Air New Zealand
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 *** 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.
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 NUMBER(S) LH/3LFHYF NZ/NPD78H
LH FREQUENT FLYER UA00414993656
NZ FREQUENT FLYER UA00414993656
Reason of review: Poor customer service.
Preferred solution: Let the company propose a solution.