An average flight from Singapore to New Zealand’s capital, Auckland, takes 10 hours. 10 hours. Enough to watch 4 typical feature-length movies, enough time to drive from Singapore to Thailand, enough time to do your A-level Physics papers 1 through 5 all over again and then have more than 2 hours to lament and bemoan the fact that you should have studied harder. In a nutshell, it’s a long time and the best way to wile away the hours is in comfort. Some airlines pack you like produce, and yet others just want to shuttle you between destinations like cattle. Air New Zealand, however, has redesigned its cabins to offer the discerning traveller more options and a wider range of choice.
The Premium Economy
The leather did the trick at convincing me that this was a premium product. The material is more cooling than traditional fabric upholstery. The leg-room is generous and the seats recline 50% more than in Economy class. The real kicker comes, though, when you fling off your footwear and put your feet up with the leg rest and foot bar.
More than just the seats, the Premium Economy experience extends to the inflight service as well. A unique New Zealand dining experience designed by the consultant chef awaits you, with inflight menus featuring New Zealand’s finest produce. Pair this with a selection of premium New Zealand wines or help yourself at the self-service refreshment bar.
Air New Zealand’s Skycouch is the ultimate in couple seats. With a push of a button, a row of three economy seats can be converted into a flatbed. Gone are the days of snapping open the seat belt and making a beeline to the empty rear seats when the “fasten seat belt” light goes off. The little extra that goes into the design is the ability to extend the seat base all the way to the seats in the next row, thereby giving a couple space to lie side by side. Affectionately dubbed the “Cuddle Class,” the whole triple seat package is priced at 2 seats at regular price and the third shared seat for half price.
Fully extended, and with the bed covers on, the skycouch made for a very comfortable rest. The 1.55m length meant that it would be a little tight sleeping on one’s back. The most optimal position would be a very relaxed fetal position. Seat depth extends to 74 cm, readily accommodating 2 snugly. Do ask for more pillows, though, as I foresee needing at least 2 each to get really comfy.
In its regular configuration, the seat design resembles that of other national airlines. However, I was very pleased with the ample leg room and leg rest. Air New Zealand certainly did not try to cram in as many rows of seats as possible at the expense of passenger comfort. The leg rest itself can extend from 0 to 90 degrees and combined with the recline of the seat back, left me feeling contented.
Fly Singapore – Auckland in comfort for less
For a limited period only, what better time to enjoy the Singapore – Auckland Air New Zealand Dreamliner experience than right now?Air New Zealand and Tourism New Zealand have also joined to launch special fares (from S$999/ $1,089**) for the Singapore to Auckland flight. The sale runs from 10 August to 5 September 2016. (** From $999 for travel between 20 October – 30 November 2016, and from $1,089* for travel between 14 August – 9 December or 25 – 31 December 2016.)
For more information, head to airnewzealand.com.sg.