There have been several questions about the AIR NZ PE “space seat” on their Boeing 777 ER’s. I was flew this class in May/June on a return trip Auckland to LHR via LAX. This was 4 legs of about 12 hours each. These are my thoughts. My only relationship with Air NZ is as a customer, mostly on domestic flights and I paid for these flights myself.
I had two upgrades available and was successful in getting them on the outward flight, However I gave the BP seats to my wife once we were on the plane. This did allow for a 2nd hand comparison with Business Premier ! Seats in PE are 2-2-2 whilst in Pacific Ecconomy they are 3-4-3. Given the aircraft is a uniform width, this shows that there is a lot more room in PE. The seat is MUCH bigger and there is more leg room. Added to this the seats are all in a hard shell which means the seat in front does not come back to you when it reclines. You also have a full size pillow and a bean bag.
While you can not lie flat, you can fully strtch out. I am 1.8 tall (6 foot in old school measurements) and a bit over 90kg. I found that I could fully stretch and if I tossed, turned and fidgeted I could get myself comfortable enough to sleep properly. I put the bean bag on top of my carry on bag and found quite a bit of elevation for my legs.
The rows by the windows have the 2 seats slightly offset so there is some privacy while the centre row has the seats facing slightly. The table between these centre seats raises and lowers. If you knew you companion or wanted to, you could dine facing each other, then lower the table and one could their legs across the table and have an “almost fully reclined.
As it happened on the way over I shared the centre with a stranger, and on the way back my wife and I had the offset seats. !. This is not how Air NZ usually arrange the seats. However despite our concern at the off set seats (we thought we had needed a particular power plug) it was fine. (great in fact) The centre seats also have the option of dropping the table directly in front of you so you can dine “privately”
The TV screen is quite adjustable and bigger than in ecconomy. The meals and service on Air NZ is tops. Because there are fewer in the PE cabin, there was no quing for the Loos. (Bathrooms for our friends that don’t speak propper English) One was big enough to get changed in.
In summary, it is not as good as Business Premiere but it costs about ½ as much. It is MUCH better than ecconomy but it costs a lot more. Only you can decide if you think it’s worth it. Personally I did. I would do it again even though it meant one star less in our European hotels. We arrived feeling less drained than usual. We had the “fasten seat belts” sign on for a few hours and even that was bearable.