Air New Zealand Review: All Economy Airbus a320


Class & Seating

On this trip, we’re flying on Air New Zealand Flight NZ718, all-economy Airbus a320 Sydney to Auckland.

I’ve had some experiences with economy that have left me completely underwhelmed. Any American airline is a good example of this, as is the Australian Jetstar.  Virgin and Qantas have surprisingly good economy sections, where I’ve slept a full eight hours on long haul flights.

With Air New Zealand, our only choice is economy, as we’re flying on the all-economy Airbus A320. We are pleasantly surprised that the seating is spacious, as is the overhead luggage compartment, so there’s no need to rush for your seating to load your carry-on before someone who doesn’t understand what carry-on means beats you to it.


The service at the gate and on the flight is polite, pleasant, and most importantly, efficient. We’re checked in easily and quickly. Once onboard, our meals and drinks are brought out quickly. As my meal is a special one (and therefore arrives before the normal meals), our flight attendant makes sure that North Nomad’s meal comes out early with mine so that we can eat at the same time. This is a nice touch and very much appreciated, as this trip is the first leg of our honeymoon.



You know what the best thing is about ordering vegan meals on flights? Yours always comes first and you never have to worry about your choice running out (unless you’re flying first class with American Airlines – I’ve had that bad experience with serious staff attitude to boot). And it’s always really delicious and healthy, which isn’t what airline meals are known for.

The vegan meal is impressive. Whoever created this clearly understands vegan nutrition and what foods are best for iron and protein. The main is a serving of grilled polenta cakes, with lentils, roasted veggies in tomato salsa and wilted spinach. There’s also a grain based side salad and dried fruit for the snack. I chose the Brancott Estate 2011 Pinot Noir. I always like trying the regional wines in the area and this, as expected of New Zealand wine is delicious and mellow.



It’s unusual to consider the inflight safety demonstration as entertainment, but when it’s Bear Gryllis explaining it to you in the wild environment, it’s pretty darn entertaining.

The flight from Sydney to Auckland is quick, so I listen to in-flight music rather than watch a show. I love New Zealand artists, and put some Shapeshifter and Scribe on shuffle. There’s plenty of Lorde, too, if pop music is your thing.

Baggage Allowances

“You may take one bag on board per person weighing up to 7kgs (15lbs). Business, Premium Economy and Air New Zealand Gold Elite, Gold and Star Alliance Gold customers travelling on Air New Zealand operated services (other than flights through or from USA where only one bag is permitted) are permitted to carry two pieces weighing a maximum combined total of 14kg (30lbs), with one of those items weighing up to 10kgs. Each piece is limited to 118cm (46.5″) (height + width + length). In addition, one small personal item per passenger may also be carried on board, such as a handbag, slimline laptop or duty free goods (where permitted). Anything in excess of this allowance will need to be repacked in checked baggage and excess baggage charges may apply.”  — Taken from Air New Zealand boarding pass.


Would We Use This Airline again?

Happily. The price is reasonable, the attendants were efficiently and friendly, the meals and drinks were satisfying, and the seating was comfortable.


Cost: $197 each, one way, including tax.

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