We booked the premium service for our July & August 2008 vacation - halfway between first class and tourist and over double the cost. On the flight Vancouver/Auckland, we were ignored by the attendants and couldn't get service even when we asked for it.
We were supposed to have the same menu/food service as first class but what we got was what was leftover (no choices) for dinner and they never once offered fruit or a snack or anything else 1st Class got. The attendants spent their time in Tourist or First Class and we only got attention if we grabbed someone going from one to the other. We had to ask for permission to use the first class washrooms, just on the other side of the curtains.
For the Auckland-Brisbane portion, we were seated in crappy old tourist quality seats just in front of tourist, as it appeared that they decided to close the upper deck of the 747 where we originally were booked because there weren't enough Premium Class passengers to bother the staff to open up the area. We had to seek permission and be escorted to use the upstairs washroom.
On check-in, the area reserved for premium check-in was being used by tourist class, and we would have had to wait in that long line had we not complained (both ways). They misplaced the suitcase with all my scuba gear on the way back. It was located by an employee at the Brisbane airport who found it and contacted me directly to arrange return.
To add insult to injury, they assigned baggage recovery to Air Canada, which ran the LA-Vancouver return flight and who could not have been less interested. Needless to say, they ignored all of my written complaints and no one ever replied to them. Next time, Qantas. If you must go Air NZ, the Pacific Premium seats are probably not going to be worth the extra cost.
If I could give half a star I would and I haven't even taken the flight yet. I booked a return flight to Auckland for my wife and myself, a family reunion. Due to some miscommunication, I had to change the dates of departure and return. I expected a change fee but was gobsmacked to be hit with a bill for $400. Yes that's right, $100 per person per change both ways. This is simply extortion or legal theft.
I myself made the changes online so operator intervention was minimal. Updates to records take place in nano seconds so where is the justification for $400? Perhaps checking availability? Nope, this was checked by me prior to making the change. All flight times are the same, even the flight numbers are the same, just a week earlier.
The only explanation I can think is that it is done because it can be done and you the customer can do nothing about it. Airlines and airports are totally out of control. The change fee plus all the other add on costs come to more than the flights cost. Perhaps if Air NZ cancel the flight I will be able to bill them for $400. Fat chance!
AIR NZ MAKES MONEY OUT OF MISERY. 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 traveled 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.
I organised to fly my two large dogs from Dunedin to Auckland July 2010 using their 0800 number. I was overcharged and when my mum went to the airport, they did not have the crates I had ordered for them. One of my dogs was put into a medium-sized crate when he is meant to be in an extra large crate. Worst of all, now I am trying to resolve this problem and no one is calling me back and they are telling me I had not ordered the crates. Strange as the dogs were especially measured so I would know what size crates to order. They are basically calling me a liar. I would recommend always getting the person's name you speak to.
Traveling with a child, we were very grateful to the Kiwi side of this organisation of help and assistance, smiles and kindness every step of the way. Until, that is, we boarded our last leg of the journey on Air New Zealand from LA to London where we were faced with awful grey and unconfident and unfriendly staff.
I sat with my child on my lap when it was obvious to us that there were spare seats that could have helped us and the other passengers by utilizing them. It was a sad end to a great trip. Glad I didn't bother wasting my time complaining officially as from the other reviews that I have, it would seem that it would have been a waste of time. Poor show London, big up the Kiwis!
Recently I flew home to New Zealand from London for a visit. My return flight to London was a shocker. I had a seat which reclined all by itself at random times and random angles. The attendant told me it would be fixed at the 1/2 way point (Hong Kong). It wasn't.
The overall flying time was 24 hours. I was able to be moved on the final part of the flight but to a useless seat! But worse than any of this is the service from Air New Zealand afterwards - that is, none. I have made two official complaints through their website and have heard nothing. I'm a Kiwi and have tried to support Air NZ in the past, but increasingly I am hearing more and more reports about their poor service and bad flight experiences. Looks like loyalty comes at a price I'm no longer prepared to pay.
Only option as Air NZ has dropped business class. What a shocker. We were told to move from our seats even though we had paid the premium for sitting there. One drink and a horrible so-called meal. No priority boarding or baggage as advertised. The plane has gone from 159 seats to 171 so cattle class is an obvious term. NEVER AGAIN.