Our original plan for flying to London was with Air New Zealand via Hong Kong on 14 April. We had paid for economy seats and were planning to upgrade to Premium Economy seats using our accumulated airports.
Thanks to the airline playing around with upgrade availability we couldn’t upgrade our original flights and had to move dates and route. Our new travel date was April 6 and travel was via Los Angeles.
Those of you who have done this trip know of the horrible wait in LA where transit passengers are confined to a sealed room for about two hours with nothing more than a coffee machine and packets of potato chips.
But every cloud, as they say, has a silver lining. We got to experience the new Air New Zealand Premium Economy class. New seats, entertainment system, cabin ambience, etc. For those of us used to the old setup it was quite a change. Instead of rows of 3 – 3 – 3 there were rows of 2 – 2 – 2. And each seat is enclosed in a “cocoon” providing privacy from the passenger next door.
This means that you sit facing slightly sideways which is a tad disconcerting and the outer rows face slightly towards the windows. Once you get used to it, however, the improvements are great.
The cocoon seat means that reclining happens within the shell – so no chance of the passenger in front reclining their seat back into your lap. The downside of this is that reclining cribs a little legroom but this is a small price to pay as, even then, the legroom remains generous.
Food and beverages are good however we did miss the welcome aboard drink. But the biggest surprise was that the toilet had doubled in size. Finally there is room to brush you teeth without having to balance over the toilet bowl. True progress!