I arrived from the Airbus Express from downtown to the airport and began my trek to find the Air New Zealand check-in desks at the other end of the airport. I eventually came across a series of Air New Zealand counters and kiosks and got in line before wondering why I hadn’t seen any signs for premium cabin passengers. I stepped out of line and returned to looking around, finding the business class check-in desk down a bit further and cloistered off from the rest of the airport.
The advantage of the business class check-in desk? A dedicated passport control line and a slightly faster security line. Compared to the hassle of a normal TSA security line, anything looks good.
Compared to the cheese and cracker fare at the United Clubs, the Air New Zealand lounge had a good variety of options.
With boarding scheduled to begin shortly, I headed to the gate.
We had a delay in boarding. With moments to go before our scheduled departure, the gate agents announced that there was a problem with the avionics system and that there was no ETA, advising passengers with lounge access to return to the lounge. I decided to stick around while a Canadian couple behind me left for the lounge. As it turned out, boarding commenced shortly after the indefinite delay announcement. The couple had just reached the lounge when the boarding announcement was made. “Rebooting” (in their terminology) the aircraft electrical system caused the IFE to not be up and running during pushback and taxiing, leaving the crew to give the safety announcements the traditional way.
Air New Zealand 84
Auckland, NZ (AKL) – Vancouver (YVR)
Saturday, December 31st
Duration: 13 hours, 15 minutes
Aircraft: Boeing 777-219ER (ZK-OKF)
Seat: 5A (Business Class)
Once again, I was on a 777-219ER, so the Business Premier cabin was the nearly same as my Sydney to Auckland flight. The notable addition to the scene is a tightly rolled memory foam mattress pad and a pillow.
The amenity kit came with the standard contents.
Immediately after takeoff, it was time for the obligatory airshow.
Air New Zealand puts quite a bit of attention into describing the alcoholic beverages, especially the wines, served on board.
I had (obviously) requested a vegetarian meal in advance.
I decided to watch a movie and then asked to have my bed made up. While the bed was quite comfortable, I had a slight cold and didn’t get the most optimal sleep I could. When I awoke, the flight attendants were going around serving fruit juices and smoothies.
While my Vancouver layover was originally scheduled due to the mercy of award availability, it afforded me the opportunity to do my NEXUS iris scan on my way back to the United States.