FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Roger Poulton, VP, The Americas, Air New Zealand

May 1, 2007
2007 / May 2007

Global Traveler: Tell us about your tenure with Air New Zealand and your current responsibilities.
Roger Poulton: I started at Air New Zealand as a teenager in the mail room and worked my way through almost every part of the company. When I joined Air New Zealand there were no computers or Internet bookings, and the first jumbos were just entering service. Before coming to Los Angeles, I was general manager for the home market of New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. Prior to that, my roles included general manager for Europe out of the U.K., manager of the retail business and head of marketing in New Zealand, regional manager in Dallas and in-flight services manager. After 38 years working with Air New Zealand I’m a bit of an airline veteran.

GT: Air New Zealand has a new business class with a flat bed. How does this compare to other airlines in your class?
RP: All Air New Zealand 747s and 777s boast our Business Premier class, which is really first class priced as business. It has a bona fide, 100-percent flat bed and state-of-the-art entertainment system with 450 hours of programming. All business travelers know that sleep is key to a successful trip, and a comfortable, truly flat bed does make a difference. (Female business travelers, in particular, love Business Premier because of the privacy provided by the new design.) Our food and beverage on board is among the best, too, with plenty of top New Zealand wines and fresh produce. But what really makes the difference is our crew and flight service managers – they are the heart of a great airline. Their whole aim is to ensure passengers are relaxed, and they will go to great lengths to accommodate special requests. Because Air New Zealand is a smaller airline, crew can make passenger needs a priority and effect change in a way that just is not possible at larger airlines.

We also offer Business Premier check-in and refreshing lounges around the world. Our lounge at LAX, in particular, is superb. For example, we often keep favorite foods of regular flyers on hand as a gesture of appreciation for their business.
Let’s not forget our Premium Economy class, which, after just one year, is receiving high marks from travelers. Ideal for the high-end leisure traveler, this service has been so successful that we added additional rows in our 747s. It boasts a greater seat pitch and more space than economy, and it shares the business class food and beverage service. To top it off we also have added a cheese plate after meals, and priority check-in.

GT: New Zealand has been getting a great deal of press over the past several years. How has this affected travel to New Zealand?
RP: “The Lord of the Rings” has certainly driven visitors to New Zealand and, more than ever, the destination inspires a “great desire to go” among travelers. This is because New Zealand offers exceptional quality in food, wine and boutique accommodation, and an incredible outdoor experience. Not to mention New Zealand has a great exchange rate that favors Americans.

GT: Our readers frequently travel to Australia and New Zealand for business and leisure, what can Air New Zealand offer them?
RP: If travelers are looking for that genuine kiwi welcome and good inflight rest, Air New Zealand is the airline. And if a rejuvenating vacation full of adventure, luxury and incredible scenery is what you’re looking for, New Zealand is the place to go. With Air New Zealand travelers can also stop on the way at stunning Pacific destinations like the Cook Islands and Fiji. Our “Round the World” fare, which flies a Los Angeles-London-Hong Kong-Auckland-Los Angeles route, is proving popular as well. And don’t forget how close Australia is – just a three-and-a-half-hour flight from New Zealand.

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FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

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