I’ve just got back from a few days in LA, presenting at Lyris’s Future Vision conference there. Obviously, I flew Air New Zealand from London.
Now I’ll admit, as a kiwi, to being a touch biased. But frankly, this is an airline that takes a completely different view as to why it exists. It’s not just a way of cargo-freighting sardines from one corner of the planet to another, it’s a central part of marketing New Zealand as a whole.
And why not? After all, the main reason you’re likely to fly them is to get to NZ. The airline is a badge of honour for the country, and for tourists the first taste you’ll have of the place. So why not get the experience off to a great start.
The extensive in-flight entertainment module is liberally sprinkled with the best of NZ music and cinema (and I don’t just mean that other expensive tourist video, the Lord of the Rings trilogy). The menu is packed with unashamedly NZ-flavoured meals (NZ Lamb with chick peas…) and a liberally shared wine / beer selection that was extensively steeped in kiwiana.
The in-flight team are not all kiwis, but were all amazing.
And then there was the neat twist on the safety video.
Overall, I loved every minute… and it made me not just want to fly Air New Zealand again whenever I can, but to visit the ‘mother ship’ as well. Great work, guys. That Airline of the Year (2010) award looks spot on to me.