Air New Zealand

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1.2 out of 5, based on 6 ratings and
16 reviews & complaints.

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Poor Customer Service / Lack of Compassion
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
AUCKLAND, ALASKA -- Just a quick email to let you know how appalling the head flight attendant Jan was on our return flight Auckland to Wellington. I was travelling with my husband and two children who are four and two years of age.

My husband went ahead with the two children and I carried on three hand luggage bags. Our allowance was four as four of us were travelling and paid full fair.

Two bags were full and one was empty as we had taken Christmas presents with us to Auckland and didn't return with them.

As I was entering Jan said to me is that bag heavy? I though how nice asking if I could manage as I had all the bags. Silly me, she grabbed the bag with a very sour face and said that's over the 7kg, which it was not. I said that I had one empty bag and two full if she wanted I could divide them up so they each had items in them. She scowled at me and said make sure you don't hit anyone with the bags as you go down the aisle.

I have never been spoken to in a way by air hostesses, it was rude to say the least. During the flight she was most unpleasant and scowled every time she went past myself and the kids. I was so proud of my kids behavior. Unfortunately my little girl was sick whilst she was sitting on my lap. I caught it in my hand. My husband was busy trying to get a sick bag. Jan was standing right by us handing out the lollies when it happened. She turned to me and said get up and go to the toilet.

I was so mortified and angry, my little girl was very upset and embarrassed. There was no mess as it was a small amount, one of the ladies in my row who I might add was an airhostess travelling to Wellington passed me some tissues to clean my hands etc. the other airhostess who was serving with Jan was lovely and went to the back and was coming back with some tissues to clean my hands up.

Once I had my little girl settled I went to the bathroom and washed my hands, the nice airhostess asked if everything was ok. She was so lovely as opposed to sour faced Jan.

It is unacceptable that customers are belittled and made to feel small from staff especially those in customer service. Her behavior to children is unacceptable. I am sorely disappointed with her treatment of me and will seriously consider flying with air NZ again, I know it is just one person and the other staff were lovely but it taints the whole experience. It is stressful as it is travelling with children trying to keep them entertained so they don't disturb other passengers but to have staff look down their nose at you is appalling. It seems to me if she doesn't like children and can't be pleasant to customers it is time to find a new job.
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Premium Economy Waste of Money
Posted by on
I have flown Air New Zealand multiple times in the past year, in fact, I've just earned Silver status and am quickly on my way to gold status with this airline. You would think the problems regarding the true, factual experiences of a more valued customer would be heeded, but this is not the case. Without whining about the details, a brief summary of the factual events are below. I am happy to discuss in greater detail, and am willing to provide details to journalists who need evidence to write articles about either Air New Zealand, or its Premium Economy class of service.

1) Tried to charge me a US$150 change fee to upgrade from regular Economy to Premium Economy, when the fare terms state that this fee was to be waived when upgrading to a higher class of service. Had to argue with customer service agent for 45 minutes until he finally logged in as me on my online profile and saw that I was right. I did purchase Premium Economy service at an extra cost of US$903 for an Auckland-San Francisco segment.

2) One of the reasons I upgraded was supposedly power ports in "most of the seats". I was told by the gate agent that no power ports existed in the Premium Economy cabin on this flight. Writing Air NZ customer service later, they now argue that this was not the case (essentially calling me a liar). This is in direct contradiction to the onboard power ports advertised on their website (ask me for a print-out of the airline's website page)

3) The food, which was supposed to be the same as business class, was disgusting (in particular, a fish dish). The food in regular Economy cabin has always been much better.

4) Due to the change in daylight savings time, the crew got our arrival time wrong and therefore only Business Class passengers got breakfast. All other passengers were not offered any meal service whatsoever. This seems odd to me - why would business class passengers be served an hour earlier than regular passengers? This sounds calculated to me.

5) Bags of Premium Economy and Business Class passengers were supposed to be delivered at the same time - earlier than regular economy passengers. Mine were delivered a full THIRTY Minutes after the other premium economy/business class passengers. Huge waste of my time.

In summary, Air New Zealand's "Pacific Premium Economy" service means a premium profit for the airline. True, you get more leg room, a cheap amenity kit, and nicer headphones, but these are small wins in the face of the other shortcomings. Most importantly, and disappointingly, my follow-ups have been completely disregarded by the company. I receive lip service but the airline will not stand by its mistakes. I cannot recommend Premium Economy on Air New Zealand. It was a complete waste of my money. I will also be trying the nonstop Auckland-Los Angeles service on Qantas Airlines in the future. Perhaps they will value my business more.

To the airline's credit, I have no issue with the flight attendants. The inflight service was very good. However, it was the airline's complete post-flight washing its hands of responsibility that have irrevocably disappointed me, and which are the impetus for my crusade to share the truth with other passengers who regularly fly between the US and New Zealand.
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Anonymous on 11/15/2009:
Buy business class next time.
Anonymous on 11/15/2009:
One of the reasons premium economy is such a bad idea for the airlines is the expectation level of the passengers. United offers increased leg room in their E+ sans C,J ammenities.
One should expect very little beyond extra seat pitch as a product that mimmicks C class too closely poaches their own product.
banana_boat7103 on 08/24/2013:
Hi I am having the EXACT same problem with airNZ at the moment and would love to talk to you about it as they clearly don't care about their customers.
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Callous Disregard for Missed Connection Travellers
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
AUKLAND, NEW ZEALAND -- On April 14, 2013 my husband and I were flying on Virgin America from New York to San Francisco and on Air New Zealand for onward flight to Sydney, Australia. Virgin Am flight was delayed at JFK since San Francisco airport had only 1 runway available. Virgin Am is partner with Air NZ so when we mentioned it to staff at the boarding gate that we would miss our Air NZ flight - they didn't offer any help - like it didn't matter to them. In any case, we were stuck at JFK.

Ultimately 6 hours later Virgin flight took off and they were so inhospitable that it was a rude awakening! All they offered in flight was water/soda and no snacks! I know, it was a domestic flight, but remember we were stuck for 6 additional hours so it would have behooved them to offer us some food especially since we were getting to San Fran past midnight!! It gets worse! Once we reach San Fran, there is no body to help the international passangers who had missed connections (and there were few of us on that flight) from either Virgin Am or Air NZ!

So now we go to luggage carousel, our luggage is missing- horror ! Thankfully, Virgin Am luggage office had a live person there who informed us our luggage had already been transferred to Air NZ and we need to go to International Departures - so now two of us, panicked seniors and running over to catch the train to Int. Departures - once we get there, another shock awaits us - the departure area is shut tight with not a soul in sight - not even cleaning people! Now what?

Thankfully, Air China had just finished sending a flight and couple of their agents were leaving - we stopped them and they helped us with tel. no. of Air NZ. I called that no. and the person on the other end (thank god for small mercies, like a live human on phone!) booked us on next flight to Sydney - the next night! I am completely flabbergasted at arrogant disregard of passangers by Air New Zealand that they didn't have their representative at airport to help us?

So, now we head back to domestic area, again on the train, and go to Virgin Am to ask for accommodation etc. guess what? They blatantly shrugged their responsibility for delay and blamed the San Fran airport and that they don't pay for accommodations!. I had heard so much good about Virgin America - what a bitter disappointment! Never again will I travel on Virgin ! Or Air New Zealand for that matter. These airlines have become so arrogant that they have forgotten they are in hospitality business. Shame on you, Virgin America and Air New Zealand!
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Ben There on 07/10/2013:
Unfortunately for you, airlines do not pay for hotel rooms needed for missed connections caused by problems out of their control - like weather and air traffic control delays. This would be the same case across the board.

Next time you are super delayed, hop on the phone with your connecting airline to see if there is something they can do before you arrive after midnight and all the airline employees have gone home. While Air New Zealand and Virgin America will transfer passengers back and forth, they are not in the same airline alliance, so communication is less likely than like Air NZ and United are as members of the Star Alliance, or Virgin America and Virgin Australia.
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Air NZ Lost Property
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AUCKLAND, NZ -- I have now tried unsuccessfully for over a month to get hold of the Air NZ lost property office in a bid to locate a cell phone that was possibly left on a flight from Melbourne to Auckland. You look up the tel number on the Net, you call the number, you get a voice message that asks you to leave your details and someone will get back to you. I've done this four times now and still nothing. Eventually I get hold of a real person - I can't recall how, and this bad mannered b itch starts giving me what-for about the missing cell phone... I explain to her that my original flight from Adelaide to Auckland was cancelled because the plane didn't even take off from NZ to get to Oz. Air NZ then put about five of us onto a Quantas flight from Adelaide to Melbourne a couple hours later, and some time thereafter got us onto a flight from Melbourne to Auckland - no re-issue of tickets or anything, just "here's a boarding pass, jump on!" So the five of us did (of course). Problem is, no flight number details, no seating number details, no nothing (who cares, as long as we got home...).

That's all fine until someone tries to establish what flight you were on and what seat you were in on that flight so they can attempt to trace your lost property. (Not that they really need to do this as I discovered later). Anyway much to my disgust this b itch starts virtually calling me a liar about what flight I was on and what time I arrived in NZ. Well I might not know the flight/seat number but I sure as hell know what day and time I arrived, but try as I might, she continues in the most disgusting fashion to tell me that I did not arrive that day or that time so I must have arrived on a Quantas flight and not an Air NZ flight. Not that this makes any difference whatsoever as I subsequently discovered when I tried to get hold of the Quantas lost property office, and ultimately ended up calling the exact same number and getting the same bloody voice message on the Air NZ lost property office! Quantas lost property in NZ is handled by the Air NZ lost property office!! Ha, talk about going around in ever decreasing circles until you finally end up inside your own back side...

Finally in desperation I call an altogether unrelated Air NZ number, just so I can speak to anyone who has more than three brain cells and presto, a very nice lady who has nothing to do with lost property at all jumps onto her database and within seconds establishes that my cell phone type has never been found on any Air NZ or Quantas flight in the past three months! As simple as that. Thank you very much and have a nice day! That's all I wanted to know.

My advice, don't EVER lose anything on an Air NZ or Quantas flight that ends up in NZ because chances are good you'll have to endure the same crappy service that I did and be subjected to the same rudeness and demeaning treatment by some b itch who is actively tarnishing the otherwise fairly good name of Air NZ to all and sundry. Be warned!
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BEJ on 04/22/2009:
Just consider that your cell phone is gone gone gone and move on. Get another cell phone.
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Incompetent Airport Staff - No Help From Customer Relations
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
MELBOURNE -- We had a family holiday to the US booked in September. When we tried to check in we were told that my husband couldn't fly because he didn't hold a transit Visa for NZ. When we explained to them that he was an Australian Permanent Resident they said no he still needed a Visa. They were completely wrong and we had to pay $1500 for him to fly one way with Virgin the next day. The airport staff promised us a refund on our return. Instead we got answering machines, unreturned emails and call center staff that weren't even able to contact the customer relations team! Finally the customer relations team emailed me back telling me that they wouldn't be refunding me or compensating us because it was NZ immigration not them........... NO it was Air New Zealand giving the immigration dept incorrect information. I will never fly them again! I am also letting everyone know how terrible they are.
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What Has Happened to Our Airline?
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
WELLINGTON -- Is it just me or is our national carrier now the new Telecom? Telecom became the most hated company in New Zealand after dodgy marketing, abysmal customer service and no interest in listening to customers. Add to this an admission by their CEO that they market by confusion and the public was pretty fired up with some serious hate.

Telecom have since amended their wicked ways and now we have a new contended for most evil company in NZ.

Bizarrely they seem to be getting away with blue murder as regulators are turning a blind eye.

Dodgy marketing seems to have become the norm. From confusing budget fares to a dodgy upgrade system that leaves several seats empty in the business cabin they are marketing by a strategy of confusion. Then theres the regional airfare rorts (it is cheaper to fly to Australia than to another town in NZ). Also travelers going to Hawaii who book a budget fare suddenly find out why their airfare was cheap - there's no food or movies - its an 8 hour+ flight!!!

Rounding things out are the dodgy shenanigans of their PR teams who seem to troll every complaint comment made online and are prepared to go to ridiculous lengths to get out of seeing the firm exposed for the fraud it is.
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Lost Baggage. My Wife Is Still Recovering After Going to Hospital
Posted by on
Rating: 2/51
WELLINGTON NEW ZEALAND -- My wife and I traveled from Wellington, NZ to the USA. Once we landed in Hawaii, we discovered that some of our luggage never arrived. My wife has been traumatized by this incident. My wife spent about 20 hours of tracking down our luggage with sever stress. Finally without our knowledge, the suitcases have been sent from New Zealand to Sydney, AU. and further more it was sent from Sydney, AU to Honolulu by a different airline, Hawaiian Air. This caused a interference to our travels to California. The most important fact is that my wife ended up in the emergency room at the local hospital. This was caused by Air New Zealand's mistake. This ordeal caused us to stay over 2 extra nights and spend the money that we had saved for the trip.

My wife spoke to Devin and she was treated very insensitive. Devin told my wife that Air New Zealand is innocent and that the way it is with no responsibility what so ever. Because of the entire ordeal that Air New Zealand caused my wife, she had to go to the emergency room at the hospital for treatment.
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Wheelchair Special Assistance Lack of Health and Safety Standards
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Rating: 1/51
WELLINGTON -- My husband is in a wheelchair, we confirmed with Air NZ after we booked that special assistance was noted as we were flying from Adelaide to Wellington via Auckland. The wheelchairs in Adelaide were un-usable in that my husband could not wheel himself. The plane was delayed, we were seated in the middle of the aircraft and had to transfer hubby from one wheelchair to an aisle chair. 10 minutes into Auckland they wanted to move hubby to a front seat in front of a plane full of people, we were appalled at the lack of sensitivity and the embarrassment this would cause hubby so we refused. There was a rush to our connecting flight so we could not stop at duty free or attend to hubby's toilet needs, a staff member came to our aid to transfer luggage and wheelchair onto the bus to domestic. Our seats were once again in the middle of the plane but a kind gentlemen in first class gave hubby his seat.

Overall the trip was atrocious and lacked both disability assistance and health and safety standards. 2 letters to the CEO and his 3 counterparts has given us an unsatisfactory response.
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FoDaddy19 on 10/16/2013:
I'm not sure where any health or safety standards were violated. I would think moving him to the front of the plane would've been a good thing in terms of safety. Who booked the seats in the first place? If the airline booked the seats on your behalf, then I think you have an argument for being inconvenienced, but if you picked out the seats ahead of time, then the situation is of your own doing. More information is needed, unless you're leaving out some important details then I don't see anything more than just a set of less than ideal circumstances that were more of an inconvenience than a serious problem.
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Air NZ Makes Money Out Of Misery
Posted by on

My son was due to fly to Palmerston North from Christchurch with Air NZ on Friday 23 December, the day of the earthquakes. His flight was cancelled and he was advised by Air NZ that the next available seat was on Boxing Day. He asked if he could get to the nearest airport to Palmerston North on Christmas Eve and was advised that this could be arranged but he would have to pay an extra $124 on top of his earlier flight payment of $155.

I contacted Air NZ twice to get this extra charge reimbursed but was turned down both times. This is shameful as the flight to Wellington from Christchurch is generally cheaper than to Palmerston North due to the longer journey. I travelled four hours round trip to pick up my son from Wellington Airport so he could enjoy Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with his family.

On 23 December a media release from Air NZ said, “Air New Zealand is also giving passengers affected by the earthquakes extra flexibility to amend their bookings”. The only flexibility shown to my son was for Air NZ not to charge an $80 penalty and service fee but to require him to pay the $124 difference in the cost of the flight.

Air New Zealand, you have taken advantage of my son’s misfortune and your organisation should be ashamed of itself.
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trmn8r on 12/27/2011:
I don't know the physical location of all these places, but it sounds like Air NZ did forgive change fees due to the inconvenience caused by the earthquake. You state that your son paid an amount that represents the difference in cost of flights so he could be closer to you for a holiday. It isn't clear to me why adding a more expensive flight should be done for free.
banana_boat7103 on 08/24/2013:
Because it wasn't a more expensive flight. Its cheaper to fly to wellington than Palmerston North the only reason it was more expensive would have been the short time before the flight was due to leave which could have been waved but that would mean less profit
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Unscrupulous Practice & Breach of Contract at Air NZ (Air New Zealand) and Zuji Hong Kong
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Dearest Consumers,

This is a warning to all of you not to be fly on Air NZ, especially not through Zuji, an online electronic retailer for air tickets.

I chose Zuji because it was the easiest way for me to book the ticket and it was slightly lower in cost compared to agent-quoted flights. However, it turned out to be my costliest mistake.

I bought a Hong Kong-London return ticket for a year. Zuji gave many options on screen. Instead of the 1 month and 3 month ticket, I paid extra for a 1 year ticket, and paid more for it, and made sure I could change the date of the ticket.

However, upon return, I wanted to change the date the flight (which was allowed on my ticket and I was told that my ticket would expire in only 4 months, instead of a one year ticket. I was then told I could not book beyond this date.

I complained to my credit card company and they cited lack of evidence to proof a one year validity. This is because on Zuji's screen option, once you have paid, they only email you a receipt by email and onscreen showing the dates of the tickets you bought and not the type of ticket (1 year) that led to the choice of purchase. This disappeared once the screen changed. Thus, I had no "proof". This ridiculous con by Air NZ and Zuji is the most elaborate and sophisticated I have encountered so far, and completely unscrupulous. It is shameful that a national airline carrying New Zealand's name could resort to these techniques.

I complained. After complaining, calling numerous time waiting online being transferred here and there and being pushed like a ping pong ball from Air NZ to Zuji and vice versa, I was told I had to pay an extra 1000 HKD (150 USD / 90 GBP) and on top of that 2 service fees 50% that amount to Air NZ for change of date and for service fees. This worked out to be 1/3 to 1/2 the fare price I paid in addition. Moreover, the economy had plunged in 2008, and the original ticket I bought was now only about half the price!

I complained and both Air NZ and Zuji refused to do anything except "extend a goodwill gesture". As a result, I could not use my ticket and it was completely wasted.

This became the most exorbitant one way ticket to London I bought, the most unpleasant flight. No wonder my flight from Hong Kong to London was about half empty.

Air NZ and Zuji's business practices are completely unscrupulous. DO NOT EVER BUY ANY TICKETS FROM THEM AND BOYCOTT THESE COMPANIES if you do not wanted to be cheated by unscrupulous practices.

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Alain on 07/31/2010:
I prefer to book directly with the airlines and not to use third party services.
Weedwhacked on 07/31/2010:
Sounds like a Zuji complaint, not Air NZ. I've worked for an airline and for travel agencies. I've never heard of a 3 month, 4 month, or 1 year ticket. All tickets now have dates and charge reissue fees to change them. They also charge the difference in the fares which is usually high since the new date doesn't have the same advance notice as the original ticket. Air NZ did nothing wrong here.
wkchjz on 08/01/2010:
Hi Weedwacker,

I am not sure if you are paid by Air NZ or airlines to defend them, as part of internet viral marketing but perhaps rules have changed since you last worked.

There are 30 days, 3 months and 1 year ticket for all airlines, and they are in different fare groups. You can check out Air NZ policy here for the 1 year ticket I bought.

Good luck if you still insist on using Air New Zealand. The flight I was on was half empty and though I had no complaint since it was roomy, the service was less than ideal. The air stewards though not outright rude preferred to chat among themselves than help passengers, and during meal times, service was brisk and a bit terse. Perhaps it's a nationalized airline; not sure if it's subsidized by the state like BA, but it doesn't offer a fair policy and its product is not competitive with other airlines.

Good luck.
Alain on 08/01/2010:
Weedwhacked is not paid or compensated by Air New Zealand to defend them. Weedwhacked is expressing an opinion.
jktshff1 on 08/01/2010:
I agree with weed and Alain, it's Zuji where the mistake was made. Book direct.
madconsumer on 08/01/2010:
great review! this will warn many other people who try to use zuji.
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