These photos are from last year (Oct 27 – 28, 2012 and Nov 2-3, 2012) after Phuket (Thailand). We didn’t have the time to post them due to our busier 2013 schedule and the holidays. We flew and ate vegan with Air New Zealand: Business Premier + AKL Koru Lounge (Auckland Airport, New Zealand) and NAN Koru Lounge (Nadi International Airport, Fiji).



PVG (Shanghai Pudong) to AKL (Auckland, NZ)

On Saturday, October 27, 2012, we got to Shanghai from Phuket (Thailand) via Bangkok on Thai Airways Royal Silk (aka Business). I will post about our vegan food from the Thai Airways Royal Silk (Business) another time. We flew from PVG (Shanghai) to AKL (Auckland Int’l Airport, New Zealand) via Air New Zealand Business Premier.

Our final destination was Nadi, Fiji (NAN), which was why we were in Auckland.


Feedback on our flight from Shanghai to Auckland via Air New Zealand

The service and catering from Shanghai to Auckland was, unfortunately, not up to the same standard one usually receives from Air New Zealand. The VGML dishes were a bit more sparse and certainly less exciting, while the flight crew was less attentive and accommodating (Chinese flight attendants). The seating was slightly older (the brown seats) than their newer white seats. Despite the fact that the food and service didn’t meet the Air New Zealand standard, they still exceeded the standard one usually expects from air travel today. In our experience, Air New Zealand have set themselves apart from other airlines with their exceptional food quality for vegan travelers.

IMG_0446

Air New Zealand Business Premier (PVG to AKL): Doni sat next to me (his head, of course) and the seating area

IMG_0447

Air New Zealand Business Premier (PVG to AKL): Some sweet tea beverage we picked up from the airline lounge @ PVG (Shanghai airport) and your individual television with on-demand entertainment and a wide range of audio & video including the most recent blockbuster movies, TV programmes, exclusive audio programmes, and a CD collection.

IMG_0453

Air New Zealand Business Premier (PVG to AKL): Amenity Pack & a whole menu collection (it doesn’t matter to us since we have our special meals VGML.

If you would like to see their non-vegetarian main meal & breakfast menu, here is a copy of the menu: Main Menu | Breakfast Menu

IMG_0470

Air New Zealand Business Premier (PVG to AKL): Amenity Kit which includes La Prairie products (I didn’t use them) socks, eyeshades, ear plugs, a pen, and a toothbrush. I brought my own toiletries, but the eyeshades, socks & pen were pretty nice to have around.

IMG_0456

Air New Zealand Business Premier (PVG to AKL): Complimentary champagne before takeover along with hot towels

IMG_0462

Air New Zealand Business Premier (PVG to AKL): Drinks & beverages menu. I relied a lot on their teas, they are pretty good. They carry English breakfast tea, chamomile tea, lemon & ginger tea, decaffeinated tea, raspberry, strawberry and loganberry, and cranberry and pomegrante, Earl Grey tea, peppermint tea, green tea, and jasmine green tea. I’m a tea girl, I love my teas, they are a great minor relaxant for flight anxiety. The only alcohol I had was their Air New Zealand sparkling wine, and of course bubbles made me bloated.

IMG_0473

Air New Zealand Business Premier (PVG to AKL): I was watching a Japanese film with English subtitles before takeover.

IMG_0476

Air New Zealand Business Premier (PVG to AKL): It was early dinnertime around 3pm (15:00). To begin, we had cashews and lightly grilled vegetables which was part of our VGML (Vegan) meal set, and along with their Air New Zealand sparkling wine.

IMG_0477

Air New Zealand Business Premier (PVG to AKL): Took another photo of this small plate, so cute, right?

IMG_0481

Air New Zealand Business Premier (PVG to AKL): For the VGML salad, we had a vegan glass noodles (Chinese vermicelli) in sweet chili sauce with salad & cucumbers. And finally, a pair of chopsticks?! Too cool.

IMG_0484

IMG_0487

Air New Zealand Business Premier (PVG to AKL): For the VGML main course, we had potatoes, sugar snap peas, cauliflowers with some type of tomato sauce.

IMG_0494

Air New Zealand Business Premier (PVG to AKL): For the VGML midnight snack, we had a simple sandwich with grilled vegetables.

IMG_0498

Air New Zealand Business Premier (PVG to AKL): When it’s time to sleep, it converts to a 6’6″ bed with your own large cotton pillow, duvet and sleep sheet.

IMG_0502

IMG_0501

Air New Zealand Business Premier (PVG to AKL): Had a hot green tea before heading to bed.

IMG_0503

Air New Zealand Business Premier (PVG to AKL): You can grab a snack or drink at the self-service refreshment areas. One of them is vegan-friendly, cassava crisps (chips). There are few ingredients on the bag.

IMG_0505

Air New Zealand Business Premier (PVG to AKL): For VGML “breakfast” (well it was early morning towards Auckland, NZ), we had potato mash with sauteed greens & onions and a similar veggie & tomato sauce from the main course.



International Koru Club Lounge @ AKL (Auckland Int’l Airport)

We arrived at AKL (Auckland Int’l Airport) at 6:45 am, it was super early and we were feeling groggy (I wanted to shower, but didn’t have time since we have to board soon). We attended the Air New Zealand Koru Club Lounge located in the International Terminal (after passport and security control, turn right and follow signs to the Koru Club Lounge on 2nd level). I have been to a domestic Koru Club lounge at AKL in 2011, you can read my review here. The International Koru Lounge is pretty big, with a seating capacity of up to 260, plus they have shower rooms & barista coffee area.

AKL International Koru Lounge

International Koru Club Lounge @ AKL

location: Int’l Terminal, after passport & security control, turn right and follow signs to the Koru Club Lounge on 2nd level.
opening hours: Daily 4:30 am – last departure
services: Complimentary WiFi (it’s a bit funky), Meal Options (they change 3 times a day), Juices/Coffee/Tea, Non-alcoholic beverages, Soft drinks/Beer & some Spirits
showers + spa: Available, equipped with own toilet & wash basin, and separate restrooms.
access: Access to the Koru Club Lounge is available for a qualifying member (e.g., Airpoints Gold or Gold Elite), traveling in Business or First Class on any Star Alliance airline.

vegan food + beverage options

We were there during breakfast & the foods were not as great as the Koru Air New Zealand lounge at Sydney Airport, Australia. You can get a vegan chai latte with soymilk at their barista coffee area, which was pretty awesome.

IMG_0510

International Koru Club Lounge @ AKL: The lounge is big, but can be very busy during the day.

IMG_0512

International Koru Club Lounge @ AKL: A buffet area including salads, sandwiches, fresh fruit, and cereals and a decent selection of alcohol, spritzers, juices & soft drinks.

IMG_0513

International Koru Club Lounge @ AKL: Fresh fruit – orange, banana and apples. I prefer bananas since they are easy to consume and bring on flights.

IMG_0514

International Koru Club Lounge @ AKL: The salad & snack bar changes few times a day – here is one of the examples, fruits in syrup that are perfect on cereals or on its own. Sweet and syrupy peaches, black Doris plums, and pears. Black Doris plums have been a Kiwi favorite for years & it is a purple black fruit with a blue-purplish flesh.

IMG_0515

International Koru Club Lounge @ AKL: Fresh juices – orange, apple and I forgot about the last one, it could have been tomato juice. I’m not a huge fan of their concentrated juices. I would rather stick with my tea and coffee, perhaps spritzers. I’m not sure about their cereals being vegan, you might have to ask the staff for the ingredients and I haven’t tried them.

IMG_0516

International Koru Club Lounge @ AKL: Loads of refrigerated New Zealand wines & beers you can drink from.

IMG_0517

International Koru Club Lounge @ AKL: At their “SkyCity” barista coffee area, you can place your order (it’s free at the lounge) and we got a vegan chai latte with soy milk – it was so good!

IMG_0519

International Koru Club Lounge @ AKL: Our special order – vegan chai latte with soy milk and of course, ground cinnamon on top, it was the best part of the lounge. I didn’t care about their food selections (didn’t want to ask about the ingredients and all). A banana and vegan chai latte are perfect for breakfast.

IMG_0520

Air New Zealand

International Koru Club Lounge @ AKL: We were there on Friday, November 2nd, 2012 around 6pm. It was around dinner time. We had the opportunity to try their vegan marinated mushroom & elbow pasta and four bean salads for dinner (after confirming ingredients with the Koru Lounge dining staff).

Air New Zealand

International Koru Club Lounge @ AKL: This was taken on Instagram last year in November. Vegan Chai Latte with Soy milk & Cinnamon, 4-Bean Salad, Marinated Mushroom & Elbow Pasta Salad and Greens Salad – they were really filling!

Air New Zealand

International Koru Club Lounge @ AKL: Bread with Red Pepper Hummus

Air New Zealand

International Koru Club Lounge @ AKL: This is the entrance of the shower room, pretty cool right?

Air New Zealand

International Koru Club Lounge @ AKL: Welcome to the shower room with wash basin. The restrooms are in separate rooms.

Air New ZealandAir New Zealand



AKL (Auckland Int’l Airport, NZ) to NAN (Nadi Airport, Fiji)

On Sunday, October 28, 2012, we got to NAN (Nadi, Fiji) from AKL (Auckland, NZ) on Air New Zealand Business Premier. It was a 4-hour flight.

The service and catering from Auckland to Fiji was fortunately better than from Shanghai. The VGML dishes were a bit similar (the glass noodles in chili sauce with salad, etc) except for the main course while the flight crew was more attentive and accommodating.

IMG_0527

Air New Zealand Business Premier (AKL to NAN): Can’t you believe this VGML breakfast dish?! Vegan sausages in a bit of tomato sauce with potato mash & asparagus & greens. The dish was beyond spectacular. I was impressed that they used vegan sausages for the dish, we should have these more often.

IMG_0529



Koru Club Lounge @ NAN (Nadi Int’l Airport, Fiji)

We stayed in Nadi, Fiji for about a week and attended the Koru Lounge @ NAN airport on Friday, November 2nd, 2012. It was around noon at that time. The lounge was pretty small with a seating capacity of up to 76, plus very crowded. We didn’t like the lounge very much, but it was better than sitting at the gate. They don’t have shower rooms.

NAN Koru Lounge

Koru Club Lounge @ NAN

location: Ground floor of the International Departures Terminal
opening hours: Daily 3 hours prior to departure
services: Complimentary WiFi (it’s a bit funky), Small Snack Bar, Juices/Coffee/Tea, Non-alcoholic beverages, Small selection of Soft drinks/Beer & some Spirits
access: Access to the Koru Club Lounge is available for a qualifying member (e.g., Airpoints Gold or Gold Elite), traveling in Business or First Class on any Star Alliance airline.

vegan food + beverage options

They don’t have a lot of varieties, it’s a very small lounge. You are better off eating fruits and drinking teas & juices at the lounge.

Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand

NAN (Nadi Int’l Airport, Fiji): Very small airport, a food court, and nothing much to do there.

Air New Zealand

NAN (Nadi Int’l Airport, Fiji): When we left the Koru lounge, it was pretty random. We saw a vegetarian-friendly menu at the food court. You might have to ask if they are vegan or not.

Air New Zealand

NAN (Nadi Int’l Airport, Fiji): Boarding on Air New Zealand – on the way back to AKL (Auckland Int’l Airport)



NAN (Nadi, Fiji) to AKL (Auckland, NZ)

On November 2, 2012, we boarded on Air New Zealand Business Premier. The seating was newer – and in color white. It was a 2-hour flight from NAN to AKL.

Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand Business Premier (NAN to AKL): Here is a picture of their beverage/drink menu. They also have a non-vegan menu which isn’t important, but if you’re curious, check it out and, we have special meals – VGML (vegan).

Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand Business Premier (NAN to AKL): Your individual television with on-demand entertainment and a wide range of audio & video including the most recent blockbuster movies, TV programmes, exclusive audio programmes, and a CD collection.

Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand Business Premier (NAN to AKL): Fresh pineapple juice and cassava crisps (they are vegan according to only few ingredients, cassava flour (66%), canola oil, sugar and salt. However, they may contain traces of eggs or nuts.

Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand Business Premier (NAN to AKL): Vegan cassava crisps are pretty good – light and tasty, better than potato crisps! Cassava is also known as “yuca.”

Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand Business Premier (NAN to AKL): It was around mid afternoon – for the VGML starter, we had a tasty Israeli couscous salad with cucumber, pumpkins and almond slivers, a fruit salad and a bit of pumpernickel bread with margarine & vegan The Village Press Cold-Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I tried the olive oil in Oregon last year and it was amazing – so rich and buttery! I also reviewed the olive oil here. I had a sparkling water with a bit of lemon slice for the beverage, I’m not sure about Doni’s.

Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand Business Premier (NAN to AKL): For the VGML main course, we had polenta on lentils with greens & sautéed vegetables. It was a pretty filling meal. We prefer the Israeli couscous salad for a lighter meal – we had too much vegan food in Fiji.

Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand Business Premier (NAN to AKL): For the VGML dessert, we had a vanilla & soy-milk panna cotta with pear. It’s subtly sweet, but very light. We were impressed with the vegan dessert. Well done, Air New Zealand.



AKL (Auckland, NZ) to PVG (Shanghai Pudong Airport)

It was nearly midnight when we boarded on Air New Zealand in AKL (Auckland Int’l Airport, NZ). We were too tired to eat and it was a 12 1/2 hour flight, but I was a bit eager to see what they have for VGML meals. Doni was asleep most of the time.

Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand Business Premier (AKL to PVG): The VGML meals were similar to the ones from our previous flight from NAN (Nadi) to AKL (Auckland). I was mildly surprised that they had similar VGML meals – Israeli couscous salad, raw fruit salad and vegan panna cotta. I only had the raw fruit salad, because it was a bit tiring to eat the same foods in one day.

Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand Business Premier (AKL to PVG): This is probably the best VGML meal at Air New Zealand – vegan pesto gnocchi with white beans and tomato sauce. It was so filling and delicious, and of course not the best photo. It was dark to eat – plus I had it around 2am in the morning! I wish I can see more gnocchi VGML dishes on Air New Zealand!

Vegan Cereal & Soy Milk @ Air New Zealand Business Premier

Air New Zealand Business Premier (AKL to PVG): (as of October 8, 2013) I forgot to add my VGML breakfast. Guess what? Air New Zealand serves vegan cereal with dried raisins and soy milk! Soy milk?! Yes!

Vegan Cereal & Soy Milk @ Air New Zealand Business Premier


Have you ever flown Business or Air New Zealand? Have you been to any airports mentioned in the post? What was the best and worst VGML meal you’ve ever had? Have you been to airline lounges or Koru Lounge?