Ora system) and played a bit of Caveman.

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Caveman

The toilet was really, really small.

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Toilet

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All that for forgetting to turn off the seat belt sign!

I slept for a good 5 hours, and when I woke up breakfast was already being served. This was about 3 A.M. Hong Kong time. The choices were egg and something else that I have forgotten, and I went with the former.

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Breakfast

The egg was bland, although it went great with tomato sauce.

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Cabin during breakfast

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The angle of recline (still ample space in front of me)

A notable thing that happened during breakfast was the service. When I asked for a hot chocolate, instead of “Yes, we do. May I get some for you in the galley?” the flight attendant said “I’ll get you a hot chocolate.” This is economy class, but…

After that they took my breakfast tray but seeing I hadn’t finished my hot chocolate they gave it back to me. I had to bring it to the galley myself:

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Back cabin

Soon enough we were landing, and touched with a quiet “bump” at Hong Kong International Airport. And then we were on our way home…

Overall this was a good flight that could have been improved, and I can clearly see why Air New Zealand is a four star airline, nothing more or nothing less.

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