Review: Air New Zealand business class, Auckland to Perth

Overall Rating

By Chris Frame, January 22 2014
Air New Zealand business class, Auckland to Perth

Auckland - Perth

Aircraft Type

Boeing 777-200


Air New Zealand



Cabin Class




The Good
  • 1-2-1 layout offers aisle access for all
The Bad
  • Airpoints has annual membership fee (so I stuck with Velocity for earning)
  • The staff: truly genuine and really happy to help!


Perth is a good 5,300km, seven hours and four timezones away from Auckland but it's certainly not a case of 'out of sight, out of mind' for Air New Zealand.

The Kiwi carrier offers the only daily direct flights between the two cities, apart from a 'summer seasonal' incursion by Qantas running only twice a week from December 7 2013 to February 1 2014.

Nor is Air New Zealand taking this route for granted. In September last year the service was upgraded from a Boeing 767-300 to a Boeing 777-200 with lie-flat business class seats, and this October the route will take another step up with the debut of the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

I recently flew from Auckland to Perth in Air New Zealand's Business Premier business class, although I purchased the ticket through Air NZ's codeshare partner Virgin Australia. This actually came in several hundred dollars cheaper than if I had booked the same flight with Air New Zealand.


Flying Business Premier will get you access into the excellent Air New Zealand lounge at Auckland International Airport. With sweeping views of the aircraft, the lounge is large, spacious and comfortable.

Amenities include showers and bathrooms, a business area with desktop computers, wifi throughout the lounge (with a good, strong signal) and quiet areas for those wishing to chill out.

There is an impressive buffet meal selection, hot and cold drinks, self-service bars and snack food. Service is truly New Zealand in nature; warm, friendly and with a genuine smile.


The Business Premier cabin aboard the 777-200 has 26 seats a 1-2-1 configuration.

Because of the ‘herringbone’ layout each seat offers direct aisle access, which is a bonus, as there’s no climbing over anyone to get to the aisle. 

The seat is excellent. It offers a modest recline when not in the ‘bed’ position, and folds over into a fully flat bed, making sleeping a breeze aboard this aircraft.

As soon as you’re ready to sleep, a member of the crew will assist with turning the seat into a bed, complete with roll out mattress. 

The seat amenities include a large television screen, noise cancelling headphones, personal lights and stowage areas.

Each customer is offered a comfort pack which includes the usual amenities. However, to add a bit of fun, the socks are multi-coloured and the eye mask has the words “Caution, I sleep walk” printed on it. A nice touch!

The cabin itself was bright and airy. It featured mood lighting, wide aisles and clean, spacious bathrooms. 

You have easy access to three bathrooms on the 777-200, one forward and two aft of the Business Premier cabin. These were kept clean and operational throughout the flight.


The service on this flight was some of the best I’ve experienced long haul. The cabin crew is exceptionally friendly and seemed to genuinely care about each customer.

Boarding was fast and easy, with a warm welcome followed by embarkation drinks. The crew showed each passenger how to operate the many seat functions, and offered menus to passengers.

After take off, the meal service commenced. Entrees were offered along with a second drinks service. Breads included hot white rolls, sourdough and garlic bread – which was popular!

Mains included a salmon option, which I chose.

It was cooked perfectly and was accompanied by a potato salad and a roast tomato.

Beer options included the New Zealand brand of Steinlager, so I gave that a try. A while later there was a dessert service, and I chose the ice cream which came with a biscotti and coffee.

About two ours before landing in Perth, a real treat commenced – afternoon tea!

This consisted of teas and coffee, and warm scones with jam and cream that tasted freshly baked. Yum!

Entertainment & Service

The Business Premier cabin was full on this flight. However, the crew were happy and friendly the entire trip. Nothing was too much of an ask, even seconds (or thirds) on the garlic bread during lunch wasn’t a problem.

The entertainment system worked well. It is the older Rockwell Collins system, however it didn’t suffer any of the bugs that regular travellers on other airlines may have experienced. The sound quality was excellent and the picture quality was good.

Movies included a wide range of new release, favorites, classics and kids options. It kept me occupied for the entire flight.


Air New Zealand offers an exceptional inflight experience on its Auckland-Perth service. The Boeing 777-200 is a significant improvement over the older Boeing 767-300, which offered recliner-style seating in business class. With daily services to Perth the airline continues to show a serious commitment to Western Australia.


Maritime historian & author, Chris Frame is his most comfortable at sea – but when not sunning on a deck chair he can often be found high above at 35,000 feet (where being nearly 2m tall, he prefers business class!)

11 Mar 2012

Total posts 315

Lounge access at PER?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Jan 2014

Total posts 3

The Qantas Club in PER. 

23 Jan 2014

Total posts 11

Flying PER-AKL (booked VA, and as a VA Plat) on this service I have managed to get into the SQ lounge in PER. Much better food than QF, but very small. But yes even when booked VA on this service the default (and officially only) lounge option is QF. 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

28 Apr 2014

Total posts 32

So as a Star Alliance Gold member travelling on Air NZ from PER to AKL, I won't be allowed into the Qantas contracted-lounge? 
Or should I be able to get into the SQ-lounge, as a *A-member?? 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Jul 2014

Total posts 25

Awesome! Airnewzeakand 777-200 are fantastic!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Jul 2014

Total posts 25

I flew the 787 of ANZ and the service was fantastic...look forward to returning to perth again by ANZ!in business of course

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