I tried Air New Zealand’s new business class seat coming to its Boeing 787 aircraft on order and I think it’s a major upgrade from its current product

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A mockup of the new Business Premier seat in Auckland at ANZ's cabin innovation center, Hangar 22.
A mockup of the new Business Premier seat in Auckland at ANZ’s cabin innovation center, Hangar 22.

  • Air New Zealand launched the world’s new fourth-longest flight between New York and Auckland on September 17.
  • The carrier has prioritized rest on its ultra-long-haul journeys by adding unique and cozy products to its aircraft.
  • One is a new and improved Business Premier seat coming in 2024 that fixes the problems with its current product.
Air New Zealand launched the world’s new fourth longest flight in September — a nearly 18-hour journey between New York and Auckland using a Boeing 787-9.

Air New Zealand 787.
The Boeing 787 I flew when returning home from Auckland in September.

Air New Zealand will operate the 4th longest flight in the world when it launches the first-ever nonstop route between the US East Coast and the South Pacific nation

While the trek may seem daunting, ANZ’s home is uniquely isolated in the South Pacific, forcing the carrier to become a master of long-haul travel.

Air New Zealand 787.
An Air New Zealand 787 Dreamliner.

Over the past decade, ANZ has improved its onboard product with things like special mood lighting, which helps reduce jet lag…

View from door 3 on left side of Air New Zealand 787.
Mood lighting in economy.

…and lie-flat beds in economy, known as the Skycouch.

The Skycouch on Air New Zealand in its bed form with pillows and blankets.
The Skycouch is a row of three economy seats that converts into a bed.

I flew on the world’s 4th longest flight in a ‘Skycouch’ — an economy seat that converts into a bed — and it was a lifesaver on the 16-hour journey

Coming in 2024, the airline will also offer another economy sleeping option, but this time it’s a 6-person capacity bunk bed called the Skynest.

Outside view of the Skynest.

I tried Air New Zealand’s one-of-a-kind Skynest and found the cozy bunk bed to be a great sleep option for economy passengers

But, for those flying ultra-long-haul on ANZ and are willing to pay thousands for extra comfort and amenities, the Business Premier cabin is the best option.

Flying Air New Zealand in business class.

I flew on the world’s new 4th longest flight from New York to Auckland and Air New Zealand’s business class made the over 17-hour journey easily bearable

ANZ’s current business class, configured in a 1x1x1 layout, includes perks like a lie-flat lounger with plush linens…

Flying Air New Zealand in business class.
…a four-course dinner with food like caviar and lamb…

Flying Air New Zealand in business class.
…and more privacy than premium economy or regular economy.

Flying Air New Zealand in business class.
ANZ’s premium economy product on its Boeing 787s.

However, the product has some drawbacks, which I noticed on the carrier’s inaugural from New York to Auckland.

Flying Air New Zealand in business class.
These include the seats positioning, which is angled away from the window, making it difficult to enjoy the view.

Flying Air New Zealand in business class.
Moreover, the seat was not fully private, so those in the middle row could easily peer into the set of seats on the right side of the cabin…

Flying Air New Zealand in business class.
My view from the seat’s lie-flat position.

…and the flight attendants have to manually convert the seat into a bed for each passenger.

Flying Air New Zealand in business class.
The flight attendant converted my seat into lie-flat mode after the dinner service.

Most other carriers, like Qatar Airways and Delta Air Lines, have business class seats that lay flat at the touch of a button, which I find much more convenient.

QSuite power ports and buttons.
The buttons on Qatar’s QSuite easily adjust the seat.

Fortunately, ANZ is fixing these problems with a new and improved business class coming to its future Boeing 787 Dreamliners starting in 2024.

A mockup of the new Business Premier seat in Auckland at ANZ's cabin innovation center, Hangar 22.
A mockup of the new Business Premier seat in Auckland at ANZ’s cabin innovation center, Hangar 22.

The seats will be configured in a 1x2x1 layout and still face away from the window, but at a lesser angle than ANZ’s current cabin, allowing travelers to more easily see out the window.

A mockup of the new Business Premier seat in Auckland at ANZ's cabin innovation center, Hangar 22.
A mockup of the new Business Premier seat in Auckland at ANZ’s cabin innovation center, Hangar 22.

Moreover, the pods will have a button that allows passengers to convert the seat into a bed.

A mockup of the new Business Premier seat in Auckland at ANZ's cabin innovation center, Hangar 22.
A mockup of the new Business Premier seat in Auckland at ANZ’s cabin innovation center, Hangar 22.

This eliminates the work previously required by flight attendants.

A mockup of the new Business Premier seat in Auckland at ANZ's cabin innovation center, Hangar 22.
A mockup of the new Business Premier seat in Auckland at ANZ’s cabin innovation center, Hangar 22.

The lie-flat bed will come with a comfy mattress pad and linens to use for sleeping.

A mockup of the new Business Premier seat in Auckland at ANZ's cabin innovation center, Hangar 22.
A mockup of the new Business Premier seat in Auckland at ANZ’s cabin innovation center, Hangar 22.

Other amenities include a lot of legroom…

A mockup of the new Business Premier seat in Auckland at ANZ's cabin innovation center, Hangar 22.
A mockup of the new Business Premier seat in Auckland at ANZ’s cabin innovation center, Hangar 22.

…power and USB ports and a wireless charging spot for smartphones…

A mockup of the new Business Premier seat in Auckland at ANZ's cabin innovation center, Hangar 22.
Wireless charging is on the armrest, while the USB ports are on the other side of the seat.

…a half-sliding panel for extra privacy…

A mockup of the new Business Premier seat in Auckland at ANZ's cabin innovation center, Hangar 22.
The panel can extend to the end of the side table. There is also a sliding window to create a barrier between the two seats in the middle section.

…a reading light, mirror, small compartment, and a set of headphones…

A mockup of the new Business Premier seat in Auckland at ANZ's cabin innovation center, Hangar 22.
A mockup of the new Business Premier seat in Auckland at ANZ’s cabin innovation center, Hangar 22.

…storage space next to the seat…

A mockup of the new Business Premier seat in Auckland at ANZ's cabin innovation center, Hangar 22.
A mockup of the new Business Premier seat in Auckland at ANZ’s cabin innovation center, Hangar 22.

…and a huge inflight entertainment system.

A mockup of the new Business Premier seat in Auckland at ANZ's cabin innovation center, Hangar 22.
A mockup of the new Business Premier seat in Auckland at ANZ’s cabin innovation center, Hangar 22.

The flat screen TV is much larger than its predecessor, which folded out from the seat and had to be stowed for takeoff and landing.

Flying Air New Zealand in business class.
The inflight entertainment screen on the current business class seat is much smaller.

Also being added to the cabin is Business Premier Luxe, which has even more amenities, like a privacy door…

A mockup of the new Business Premier seat in Auckland at ANZ's cabin innovation center, Hangar 22.
A mockup of the new Business Premier seat in Auckland at ANZ’s cabin innovation center, Hangar 22.

…a larger ottoman compared to the regular Business Premier seats…

A mockup of the new Business Premier seat in Auckland at ANZ's cabin innovation center, Hangar 22.
A mockup of the new Business Premier seat in Auckland at ANZ’s cabin innovation center, Hangar 22.

…and extra seating and larger tray table for an additional passenger to dine, hang out, or have a business meeting.

A mockup of the new Business Premier seat in Auckland at ANZ's cabin innovation center, Hangar 22.
The extra space comes with a seatbelt.

The seat is similar to JetBlue’s Mint Studio installed on its A321neoLRs.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo’s with new Mint business class.

See inside the first JetBlue plane with all-new Mint business class suites which are set to impress on upcoming flights to London

ANZ’s new product is a major upgrade from its current business class, and I think it’ll put the carrier more on par with competitors.

Air New Zealand's new Business Premier cabin.
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