It’s only a three hours flight from the east coast, but the Air New Zealand fleet of Airbus A320s makes crossing the Tasman a dream run.

Despite in-seat personal screens being introduced in the 90s, lots of commercial airlines are still to introduce them across their fleet. For Australians, that’s particularly annoying when it comes to flying Qantas. Hop on anything smaller than an Airbus A330 and you won’t get in-seat entertainment (although the new set of Boeing 737’s is set to include them). For those travelling to New Zealand, three hours never felt so long.

While you can be thankful that it’s not the 14-hour flight United make you do on a 747 between Sydney and LAX/SFO without personal screens, you pay a premium to fly Qantas so it’s a hard nut to swallow. Fly Air New Zealand and you won’t have this problem.

Air New Zealand mainly flies its fleet of Airbus A320s across the Tasman, and the experience is worth every cent of the discounted dollar. Thanks to tie-up between Virgin Australia, it’s even easier to find cheap fares with the Kiwi carrier.

Flying Air New Zealand you can literally just purchase your seat and go. Forget about buying magazines or books, or packing entertainment for the flight. Don’t even think about renting an iPad during the flight either.

Once on board you’ll find a 10.6-inch screen with a wired remote control, USB input and credit card swipe. Even if you have just purchased a basic seat and no bag package, you have access to everything except for the movies, which you can purchase on board for an extra NZD$10. But when you have a stack of TV shows, music and games to watch, why bother?

There’s plenty for the man to get into, including just under 10 episodes of Top Gear as well as light entertainment such as Big Bang Theory and more. Better yet, you can order all your food from the screen as well.

Simply by navigating over to the food menu, you can choose what you want to eat and pay for it with your credit card before delivery. No more messy change handovers during turbulence. You can also get free tea, coffee and water… and shock bloody horror, the coffee is actually proper coffee, not just black sludge with UHT milk. Shame about the cups though…

The A320s also include relatively new comfortable seats and the most annoying safety video of all time that we are led to believe plays across the entire fleet of Air New Zealand planes. And you thought watching John Travolta all those times was annoying. If you’re not a fan of The Village People you will probably cringe at the sight of it.

New Zealand is a top destination for Aussies all year thanks to its adventure sports. If you’re going to do the hop, it’s worth hopping on Air New Zealand. If you get an old Boeing 737, don’t blame us… of course, if you fly Qantas, there’s an almost certain chance you WILL get an old Boeing 737. Sorry Qantas, I still call Australia home, I just wouldn’t fly you in certain situations…

Web: Air New Zealand