During my first round-the-world trip in 2008, I had the pleasure of flying Air New Zealand from Hong Kong to London. I chose Air New Zealand because it was cheap ($554 one-way), nonstop, and as a member of Star Alliance, I could credit the miles to United. For this week’s Matthew’s Meal of the Week I remember the two delicious meals served on that flight.
I have overslept and missed a flight exactly once. This was it. I was out late in Hong Kong and returned to my room and set an alarm for 6am, so I could get to airport early and enjoy the lounge before the 8:15a flight. Sadly, I slept right through my alarm and woke up at 7:45am. I hopped on the Airport Express and made it to the airport by 8:10a, but the flight departed on time. The agents were nice enough and re-accomodated me the following day for about a $100 change fee and were able to check me in immediately, giving me a nice exit row seat.
While I considered spending the unanticipated extra day in Hong Kong at Disneyland, I was so angry at myself I just remained in the airport until the flight the next morning, sleeping on a bench and reading a book (this was pre-law school and pre-blog).
Of course the flight was delayed three hours the next day and I missed my connection to Istanbul…
The flight left at 11:15a, but breakfast was still served shortly after takeoff.
Choices were quiche with sautéed vegetables and sausage or noodles. I chose quiche and it was (and remains) best quiche I’ve ever had in the air (and I’ve had some great ones on United, American and US Airways). Nice fresh cut fruit and strawberry yogurt that was not overly sweet as well. The orange juice was overly sweet.
I liked that the meal was served in a “real” ceramic dish and the fruit bowl and coffee cup were a thick reusable plastic.
About halfway through the flight a ham and cheese sandwich with Hägen-Dazs cookies & cream ice cream was offered. The bread was rosemary focaccia and good bread makes all the difference.
Finally, about two hours before landing dinner was served. I had a chicken breast with sugar snap peas, cooked carrots, mushrooms, and mashed potatoes. On the side was a green salad, crackers and cheese, a roll, and coffee cake.
Once again, the food was tasty. Great quality — better than many business class meals I have had over the years. I again appreciated that a real wine glass was placed on each tray.
Sadly, Air New Zealand ended this flight in 2012, and with it their “round the world” service from Auckland to Hong Kong to London to Los Angeles to Auckland. But, I was happy to try it in 2008 and fell in love with Air New Zealand even though I would not have a chance to fly NZ again until my recent Business Premier flight from LA to London in December.