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Around The World In Y, Parth Three: SYD-AKL-RAR  
User currently offlineBoeing77W From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 206 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 9845 times:

This is the third instalment of my recent trip around the world using the Great Escapade Ticket. Sorry for the delay in writing this section, the release of my results and sorting out university, plus a lot of going out took over my life recently! Anyway, back to the report…

Part two can be see here: Around the world in Y, part two: SQ and DJ

So far Sydney was my favourite destination, I loved the city and thought that there was so much to see and do but we ran out of time. I also felt pretty safe in the city and everyone was incredibly friendly and accommodating. The best experience was probably the Bridge Climb which we booked in glorious sunshine but when we came to actually climb the bridge it was pouring down with rain, however when we reached the top the sun came out for the photograph and then as we started our decent it began to rain again. We never got over to Bondi Beach which was a shame but that’s just going have to be next time along with plenty of other places which we didn’t have a chance to see.

http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z298/Joffyh/IMG_2659.jpg

http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z298/Joffyh/IMG_2667.jpg
http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z298/Joffyh/IMG_2707.jpg

Sector: SYD-AKL-RAR Tuesday 10 July
Flight number: NZ704
Flight time: 2 hours 15 minutes
STD: 11:30
Pushback: 11:29
Rotate: 11:41
Runway: 16R
Aircraft: Airbus A320-200
Registration: ZK-OJB

We made our way to the airport using the train from Sydney Central Station, an excellent service and it got us to the airport within 20 minutes. We arrived at 08:30 and check-in didn’t open until 09:00 so we went for breakfast before heading over to desks J01-J09. The lady at check-in was very polite and incredibly helpful, she moved some other passengers around to give us two seats together and myself a window seat, I didn’t ask her to do this but I wasn’t complaining. We were allocated seats 27A and 27B for the flight to Auckland and then seats 8A and 8B for our flight over to Rarotonga. Our bags were also checked all the way through.

We headed over towards the departure lounge and made our way through security and customs, it was incredibly quiet at the time and we didn’t have to queue for passport control or security which made things much easier. As we had quite some time to spare I went off looking at aircraft, much to Dan’s dismay, and took a few photographs.

http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z298/Joffyh/IMG_2763.jpg
MH 747-400
http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z298/Joffyh/IMG_2764.jpg
QF 767-400 ZK-JTQ

http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z298/Joffyh/IMG_2765.jpg
QF 747-400

http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z298/Joffyh/IMG_2766.jpg
SQ 747-400 for SIN

http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z298/Joffyh/IMG_2770.jpg
VS A340-600 G-VOGE for LHR via AND OLD: Hong Kong - Kai Tak International (HKG / VHHH) (closed), China - Hong Kong">HKG

http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z298/Joffyh/IMG_2771.jpg
EK 777-300ER A6-EBK

http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z298/Joffyh/IMG_2772.jpg
NZ 767

http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z298/Joffyh/IMG_2774.jpg
NZ A320-200 ZK-OJB for AKL, our aircraft!

We boarded at gate 60; boarding was late in starting by about 10 minutes and started with the small business class cabin, which has eight seats. After this boarding started via rows and the back was boarded first. Again my hopes of finally getting another proper boarding pass were shattered  Wow!, the agent at the gate took the smaller portion of the boarding pass which the passenger usually keeps (well in my experience anyway), so I was left with a very large piece of card.
http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z298/Joffyh/IMG_3510copy.jpg

Upon boarding we were greeted by some very friendly cabin crew who asked if we were having a nice day and told us if there was anything they could do then we only had to ask. I do like the A320 and I was very impressed with the quality of this cabin and how clean it was. Our seats were right at the back of the aircraft, they were incredibly comfortable and I really like the brown leather of NZ. The seat pitch wasn’t too bad and it was nice to see an adjustable headrest on such a short trip, even if I wasn’t going to use it.
http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z298/Joffyh/IMG_2776.jpg

We taxied out to the runway and were soon shooting along 16R, compared to the 737-800 we had been on previously with DJ the A320 seemed to be far quieter and much smoother but I may be wrong. While we climbed the crew announced that the IFE system would be started shortly, on the A320 this system was simply LCD screens which dropped down from the ceiling along with eight audio channels, while J class passengers have their own personal TV (not AVOD). Today they were showing the film Blades of Glory which I was a little sceptical about having seen the adverts but I decided to watch it anyway an was pleasantly surprised.

http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z298/Joffyh/IMG_2778.jpg
IFE system

Upon reaching the cruise the crew announced they would shortly be starting their lunch service, available to all passengers, followed by a complimentary bar service. The options for lunch were:


  • Toasted Chicken Focacia sandwich
    Or
  • Steak and cheese pie


As soon as the crew got the signal there was a lot of activity from the galley behind us as they prepared to serve the full aircraft. I had decided that I was going to have the chicken Focacia sandwich but the last one went to Dan and so I got the steak and cheese pie which was quite good. Lunch was followed by the bar service and we helped ourselves to plenty of drinks and water.
http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z298/Joffyh/IMG_2780.jpg

The rest of the flight was pretty un-eventful, a very smooth journey until we began our decent into Auckland when we were greeted by storm clouds and some strong winds. It was quite a bumpy landing but a fun one Big grin and we arrived in Auckland three minutes ahead of schedule.

http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z298/Joffyh/IMG_2782.jpg

As we were walking down the aisle I asked the number one whether or not we could see the cockpit, she said the pilots had left but it wouldn’t be a problem.
http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z298/Joffyh/IMG_2784.jpg

She was incredibly friendly and I had quite a lengthily discussion with her about the aircraft and Air New Zealand. She told me about the on going fleet renewal plans and the plans which are in place to upgrade the IFE to AVOD on all 767 and 320. It was a shame that everything had been powered down but it was good to see the flight deck none-the-less. We left the aircraft and headed for the transfer security for our next NZ flight. My first impressions of NZ were excellent; excellent crew who were friendly yet professional, a good Y class product for short trips and the catering wasn’t too shabby.

STA: 16:30
Landing: 16:24
Runway: 05L
At the gate: 16:27

Sector: SYD-AKL-RAR Tuesday 10 July
Flight number: NZ848
Flight time: 3 hours 40 minutes
STD: 21:45
Pushback: 21:54
Rotate: 22:09
Runway: 05L
Aircraft: Airbus A320-200
http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z298/Joffyh/IMG_3509.jpg

We spent five hours in the departure area of Auckland airport, I thought it was a nice airport and not too mad/busy like some of the others I’ve been too but there wasn’t really much to do for five hours so we spent the time pretty much just eating and drinking while watching aircraft. There wasn’t the greatest variety of aircraft at AKL but it still wasn’t too bad, the list included:

  • NZ 747-400
    http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z298/Joffyh/IMG_2794.jpg
    http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z298/Joffyh/IMG_2795.jpg
  • NZ 777-200ER
  • NZ 767-300
  • EK 777-300ER
  • QF 747-400
  • QF 767-300
    http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z298/Joffyh/IMG_2788.jpg

The weather outside was awful, incredibly wet and windy. Our flight was due to leave from gate nine but it was changed to gate three so that the aircraft doors could be opened, the wind was obviously reaching some quite high speeds. I didn’t get any photographs on this sector because one of the crew members asked me not to take any…fair enough.

The crew on this flight were all much older than our previous flight and were not as humorous or as fun (reminded me of BA) there was also a male cabin crew member; our previous flight had been all female. Boarding commenced in the usual manner and the plane was again nearly full, around 90% in Y and full in J, our seats for this flight were 8A and 8B. We were a little late with pushback due to a delay in another inbound NZ flight which had connecting passengers onboard. Once the doors were closed we had a 15 minute taxi to the runway before we took off and headed out towards the vast Pacific Ocean.

The cabin on this aircraft was just as nice as our previous A320 flight, it may have even been the same aircraft but I never for the registration so we’ll never know! There was some strong turbulence as we climbed out of AKL and a few small “screams” from some of the passengers towards the back of the aircraft. The IFE system was the same and tonight they were showing Becoming Jane so I popped on the headphones and decided to see what it was like. When the captain gave the signal the crew started their usual activities in preparing to serve dinner, our choices for this evenings meal were:

  • Steak and Mushroom Pie
    Or
  • Chicken Kiev
    Both served with salad and bread rolls

It would seem that Air New Zealand like their pies  Silly
I had the Chicken Pie which was better than my meal on our previous NZ flight from SYD that morning, pudding was ice cream. Now we had been told by the purser/number one that the ice cream they serve on NZ is fantastic, coming from Devon and being used to Salcombe Dairy ice cream we had high expectations but wow it was delicious! I don’t know what anyone else thinks of Kapiti ice cream but Dan and I were incredibly impressed, so much so that the crew kept on coming back to give us more. After dinner was served there were two rounds of tea and coffee before other drinks were given out to passengers, it took quite a while for our dinner to be cleared away but this is often the case with many airlines.

The lights were dimmed when we had only one hour and 10 minutes left in the flight, as it was quite cold on-board I decided to get the blanket out. Now people often say I’m impressed with the simplest things…but  Wow! the blankets were amazing for Y class! They were so soft and very thick, FAR superior to what SQ gave us which actually electrocuted us; I understand they provide better blankets on their 77W services. Being at the very front of the Y cabin and there being several trolleys behind me I decided that I’d use the lavatory which was at the front of the plane, through the J class cabin. I don’t think that it’s right if Y class passengers use a lavatory where they have to pass through the J class cabin to get to it, even if it is for all passengers on-board and I rarely do it. Anyway it would appear that no other Y class passengers seemed to mind because when I walked through there was a whole host of them crowded around the front of the J class cabin, if I were a J class passenger then I wouldn’t be best pleased. I guess it can be very difficult to control something like this on an aircraft like the A320 where you can’t exactly stick more lavatories in the cabin without seeing a huge reduction in the number of seats.

The biggest gripe which I had with this flight was the fact that the male cabin crew member, Kev, took off his jacket and tie, un-did his top buttons and rolled up his sleeves once we were in the cruise. He then started service the business class cabin. I understand that the crew need to be comfortable and have a uniform which is smart AND practical but I really didn’t think this was very professional and I was to find out that it would get worse the more NZ flights we took.

We began to make our decent when we had about 20 minutes of the flight left, having crossed the international date line my body clock was totally screwed and we would in-fact be arriving on Rarotonga at 03:45 on the same day we left Sydney, in-fact we arrived in RAR before we left SYD. The pilot bounced the 320 down the runway at RAR which resulted in some quite heavy breaking and long reverse thrust.

STA: 03:40 Still on Tuesday 10 July!
Landing: 03:45
Runway: 08
At the gate: 03:48

All-in-all I was very impressed with the quality of service and the economy class of Air New Zealand. The food was good and the planes were incredibly comfortable, the majority of crew were very friendly and provided an excellent service. The uniform issues are just a silly little thing of mine but I still feel that it’s not very professional. After this experience I was really looking forward to flying the 777 (favourite aircraft) back to AKL and then the 747 up to LAX the next week and trying out their new economy class. However we had a week of golden sand and crystal clear waters to put up with first  Silly

16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineSemsem From Israel, joined Jul 2005, 1779 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (7 years 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 9830 times:

If you have a chance could you show a few pictures of Raratonga? Thanks.

User currently offline9MMAR From Malaysia, joined Jul 2006, 2110 posts, RR: 18
Reply 2, posted (7 years 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 9770 times:

Hello Boeing77W,

I am following your series of trip reports and I enjoy all of them.  Smile

Quoting Boeing77W (Thread starter):
the agent at the gate took the smaller portion of the boarding pass which the passenger usually keeps (well in my experience anyway), so I was left with a very large piece of card.

This incident happened to me before too but only when I am flying internationally out of CGK.

Quoting Boeing77W (Thread starter):
I didn’t get any photographs on this sector because one of the crew members asked me not to take any…fair enough.

If I were you, I would just ignored him/her. Taking photos onboard an aircraft is not a criminal act. You can just bluff him/her that you were doing some kind of audit or something that you need to have photographic evidences to support your 'audit' report, or you can just tell them that you were a journalist from a travel magazine in the UK and you want to write about NZ's product and services, and oh my God... there are so many other bluffings that I can think of.


User currently offlineBoeing77W From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 206 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (7 years 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 9760 times:

Quoting 9MMAR (Reply 2):
... there are so many other bluffings that I can think of.

I know there were things that I could have said to him but I did as I was asked. In the past I've ignored some crew before because they've been un-able to give me a reason as to why not take photos.

Quoting 9MMAR (Reply 2):
a journalist from a travel magazine in the UK and you want to write about NZ's product and services

This ones a classic, one time I flew on BR before joining a.net I was taking photos onboad a brand new 77W and also making notes about the aircraft etc. the crew did ask if I was a journalist!

Thanks for the comments, glad that you enjoy reading them. If anyone has any suggestions that would be good as I'm still learning the ropes  Smile (just not "you need more photos"...I can't really go back and take more  Silly)

[Edited 2007-08-24 19:11:35]

User currently offlineAKLDELNonstop From New Zealand, joined Apr 2006, 310 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (7 years 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 9547 times:

Nice report mate.

Waiting for your TR to LAX on the 744.

Cheers
ADN


User currently offlineZKSUJ From New Zealand, joined May 2004, 7093 posts, RR: 12
Reply 5, posted (7 years 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 9529 times:

Great report, glad to hear you enjoyed NZ. Look forward to the 772 and 744 TRs

User currently offlinePilotdude09 From Australia, joined May 2005, 1777 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (7 years 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 9467 times:

Quoting Boeing77W (Thread starter):
Kapiti ice cream

YUM YUM YUM, that stuff is brilliant as is the Ice Cream made in Dunedin, Speights flavour!!  Smile

Quoting Boeing77W (Thread starter):
I was to find out that it would get worse the more NZ flights we took.

Wouldnt mind if some of the NZ hosties got into something more comfy  Wink

I found it funny though on the A320, on our SJ flight CHC-OOL the Purser forgot she was on SJ as the NZ logo was on the IFE screens and she was saying "Welcome aboard Air New Zealand" etc when the Captain came over and said it was a SJ flight! got a few laughs out of it, i had a chat to her as i was in the Suite Seats and she said that she had just come off NZ flights for over a week!  Smile but always have good service on NZ.

Look forward to your next TR's



Qantas, Still calling Australia Home.........
User currently offlineBoeing77W From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 206 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (7 years 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 9040 times:

Quoting Semsem (Reply 1):
If you have a chance could you show a few pictures of Raratonga? Thanks.

Yeah of course, I was going to put them in the next section but here are a select few for you  Smile

http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z298/Joffyh/IMG_2815.jpg
Muri Lagoon - Our studio was on the other side of the water

http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z298/Joffyh/IMG_2851.jpg
Another shot of Muri Lagoon

http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z298/Joffyh/IMG_2836.jpg
Just up the road

http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z298/Joffyh/IMG_2872.jpg
The capital city, Avarua

http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z298/Joffyh/IMG_2894.jpg
Amazing scenery[/]

http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z298/Joffyh/IMG_2884.jpg
[i]Has to be the best beach I've ever been to!


User currently offlineNeder99 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2000, 184 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (7 years 5 days ago) and read 8968 times:

Great report,
about the male cabin crew member though, the NZ male uniform is designed to be worn wiht or without the tie and with sleeves rolled up, it's part of their uniform guidelines, so he was just following that.
It is a little strange however that he didn't keep the same appearance throughout the whole flight (if I were him, I'd either wear the tie or not from the beginning, not take it off before the service).


User currently offlineRyan h From Australia, joined Aug 2001, 1544 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (6 years 6 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 7952 times:

Interesting report and a good read.

Quoting Boeing77W (Thread starter):
I didn’t get any photographs on this sector because one of the crew members asked me not to take any…fair enough.

I don't know why some crew get shitty about people taking some pics to remember their flights.

If a crew member told me that I would be saying 'ok, your airline obviously does not want my business so I will fly with another airline in the future'.



South Australian Spotter
User currently offlineMCOflyer From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 8673 posts, RR: 15
Reply 10, posted (6 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 7659 times:

Nice Tr except the at SYD you said it was a QF 764 when it was a 734.

Good trip report and please do more as they are very detailed.

Hunter



Never be afraid to stand up for who you are.
User currently offlineBoeing77W From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 206 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (6 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 7624 times:



Quoting MCOflyer (Reply 10):
Nice Tr except the at SYD you said it was a QF 764 when it was a 734.

Thanks very much. Yes I know, after I posted the report I saw the picture and caption but it was too late to edit it...I don't know how I managed to get it so wrong!


User currently offlineB747forever From Sweden, joined May 2007, 17066 posts, RR: 10
Reply 12, posted (6 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 7358 times:

Great TR

The pics are really good.

Glad that you had good time with ANZ



Thank you for sharing

B747forever



Work Hard, Fly Right
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8535 posts, RR: 54
Reply 13, posted (6 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 7317 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Nice report and photo's, many thanks.

Seems like you enjoyed your ANZ flights, I must admit I don't really recall a bad/poor ANZ TR.

Quoting Boeing77W (Thread starter):
The best experience was probably the Bridge Climb

- We did that last year, really enjoyed it + it was rain free Smile

Quoting Boeing77W (Thread starter):
if I were a J class passenger then I wouldn’t be best pleased

- Nope, I agree.

Rgds

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offline777ER From New Zealand, joined Dec 2003, 12114 posts, RR: 18
Reply 14, posted (6 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 7233 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR



Quoting Boeing77W (Thread starter):
It would seem that Air New Zealand like their pies

Pies are a New Zealand favourite. Us Kiwis eat more pies and ice cream then any other country!

Quoting Boeing77W (Thread starter):
I don’t know what anyone else thinks of Kapiti ice cream but Dan and I were incredibly impressed

Kapiti Ice Cream is made around 30 mins drive from me. I visited the shop a few weeks ago, and even thou the scoops of are very expensive, its worth every cent. When I was flying NZ from AKL-LAX in 2006, I was given around 8 tubs of it while everyone was asleep, so it was a very nice midnight snack for me!

Quoting 9MMAR (Reply 2):
Quoting Boeing77W (Thread starter):
the agent at the gate took the smaller portion of the boarding pass which the passenger usually keeps (well in my experience anyway), so I was left with a very large piece of card.

This incident happened to me before too but only when I am flying internationally out of CGK.

Every airline I've flowen on except UA, hand back the big part of the ticket, where UA give back the small part


User currently offlineMadameConcorde From San Marino, joined Feb 2007, 10893 posts, RR: 37
Reply 15, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 6987 times:

It is nice to see these few pix of Rarotonga.  veryhappy  The Cook Islands are one of my favourite places on earth along with Oahu's North Shore and the island of Savaii, Western Samoa.


There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
User currently offlineMunichpictures From Germany, joined Jun 2006, 49 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 6968 times:

Great Trip Report
Nice Pictures
thx for sharing


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