✅ Verified Review
| Efficient airline, but getting a feeling that the personal touch is sacrificed in the name of convenience. Awful (non-existent) food and drinks. You can preselect seats. Anything in front is "preferred seats" and it is very difficult for those with Seats Only or Seats + Bags option to purchase them. Preferred seats are $10 one way and standard seats $5. You have to pay a surcharge if booked via cards. Check in is always done by automated kiosks with no exceptions allowed. You will require assistance if you are non-machine literate or not conversant in using English. I noticed large tour group from China required a Chinese-speaking staff to press the kiosk screens to check in for them. Then you drop the bag onto the continuously running conveyor belt yourself, with poorly designed ergonomics. Also it doesn't matter if you are elite or Koru Club members - you still drop the bags yourself. There are still agents at the gate (for the time being). Boarding is done through rows in order. Often if you are sitting at rows 16 or over you are required to exit the airbridge halfway, climb down stairs walk over the tarmac and reboard via stairs at the rear door. The seats are standard, with pitch left to the bare minimum. They are often rather dirty as well. Safety demonstration is by videos. It is often slick marketing that does not really impart information easily enough to passengers especially non-English speaking ones. Inflight you are offered a cookie or crisp with only tea, coffee, or mineral water. No meals or hot snacks are available. If you fly during Koru Hours (before 8 am and 4:30 pm to 7 pm) you get cheese and crackers instead of cookies and crisps and beer and wine are available as additional options. Breakfast fare is muffins. Staff are friendly - which is the only redeeming feature. Almost all flights between Christchurch and Wellington use the ATR-72 these days which means you walk in the rain on the tarmac on wet days, plus greater chance of weather-related delays, and reduced comfort level due to narrower seats and much smaller overhead lockers. The rationale is to offer "hourly service given the current level of demand". This is a defacto hybrid carrier - not really a full service unlike Cathay Pacific or even Qantas. Decision-makers listen to what some business travellers (not all) want, yet they ended up making a the majority unhappy. Overall, I will pick Air New Zealand for domestic flights just because they are the only airline offering reasonable schedules. The only competitor (Jetstar) offers only a few flights per day and on main trunk routes only plus a few turboprop flights. However I will actively go out of my way to avoid Air New Zealand when flying internationally.