I fly Air New Zealand Express several times a year - generally from New
Plymouth to Auckland on the
SAAB 340 aircraft. The Flight Attendants are amazingly friendly,
patient, and helpful. They work in a cramped and
noisy environment, all they can offer is tea, coffee, water and a rather
miserably small but tasty
biscuit; but the kindness they show to the people they care for more
than make up for those trifles.
I'm looking forward to the New Plymouth service being upgraded to the
The pilots are good too - several times they have flown close in to
Mount Egmont so we can have a
good look on the way down to Wellington. They give fairly accurate ETAs
and weather reports, and
will often also tell you where we are in the queue to land at Auckland -
quite often even if you are
fifth or seventh in line there are no delays. When turbulence is
expected at Wellington (almost always) they tell you how bad it is
likely to be,
and when it is likely to start, and when it is likely to get worse, and
reassure you that it feels
worse than it actually is. The SAABs can cope with up to 110kph
northerlies and are amazingly strong little things - I flew in
to Wellington in an 85kph northerly and we got thrown around like
nothing on earth, but we got in
and the 737s did not. If I had any real criticism of NZ Express class -
biscuit and a cup of tea and their great boiled
lollies are fine for routes under an hour - like from New Plymouth - but
for the longer ones maybe
they should hand out a sandwich or something!
Air New Zealand Express - by Eric Bateman
Flew Napier to Christchurch - minutes flight on a tiny aircraft - just
tea/coffee and biscuits - but a flight attendant who spent the whole
flight checking that everyone was OK and asking whether she could do
anything else for us all. Brilliant service and a great ambassador for
Air New Zealand Express - by Sarah McLaughlin
CHC to WLG on a Boeing 737-300. It's been a while since I've flown Air
NZ but at $54 one way I couldn't say no! Flight was slightly delayed,
nothing to gripe about. I'd fly Air NZ again but considering Qantas
usually have cheaper deals I'm more likely to stick with them between
CHC and WLG.
Air New Zealand Express - by W Caradus
NPE to WLG return on NZ's SAAB 340 aircraft. Flight down was uneventful, and
F/attendant wasn't exactly friendly. On return the flight was not full and the
F/attendant was so friendly and helpful, she even found a place to stow another
passengers guitar and looked after 3 U/M's!! The SAAB's are noisy and old, but the
seats are comfortable, although there is not much legroom, at least they are
being replaced soon. I really enjoy flying ANZ express class.
Air New Zealand Express - by A Campion
Wellington to Tauranga return recently and Wellington to Nelson return the following day.
All journeys were on the Saab340. Wellington lived up to its name as the very windy city for all
sectors. Those Saabs are real durable workhorses to have to put up with that amount of stress put
on them in NZ skies on a daily basis! I also have to acknowledge the FA's who put up with an
extremely cramped work space, fluctuating weather patterns and demandng passengers everyday! And
they do it all with a smile too. I have always had positive experiences when flying on NZ saabs!
ANZ check in and ground crew could possibly take a leaf out of their book...especially in
Air New Zealand Express - by A Blakie
I flew Domestically with Air New Zealand in November last year from
Invercargill (IVC) to Napier (NPE) and was impressed with the new
Express Service they now offer. The flights were about half the price
of the former booking system and about time too!! It ised to always be
cheaper to fly AKL to SYD than to fly a lesser distance within New
Zealand. The one and only let down was my own fault, I booked too late
and had a three and a half hour wait in CHC until the next connecting
flight to WLG was available. With the express service you only get a
coffee/tea/water and a chocolate square on the flights, which is a much
better idea as there was always a mad ruch to feed the passengers on
board as you are rarely in the air for more than an hour between points
in NZ. The cabin crew were very polite, welcoming you onboard at the
door, and then wishing you farewell as you exit. And the flight crew
were always accurate with ETA's, they were usually within one minute of
the time announced midway through the flight. The booking website is
very user friendly and one of the few where you can make a multi-city
bookin online, so for my next trip I have booked to fly from CHC to SYD
via AKL, and the return trip will fly back into ZQN via CHC, eliminating
the need to return to the original point of origin. I woul have booked
this trip using Qantas, as I am flying domestically in Australia, but I
could not make a multi city booking on their website so I would have to
transfer and recheck my luggage at SYD either way.
Air New Zealand Express - by A Campion
Recently flew NZ link from Christchurch to Palmerston North same day return. Both sectors were
direct Saab340 services. The flight attendants on both journeys were fabulous. There were 2 UM's
on first sector and the flight was full. The FA did an excellent job taking care of the UM's and
the 31 other adults onboard who were exceptionally fussy this particular day. She continued to
maintain her professionality and smile. The flight back to CHC encountered some huge turbulence on
descent and there was a very nervous female passenger who was not coping well. The FA asked the pax
in 1A to quickly swap with her from 6D so she could comfort and calm her from her jump seat on the
final approach into CHC airport. The passenger really appreciated this once we landed. I fly the
Saab regularly and always find the lone flight attendants to be extremely helpful, friendly and
engaging. It makes a sometimes boring flight at the end of a busy business day go so much faster!
Air New Zealand Express - by Ian Lee
I found Air New Zealand Express ground staff always exceptionally helpful during recent six sector
tour in NZ. Most helpful was agent in Bay of Islands who interlined me onto Singapore Airlines
Auckland-Singapore-LHR on separate ticket! Great customer service.
Air New Zealand Express - by Patrik Frank
I recently flew 4 sectors on Air NZ's domestic services. Perfect for getting from A to B: „Being
there is everything“. FA's were friendly enough, all flights arrived in time, the aircraft in good
condition. However for the 1h50 flight AKL-DUD a small breakfast would have been appreciated. Their
water, tea/coffee, biscuit-service is just a bit poor, particularly on flights over an hour a nice
sandwich (or so) would be adequate.
After check-in for the AKL-DUD flight (17th July) we were informed that Dunedin airport was at the
time closed due to fog and that the flight would be diverted to Invercargill if this remained so.
That would have suited me reasonably well and I informed my wife (courtesy of Air NZ). However just
as we were boarding we were informed that due to crew on duty-rules the alternative airport would be
Christchurch (which didn't suit me at all, plus I couldn't reach my wife
anymore). I bet they
could have known this before. Fortunately the fog in Dunedin cleared and we could land there on
On the last of the four legs I was travelling with my wife and 6 month old son, from Dunedin to
Christchurch to connect to an international flight. When boarding we were informed that they might
not be able to carry our son's stroller in the full ATR72. That would have been a shock, since we
had to take it with us on the international flights. Again they obviously managed and the stroller
waited for us as we got off the aircraft in Christchurch. But the simple thought of the stroller
being stranded somewhere in NZ's airports left us a bit worried. The great plus of this flight was
the landing which was as smooth as any aircraft could possibly touch down. We hardly felt anything
Air New Zealand Express - by R Manukau
I think the service on Air New Zealand Express is excellent. I recently flew Auckland to Wellington
with no fuss and friendly staff were really helpful. Considering both myself and Air NZ don't have
all day - and time is of the essence I commend them for their services for the short time I am
flying with them. On my return to Melbourne two days later from Wellington via Christchurch I was
allocated the emergency exit seats on 737 because of my height without even being asked. I noticed
crew travelling as passengers on the same flight seated in the rows in front of me and these crew
brought the Melbourne flight over from Christchurch - the same staff immediately acknowledged me
when I boarded 2 hours later which confirms that they are not walking around with their eyes closed
both on and off duty. Considering many of the flights are now 95% full the staff are doing a really
excellent job within the short timeframes. Passengers flying need to understand that gone are the
days of lavish meals that forced airlines to increase higher fares making it almost impossible to
travel by air. Eat before you board or take your own food or water on with you. It works for me.
Air New Zealand Express - by Adrian Wiseman
Air NZ domestic express could do with a bit of a revamp, even if it were just in the crew
I regularly fly between CHC-AKL on these services and 7 times out of 10 notice poor attitudes of
their mostly aging crews who sometimes need to force a smile - and always have it look like a
delayed reaction .
The "Meal" service is adequate for a short flight, but they should consider upsizing those
pathetic little cookies you get. "Bite size" is a severe understatement.
The seats on the old 767-200's sometimes used on this route also need replacing - but the A320's are
phasing them out.
Ground service is fast and efficient especially with the self serve check in. Also not too worried about
excess baggage - 6kg's over I was waved on with a cheery smile and half hearted warning.
As for "Tasman express", I'm impressed. Great and cheerful crews bursting with enthusiasm. Great
food topped off with mini ice creams.
Air NZ staff on ground are okay in CHC. In MEL however the check in staff are not Air NZ and could
try and smile more or even make chit chat instead of just ignoring you. I must commend them however
in giving me the emergency seats as the pitch on the 733's are not that great for a 3 to 4 hour flight
when you are my height.
On the whole Air NZ is NOT my preferred carrier for domestic flights (QF is - its cheaper and you get
audio, film and decent "meal" service for the same flights) but for Tasman flights Air NZ is my
Air New Zealand Express - by M Dobson
CNS-AKL-NPL, Express class.
The CNS-AKL was a 763 and AKL-NPL by SF3.
The uniform worn on both flights were identical and so were the service standard's.
CNS-AKL was a boxed lunch of either Chicken Noodles or Beef Salad with a dessert tub of
then a pre-wrapped Ham Sandwich and the famous Air New Zealand Boiled Lollie prior to landing.
There were no Duty Free sales onboard this Express flight, however, all passengers were offered a
Postcard of "The Lord of the Rings Aircraft" . A very nice
touch. AKL-NPL, being a very short 40 min flight was on-par with the international
sector. The same
Uniform was worn by the crew and a meal cart was brought thru the cabin with a choice of Tea or
Coffee or Water, but always ask for a biscuit with Water, or you won't get one - but the Air New
Zealand Lollie was still offered prior to landing.
The seat pitch on CNS-AKL was about 34" - but for a domestic sector in a SAAB, be prepared for about
a 30" - unless your'e in an exit row, which is in Row 1 or Row 6.
Overrall, a very streamlined service, from International to Domestic
Air New Zealand Express - by Matt Sudders
6 Domestic Express class sectors in January 2004. Flying with Air NZ for the first time I was
impressed with the express service. Fares booked via the web are astonishingly cheap and high
frequency service (although note that for overseas travellers the telephone call centre quoted fares
for the same legs which were 2-3 times higher).
The Koru club lounges are the best I have seen from all star alliance members (having tried them
all), and actually provide enough for a meal prior to boarding.
There were some weather problems on the flights and the airline used each announcement of delays to
also inform passengers what would happen in the event of problems - a full service provided, not the
low cost abandonment which one might expect given the fares.
The only reservation I would have applies to New Zealand rather than the airline. Some of the
flights seemed a bit too adventurous with the captain announcing on take off that he was unsure of
the destination because of visibility at the arrival airport. 2 out of 6 sectors had missed
approaches. Dont the airports have the necessary electronic gadgetry?
Air New Zealand Express - by Michael Lewis
Wellington/Christchurch by Air NZ express, check in staff at Wellington Airport not
overly friendly, although requested and got a window seat. seats on the 737.300 are fine considering
short flight time. The tea/coffee, water and small biscuit is all you need on a short flight.
Crew on this flight very friendly, overall a good enjoyable flight at a good fare, so far I have had
no problems with Air NZ express class and will continue to use this airline within New Zealand.
Air New Zealand Express - by Patrik Frank
5 sectors in Air NZ's domestic Express Class in the last 6 weeks. And I have to say
that I was not impressed. The aircraft were acceptable (the 737 were narrow, as always; the ATR was
fine; one of the 2 Saab340s was obviously very old with extremely low seatbacks), staff was
friendly, but the service was just ridiculous: 0.09 litres of water, a cup of tea or coffee and one
tiny biscuit. If you don't want tea or coffee you even miss out on the biscuit! Origin's
old fashioned system is way better. Wake up, Air NZ!
Air New Zealand Express - by Alan Busk
Queenstown/Christchurch & Christchurch/Hamilton.
During a recent visit to New Zealand my wife and I travelled on both Air New Zealand & Air New
Zealand Link on their new "express style service" . We were impressed with both flights and
considering the times 45 min & 1 hr 40 mins the new tea/coffee and cake were all that was needed.
Flight attendants were very professional and cheerful.
Air New Zealand Express - by Bruce Dale
I recently flew Wellington-Auckland return for the weekend. The self-service check-in kiosks were
great, but the "express bag drop" was not as fast as it's name implies. The staff at the bag drop
desks were slow to react to growing queues. On board service was basic, legroom very tight. The
crews were polite and efficient. Baggage claim was fast in Wellington, but slow (as usual) in the
older Auckland terminal. A great value product at the cheaper fares, but I'd stick to the frills of
Qantas if you are on a higher flexible fare. At least you get a decent choice of drinks on QF.
Air New Zealand Express - by Diane Donnelly
I do not agree about Express Class staff are not friendly. They are as friendly as usual. They are
trying their best to please the passengers with all they can offer (which apparently are cup of
water, piece of cookie, and tea or coffee) But what upsets me is that these low fares are not
entitled to accrue any miles. If you wish to have miles as well you have to pay the normal
fare...and it is definitely not worth it to pay normal fare for water, cookie, and cup of tea OR
(not and) coffee! I heard that Air NZ will even extend their express class service for
route (AKL-SYD/BNE/MEL for example) once their 320s are delivered. If they really do that they are
not much different from low cost carrier. Given that there are stiff competitions on AKL-SYD and
AKL-BNE routes, especially Emirates will start to fly to NZ end of October, NZ should THINK TWICE
about this idea.
Air New Zealand Express - by Michael Berry
I have found ANZ's service in Express Class to be very un-interesting and without direction in
service and product.
I have flown with them on many occasions both Internationally and domestically and find the lack of
customer care and arrogant staff to be off putting.
I suggest you try Qantas domestically in NZ to the routes they fly - their crew are very friendly
and attentive, if there is a destination they don't travel to, try Origin Pacific their regional
Air New Zealand Express - by Trina Gregory
Flew WLG/AKL/WLG the other day. I managed to get a cheap seat WLG to AKL and a not to bad
price for the AKL/WLG. I must say the price was the most important factor to me. I flew the same
trip last year and this time I saved over $250.00 (10 points Air NZ) which is better in my pocket
than the Airlines I say. Service was fine, seats okay, the crew were lots of fun and I
didn't really care
if I was fed or watered, I mean its only 60 minutes from WLG to AKL. I spent more time getting to
and from the Airport
Air New Zealand Express - by J Lee
Fare are low. (But how about Freedom Air ?) Seat is not comfortable at all. Flight
are just okay. I think Air NZ can do much better than this
Air New Zealand Express - by Michael Lewis
Seating fine with enough legroom better or equal to other low cost airlines at 30in pitch.
Service basic, flight up was Coffee, Water and a very small biscuit, return flight similar but no
coffee served. In flight crew friendly enough in a professional manner.
Overall good value as flights only $39 each as I booked approx 4 weeks in advance. I was satisfied
with these flights and Air New Zealand's new express class means I should be able to fly more often.
Air New Zealand Express - by B Dale
I can confirm Air NZ's domestic express
pricing from daily experience. The super low levels of NZD39+tax are only available on off-peak
flights. In fact Air NZ issued a press release to say they had sold out 3-4 months in advance on the
main routes over busy months of January and December. The Air NZ advertising to launch the express
service gave the impression there were only 3 fare levels, when in fact there are 12 fare levels.
The most expensive fares were only about 10% cheaper than the old full service fares. Except for the
4 highest fare bands, none of the 8 cheaper fares allow any changes within 24 hours of travel. In
most cases you forfeit the fare and have to buy a whole new ticket. The cheapest 4 fare bands do not
earn frequent flyer points. Qantas charges identical fares to Air NZ. They offer full service, you earn frequent flyer points on
all fares and except for the lowest 2 fare bands, changes can be made if an upgrade is paid right up
to the time of travel. Qantas has just about all fare bands available on most flights. My experience
is that on last minute bookings for my clients Qantas nearly always comes in about $100 cheaper than
Air NZ and offers the traveller more. The main negative about Qantas is that they are having
reliablity problems due to a limited fleet of old former Ansett Australia aircraft.