I tend to travel semi-frequently for work, currently seems about twice a month, mostly between Wellington and Auckland.
Lately I’ve come to the conclusion that Air New Zealand, is infact, the worst domestic airline in NZ.
- Consistently late flights – my flight this evening was 40mins late getting off the tarmac at the airport, with no acknowledgement from airport staff other than “the flight is 5minutes late” whilst waiting at the gate – and this is hardly the first time, I’d estimate that 1/3 flights with Air NZ are late.
- Loud noisy aircraft being promoted as “new upgrades” – I’ve been on a few flights with the new A320s that I wrote about recently and they are noisy, noisy craft with loud hums/buzzings whilst taxing, dodgy sounding hydraulics and weird flight habits of going up/down repeatedly during the trip – you know it’s bad when the pilot has to warn you about the noises as being normal before takeoff :-/
- Expensive airfares and annoying fare change surcharges on already pricey tickets.
- Inability to organise meals and subsequent inability to credit or reimburse me for the class of ticket I had paid which included such meals.
In comparison, all my latest flights with more budget airlines, have infact been reasonably good – most likely due to the fact that they provide only the basics so there’s not much to fuck up.
- All my JetStar flights I’ve taken in the past year have been ontime – JetStar has a bit of a dodgy rep in NZ, but I’m not seeing anything better from AirNZ.
- My recent Pacific Blue flight to AU was far cheaper than AirNZ, got me there in the same amount of time and the planes aren’t noisy.
- Neither airline have obnoxious safety videos telling me that “you’re a giraffe!”. I’M NOT A FUCKING GIRAFFE!
- Oh and they’re typically far cheaper. Why do I want to pay more for equally as bad service AirNZ? I might as well pay for the one that’s cheapest if you’re going to be as poor as a budget airline.
In additional rage:
- AirNZ has an extremely annoying habbit of calling “landing time, electronics away” well before landing is due to take place – not sure if this is legalistic requirements or not, but laptops away 25mins before landing on a 1 hour flight is just annoying.
- Stop giving me silly paper serviettes with everything, I can eat cheese or muesli without needing one!
- I landed late tonight, got wet AND worst of all, missed out on a tasty vege burger because they had closed. I for one, blame Rob Fyfe personally for my distinct lack of delicious non-nutrition this evening and forcing me into a healthy home cooked meal.
- $20 per MB means I couldn’t tweet FOR AN ENTIRE HOUR. AN ENTIRE HOUR. DO YOU KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS? THOUSANDS OF FOLLOWERS HANGING ONTO EVERY WORD OF DODGY FACT, LOST FOR AN ENTIRE HOUR.
Ok, to be fair, I can’t blame AirNZ for all this, but I’m getting pretty sick of even domestic air travel fast and I’m really failing to see any value added by AirNZ, compared to the budget airlines that are appearing.
As a taxpayer/shareholder in AirNZ I’d really love to support our national airline. But as an occasional air traveller and former aviation industry employee, I have to say that I’m beginning to have my doubts too.
Thinking about my last few flights, the JetStar ones were actually more often on time than the AirNZ ones (contrary to media reports it seems). The staff were generally more friendly on JetStar as well. But the real gripe I have is with AirNZ’s mindless marketing efforts which seem to have gone completely off the rails lately.
The airline that represents New Zealand on the global stage has reverted to using Richard Simmons and a tragically unfunny feral muppet as marketing tools. I mean seriously people, what were they smoking when they dreamed this up?? The current marketing campaign says nothing about the cultural attributes that attract visitors to our shores and even AirNZ staff are embarrassed by it apparently.
Regarding the A320. My personal view is that they made a bad mistake introducing an entirely new fleet type. Thank goodness there were no passengers on the aircraft that was lost in France. Airbus aircraft are not without their issues. On the Tasman I prefer to fly Qantas or Pacific Blue who operate new Boeing 737s which have an incredible safety record.
Finally, a tip for the hungry traveller. When I’m catching the 8pm flight out of Auckland, I always get to the airport early and grab a light meal at Sumo Salad in the domestic terminal. Wellington airport is an abandoned wasteland at 9.30pm on a cold, rainy night.
thanks Paul, it seems a number of people I’ve spoken to feel the same way about AirNZ’s new marketing campaigns…
I’m willing to forgive the Richard Simmons one as just a humor I don’t get, but the Rico molester muppet is just WTF cringe worthy….
Of interest, is that A320s I’ve been in belonging to other airlines don’t seem to suffer the same noise issues – for example, the A320s operated by Jetstar provide quite a nice smooth and relatively quiet flight, possibly related to their longer experience flying that model.
Thanks for the snack tip – will keep that in mind, I often get to AKL airport with time to spare thanks to the need to factor in extra minutes to handle traffic delays.
I read with interest your comments about how noisy the the AirNZ A320s seem to be. I’ve only flown in the JetStar ones, so am unable to make comparison.
Any difference in noise level would probably relate to subtle differences in operating procedures between the airlines. For example flap retraction schedule after takeoff, pre-flight checks and whether or not they adopt a stepped descent profile or otherwise. The other consideration is that different airlines have different engine types with differing noise footprints obviously.
Trans Tasman flights on average carry around 6,000 kg more fuel for the journey (compared to a 1 hour domestic sector) which results in a much longer take-off roll and more noise and drama.