Is Air New Zealand a Good Airline? (My Honest Thoughts)

As an American travel blogger with a keen interest in aviation, I’ve recently had the opportunity to fly with Air New Zealand.

In this article, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the airline and whether or not it’s a good choice for travelers.

An Overview of Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand Review - Pros and Cons
Anna Zvereva from Tallinn, Estonia, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Air New Zealand is the national airline of New Zealand, based in Auckland.

It serves destinations across the Pacific, including Australia, the South Pacific, Asia, North America, and the United Kingdom.

The airline has been in operation since 1940 and has a fleet of over 100 aircraft.

Air New Zealand’s Fleet

Air New Zealand operates a mix of Airbus and Boeing aircraft, including the A320, A321neo, 787-9, and 777-300ER.

The airline also has a number of ATR 72-600 turboprop aircraft, which are used on regional routes within New Zealand.

Pros of Flying Air New Zealand

There are several reasons why I would recommend flying with Air New Zealand based on my personal experience.

Here are a few of the standout pros:


One of the things I really appreciated about my flight with Air New Zealand was the level of comfort and convenience offered on board.

From plush seats and ample legroom to a good selection of in-flight entertainment and tasty food options, I felt well taken care of during my flight.

Friendly and Professional Staff

Another aspect of my experience with Air New Zealand that really stood out was the friendliness and professionalism of the staff.

From check-in to boarding to the flight itself, everyone I interacted with was helpful and went out of their way to make sure I was comfortable and had everything I needed.

Strong Safety Record

As a travel blogger and aviation enthusiast, I place a lot of importance on safety when I’m choosing an airline.

Air New Zealand has a strong safety record and a reputation for taking the well-being of its passengers very seriously, which was reassuring to me during my flight.

Impressive On-Time Performance

Finally, I was impressed with the on-time performance of Air New Zealand during my flight.

Despite some turbulence and other unexpected issues, the flight arrived at its destination on schedule, which was much appreciated.

I remember during my flight, the captain made announcements about the turbulence and he was very professional about it.

He explained the situation clearly and reassured passengers that everything was under control.

It was a small example of the level of care and professionalism that the airline puts into its operations.

Cons of Flying Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand Review - Pros and Cons
Phillip Capper from Wellington, New Zealand, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Limited Destinations

One issue I have encountered while flying with Air New Zealand is the limited destinations they serve compared to other major airlines.

Despite their strong presence in New Zealand and Australia, they do not serve as many destinations in Asia, Europe, and the Americas as some other airlines do.

In-flight Amenities

Lastly, in terms of in-flight amenities, Air New Zealand could improve.

On some flights, the entertainment options can feel a bit limited, and the in-flight food options, while tasty, are not as diverse as those offered by some other airlines.

On one flight, I was hoping for a wider selection of movies and TV shows to choose from but was disappointed to find that the options were quite limited.


What is the cost of tickets for Air New Zealand?

The cost of tickets on Air New Zealand varies depending on several factors such as the time of year, route, and class of travel.

During peak travel times, prices may be higher, whereas off-peak periods may have lower fares.

On average, tickets can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars.

It is always advisable to compare prices and book in advance to secure the best deals.

What are the fees for checked baggage on Air New Zealand?

Air New Zealand charges fees for checked baggage, with the cost depending on the route and class of travel.

For economy class, the first checked bag is free, while additional bags may incur a fee.

The fees for business and premium economy classes are higher, and the exact amount can be found on the Air New Zealand website or by contacting the airline directly.

It’s always a good idea to check the baggage policy before booking to avoid any unexpected fees.

Does Air New Zealand have a loyalty program?

Yes, Air New Zealand operates a loyalty program called Airpoints, which allows members to earn points for flights, car rentals, and purchases with the airline’s partners.

The points can be redeemed for flights, upgrades, and other rewards.

Members can also enjoy a range of benefits such as priority check-in and baggage handling, lounge access, and more.

What is Air New Zealand’s baggage allowance?

Air New Zealand’s baggage allowance varies depending on the class of travel and route.

For economy class, the baggage allowance is typically one checked bag with a weight limit of 23 kg and one carry-on bag with a weight limit of 7 kg.

For business and premium economy classes, the baggage allowance is typically more generous, and passengers are allowed more weight and larger bags.

It’s always a good idea to check the baggage policy before traveling to ensure you have the right amount and size of baggage.

Does the Airline Offer Any Promotions or Discounts for Booking Flights?

From my research, it appears that Air New Zealand does offer promotions and discounts for booking flights.

This can be seen through their various sales and special deals offered throughout the year, as well as through partnerships with travel websites and credit card companies.

It is recommended to regularly check the Air New Zealand website and subscribe to their email newsletter to stay informed of any current promotions and discounts.

What is the Airline’s Policy for Changing or Cancelling Flights?

Air New Zealand has a flexible booking policy, allowing travelers to change or cancel their flights without incurring heavy fees.

However, it is best to check the specific terms and conditions for each fare type to fully understand the options and any potential fees that may apply.

Additionally, it is advisable to make any changes or cancellations as soon as possible to avoid any additional costs.

How Comfortable are the Seats on this Airline’s Planes?

From what I have read, the seats on Air New Zealand’s planes are generally considered to be comfortable, with ample legroom and recline.

The airline also offers premium seating options such as Business Premier for those looking for a more luxurious in-flight experience.

However, seat comfort can vary depending on the type of plane and route, so it may be helpful to check the seat specifications before booking a flight.

Does the Airline Have In-flight Entertainment Options?

Yes, Air New Zealand provides in-flight entertainment options to its passengers.

This can include a variety of movies, TV shows, music, and games, as well as access to a duty-free shopping service.

The airline’s in-flight entertainment system is available on most flights, and the selection is regularly updated to ensure that travelers have access to the latest and most popular content.

Does the airline serve meals on its flights?

Yes, Air New Zealand serves meals on its flights, the options vary depending on the flight time, route, and class of travel.

Passengers flying in Premium Economy and Business Premier can expect a range of menu options, including a la carte dining, while Economy class passengers receive a complimentary meal and drinks.

In-flight dining options are regularly reviewed and updated to reflect the latest trends in cuisine and dining.

Does the airline offer WiFi on its flights?

Air New Zealand offers in-flight WiFi on select aircraft.

The airline’s WiFi service provides passengers with internet connectivity, allowing them to browse the web, check email, and stay connected during their flight.

However, not all of the airline’s aircraft are equipped with WiFi, so it is recommended to check with the airline before booking your flight.

Does the airline allow advance seat assignments?

Yes, Air New Zealand allows advance seat assignments for a fee, subject to availability.

Passengers can choose their preferred seat online, through the airline’s mobile app, or by contacting the airline’s reservation center.

Seat selection is usually available for purchase at the time of booking or up until check-in for your flight.

Does the airline allow pets on its flights?

Air New Zealand permits a limited number of pet carriers on its flights, subject to specific conditions and restrictions.

Pets must be carried in an approved carrier that meets the airline’s size and weight restrictions.

The carrier must be stored under the seat in front of the passenger.

It is important to check with the airline before booking your flight to ensure that your pet meets the requirements and to make any necessary arrangements.

Does the airline’s staff provide friendly and helpful service?

Based on the reviews, Air New Zealand’s staff is generally described as friendly and helpful, particularly in their interactions with passengers.

However, like with any airline, the level of service can vary depending on the individual staff member and the specific flight.

Does the airline offer any special services for travelers with disabilities?

Air New Zealand offers a range of services for travelers with disabilities, including wheelchair assistance, special meal requests, and in-flight accessibility.

Passengers are encouraged to make any necessary arrangements before their flight to ensure a comfortable and seamless travel experience.

How easy is it to book a flight with Air New Zealand?

Booking a flight with Air New Zealand is straightforward, with a user-friendly website and mobile app that allow you to search and book flights, manage your booking and check-in online.

The airline also offers a 24/7 customer service line for assistance with any questions or concerns during the booking process.

What is Air New Zealand’s on-time performance record?

According to available data, Air New Zealand has a good on-time performance record, with a high percentage of flights arriving on time.

However, flight schedules can be impacted by various factors, such as weather conditions, air traffic, and technical issues, so it’s always a good idea to check your flight status before traveling to the airport.

Does the airline have a good safety record?

Air New Zealand has a strong safety record, with the airline regularly taking steps to maintain and enhance its safety protocols.

The airline operates its flights in accordance with international aviation standards, and it is audited regularly by independent aviation safety organizations.

In addition, the airline has a comprehensive training program for its pilots, which includes regular emergency drills and simulator training.

What is the airline’s policy for lost or damaged luggage?

In the event that a passenger’s luggage is lost or damaged, Air New Zealand has a comprehensive process in place to handle such claims.

The airline requires that passengers report any lost or damaged luggage as soon as possible after arrival, and it provides detailed instructions for making a claim.

If a passenger’s luggage is deemed to be lost, the airline will make every effort to recover it and return it to the passenger as soon as possible.

How extensive is the airline’s route network?

Air New Zealand operates flights to a number of destinations both within New Zealand and internationally, including Australia, Asia, the Pacific Islands, and North America.

The airline has a significant presence in the South Pacific, and it is one of the largest airlines in the region.

The airline’s route network is designed to provide passengers with convenient connections between its destinations, and it is constantly expanding and updating its flight schedules to better meet the needs of its customers.

Does the airline have any partnerships with other airlines or hotel chains?

Yes, Air New Zealand has partnerships with a number of other airlines and hotel chains.

The airline has formed alliances with a number of international airlines, including Cathay Pacific, United Airlines, and Virgin Australia, in order to provide passengers with seamless connections between its destinations.

The airline also has partnerships with a number of hotel chains, which allow passengers to earn and redeem frequent flyer points for stays at participating hotels.

Final Thoughts

As an American travel blogger with a keen interest in aviation, I have flown with Air New Zealand several times and I have been consistently impressed with their level of service.

The seats on their planes are comfortable, the staff is friendly and helpful, and the in-flight entertainment options are top-notch.

I also appreciate the airline’s safety record and its policy for lost or damaged luggage.

Alternative airlines to consider are Fiji Airways or Qantas as they both fly similar routes.

Here’s a video review of Air New Zealand.

When booking a flight, I found it to be very easy and straightforward, and the airline often has promotions and discounts available.

I am also a member of their loyalty program, which adds an extra level of convenience and benefits.

In terms of the route network, Air New Zealand has an extensive network that covers many destinations, and they also have partnerships with other airlines and hotel chains, making it easy to plan a complete travel itinerary.

Overall, I have had a positive experience flying with Air New Zealand and I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for a reliable and enjoyable air travel experience.