TRAVEL | Air New Zealand operates multiple flights daily between Melbourne and Auckland. The Boeing 777-300ER (“777”), Boeing 787-9 (“787”), and Airbus A321neo (“A321”) are all currently used on the route. On this occasion, I was on the A321.
Travellers can choose between Economy and Business Class on all three. Being a medium haul flight on the shorter end of the scale, the flight is more akin to an Air New Zealand domestic, rather than international, flight.
You can pre-check in online or using the Air New Zealand app, and bag drop stations at the check in counter mean that even with checked baggage, you’ll be able to avoid lining up to check in with an actual person. You still need to finalise your check in at one of the self-check in stations, but it’s quick and seamless.
Air New Zealand offer a “seat” option, which allows you one piece of carry on baggage, up to 7kg, and a “seat + bag” option. The latter gets you a checked bag of up to 23kg, in addition to your carry on bag.
Service is friendly and efficient. Being a short flight it’s mostly hands-off, with staff on hand and happy to assist where required.
The Air New Zealand Economy cabin on the A321 that flies from Wellington to Melbourne features 214 seats, in a 3-3 layout. Colour wise it’s black and white – in line with Air New Zealand’s branding. The cabin is very clean.
The modern, firm, curved seat has dimensions of about 74cm x 43cm, a smaller pitch than the nearest competitor Qantas, which also flies this rout. It reclines much less than that of the Qantas seat too (5cm v 12 cm in this case). The seat features a modern “bucket” design. Some people aren’t a fan of this, but I love it, as it gives a feeling of more space and comfort, a positive trade-off for the much reduced recline.
Each seat has a USB A and C port in the monitor for charging smaller devices that don’t require much power. It’s good for juicing up your phone while it’s on airplane mode.
Free Wi-Fi is included, with enough speed to check e-mails, social media, and general web browsing.
On the back of the seat there’s a small faux leather pocket. One disadvantage of the bucket style seat is that the pocket is smaller than usual and more rigid. It’s good for a few magazines or a book, but not much else.
The back of each Air New Zealand Economy seat features a 23cm screen, featuring the latest blockbuster movies and TV shows, music, multi-player games. Depending on your ticket, access to the in flight entertainment system is included, or a NZD$10 optional extra.
Headphones are not provided.
The meal offering on this flight depends on the ticket you have purchased. Generally, food is not included in your ticket. Snacks and drinks can be found on Air New Zealand’s inflightbites menu. They accept credit cards or prepaid vouchers onboard. Tea and coffee and a biscuit is offered for free.
There are no amenities kits offered on this flight, which is reasonable given the short flying time.
Air New Zealand’s A321 cabin on the flight from Melbourne to Auckland is sleek and modern, with free Wi-Fi and USB C charging big bonuses. As far as extras go, it operates more like a budget flight, with the base ticket not getting you much beyond a seat and carry on allowance. It’s a pleasant flight with friendly service that’ll get you from A to B.