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Air NZ PE Space Seat

Christchurch, New...
Destination Expert
for South Island
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Air NZ PE Space Seat

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.

14 replies to this topic
Iowa
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289 posts
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1. Re: Air NZ PE Space Seat

Thanks for that review of PE. I know that you've seen the Skycouches, but have you flown using them? Or have you talked to anyone who has used them? If so, what's the verdict on their comfort?

Christchurch, New...
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for South Island
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2. Re: Air NZ PE Space Seat

We concidered both, as the skycouch is cheaper than 2 Premium Ecconomy seats. I guess for me the worst aspect of long haul flights is the sense of confinement so we made a choice and paid the $. I have spoken to people who used the skycoach and they seem to have mixed views. Those that really liked it were a shirt size or two smaller than me.

The thing they all agreed on was the ability to have their legs out straight even if not lying flat. At the end of the day its about what you want to spend. My wife is adamant that Business Premier beats PE hands down, but most of us have to deal with the reality of limits.

Wellington, NZ
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3. Re: Air NZ PE Space Seat

Great review - thanks. We often fly Premium Economy, but have yet to try the new seats (will be doing so very soon!). Do you recommend the seats on the sides or in the middle (when travelling with a partner)?

Aberdeen, Scotland
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4. Re: Air NZ PE Space Seat

I'd go for the middle seats as that way you both have direct aisle access.

We usually fly PE and this was by far the best PE seats I have sat in. Loads of leg room, plenty of width room and no having to take a tray out the side of your seat either! :D

Luton, United...
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5. Re: Air NZ PE Space Seat

We also flew ANZ spaceseats from LHR-LAX return and really liked them. Two teeny criticisms - they don't recline quite enough and the bean bags for your feet aren't quite big enough. Putting a spare pillow on the bean bag solved this a bit, another one at the small of my back helped the lack of recline.

Food and entertainment (and especially service) was as good as any business class I've flown, and better than some.

In essence, almost a business class seat but at less than half the price. Would fly this way again for anything up to 12 hours. Over that, I'm afraid I'd book a business class lie-flat seat....

Wellington, NZ
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6. Re: Air NZ PE Space Seat

Thanks, everyone!

Peterhead, United...
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7. Re: Air NZ PE Space Seat

On long haul flights, my blood pressure goes through the roof when the person in front steals my space by reclining into it.

What an absolute joy to experience Space-seats with Air New Zealand from LHR to LAX. The complete and utter lack of space invasion made the flight much more comfortable. It is almost twice the price,but if I'm paying that then these are the seats for me.

Of course, if the airlines were to discourage reclining altogether, I would be happier to pay 50% less.

The media have criticised Air NZ for their innovative approach. From my perspective this is a great innovation in air travel. Well done Air New Zealand!!!

Edited: 29 September 2014, 18:26
Hamilton, New...
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8. Re: Air NZ PE Space Seat

Just a quick note regarding space seats. My husband (built like a front row prop) and I shared a middle row on a trans Tasman flight and we couldn't be more impressed. The leg room was stunning, couldn't touch the seat in front and so much side/elbow room it was luxurious. We had these seats as a Works Deluxe package, and for the extra $150 each we thought this very good valve for money given the only other travel we had done was in economy. The design of the seats, extra cubby holes for phones, passports, the tray design - all made this a great flying experience. The fact we didnt feel ready to leave once landed a good indication just how comfortable we were

nz
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for Norfolk Island, Noosaville, Rarotonga
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9. Re: Air NZ PE Space Seat

Hi

Just want to point out that the space seats are only in the 777-300s.

The 777-200s had an awful PE cabin with 3+3+3 - the only advantage really being extra leg room. The 200 series is gradually being updated but NOT with the space seats. The PE cabin on these aircraft will be reconfigured with 2+4+2 seating which will be an improvement on the old cabin but not as good as space seats.

I really enjoy the space seats but haven't yet tried the new cabin on the 777-200.

And just to clarify - Premium Economy (PE) class is not sold on the Trans Tasman and Pacific Island routes. But those seats are sold as Economy seats with AirNZ FFers able to access some of them at no cost, with others available at an extra cost over normal economy fares. Great to have, but the service, food and wine are the same as economy class.

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10. Re: Air NZ PE Space Seat

Having flown many flights in the Space Seat, I'm sorry to say it is not all that it is cracked up to be. While it does have great features while you are awake, they are actually somewhat uncomfortable for sleeping. Because the seat back does not recline, the bottom seat slides out to give the feeling of reclining. However, the only way to be comfortable is to use the pillow for lumbar support. To be quite honest, I used to sleep much more comfortably in the old PE seats they used to have in their 747-400s. I understand they might be get ridding of the SpaceSeats in the next year or so. All the other amenities and service in PE is quite good, though...I just wish it was easier to sleep comfortably on a 12 hour flight in those space seats.

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