Here is part 2(of 3) of my airline reviews (part one here).

Here I focus on short haul (under 4 hours) international travel. I will be mainly looking at Trans-Tasman trips (for the Americans reading this, that means from New Zealand to Australia or visa versa, or more likely “from one country you haven’t heard of to another you you might have, but generally have no idea where either is”).  In this part I have formatted the vast majority of text into a table, and limited comments to airlines that fly often.

The summary




Jet Star

Pacific Blue



Can be good from Akl and ChCh

Less so from Welly (less competition)

Often good prices, since they fly a 747 (big jet) to ChCh and back

A budget airline, so can be cheap

Watch for extras (luggage) and food.

Another budget airline.

So often cheap, but watch for extras.

Used to be comparable to AIrNZ

Now WAY over priced most of the time.


Excellent.  On demand (i.e can pause video)  Individual TVs even in economy.

Excellent.  On demand.  Individuals TVs

DVD based pay only

Same as Jetstar (I think!)

Average.  Business good (except for old 767s).  Economy only one “main screen” movie.

Service (people)

Consistently good – excellent

(I fly them alot)

Good – excellent

(Flown a couple of times)


(Flown twice on trans tasman)


Flown a few times

Good (but variable).

Have flown dozens of times (not anymore)

Lounge (for members)
Excellent in all major centers.

Only in Auckland and Christchurch at NZ end, plus major cities in OZ.

Never been in it.

No Lounge. Can use Qantas if a Qantas club member. No lounges in NZ, only in OZ on domestic flights.

Akl and Wely lounges good.

ChCh: Poor (no longer a Qantas club)

Sydney lounge – excellent (First class lounge prob the best in the world).

Business Class

Yep.  Good product, but not worth the money (none are IMHO).

Maybe worth it at $599 each way (super special)

More importantly they do stuff like priority luggage (comes off 1st).

Excellent.  Includes limo pick up/drop off at each end

Can get it for $999 return on special.

They do priority luggage.

Are you kidding? :-)

Starclass I guess counts.  Just.


Yep, but variable.  On old 767s don’t even have individual TVs (given a DVD player instead).  Service and food still good.

Have priority luggage.

Air Points Good.  For cheap fares you don’t get air-points, but get status credits that recognise your flight frequency (irrelevant if you don’t fly much though). Yes, as they don’t have many super freq flyers in NZ, chance of free upgrade to business class actually quite good if you fly a lot with them. Don’t have any (except being star class = Qantas points). Yep. Not sure Good, for cheap fairs you don’t get air-points, but get status credits that recognise your flight frequency (irrelevant if you don’t fly much though)
Overall Most reliable.  If price is good – the best overall. Good quality.  Just limited timetable.

You know my views on OneJetStar.

If you don’t, you can guess. :-)

Good budget airline. Still watch for extras. Variable.

My Recommendations:

  • Fly AirNZ if you can (especially if you are a regular traveler).
  • Emirates is great if  you can get a good rate.
  • Avoid Jetstar.

Black and White Version: AirNZ tops almost everything in this space, but price still means others worth looking at (it’s only 3 hours in a bus in the sky after all).

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