Arrive L.A. Ready with Air New Zealand
Who wouldn’t want to sit where David Beckham does? So to Air New Zealand’s Star Alliance Lounge at Terminal One, Heathrow. The brown leather corner seat near the washrooms was where the demi-god was sitting last time I was there. I guess he was headed to Los Angeles with Air New Zealand – but its staff are too discreet to let on anything. That much said, who in their right mind wouldn’t fly to LA with Air New Zealand? Mortals, gods and Beckham’s alike. It’s a top-notch service.
Flights to LA are in Air New Zealand’s 777-300ER flagship. Economy boasts unique Skycouch seats from which three places can be made into one to s—t-re—tc-h out on. Premium Economy has Space Seats – to give ample S–P—A-C-E. And its Business Premier class is excellent. The plane doesn’t even have First Class – because its business offering is so good.
So to Business Premier then – that being the natural habit of LUSSO Man. The service is without parallel – beyond attentive. The bed is one of the longest in the sky – it goes flat to fit a giant. Think 6 ft 6 inches long and 22 inches wide. And there’s a decent mattress, full-size pillow and duvet.
As for the food – it is something else. It’s the best in-flight nosh I’ve eaten since I had a champagne and gourmet picnic in a hot -air balloon. In the case of Air New Zealand make that smoked halibut with asparagus tips and baby caper salad followed by cod on parsley potato mash with nam prik num dressing and bok choy. Plus New Zealand wines, natch.
The in-flight entertainment gets my vote too. Forget about fiddling with a remote – there’s a 12-inch-wide touch screen. The Active headphones cut out the external noise and have a crisp, clear sound. And fliers can create their own compilation of tracks with My Playlist.
The toiletries bag is cool – felt – but it won’t grab awards for its contents. A couple of Clarins bits, toothbrush….you know the form. But then – bingo! – I alight on stripy socks that could almost be Paul Smith. And everyone in Business Premier puts them on.
The comfort, service and overall loveliness of it all take the sting out of being in the air for over 10 hours. So good is it that on the way home, I settle into LA’s Terminal 2 lounge and gaze out towards the Hollywood Hills, actually looking forward to the flight. Now where did Becks sit in this lounge?
Air New Zealand flies daily to Los Angeles from London Heathrow. Return prices start from £529 per person in Economy, £1032 in Premium Economy and £2378 in Business class. See www.airnewzealand.co.uk. Relax in complete comfort while you enjoy the award-winning features of the Business Premier seat which reclines into a fully lie-flat bed allowing you to arrive at your destination rested and ready to go. The luxurious 22″ wide leather armchair converts to a fully lie flat 6′.7″ bed – one of the longest in the sky. And we’ve made it even more indulgent with a thick memory foam mattress, fluffy duvet and full-size pillow.
Caroline Phillips (www.carolinephillips.net) is an award-winning journalist who has written for the Financial Times, Sunday Times, The Times, Observer, Guardian, Independent, Mail on Sunday, Daily Mail and Evening Standard. Additionally, she has been published in a variety of magazines, from the colour supplements to Tatler, Harpers Bazaar and Vanity Fair. She is a consultant for Globalista – website for the discerning traveller – and contributing editor of Country & Town House and of Spear’s. She has also co-edited the Spear’s Spa Guide.