Dreamliner puts all others in the shade

Last updated 05:00 01/08/2014
DEAN KOZANIC/Fairfax NZ

Air New Zealand was proud to recently welcome its first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner into its fleet. Edited by Monique Ford

Dreamliner
DEAN KOZANIC/FAIRFAX NZ
INSIDE: Air New Zealand staff were among the first to have a look when the new Dreamliner was shown off in Christchurch. Carl Daniel is in the economy cabin as the gel-tinted windows block out the sun.

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If public spooning and toilet art work would make your long haul flight more comfortable, the Air New Zealand Dreamliner is the plane for you.

The black and white Boeing 787-9, the "stretch" version of the 787-8, landed in Christchurch yesterday, four years after its scheduled delivery.

Air New Zealand bought it at cut-price rates in 2004 when Boeing was struggling to sell planes. The Dreamliner boasts a more spacious cabin, touch-screen televisions and black upholstery.

Overhead storage bins are bigger, the toilets more spacious and the seats more ergonomic. In first class, "business premier", the toilet has a black and white butterfly wallpaper for passengers to ponder.

First class is nice. There are only 18 seats in first class, each in their cosy pod, and they can be turned into beds. The televisions have a swivel function and the area has its own cabin crew.

In economy, the leg room seems much the same and the screens don't swivel. The toilet wallpaper shows a bookshelf.

To enjoy the plane's most talked about feature, the Skycouch, you will need to buy three economy seats in a row or have flexible standards on who you cuddle up to.

The whole plane has flashy new windows that tint at the push of a button and you can charge your phone using a USB connection on the back of the seat in front.

Air New Zealand promises prices for flights on the Dreamliner - to Perth, Tokyo and Shanghai - will not go through the roof.

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