Air New Zealand's business class seats have been branded "the weirdest in the world" by two American travel influencers, who also revealed they'd been pre-warned about the cabin's configuration by a fellow traveller who called it "the worst flying in the sky".
In a video titled, 'We Flew in the World's WEIRDEST Business Class - Air New Zealand' for the YouTube-based travel platform Daily Drop, husband-and-wife content creators Nate and Kara documented their experience flying to Bora Bora on board two Air New Zealand flights, an experience they then ranked out of a possible 100 points across 10 different categories.
The couple, who hail from Nashville, Tennessee, spent a total of eight hours in Air New Zealand's business class cabin across two flights: the first from Sydney to Auckland and the second from Auckland to Tahiti, a popular island destination in French Polynesia. They then took a short third flight with a local carrier to Bora Bora.
Going into the trip, Nate admitted he had been warned about the configuration of the airline's business class cabin ahead of time.
"I have heard that the configuration of the seats on Air New Zealand's business class are some of the worst flying in the sky," he told the camera, later calling the cabin's seating layout "one of the weirdest we have ever seen".
Unlike other airlines' business class offerings, where the seats are facing forwards like they would be in economy, Air New Zealand's are positioned on an angle - meaning passengers are facing into the aisle and are in view of the traveller seated opposite them.
After enjoying Air New Zealand's Sydney International Lounge and its amenities, the couple boarded the Triple 7 aircraft for the first three-hour leg of the journey: but as they entered the business cabin, Kara quickly pointed out how "weird" the layout was.
"I'm just letting the initial shock wear off for a moment and then I'll give a seat tour," she told the camera.
After touching on the "huge selection" of in-flight entertainment, Nate pitched in: "Air New Zealand wins the award for the most awkward business class seat configuration.
"I'm just looking at a lot more people's heads. I somehow feel like I'm inconveniencing people just by putting my feet up," he added, although Kara noted the seats were "pretty comfy".
"I would just like to point out that any day in business class is light years better than a day in economy," Kara jumped in. "But it's also just kind of fun to be a bit opinionated - I promise I'm not spoiled."
The couple did praise other elements of the flight, including its free WiFi, food, wine options, and range of outlet offerings, but were not convinced by "the world's most awkward buddy seat" - the primary function of which is a footrest.
"I'm coming to the realisation that the challenge with the scoring system is I'm not exactly sure what I'm comparing this flight to," Nate addressed the camera later in the flight.
"This flight is less than three hours long so if you compare it to domestic first-class flight in the US, obviously this is way better, even if you take into account the awkward seating arrangement. This is much better than sitting right next to a stranger and a seat that barely reclines - considering this one lays flat."
The couple had a similar experience on their second five-hour leg, with Kara summarising: "So far everything feels pretty much the same - perhaps a little newer."
Concluding his overall thoughts, Nate reiterated the business class seat was "the most awkward" he'd "ever sat in", but both acknowledged that despite its positioning, the seat made a "cosy" and "super comfortable" bed once fully reclined.
The couple scored their overall Air New Zealand business class experience - taking into consideration the check-in process, lounge, seat, bed, food, drinks, amenity kit, staff, bathroom, and entertainment - 71 out of 100, with the seat category ranking the lowest with a four out of 10.
Aside from their work for the Daily Drop, Kara and Nate also run their own eponymous YouTube channel, where they share travel vlogs and document their trips around the world. At the time of writing they have over 3.67 million subscribers.