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Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger: Inside the First Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

July 10, 2014 at 12:59 PM | by | Comments (0)

New airplane alert!

163 Boeing 787 Dreamliners are flying the skies right now, a number current as of this week. That includes 162 787-8s and 1 lonely 787-9 for Air New Zealand, which only headed from Boeing's headquarters in Everett, WA to its new home of Auckland, New Zealand at dawn this morning.

That 787-9 won't be lonely for long, however; over 25 airlines have placed orders for more than 400 of the sleek and efficient jets. So why are we getting excited for yet another Dreamliner? The answer is shockingly simple: it's awesomer. Sure, the original flavor 787-8 is great and Boeing will continue to roll them out, but the 787-9 is, as Daft Punk would sing, "harder, better, faster, stronger."

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Surprisingly Yummy Airline Meals: Qantas' Trans-Tasman Dinner Service

Where: Australia
December 4, 2013 at 2:54 PM | by | Comments (0)

We have all had a terrible meal on a flight before. In fact, we have shown you some of the sadder trays slid in front of us. With this new series of amazing airline meals, we can revel in the airline culinary delights and give kudos to the airlines that got it right.

Down Under at Qantas, much thought has recently gone into revamping their menus for both domestic and international premium cabins. On our recent flight in Business Class from Auckland to Brisbane, we picked up on these tweaks and enjoyed our meals more than perhaps ever before on the flying kangaroo.

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Even on a Short Hop, We're Enamored with Emirates' Business Class

November 27, 2013 at 11:08 AM | by | Comments (2)

Yesterday, we unzipped our amenity kits and showed you what's inside the über-luxe Emirates First Class swag. Now we can reveal what it's like to fly on their A380.

We booked a Business Class seat on one of the world's most sought-after airlines, on a bit of an odd route. An Emirates super jumbo A380 actually flies from Brisbane to Auckland. It's a trip of a little over three hours, but that's plenty time to enjoy a little extra luxury.

As you can expect, everything from time in the Emirates lounge to sitting back in our lie-flat seat on the upper deck contributed to our lack od desire to leave the plane upon arrival in Auckland.

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Why Auckland Airport is So Special for Qantas' Premium Flyers

November 22, 2013 at 9:29 AM | by | Comments (0)

All good things must come to an end and, sadly, our quickie Auckland Field Trip has closed, but not without a nice goodbye. Although it's difficult to see another vacation conclude, our time at Auckland International Airport couldn't have more civilized.

Passengers flying Qantas in business, or high flyers with gold or platinum status or the OneWorld equivalent, can reap the benefits of a special check-in process. The ease of it evokes the golden age of travel, as premium guests pass through glass doors into a private room to handle ticketing and baggage check.

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Where to Nom Auckland's Best Ice Cream and Gelato

November 21, 2013 at 11:29 AM | by | Comment (1)

The next stop on our Auckland Field Trip is a little shopfront on the city's main strip, Queen Street. Amongst bustling cafes, shopping arcades and fast-food outlets sits a gem of a gelateria called Giapo.

Walk through the doors under a sign that reads, "Pure Aotearoa Organic Goodness and Creativity" (for the uninitiated, Aotearoa is the Maori name for New Zealand) and you enter the holy grail for ice cream and gelato in Kiwi-land.

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The Best Ways to Get a Bird's Eye View of Auckland, New Zealand

November 20, 2013 at 11:44 AM | by | Comments (0)

Spending a few days in a new city can be a whirlwind experience jam-packed with sights and delights. Our recent trip to Auckland was no different, running from here and there to see as much as we could in a short period of time. A brief visit to learn about a new city is as close to a school field trip as you can get, thus we bring you Auckland Field Trip.

The Kiwi financial capital is situated directly on the Pacific waters of the Hauraki Gulf, and Auckland most certainly utilizes its coastal location to its fullest. Just steps from the city center, the landscape trades high-rises for yacht masts to rightfully claim the name, City of Sails.

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New Zealand is So Friendly, Even the Airport Says Goodbye

August 22, 2013 at 9:47 AM | by | Comments (0)

On the way out of New Zealand it was a little hard to say goodbye. After all we saw the coolest McDonald’s in the world—kidding—there was a lot more to see and to do than just foreign fast food. Anyway, leaving a country, state, or city is always a little tricky, as you usually want to enjoy every last moment. Thankfully the Kiwis know how to say goodbye, as there’s a little bit of New Zealand to wish you farewell right at the airport.

For the most part you’re probably heading out through Auckland, and the city’s airport wishes travelers a final farewell with a pretty snazzy indoor tree right in the Auckland Airport. The thing is known as Pou Manawa, and you can think of it a giant projection screen—in tree form—dedicated to all things New Zealand.

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Fiji Airways Snags Guinness World Record for Highest Marriage Ceremony

Where: Fiji
August 14, 2013 at 9:37 AM | by | Comments (0)

Something may be in the water in the South Pacific with another mile-high wedding in the region. First we saw Air New Zealand support the country's newest marriage equality law, and now Fiji Airways is breaking records for a similar wedding in the sky.

The recently rebranded Fijian airline welcomed five lovey-dovey couples ready to tie the knot at 41,000 feet. Flying from Auckland to Nadi, the lucky winners of a contest put forth by Fiji Airways said their "I dos" in the flashy new A330 cabin, decked out with the traditional masi pattern design. In a unique twist to destination weddings, the honeymoons started right after the first kiss.

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(Equal) Love is in the Air on Air New Zealand

July 24, 2013 at 9:44 AM | by | Comments (0)

The island nation of New Zealand Travel may have become one of the newest countries to extend marriages to same-sex couples and now the national airline has gotten in on the fun. The creative Kiwis at Air New Zealand have come up with a fabulous new way to celebrate the passing of the country's marriage equality law allowing same-sex couples to say their "I dos" in a memorable way.

Last week, the airline announced they will host a contest for gay couples to vie for the chance to wed at 30,000 feet onboard a flight from Queenstown on New Zealand's South Island to the North Island's Auckland.

Similar to contest run by SAS a few years ago, the lucky couple will get to tie the knot in the air and, just like the Scandinavian equivalent, Air NZ will set aside some seats for the winner's families to witness the nuptials. Along with memorable matrimony, the winners will also jet off to Palm Springs for a honeymoon to escape the Southern Hemisphere winter.

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Air New Zealand's New 'Koru Valet' Idea is a Little Crazy, a Little Genius

January 18, 2013 at 1:02 PM | by | Comments (0)


Maybe a former airline CEO can wash your car?

There's no doubt that Air New Zealand is always trying to think outside the box when it comes to keeping loyal customers and creating raving fans. Now, the Kiwi airline has added even more perks for hopping on one of their planes. Something called the "Koru Valet" hit the scene several months ago and we find the benefits pretty compelling.

The Koru Valet service isn't just your traditional, "we'll park your car and take you to the terminal" kind of deal. It's a bit more and, had we a car in New Zealand and an upcoming flight, we wouldn't hesitate to use it. It goes like this: an Air New Zealand staff member parks your car super close to the terminal and then you fly off, return, and get that car back washed, serviced and with a full tank of gas. Yep, all that in one valet parking lot.

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Hobbits Hitch a Ride on an Air New Zealand 777

November 26, 2012 at 11:04 AM | by | Comments (0)

With all the anticipation and drama of a movie premiere, Air New Zealand unveiled their newest livery and this time it's not all-black. In fact, this one is quite the opposite as it's mostly white with "middle-"earthtones and Hobbits all over it.

In short, the Kiwi carrier has painted a scene from the movie The Hobbit:An Unexpected Journey on one of the Boeing 777s that flies between New Zealand and LA, eventually continuing on to London. The grand reveal of the aircraft's new paint job happened in a hangar tarted up to look like a "hobbit-hole."

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Auckland Airport Tests Full Body Scanners, But Not for Security's Sake

February 21, 2011 at 6:08 PM | by | Comments (0)

The US TSA has been famously unconcerned with traveler frustration over airport nudey scanners. In Britain, if you opt out of a full-body scanner, you don't even get to fly. There are some ins-and-outs to how the policies got made and why they stay the way they are, but mostly it's that security officials know that Americans and Europeans don't care about invasive searches and scanners.

Things are a little different in New Zealand, where there's legislation explicitly forbidding "naked imaging" in airports. Maybe it's because the culture is slightly more infused with machismo, or maybe travelers over there just have less patience for security theater than we do. In any case the ban is now creating some problems because New Zealand airport authorities want to introduce more advanced scanners into security checkpoints. They're not really interested in the extra security provided by the machines, though, as much as they want to catch drug smugglers.

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