Best seats: Premium Economy, Air New Zealand Boeing 777-200

By John Walton, July 18 2012
Best seats: Premium Economy, Air New Zealand Boeing 777-200

Flying in premium economy on Air New Zealand's Boeing 777-200 planes? Here's how to pick the best seats on the plane.

Air New Zealand flies these 777-200 planes on several high-demand flights between Australia and Auckland. Perth-Auckland flights were recently upgraded to these 777-200 planes, so if you booked your ticket (and seat) some time ago make sure that you've checked whether your flight has changed.

You'll also find them on the Auckland-Hong Kong-London run and occasionally across the Pacific to Vancouver or San Francisco. If you're heading to LA on one of the newer, stretched 777-300 series, you'll want our guide to the new Premium Economy Spaceseats instead.

If you buy one of Air New Zealand's Works Deluxe seats, or if you're a frequent flyer with Air NZ or one of its partners (including Virgin Australia Gold and Platinum cardholders), you may well be able to select one of these premium economy seats if you're officially flying economy.

The premium economy cabin and seats

Don't confuse the Premium Economy seats on this older 777-200 with Air New Zealand's impressive Premium Economy Spaceseats, which you'll find on the newer, larger Boeing 777-300ER.

These seats are, oddly enough, not that much bigger than regular economy: they're arranged in a 3-3-3 layout (the same as economy). They do get plus points for a competition-beating 41 inches of seat pitch, which means three inches more legroom than other premium economy seats. All seats get an extendable footrest.

The best seats on the plane

23A 23K: the best window seats on the plane, these have extra legroom thanks to the bulkhead in front of them. Beware, though: they're the infant bassinet crib positions too, which means you might be disturbed by (or shifted to make room for) a crying baby.

23D 23F: these aisle seats in the centre block of three seats are the best for aisle fans. With extra room in front, it's unlikely that you'll have to move to make way for the centre passenger.

23C 23H: very tall passengers will love the almost unlimited legroom thanks to the bulkhead at the front of the cabin, which doesn't extend all the way in front of these seats.

D and F seats: if you're an aisle person and can't get the front row, snag an aisle seat in the middle trio: the "only one person climbing over you" benefitworks here too.

The worst seats on the plane:

Row 26: the last row in the cabin has three baby bassinet crib positions in economy immediately behind. Avoid this row if you can.

B and J seats: These middle seats on either side of the cabin are slightly worse than other middle seats if you get lumped in one, since you must climb over the aisle passenger. If you're in an E middle seat in the centre block, you have your choice of whichever aisle passenger isn't asleep/working/grumpy.

Also in our series of Best Seats guides: 

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.

I have just returned from flying Mel/AKL/LA with ANZ. The seats are ok but there is NOWHERE to put your feet. There is no footrest save a bean bag which doesn't quite do the trick. And I agree with Longreach the whole transit through AKL is an absolute pain. On another note while the crew are pleasant, the food is Inedible and as I barely eat and am not very fussy this is a big statement. I suggest you fill up before getting on board. Finally the ground services are appalling. ANZ managed to lose my luggage between Melbourne and Auckland and for 8 days had no clue where it was. To add fuel to the fire they made no contact with us until my husband cleverly got the contact details of the CEO and raised a stink. It was lots of fun travelling from Aussie summer to New York winter with nothing. All round experience? Forget it- fly Virgin or Qantas and save your self the angst of the extra stopover and the bad all round service on a second rate airline.

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