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Bad experience on Air New Zealand

I have flown with Air New Zealand many times now. Recently though, I am left with concerns about flying with Air New Zealand. I am a Star Alliance Gold, 1K status with United. On my last two trips with Air New Zealand, I was not treated well as a Gold Alliance member. I was hoping that there would have been some professional respect for a Star Alliance member. I was treated rudely and was shined on when asking a question. On my recent trip from New Zealand to Los Angeles, flight# NZ101, there was a very long delay in the flight which caused us to missed our connecting flight on United to Los Angeles. Seems there was a change in pilots ? When we arrived in Sydney, there was complete chaos at the Air New Zealand counter. Again, it seems it did not matter that I was a 1K Gold Card member to get any assistance for my wife and I. I took matters into my own hands, called United and they booked me on another flight. I am finding that Air New Zealand personnel are not showing special care for Gold status customers. It was apparent in this recent fiasco. It caused a costly delay as my wife needed to get back to our home in Los Angeles for immediate surgery the following day. The stress was unbelievable. As a global traveler for over 40 years, I am very disappointed with your service. I am not feeling confident that this feedback will be read or even responded to. This has been the track record thus far with Air New Zealand.
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#616626 Review #616626 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Reason of review
Poor customer service

The over weight limit Air NZ police takes no prisoners

Air New Zealand Customer Service Greetings: I live in Los Angeles and go fairly often to London. My next trip will be in November and then again in December. Most probably they will not be on Air NZ. You may want to know why. My last flight with you, LAHR/LAX on NZ1, May 08 last year [please see details below] , was the most unpleasant treatment I received from an airline in some fifty years of air travel. My colleagues [the hollywood Foreign Press Association, HFPA/Golden Globes] fly United, and I did too. But then I "discovered" Air New Zealand a few years ago, and switched, and even convinced a few collegues to switch too. I had nothing but praise for Air NZ. Until that flight. Here is what happened: I connected from a side trip to Hamburg. LH was a bit late. I was the last passenger at the check in counter. Your agents weighed my hand bag. It was over the limit. They did not offer to ship the excess seprately. I had to reduce the weight. I threw away shoes, books, underwear. I put my camera on the neck, and wore shirt over shirt. Still too heavy. I had six rolls of McVitty's- the biscuit brand my wife loves. They do not sell it at the airport shops, so I bought it a day earlier in a supermarket. It had to go. I told the agents that once past passport control, I can buy biscuits [and many other things] at the airport shops on the way to boarding. Nothing doing. I placed the McVitty's on the counter and took a photo. Needed a proof to show my wife- because she wouldn't beleive my story [Air NZ made me throw your McVytties away]. The agents told me that I must take my stuff to the garbage can. This is the photo attached here. I hurried to the gate. When I arrived there, my name was called on the public address. I thought that air NZ will apologize for the earlier encounter. boy was I wrong. I was singled out for a full body search, full carry on search. Had to show my digital photos and erase them [those showing the counter, but no agents seen]. Only the photo next to the garbage can was allowed. Needless to say, your super large airline had acres of empty bins, and I doubt that my six pounds of Mcvitty's whould have made take off difficult. I did not write you earlier because I wanted to make sure that this is not standard operating procedure of other airlines. so since then I flew to lhr with UA, DL, AA and LH. Only LH raised a weight issue [in LAX] but offered a box for the excess. So there you are. I always had good experiences on board. The Kiwi spirit of friendliness, accommodation, easy going demeanor were a big selling point for me choosing Air NZ and staying with you for a long time. You may have two faces- the New Zealanders in the cabin [who were horrified when I told them of my check in counter experience] and the local Brits who staff your counters. [And I am sure that you still have the employment logs and you know who were the staff and supervisor [!] at the time]. but I just cannot take the chance. Thanks for reading. Now you know why I will not be going Air NZ in November. Thank you, Yoram Kahana HERE ARE THAT FLIGHT'S DETAILS [HOME BOUND LEG] AIR NEW ZEALAND 08MAY LONDON LOS ANGELES CA 415P 745P NZ 1 WEDNESDAY HEATHROW LOS ANGELES IN T ECONOMY AIRCRAFT: BOEING 777-300 SEAT 46D CONFIRMED RESERVATION CONFIRMED RESERVATION NUMBER(S) LH/3LFHYF NZ/NPD78H LH FREQUENT FLYER UA0041499**** NZ FREQUENT FLYER UA0041499****
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#549146 Review #549146 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Reason of review
Poor customer service
Preferred solution
Let the company propose a solution

Staff Review

Hi there would to say i would not recommend this air line to anyone they have promises that they would look after my grand kids, and have not delived they have been traveling for over 24 hour and still now have no idea were they are.... All clueless staff so much for a 8 hour flight, not happy still kids are unknown...
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#520044 Review #520044 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Melbourne, Victoria

Horrible Flight Attendants

Let me start by saying we have flown air new Zealand 4 times in the past 2 years, usually with 2 business and 6-8 Premium Economy seats at a time since we are a large family. On this trip my husband and I settled into business and asked our stewardess if it was OK to have our baby (just 3 years old) come sleep with me once the meal service was over, which we did on the way to and from Australia last Christmas. She was in the back with her older siblings where purchased 2 sky couches for them this time. She said absolutely no problem. A few minutes later Samuel Allen the flight service manager came by and was extremely rude and said she was absolutely NOT allowed to sleep with me. I said we have done it before, but OK no problem. After dinner I got up and switched seats with my 13-year-old daughter and spent the next 7 hours on the sky couch (which is great). When it was breakfast time I got up and took my 3 year old up front with me to have breakfast on the companion ottoman seat, which I have done each and every time I have flown Air New Zealand. My husband usually has one of our other children come up and eat with him as well. My 13 year old went back to her seat. As we were waiting for breakfast (which by the way we share, not request 2) another flight attendant came up and literally yelled at me that I was told the baby could NOT be up front and to move her immediately. I tried to explain that she was simply having a quick breakfast and then going back with her sister for landing. She said she didn't care, it wasn't allowed and to move. She was very rude. I got up and moved back to economy and told my 13 year old to go enjoy my breakfast and I'd see her after the flight. Approx. 10 minutes later my daughter returned in tears and said that an attendant named Hillary was yelling at her and refused to let her go to my seat. At this time Samuel came over and I asked him why, he said he was sick of us moving back and forth. I said we only moved because I was kicked out of my seat, and that she had nowhere to sit except my seat. He said fine and walked away. Kelsi went back up front and Hillary met her again and proceeded to refuse her entry to the business section. Kelsi said she would go back and tell me, and Hillary told her no to stand right there (in the small galley) Kelsi explained to her she had no seat in the back and needed to go talk to her father and sit in my seat. Hillary refused. Kelsi returned to me after approx. 20 minutes crying and said mom she's refusing to let me go to dad. At this point a Stewardess named Susan came up and asked what was wrong, after explaining the situation to her she took my daughter by the arm and said come with me. She walked her up front where Hillary met them both and Susan said that she was escorting Kelsi to her father and to let her through. A few minutes later Samuel came up to me and started yelling at me and said that I had no respect for him and that this was “his plane”, I explained that we always had been allowed to have one child sit on the companion seat for breakfast and that I in fact moved to the back of the plane and didn't leave for over 7 hours without saying a word. About 10 minutes before landing a flight attendant came up and literally hit me on the arm (I was watching a move with my 3 year old and didn't see her at first) I jumped and looked at her, and she said in a very loud voice "What is your problem here" I said what are you talking about? She said again what is your problem. At this point I looked at her nametag and said Oh, you're Hillary. My problem is you detained my 13-year-old daughter for over 20 minutes refusing to allow her to see her father and that was very inappropriate. Hillary said she had no right to switch seats with you. I requested her full name and she said she I don't have to tell you anything and walked away. I do have pictures of Hillary and Samuel Allen if needed. My husband and I have never been treated so disrespectfully in all of our travels. In addition to the verbal abuse Hillary was physically threatening, and held a 13-year-old girl against her will, refusing her access to her parents for over 20 minutes!!! Please understand that my 13 year old daughter is also a type 1 diabetic who is insulin dependent, I had left her supply bag on my seat for her so she had no supplies, meter, insulin and when she tested herself after all the emotional drama which causes her blood sugar to skyrocket it was in excess of 400 (I have the records).
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I'm sorry for being disrespectful, but you should've either all sat in business or economy.

The thing that bothers me the most in business class, is people - like yourself - sneaking their kids into business "just for breakfast", and having the kids run around creating chaos while other folks, who paid TOP cash for this class of travel - try to get some sleep or a quiet meal.

Obviously, the flight attendants were very rude, but your family lack of respect for your fellow business travellers - was even ruder, thus I cannot have any sympathy or empathy for the attandants' behaviour to you and your family. Sorry. Just keeping it real.


Staff I work with have had similar experiences with Air New Zealand flight crew and flight managers who seem to be more like extremely rude flight *** with huge egos and every bad tempers.

I manage a corporate team and set travel budgets and policies for our business. I moved my firms travel to another airline after numerous staff said they had received some shocking treatment by Air New Zealand flight crew and in particular for some reason flight managers during long haul flights.

Note this happened not once, or twice but many times this year.

If their experiences were just a one-off with a crew member having a bad day I'd understand, but sadly based on my staff's feedback I think some of their crew are power tripping and probably hate their jobs (they should do us and Air NZ a favour and find employment elsewhere).

There are better airlines out there so give this shocking airline a big miss, you'll be glad you did it. If enough people vote with their wallets things will soon improve


This sounds like a nightmare, especially for the other passengers, who were subjected to the ring a round the rosy bit going on with your family, the crying, the constant walking by. Ughhhh.

Why didn't you just have your family seated all together to begin with? You should have especially had the three year "baby" seated with you! There must be very specific rules in place regarding your whole situation, which should have been followed all flight attendants and explained firmly but politely to you. They should have explained the rules on a plane are first and foremost for passenger safety.

I would venture the reason children cannot be out of their seats and in other parts of the aircraft is because they are not properly seated and belted, if there was an emergency. You should find out the airline's rules and have a copy in hand when you travel in the future.

But again, I also hope you consider having the 3 year seated next to you and your husband seated with the diabetic child, next time. That is common sense, right?


I think you are ignoring the fact that this passenger and her children was on the receiving end of some pretty dire treatment from the flight manager. The rights and wrongs of this persons booking decision aside, the situation could have been handled significantly better by the airline.

The behaviour of Air New Zealand's staff in this situation is unacceptable. if comments (yours aside - you are an airnz employee right?

lemme guess part of their marketing/PR team?) to this are to be believed this is not an isolated incident. Something is very wrong at this airline and it needs to be fixed openly and transparently.


You seem to be missing the fact that there are always two sides to a story. I'm not implying this person is lying, but I'm always skeptical when people claim someone was "yelling" at them.

Or that one of their teenage children "came back in tears" as that immediately sets off my hyperbole *** detector. I think it would be fair to take her story with a grain of salt.


Thank goodness someone else has had problems with this shocking airline's flight managers. They seem to have big egos and be very aggressive.

I had a very similar issue with a flight manager who was incredibly aggressive and rude to both me and my wife.

I was in business premier and my wife was in premium economy. her upgrade had been turned down despite the fact that the seat next to me in the business cabin was empty. I'd gotten up to go to the loo just before *** and said hi to my wife before heading to the loo (people had only just finished boarding) and got told that I should sit down.

I explained I needed to go to the loo so the flight attendent kindly unlocked the loo.

Later after dinner I got up to sit next to my wife. There was some pretty minor turbulence and I probably should have stayed seated. Upon walking back to my seat The flight manager came over and started yelling at me telling me that "if I want to sit up there (by my wife) I should just say there". This was in front of the entire business premier cabin and in full view of my wife.

I apologised for getting up during turbulence (I should have known better) and looked at his name tag as I wasnt sure who he was.

Returning to my seat He then came over and balled me out for daring to have a look at his name tag saying he'd give me his card. He was practically yelling at me. I was dumb-struck. I was also in the wrong so I just sat there feeling totally shocked and said I'd like a copy of his card.

The flight concluded with this flight manager giving me his card.

My wife had been in tears during one stage of this flight. We'd spent over $14,000 with Air NZ and on code shares booked with Air NZ on this trip. Over the years we've spent a lot more.

sadly this will be the last I spend with Air NZ. I am also emailing a more detailed version of this to Air NZ as a written complaint, although from what I have heard it'll be about as effective as a *** in a huricane.

Dont fly long haul with these guys. Their planes are great but some of their crew obviously hate their jobs and need to be sacked.

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#518651 Review #518651 is a subjective opinion of poster.
London, England

Air New Zealand is the worst

My friends and I flew with Air New Zealand over Christmas. Our luggage was lost and we were stranded without warm clothing, basic necessities and of course our holiday gifts. The airline misplaced 1/4 of the flights bags and of course blamed it on the weather conditions. We understood that these things happen but my complaint is not about lost baggage but about the way they handled us. Over the next week, we were given over 15 different phone numbers, many wrong numbers, lied to and told so many different stories, even from high end management in New Zealand. We were hung up on and just basically left being told that it was not their fault but an outside baggage handling company that they hired. My friends and I were in tears, pleading with them as all of our heavy clothing was in the luggage and being from California had nothing warm on us. They were unaware of policies for us to buy some items to get us by and this was higher management. Even when I asked if they felt like this was fair, they would say NO, but there was nothing for them to do and they couldn't and wouldn't. After over a week of this we decided to return home early and miss our planned out holiday in London for New Years. I pleated for at least an upgrade and again they said "NO". Upon arrival to Heathrow, our luggage was there and it had been there for four day with stickers attached saying it was located days before and we were never contacted.I brought this up to the person at the desk and she tried to remove the sticker but I made sure to keep it as evidence that the bags were located and they did nothing. At this point we were offered an upgrade. Only when we arrived at Heathrow totally upset and ready to go home. Our trip was ruined. Our holiday cut short and this was because of Air New Zealand's horrible mistreatment of us and our situation. They kept and still blame the weather, Heathrow, the outside baggage handlers.... but really, I paid them and they are responsible for not giving us what we paid for. This is not about lost luggage, this is about how we were treated dealing with the employees at Air New Zealand. For an award winning Airlines, they failed horribly.
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#223032 Review #223032 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Los Angeles, California

Air New Zealand Premium Economy Waste of Money

I have flown Air New Zealand multiple times in the past year, in fact, I've just earned Silver status and am quickly on my way to gold status with this airline. You would think the problems regarding the true, factual experiences of a more valued customer would be heeded, but this is not the case. Without whining about the details, a brief summary of the factual events are below. I am happy to discuss in greater detail, and am willing to provide details to journalists who need evidence to write articles about either Air New Zealand, or its Premium Economy class of service. 1) Tried to charge me a US$150 change fee to upgrade from regular Economy to Premium Economy, when the fare terms state that this fee was to be waived when upgrading to a higher class of service. Had to argue with customer service agent for 45 minutes until he finally logged in as me on my online profile and saw that I was right. I did purchase Premium Economy service at an extra cost of US$903 for an Auckland-San Francisco segment. 2) One of the reasons I upgraded was supposedly power ports in "most of the seats". I was told by the gate agent that no power ports existed in the Premium Economy cabin on this flight. Writing Air NZ customer service later, they now argue that this was not the case (essentially calling me a liar). This is in direct contradiction to the onboard power ports advertised on their website (ask me for a print-out of the airline's website page) 3) The food, which was supposed to be the same as business class, was disgusting (in particular, a fish dish). The food in regular Economy cabin has always been much better. 4) Due to the change in daylight savings time, the crew got our arrival time wrong and therefore only Business Class passengers got breakfast. All other passengers were not offered any meal service whatsoever. This seems odd to me - why would business class passengers be served an hour earlier than regular passengers? This sounds calculated to me. 5) Bags of Premium Economy and Business Class passengers were supposed to be delivered at the same time - earlier than regular economy passengers. Mine were delivered a full THIRTY Minutes after the other premium economy/business class passengers. Huge waste of my time. In summary, Air New Zealand's "Pacific Premium Economy" service means a premium profit for the airline. True, you get more leg room, a cheap amenity kit, and nicer headphones, but these are small wins in the face of the other shortcomings. Most importantly, and disappointingly, my follow-ups have been completely disregarded by the company. I receive lip service but the airline will not stand by its mistakes. I cannot recommend Premium Economy on Air New Zealand. It was a complete waste of my money. I will also be trying the nonstop Auckland-Los Angeles service on Qantas Airlines in the future. Perhaps they will value my business more. To the airline's credit, I have no issue with the flight attendants. The inflight service was very good. However, it was the airline's complete post-flight washing its hands of responsibility that have irrevocably disappointed me, and which are the impetus for my crusade to share the truth with other passengers who regularly fly between the US and New Zealand.
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With so much information available on line these days most consumers know what they are getting before they get it. People never read web sites properly and that's where the problems begin. This all sounds a bit dramatised.


No it isnt in the least - check out the price of a premium economy seat and look at what you get for your money - it is basically a total scam.

On several occaissons I'd been told the premium economy seats had power when they didn't. In fact the seats are basically economy class seats with a tiny bit more leg room.

My understanding based on flying with most major carriers was that premium economy was business class minus or even economy plus. In the case of Air New Zealand it is just a total minus given the shocking amount of extra cash they charge.

The comments about the food are not dramatised - it is a weird combination of some of the business food and economy, and is abysmal given what is being charged.

Based on my own experiences with Air New Zealand's premium economy, I'd say book elsewhere, they are just not what they used to be at all.

Premium economy is an excuse to screw passengers out of extra cash for not very much in return.


oh one other thing - the comments about Air NZ responding to questions or complaints is dead on. They already have your money and just dont care.

service has become a dirty word. Just look on this site at some of the recent tales of how badly their staff have treated passengers.

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#162009 Review #162009 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Auckland, Auckland

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