Traveling in a Spaceseat on Air New Zealand remains the best way to reach Middle Earth for a golf trip
AUCKLAND, New Zealand – I should feel like a train wreck, but I don’t.
I’m sitting in the Auckland Airport after the dreaded 12-hour flight from Los Angeles, and I feel pretty spry. The secret?
Traveling in a “cocoon” isn’t so bad. That’s what the Air New Zealand flight attendant called my cozy seat, 23A, in premium economy. It’s technically called the “Spaceseat,” a spacious cool setup that makes sleeping possible on the overnight flight. It doesn’t fold down like the fancy first-class Spaceseats that offer a footrest. But it does tilt about 35 degrees and the bucket seat is much larger than a traditional one. There was a foot well large enough for me to stretch my legs as well. The large pillow and a beanbag cushion for my feet added more creature comforts. Other Spaceseats allow couples to spin and face each other for conversations and dinner. It’s like a country club in the sky.
I probably slept between 5-6 hours after dinner and a movie. The entertainment system features 580 hours of content. It’s stocked with movies, TV shows and games. I finally got to see ‘Skyfall’, and on the way back, I have my choice of ‘Argo’ and ‘Lincoln’, among dozens of others.
The food served tastes restaurant-quality. The prawn linguine for dinner was quite good. The flight concierge walked around with bottles of fine New Zealand wine in each hand, pouring liberally to anybody who needed a drink. Being in an airplane for 12 hours is never fun, but this is about as close as it gets. An omelette for breakfast re-energized me this morning.
I’m waiting for my next flight to Queenstown, the final of four flights to get half-way around the world. The reward for the long journey awaits. Let the fun begin.
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