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Topic: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: ronerone
Posted 2011-12-05 13:30:42 and read 20814 times.





I N T R O D U C T I O N
The end of a chapter, and the start of another. A different idea, a revamped mission. Yesterday is history, but tomorrow is something totally new. My first report from my new life, location, and everything in between. Welcome!

Air Pacific –Fiji’s National Carrier- is a miniscule airline obviously relative to the size of its home base dotted on the South Pacific. The airline operates a domestic run between its hub at Nadi and Suva, in addition to regional flights that link Fiji to other South Pacific Islands such as Kiribati, Samoa, the Solomons, Tonga, and Vanuatu. Air Pacific also has its Australasian presence with regular services that link Fiji to both Australia as well as New Zealand; and this airline’s version of Ultra-Long Haul or flagship is a handful of non as well as one-stops to Honolulu, Los Angeles, and the recently added destination of Hong Kong. All in all, it may not be your tightest operation out there, but Air Pacific seems to have its reach to where it is necessary, i.e. wherever Fiji’s tourism is vastly enjoyed.

But of course, things do not seem to be too rosy around here, though when is it ever for your typical Islander airline? Isolated from the rest of the world, with a catchment area that can barely justify a 737, yet the only capable aircraft –in Air Pacific’s case- are a couple of aged SQ-hand-me-downed gas guzzling jumbo jets that most likely feature a struggle of an average load, yield or what have you.

And then there are the short-term radical changes in the airline’s strategic goals. Narita is dropped as a result of a dark political mess, though it’s replacement –Hong Kong- is proving to show traces of success. But it is then decided to drop the sole 767 on this route, and introduce a haywire capacity hike with the jumbo instead. Not to mention the sudden cancellation of the 8 Dreamliners and now the recent purchase of those A330’s. Surely, decisions need to be made here, but most certainly not whilst on crack!

Many argue that these short-lived changes are a result of mismanagement on the micro level, or perhaps the corruption on the macro side, in which any of these span a dimension of discussion well outside of this forum. It has been discussed before that Air Pacific’s second major shareholder, Qantas, is at a stake of pulling the plug, and these may just be the reasons why.

But all I can say, is this harbors an environment perfect for your typical aero-raver. An exotic airline on an island, with a fleet bordering the age of modern classics, and flying interesting routes of which at least half do not drop a single dime; Can it get any better than this? Perhaps, but for now, I am out to explore this to its potential.

Bula! Join me as we explore the wonders of Fiji and it’s National Carrier, Air Pacific.



CONTINUED BELOW

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: ronerone
Posted 2011-12-05 13:32:13 and read 21180 times.

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/FJ001/1000px-Air_Pacific_logo.png



WELCOME TO MY 35thTRIP REPORT
This TR will cover my trip to Fiji on the following itinerary:

- Bula Boeing # 1: Hong Kong to Nadi on Air Pacific in Tabua Class (B767-300ER)
- Nadi overnight stay
- Bula Boeing # 2: Nadi to Auckland on Air Pacific in Tabua Class (B747-400)


AROUND THE WORLD
In August 2011, I embarked on my first ever Round The World trip. Over 10 days, this 'boutique' journey spanned across five regions and included an ideal mix of airlines, of which some are the legendary tried and admired, and others of the more exotic variety. This will result in a total of four TR's which will hopefully keep everyone entertained for some time to come.

Today's second episode, follows the following recently posted TR by our beloved reporter Mr. SR 103, aka KLM Royal Dutch Airlines:

Cathay Pacific: Re-Discovering The Heart Of Asia (by SR 103 Nov 8 2011 in Trip Reports)

While I am used to traveling alone, it is always more enjoyable to have some company for part, if not all of the journey. Both SR 103 and myself are huge fans of Cathay Pacific so this created such positive energy perfect for this trip. In the end, and as per SR 103's fantastic cover on Cathay Pacific, they scored ultra-high (expectedly), and especially with that upgrade.

I have covered my beloved Cathay Pacific a thousand times, so it couldn't have been any more perfect than for it come from just the very person who inspired me to write my own TRs! So if you haven't done so already, please enjoy it before reading this.



My RTW path so far


Map generated by the Great Circle Mapper - copyright © Karl L. Swartz.




B A C K G R O U N D
It was a bit of a struggle trying to find an airline to transport me over this portion of the journey. In reality, it was Auckland that I needed to get to, and Nadi turned out to be an added bonus. As such, my initial flight search was based on options that would get me to Auckland in the most direct of ways.

If I were to skip the Hong Kong transit, Emirates would have been an option, but as EK usually gets my fair share of the game, I wanted this to be an EK-free RTW! Other options included Air New Zealand, Qantas, or even Cathay Pacific all the way.

Until one typical day, none other than Sam Chui simply said "try Air Pacific, you'll get on their only 767 which has never been revealed before, and they're so cheap." And his suggestion certainly did not disappoint. Air Pacific offered a perfect connection at Hong Kong, even all the way to Auckland. But since I was going to Fiji, it made sense to stay overnight and check things out.

Decision made, the next logical step was to hop online and purchase the ticket. On Air Pacific's website (www.airpacific.com), one can easily book an entire Fiji holiday including flights, hotels, and what have you. Out of all the islander airlines I have so far flown on, I found this website to be the most up-to-date and user friendly.

I was able to book my flight, including the stopover without any hassle, and purchasing my ticket was just as easy. However, considering that my fare was on the lower end of the scale, I was -for some odd reason- not entitled to pre-selecting my seat. But in the end it did not matter as the flight in Tabua Class -Air Pacific's theme for Business Class- was not full.

Ticket in hand, it was time to reveal Air Pacific! Of course, it is not my cup of tea to go on about being the first to cover an airline or a route, but I am more than happy to say that it is my first time on Air Pacific. Sam Chui had in the past covered this airline on the forum, and today, I hope this report will be as enjoyable as Sam's!



ORIGIN HONG KONG
Arriving Hong Kong at 11:35am on CX738, I had parted ways with SR 103 where I was to continue onto Nadi, and he stayed back overnight. I could have easily connected to Air Pacific by ways of an airside transfer desk, but instead I wanted to do this from its purest form of origin, i.e. the landside check-in counter.

As with Royal Jordanian, Kingfisher, Jet Airways, and Philippine Airlines, Air Pacific is one of those oddballs that uses Terminal 2 at Hong Kong International Airport. As off-beat as this Terminal may be, there can't be any better way to check-in for your flight, have a decent meal, watch planes, go to a museum, and watch a movie all within a few steps of walking distance from each other. Heck, you could even skip the check-in portion and do everything else if you liked, whether or not you were a traveler.



The check-in hall at Terminal 2







Inside The Discovery Centre at Hong Kong







From “Milk Run” to milked out!





Air Pacific is handled by Cathay Pacific at Hong Kong, which means that it is no different to checking in for a typical Cathay flight. There were a total of five counters allocated to Air Pacific, of which one was solely designated to handle Tabua Class passengers. Arriving at the counters at 1:55pm, I was instantly waived towards an agent as queues were at a minimum.



Air Pacific check-in counters







I was checked in within five minutes by a very efficient agent who managed to trace my connecting checked luggage, assign me a seat, print my boarding card, and prepare my lounge invite. All in all it was a very seamless process where I was then handed my documents, and also directed towards the Cathay Pacific Business Class lounge.



Boarding pass



Lounge invite





While previously traveling out of Terminal 2 on Jet Airways involved a maze of a walk/transport to get airside, I decided to take the more scenic route this time by walking towards Terminal 1 and accessing the airside facility through the immigration and security points from there.

At 2:35pm, I was at Terminal 1's immigration counters, where my boarding pass and details were verified at the document check station. While it wasn't an issue overall, It did seem like the agent had consulted with his colleague -in Cantonese / Mandarin- about my intention to go airside from T1 when I could have done so from T2. But in the end it was a non-issue and I was eventually done with both immigration and security by 2:45pm.



Airside at HKIA







All of my experiences at Hong Kong seemed to be quite balanced from a congestion point of view. I had never at any time felt like the airport was too crowded, nor too deserted. It was always a comfortable equilibrium where I casually arrive at my gate with or without any stop in between, and without any problem.

In order to get to Gate 50, and Cathay Pacific's 'The Pier', I had to take the mass people mover that I find to be quite the attraction at HKIA. Perhaps it is the most efficient means to transport passengers in an otherwise tedious walking distance to the main gate concourses. And all of that in just a few moments as the trains run at an ultra-efficient regularity.



As the people mover is a centralized function, crowds can bottle-neck in this part of the airport



And a few moments later I was able to enjoy such views







After the usual walks, smokes, and the sighting of the celebrity jets, it was time for a quick courtesy visit at The Pier. Frankly, wandering around HKIA beats any of the world’s greatest lounges, but since I was here, I ought to say hi!

At 3pm, I veered slightly to the side of my straight shot pathway across the Hong Kong Terminal, arriving right across from the subtle entrance to the lounge. A lounge and its amenities can definitely show much what an airline is all about, and this case it isn’t all that different. Many airlines create bells and whistles to grandeur-ize the entrance to their respective lounges, whereas others –like good old CX- like it simple, low-key, and straight to the point; in many ways this is what Cathay is all about anyways.

You can easily pass the lounge without noticing the almost camouflaged elevator/escalator designated solely for The Pier. However, a simple glance at the signage, and you will be assured that any step beyond this, will be typical Cathay quality all the way.



The Pier







Friendly and welcoming receptionists greeted me with smiles at the entrance, however further into the lounge, things were looking a little grim. Not an empty seat in sight as everyone and their mother was sprawled across all the available seating. With The Wing under refurbishment at the time, it was evident that this lounge was used to accommodate for two. So after a quick walk around –coupled with the fact that I was not up for a meal yet- I walked right on out after snapping a few shots.



Dining area



Main area







At 3:30pm, I headed towards the gate as it was almost –if not already- boarding time, and unlike my normal pace whilst traveling, I was definitely running behind schedule.



But I still had time for some pictures



Air New Zealand has called in



And so has Lufty



There’s always a seat for everyone at HKIA!





At 4pm, I was at gate 50, and true to my feeling, the flight was already bordering its Final Call stages, as I was about to join the remains of the queue. Or, another way to look at it would be that the queues associated with 767’s are simply no longer as large as they seemed to be back in the day.



Gate 50



Bula Boeing # 1!





Unlike some previous experiences, today’s ground staff is courteous and professional all the way. My boarding pass was scanned and ripped, after the usual document check, and the smaller stub handed back to me, all with a smile. And through the aerobridge to an experience spanking new for me!



Through the aerobridge





One of my favorite elements of the jet-setting experience –especially those that involve new airlines- is the welcome at door of the aircraft, and I was anticipating this one with much enthusiasm. Again, just like an airline’s lounge, the boarding welcome can not only reveal a lot about an airline, but it also sets the exact tone for the flight to come. My favorite one to date, is the welcome on SriLankan Airlines, and perhaps not much will come close anytime soon. But let’s see what this one’s all about anyways.

At Door 1L of the aircraft, there were two assigned for guiding passengers through the boarding process. To my right was a young Chinese lady –seemingly dressed in what I thought was Air Pacific’s ground staff uniform- that was predominantly tasked with assisting the Chinese-speaking passengers. To my left, was a chilled-out heavy-set gentleman from Fiji –the purser for today’s flight- dressed in a red flowery-top thrown casually over navy blue pants. Things were looking so chill and cool, with nothing to worry about; this is Air Pacific, and everything’s gonna be alright! Yeah man!

“BULA! .. Welcome on board!”


By 4:05pm, I was on board Bula Boeing # 1!



CONTINUED BELOW

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: ronerone
Posted 2011-12-05 13:34:04 and read 21133 times.

BULA BOEING # 1
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

AIR PACIFIC Flight Information:

SCR
/FJ/18AUG
S11
18AUG
HKG
KFJ392 27MAR29OCT1004060 256763HKGHKG1640 06501NANNAN J
GI BRGDS


Registration: DQ-FJC
Condition: 17.2 years old, delivered to Air Pacific in 1994

Remarks: NIL

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



HONG KONG TO NADI
HKG - NAN
Scheduled Departure: 16:40
Actual Departure: 16:50 (Pushback)

Scheduled Arrival: 06:50+1
Actual Arrival: 06:50+1 (Touchdown)



BULA! This is Air Pacific!





Walking through the galley and turning right, I am met with Jessie –an elderly cabin crew from Fiji- standing at the entrance to the Tabua Class Cabin. “Bula, welcome on board sir,” she says ever so warmly, that I am instantly feeling the comforts of this flight. It is one thing that every one knows, is that Fijian people are very kind and welcoming, and with just a few interactions like these, I am beginning to notice.

The Boeing 767 played a major ‘aviation’ role during my childhood and also my college days. From transatlantic crossings on United, or the more recent KLM and even Martinair (so sad to see you go!), it is needless to say that this aircraft –while flown on to the point of eternal boredom- does have its special value as far as I’m concerned. So today was a nice blast from my own past, but with a new airline all the same. And such thoughts were immediately brought to my attention today, the moment I stepped foot inside the main Business Class cabin.

This cabin featured the more modern B767 interior, which –while a step behind the 764/777- was more or less the design that today’s current 777’s are based on. And even better, it is the very same design of KLM’s B767-300ER’s which I am, of course, far too aware of!

In Air Pacific’s flavors, the cabin ambience was featuring a retro-chill rasta-holiday sensation that offered the perfect dose of comfort for this 10-hour flight. The cabin was old to its bare bones, but it was clean and adequately maintained.



The Cabin







Similarly, the seat itself was simply just that, a seat with a bare minimum. A bright red pillow, headsets, and a freshly sealed blanket were placed over the seatbelt, and that’s pretty much it; and of course the usual inflight magazine, barf bag, and safety card that were neatly placed in the seat pocket across from me. In any case, less of today’s riff-raff means more space for cushions and padding and as such, this simple seat is a haven of ultra-comfort. I sank right into it and felt right at home!



The Seat



Leg Space



Blanket



Pillow



Headset





Once settled, Jessie approaches me with a tray of welcome drinks.

“Good afternoon sir, and welcome on board”
“Thanks”
“Would you care for a drink before takeoff? I have sparkling wine and orange juice”
“Orange juice please”
“Sure. And here is a bottle of water for the flight. I’ll place it right here”
“Thanks”



Welcome drink & water bottle





One thing I had not paid attention to, was the strumming tunes of Fiji music that was playing in the background. Perhaps that was what made me feel so relaxed today, as the mellow uplifting tunes playing under an ‘every little thing’s gonna be alright’ type of song, tranced the freakin daylights out of me! I did not care where I was or where I was going to, but I could only pay attention to the fact that everything –right here, right now- just felt so cool!

And in the midst of my cloud 9 imaginations, newspapers and magazines were offered, in which I declined.

At 4:25pm, the seatbelt sign was switched on, and by this time, most passengers were assumingly on board already. Looking around me, the Tabua Class cabin was more or less 50% full with a pair of seats allocated to each person today. In addition to a family of three in our cabin, most others in Economy Class were Chinese holidaymakers set to visit Fiji for some sort of a vacation.



Boarding complete!





At 4:30pm, our purser made an announcement to welcome us on board, and to advise us that our flight time for today was a nifty 10 hours, non-stop to Nadi. Shortly after, the doors were closed, the cabin crew commenced their final preparations before departure, and our Aussie captain came on the PA to advise us the more technical aspects of our flight such as routing, weather forecast etc.

By this time, I had also realized that the Chinese ‘ground-agent’ that was assisting passengers during boarding, had nothing to do with ground services at all. In fact, her primary role was to be present on the flight –as part of the crew- for any language assistance to our fellow Chinese passengers. As such, she made her round throughout the cabin one final time before taking her seat in the Economy Class cabin, in preparation for takeoff.

With a manual safety demonstration playing over a pre-recorded narration in both English and Cantonese / Mandarin, we commenced pushback at 4:50pm, and our engines hummed their ways over the taxiway and towards the active Hong Kong runway.



Pushing back



And taking off at 5pm



What a beautiful Hong Kong day!







CONTINUED BELOW

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: ronerone
Posted 2011-12-05 13:40:29 and read 21032 times.

10 minutes into our climb, the seatbelt sign was switched off, and the crew was released to prepare for the service.



Cabin after takeoff





Jessie quickly reappeared in the cabin to distribute the menus for today’s flight.

“Mr. Hawi, this is your menu for the flight”
“We will be serving dinner shortly, and I will come around to take your main course order in a few moments”
“We will also be serving you breakfast before landing in Nadi tomorrow, and we also have snacks available for you at anytime throughout the flight”
“Thank you”
“Most welcome”

The menu was definitely one of the more unique varieties that is now a part of my collection, but reading through it can be quite confusing as the listing of the meal services are in no particular order with random meals on each page for each of the NAN-HKG and HKG-NAN sectors. So needless to say, it required a little bit of unnecessary effort and research till I figured out what I am being served today.



Menu





Drinks



HKG-NAN Breakfast



NAN-HKG Light Meal



HKG-NAN Main Meal



NAN-HKG Breakfast





“Mr. Hawi, have you decided on your main course?”
“Yes, I’d like to have the lamb curry please”
“Sure, and what would you like to drink?”
“A Bloody Mary please”



Hot towels were distributed shortly afterwards, and around the same time when Jessie returned to dress my table with a bright red table linen.



Island-funk table linen!





While the service preparations were ongoing, the IFE offering commenced on the overhead monitors. This Boeing 767 was so bare that it wasn’t even equipped with television screens; instead the classic projector screens were available, and something ‘silent’ along the lines of ‘Just for Laughs’ was playing. So by that time, it was safe to assume that a moving map can only be viewed in my own imagination.



Today’s overhead IFE



But, this is my own IFE! The Air Pacific Bloody Mary.. Cheers!





My meal tray appeared soon afterwards, and was nicely presented and included a bowl or carrot & pumpkin soup, a main course dish of lamb curry with basmati rice and vegetables that also came with paratha bread, tomato salsa, and coriander raita. Also on the tray was a set of silverware wrapped with a red napkin, chopsticks for those who wished to use them, and an Air Pacific-branded water glass.

“Would you like another drink with your meal Mr. Hawi?”
“Just a glass of water please”



Very nice meal tray!



Soup



Lamb Curry main course



Paratha bread



Raita & salsa



Water glass





The soup was thick and tasty but was not too warm. However, the lamb curry was outstanding. Lightly spiced, extremely spicy, and with a very balanced flavor, it must have been the Fiji influence! The Paratha was also not as oily as it should be –but that is something I normally prefer anyways- however, the cauliflower was a tad undercooked. Overall, it was an excellent meal, and I think Air Pacific scored extremely high so far.

My tray was promptly cleared as soon as I was through with my meal, and when offered a choice between coffee and tea, I declined as I was anticipating a few hours of sleep eventually.

“Mr. Hawi, would you care for cheese and dessert? I have German Cheesecake on offer”
“Sure, I’ll take both please”



Cheese & dessert



Cheese plate



German cheesecake





The cheese plate consisted of cheddar/brie cheeses and came with some grapes, dried fruit, a pre-wrapped set of crackers, and sliced carrots and celery; nothing too special, but tasted alright nonetheless as you can’t really go wrong with cheese. Dessert on the other hand was the letdown and it was nothing much more than a dump of generic cake on a plate, that was supposed to be cheesecake but in reality must have been something else.

My table was cleared once I was through, and Jessie then distributed portable IFE players, which are the added IFE ‘bonus’ for Tabua Class passengers.



Cabin after the meal service





CONTINUED BELOW

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: ronerone
Posted 2011-12-05 13:45:35 and read 20970 times.

By this time, the cabin lights were dimmed and the passengers zoned out into auto-flight mode, where some went right to bed, others caught on with some reading, and the rest flicked through their IFE players. This part during the flight, is definitely the most relaxing!



lights out





I reclined my seat to its cradle position, powered on my portable IFE player, and got into my comfort zone. To be frank, while the seat is outdated by today’s competitive standards, it still offers comfort levels that can far outdo the more modernly-frilled alternatives. Apart from a simple footrest and a 20% or so recline, you ain’t getting much more. But try sleeping on it, and if you’re like me, you’ll get a full night’s sleep as you would do on your own bed.



Portable IFE Player



Main menu



TV shows



Music videos



Music



Games



Audio books





The portable IFE players were typical to your standard offering in the industry, with nothing much that really interested me. I have always thought that such IFE players cheapen the premium product in some form, and I would much prefer to see it as part of the cabin’s actual hardware. Nevertheless, the ‘right’ thing to say is that this solution is better than not having any IFE, and in Air Pacific’s defense, these IFE players seem to offer more interesting features I personally haven’t seen on other products before, such as slightly more extensive media quantities, music and the ability to create your own playlist, and also audiobooks.

I kept the player running at something random, while I snoozed off into a very comfortable sleep; one of many in similar situations that I will be doing over this week-long RTW.



In bed with Air Pacific





CONTINUED BELOW

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: ronerone
Posted 2011-12-05 13:49:37 and read 20938 times.

Sleeping for six solid hours, I woke up at 12:30am Hong Kong local time. With no airshow I had no idea which part of the flight were in, but judging by the lit cabin in Economy Class, we must have been close to arrival. So with that thought in mind, a visit to the lavatory to freshen up –and take a photo- was the next logical step.



The Air Pacific lavatory







At around 1:05am Hong Kong local time, the cabin lights were turned on in Tabua Class, and a hot towel service was conducted to commence the second service. With this, passengers slowly appeared back into life and prepared for breakfast.



Cabin lights on





Jessie appeared in the aisle rolling a trolley to set our tables up for breakfast.

“Mr. Hawi, your breakfast”
“Would you like a glass of orange juice? Or maybe water?”
“Orange juice please”

After placing my tray on the table, I was also offered a selection of cereal from a basket, in which I chose Frosties.

My tray set-up included a bowl of milk, a fruit plate, a bread plate, butter, a glass of orange juice, a set of silverware wrapped in a red napkin, and chopsticks.



Breakfast tray



Fruit



Tray view





The milk was cold enough and the cereal was as what Frosties is meant to be like. In addition, the fruit was refreshingly cool and fresh, and was an excellent way to begin ‘the day’. Once I was through, my plates were cleared, and then Jessie rolled out another trolley offering coffee/tea and breakfast pastries.

“Would you like some coffee Mr. Hawi?”
“Yes, with milk please”

After placing my coffee cup on the tray, Jessie then offered me a selection from the breadbasket, in which I chose a croissant and a muffin; both of which were nice and warm.



Coffee



Muffin & croissant





Jessie returned shortly afterwards, with a third trolley for the classic breakfast buffet. On the trolley was a nice presentation that consisted of omelet with cheese, asparagus, mushrooms, bacon, potato, and chicken sausage. For me, I selected the omelet with some asparagus, mushrooms, and potato.



The breakfast trolley





my breakfast plate





While the vegetables were on the cold side, the potato and the omelet were excellent. The omelet was nice and fluffy, and filled with just the right amount cheese. The potatoes were warm, crispy on the outside, and soft inside. Well done again Air Pacific on the catering front so far!

Once my table was cleared after breakfast, it was time to visit the Economy Class cabin.



Economy Class cabin



Back at Tabua Class





My seat after 10 hours



Cabin lights were dimmed again for a short while after breakfast





At 6:30am Nadi local time, our captain came on the PA to inform us that we were soon at top of descent, and that we were expected to be on the stand and disembarked by 6:55am. Following this, the purser made an announcement that disinfectant was to be sprayed in the cabin before arrival, as per local customs requirements.



Cabin lights on for landing preparations





During the arrival preparations, Fiji music was played again, and this was to remain so until arrival at Nadi. At 6:25am, the seatbelt sign was switched on, and the crew continued their final preparations for landing.



Cabin before landing





CONTINUED BELOW

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: ronerone
Posted 2011-12-05 13:51:38 and read 20907 times.

DESTINATION NADI
At exactly 6:50am, we touched down at Nadi International Airport, bringing this part of the journey to an end. Many passengers –and for valid reasons of course- were anxious to get the hell out of the plane after 10 hours, but for me, it is always a feeling of sadness.

Please click on the following link to view the landing video (with Fiji music rocking the place in the background):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wy0hqFGydfs



As with most Island airports, taxiing to the airport merely involves a few minutes, and within no time we were at our stand with the engines powered off and the seatbelt sign switched off.



Sistership DQ-FJL at the adjacent stand





At disembarkation, I thanked both Jessie and the purser for the wonderful flight, and proceeded through the aerobridge and Bula into Fiji! At Nadi, the aerobridges are linked to an outdoor hallway that links all gates to the main terminal building. So needless to say, it involves a beautiful outdoor walk past the aircraft before arriving to the terminal; something similar –perhaps a bit more sophisticated- to KUL’s LCCT.



My aircraft after arrival from HKG



Walking towards the main terminal



A typical island welcome!





Once inside, I reached the immigration counters before the queue formed, and hence, it was an effortless affair. Once my passport was stamped, I proceeded towards the baggage claim to collect my luggage.

Unlike Noumea and Reunion, Nadi International’s arrival facilities definitely have more capacity to handle wide-body aircraft with a little more ease. With several immigration counters and baggage claim belts, passenger flow can be a tad smoother here, with less funky bottlenecks.



Was Changi in town or something?



Baggage claim





At the curbside, I was met with a kind older gentleman from Indian descent, who was to be my taxi ride to the hotel, the First Landing Beach Resort and Villas. For approximately USD 20 I was at the hotel within 20 minutes.



Please view the following portion of this report for an overview of my stay in Nadi.



CONTINUED BELOW

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: ronerone
Posted 2011-12-05 13:53:03 and read 20873 times.





”NANDI”
I had a 24-hour stay in Nadi before catching my onward flight to Auckland. As I mentioned previously, I could have easily made the connection within a few hours from my HKG arrival, but it would be silly not to experience a little bit of Fiji outside of the airport.

When searching for accommodation, it seemed that the better hotels were located on islands adjacent to Nadi, which was not a part of my plans. But however, I came across the First Landing Beach Resort and villas –located right on Nadi island- which had quite the positive reviews. And so, it was selected for my stay.

A major part of my RTW was to include as much beach, sun, and sand as possible, and for this I planned to stay at the resort for the entire time, without exploring the city’s offerings. Nevertheless, it was a great Fiji experience at the First Landing Resort, as the beach was clean, the rooms –or villas- were fantastic, great food, and the staff all over was amazing! So let the pictures do the talking for this portion of the report.



Outside view of my villa at the report



Greenery all over the resort



Very spacious and tasteful







Desk



Bathroom with Jacuzzi



Sink



My very own patio



Canapés & cocktails served on the beach every night by friendly staff



Definitely the most exotic curry I have ever had!



Beach



This resort is famous for its large ‘footprint’





Ample seating area outside







Who needs a pool when there’s a beach!





Overall, I had a pleasant experience in Fiji, and perhaps I would return again sometime in the future to explore further beyond Nadi. It is indeed that Fiji hospitality is very warm, laid back, and straight from the heart. The people are down to earth and welcoming from all walks of life. From the immigration staff, to the taxi driver, the hotel employees, to the airport check-in staff, and even those that worked at the duty free shops. There’s no pretending, it’s just cool, and very nice!

But now it was time to move on; off to Auckland, and back to my RTW!



CONTINUED BELOW

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: ronerone
Posted 2011-12-05 13:54:57 and read 20843 times.

ORIGIN NADI
Traveling eastbound across several time zones can really add its toll to your jetlag, and from my experience, hopping around between the Middle East and Australasia happens to give me the worst of its kind! With just two flights into my RTW, I was already feeling the zombie-like effects, especially when realizing it was time to leave the hotel after being up from 11:30pm the night before.

I had pre-arranged with the same taxi driver that dropped me off the previous day, for a pickup at 6:30am. So, at 6:15am, I left my room to hand over my key to the porter on duty, and wait for my ride to arrive. As it was early in the morning and the reception desk hadn't yet opened for the day, all my checkout arrangements were made the night before.

My pick-up arrived at 6:20am, and after a 20-or-so minute ride, I was dropped off at Nadi International Airport's departures curbside. There were a few cars and people here and there, but that's enough to know that this sunrise hour was a peaking time for departures and arrivals alike at this island airport!



Nadi International Airport







After the regular smokes and pictures, I proceeded inside the terminal at 7am for check-in. The International Departures area of the airport is more or less a single rectangular building with dim interiors that are poorly lit. Check-in counters -allocated by flight for Economy Class, and stand-alone for Business Class- run alongside the length of the building, and apart from a few money exchange and souvenir booths, not much else is available commercially. Overall the departures hall was quite dull, much like O.R. Tambo, or maybe Sydney (although SYD is by far better). Furthermore, with morning flights to BNE, AKL, SYD, and HKG all departing within the same wave, the building was heaving with people left, right, and all over the check-in counters.



Departure hall





Tabua Class passengers are entitled to a dedicated check-in service through counters 9-12. A small queue was formed by the time I joined in, but it was moving very quickly and efficiently.



Very nice Tabua Class check-in counters











At my turn for check-in, I handed my documents to a very friendly agent who quickly attended to my turn.

"Good morning sir, how are you?"
"I'm fine thanks"
"Where are you traveling today?"
"Auckland. Here's my ticket, passport, and also my ticket showing my onward journey beyond Auckland"
"Thank you, very organized!"

According to the agent, the flight was overbooked in Economy, and upgrades will also fill up the Tabua Class cabin. But not much of a worry for me, as I had pre-selected my favorite seat in the house; the middle seat adjacent to Doors 1L & R facing the nose of the jumbo.

"Mr. Hawi, this is your boarding pass to Auckland. You are seated in seat 5E which is an aisle seat, and we will board the flight from Gate 3"
"The lounge is located on the same level after immigration, and you will be required to show your boarding pass before entering"
"Please enjoy your flight!"
"Thank you very much!"



Very 'Qantasy' boarding pass



Air Pacific bag tags





After immigration and security, I was airside by 7:40am, where -as with other Australasian airports- I found myself walking right by the Duty Free. The airside facility of Nadi International Airport is split into two levels. The first area is on the same level as immigration and security, and this houses the airport's duty free shop, and the airline lounges. An escalator located at the end of this small hallway leads to the second level which is the main airside hall that houses the gates, more shops and F&B outlets.



Airside









The next logical step after this, was a visit to the lounge. Located behind the escalators, the lounge is only a short walk from immigration.



On the way to the lounge





However, once inside, I found the situation to be rather horrific! Not a single seat was available, and there were passengers everywhere. All standing space on counters, tables, and even table -sides was also occupied, and there even were several people seated on the floor with their plates having a meal as if on a virtual table. Looking at all that, and also at the check-in counter-like queue that was formed only for the breakfast buffet, not only did I decide to leave the lounge, but I opted out of taking any picture of it. Heck, me and my camera barely fit inside anyways!

Up the escalators, I arrived at the gate area, which was also an area bustling with lots of departing activity, from queued boarding and final call announcements, to passengers running back and forth to board their flights, and also others seated across the ample seating throughout the terminal as they wait for their respective flights. It was a typically crowded terminal, but not necessarily my favorite one.



There is ample seating everywhere





But there's also some empty space like this







A main restaurant serving snacks, hot, and cold food, as well as drinks is located in the center of the building. I was famished, so I ordered a nice meal, and camped out for a short while by an empty table while I had my breakfast.



Restaurant



Breakfast!



Took a seat and waited for my flight





By 9am, passengers began to queue in front of the door leading towards gates 1-4, which presumably were my fellow passengers headed towards Auckland.



Forming queue





Boarding commenced at 9:10am, where those requiring assistance were let in first, and soon followed by the rest. Similar to yesterday's arrival, the boarding process leads passengers out of the gate area into an outdoor hallway that connects to all the aerobridges.

My boarding pass was scanned and ripped, and the friendly agents wished me a pleasant flight -with smiles- upon returning the stub back to me. And off we go!



On the way to the aircraft



Bula Boeing # 2!





At Door 1L of the aircraft, I was met with a smiling purser welcoming everyone on board. Across the aisles, were two other cabin crew by Door 2L adding to the boarding welcome as well.

"Bula, good morning, welcome on board!"



By 9:15am, I was on board Bula Boeing # 2.



CONTINUED BELOW

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: ronerone
Posted 2011-12-05 13:57:32 and read 20842 times.

BULA BOEING # 2
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

AIR PACIFIC Flight Information:

SCR
/FJ/20AUG
S11
20AUG
NAN
KFJ411 27MAR29OCT 0000060 458744 NANNAN1000 1300AKLAKL J
GI BRGDS


Registration: DQ-FJK
Condition: 22.2 years old, previously in service with Singapore Airlines, Ansett Australia, followed by Singapore Airlines again before a 2003 delivery to Air Pacific

Remarks: NIL

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



NADI TO AUCKLAND
NAN - AKL
Scheduled Departure: 10:00
Actual Departure: 09:55 (Pushback)

Scheduled Arrival: 13:00
Actual Arrival: 12:40 (Touchdown)



Welcome to Bula Boeing # 2!





Being on a jumbo is always a special event, and today is no different. In addition, being seated at the nose section of this beautiful aircraft is even more of a privilege. Whether it's for comfort, space, or even the view of both sides of the aircraft joining together at the tip, this part of the aircraft will always be special to freaks like us, and even to our everyday clueless passengers.

In Air Pacific's Bula-esque flavors, SQ can still be felt across the cabin. Not sure what it was exactly as it wasn't so tangible; but perhaps it could only be the actual seats that give it away. The cabin is old and tired, but it's there, and its maintained to standards acceptable to probably the greater bunch.



The cabin







As with the B767, the seat on this aircraft offered more or less the same features and comfort, in addition to its larger size and the fact that it is equipped with a personal IFE screen. Placed on the seat was a freshly laundered pillow and a blanket, and the usual barf bag and literature in the seat pocket across from me. My leg space was limited to the distance between my seat and the middle table, but it was adequate enough anyways. A perfect setting for this Jumbo-short hop to Auckland!



The seat





Leg space





Compared to my previous flight from Hong Kong, there was a noticeable difference in the crew and the service. Yesterday things were warm and snuggly, whereas today it was a job that needed to be done, quickly.

Usenia from Fiji, was one of two in charge in the Tabua Class cabin today, and she offered a round of welcome drinks -mainly orange juice- to all passengers as they made themselves comfortable in the seats.

"Care for some juice?"
"Yes please"



Welcome drink





Menus were then distributed, and as with the previous flight, finding what your meal proved to be a challenging task for many of us. There was no sector listed on the menu which generally isn't a problem, but when three meals (light, main, and breakfast) and two inflight snacks are listed, you would wonder what's what for this short flight. However, it was clear that we were to be served a main meal after a fellow passenger had asked one of the crew for clarification.



Menu





Drinks



Main meal



Light meal & snack



Breakfast & snack







I sipped on my orange juice and browsed through the menu, as passengers continued to board the aircraft.



Boarding continues









At 9:50am, our captain came on the PA to welcome us on board. He also advised us of our routing to Auckland, and that our flight time today was 2 hours and 50 minutes. Soon afterwards, the doors were closed and we pushed back at 9:55am.



We are ready to depart





A manual safety demonstration was conducted as we taxied towards the active runway, followed by a final cross-check by the crew.

At exactly 10am, this queen of today's sky gracefully strutted across the runway before lifting off into the path towards Auckland. There is something special about this aircraft's engine hum during takeoff and landing that distinguishes it from anything else. Like a Rolls Royce or maybe a Ferrari, a machine in its purest form, the B747 experience will never be matched, ever again!



CONTINUED BELOW

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: ronerone
Posted 2011-12-05 13:59:16 and read 20819 times.

Reaching cruising altitude, the seatbelt sign was switched off, and the crew was released to prepare for the service.



Cabin after takeoff





Both Usenia and Parmesh -our second in charge in our cabin- conducted the hot towel service and took the meal orders.



Hot towel service



Meal orders





"Would you like to have a drink from the bar?"
"May I have a Bloody Mary please?"
"Sure. And for lunch?"
"I'll have the chicken curry please"

My Bloody Mary arrived shortly afterwards, and was served with a small bowl of savory snacks. For those of you that do follow my Bloody Mary ratings, Air Pacific serves up a great one with all the right ingredients!



Bloody Mary





While having my drink, I pulled out my IFE screen for a quick view. I did not pay much attention to what was on offer in the non-AVOD selection but instead, I was fixed on the moving map as usual.



IFE screen





Exotic moving map maybe?



IFE controller (Suryo, my EK pen has joined me on this flight too)





Parmesh reappeared in the cabin to dress our tables with linens, and this was followed by Usenia manning a trolley containing the meal trays and a selection of wines.



Meal service preparations









At my turn, my table was dressed, and the tray placed on my table. I was also offered a glass of wine -in which I declined- and a selection from the breadbasket.



CONTINUED BELOW

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: ronerone
Posted 2011-12-05 14:04:48 and read 20783 times.

My tray was nice presented -similarly to my previous flight from HKG- and consisted of a starter plate of Kokoda and fruit, a dessert plate of pineapple and coconut cake, a bread plate, a salt & pepper pack, a set of silverware wrapped in a red napkin, and an Air Pacific branded water glass.



Meal tray



Starter



Dessert



Tray view







As Kokoda is a salad made from raw fish -in which I did not find out until now- I did not venture much further beyond a few simple tastes. Similarly, the fruit was a little on the soggy side and did not feel or taste fresh at all. As such, the starter was left aside.

Once my plate was cleared, it was promptly replaced with my main course which included chicken curry served with steamed rice, spinach, eggplant, and tomato, and accompanied with dhal soup and roti.



Main course







The main course was excellent, as the chicken was tender breast meat, and the curry was mildly spiced with a balanced flavor. I was feeling quite full at this point, so I skipped on the roti, dhal, and also dessert.

A final round of cheese/crackers and coffee/tea was conducted, in which I also declined, before my table was cleared, and was released for the very important lavatory inspection.



Air Pacific properly maintains its lavatories inflight







A quick visit at the Economy Class section





Back in Tabua Class





At 12:10pm local time in Auckland, the crew made an announcement that the duty free and the bar will be closed, and that the IFE program will end as we were nearing our arrival into Auckland. This was shortly followed by a PA by our captain that we were soon reaching top of descent and were expected to arrive within thirty minutes.

As we began descending towards Auckland, the headsets were collected, as were the menus (which I held onto mine and 'fell asleep' during collection), and the crew made their final preparations for arrival. At 12:30pm the seatbelt sign was switched on, which strangely happened at a stage later than normal during our descent.



This is why I love the nose section











CONTINUED BELOW

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: ronerone
Posted 2011-12-05 14:05:46 and read 20831 times.

DESTINATION AUCKLAND
Touching down at Auckland at 12:40pm -twenty minutes ahead of schedule- the royal hums of our engines was a signal that my Air Pacific experience had come to an end.

This is my second time in Auckland, and this is also the second time I arrive in such beautiful weather. For once, I was actually glad that I was getting off the plane; maybe it is Auckland's aura or something?

At the gate, I gathered my belongings and proceeded to exit the aircraft, thanking the crew for their efforts on this flight. Both immigration and customs -minus the queues- are much easier to deal with in Auckland than at neighboring Sydney. In today's case, the queues were at a minimum and I was out in no time.

My layover time in Auckland was 24 hours, with a stay at the Jet Park Airport Hotel. So what normally happens in Auckland? Where does one go, what does one see, and/or who does one see whilst there? Let's keep this for the next TR!




C O N C L U S I O N
I would like to thank my good friend Sam Chui for his perfect -as always- suggestion that I fly Air Pacific for this portion of my RTW. It was a new airline and a new experience for me, which would have otherwise resulted in something a little less creative perhaps.

As the airline itself seems to be headed in confusing directions -a trend seemingly similar across a vast number of other 'island' airlines- it may be this that reflected in the contrasting service levels on both of my flights. Service on the flight from Hong Kong matched that of any of today's top airlines with warmth, professionalism, and for the most part attention to needs. The flight to Auckland on the other hand -while not a bad experience per se- was more or less the opposite experience. Perhaps a fully loaded B747 is harder to handle, or maybe this short hop to Auckland is far from a flagship and gave way for everyone kick back and chill.

But overall, I think Air Pacific offers a decent soft product that I would definitely take up again in the near future if need be. The hardware on the other hand is definitely not up to today's standards, and perhaps this can be rectified once -and if- those new A330's come through.

So where do I go next from here? Please don't make it public if you do know, otherwise sit tight while I prepare the next report so we could all find out!



A final picture before closing this TR.



Goodies





This concludes my Trip Report. I hope that you have enjoyed it; your comments are always welcome!



Regards,
Roni







E Q U I P M E N T
-Canon 50D
- Canon PowerShot G11
- Sigma 10mm Fisheye
- Sigma 10-20mm Wide Angle
- Canon 20-35mm



PREVIOUS WORK
Your Airline, And Mine!: Air Berlin, Tegel-Dubai (by ronerone Aug 10 2011 in Trip Reports)
Garuda Indonesia: The Quantum Leap To Amsterdam (by ronerone Jun 19 2011 in Trip Reports)
Yak Attack!: Fars Air Qeshm Yak-42D (by ronerone Apr 29 2011 in Trip Reports)
Hop-on Hop-off: The Air Mauritius A340 In 30 Mins (by ronerone Mar 28 2011 in Trip Reports)
Loisirs Avec Air Austral: Réunion-Sydney-Nouméa (by ronerone Feb 4 2011 in Trip Reports)
El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas (by ronerone Dec 19 2010 in Trip Reports)
Dancing In The Dark: An Emirates A380 Inaugural… (by ronerone Oct 24 2010 in Trip Reports)
This Suite Has Sliding Doors: Emirates F DXB-JNB (by ronerone Sep 5 2010 in Trip Reports)
Transito!: A Connection On TAAG-Angola (B743/B772) (by ronerone Jul 31 2010 in Trip Reports)
Keeping Up With The JETs: 9W Première HKG-DEL-DXB (by ronerone Jul 18 2010 in Trip Reports)
Petra Express!: On Royal Jordanian's A330-200 (by ronerone Jun 11 2010 in Trip Reports)
Suite Redemptions: Cathay Pacific BKK-HKG In F (by ronerone May 14 2010 in Trip Reports)
Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK (by ronerone Apr 3 2010 in Trip Reports)
In A Blink Of An Eye: AirAsia X’s A340 At AUH (by ronerone Feb 20 2010 in Trip Reports)
SriLankan Airlines: The Treasure Of Serendib! (by Ronerone Jan 9 2010 in Trip Reports)
Beijing Swire!: Cathay Pacific & Dragonair DXB-PEK (by Ronerone Dec 11 2009 in Trip Reports)
OpenSkies From British Airways: A New Era's End? (by Ronerone Oct 14 2009 in Trip Reports)
Revealing An Underdog: Royal Brunei Business Class (by Ronerone Sep 3 2009 in Trip Reports)
The Singapore Airlines Cliché (by Ronerone Jul 27 2009 in Trip Reports)
A380: Qantas Proper To SIN City (by Ronerone Jul 6 2009 in Trip Reports)
Welcome To Terminal 3: Etihad Airways AUH-SYD (by Ronerone Jul 6 2009 in Trip Reports)
5th Freedom Of The Air: Kenya Airways HKG-BKK-HKG (by Ronerone Mar 31 2009 in Trip Reports)
Cathay Pacific: First Class On The Legacy Milk-Run (by Ronerone Jan 26 2009 in Trip Reports)
Inspirations On A Narrowbody: Etihad To Amman (by Ronerone Nov 28 2008 in Trip Reports)
Malaysia Boleh!: On The Malaysian Airline System (by Ronerone Oct 28 2008 in Trip Reports)
Pearls & Diamonds: Inspired By Etihad Airways (by Ronerone Sep 12 2008 in Trip Reports)
The Future Has Arrived: EK A380 Inaugural Flights (by Ronerone Aug 4 2008 in Trip Reports)
Syrian Special Performance, Featuring Sam Chui (by Ronerone May 23 2008 in Trip Reports)
This Is Royal Jordanian! (by Ronerone Apr 12 2008 in Trip Reports)
Ultra-Competitive, Ultra-Long Haul: EY Vs EK (by Ronerone Mar 21 2008 in Trip Reports)
Suvarnabhumi, The Etihad Way! (by Ronerone Jan 18 2008 in Trip Reports)
Cathay Delight: A Trip To Asia's World City (by Ronerone Oct 5 2007 in Trip Reports)
Etihad: Pearl 2 AMM, Coral Right Back Pt 2 PixVidz (by Ronerone Jul 5 2007 in Trip Reports)
Etihad: Pearl 2 AMM, Coral Right Back Pt 1 PixVids (by Ronerone Jul 4 2007 in Trip Reports)
CX: JFK-HKG-DXB In Y A346/772 (Lots Of Pics/Vids) (by Ronerone Aug 28 2006 in Trip Reports)



F A C E B O OK
Fly Roni
Please mention who you are when (and if) you want to add me as a friend



YOU TUBE
My channel:
http://www.youtube.com/user/ronerone?feature=mhum
I have a range of taxi, takeoff, landing, announcement, and safety videos posted. Feel free to view them!



THE END

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: MSS658
Posted 2011-12-05 14:14:42 and read 20564 times.

Hi

nice trip report as usual, enjoyed the read! I think this is the first time I read something from Fiji Air Pacific
While not having all the whistles and bells like SQ, QR, TG,JL, ... They still have to offer a decent product with comfortable seating!
I really admire the special effect pictures you put in!
keep em coming!

Greetings
Marc

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: debonair
Posted 2011-12-05 14:22:38 and read 20506 times.

GREAT TR, GREAT PICTURES!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
In Air Pacific’s flavors, the cabin ambience was featuring a retro-chill rasta-holiday sensation that offered the perfect dose of comfort for this 10-hour flight.

So true - it reminded me very much about my experience with Air Seychelles's B767 classic fleet (soon to be gone)...   

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: The777Man
Posted 2011-12-05 15:30:32 and read 20296 times.

Hi Roni!

Excellent report with excellent pictures as always!

Interesting to see what Air Pacific has to offer and it all seems a bit dated but a good chance to experience that now before the 332s arrive.

Seats don't seem too comfortable and I'm,very impressed you can get good sleep in seats that only recline 20%......Personally I usually need a true horizontal lie-flat seat unless I'm really tired.

As for HKG, I usually walk all the way from the checkpoint out to gate 50-60 and enjoy the view of the great aircraft outside; no need to take the train 

Meals look nice but they really need to make the menus less confusing......

Hotel looks great and I would probably stay there once I go although it may be a while.......

I much prefer a window seat on the 747 although I've had similar seats to the one you had.

Looking forward very much to the next report in this series!

The777Man

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: ba319-131
Posted 2011-12-05 15:39:58 and read 20276 times.

Hi Roni,

Good to finally read another one of your reports, you've been far too quiet for my liking!  
Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
While previously traveling out of Terminal 2 on Jet Airways involved a maze of a walk/transport to get airside, I decided to take the more scenic route this time by walking towards Terminal 1 and accessing the airside facility through the immigration and security points from there.

- I've never thought of going to T1 to clear security, always taken the T2 route, which seems to take too long for my liking.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
What a beautiful Hong Kong day!

- Indeed, quite unlike my visit in October

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
My meal tray appeared soon afterwards, and was nicely presented and included a bowl or carrot & pumpkin soup, a main course dish of lamb curry with basmati rice and vegetables that also came with paratha bread, tomato salsa, and coriander raita. Also on the tray was a set of silverware wrapped with a red napkin, chopsticks for those who wished to use them, and an Air Pacific-branded water glass.

- Not a bad looking meal, that water glass looks very similar to the ones RJ use.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
Dessert on the other hand was the letdown and it was nothing much more than a dump of generic cake on a plate, that was supposed to be cheesecake but in reality must have been something else.

- Desert does seem to be one of the constant letdowns of a J meal.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
Not a single seat was available, and there were passengers everywhere. All standing space on counters, tables, and even table -sides was also occupied, and there even were several people seated on the floor with their plates having a meal as if on a virtual table. Looking at all that, and also at the check-in counter-like queue that was formed only for the breakfast buffet, not only did I decide to leave the lounge, but I opted out of taking any picture of it. Heck, me and my camera barely fit inside anyways!

- Sounds like the LH lounges in FRA!

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
Menus were then distributed, and as with the previous flight, finding what your meal proved to be a challenging task for many of us. There was no sector listed on the menu which generally isn't a problem, but when three meals (light, main, and breakfast) and two inflight snacks are listed, you would wonder what's what for this short flight. However, it was clear that we were to be served a main meal after a fellow passenger had asked one of the crew for clarification.

- It appears these menu's are supposed to be re-used, looks like it from your images, if so, a page number and meal type should be advised when there are various options such as these.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
I pulled out my IFE screen for a quick view. I did not pay much attention to what was on offer in the non-AVOD selection but instead, I was fixed on the moving map as usual.

- A true A.Netter, who cares about the films, where are we!

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
Kokoda is a salad made from raw fish -in which I did not find out until now- I did not venture much further beyond a few simple tastes.

- I'm with you brother, not to my liking!

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
Once my plate was cleared, it was promptly replaced with my main course which included chicken curry served with steamed rice, spinach, eggplant, and tomato, and accompanied with dhal soup and roti.

- Not a bad looking dish!

Looking forward to the next instalment, no idea who/why or how as you've not dropped me a line, so I'll just have to wait like everybody else!

Cheers

Mark

BTW - did you re-fix the trip as per Nicholas?

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: coffeebar
Posted 2011-12-05 15:44:18 and read 20259 times.

Hi

I'm glad to have a chance to say that It's always such a pleasure to read your trip reports and this one was no exception.
You have a real gift in your writing, which makes the reader feel he is there, enjoying the experience with you - and getting to know you - all at the same time.

Cheers

Coffeebar

[Edited 2011-12-05 15:48:11]

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: Avianca
Posted 2011-12-05 17:29:00 and read 20041 times.

great report!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 11):
As Kokoda is a salad made from raw fish -in which I did not find out until now- I did not venture much further beyond a few

looks like our local Ceviche!!! the Peruvian tradional stuff from the coast! mmmm

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: jfk69
Posted 2011-12-05 18:02:36 and read 19964 times.

My wife and I stayed at the First Landing resort on our honeymoon. Such friendly staff. Thanks for the memories.

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: OA260
Posted 2011-12-05 18:38:00 and read 19878 times.

Hey Roni great to see a report from you  

Lovely photos as usual and a step back in time in terms of product. I love the seats  

The food looked lovely, curry and Roti is always a bonus for me ! I can eat it 24/7 .

Thanks for the report.

Regards

Philip  

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: aflyingkiwi
Posted 2011-12-05 19:17:23 and read 19771 times.

Hi Roni,

Great report with fantastic pictures. It's been well worth the wait to read another one of your reports.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
ORIGIN HONG KONG

HKIA never fails to impress me!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 3):
The soup was thick and tasty but was not too warm. However, the lamb curry was outstanding. Lightly spiced, extremely spicy, and with a very balanced flavor, it must have been the Fiji influence!

That meal looks fantastic!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 8):
It was a typically crowded terminal, but not necessarily my favorite one

Wow, the place looks like a madhouse... It's also disappointing that the lounge didn't have enough capacity.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 11):
The main course was excellent, as the chicken was tender breast meat, and the curry was mildly spiced with a balanced flavor. I was feeling quite full at this point, so I skipped on the roti, dhal, and also dessert.

Another great meal, good job FJ

Regards,
aflyingkiwi

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: Tigerguy
Posted 2011-12-05 20:18:03 and read 19658 times.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
Perhaps that was what made me feel so relaxed today, as the mellow uplifting tunes playing under an ‘every little thing’s gonna be alright’ type of song, tranced the freakin daylights out of me! I did not care where I was or where I was going to, but I could only pay attention to the fact that everything –right here, right now- just felt so cool!

That's exactly the feeling I've tried to remember since, as a small lad in 1994, I first heard the phrase "Hakuna Matata". I've been pleasantly surprised at how well it works, even these days.

Nice on the look into Air Pacific. For some reason, it looked nicer than what I was expecting. Well, I suppose it's not "some" reason - I imagine they actually try to be good at what they do. In that case, I'm glad you had a pleasurable leg on your RTW.

In case I get nowhere in trying to crack the mystery of your next report, I'll be patiently waiting for it!   

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-12-05 22:46:56 and read 19396 times.

Hi Roni,

I was really glad to discover this fantastic report today, I had been looking forward to it. Perfect text, perfect pictures - you confirmed once again that you are the best trip reporter here!

FJ's hardware is indeed outdated, but the product is still impressive. Most of the food looks delicious! I once considered flying LAX-NAN-AKL, but never booked it. I may have a look at the airline again when the A332s are active.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
But, this is my own IFE! The Air Pacific Bloody Mary.. Cheers!

That looks very nice!

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
My meal tray appeared soon afterwards, and was nicely presented and included a bowl or carrot & pumpkin soup, a main course dish of lamb curry with basmati rice and vegetables that also came with paratha bread, tomato salsa, and coriander raita.

Wow, great stuff!

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
The portable IFE players were typical to your standard offering in the industry, with nothing much that really interested me. I have always thought that such IFE players cheapen the premium product in some form, and I would much prefer to see it as part of the cabin’s actual hardware.

I can only agree.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
Once my table was cleared after breakfast, it was time to visit the Economy Class cabin.

Do you know what was behind that curtain? Crew rest area? Sick passenger?

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):

Definitely the most exotic curry I have ever had!

That looks interesting!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 12):
My layover time in Auckland was 24 hours, with a stay at the Jet Park Airport Hotel.

Ah, good choice. I hope you enjoyed your stay at that hotel as much as I did.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 12):
Where does one go, what does one see, and/or who does one see whilst there?

No doubt, you have to meet NZ107 when going to AKL!


PH

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: vivekman2006
Posted 2011-12-06 00:05:35 and read 19290 times.

Excellent TR Roni!

Air Pacific is such an exotic airline. In some ways it is so much like Sri Lankan, although UL is much more "mainstream"

The cabins are well maintained (even though the planes are old) and the service by the crew looked quite warm.

The food looks quite good too. I noticed that there is quite a bit of an Indian influence there!

Waiting for the next installment, Roni!  

Cheers,
Vivek

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: N178UA
Posted 2011-12-06 03:51:07 and read 18968 times.

Hi my friend!  

I am delighted to read this latest TR and the mood of this TR was so great!
Absolutely love the cover picture and the fish eye angle from the middle seat of the Jumbo. Something I have never tried.

Can't agree more with your comment and judgement on FJ

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
“Mr. Hawi, have you decided on your main course?”
“Yes, I’d like to have the lamb curry please”
“Sure, and what would you like to drink?”
“A Bloody Mary please”

This is a no brainer, we all know what you like to eat and drink  
Quoting vivekman2006 (Reply 24):
Air Pacific is such an exotic airline. In some ways it is so much like Sri Lankan, although UL is much more "mainstream"

Actually, very true. Thanks for mentioning now I 100% agree with this. The only slight variation is FJ have FA with "afro" hair style at times in cabin  

Thanks for the credit too! I am well pleased you enjoyed your trip. I will start my travel agent consultancy soon serving A.net community  
Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
I would like to thank my good friend Sam Chui for his perfect -as always- suggestion that I fly Air Pacific for this portion of my RTW. It was a new airline and a new experience for me, which would have otherwise resulted in something a little less creative perhaps.

Sam

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: ronerone
Posted 2011-12-06 05:39:50 and read 18782 times.

Dear All,

Many thanks for your comments and your continued support!

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 13):
While not having all the whistles and bells like SQ, QR, TG,JL, ... They still have to offer a decent product with comfortable seating!

Hi MSS658,

I absolutely agree. Their long-haul offering is very good!

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 13):
I really admire the special effect pictures you put in!
keep em coming!

Thanks for this!

Quoting debonair (Reply 14):
GREAT TR, GREAT PICTURES!

Thanks debonair!

Quoting debonair (Reply 14):
So true - it reminded me very much about my experience with Air Seychelles's B767 classic fleet (soon to be gone)...

Air Seychelles is an island airline that fits the profile of what i like out of a trip. But for some reason, they haven't yet gotten my attention.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 15):
Excellent report with excellent pictures as always!

Thanks Lars, glad you enjoyed!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 15):
Seats don't seem too comfortable and I'm,very impressed you can get good sleep in seats that only recline 20%......Personally I usually need a true horizontal lie-flat seat unless I'm really tired.

Yea i definitely like the cradle-effect! I sleep on my couch more than on my bed actually for that horizontal cradle effect  
Quoting The777Man (Reply 15):
As for HKG, I usually walk all the way from the checkpoint out to gate 50-60 and enjoy the view of the great aircraft outside; no need to take the train

You know, i have always wanted to do this, but for some reason i haven't yet.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 16):
Good to finally read another one of your reports, you've been far too quiet for my liking!

Thanks Mark! Great to hear from you!
I think i've become more selective with what TR's i publish here   Besides, most of my travels this year were quite repetitive (EK, BAH, EK, BAH, EK, BAH) LOL.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 16):
- I've never thought of going to T1 to clear security, always taken the T2 route, which seems to take too long for my liking.

Yea i actually preferred going through T1 after checking in from T2!

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 16):
- Not a bad looking meal, that water glass looks very similar to the ones RJ use.

Are you saying that you remember what an RJ glass looks like from a previous TR, or have you flown them recently?  
Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 16):
- Desert does seem to be one of the constant letdowns of a J meal.

I totally agree. It's a great journey all the way, but the ball is dropped when its dessert time!

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 16):
- Sounds like the LH lounges in FRA!

Not all LH lounges  
Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 16):
BTW - did you re-fix the trip as per Nicholas?

I will see how it goes. I may pop in for a night over a weekend!

Quoting coffeebar (Reply 17):
I'm glad to have a chance to say that It's always such a pleasure to read your trip reports and this one was no exception.
You have a real gift in your writing, which makes the reader feel he is there, enjoying the experience with you - and getting to know you - all at the same time.

Thank you so much coffeebear! Very kind words  
Quoting Avianca (Reply 18):
looks like our local Ceviche!!! the Peruvian tradional stuff from the coast! mmmm

Hi Avianca,

In FJ's defense, it did not have any fishy taste to it. But if i had known it was raw fish from the start, i wouldn't have even touched it nor the fruit around it  
Quoting jfk69 (Reply 19):
My wife and I stayed at the First Landing resort on our honeymoon. Such friendly staff. Thanks for the memories.

Hi jfk69,

Indeed, the First Landing Resort must be one of the best hotels on Nadi Island!

Quoting OA260 (Reply 20):
Hey Roni great to see a report from you

Thanks Phil!

From a Puerto Rican flag to a Canadian one eh? you are on the run it seems  
Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 21):
Hi Roni,

Great report with fantastic pictures. It's been well worth the wait to read another one of your reports.

Many thanks aflyingkiwi! Glad you enjoyed  
Quoting Tigerguy (Reply 22):
I first heard the phrase "Hakuna Matata". I've been pleasantly surprised at how well it works, even these days.

Hi Tigerguy,

Seriously, the Fiji mood is so Hakuna Matata! Fits perfectly!

Quoting Tigerguy (Reply 22):
Nice on the look into Air Pacific. For some reason, it looked nicer than what I was expecting.

To be honest, FJ turned out to be much more than i had expected!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 23):
I was really glad to discover this fantastic report today, I had been looking forward to it. Perfect text, perfect pictures - you confirmed once again that you are the best trip reporter here!

Hi PH  

Thank you so much  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 23):
FJ's hardware is indeed outdated, but the product is still impressive. Most of the food looks delicious! I once considered flying LAX-NAN-AKL, but never booked it. I may have a look at the airline again when the A332s are active.

They are a perfect alternative to get from Asia to Australasia, if you want to save a little money!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 23):
Do you know what was behind that curtain? Crew rest area? Sick passenger?

That was the crew rest.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 23):
No doubt, you have to meet NZ107 when going to AKL!

Spot on   That is the exact answer i was looking for hahaha

Quoting vivekman2006 (Reply 24):
Air Pacific is such an exotic airline. In some ways it is so much like Sri Lankan, although UL is much more "mainstream"

Hi Vivek,

So true! But FJ doesn't come anywhere near UL  
Quoting vivekman2006 (Reply 24):
The food looks quite good too. I noticed that there is quite a bit of an Indian influence there!

Yea, many Fijian people are from Indian descent. And this reflects in their cuisine too.

Quoting N178UA (Reply 25):
I am delighted to read this latest TR and the mood of this TR was so great!
Absolutely love the cover picture and the fish eye angle from the middle seat of the Jumbo. Something I have never tried.

Many thanks Sam   I think a shot like this, coming from you, will be a totally different dimension .. like an untouchable  
Quoting N178UA (Reply 25):
I will start my travel agent consultancy soon serving A.net community

     


Cheers,
Roni

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: flightsimboy
Posted 2011-12-06 07:31:07 and read 18587 times.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
The end of a chapter, and the start of another. A different idea, a revamped mission. Yesterday is history, but tomorrow is something totally new. My first report from my new life, location, and everything in between. Welcome!

All the best to you, Roni on your new life, location!! Your surroundings, situations may have changed, but you still remain the stellar trip reporter on here!!

And a RTW trip to toast your new beginnings......and that too a RTW trip in a week....I though only PH did stuff like that lol

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
HONG KONG TO NADI
Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
I will be doing over this week-long RTW.

A RTW trip that begins in Hong Kong, can only mean you are saving the best for last, and it will end with none other than your beloved Cathay Pacific!!!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
A bright red pillow, headsets, and a freshly sealed blanket were placed over the seatbelt, and that’s pretty much it;

These basic amenities at the seat now cost on airlines like AC....Blankets, pillows, headsets one needs to buy these!!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
By this time, I had also realized that the Chinese ‘ground-agent’ that was assisting passengers during boarding, had nothing to do with ground services at all. In fact, her primary role was to be present on the flight –as part of the crew- for any language assistance to our fellow Chinese passengers. As such, she made her round throughout the cabin one final time before taking her seat in the Economy Class cabin, in preparation for takeoff.

A ground staff that becomes a Flight Attendant.....Talk of multi-tasking!!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 3):
But, this is my own IFE! The Air Pacific Bloody Mary.. Cheers!

And a Roni signature trademark lol

Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
This part during the flight, is definitely the most relaxing!

When all have been well fed and induced into sleep mode!!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
But try sleeping on it, and if you’re like me, you’ll get a full night’s sleep as you would do on your own bed.

Must be nice to fall off to sleep so easily in an aircraft seat!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 6):
Many passengers –and for valid reasons of course- were anxious to get the hell out of the plane after 10 hours, but for me, it is always a feeling of sadness.

Classic!!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 12):
So where do I go next from here?

I think I know how the ending is going to be  

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: Luxair747SP
Posted 2011-12-06 09:08:24 and read 18441 times.

Hi Roni,

as usual outstanding Tripreport.
You also showed us many high quality pictures.
The service on Air Pacific looks very good and right to give you the holiday mood.
The food also looked very tasty.

Thanks a lot for sharing
Johannes

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: ronerone
Posted 2011-12-06 13:36:32 and read 18073 times.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 27):
All the best to you, Roni on your new life, location!! Your surroundings, situations may have changed, but you still remain the stellar trip reporter on here!!

Many thanks flightsim!  
Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 27):
And a RTW trip to toast your new beginnings......and that too a RTW trip in a week....I though only PH did stuff like that lol

Yes indeed, that RTW was the perfect recharge. The ideal midpoint between old and new, both job and home  
And if it wasn't for pioneers like PH and others, whom else would i learn from?  
Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 27):
A RTW trip that begins in Hong Kong, can only mean you are saving the best for last, and it will end with none other than your beloved Cathay Pacific!!!

Haha, this RTW began in DXB, and it commenced with the best (CX), as per SR 103's TR  
Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 27):
When all have been well fed and induced into sleep mode!!

  

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 27):
I think I know how the ending is going to be

Guess!  
Quoting Luxair747SP (Reply 28):
Hi Roni,

as usual outstanding Tripreport.
You also showed us many high quality pictures.
The service on Air Pacific looks very good and right to give you the holiday mood.
The food also looked very tasty.

Thanks a lot for sharing
Johannes

Hi Johannes,

Thanks a lot for your comments! Glad you enjoyed!

Cheers,
Roni

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: 767747
Posted 2011-12-06 20:15:10 and read 17757 times.

Another excellent report, ronerone!

How great to read about Air Pacific. I have read a few reports about them in this forum, and they look to be a very good airline. I'm impressed with their high quality meals, and sometimes airlines that are a bit behind the times, (in regards to seats, IFE, etc) often miss out on the "experience" that you seemed to get as soon as you stepped on board the 767. This is flying at its best in my mind!

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
I reclined my seat to its cradle position, powered on my portable IFE player, and got into my comfort zone. To be frank, while the seat is outdated by today’s competitive standards, it still offers comfort levels that can far outdo the more modernly-frilled alternatives. Apart from a simple footrest and a 20% or so recline, you ain’t getting much more. But try sleeping on it, and if you’re like me, you’ll get a full night’s sleep as you would do on your own bed.

I agree with you here on the comfort levels; those seats look comfy. When we flew Delta's old Business Elite a few years ago, I thought the cradle seat was incredibly comfortable! Sometimes the "lazy boy" type chairs are nice to be in compared to the sliding/angled ones ...

Looking forward to your next trip! I'd love to visit Fiji sometime; definitely on my bucket list!

Best,

Matthew

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: Carfield
Posted 2011-12-06 22:13:26 and read 17617 times.

Thanks Roni for another excellent report!

Air Pacific looks like an interesting carrier and I am glad that the service works out fine. The seats look a bit archaic to be honest and I am surprised that a separate appetizer and soup/salad course is not offered on a 4pm dinner flight in business class. However I like the bottled Fuji water and the half full cabin makes the flight more comfortable for sure. The menu looks nice too.

Just curious - do they pass out any amenity kit on the HKG to Nadi flight? I presume yes...

Thanks again and look forward to your next installment!

Carfield

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: ronerone
Posted 2011-12-07 08:07:31 and read 17220 times.

Quoting 767747 (Reply 30):
Another excellent report, ronerone!

Thanks Mathew   Glad you enjoyed it!

Quoting 767747 (Reply 30):
Sometimes the "lazy boy" type chairs are nice to be in compared to the sliding/angled ones ...

The lazy boy chairs and all their affiliates are the absolute best  
Quoting Carfield (Reply 31):
Thanks Roni for another excellent report!

Thanks Carfield!

Quoting Carfield (Reply 31):
Just curious - do they pass out any amenity kit on the HKG to Nadi flight? I presume yes...

  I was waiting for someone to bring this up. This, i found to be rather strange, although i wasn't at first expecting FJ to even have an amenity kit even though it's more or less a must on a 10 hour night flight   .. But, no amenity kits were passed out at ALL!  


Cheers,
Roni

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: mk777
Posted 2011-12-07 08:46:51 and read 17155 times.

Hi Roni,

Very nice TR. I specifically love the pictures from your hotel/resort in Nadi, it looks so inviting.

The food looks scrumptious and tastefully presented for an airline like Air Pacific. You can clearly see the Indian influence in Fijian food.

It seems both the flights were very relaxing and enjoyable. Most notable is the cabin crew...very professional but at the same time very hospitable and not at all "plastic" that have become a norm with a lot of other airlines.

The a/c's are quite old but have been well maintained as seen from the cabin pictures...impeccable for a 15-20 yr old aircraft.

A highly enjoyable read...where to next??

Regards,
mohit.

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: akhmad
Posted 2011-12-07 11:22:29 and read 17006 times.

Sayyid Roni,

Beautiful! Just beautiful! It has been a while. I have been looking forward to the moment of your side of the story of your round-the-world tour. Finally, the day has come.  

The split ups you have put, I love them! I just have to comment on almost every detail out of such gorgeous of yours. Thank you for making this possible.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
so it couldn't have been any more perfect than for it come from just the very person who inspired me to write my own TRs!

I did not know that Anosh had inspired you.  


Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
The check-in hall at Terminal 2
Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
Airside at HKIA

What a beautiful architecture! I feel like I have to go to HKIA sometime.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
Inside The Discovery Centre at Hong Kong

What a great museum! Is it only accessible from the public side?

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
From “Milk Run” to milked out!

I remember you being seated on it the whole DXB-BOM-BKK-HKG leg.  


Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
With The Wing under refurbishment at the time, it was evident that this lounge was used to accommodate for two.

Hey, did I spot some empty couches there?

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
There’s always a seat for everyone at HKIA!

I believe you!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
Welcome drink & water bottle

What a cute water bottle. Did you liberate it?

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
as the mellow uplifting tunes playing under an ‘every little thing’s gonna be alright’ type of song, tranced the freakin daylights out of me!

It must have been like attending an on-board yoga class.  


Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
As such, she made her round throughout the cabin one final time before taking her seat in the Economy Class cabin, in preparation for takeoff.

What a nice gesture of Air Pacific for assigning her for the comfort of Chinese speaking passengers.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
What a beautiful Hong Kong day!

Sunshine and everything. How I miss the summertime!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 3):
Drinks

How cool! Brew varieties of Fijian beer and Fijian wine, I assume. I would not have asked for more.  

(well, the sight of Heineken is kind of disturbing me…)

Quoting ronerone (Reply 3):
Lamb Curry main course
Quoting ronerone (Reply 11):
Once my plate was cleared, it was promptly replaced with my main course which included chicken curry served with steamed rice, spinach, eggplant, and tomato, and accompanied with dhal soup and roti.

I am craving for Indian food now!   


Quoting ronerone (Reply 3):
The Air Pacific Bloody Mary.. Cheers!
Quoting ronerone (Reply 10):
For those of you that do follow my Bloody Mary ratings, Air Pacific serves up a great one with all the right ingredients!

Along with EK?    Cheers, Roni!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
Music

Was Alejandro of Lady Gaga on offer as well?

Quoting ronerone (Reply 5):
The breakfast trolley

The presentation of on-board breakfast trolley just made the meal options look more mouthwatering.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 6):
but for me, it is always a feeling of sadness.

I sympathize with you.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 6):
Walking towards the main terminal

It feels more natural than KUL LCCT. And no widebody departs from LCCT!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 6):
A typical island welcome!

It would make me melt right away.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 7):
But however, I came across the First Landing Beach Resort and villas –located right on Nadi island- which had quite the positive reviews

Did you consult TripAdvisor?

Quoting ronerone (Reply 7):
Very spacious and tasteful
Quoting ronerone (Reply 7):
My very own patio
Quoting ronerone (Reply 7):
Canapés & cocktails served on the beach every night by friendly staff
Quoting ronerone (Reply 7):
Definitely the most exotic curry I have ever had!

It sounds like honeymoon. Is there anything else we should know?   


Quoting ronerone (Reply 7):
But now it was time to move on; off to Auckland, and back to my RTW!

How did you feel when you moved on?

Quoting ronerone (Reply 8):
"Thank you, very organized!"

Wow, not many check-in agent says that to you.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 8):
Heck, me and my camera barely fit inside anyways!

What a pity.  


Quoting ronerone (Reply 9):
A manual safety demonstration was conducted as we taxied towards the active runway, followed by a final cross-check by the crew.
Quoting ronerone (Reply 11):
as were the menus (which I held onto mine and 'fell asleep' during collection),

What a naughty boy!  But, thanks for the lesson..


Thank you for sharing, Roni. Oh dear, someone should post a warning beforehand. Your TR is ADDICTIVE! I want more!

Warm regards,
Suryo

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: OA260
Posted 2011-12-07 14:03:39 and read 16821 times.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 26):

Haha well so far Ive done DUB-FRA-MIA-SJU-
YYZ-IST-ATH   Still 6 more flights to do in the next 11 days  

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: NZ107
Posted 2011-12-07 21:13:50 and read 16628 times.

Hey Roni!

Great to see this RTW continued finally! Once again, you've done a superb job. So informative like usual and accompanied with great pictures (also, as usual). I think it's quite funny that you come all the way down here to fly on airlines I see everytime I head to the airport but have never flown on them before!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
If I were to skip the Hong Kong transit, Emirates would have been an option, but as EK usually gets my fair share of the game, I wanted this to be an EK-free RTW!

Flying EK would have just led you to skipping the TRs,,   Good thing you were out to try something new!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
Sam Chui simply said "try Air Pacific, you'll get on their only 767 which has never been revealed before, and they're so cheap."

Kudos to Sam for suggesting this unique route on a special plane which isn't going to last very long in the FJ fleet!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
I was able to book my flight, including the stopover without any hassle, and purchasing my ticket was just as easy. However, considering that my fare was on the lower end of the scale, I was -for some odd reason- not entitled to pre-selecting my seat. But in the end it did not matter as the flight in Tabua Class -Air Pacific's theme for Business Class- was not full.

Wow, not a bad website at all. How strange - you book Business and you can't even select your own seat!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
Air Pacific is one of those oddballs that uses Terminal 2 at Hong Kong International Airport

Kind of weird, don't you think? Especially since this flight is codeshared with CX and all.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
Air New Zealand has called in

Maybe next time on this leg? Or would you stick to CX or EK haha.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
The Seat

Does the bulkhead behind you restrict the amount of recline at all?

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):

By this time, I had also realized that the Chinese ‘ground-agent’ that was assisting passengers during boarding, had nothing to do with ground services at all. In fact, her primary role was to be present on the flight –as part of the crew- for any language assistance to our fellow Chinese passengers. As such, she made her round throughout the cabin one final time before taking her seat in the Economy Class cabin, in preparation for takeoff.

Now that's providing good service! Were there many Chinese on board?

Quoting ronerone (Reply 3):
However, the lamb curry was outstanding.

Looks fantastic.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
But try sleeping on it, and if you’re like me, you’ll get a full night’s sleep as you would do on your own bed.

I've tried sleeping (overnight) on my plane seat.. Gave up and went to bed haha. Maybe I'll give it another go sometime!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 5):
the cereal was as what Frosties is meant to be like.

Well I'm glad that's the case!  
Quoting ronerone (Reply 5):
While the vegetables were on the cold side, the potato and the omelet were excellent. The omelet was nice and fluffy, and filled with just the right amount cheese. The potatoes were warm, crispy on the outside, and soft inside. Well done again Air Pacific on the catering front so far!

Looks great once again. I'm so hungry now! I feel like some sort of curry..

Quoting ronerone (Reply 7):
So needless to say, it involves a beautiful outdoor walk past the aircraft before arriving to the terminal; something similar –perhaps a bit more sophisticated- to KUL’s LCCT.

Very interesting. I suppose you have to start climatising somewhere and straight off the plane is a good place to start!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 8):
and perhaps I would return again sometime in the future to explore further beyond Nadi

Make sure you notify me if you do plan such a trip!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 8):
I had pre-selected my favorite seat in the house; the middle seat adjacent to Doors 1L & R facing the nose of the jumbo.

I see why - what a great seat! However, you completely missed getting another landing in AKL out the window under your belt!  
Quoting ronerone (Reply 8):
not only did I decide to leave the lounge, but I opted out of taking any picture of it.

I suppose it wasn't that special then..

Quoting ronerone (Reply 8):

Very 'Qantasy' boarding pass

How about "A Qantas boarding pass was issued"? Haha. QF's style hasn't changed in many years and I still remember that exact same green on the boarding pass for my first trip to Australia back in 1998. That just made something click in my head - the green must correlate directly to the puke green section of the A380! Never thought about that before. But I'm still wondering about the origins of that particular green colour..

Quoting ronerone (Reply 9):

Compared to my previous flight from Hong Kong, there was a noticeable difference in the crew and the service. Yesterday things were warm and snuggly, whereas today it was a job that needed to be done, quickly.

Big plane aside, I really wonder if it may have something to do with clientele as well.. However Business Class shouldn't really be affected by that.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 10):
Air Pacific serves up a great one with all the right ingredients!

Nice to know. However it looks like there's some difference between the one on the HKG-NAN leg compared to the one on the NAN-AKL leg.. Interesting to see the difference!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 11):

The main course was excellent, as the chicken was tender breast meat, and the curry was mildly spiced with a balanced flavor

Yum once again!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 11):
This is why I love the nose section

That looks awesome! I wonder when I'll get a chance to sit up in the nose section.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 12):
This is my second time in Auckland, and this is also the second time I arrive in such beautiful weather. For once, I was actually glad that I was getting off the plane; maybe it is Auckland's aura or something?

Here's to make up for the lack of window pics  

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Nicholas Young



The weather's beautiful as I speak, just as nice as it was that day but a bit warmer  
Maybe you were Air Pacific'd out by then haha. Or the aura of Auckland  
Quoting ronerone (Reply 12):
Both immigration and customs -minus the queues- are much easier to deal with in Auckland than at neighboring Sydney

For quarantine: when you have stuff to declare, Auckland's far worse than Sydney. And in the past (even only dating back to 2007), when you didn't have anything to declare, Sydney was so much quicker than Auckland. And you were pretty lucky with the timing too. EK406 (77W) landed 40 mins after you and another 8 mins after that, EK412 (A380) landed. Just imagine being stuck behind that!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 12):
So what normally happens in Auckland? Where does one go, what does one see, and/or who does one see whilst there? Let's keep this for the next TR!

I wonder! What does normally happen in Auckland??

Quoting ronerone (Reply 12):
As the airline itself seems to be headed in confusing directions -a trend seemingly similar across a vast number of other 'island' airlines- it may be this that reflected in the contrasting service levels on both of my flights. Service on the flight from Hong Kong matched that of any of today's top airlines with warmth, professionalism, and for the most part attention to needs. The flight to Auckland on the other hand -while not a bad experience per se- was more or less the opposite experience. Perhaps a fully loaded B747 is harder to handle, or maybe this short hop to Auckland is far from a flagship and gave way for everyone kick back and chill.

But overall, I think Air Pacific offers a decent soft product that I would definitely take up again in the near future if need be. The hardware on the other hand is definitely not up to today's standards, and perhaps this can be rectified once -and if- those new A330's come through.

Indeed. Rather confusing strategy. I hope they can manage to post a profit soon. And interesting to see the difference in service levels. Next time, you're taking a 738 from Australia or Auckland to compare!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 12):
So where do I go next from here?

What a mystery! So many choices, so many decisions!  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 23):
Do you know what was behind that curtain? Crew rest area? Sick passenger?

QF also have a crew rest like this on their 'long haul configured' 763s. And I think NZ may have had the same thing a few years ago.

Quoting N178UA (Reply 25):
I will start my travel agent consultancy soon serving A.net community

Does that mean being accompanied by you to various exotic places?  
Quoting akhmad (Reply 34):
What a cute water bottle

Fiji Water is a well known boutique water company - some celebrities only have this stuff. Although not as widely available as say Evian, it's just as, if not more, expensive!


Thanks again, very much looking forward to the next step!


Cheers,
Nicholas

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: ronerone
Posted 2011-12-08 07:01:28 and read 16312 times.

Quoting mk777 (Reply 33):
Very nice TR. I specifically love the pictures from your hotel/resort in Nadi, it looks so inviting.

Many thanks Mohit! Glad you enjoyed!  
Quoting akhmad (Reply 34):
Beautiful! Just beautiful! It has been a while. I have been looking forward to the moment of your side of the story of your round-the-world tour. Finally, the day has come.

Thanks Suryo!  
Quoting akhmad (Reply 34):
I did not know that Anosh had inspired you.

This TR by SR 103 tipped me over the edge:
Malaysia: Asia’s Best Kept Secret? (W/pics) (by SR 103 Feb 18 2005 in Trip Reports)

It's a simple TR with doalogue and service levels unheard of back then. It was also the TR that made me fly MH for the first time on DXB-BEY  
Quoting akhmad (Reply 34):
What a beautiful architecture! I feel like I have to go to HKIA sometime.

I think you should too   
Quoting akhmad (Reply 34):
What a great museum! Is it only accessible from the public side?

Yes, only from landside, and only from T2.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 34):
Hey, did I spot some empty couches there?

Yes! But too many families around them, i wanted more space   haha

Quoting akhmad (Reply 34):
What a cute water bottle. Did you liberate it?

Haha .. Fiji water is available at stores in Dubai! So no need!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 34):
Was Alejandro of Lady Gaga on offer as well?

To be honest, i did not pay attention to what music was featured. Sorry   I'm really bad at rating IFE!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 34):
Did you consult TripAdvisor?

Yes! TripAdvisor is my a.net for hotels!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 34):
How did you feel when you moved on?

I was still at the begiining of the trip, so i did not want to stop!

Quoting OA260 (Reply 35):
Haha well so far Ive done DUB-FRA-MIA-SJU-
YYZ-IST-ATH Still 6 more flights to do in the next 11 days

Enjoy it Phil  
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 36):
Great to see this RTW continued finally! Once again, you've done a superb job. So informative like usual and accompanied with great pictures (also, as usual). I think it's quite funny that you come all the way down here to fly on airlines I see everytime I head to the airport but have never flown on them before!

Hey hey Nicholas!

Thanks for stopping by!

Auckland seems to be the idea stopover! Happened last year, and this year, so why not next year too! LOL

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 36):
Flying EK would have just led you to skipping the TRs,, Good thing you were out to try something new!

So true!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 36):
Kind of weird, don't you think? Especially since this flight is codeshared with CX and all.

I'd love to know what determines the terminal for the airlines at HKIA

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 36):
Maybe next time on this leg? Or would you stick to CX or EK haha.

Hahaha .. No at this point, i think it will soon be time for NZ  
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 36):
Does the bulkhead behind you restrict the amount of recline at all?

Not so much i don't think. I did not notice anyways.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 36):
Were there many Chinese on board?

Yes. The majority of the Pax were Chinese, and even Mainland Chinese at that too!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 36):
I've tried sleeping (overnight) on my plane seat.

LOL!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 36):
I see why - what a great seat! However, you completely missed getting another landing in AKL out the window under your belt!

I gave it some thought, but i figured that any window in the nose section will not give me a view of the wing/engine. So i opted out of it!  
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 36):
The weather's beautiful as I speak, just as nice as it was that day but a bit warmer
Maybe you were Air Pacific'd out by then haha. Or the aura of Auckland

I was definitely FJ'd out by then  
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 36):
For quarantine: when you have stuff to declare, Auckland's far worse than Sydney. And in the past (even only dating back to 2007), when you didn't have anything to declare, Sydney was so much quicker than Auckland. And you were pretty lucky with the timing too. EK406 (77W) landed 40 mins after you and another 8 mins after that, EK412 (A380) landed. Just imagine being stuck behind that!

Yeah, after my LAN flight, there was some queuing. It was much quicker this time!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 36):
I wonder! What does normally happen in Auckland??

LOL! I'm not sure now! But in my next TR, i will be  


Cheers,
Roni

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: AirPacific747
Posted 2011-12-08 10:03:55 and read 16160 times.

Nice trip report! Great airline I think. I've only tried their 747-200s though, but also kind of happy about that since they are no longer in service.

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: deltamartin
Posted 2011-12-08 11:56:41 and read 16068 times.

Hi Roni!

Great tripreport really nice pictures, it was very interesting to get an insight at this very exotic airline!
Seems like you had a nice couple of flights on the Bula Boeings.  
Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
But I still had time for some pictures

Wow, great pictures of HKG. They really make me want to go visit that airport!

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
The Seat

Old fashioned for sure, but they do indeed look comfortable.

Looking forward to the next part of your journey.

Martin

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: NZ107
Posted 2011-12-08 12:31:59 and read 16039 times.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 37):

Auckland seems to be the idea stopover! Happened last year, and this year, so why not next year too! LOL

Hahaha! Looking forward to that already!  
Quoting ronerone (Reply 37):
Yes. The majority of the Pax were Chinese, and even Mainland Chinese at that too!

Wow, most interesting. I do wonder if that is the reason behind the good service on this flight.. Then again, just like every airline, you have your good and bad crews. I wonder if this may change when the 744 goes on this route too.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 37):
I gave it some thought, but i figured that any window in the nose section will not give me a view of the wing/engine. So i opted out of it!

Fair enough! I'd be interested in grabbing 1A for the sake of it; plus the forward looking seats!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 37):
Yeah, after my LAN flight, there was some queuing. It was much quicker this time!

It makes me think whether they purposely streamlined things ready for the Rugby World Cup.. Because you don't want to have all these new tourists getting the wrong first impression of the country by standing in huge lines waiting to get out the door!


Cheers,
Nicholas

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: MHTripple7
Posted 2011-12-08 13:00:11 and read 16014 times.

Loving this trip report ronerone!

Air Pacific looks to be about what I'd expect them to be. Above-average service with a pretty mediocre hard product. It looks like a fun experience though!

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
However, a simple glance at the signage, and you will be assured that any step beyond this, will be typical Cathay quality all the way.

That lounge is stunning. I need to experience that someday.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
As the airline itself seems to be headed in confusing directions -a trend seemingly similar across a vast number of other 'island' airlines- it may be this that reflected in the contrasting service levels on both of my flights.

Indeed. I do wonder if there's any possible way these 'island' airlines can even make money. Not sure if it has to do with mismanagement or lack of traffic, but it sure is interesting how they always seem to be on a path to failure.

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: caleb1
Posted 2011-12-08 17:14:41 and read 15881 times.

Roni, you are an amazing storyteller. I have been waiting for your next installment and as usual, this TR did not disappoint. I really felt like I was the one who took this trip because of the excellent detail in your writing. Looking forward to your next report!

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: gabrielchew
Posted 2011-12-09 00:49:44 and read 15712 times.

Fantasic Report Roni! Nice to see Air Pacific's "Bula" Boeings in Tabu Class - not the most up-to-date, but a nice service anyway

Quoting ronerone (Reply 12):
This is why I love the nose section

Me too, you really can't beat it.

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: eastafspot
Posted 2011-12-09 09:31:44 and read 15532 times.

Roni,

What a deep insight of Tabua class from an "exotic" airline, you like new discovery and this one is pretty pleasant!
Do you buy a new pair of shoe whenever you try a new airline?   

Many thanks for this delightful report from Down Under

EAS (Léonard)

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: ronerone
Posted 2011-12-09 12:40:32 and read 15442 times.

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 38):
Nice trip report! Great airline I think. I've only tried their 747-200s though, but also kind of happy about that since they are no longer in service.

Hi AirPacific747!

Thanks for stopping by!

Nice to know you tried FJ's 742!. I am absolutely dying to grab another ride on a 742! It's been far too long.  
Quoting deltamartin (Reply 39):
Great tripreport really nice pictures, it was very interesting to get an insight at this very exotic airline!
Seems like you had a nice couple of flights on the Bula Boeings.

Hi Martin,

Thanks! Yea the Bula Boeings were indeed great  
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 40):
Wow, most interesting. I do wonder if that is the reason behind the good service on this flight..

I think so. Keeping in mind that this flight is one of their ultimate flagships (in addition to LAX).

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 40):
I'd be interested in grabbing 1A for the sake of it; plus the forward looking seats!

Definitely. 1A is good too!  
Quoting MHTripple7 (Reply 41):
Loving this trip report ronerone!

Thanks MH!  
Quoting MHTripple7 (Reply 41):
Indeed. I do wonder if there's any possible way these 'island' airlines can even make money. Not sure if it has to do with mismanagement or lack of traffic, but it sure is interesting how they always seem to be on a path to failure.

It will always be a challenge. A small and islolated catchment area that heavily relies on seasonal tourism can be tricky indeed.

Quoting caleb1 (Reply 42):
Roni, you are an amazing storyteller. I have been waiting for your next installment and as usual, this TR did not disappoint. I really felt like I was the one who took this trip because of the excellent detail in your writing. Looking forward to your next report!

Thank you caleb1   Glas you enjoyed it!

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 43):
Fantasic Report Roni! Nice to see Air Pacific's "Bula" Boeings in Tabu Class - not the most up-to-date, but a nice service anyway

Hi Gabrielchew  

Off-beat airlines can always be a nice surprise  
Quoting eastafspot (Reply 44):
What a deep insight of Tabua class from an "exotic" airline, you like new discovery and this one is pretty pleasant!

Thanks Léonard!

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 44):
Do you buy a new pair of shoe whenever you try a new airline?



Haha .. i try to circulate the different pairs i have around over my TR's for that added entertainment   LOL


Cheers,
Roni

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: je89_w
Posted 2011-12-10 08:38:50 and read 15192 times.

Well written trip report and loads of great photos, thank you for posting. It's refreshing to read a trip report from an airline seldom covered. I love your pictures from Fiji, it's a place that intrigues me with the blending of Indian and South Pacific cultures. Being the island guy that I am, I will never get tired of the typical Pacific island scenes you've captured nicely. The exotic curry in the coconut looks fantastic too, guess that just about covers Fijian culture in one shot!

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
One thing I had not paid attention to, was the strumming tunes of Fiji music that was playing in the background. Perhaps that was what made me feel so relaxed today, as the mellow uplifting tunes playing under an ‘every little thing’s gonna be alright’ type of song, tranced the freakin daylights out of me! I did not care where I was or where I was going to, but I could only pay attention to the fact that everything –right here, right now- just felt so cool!

There's a band called "Fiji" which is quite popular in Hawaii for their island reggae music. I believe they're from Hawaii, but wouldn't be surprised if some of their songs were playing on your Air Pacific flights.

This FS Youtube video features reggae music which I believe sounds Fijian, quite a nice tune:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgmu7W-j0D0

And very appropriate for your second leg as well!  

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: flightsimboy
Posted 2011-12-10 09:43:03 and read 15153 times.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 27):
A RTW trip that begins in Hong Kong, can only mean you are saving the best for last, and it will end with none other than your beloved Cathay Pacific!!!
Quoting ronerone (Reply 29):
Haha, this RTW began in DXB,

When I quoted the above I was not able to view any pics. You pics clearly indicate starting in Dubai  . You could almost say I was flying blind, I mean quoting blind. Great pics as usual

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: chepos
Posted 2011-12-11 08:14:25 and read 14798 times.

Great trip report as always Roni. Thank you for sharing.

Regards,

Chepos

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: ronerone
Posted 2011-12-12 06:59:45 and read 14511 times.

Quoting je89_w (Reply 46):
Well written trip report and loads of great photos, thank you for posting. It's refreshing to read a trip report from an airline seldom covered.

Thanks je89! Glad you enjoyed.

Quoting je89_w (Reply 46):
Being the island guy that I am, I will never get tired of the typical Pacific island scenes you've captured nicely.

I couldn't agree more!  
Quoting je89_w (Reply 46):
This FS Youtube video features reggae music which I believe sounds Fijian, quite a nice tune:

Many thanks for this. It's the same type of music i heard everywhere in Fiji! ..  
Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 47):
When I quoted the above I was not able to view any pics. You pics clearly indicate starting in Dubai

haha not to worry   .. But you're on the right track anyways. CX, as dear as they are to me, rightfully needed to be a part of this RTW  
Quoting chepos (Reply 48):
Great trip report as always Roni. Thank you for sharing.

Regards,

Chepos

Thanks for stopping by Chepos.


Cheers,
Roni

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: Initious
Posted 2011-12-24 06:36:21 and read 13499 times.

Hi Roni,

A nice report on a carrier not commonly featured on a.net! Air Pacific is a carrier I am very curious about. Having only heard of their products onboard their 744s, it is certainly something new to be having a report onboard their 767. Of course, I am excited for more of your RTW reports to come with more exotic flights!

I went to the aviation discovery centre back in March while on my Great Asia Trip, so seems like we were in the same place but at different times.I went to the CX J seat too!

It's great to see that FJ uses the CX lounge in HKG. Having passed through HKG several times, I have not seen the lounge signage with my own eyes before, perhaps this time when I fly CX through HKG!

I'd be very disappointed if I have paid a huge price to be onboard their 767 product, but if the price is right I would not mind flying. The seat looks pretty comfortable for a 10 hour flight and the empty load sure helps.

Their bloody mary looks pretty wonderful with all the garnishes, although I hate celery. The food looks delicious but somehow it reminds me of Indian food instead of some Fijian food. The breakfast on the other side looks pretty exotic and the omelette looks tasty. I'm sure it tasted good too!

The villa you stayed in Fiji was definitely a nice one with such a huge room and wonderful surroundings. I wonder how much was it for a night? I would most certainly like to try out the curry that you had!

Looking forward to more wonderful reports!

Regards,
Daniel

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: LH4116
Posted 2011-12-24 17:04:52 and read 13318 times.

Hey Roni, great report! It's been quite a while since last!

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
My RTW path so far

I find it quite odd that you chose to travel eastbound on your RTW. Suppose you were fully aware of the nasty jetlag effects? Wasn't it possible to fly the same airlines in the westbound direction?

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
Air Pacific check-in counters

Must say that I'm not too keen in airlines renaming their Business Class products, it all makes it sound so cheesy, would you just imagine how bad it would be if EK all of a sudden got the idea to rename their BC to "Marhaba Class". BA are perhaps the only airline where the self christened name actually sounds good.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
After the usual walks, smokes, and the sighting of the celebrity jets

Oh, Roni haven't you quit those cigarettes yet?  
Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
Again, just like an airline’s lounge, the boarding welcome can not only reveal a lot about an airline, but it also sets the exact tone for the flight to come.

You're making a very good point there. The first impression is all that matters, it can really make or break a flight. A good example was my last AF flight, extremely rude welcome and even more rude service in-flight.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
and to advise us that our flight time for today was a nifty 10 hours, non-stop to Nadi.

Wow, that's quite a substantial bit of flying. Pardon my ignorance, but I'm always under the impression that all flights within the Asia/Middle East/Pacific region are regional flights, on a maximum of 5 hours. Then again I'm just underestimating the size of this region, I am from Europe after all  
Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
By this time, I had also realized that the Chinese ‘ground-agent’ that was assisting passengers during boarding, had nothing to do with ground services at all.

Well no wonder the airline is loosing money. Hiring someone for the sole purpose of acting as a translator AND having that person take up the space that could've been used by a revenue passenger would only spell disaster to me  
Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
and something ‘silent’ along the lines of ‘Just for Laughs’ was playing.

This seems like a common practice on airlines. I really hate that show, but I suppose main reason why they show it is perhaps it being the only show that's watchable without sound.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
Island-funk table linen!

I don't like that color at all, at least not for a table linen. Looks as if they've just used the pillowcase from a sofa cushion.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
According to the agent, the flight was overbooked in Economy, and upgrades will also fill up the Tabua Class cabin.

Must have been some happy co-pax then! I wonder how Air Pacific's op-up hierarchy works, since I'm guessing they won't have that many top-tier elite FFP's, hence a lack of any sophisticated revenue managements. My bet is that they're doing it the old way, i.e giving all the power to the check-in staff 
Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
However, once inside, I found the situation to be rather horrific! Not a single seat was available, and there were passengers everywhere.

That's quite a bummer. Makes me think again, maybe they have too many elite FFP's, or maybe just healthy loads in Tabua Class.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 10):
For those of you that do follow my Bloody Mary ratings

By now, I think we all follow closely on your Bloody Mary ratings  
Quoting ronerone (Reply 9):
Where does one go, what does one see, and/or who does one see whilst there? Let's keep this for the next TR!

Oh, oh I'm guessing this Young man is also a loyal Canon used? Spoiler alert? Anyways, I'm looking forward to the next part!

Thanks for sharing!
//Jonas

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: ronerone
Posted 2011-12-25 05:09:43 and read 13055 times.

Quoting Initious (Reply 50):
A nice report on a carrier not commonly featured on a.net! Air Pacific is a carrier I am very curious about. Having only heard of their products onboard their 744s, it is certainly something new to be having a report onboard their 767. Of course, I am excited for more of your RTW reports to come with more exotic flights!

Hi Daniel! Thanks for dropping by!

Kudos to you for managing to consistently keep in touch with us here and on facebook, in spite of your other duties! Thanks for that, and hope all is going well on your side  
Quoting Initious (Reply 50):
It's great to see that FJ uses the CX lounge in HKG. Having passed through HKG several times, I have not seen the lounge signage with my own eyes before, perhaps this time when I fly CX through HKG!

You are flying CX to Hong Kong?

Quoting Initious (Reply 50):
I'd be very disappointed if I have paid a huge price to be onboard their 767 product, but if the price is right I would not mind flying. The seat looks pretty comfortable for a 10 hour flight and the empty load sure helps.

I totally agree!

Quoting Initious (Reply 50):
The food looks delicious but somehow it reminds me of Indian food instead of some Fijian food.

As i understand it, Fijian food -at least a major part of it- has its Indian roots which is why curries and such are quite common there.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 51):
I find it quite odd that you chose to travel eastbound on your RTW. Suppose you were fully aware of the nasty jetlag effects? Wasn't it possible to fly the same airlines in the westbound direction?

Hi Casablancas! What are you doing in the USA??  

Don't even remind me of the jet lag! it was the worst i have ever experienced. When i returned back to Dubai, i slept for 48 hours straight  

But, from where i am, Eastbound travel seemed cheaper than Westbound (and i have calculated both options too).


Quoting LH4116 (Reply 51):
Must say that I'm not too keen in airlines renaming their Business Class products, it all makes it sound so cheesy, would you just imagine how bad it would be if EK all of a sudden got the idea to rename their BC to "Marhaba Class". BA are perhaps the only airline where the self christened name actually sounds good.

Probably the reason why SQ got rid of it's Raffles Class and other such names.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 51):
You're making a very good point there. The first impression is all that matters, it can really make or break a flight. A good example was my last AF flight, extremely rude welcome and even more rude service in-flight.

Yep. On one Cathay flight -yes Cathay!- there wasn't anyone at the door when i boarded. No welcome no acknowledgement, nothing. From that point on, i knew that it was going to be an 'off' flight. And it was   haha

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 51):
but I'm always under the impression that all flights within the Asia/Middle East/Pacific region are regional flights, on a maximum of 5 hours.

Well from the UAE, 5 hours get you to Bangkok in one direction. 7.5/8 hours get you to Hong Kong. And from there to Sydney it's also 9-10 hours i believe.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 51):
By now, I think we all follow closely on your Bloody Mary ratings  

Good! Another one shall be rated soon  
Quoting LH4116 (Reply 51):
Oh, oh I'm guessing this Young man is also a loyal Canon used?

Big time! And for the best of all reasons of course  


Cheers & Merry Christmas!
Roni

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: Initious
Posted 2011-12-25 05:52:57 and read 13029 times.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 52):
You are flying CX to Hong Kong?

Indeed I am. Got a very attractive fare of S$399 all in both ways, outbound on 773 and inbound on the 343, both of which I've never been on.  

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: Aussie_
Posted 2011-12-27 19:39:57 and read 12605 times.

Hi Roni

I only just saw this report of yours! Excellent stuff, and the food especially does look fantastic!

Hope to catch up with you again soon

Alex (Aussie_)

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: ronerone
Posted 2011-12-29 09:56:48 and read 12164 times.

Quoting Initious (Reply 53):
Indeed I am. Got a very attractive fare of S$399 all in both ways, outbound on 773 and inbound on the 343, both of which I've never been on.

Great stuff! Hope you will enjoy good old Cathay Pacific, and the A340  
Quoting Aussie_ (Reply 54):
Hi Roni

I only just saw this report of yours! Excellent stuff, and the food especially does look fantastic!

Hope to catch up with you again soon

Alex (Aussie_)

Thanks Alex!

So this is you on a.net!  

See you soon i hope!

Cheers,
Roni

Topic: RE: The Bula Boeings!: Air Pacific HKG-NAN-AKL
Username: AirPacific747
Posted 2011-12-30 03:27:00 and read 11934 times.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 45):
Hi AirPacific747!

Thanks for stopping by!

Nice to know you tried FJ's 742!. I am absolutely dying to grab another ride on a 742! It's been far too long.

Well it's a great TR  

Actually back then in 1999 and 2000 when I flew on their 742 I didn't enjoy it as much as I would have today as they were still more common at that time.


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