Flying between LAX and LHR in Business with AirNZ.
Editor Update: Unfortunately the LHR-LAX route has now been suspended.
I recently flew in Business Premier with Air New Zealand on an overnight flight from Los Angeles to London, and I would like to share my thoughts on the flight with you.
Air New Zealand flight #2 to London operates from the Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), which can easily be reached by car or public transport.
There are a total of 44 seats (4 per row - A, B, J and K) within the Business Premier cabin aboard the 777-300. Being at a slight angle, each seat offers direct access to the aisle, so there is no need to bother the person beside you when you want to walk around. The slightly-angled seats are 22 inches wide and feature automatic recline and lumbar support functions. At the touch of a button, each seat can be flipped over to form a fully-flat 6-5, 7.5 inch bed, complete with a memory foam mattress, duvet and fluffy pillows.
You’ll also find an ottoman which doubles up as a visitors seat, a table which slides out from the side of the unit, a 12.1” on-demand touchscreen entertainment system, cocktail tray, reading light, bottle holder, noise cancelling headphones, and an amenity pack which contains a toothbrush and paste, eye-mask, flight socks, pen, and lip balm and hand moisturiser.
Boarding and take-off
I was given a warm welcome onboard at the aircraft door by the Flight Service Manager, and at my seat by two of the Business Premier flight attendants who would be looking after me during the journey.
Following a welcome drink and hot towel service, one of the crew members came round to take my order for a post-take off beverage.
It was then time to prepare for our departure from LAX. We took off in a westerly direction from Los Angeles over the Pacific Ocean before we made a 180 degree turn and set on a north-easterly course over the San Bernardino Mountains, Las Vegas, towards the Canadian border and beyond.
The Dinner Service
Shortly after the seatbelt signs were switched off, one of the crew appeared and set out my table for me and I was given my pre-ordered drink along with a little pot of Almonds and Cashew nuts... my favourite! This was also the moment when I met another crew member whom took the order for my main.
You'll find the dinner/breakfast menu along with a wine guide waiting for you on the ottoman when you step aboard. The cuisine is distinctively of a New Zealand flair and uses some of the best ingredients available. The catering team are proud to work closely with renowned Chef Peter Gordon, and these dishes are noted by a PG icon within the menu.
In Business, you will find a choice of two starters, four main courses, and three desserts: along with freshly baked bread. At least one option for each course is suitable for vegetarians. An example of what was available on my particular flight is below:
- Spiced chicken with jicama, mango and coriander salad and lime mayonnaise.
- Arugula salad with herbed goat's cheese, walnut paprika tarator dressing and marinated artichokes.
- Slow cooked beef with heritage carrots, cauliflower gratin and sweet balsamic jus with mustard gherkin herb salsa.
- Chicken with ginger noodles and tamarind, turmeric ginger sauce, crispy plantain rings and curry leaves.
- Salmon with caper and olive salsa, crushed new potatoes with thyme, horseradish cream and watercress salad.
- Parsnip and red split pea soup with blackened corn and mustard seed relish.
- Mint chip and chocolate ice cream with chocolate sauce and mint meringue.
- Warm berry cobbler tart with lemon sauce and vanilla ice cream.
- A selection of fine cheeses served with fig relish and a choice of crackers.
I decided to watch a movie during my dinner; and, since I had attended a taping of The Ellen Show the day before, Finding Nemo seemed an appropriate choice.
A few moments after placing my order; another crew came along with the trolley and asked for my choice of starter; which was then presented on a tray along with a drink. Being Air New Zealand, you’ll find a vast selection of native wines on offer; you could spend quite some time looking through the wine guide. Be sure to check with the flight attendants to see what wines are on offer during your flight.
I went for the Spiced chicken, and it was very good. I liked the fruitiness of the diced mango as it added another depth to the dish.
For my main, I went with the Chicken with ginger noodles; a dish by Peter Gordon. What can I say? Superb! It wasn't something that I would usually go for, but I am pleased that I did. The portion size was also of a good size. It was so good I could have ordered another one!
I fancied something light but refreshing for dessert, so the ice cream was the answer. Mint and chocolate together is sublime, and if you add pieces of meringue then I'm a very person happy indeed. It was the perfect end to a very good dinner in the sky. Pardon the pun!
I rounded off the evening with a warm fruity drink, complete with a couple of mint chocolates. Note: The mug doesn’t actually light up, it’s just the way I had the reading light angled. 😉
About an hour or so after dinner, I decided to call it a day and asked one of the flight attendants to make up my bed for me. With just the touch of a button, my seat flipped over into a fully-flat bed, which was then spruced up with a cosy duvet and a full-sized pillow.
I’ll admit that it does feel a bit surreal lying flat when you're flying high above the clouds, but it's pretty comfy.
I was a little restless at first, but got around 4-5 hours of sleep. Not bad.
The Breakfast Service
About two hours prior to our arrival into London the lights gradually illuminated to a warm orangey-colour before the flight attendants passed through to assist you in reverting your bed back into a seat if you needed it.
Following this, a wake-up drink was offered. It was between a banana mango coconut smoothie or a choice of juice. It was nice to sip a glass of good old OJ with this view outside.
For breakfast, you can choose something from the pantry, the bakery, and then a hot-option if you wish. The choices were as follows:
From the pantry
- Fresh fruit salad.
- Low fat plain or low fat wild berry yoghurt.
- Honey nut granola.
- Toasted oat and fruit cereal.
from the bakery
- Warmed croissant with butter and strawberry jam.
- Wholewheat, white, or raisin pecan toast with a choice of preserve.
from the stove
- Poached eggs on toasted butter bap with bacon, steamed spinach and hollandaise sauce.
- Herb scrambled eggs with potato and pastrami hash, and smoky Boston baked beans.
- Brioche French toast with cranberry orange, pear and ginger compote with ricotta cream.
- Hot bacon roll - a warmed buttered roll with grilled bacon, offered with caramelised onion jam and barbecue sauce.
I must add that Air New Zealand do offer sleep-in breakfast service; where the crew will wake you up as late as possible and offer you the breakfast items from the bakery and pantry along with a drink. I think that is a good idea and if not done so already, all airlines should offer something like this.
Shortly afterwards, my table was prepared once again I was offered a beverage and then my hot breakfast option was taken. Another crew member followed close behind with a choice of something from the pantry.
I went for the honey nut granola, which was very tasty. Something I haven't had in quite a while.
The raisin pecan toast from the bakery was also very good, especially with Strawberry jam.
For the hot option, I went with the Brioche French toast (minus the ricotta cream). Another Peter Gordon option which was very tasty. Believe it or not I only enjoyed French toast for the very first time a little over a year ago, when I was in LA none the less. Now I am a huge fan.
My breakfast experience was very good, and I was impressed with the variety on offer to customers flying in Business Premier. I felt as though I'd have enough energy to keep awake most of the day and combat the time difference.
Preparing for our arrival
It was closely approaching the time to begin our descent into London Heathrow. As expected, we were put in a holding pattern for a brief period before eventually flying over central London (I could see Big Ben!) before touching down on English ground.
It took us a few minutes to reach our gate at Terminal 2(The Queen's Terminal) before it was sadly time to gather my belongings and disembark the aircraft.
Air New Zealand flights arrive and depart from T2B; which is satellite terminal. The walk to the customs, immigration and baggage reclaim areas takes about 10-15 minutes depending upon your walking pace. To be honest the walk isn't that bad after a long-haul flight.
Overall, I had an excellent experience flying in Business Premier between Los Angeles and London.
Because it is an overnight flight, I personally found it much easier to get some rest, and hardly made use of the IFE, apart from the odd movie and watching the flights' navigation - which is actually quite interesting.
The entire product, inclusive of the food and service was perfect. I have always found Air New Zealand flight attendants to have a warm and friendly personality, and this experience was no different.
Would I recommend flying in Business Premier? Yes I would. The afternoon snack on NZ1 to LA features Crosstown Donuts (co-founded by Peter Gordon) and there are fillings such as apricot curd or raspberry jam, yummy!
Thanks to the entire team at Air New Zealand for another fantastic experience.