Good Deal: Air New Zealand Premium Economy London – LAX £699


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Air New Zealand is just one of many airlines offering a variety of deals across this Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend and, PR stunts aside, I think the Premium Economy deal currently on offer is the pick of the airline’s offers.

As it has done for the past few years Air New Zealand released 100 roundtrip London – LA Economy Class fares for just £175 yesterday morning and, as happens every year, the website struggled and the  fares were snapped up in minutes….but that’s just a PR stunt.

Most people have little to no chance of snagging one of those incredibly cheap Economy Class deals because of the huge number of people chasing a comparatively tiny number of fares….but the Premium Economy deal is still up and running.

Yes the deal isn’t exactly perfect (the travel dates are pretty restrictive) but as far as Premium Economy fares go (for London departures) that’s a very nice deal.

Availability looks to be pretty good….

….and £699 the fare is cheaper than the best British Airways Premium Economy fares for the same period….

…and Air New Zealand Premium Economy is MUCH better than British Airways World Traveller Plus.

Where British Airways’ Premium Economy cabin offers seats with 38″ of pitch (legroom) and 18.5″ of seat width Air New Zealand’s cabin offer seats with 41″ of pitch and 20″ of seat width.

Passengers get a lot more personal space with Air new Zealand than they do with BA.

Air New Zealand Premium Economy Seat

The onboard dining on Air New Zealand is pretty good too.

An example menu reads:

Breakfast:

Fruit, cereal, and bakery

  • Fruit selection with assorted cereals and yoghurt
  • Croissants with fruit conserve

From the stove

  • Scrambled eggs with gourmet pork and apple sausage, creamed spinach and tomato relish
  • Sweet hotcakes with spiced plum compote, yoghurt and vanilla syrup

Dinner:

Starter
Sumac salmon with roasted grapes, tabouleh salad and preserved lemon mayonnaise

Main

  • Harissa lamb shank with tomato and red pepper bulgur wheat pilaf, sauteed chard and sumac yoghurt dressing
  • Chicken breast with walnut pesto, garlic fried new potatoes, long stem sweet broccolini and sherry vinegar jus
  • Seared hapuka in miso coconut broth with steamed shitake rice, gai lan and fresh coriander salsa

Dessert
Rhubarb frangipane tart with vanilla bean mascarpone cream

That all sounds a lot nicer than what I had last time I flew in Premium Economy with BA (although I should add that I’ve heard that BA has improved…. but that wasn’t hard to do considering the starting point).

Virgin Atlantic offers a pretty good Premium Economy product (I reviewed the A330 here) but, even though its Premium Economy seats are 1″ wider than those of Air New Zealand (impressive), its seats offer 3″ less legroom and roundtrip prices for the same time of year are noticeably higher:

I could go on and discuss the Premium Economy offering that you get on American Airlines but there’s no real point – does anyone actually think American’s PE cabin can compete with that of Air New Zealand? (I’m really hoping you all answered “no” to that question!)

Bottom Line

Is this a fantastic deal? No

Are the dates restrictive? Yes

But overall this is still a very nice fare for travel in a very nice cabin and it shouldn’t be ignored.

If anyone is reading this and thinking “yeah…but I get to earn BA Tier Points and Avios if I pay a little more for BA” (I know some of you are thinking exactly that) you should probably read the latter part of this post I wrote a few days ago.

Most people shouldn’t be putting up with mediocre experiences just to attain airline status or to earn miles- pay to travel in quality cabins rather than worrying about status and travel will be so much nicer.

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