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13 Reviews & Complaints

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Lost Baggage. My Wife Is Still Recovering After Going to Hospital
Posted by Hbsanders2002 on 11/19/2013
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
Posted by Mirianna.mcgregor on 10/14/2013
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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Posted by FoDaddy19 on 2013-10-16:
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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Callous Disregard for Missed Connection Travellers
Posted by Pdm275 on 07/09/2013
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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Posted by Ben There on 2013-07-10:
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 Makes Money Out Of Misery
Posted by Pmclifford99 on 12/27/2011

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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Posted by trmn8r on 2011-12-27:
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.
Posted by banana_boat7103 on 2013-08-24:
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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New Seat Plan for Tasman/Pacific
Posted by Ishkaa on 12/11/2010
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
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Posted by Alain on 2010-12-12:
Have Spirit and Air NZ merged, perhaps?
Posted by Ben There on 2010-12-12:
LOL Alain... I am afraid that even the worst Air New Zealand flights are better than the best Spirit flights... In fact, even with Air New Zealand removing business class from theses short haul aircraft, their levels of service are still much higher than we see with most carriers in the USA.

As for the OP, it sounds like something was wrong with your tickets since you were told to move seats, you didn't get pre-boarding and priority luggage. Did Air NZ explain any of these things?

Next time, see if you can book a widebody trans-Tasman flight as they will continue to have business class.
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Unscrupulous Practice & Breach of Contract at Air NZ (Air New Zealand) and Zuji Hong Kong
Posted by Wkchjz on 07/31/2010
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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Posted by Alain on 2010-07-31:
I prefer to book directly with the airlines and not to use third party services.
Posted by Weedwhacked on 2010-07-31:
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.
Posted by wkchjz on 2010-08-01:
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.
Posted by Alain on 2010-08-01:
Weedwhacked is not paid or compensated by Air New Zealand to defend them. Weedwhacked is expressing an opinion.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2010-08-01:
I agree with weed and Alain, it's Zuji where the mistake was made. Book direct.
Posted by madconsumer on 2010-08-01:
great review! this will warn many other people who try to use zuji.
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Air New Zealand Overcharged on Pet Transport
Posted by RachelS on 07/26/2010
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 bascially calling me a liar. I would recommend always getting the persons name you speak to.
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Posted by Alain on 2010-07-27:
You can give them feedback, if you haven't done so yet, via 'airnewzeland.co.nz'. You're right that it's always a good idea to document calls when contacting a company about a problem.
Posted by Ritah on 2012-05-01:
I believe that AirNZ don't provide crates for pets at all. I fly with them very frequently since 2007 with my dog and the travel crate is ordered via Aero Pets who meet me at the terminal each time I fly. It is known that AirNZ are just a carrier not a seller of baggage, crates and gift wrapping company :)
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Rough return to London
Posted by LDG09 on 01/22/2010
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 Kiwi's!
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Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-22:
Did you pay for a seat for your child? A child under two can travel for free if they sit on your lap. If you didn't buy a seat for your child, then why would you think that you could sit the child in a seat you didn't pay for?
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-22:
I am with ya. If you didn't pay for that seat then you do not get to use it. What would you have complained about?
Posted by jktshff1 on 2010-01-22:
Question, was a seat available next to you, or would they have to inconvenience other passengers by asking them to move themselves and their overhead stuff? If so, I can see the airlines point.
Posted by memoryx57 on 2010-01-22:
Come on people...there was no one sitting in the seats. Big deal, a child sat in a spare seat...I can't for the life of me see where it would have made a bit of difference to anybody. It would have simply been an act of kindness on the airlines part to let a child have a seat that nobody was using...it wasn't gonna cost them a cent!!
Posted by jktshff1 on 2010-01-22:
mem, I agree, provided it did not cause a mass migration on the plane, moving overheads, moving people, etc.
If a seat was available next to the op...no problem...otherwise, they ain't special.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-22:
Business has nothing to do with kindness. If you go to a buffet right before it is changed do you think they are going to give it to you for free simply because it is about to be tossed? WHY would anyone complain because they won't?
Posted by Ben There on 2010-01-22:
Did you ever ask the crew if you could move to those seats, or were you waiting for them to ask you if you would like to move?
Posted by spiderman2 on 2010-01-22:
When I flew with a little one, I paid to have a seat for him and not gamble and see if there was a seat or if people would move for me. sure it cost money, but if you can't afford a seat for everyone don't fly.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2010-01-22:
+10 spider
Posted by MissMae on 2010-01-22:
It's really too hard to offer up any sort of a response to your review because you don't tell us whether or not you asked if you could use one of the open seats or if you just sat there and waited for a crew member to offer one to you.

If you didn't ask, you really can't expect them to read your mind, right? They may have thought you preferred to fly with your child on your lap and that's why they didn't say anything.

If you did ask, and were told no, then I side with you. There's no reason not to let passengers use the open seats...unless the plane is making a stop and picking up more passengers and those seats will be filled then.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-22:
The flight attendants could have said no due to weights and balances. I was on a flight once and they wouldn't let me sit on the other side of the plane for that reason.

And do we know if the OP even asked for an extra seat? Or did they assume the flight attendants would offer up an extra seat?
Posted by Ben There on 2010-01-22:
I have never seen any issues with people moving on a large plane unless they unintentionally sit in a crew seat, an infant restricted seat or a different cabin of service. There could be many reasons the crew didn't specifically ask you if you wanted to move... Maybe the seats you saw were restricted for the reasons above, or there were too many people with special needs that they decided to leave it up to the customers to pick on their own. Maybe if they asked you, the other people with babies would have gotten mad, (or someone in a cast, or the person sitting next to the obese passenger, or the lone business travelers sitting in a row with loud teens, etc...). If you don't have the nerve to move yourself over a 12 hour period then what can they do?
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-22:
I wonder if the OP even asked to move seats. And if they did, if they asked why they couldn't move. I was on a flight with an ex boyfriend once and he had a brace on his leg (from a car accident a few months earlier). He asked a flight attendant if he could sit in the exit row so he could stretch his leg out. The flight attendant said no. He asked why and she explained that he would not be able to open the door in case of emergency since his leg was in a cast. She did, however, offer an aisle seat to him so he could extend his leg out. We were happy to have gotten an explanation and a solution.
Posted by Ben There on 2010-01-22:
When I am booked on a long flight, I will watch the seat map on the airline's website to see if there is anybody sitting next to me. If there are still plenty of seats open but the computer has happened to put someone next to me I will move myself. This is never a sure thing since someone can be put next to you till right before departure, but you will have better odds than if you just don't do anything. Also, when they say "You must turn off all electronic devices at this time", that means the main cabin door has closed so no one else will be getting on board. That is when you can make a mad dash for the empty rows.
Posted by molli on 2012-09-18:
Hey ben, you ARE NOT allowed to make a mad dash for a spare seat when the doors closes, expect staff to get miffy.

On both take of and landing they advise ALL passengers to be in their aloocated seats.

Once airboure SURE, but not on take of and landing. So dont get mad if they shoo you back.
Posted by Molli on 2012-09-18:

When I had my infant in arms (4months old) I was required to hold her for the ENTIRE long haul flight as they had allocated the bassinette rows to a group of men who were unwilling to move???

I got told by the hostess I didnt PAY for a seat so what did I expect!!!

No longer their customer.. for sure.
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Premium Economy Waste of Money
Posted by RobertRyanson on 11/15/2009
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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Posted by Anonymous on 2009-11-15:
Buy business class next time.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-11-15:
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.
Posted by banana_boat7103 on 2013-08-24:
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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Poor Service at a high price
Posted by Piperooni on 10/28/2009
We booked the premium service for our July & August 2008 vacation- half way 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 left over (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 Aukland Brisbane portion, we were seated in crappy old tourist quality seats 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, Quantus. If you must go Air NZ, the Pacific Premium seats are probably not going to be worth the extra cost.
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Posted by Anonymous on 2009-10-28:
I assume from your post you don't fly often. Your expectations were a bit too high for this booking class. You booked what was essentially "E+" a bit more legroom and a few small perks thrown in.
Airlines are reluctant to offer a product too similar to First class as it would cannibilise their highest yield product.
As far as your baggage recovery thru Air Canada, this would be normal practice as its inter N. America - outside of Air NZ domain.
Finally, its Quantas not Quantus
Posted by Ben There on 2009-10-28:
I agree with VF-213 - you were expecting a lot more from Premium Economy than you were ever going to get. Like Qantas, the premium economy cabin has slightly nicer seats with a few extra inches of leg room and recline but nothing like a lie flat business class seat. As for the food, I don't see on their website where they claim the food and service is the same as business - it is enhanced, but as the name implies it is still economy: http://www.airnewzealand.com/on-the-plane/premium-economy/default.htm
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-10-29:
VF-213....I know it's just a oversight but it's actually Qantas, not Quantas. No u.
Posted by banana_boat7103 on 2013-08-24:
Actually she's not expecting too much yet expecting what airNZ has promised to give her. Its AirNZ's fault for offering such a high quality service at a lower than first class fare. They clearly know this as once youve paid for your upgrade they stop caring
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