Royal Tongan Airlines Passenger Reviews and Customer Trip Reports
Royal Tongan Airlines - by Karl Peryman
1 March 2004
I have to say,that while they are well intentioned, Royal Tongan really needs to make some major
changes to become a passenger friendly airline. For any prospective customers,
the website is
hopeless. You cannot book online, the so called "fares" section is not accurate,
the website is often
out of date and absolutely nowhere do they list anything about their Business Class product. I flew
last week Auckland-Tonga in Business Class. When I called the reservations office here in Auckland,
the service was shaky at best, and it took them over 20 minutes to quote a business class fare. They
could not even tell me what lounge facilities were available in Auckland.
Upon check-in I was surprised to see a large line at the J class counter. I realised that the 8
passengers in front were economy class passengers who could not be bothered lining up in their own Y
class line. By the time I reached the counter, I was losing my patience and asked the
check in staff
member why these Y class passengers were in the J class line. He said it was too busy at the other
counters, and as there were only three passengers in Business Class, he thought he would process the
economy passengers. I clearly pointed out that passengers travel in Business Class
pay for the added benefits, and expect to receive them. After receiving my invitation I went to the Air NZ business Class
lounge provided for Premium Royal Tongan Airline passengers. Although adequate, It was
selection of refreshments was mediocre, and it lacked ambience. I headed down to the
although the staff commenced by asking only Business Class passengers to board,
passengers barged in.
I was greeted by a friendly stewardess who showed me to my seat. The Business Class interior was a
let down, very 1980's. The seats were pink leather with Gold trim which made it look rather tacky.
The legroom however was fantastic and recline great. The seats were very old and my headset
plug-in did not work. No PTVs and only two small screens for the whole cabin. The staff were very
friendly, although their lack of experience was quite apparent. The meal consisted of three
choices. Last time I
flew Royal Tongan Business class no alcohol was provided. This time a selection of wines and beers
were on offer (no spirits or liquers in J Class!) but what was available was really of an economy
class standard. The crew were reasonably attentive for the remainder of the
flight, but as there was
no Inflight entertainment the flight was rather boring. The staff also could offer beverages more
frequently. Upon arrival we were straight through immigration and the bags were ready and waiting.
Overall the experience did not inspire confidence in the airline.
Royal Tongan Airlines - by D McKee
9 February 2004
Just completed a great Royal Tongan Airways business class flight from SYD-AKL and wow! Wide,
electronic leather seats, gracious service, tasty food and many more made the flight extremely
enjoyable. The bathrooms were a big surprise too, with marble & gold fittings (the added weight of
the luxury touches surprised me). Although the plane was a narrow B757, business class was half
full, so we had the full attention of the crew.
Royal Tongan Airlines - by R Ellis
15 December 2003
Royal Tongan Airlines from Auckland to Rarotonga-Cook Islands rtn and have nothing but praise
for such a young airline. Apart from the fact that it only provides a weekly B757 service to the
Cook Islands, everything else: seats, service, catering, cleanliness, ticket price, scheduled flight
times were fantastic. Its great to see some good competition for Air New Zealand, which is
notorious for high-cost fares and a basic straight-forward service. Since Royal Tongan began
services to the Cook Islands, Air New Zealand's AKL-RAR-AKL (3.5 hour flight) fares have dropped
from a usual $1300 down to $799...great stuff for tourists and Cook Islanders who want to have
vacations in Rarotonga.
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