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Australian Business Traveller Air New Zealand

Which class for business travel on Air New Zealand

Last week, we brought you detailed first reviews from Air New Zealand's brand new Business Premier and Premium Economy Spaceseat cabins, plus the top five little-known improvements for passengers on the new 777-300ER planes.

The real question for business travellers and corporate travel departments is this: which class is most appropriate for me and for our staff, and why?

Answers to this question depend largely on distance. The plane will be used on routes from NZ to Australia and the world, and a four-hour trans-Tasman hop and a twenty-six hour slog to London are entirely different animals.

While we were on board, we discovered something very interesting buried deep in the in-flight entertainment: city guides to the as-yet-unannounced destinations for the 777-300ER plane.

The full list of destinations is:

  • Brisbane
  • Melbourne
  • Sydney
  • London
  • Los Angeles
  • San Francisco
  • Vancouver

So, we'll split up our answers accordingly: trans-Tasman and trans-Pacific.

Trans-Tasman: Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney

If you need to get some serious work done, at an actual table that you can open a laptop on, then book, which has a good-sized table that will fit a full-sized laptop and papers. There will come a point in the cost/benefit ratio where having the ability to work on the flight will trump the extra cost of Business Premier.

ill be a squash: the tables open at a strange angle and aren't particularly good for working. The exception here is if you're in the six Spaceseats at the very front of the single cabin and can have the laptop on your knees. You might just get away with using a netbook or 11" laptop at a funny angle.

The only way you'll get a laptop open in is on your knees in one of the bulkhead or exit row seats, or if you sit cross-legged and sideways in the . (This also works if there's a spare seat next to you, but there's no way to count on that.) You'll barely be able to use an iPad in Economy if the person in front of you has reclined their seat.

ricing hasn't been released for the trans-Tasman market yet, because Air New Zealand operates a low-cost carrier model on most of its trans-Tasman flights. It's a stretch to imagine that Business Premier would really be worth a hefty price increase over Premium Economy for short hops from NZ to Australia, but Premium Economy (or even the Skycouch) is probably worth it over Economy.

Trans-Pacific: San Francisco, London, Vancouver, Los Angeles

The flat-bed really comes into its own on these 13 and 26 hour flights. The extra padding and quiet atmosphere means that you'll get a full night's sleep and be fresh for a meeting when you get off the plane.

Plus, the full-size work/dining table is big enough for two people: either for a working dinner, for a catch-up, or to have your laptop open to review documents while you're dining. Once dinner's over, there's more than enough room for a laptop and papers on the table.

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