September 27, 2011 | By Donna Evans
Air New Zealand has been making innovative changes to their premium economy seating. They now have the new Space Seats on some of their flights between Los Angeles and Auckland. The bulkhead window seat is the least desirable seat on the plane, I think. I had that seat at first, but was able to move to another seat and enjoyed it so much more.
The seats are very comfortable and if you are sitting next to a stranger, the way they offer a little partitioning is great. The center seats seem to be the most comfortable and allow couples or a pair of travelers to enjoy each other (or not).
The Space Seats do no recline. They slide forward and the back comes down. It is a different fit to the body. I did find the mechanism which helps to change the seating position to be very difficult to use, but it may be a lack of strength on my part. I have heard it just takes a little getting used to the mechanism.
The foot rests are small pillows and seem to be more in the way than functional to me. I would prefer a pull-down foot rest to a pillow.
There is a spot for a bottle of water and headset and a small pocket in the seatback. There are so many movies and TV shows to choose from on your “video on demand” system. There are also numerous music selections and games.
The service in the cabin (in both directions) was stellar, but on the return, the flight attendants were a notch above –always smiling and nothing was a problem. I love the ability to order soft drinks, etc., from the monitor. That is genius! There are always snacks in the galley, if you are hungry between meals. They have a basket of miscellaneous items and you may help yourself.
On the way to Auckland I had the “old” seats and felt the total comfort in them is better than the space seats. I might have been more tired on the way to Auckland or maybe it is just a matter of getting used to the new seats. The seating in premium economy with the old seats is 3x3x3 and I think the space seats with 2x2x2 seating is much preferred by everyone.
Don’t forget they now have the sky couch in economy, also. Air New Zealand is always on the leading edge of new technology and creativity.