Air New Zealand Premium Economy Spaceseats: six inches more legroom

By John Walton, September 14 2011
Air New Zealand Premium Economy Spaceseats: six inches more legroom

Air New Zealand has just finished removing an entire row of seats from its much-touted Premium Economy Spaceseat cabin, adding between four and six inches of legroom for each Premium Economy passenger on its flagship Boeing 777-300ER planes.

The airline had been criticised by frequent flyers for the lack of legroom in the revolutionary Premium Economy Spaceseats, and spent the latter half of August taking its new planes out of service one by one to pull out a row of seating.

An Air New Zealand spokesperson revealed the details of the seat changes to Australian Business Traveller.

"With the exception of the front row of seats, which has not changed,  A-B and J-K seats all have an additional 6 inches of legroom, and D-E (centre seats) have an additional 4 - 5 inches of legroom," the spokeperson told us.

There are now 9 rows in the centre of the cabin, 7 rows on the right hand side and only 6 on the left. As we predicted, seats on the left side of the cabin (that's seats A & B on the seat map) will have the most extra legroom.

Here's the layout of the refitted cabin:

Air New Zealand's full fleet of Boeing 777-300ER planes, mostly used on flights NZ001 and NZ002 to London via Los Angeles, have all been refitted.

Travelling in Premium Economy? Don't miss our insiders' guide to picking the best Spaceseats on Air New Zealand's Boeing 777-300ER.

In case you missed our full coverage of Air New Zealand's new planes earlier in the year, there were also welcome improvements to its top offering, Business Premier, with more padded beds, better in-flight entertainment and a stand-up bar.

While the new Economy class is a cramped ten-across 3-4-3 layout, with less width and legroom than the older Boeing 747s that the new planes replaced, our surprising pick for business travellers on a budget was the Economy Skycouch.

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.

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12 May 2011

Total posts 21

Good on them for listening to customers! 

03 Jan 2011

Total posts 666

Absolutely! With six inches more legroom (or even four or five in the centre or right hand side seat pairs) it'll be a fantastic premium economy product.


15 Apr 2011

Total posts 580

Hope that we see some of those 747s back in the air filling in for the 77Ws!! So sad to see them sitting on the tarmac in Christchurch...

03 Jan 2011

Total posts 666

Agreed -- I'd far rather fly in the nose of a 747 than in a 777 any day. I saw those two 747s in CHC weekend before last too -- kind of sad-looking!

07 May 2011

Total posts 5

It's great to see some improvement on this shockingly bad config.

Now if only they would introduce the inflight product that's on the 747, 767 and 772 fleet then it would be worth taking them off my 'no fly' list.

28 Aug 2011

Total posts 1

I'm flying Air NZ from London to Auckland in early september. Have you heard if this reconfiguration is going to schedule?

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