We’ll let you watch the video with the charismatic Sims for yourself. Once you hear him talk, you’ll understand how he was able to navigate so many changes through the normally staid and apathetic inertia of the airline industry, but we’ll call out a few points he made, which we found most interesting.
· Rather than focusing just on changing one class of service, Sims and his team aimed to overhaul the entire experience of traveling on Air New Zealand by allowing flyers to tailor their own in-flight itinerary through the new touchscreen entertainment systems including: ordering food, creating music playlists, interacting on the airline’s YouTube channel (and even contributing content to it!), and checking in on the flight services available at any given time.
· Sims points out that the whole interior reconcepting was approached from a perspective of respect for the passengers, and giving them a sense that someone cares about their experience.
· He loves the little touches like bathroom wallpaper with whimsical elements like chandeliers and bookshelves, as well as two loos that actually have windows in them!
· The impetus behind the SkyCouch was the idea that even people in Economy should be able to sleep horizontally in flight, which Sims calls “the Holy Grail of air travel.” He also fills us in on his favorite position to cuddle in on the SkyCouch, and tells us that his wife is apparently an avid Jaunted reader. (hi there!!!)
· We learn when we can expect to see these planes in regular commercial operation...which is like really, really soon.
Finally, Sims answers our most burning question, which is what prompted this whole change in the first place, and what does Air New Zealand hope to accomplish with its new classes of service. According to him, we just might have another travel category to start thinking about since Air New Zealand aims to be the first “boutique airline in the skies.” Innnnteresssting.
Disclosure: Special Jaunted correspondent Eric Rosen was a guest of Air New Zealand for the 777 debut. Regardless, all images, video and opinions expressed here are completely his own.
[Photos and Video: Eric Rosen for Jaunted]