We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Air New Zealand

Nanaimo B.C.
posts: 10
reviews: 135
Air New Zealand

Overall my experiences with Air New Zealand varied between abysmal and excellent.

We flew Air New Zealand from Vancouver, Canada to Melbourne ,Australia, Cairns Australia to Auckland and from Auckland back to Vancouver. We had excellent service, especially while flying with the flight crews themselves. We found attendants to be very conscientious, polite and helpful.

However, while in Cairns we experienced what I would have to say was the worst display of customer service we have ever had from any airline while checking in for our flight to Auckland. Our issue revolved around my taking a professional camera case on board rather than checking it in. My camera bag weighs approx 14 kg and was almost double the weight limit for Air New Zealand carry on luggage. For all of the other legs of our Air New Zealand flights and for all of our Virgin Australia flights within Australia (5 flights in total) I was able to make arrangements to have this bag taken on board and stored in the cabin. The Cairns Air New Zealand staff was completely inflexible and downright rude when I attempted to have this case taken on board. All attempts to resolve this issue with counter staff and their supervisor (s) were met hostility and rudeness.

The root of the problem stems from Air New Zealand’s (and all of the airlines flying in Australia and New Zealand) very limited weight restrictions for carry on bags. All travelers should be aware that they can’t take bags weighing more than 7 kg on to the airplane. Check in staff often weigh these bags to check their weight before you board so it can be very difficult to get these bags into the cabin.

But overall, with the exception of our Cairns experience we were very pleased with Air New Zealand.

Paris, France
posts: 966
reviews: 158
1. Re: Air New Zealand

Why are you complaining that a 14 kg camera bag wasn't allowed as a carry-on when the weight limit is 7 kg on ANZ flights? Why do you think that you'd have the right to be entitled to twice the allowance of everybody else?

I think that ANZ staff in Cairns did their job and the right thing in enforcing the common rule if this weight limit for cabin luggage is what applies to your ticket.

Melbourne, Australia
posts: 1,355
reviews: 148
2. Re: Air New Zealand

Good to hear your experience was mainly pleasant. I don't think you'll get much sympathy on this forum though for expecting the rules to be rewritten for you. Maybe to put a positive spin on it, count yourself lucky that this was permitted on the other legs, and know that you can't be that lucky all the time. The limits are clearly stated and the staff realy were doing nothing wrong. Don't take it personally, I'm sure the check in staff didn't.

Nanaimo B.C.
posts: 10
reviews: 135
3. Re: Air New Zealand

I guess my main point with this whole thing is three fold.

1. Most North American travellers are not aware of these relatively limited weight restrictions when compared to the normal limits they experience in North America. Air New Zealand and others need to do a better job of advising their customers but having said this, it is my fault for not checking.

2. The inconsistency of Air New Zealand in regulating this limit. In one circumstance it's okay in another its not. Not a good way to run your business.

3. Regardless of what the regulations/limits are I would expect any service staff to treat their customers with at least a modicum of respect and courtesy.

DM

Newmarket, Canada
posts: 795
reviews: 36
4. Re: Air New Zealand

What is it that you expect NZ to do to "do a better job of advising their customers"? The baggage rules are clearly posted on their website, just like any other airline. Are you expecting a personal phone call after each booking to remind a passenger of the baggage rules?

Your criticism of NZ not consistently enforcing the rules is accurate, but could probably be applied against nearly every airline I've ever flown. Passengers often get away with going over the baggage limits without getting caught.

Personally, I've only had the pleasure to fly NZ a handful times over the years, but I've found their service to be quite good and their hard product mostly very nice. I didn't find their domestic aircraft to be anything special (but then, no domestic NZ flight could ever be very long anyway). Their flights across the Tasman are going downhill with the removal of business class from most routes, but I find their business class product across the Pacific to be very nice. I would certainly fly with them again.

Edited: 9:55 pm, December 03, 2013
Sydney/Melbourne
posts: 11,492
reviews: 47
5. Re: Air New Zealand

>>Most North American travellers are not aware of these relatively limited weight restrictions when compared to the normal limits they experience in North America<< You can't really be serious? You expect North American rules to apply, no matter where you are traveling or with which airline? As a previous poster said, it's clearly stated on their website. The 7kg allowance is pretty standard in most countries EXCEPT the US.

>>The inconsistency of Air New Zealand in regulating this limit. In one circumstance it's okay in another its not. Not a good way to run your business.<< Agreed. Your excessive baggage should not have been allowed on any of your flights. I, for one, wouldn't want to be sitting under the O/H bin with your 14 kg camera bag if there were turbulence and the bin opened, spilling it's contents onto my head.

>>Regardless of what the regulations/limits are I would expect any service staff to treat their customers with at least a modicum of respect and courtesy.<< This is a subjective one. We don't know what was said, how it was said, nor what you said or how you said it, so can't really agree or disagree with you.

Nanaimo B.C.
posts: 10
reviews: 135
6. Re: Air New Zealand

Newmarket

You are absolutely correct, I shouldn't expect ANZ to be reminding me of their baggage rules, this is my job. I assumed that their guidelines would be similar to those airlines I've flown with in the past. Obviously this assumption was wrong and I have no one to blame but myself.

In relation to the inconsistency, I never did try to "get away with anything". On each previous occasion, I spoke with the ANZ counter staff prior to boarding and advised them that I had this overweight case. In each instance (three individual times) they were able to help out, and the case was allowed to be stowed in the cabin.

As I said, with the exception of our Cairns experience, I have nothing but praise for the ANZ operation I would fly with them without hesitation.

Hong Kong, China
posts: 961
reviews: 23
7. Re: Air New Zealand

It's also printed on the e tickets.

Melbourne
posts: 1,319
reviews: 1
8. Re: Air New Zealand

Air NZ is my personal favourite (and not just for the iccint, but I do love it) and I understand the difficulties of traveling with camera gear. My stuff is not professional and therefore not too heavy but I try and put anything replaceable (filters, cables, tripod) in checked baggage. A friend has tried to convince me that I "need" a 5D Mk III but when I consider the weight*, for travel and hiking I'll stick with old faithful 60D.

I do wonder how professional photographers manage. Can you get hardcases and sufficient insurance to allow you to check your gear into the hold?

* OK, and the cost!

Nanaimo B.C.
posts: 10
reviews: 135
9. Re: Air New Zealand

AussieGirl

You can purchase some excellent hard cases that are very durable and suitable for check in. When I travel I’ve tried to do both the check in, using a couple of hard cases for camera/video bodies etc., and then a carry on for lenses and maybe one camera body. Unfortunately these tend to be the most expensive and heavy items.

You should be able to get a good pelican or other brand of hard case for around $250 USD or a good roll on for $300 to $400USD.

Insurance is hard, if not impossible to find and expensive. However, it is essential that you have insurance when your equipment value can be close to $100,000 or more

The biggest issue is damage to equipment. Not so bad on a return flight but bad if you arrive at your shooting destination to find your equipment is broken. Not only do you take a financial hit replacing the equipment, but also you may not be able to fulfill a contract.

Anyway, as I said, that’s my issue and not the airlines. The best solution and one I’m going to have to use in the future is to have my equipment shipped in advance whenever I can. That way it’s completely insured and can be checked over before I travel to see that all is working.

PS: I’m not a canon shooter but some of my colleagues shoot the 60D and swear by it. Those shooting telephoto and want good editing capability love the near 20 mpix. You will add a few more megs with the 5D, more hand control and durability but it will add another half a pound or so.

Auckland Region...
posts: 1,203
reviews: 214
10. Re: Air New Zealand

Sorry TravellerNAn,

you have no grounds for complaint.

I used to work at Auckland Airport and all the professional photographers that I encountered had their gear stowed as hold luggage.

<<< However, it is essential that you have insurance when your equipment value can be close to $100,000 or more >>>

If your equipment has a similar value, I hope you use a carnet for international flights.

Cheers.