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There’s been a few new things in the news this week, with Air New Zealand releasing a new in-flight safety video starring Betty White, and Jetstar receiving their first brand-new 787-8 aircraft, which was delivered to Melbourne on Wednesday.

Air New Zealand are always very innovative and creative with their in-flight safety videos, which all started off with their ‘Nothing to Hide‘ campaign, to ‘Crazy about Rugby” during the 2011 Rugby World Cup, to the rather loud one (Fit to Fly) featuring Richard Simmons, then more recently the Hobbit themed “An unexpected briefing” and the “Bear Essentials of Safety” featuring Bear Grylls.

I always do look forward to seeing the new AirNZ safety videos when they come out – It makes something that is typically quite boring interesting, and ultimately does what it needs to do – Make people pay attention to the safety instructions when flying.
After seeing a wide variety of safety videos from different airlines on our long Summer holiday trip to Europe and back earlier this year, it is surprising how many bland safety videos are out there (Lufthansa spring to mind as an example) and it’s refreshing to see a new take on things.

Air New Zealand’s new video, released on Thursday, features Betty White and a cast of other ‘golden oldies’ to present safety “old school style”.

To celebrate the launch of “Safety Old School Style“, Air New Zealand are running a competition for viewers to win a trip of a lifetime to either Palm Springs, California or Queenstown in New Zealand, including activities.

To enter, viewers need to share their story of how they are living life to the full – Enter here.
safety_oldschool_competition

For the Palm Springs prize, Air New Zealand will provide the winner and guest:

  • One x Roundtrip flights for two (2) (the winner and one (1) “Guest”) travelling on Air New Zealand from the airport from which Air New Zealand operates nearest the winner’s home town, to Los Angeles. All travel to Palm Springs, USA will be in our Premium Economy.
  • A shuttle service from LAX Airport to Palm Springs
  • The 1 winner and 1 guest will have 4 activities to under-take during their 7day prize in Palm Springs. All 4 activities are to be completed within the (1) one 7 day period. Some of the activities will be seasonal and availability will depend on the timing of the 1 Winner and 1 Guest arrival in Palm Springs.
  • All accommodation (4-5 star accommodation) will be provided during the 7 day prize in Palm Springs
  • 1 x Rental Car for 7 days

For the Queenstown prize, Air New Zealand will provide the winner and guest:

  • One x Roundtrip flights for two (2) (the winner and one (1) “Guest”) travelling on Air New Zealand from the airport from which Air New Zealand operates nearest the winner’s home town, to Auckland, New Zealand. All travel to New Zealand will be in our Premium Economy Spaceseat.
  • Domestic flights for the winner and Guest to Queenstown (within New Zealand).
  • The 1 winner and 1 guest will have 4 activities to under-take during their 7day prize in Queenstown. All 4 activities are to be completed within the (1) one 7 day period. Some of the activities will be seasonal and availability will depend on the timing of the 1 Winner and 1 Guest arrival in Palm Springs.
  • All accommodation (4-5 star accommodation) will be provided during the 7 day prize in Queenstown
  • 1 x Rental Car for 7 days

Full terms and conditions are detailed here.

Check out the video below:



On other news, Jetstar received the first of their new Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners on Wednesday, which touched down in Melbourne. This is a different variant to the Boeing 787-9 model, to which Air New Zealand is the launch partner and which will be delivered mid-2014.

Jetstar's first new 787-8 Aircraft on its arrival in Melbourne on Wednesday
Jetstar’s first new 787-8 Aircraft on its arrival in Melbourne on Wednesday


The first international route for its new 787 aircraft has been selected to be Melbourne to Bali, and will start on December 18, after the aircraft has served on selected domestic routes within Australia.

Jetstar have announced that they will be using the 787 on some international routes from New Zealand, which will allow the airline to carry 335 passengers with a minimum seat pitch of 76cm, which may be quite a squeeze – Particularly for those taller passengers.
For a comparison, budget airline Norwegian Air Shuttle has a total of 291 seats in its 787 aircraft (32 in Premium Economy and 259 in Economy), and Air India’s 787’s (full service airline) have 256 seats (18 in Business Class and 238 in Economy).

The aircrafts configuration will include a 21-seat business class cabin in 2-3-2 configuration with a 38 inch seat pitch, and the new economy class seating in a 3-3-3 configuration with 30-31 inch seat pitch – This will be a slimmer design but will include seatback entertainment.

Seating on Jetstar's new 787-8 (Economy)
Seating on Jetstar’s new 787-8 (Economy)

Other features of the new Jetstar 787 aircraft:

  • Larger windows, which tint at the touch of a button – Eliminating the need for window shades
  • Larger overhead baggage storage compartments
  • Seat back entertainment with new release movies, tv shows, movies and games (likely requiring payment for access)
  • New, ‘more natural’ lighting
  • Leather seatings
  • Less cabin noise while in-flight (similar to the Airbus A380 Superjumbo – Which I can confirm to be a lot quieter)

For more information about Jetstar’s new 787 Dreamliner ‘experience’, check out their dedicated website here.

Jetstar have also released a fly through video of their Jetstar 787 aircraft and cabin, which I have added below, giving you an idea of what the new aircraft will look like:

Although the 787’s have been experiencing numerous issues over the past year, with electrical faults and battery issues; including one of the more recent incidents being a faulty hydraulic pump on one of Norwegian Air Shuttle’s aircraft, Boeing is taking safety seriously and is working to fix the issues and improve reliability on the new state of the art aircraft.

Qantas have ordered a total of fourteen 787’s for its Jetstar subsidiary, which will be delivered up until late 2015. The new lighter and more fuel efficient aircraft are anticipated to help save fuel costs in the Qantas group and help it to stay more competitive.

For those interested, there is also a video of the Jetstar’s new 787 Dreamliner being put together (quickly) below.

What do you think of the new AirNZ Safety video and Jetstar’s new aircraft that will shortly be gracing our shores? Feel free to add your comments below.

Saw this article a few days ago but we were currently flying back from Europe at the time so wasn’t able to publish it until now.


We’ve all either heard of or experienced that dreaded flight with the ‘child from hell’ (though sometimes it might also be sitting next an inconsiderate passenger).

child_plane

The main problem is the close proximity to others on an plane – Aside from wearing headphones, earplugs or otherwise, there isn’t too much that can be done in such situations, although cabin crew will typically do as best they can to ensure that all passengers are comfortable. However, if the flight happens to be a long-haul trip, then you might be in for a very long journey… and it won’t be long before someone will pass a comment that there should be ‘child-free flights’..

Well, one of Singapore Airlines low-cost carrier subsidiaries, Scoot Airlines, has introduced a new service class called ‘ScootinSilence‘ which aims to seat passengers in a ‘quiet zone’ away from children and youth under 12.

Image Copyright of The Straits Times
Image Copyright of The Straits Times

In addition, the seat features a higher pitch at 35 inches (four more inches than the standard economy class seats they offer) and are located in rows 21 to 25, directly behind the business class section of the aircraft.
Of course as a low cost carrier, such benefits do not come for free, with Scoot Airlines charging $18 SGD more for the upgrade and that peace and quiet onboard that you’ve been looking for.

Scoot Airlines is a relatively new carrier into the industry, being founded in 2011, with operations beginning mid-2012. It may be that such policies are its way to make its mark, particularly as they are so controversial and are sure to get people talking.
Not surprisingly, the airline is based in and has its main hub in Singapore, flying to destinations within Asia and Australia.

Scoot is not the only airline to offer such a service, with Malaysia Airlines being the first carrier to announce a ‘baby ban’ in its first class cabin in 2011 and a ‘child-free zone’ across the entire economy class upper deck aboard its A380 service between Kuala Lumpur and London in 2012. Another Asian carrier also based in Malaysia, Air Asia X, introduced a ‘quiet zone‘ on rows 7 to 14 of its aircraft that are reserved for those aged 12 or above for a fee of 35-110 MYR.

Carriers in New Zealand have said that they will not be following any of the Asian carriers in offering a similar service here.

A spokeswoman for Air New Zealand said:

Children were welcome in any cabin on our aircraft and there were no plans to introduce a service where passengers could choose to sit away from children.

Interestingly, Air New Zealand does allow parents to escape their offspring by sitting in a different class – with their children then travelling as unaccompanied minors.

A spokesman for Jetstar said:

There were no specific areas in its aircraft set aside for parents with children. Their seating will be assigned throughout the aircraft.

If a customer asks at check-in to be seated away from young children we will endeavour to help with the request. There is no charge for this assistance.

A Qantas spokeswoman said it did not have plans to introduce child-free zones.

Qantas offers advance seat selection for both domestic and international flights but does not enable customers to request to be seated separately from children and infants.

Such policies are always quite a hot topic and strongly debated – With those arguing that it is discrimination and where does the buck stop from there? Should other types of passenger be banned, perhaps fat or smelly people next?
Others will say that the airlines are offering more choice to travellers and they have a right to do so – The market will dictate if there is demand and people are willing to pay for such a service.

child_plane2

I was on a Ryanair flight just earlier this month and just after takeoff I noticed a child a few rows away on the flight that was extremely restless, hitting the chair and crying quite loudly. The passenger in the seats directly in front was getting visibly annoyed but tried to make the best of the situation once we had reached cruising altitude and electronic devices were able to be used inflight – putting on her headphones to try and block out the noise and distraction.
However it is situations like this where seats are not allocated and it really is luck of the draw as to who you sit near to and if you have a pleasant or disastrous flight.

What do you think? Would you pay extra to be seated away from kids? Should more airlines adopt such child-free seating policies, or is this deemed too insensitive and offensive and is going a step too far?

Feel free to post your comments below.