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

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.


AKL Terminal


NZ Check-in


Looking into Premium Check-in


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.


Premium Economy


Premium Economy


Premium Economy legrest


Economy Class


Economy Class


Our seats

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


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.


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.


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:


Vomit bag


Vomit bag

I couldn’t resist taking a legroom shot.


Ample legroom


Ample legroom


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.


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.


AVOD Remote Control



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.



The toilet was really, really small.




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.



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


Cabin during breakfast


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:


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.


3 thoughts on “Review: Down to Modern Middle-earth – NZ 087 Auckland to Hong Kong 777-200 Economy Class”

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  3. Interesting review. In June this year I booked on Singapore Airlines between HKG and AKL with an SQ A380 to SIN, then a NZ 787-9 between SIN and AKL, and SQ A350 back to HKG. The new seats on the NZ 787 was really good and very responsive and attractive. While I heard that the 777-200 that was used in HKG was refitted with new seats I haven’t seen them in picture yet, but at the same time why I took a detour to SIN was that I wanted to avoid the 777 because I felt that if NZ deployed the 787 to nearby cities like SIN, PVG, and NRT then it was just really unfair for HKG not to get the 787, especially with serious competition from Cathay’s A350; also the round-trip fare on SQ was about 2,000 HKD less than on Cathay, so that was a pretty good deal. While it was noticeable that the seats on a 9-across 787 was narrower than in a 9-across 777, it was still really comfortable and the padding was ok, and the mood lighting and higher cabin pressure/humidity made the experience overall much better than any 777 that I went on, including that of CX. The crew was also pretty good and the food, while not as good as SQ, was still tasty.

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