Bali flight review: Air New Zealand’s most comfortable flight

A passenger let out a cheer when it was announced that we were about to begin our descent.

Passengers in trousers and jumpers rushed to the toilet, wearing shorts and T-shirts.

The scenes mark the return of one of Air New Zealand’s most popular routes. New Zealanders can once again fly non-stop from Auckland to Bali, Indonesia’s famous holiday island.

The seasonal service last operated in 2019 but has undergone some changes. Previously, journeys of just over eight hours were considered short-haul flights, with seat-only fares available for economy class passengers.

But now, Air New Zealand has offered the route the same full service as its long-haul flights, with meals, entertainment and checked bags available to all passengers.

east and west travel On the first flight – this is how we found it.

Air New Zealand has resumed direct flights to Bali for the first time since 2019.

Brooke Sabine

Air New Zealand has resumed direct flights to Bali for the first time since 2019.


Auckland to Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport (Denpasar).


Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

Air New Zealand flies to Bali on a 787-9 Dreamliner.

no splash

Air New Zealand flies to Bali on a 787-9 Dreamliner.


New Zealanders staying up to 30 days can buy a visitor visa on arrival in Bali, but for a smoother entry you can also buy it in advance online here. The visitor visa fee is approximately NZ$50.

Indonesia still requires full vaccination (minimum two doses) of the Covid-19 vaccine for all travelers 18 years and over, so you’ll need to download your International Travel Vaccination Certificate from My Covid Record.

You will also need to complete the electronic customs declaration form here, then print or capture the QR code to present on arrival. They’ll also be reminded upon arrival that there is free Wi-Fi and computer kiosks at the airport.

this seat; special seat; seat

I’m sitting in the middle row in 4J business class.

Air New Zealand’s business class has a “herringbone” layout, with all seats facing the aisle, so I mostly see adjacent rows of feet resting on their footrests.

For more privacy in this cabin, I recommend that you choose a seat in row A (the row to the left), where you are facing the rear of the middle row of seats.

Business Premier seats all face the aisle.

Siobhan Downes / Stuff

Business Premier seats all face the aisle.

time in the air

We were due to take off at noon and land at 4:20pm with a scheduled flight time of 9 hours and 20 minutes. Although we took off about 20 minutes late, we still arrived early and landed at 3:40pm, so the total flight time ended up being only 8 hours and 20 minutes.


Despite the odd layout, comfort in business class is high, with seats that convert into lie-flat beds.

The lights are dimmed for most of the flight, so despite the jet lag (5 hours at the time of writing), you can still take a nap and be ready to move on when you arrive.


Enough movies and TV shows to keep you busy, including several new releases. I was particularly impressed to see that they screened the second season of The White Lotus there.

For business, the entertainment screen is mounted on an armrest that swings out so you can easily watch movies in bed.

Siobhan Downes / Stuff

For business, the entertainment screen is mounted on an armrest that swings out so you can easily watch movies in bed.


My business seat comes with a travel kit that includes Ashley & Co hand and lip balm, toothbrush and paste, a pen and some Dreamliner purple striped socks.

Amenities can also be ordered through the entertainment screen, offering complimentary earplugs, eye masks and toothbrush sets.

I'm irritated by my socks.

Siobhan Downes / Stuff

I’m irritated by my socks.

There is no Wi-Fi available on this flight.


You’re sure you won’t go hungry, with two meals provided – lunch shortly after takeoff, followed by a ‘light meal’ a few hours before landing.

In business we had a choice of two starters, smoked salmon or pea and basil soup with a choice of bread.

For mains, you can choose from Prime Rib Eye with a variety of side dishes, Balinese Chicken Curry or Superfood Salad. In the spirit of the destination, I opted for the curry, but it had an undeniable “airplane food” flavor to it – envious as I watched passengers munching on steaks around me.

The Balinese chicken curry was a bit disappointing.

Siobhan Downes / Stuff

The Balinese chicken curry was a bit disappointing.

For dessert, you can choose from honey saffron panna cotta or strawberry shortcake – the ice cream dessert on the menu has been replaced but is not available due to dry ice shortages.

Round two is a starter of buffalo mozzarella and charred eggplant, followed by slow-cooked beef brisket, smoked paprika, lemon and thyme marinated chicken breast or Malaysian fish curry. This time I went to eat beef, which is much better than chicken.

The brisket and mashed potatoes were a winner.

Siobhan Downes / Stuff

The brisket and mashed potatoes were a winner.

Premium economy passengers get a smoked chicken breast appetizer, followed by a steak, Balinese chicken curry or sumac-coated salmon lunch, followed by the same light meal menu as in business class.

For lunch, passengers can choose from beef teriyaki with macaroni and parmesan, or Mexican-style chicken with black beans and corn rice, with hot chicken, cranberry and cheese bread for a light meal, and a tray with cheese and crackers, the economy-class menu shows. , Salad Bowl And Dessert.

Additional snacks and beverages can be ordered for your seat via the entertainment screen.


Air New Zealand cabin crew are always welcoming and friendly while doing their jobs efficiently. It was nice to see some Indonesian crew members on this flight who were happy to talk to the passengers about their home country.

Crew on Air New Zealand's first flight to Bali.

Siobhan Downes / Stuff

Crew on Air New Zealand’s first flight to Bali.


This extended service for less-long-haul flights puts you in vacation mode before you even touch down. With a manageable flight time and the excitement of mostly leisure travelers on board, I think the Auckland-Bali route must be one of Air New Zealand’s most comfortable flights.


Three flights a week, on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. During the winter and school holidays from June 26th to July 30th the service will increase to five times a week.

main point

Flights to Bali start at $1040 one way (economy class). For more information visit

Author travel provided by Air New Zealand.

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