Air New Zealand's incoming CEO Greg Foran recently sent an email to staff asking for feedback on what the airline is doing right, what it's doing wrong, and what it could do better.
Members of our Newshub Travel Tips and Tricks Facebook group were asked to share their responses to the same questions, and there were a few key issues that kept coming up.
- "Stop charging so much for regional flights even when booking a week or two in advance."
- "Make it possible for international passengers who start off at a regional airport to request an upgrade from the regions. Making us wait to get to Auckland is unfair as the upgrades have all gone, to Aucklanders and yet regional passengers pay more money to fly."
- "Stop making prices to the regional ports so expensive! Sick of paying over $500 return for seat only!"
Air New Zealand has been criticised for the cost of airfares to Aotearoa's regional centres.
When Jetstar pulled out of the regional market in November last year, concerns were raised that prices could increase due to the lack of competition. Some readers have complained to Newshub that it's cheaper to fly to Australia than it is to fly to places such as Gisborne, Rotorua or New Plymouth.
- "Get some decent food."
- "Take Air New Zealand out of a budget airline status by not charging for bags and food. Take it to a top tear airline."
- "Improve on flight food. NZ is famous for its good food quality. Showcase it."
- "Support NZ companies like Moa beer, Coke not from America and NZ food not Asian - even if it costs more. Buying from small companies can change lives."
- "Increase baggage allowance to 30kg like rivals."
Some airlines have been increasing their luggage allowances for economy travellers. Hawaiian Airlines offers two 32 kilogram bags for all passengers in and out of New Zealand.
Air New Zealand's standard baggage allowance is 23 kilograms, with a second bag free of charge for Koru Club members.
- "Increase lounge sizes in Auckland again. They are constantly having to turn people away for being too full."
- "Revamp the rewards program with outlook for long-term flyers. Reduce status points requirements for those who continue to maintain steady use over the years with a high number of flights."
- "Get over the obsession with the All Blacks."
- "Needs to give some support towards its heritage like other airlines do. Put the teal and blue back in the livery."
With the exception of numerous requests to 'move on' from the All Blacks, Air NZ's safety videos were barely mentioned in the feedback. Except for 'that bad one' of course.
One thing was obvious from the feedback, however. Many Kiwis love their national airline, and if they don't love it, they really want to.
A sentiment summed up in one short but sweet comment.
"Don't ruin it."
You can add your opinion by commenting on the Newshub Travel Tips and Tricks Facebook group.