London to LAX by Air New Zealand  » Airlines  »
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  • I was watching an amazing film only a few days ago which showed the Dornier X from way back in 1930
  • I suppose that is why I have looked at the standards of service I have experienced with several airlines before giving my feedback on my most recent flying experience
  • I bought my ticket at the end of June, less than a month before I was due to take the flight out of London

    • by hotstuff
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      The history of commercial flying is surprisingly long. I was watching an amazing film only a few days ago which showed the Dornier X from way back in 1930. It flew across the Atlantic from Europe to the USA and from South America to New York, using its massive twelve propellor-driven engines and its versatility as a flying-boat to land on the water whenever it wished to . I believe that it carried around 170 passengers, which was amazing at that time.

      Since then, the commercial flight has become more and more standardized, so that the present-day passenger feels rather like a piece of processed meat being fed into various lines for processing and, eventually, being squeezed into an uncomfortable seat before hours of bumpy travel with no leg-room and precious little service to enjoy before a further processing at the destination.

      Having had more than my fair share of unpleasant flying experiencest, the quality of service and a feeling that there is air to breathe and some personal space makes a lot of difference to me. I will admit that I am not someone who likes flying, so these, apparently small matters, are very important in making


      me feel calmer and less anxious about taking to the air. I suppose that is why I have looked at the standards of service I have experienced with several airlines before giving my feedback on my most recent flying experience.

      As soon as I stepped into Air New Zealand’s economy class, I was convinced I was in the wrong place. How could the plush leather seats, sturdy headphones, and touch screen televisions be anything but business class? Unlike most airplane seating, these rows had only two seats instead of three, allowing my fiance and me to sit and converse without worrying about bothering a snoring neighbour or a sleeping baby. I was so surprised that I insisted we walk past our row to find our ‘real seats.’

      While most travel experiences are even less enjoyable than you imagine them to be (just consider the standard airport experience nowadays), this journey exceeded my expectations far more than I could have imagined. By nature, I’m a nervous traveller; turbulence that normal passengers don’t even notice sends me into a cowering, crying mess. To get myself through it, I prescribe myself a variety of liquids to cope including (but certainly not ...


      • limited) to gin, tonic, whiskey and coke. Thanks to the touch-screen on the seat in front of me, I didn’t need get up to track down a flight attendant – I simply raised my shaky finger to the screen and pressed ‘vodka and orange.’

        The meals on Air New Zealand were not bad either; not breathtaking, but not what one has come to expect from an airplane meal. When travelling, I always opt for a vegetarian or vegan meal when I check in online to better my chances at something like fresh fruits or vegetables. In this instance, I didn’t succeed, but I did get a decent ‘pasta bake’ with aubergines and tomatoes.

        The flight staff were polite and professional. As it was a night flight from London to Los Angeles, they did their job quickly and quietly while passengers slept. The lights on the plane went off a few hours after takeoff, as we departed early in the evening at about 4:30. When I went to use the bathrooms I saw them chatting to themselves and generally at ease enjoying each other’s company, which is always comforting to nervous flyers like me. The toilets were clean,

        without any caked tissue in the sink or overflowing bins. The pilot managed to do the impossible: get us out of Heathrow ahead of schedule, and into LAX early!

        I bought my ticket at the end of June, less than a month before I was due to take the flight out of London. If anyone has ever tried to travel into or out of London during the summer, they’ll know it’s nearly impossible to find a deal at the height of the tourist season. I initially chose Air New Zealand simply because the flights were the cheapest I could find at a whopping £800. Booked in advance or outside of the extortionate triad of June, July, or August, the fares would be much cheaper: comparable to that of British Airways and less expensive than Virgin Atlantic.

        All in all, I came out of my Air New Zealand flight happy, but relieved as always that I was on solid ground. A comfortable seat and expedient service go a long way to avoiding the aviophobic hysterics I’m prone to. Among other big air carriers like British Airways or United Airlines, Air New Zealand beats them by miles – 30,000, to be exact.




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