Air NZ seat charges

November 21st, 2012 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Matthew Backhouse at NZ Herald reports:

Air NZ customers will also be able to book preferred seats, for a cost, allowing them to choose seats with good locations, extra leg room or more personal space.

Ms Hosking said 70 per cent of customers could already select their seats for free, and the new service would allow the rest to pay to select a seat in advance.

The Air NZ website has details.

If you are flying domestically then it costs $5 to select a seat, or $10 to get a superior seat. Not clear what a superior seat is.

International flights to Australia or the Pacific see the preferred seats increase to $20.

Long haul international flights will cost you nothing to select a standard seat, $30 for a preferred seat and $75 for an exit row seat.

From a market point of view, this makes sense. The exit row seats are highly valued, so people will pay more for them.

What I would like is to be able to pay to guarantee no one sits next to me on a long haul flight, so long as the flight is not full.

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36 Responses to “Air NZ seat charges”

  1. Longknives (4,686 comments) says:

    This is not going to please Hamnida….(who openly expressed his hatred of us ‘Rich Pricks’ and our Koru Club on a recent thread)

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  2. peterwn (3,215 comments) says:

    Had to pay near top price Wellington-Auckland recently (funerals must be a money spinner for the airlines), could choose my own seat, but the exit row and those front of the wings were ‘unavailable’ – so presumably the frequent flyer and Koru brigades will still have access to seats denied to lesser mortals no matter how much they pay.

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  3. liarbors a joke (1,069 comments) says:

    Emirates lets you reserve a seat for free..even the bulkhead rows ( which have no one in front ) . Why would you fly Air NZ chc-syd on a shitty little A320 when you can fly Emirates 777 300 ER , have full service with grog, reserve a seat for free and better looking eye candy serving you.

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  4. In Vino Veritas (138 comments) says:

    I don’t see anywhere to eliminate the possibility of a grossly overweight person sitting half in my seat, or a discount for only being able to sit in half a seat. Or for that matter, any extra charge for those people taking up 1 and a half seats. Hmm.

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  5. Longknives (4,686 comments) says:

    Liarbor- Agreed, Emirates girls are quite hot….

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  6. Alan Johnstone (1,082 comments) says:

    Another down grade of benefits to the gold and gold elites.

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  7. Alan Johnstone (1,082 comments) says:

    You’d fly ANZ Chch to Sydney because there are more flight choices and with a flexible fare you can take an early flight home if work is going well.

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  8. Rich Prick (1,635 comments) says:

    Fortunately Alan, Gold and Gold Elite members are not charged (but lets see how long that lasts). I have noticed that on some peak domestic and trans-Tasman flights whilst all three seats in my row appear occupied, the middle one turns out to be vacant. Apparently Air NZ does block out the middle seat when it can, which is a nice touch.

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  9. Poliwatch (335 comments) says:

    “What I would like is to be able to pay to guarantee no one sits next to me on a long haul flight,” I came back from the UK recently and noted a number of single passengers with the sky couch – a guarantee of lots of space.

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  10. dime (9,667 comments) says:

    Koru, GOld & Gold elites are still good.

    It does mean more trash up front though. Not good.

    Emirates – they give their waitresses the flick once they hit 30. unlike Air NZ who has ancient angry women serving.

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  11. Alan Johnstone (1,082 comments) says:

    @rich prick, thanks for that. I’m Gold Elite, I wasn’t clear on the policy, my read if it was *G and *GE would still have free seat selection but only in the 48 hours before the flight if no one was willing to pay for them?

    Seat selection is important to me, I really like the new space seats on the 777-300′s

    Although in fairness they are pretty good with seating just now. I had an empty seat next to me on NZ108 on Friday which was a nice touch on a busy flight.

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  12. anonymouse (708 comments) says:

    What I would like is to be able to pay to guarantee no one sits next to me on a long haul flight, so long as the flight is not full.

    @DPF, Air NZ already offer that on long haul at check in , it is called twin seat

    http://www.airnewzealand.co.nz/buy-a-twin-seat-at-check-in

    [DPF: Ta. Might use that in future. I'm happy to fly economy if I have no neighbour!]

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  13. libertyscott (359 comments) says:

    Guess what? Domestic booking made from Air NZ’s foreign websites see no charges for standard seat selection, but you pay double for seat selection if you make a UK booking, and more if you are based in Australia. You see Air NZ has similar nominal charges regardless of the currency.

    The big step backwards is that Golds and Gold Elites can’t preselect premium seats in advance.

    Loyalty devalued, again.

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  14. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    Longknives – You are quite correct, I was not impressed.

    I received the Air NZ e-mail yesterday morning and then read the Herald article.

    My reading is different to DPFs.

    I believe it will no longer be possible for Koru, Gold and Gold Elite passengers to select certain seats for free. For example, rows 1 and 2 on the 737 and 320. These options used to free.

    Even if we take the 767 or 777 as further examples, Koru, Gold and Gold Elite passengers will have to pay for seats with extra leg room (front of cabin, exit row, etc). These seats also used to free if got in early enough.

    I know there was a lot of corporate spin in the e-mail to try and make rich folk feel important, but the truth is somewhat different. Air NZ are moving to a Jet Star type model where you pay for good seats.

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  15. liarbors a joke (1,069 comments) says:

    yes Longknives…its like flying with a bunch of penthouse pets, unlike our national carrier who seem to hang onto a lot of their servers until retirement age and beyond.

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  16. Alan Johnstone (1,082 comments) says:

    Virgin Australia also appear to execute their flight crew at 30. It’s like an episode of “Logan’s Run”

    I actually prefer the older crew TT, if you ask them to pour you a seriously strong drink they’ll do it much better than the younger crew. U always smile and say I’m not driving.

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  17. Longknives (4,686 comments) says:

    “Emirates – they give their waitresses the flick once they hit 30. ”

    Kind of like Logan’s Run?

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  18. Alan Johnstone (1,082 comments) says:

    @longknives, you stole my metaphor. :-)

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  19. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    I heard it was Singapore Airlines, not Emirates that have the ‘under 30′ policy.

    They don’t get the ‘flick’ per se, they are offered office jobs like working in the call centre.

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  20. Longknives (4,686 comments) says:

    Crap- you’ve got to be quick around here!

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  21. Longknives (4,686 comments) says:

    What happens to the Emirates/Singapore girls once they hit 30?
    Perhaps we should start some kind of ‘Sanctuary’ for the poor girls- for purely humanitarian reasons… of course…

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  22. tas (596 comments) says:

    I’m seriously considering dumping Air NZ as my preferred airline. Normally I get exit rows for free because I’m tall. Qantas asks for $160 to get an exit row, which I’m too cheap to pay. If Air NZ follows Qantas, then I’m much less inclined to stick with then. That and they bumped me off silver status because I *only* flew 1.5 times around the world with star alliance in the past year.

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  23. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    AirNZ don’t really understand loyalty. Operating as the travel division of Tourism NZ they probably don’t feel they need to.

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  24. Alan Johnstone (1,082 comments) says:

    @Tas, you only need 405 SPs to retain silver. That’s not a big number.

    Silver is utterly worthless though; I don’t understand the point of it. No lounge access.

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  25. hmmokrightitis (1,572 comments) says:

    Further confirmation, as if any were needed that Air NZ is a budget airline with pretensions. Really over it Air NZ. Been G or GE for 15 years, and the level of service decline has been constant. Most of my flying out of the country will now be on Emirates, Singapore or Cathay. Cant be arsed working my schedule around you and you make it so damned hard to be a FF, whats the point really.

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  26. dime (9,667 comments) says:

    Pretty sure they get the flick.

    In Dubai a ton of them live in a complex. Most of them are hot. Many suffer from MMD syndrome..

    Whats that you ask? My muhammads Different… apparently ya see these dirtbags roll up in the ferrari’s to pick up their dates.. the dimwits chicks convinced they will marry a mega rich arab…

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  27. insider (1,032 comments) says:

    How much will they charge so you can avoid

    - fat smelly man/woman next to you
    - Crying baby around you
    - kid kicking seat behind you
    - incontinent people in window seat
    - Drunk who wants to dribble on your shoulder

    I’d be keen on paying the ‘seat next to the incredibly nice, talented, intelligent, wealthy, undemanding but really wants to get to know you better’ premium

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  28. dime (9,667 comments) says:

    “I’d be keen on paying the ‘seat next to the incredibly nice, talented, intelligent, wealthy, undemanding but really wants to get to know you better’ premium”

    You dont care what gender huh?

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  29. liarbors a joke (1,069 comments) says:

    I wasnt incontinent, I just needed to change ” my bag ” often…

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  30. gazzmaniac (2,319 comments) says:

    I think AirNZ is doing pretty well now, compared to five years ago when I first started flying the trans Tasman route regularly.
    Travelling economy you always got an old witch who would be rude to you (the one time I ever flew business class it was totally different). Contrast that to Virgin who have people who appear to enjoy their jobs. Air NZ have got a hell of a lot better, especially now that you don’t have to queue for check in at Wellington thanks to the kiosk check in – for certain things the less time you have contact with staff, the better.

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  31. Paulus (2,565 comments) says:

    Wish the amount and size of hand luggage was controlled.
    On AirNZ auto check in at Auckland people were just getting a boarding pass with enormous amount of “carry on”hand luggage, leaving no room for anybody who boarded later.
    And the crew did not care less as too difficult, so ignore.
    Go another airline as I do now.
    Years ago in Hong Kong before going through to passport etc a little lady would inspect your hand luggage, put it in an international hand baggage size/weight checker and if it did not fit there was no way you were going to proceed.
    I know because my bag would not fit (only slightly oversized) but “Go back and recheck”.
    I can assure you that a 5ft Chinese lady was a tough cookie, but quite right.
    This needs to be considered here now.

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  32. Mary Rose (393 comments) says:

    Insider – you missed one.
    The person in front who reclines their seat into your face three seconds after the seat belt lights go out. And again the second they’ve finished eating, without checking if you’ve anything balanced on the seat back tray.

    Anything with wheels and a retractable handle is a suitcase and belongs in the hold.

    And get over yourselves, guys. The hostesses are there to pour you coffee and hand out bags of lollies, or trays of plastic stuff that might be chicken. Not for you to perv over. ;-)

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  33. dime (9,667 comments) says:

    “The person in front who reclines their seat into your face three seconds after the seat belt lights go out. And again the second they’ve finished eating, without checking if you’ve anything balanced on the seat back tray.”

    9 out of 10 times im behind that douche bag

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  34. liarbors a joke (1,069 comments) says:

    “And get over yourselves, guys. The hostesses are there to pour you coffee and hand out bags of lollies, or trays of plastic stuff that might be chicken. Not for you to perv over.”

    I beg to differ. If that was the case why does Branson et al only hire stunners…thats right…to perv over !

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  35. Steve (North Shore) (4,522 comments) says:

    Mary Rose is an airline hostest that don’t like guys perving? yeah right
    OK, what airline?

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  36. Shazzadude (522 comments) says:

    These changes are a huge blow for tall Gold/Gold Elite travellers. Before the changes I only had to compete with fellow Gold/Gold Elite members for those seats. Now, even if I want to pay $75, the likelihood is reduced now that EVERYONE has access to the exit row.

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