Best Premium Economy Seat for Australian Business Travellers: Air New Zealand Spaceseat
Premium economy is becoming increasingly popular as a middle-ground cabin offering better seating and service than economy, but without the significantly higher cost of business class.
While we rate Qantas premium economy as one of the world’s best ‘economy plus’ products, and are keen to try out Cathay Pacific's new entry into the PE space, Air New Zealand’s innovative Spaceseat raised the bar to new heights in 2011.
But it wasn’t always a smooth ride for the Kiwi flag-carrier. Created for Air New Zealand by US design firm Ideo, the seat looked superb in mock-ups.
However, the Spaceseat’s initial rollout on AirNZ’s flagship Boeing 777-300ERs – used for some trans-Tasman flights as well as services from Auckland to Los Angeles and London – ironically proved to be crucially short of space, with far little room for the knees and legs of even average-sized passengers.
Frequent flyers and Australian Business Traveller were quick to highlight the problem. To their credit Air New Zealand listened and removed one row of seats, boosting legroom by an extra 4-6 inches – resulting in what we ‘re now confident to crown as best premium economy seat for the business traveller, not just in Australia-New Zealand but the world.
The Australian Business Traveller Awards are judged by an independent panel of business travellers and frequent flyers plus the AusBT team, and provide a uniquely Australian perspective on the best products and services for Australia's estimated 2.6 million business travellers.