5 reasons why recently crowned Air New Zealand deserves to be the best (and coolest) airline

For most of us, flying is a means to get from one far-flung place to another. But some airlines have upped their game to offer an in-flight experience that makes the journey almost as enjoyable as the destination.

The Airline Excellence Awards recognises the industry’s top players and recently awarded Air New Zealand with the accolade of World’s Best Airline for the fifth year running.

A panel of six judges from AirlineRatings.com use passenger reviews, in-flight product offerings, safety, profitability, fleet age and environmental policies as part of their decision-making criteria.

“In virtually every criteria Air New Zealand is a clear winner or equal first,” says AirlineRatings.com’s Geoffrey Thomas.

“Given the airline’s location and the country’s size, its performance is remarkable. No other airline has consistently demonstrated success like Air New Zealand so far this century.”

Here are five more reasons why we think Air New Zealand rocks…

1. Frodo appeared in their safety video

Let’s be honest: who really pays attention to the safety demonstrations on planes. Air New Zealand, though, make videos worth watching – both for the important information (of course) and the A-list stars. Being the official airline of Middle-earth, they created ‘The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made’ based on The Hobbit trilogy and starring Elijah Wood and Sir Peter Jackson.

2. Parents can keep track of kids flying solo

Crossing the globe is a long journey to do a drop off, so the airline has come up with a solution to give parents peace of mind if they need to send children on solo travels. The Airband (a plastic wristband) is scanned at various stages during the journey and text messages are sent home.

3. You don’t have to fly business to lie flat

Particularly useful for families travelling with kids, the Skycouch is essentially three adapted economy seats booked together in a row. An additional footrest folds out to make the space wider and the arm rest on the window seat goes all the way back. A couple can even sleep together across the seats in a spoon position; you can’t do that in first class!

4. Premium economy is really first class

Travelling premium economy with Air New Zealand is on a par with business travel – OK so the seat doesn’t fully recline but they’re super comfy all the same. In the past, each person would get their own mini bean bag to use as a footrest, pillow or general plaything. There was even a photocard with suggested poses – a bit like the Kama Sutra of enjoyable air travel. We hope they bring them back.

5. There’s a playlist in the toilets – and it’s good

At street level, toilets have a dual purpose – along with the obvious function they double up as a useful thinking place. Air NZ have created loos you’d actually want to spend time in – with designer wallpaper and a pleasant playlist of decent tunes (jazz, rock, guitar – the works). Even if the music is not to your taste, it will drown out any unfortunate sounds…


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