It’s no wonder Air New Zealand this year topped the Nunwood Customer Experience Excellence (CEE) Index in Australia. In the eyes of more than 5000 Australian travellers engaged in the study, the airline provides a superior customer experience – to which I’d have to agree. On a recent flight from Brisbane to Auckland, I relished the opportunity to experience Air New Zealand’s Business Premier aboard the carrier’s B777-300 aircraft. From the creative Bear Grylls-inspired safety demo to the attentive cabin service and mouth-watering menu featuring local produce, the Business Premier experience delivers a uniquely Kiwi and luxurious journey across the Tasman. The 1-2-1 seating configuration, which gives every Business Premier passenger isle access, combined with the high-reach curved seatbacks provide the ultimate haven to relax in privacy at 30,000 feet.
When you first sit down it’s easy to see Business Premier is no ordinary business class seat. The luxurious leather arm chair has a 56cm seat pitch and is designed to allow take off and landing in recline position while the ottoman footrest doubles as a visitor’s seat. But it’s not just the seat that makes this business class product a delight…deep pockets to store reading materials, a separate space to keep headphones, a shelf perfect for holding reading glasses, a retractable tray that fits both a wine and a water on, plus an extra large meal tray that can be adjusted to suit your seating position makes personal items easy to manage and creates a sense of spaciousness. Added to all of this is a memory foam mattress for the 2m lie-flat bed and fluffy duvet – both of which make it extremely difficult for any weary business traveller to keep their eyes open after a day of back-to-back meetings.
And if you haven’t had the chance to eat a proper meal in between meetings, don’t worry the Business Premier menu is amazing. The exclusive menus designed by consultant chefs will leave you feeling utterly satisfied with entrées such as seared venison carpaccio, aubergine, lime and cumin salad with feta sumac crumble, followed by a main of seared salmon fillets with saffron risotto, pepperonata in tomato and green beans with lemon butter sauce all followed by a gourmet dessert like spiced apple crumble or gingernut ice cream. And if you’re still feeling hungry there’s always the cheese platter including a selection of fine New Zealand cheeses served with roast peach relish and crackers.
Time spent in Business Premier will appease all five senses. The experience offers an enjoyable insight into the cultural nuances unique to New Zealand. From its red carpet tributes to Bear Grylls and Lord of the Rings, extensive in-flight entertainment selection and delicious choice of local wines, this business class experience has broad appeal for business or leisure travellers that want to hit the ground refreshed and ready to roll.
Written by Sally Gordon, from FCm’s Australian marketing division. Sally was a guest of Air New Zealand as part of a travel familiarisation tour.