Air New Zealand
OK, so it's true, the image above is not an Air New Zealand plane! Though it is way cooler, it's the scenic flight you'd take if you were joining us on our 8-day 'Tui' trip in the South Island. The bad news? New Zealand is kind of a long way from most of the rest of the world, so you'll need a slightly bigger plane. depending on how you look at it though, that's a good thing too, as it means we still have plenty of wilderness - like Siberia Valley photo above.
The good news? It’s closer than you might think. For instance, it’s before Australia, in fact it’s three hours less flight time if you’re flying from North America.
To get to New Zealand, you jump on a 12 hour overnight flight from Los Angeles or San Francisco. It’s no worse than flying to Europe from the west coast of the US, and as a matter of practice, it’s way easier because you’re asleep! And not only that, but in the New Zealand summer, it’s only a three hour time difference, so you’ll be free of the dreaded jetlag and fresh and ready for your adventures.
And the great news? Our national airline, Air New Zealand, is, by the standards of modern airlines, a hassle free, relaxed and comfortable way to get here.
Air New Zealand is a small airline amongst giants, and a very successful one at that. It was named 'Airline of the Year' in the Global Airline Awards 2012, after previously winning in 2010. In other words, an industry body rated it as the very best airline in the world! Can’t argue with that! There are plenty of reasons for the accolades:
- Most importantly, Air New Zealand often has pretty good airfares. Like all airlines, they’ve been hit by rising fuel prices and so on, but rates from the UK can be as low as ₤600. Flights from the US tend to start at around US$1000, round trip. Obviously these rates can vary, but if you shop ahead and look for bargains, you can get some very good deals.
- The flights from North America all leave at night and arrive in the morning, so everyone falls asleep. It’s the best way to travel – and when you wake up, you’re on final approach for Auckland International Airport, not long till you get your boots on New Zealand soil!
- The Air New Zealand website is easy to use, and totally reliable.
- Air New Zealand has a first class safety record, as you’d expect.
- The aircraft fleet is extremely modern. On international routes it flies Boeing 747 and 777 aircraft, and is one of the scheduled launch customers for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
- It takes comfort and service very, very seriously. Active Adventures staff frequently fly internationally, for business and pleasure, and we know a good airline from a bad one. This one’s a good one! Air New Zealand concierges have been known to call its travellers the day before they fly, and see if there’s anything they can do to make your flight more comfortable. Try asking them for a Crunchie bar – one of the most fabulous chocolate bars. They taste even better at 40,000 feet!
- Air New Zealand has pioneered an extraordinary innovation for long haul economy class travel – the 'Skycouch' fare. The airline has designed and developed a new sort of seat, which basically means that two people can have a row of three economy seats to themselves, and after the dinner service, the economy seat converts to a couch, and both people can lie down properly and sleep their way to New Zealand. It’s a fabulous new way to fly! You can read more about the Skycouch here.
- Air New Zealand also offers good rates on its extremely comfortable 'Premium Economy' service, and, if you have the bucks or the airpoints, its’ Business Class', which is really 'First Class' by another name, is second to none. If you’re lucky enough to fly international in Air New Zealand 'Business Class', you get a huge range of perks. Awesome meals (of course), access to really nice lounges, complete with hot showers, top notch service on board, a proper monitor for watching movies, and, the best bit – a seat pod, with loads of privacy, which converts to a full, lie flat seven foot bed.
If we sound a little over the top about Air New Zealand, it’s because we are really proud of our national airline. Many of our clients over the years have commented that they were intimidated by the prospect of a long flight to New Zealand, but they didn’t realise that the evening flight schedule meant they could sleep the whole way, and that they were really impressed with the comfort and amenities on board. And, Air New Zealand’s cabin crew are chosen very carefully, trained to the highest standards, and are experts in making your flight as relaxed as possible.
And of course, there are other airlines flying to New Zealand too. You can fly with Qantas from Los Angeles, or if you're looking for an American carrier try Hawaiian Airlines, United Airlines or American Airlines.
See you in New Zealand!