Flying to New Zealand

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  • Flying to New Zealand
  • fantom

    Guys, I want to go to new zealand next december with family for holiday/mtb riding. the 24 hour flight really scares me as I can’t stand being trapped with no legroom for 1 hour let alone 24!!

    Anybody got any clever ways to get a cheap business class or premium economy ticket like via Siberia or something? failing that any recommendations on the best airlines for economy?

    cheers for all knowledge!

    Be sure to use to pick your seat.

    Otherwise, there’s no real way to get yourself upgraded easily, I’m afraid. On the rare occasions that I’ve had to travel cattle class, I have managed an upgrade a couple of times. the only tip I can think of that seemed to work was to dress smartly and ask nicely! you’d be amazed at how many people simply don’t ask and you know the old adage, "If you don’t ask….."

    One other idea that I heard which sounded good was to book on economy on the most unpopular flight time and hope that the flight’s not too full. Might end up with a bank of three in economy you can kip on.


    We flew with singapore airlines last year, this breaks the trip down to 13hr and 11hr plus they have the biggest seat spacing of all the airlines that fly to NZ, leave a 6hr gap at singapore airport, this will give you time for a swim in the rooftop pool plus a massage. It will also mean you arrive in NZ at a sensible time of day and not throw the body clock out too much.
    You need to book a year in advance to be able to bag an emergency exit seat which will give you loads of leg room.
    You can reserve a seat at the time of booking but not all travel agencies can offer this option, you can also choose your seat on line when you check 24 or 48hrs before the flight but you’ll find the seats have already been reserved.

    If you go in December the flights will be full, everyone goes then. Go in Feb/March if you can, the flights will be quieter and the weather will be better. car rental will be easier. They run out of hire cars over christmas as brits and aussies go there for holidays


    Top tip:
    If you fly into Singapore for a stop over & you’re going to be there more than 5 hours – take advantage of the free city tour.
    Just go to the info desk & ask – well worth doing BTW

    With Poggs – Singapore Airlines are really good, have great food, beautiful hostesses (always a bonus) and great (free) inflight entertainment.

    We decided to do the stop at Singapore but instead of relaxing, we got a personal taxi ride into the city and did a whistle-stop tour. We then stopped in Oz for four nights, saw Sydney and the Blue Mountains then went on to the South Island.

    TBH I quite like flying so I wasn’t anxious, but it was still a very pleasant experience and it was almost as much fun as the trip itself!


    Just come back from my 4th Xmas on the run in N/Z, and having done 2 flights with Emirates and 2 with Singapore, I’d say overall i think Singapore is a slightly easier flight cos you can get some sleep in the transit hotel at Singapore, and yes the air hostesses are much fitter!!
    The flight there is ok cos of the excitement of going there, but don’t want to put a downer on things but the flight back is crap, and be prepared for feeling like your spinning for a week after your back…its a crap feeling, still its all worth it the place is brilliant and one day i hope to make my flight a one way one 🙂

    Another Brucie Bonus flying Singapore Airlines is the Thai Curries for breakfast with free beer. 🙂


    i did 27 hours (there abouts) heathrow > LAX (2 hour sat in a room) then landed in Auckland.

    Would never do it again!! Too long.

    Although you don’t get jet lag going West and back when i did it, it was cheaper and you could take more baggage.

    oh don’t fly with Air Newzealand, the seats are crap! Quantas are far better – TV’s in the back of the seats etc (all this could have changed it was back in 2003 😉


    also i had a nightmare coming back form my year trip, was skint, the cheapest flight back to wales i could get was…

    Auckland > Brisbane > KL > Amsterdam > Heathrow > Cardiff

    i was off my head by the end of it, didnt sleep for days….. the 5 hour wait in KL for connecting flight was horrible i must have walked every inch of the airport!

    Premier Icon vinnyeh

    Air New Zealand run 34" legroom on the 747’s – Singapore Airlines 32". Air New Zealand also run 32" on 767/777’s. All planes now have individual in flight entertainment.

    Air New Zealand also run a premium economy on the top deck of 747’s that’s got massive legroom- same as some business class seats. The only downside(if you’ve got babies/small kids) is that because of the stairs you can’t travel up there with them (not sure what the age limit is, but we’ve not been allowed seats up there whenever we’ve travelled out there as a family- we’ve had at least one under two years old for the last few years.

    We have been twice first time ba/quantas never again.

    Second time we went singapore airlines very good we did stop over in singapore for one night effortless transfers, nice hotel and a good nights sleep we then flew on to christchurch and had the aformentioned 3 seats between the two of us

    Premier Icon NZCol

    Well it depends where you are going but upgrades and ‘cheap’ premium or business class fares are not exactly easy to find in these times.
    I fly backwards and forwards quite a lot. The fastest most direct route is Air NZ via LA but has been said before unless you are a gold FF or a Koru member (which means you can get to the lounge and have a shower) its quite a horrific transit experience. I flew back via HK with Air NZ last year and it was OK. Two long flights though. I just did a Wgtn-Gla with Emirates a few weeks back which actually went wgtn-akl-melb-dubai-gla and it was OK. Dubai airport while very shiny and nice is sh1te. I’ve also done the SIngapore thing. I’d agree that Singapore Airlines are good and Changi and its transit hotel/pool are a great break to the trip. But it does take significantly longer overall. Depends what you want. Air NZ have inflight on the seat back, seats are better on the 747 now than on the Emirates A340 for sure. Singapore slightly more cramped for me – not sure if that is actually the case. And its longer than 24hrs by the way – shortest will be 27 at absolute best. However, its a nice place to arrive in !

    Premier Icon NZCol

    Oh and i just booked a flight in March. Try – I missed a Air NZ akl-lhr in first class (econ out, first return) for $1100 US inc taxes.
    I’m going Emirates to Manchester as I can’t face heathrow and its really quite fast (33h total) and it was also stupidly cheap ($2200nz per person), Air NZ premium economuy for me is $6700, business $10,000 and normal economy is about $3400 inc taxes + gst

    Premier Icon NZCol

    One last thing – December == busiest month by absolutely miles. If you fly weird days you may get lucky – Xmas day for example is often empty as is New Years Day.


    Just done it the other way (Auckland-Glasgow) with Emirates, granted we had the kid with us so we got bulk head seats but AK/MLB/DBX/GLA really does suck regardless of the excellent service from the cabin crew. There is just no way that economy can make the 14 Melbourne to Dubai stretch any thing other than an ordeal. the return trip saw us getting10 hours in Dubai with a Hotel room thrown in, much better! Break up the journey by 24 hrs and you will at least get the feeling back in your legs and backside.

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