What To Expect When You Book The Air New Zealand First Class Experience

If you’re making a long-haul trip from Los Angeles to Auckland, why not ride in haute style? We’re here to share why Air New Zealand is consistently named one of the top airlines in the world (including becoming AirlineRatings.com Airline of the Year 2018 for its fifth year in a row; the International Carrier – Business Class Gold and International Carrier – In-Flight Menu Silver winner for the 2017 Travel Weekly Magellan Awards; and the Best Premium Economy Class, World’s Best Premium Economy Class Airline Seat and Best Alliance Lounge at the World Airline Awards by Skytrax) for luxury travelers.


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The first class experience on Air New Zealand may not be called First Class—it’s actual title is Business Premier—but we assure you, the name has nothing to do with the experience. Wake up refreshed after sleeping on a memory foam mattress that converts from a buttery soft  leather seat. There’s also an ottoman footrest that doubles as guest seating, guaranteeing ultimate comfort and relaxation. The customer service is excellent: from the moment you’re greeted with champagne or a glass of wine to the minute you disembark, the staff caters to your every whim and desire. A push button screen controls your need for snacks, but should you need something that isn’t on the menu, just ask: magically, it will appear. Those who book this cabin don’t have to worry about leaving anything at home—your kitchen sink might even fit! You’ll be able to check three bags and bring on two carry-ons without cost. Innovative amenities offered to first-class travelers including 3D printing, seat power, USB and iPod connections, and a truly awesome in-flight entertainment system, which feature current blockbusters, TV shows, exclusive audio programming, and a vast array of music. You’ll enjoy your own individual screen and your entertainment experience will be enhanced with Active noise cancellation headsets to ensure crystal clear sound. Make sure not to miss the heavy selection of New Zealand-specific films like Peter Jacksons Lord of the Rings trilogy and Jane Campion’s The Piano to get a proper feel for your destination in advance.


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You might not know much about New Zealand’s wine culture until you arrive, but the country is famous for its wine in areas such as Marlborough and Hawke’s Bay. Some of that wine is made available to guests onboard, and it flows freely. Six of New Zealand’s leading independent wine experts; Alastair Maling, Michael Brajkovich, Sam Harrop, Simon Nash and Steve Smith, along with Master Sommelier have come together to create “The Fine Wines of New Zealand.” Forty-seven of the country’s most prestigious wines, which represent the seven varietals, are now available in Business Premier. The airline, in fact, is the single largest server of wines in New Zealand, so expect some top-notch flights in flight. As an added bonus for high-end travelers, in addition to the variety already available onboard, every two months the airline will be profiling a selection from the Fine Wines of New Zealand list, which celebrates and showcases the finest wines New Zealand has to offer.


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The airline’s menu has been created by the culinary equivalent of rockstars in New Zealand: Peter Gordon— widely known as the godfather of fusion cuisine, who owns two internationally-acclaimed restaurants in Auckland (Bellota and The Sugar Club) and one in London (The Providores and Tapa Room)—and Michael Meredith,  the owner of Auckland’s award-winning degustation restaurant, Meredith’s. On board, you’ll experience the best these two men have made available in air. To begin, nibble on master stock poached chicken salad with green soba noodles, daikon, and baby corn with pomegranate pearls or tea smoked salmon with harissa, tahini and yoghurt potato salad, green olive and mint tapenade before moving on to exquisitely-prepared main items like beef short rib with mashed mascarpone potatoes, cumin roasted carrots and radishes with parsnips chips, salmon dusted with New Zealand lemon kelp and sesame, shiitake and spring onion rice with steamed baby bok choy and Masala rubbed chicken breast, spiced rice with cauliflower, green beans and aubergine pickle with kachumber salad (Kachumber is an Indian salad consisting of fresh chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and chili peppers). Dessert includes a selection of fine New Zealand cheese served with blackcurrant and red onion jelly and cracker selection. Breakfast includes everything from a boysenberry banana smoothie to croissants to an omelette filled with gruyere and Swiss, brown mushroom mornay, tomato confit and crispy chicken rashers or yogurt and blueberry waffles with poached apricot and vanilla compote with lemon curd yogurt. If you want to have a lie-in, that’s cool, too: a flight attendant will wake you (or let you sleep in) at your request.

Impossible Burger
Impossible Burger

The airline recently introduced a culinary item designed to make vegans and vegetarians happy: the plant-based Impossible Burger. The inflight collaboration with Silicon Valley food tech start-up Impossible Foods is available as part of its Business Premier menu on flights from Los Angeles to Auckland. Impossible Burger’s magic ingredient is the iron-containing molecule heme, which comes from the roots of soy plants.  The heme in the Impossible Burger is the same as the heme found in animal meat.  The result is a plant-based burger patty that cooks, smells and tastes like beef but contains no animal products whatsoever. Bonus!


ANZBusiness Premier Amenity Kit

When you book your first class experience, you’ll get the best that the airline has to offer: access to it’s Star Alliance lounge in L.A. as well as Air New Zealand’s International Lounge in Auckland, premium, private, VIP check-in, priority baggage and, on board, an amenity kit with deluxe toiletries. In our opinion, the experience is as seamless as advertised.