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    Los Angeles to London on Air New Zealand
    Just after I sent last week's newsletter I hopped on a nine-and-a-half-hour Air New Zealand flight to London. Since the Rugby World Cup had just ended in Auckland, Air New Zealand had to add an extra flight, so instead of flying one of their new plush 777-300s we were on one of their older 747-400s. You don't get to fly 747s much these days because most airlines are switching to more fuel-efficient aircraft, so when I boarded I quickly remembered why this bird is my favorite plane in the sky… at least to stare at.

    I got upgraded to Premium Economy, which gives passengers six more inches of space--which is huge on a long flight. Air New Zealand has Premium Economy seats upstairs as well as business class, so you have a good choice. I of course chose upstairs, since it's like your own private plane up there with the few seats. The best side to sit on is the right (when facing forward) since there are only two seats in a row instead of three. Actually I believe I had the second-best Premium Economy seat, 25K, a window seat in the last row. The best is 22K, a bulkhead. See this chart to see the plane configuration.

    It's nothing like the airline's new Premium Economy seats they showcase on their 777-300, but I was very comfortable. The service and food is basically the same as business-class passengers receive but presented differently, so everything is top-notch. I had a delicious salad for starters, chicken as my main dish, and then some cheese. Two hours before landing, breakfast was served (choice of eggs or waffles). My overall verdict is that Air New Zealand's flight crew are seriously the coolest and most sincere people in the sky. Along with their incredible product, the Air New Zealand staff is a big reason why they are one of my favorite airlines in the world.


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