Dear Air New Zealand,
I'd like to give a big thanks (and a virtual hug) to your inflight teams and in Melbourne, London, Los Angeles and Auckland for the great service when I flew Melbourne-London-Los Angeles-Melbourne between 29 June and 14 August 2012.
I have a severe skin condition called Ichthyosis which makes my whole body very sore, and your staff did their best to ensure I was comfortable, warm and hydrated for all my flights.
The great service began with Carol from the iMeda team who cleared my creams for travel and granted me extra luggage allowance to take 12 kg of Dermeze (like Vaseline) for my 6.5 week trip). Carol's email communication was fantastic, and from our conversations, I knew my flying experience was going to be good.
On each flight I was given extra leg room which made me comfortable and able to stretch out so my skin didn't crack during sitting for long periods of time. On one flight I was even given the skycouch! Oh what a treat! I was given extra water for hydration, and extra blankets for warmth. The staff on each flight came to see if I was ok and whether I needed anything.
Here's me on on my flight from Los Angeles to London. Very happy.
The pinnacle of the great service was on my return to Melbourne - I had just flown in from New York to LA (on a local American airline who were not as accommodating as you, despite me talking to their medical department back in January when I booked my flights) and my skin was very sore. I was not going to have a comfortable flight from LA to Melbourne without a shower or at least a wash, and there was no private disabled toilet in LAX for me to do this. The LAX Air New Zealand staff let me use the shower in the Koru Club and invited my mum and I back for drinks and snacks before the flight. I was also given use of the shower in the Auckland Koru Club, and breakfast too. I felt so very lucky.
I arrived in Melbourne yesterday feeling refreshed and well, like I hadn't just flown 20 hours from NYC. This trip was my first out of Australia and I was nervous about how my skin would fare, especially with flying such long distances. This flying experience has given me the confidence to travel more.
Thank you for making my long journey one of my favourite parts of my overseas trip. The service I received exceeded any I've received from Australian and American airlines. You listened to my needs and provided treatment above and beyond what I expected. Amazing! Thank you.
I wish you flew domestically in Australia. I will be recommending you to everyone considering flights to New Zealand, London and Los Angeles, and especially to people with special needs.
The friendliness and individualised attention from your staff has impressed me so much.
(PS- I loved that you featured my favourite singer, Darren Hayes, on your inflight entertainment. I may have listened to his album 4646 times across my flights!)
Note: I was not paid to write this endorsement. I worked with my doctors to sort out prescriptions and letters for the airline and insurance company. I also encourage you as individuals to take responsibility for alerting airlines (and other service providers) about your special needs. Be polite and factual when explaining your needs. I do believe great service goes both ways.
To book a flight on Air New Zealand from Australia, visit Air New Zealand's Australian website. Visit their main website here.