The final leg in my first round-the-world journey! I didn’t even feel that tired. I jumped into the taxi for the short ride to Christchurch International Airport. As you can see from the photos, it is quite a small airport but the only airport on my trip so far where there were gardens just outside.
Somewhat surprisingly, there was no queue at the Air New Zealand/Star Alliance check-in.
I fronted up to the desk where a rather mature woman began to check my luggage in. For the first time, I encountered some trouble about the amount of luggage I was checking in – two pieces with a combined weight of 36kg. I was informed that I was over my luggage allocation of 20kg. She went on and on about it for ages and told me I was going to have to pay excess charges. I waited until she finished going on and pointed out that as I had travelled via the US, I was entitled to two pieces of luggage up to 46 kg combined weight and as a Air New Zealand Airpoints Gold member I was entitled to 1 additional piece of checked luggage. She gruffly accepted this. She then turned her attention to my carry-on luggage and insisted that it be weighed –9 kg she beamed, so I would have to check it in too. I took out my laptop but that only got it down to 7.6kg – still overweight, so I had to check it in. She had her victory and so was happy – she gave me a plastic bag to carry my laptop.
The biggest queue at Christchurch airport was the queue to pay the $25 airport departure charge. I can’t understand why this charge isn’t included on the e-ticket with all the other taxes and charges – the rest of the world can do it, so why can’t Christchurch – is it a make-work programme?
Paid the tax and went straight through Immigration. The immigration officer asked me if there were big queues outside – I said not at the Air New Zealand counter but there was a fairly big queue at the Emirates check-in desk. Glided through the security checkpoint as well and entered the shopping zone.
Why do the "classic" All Black Guernsey look better than the new hi-tech version ?
No StarBucks here...hurray
Left the shopping centre and did some plane spotting, but the apron was bare.
The Air New Zealand lounge was rather empty. There were the remains of the lunch menu on the smorgasbord – I had some cold quiche and a sandwiches.
3.20 seemed to be the number of the day. We were called for boarding at 3.20pm, were we flying on an Airbus A320 and the flight was 3:20 long. The flight was about 85 per cent full but I had a row of seat to myself – hurray!
As the final passengers were boarding, the pilot introduced himself and the crew. We were going to take-off towards the north and while there would be a few bumps over the NZ Alps we could look forward to a smooth flight the rest of the way. We were flying into some headwinds so the flight would take 3:20. Showers were forecast in Sydney.
The doors closed at 3:50pm and the safety video was played. We pushed back at 3:55 and took off from runway 2 at 4:04pm after a 40 second take-off run.
What passes for a fast jet in the Royal New Zealand Air Force
When we levelled off, a water service was done – not much of a pre-lunch/dinner snack. The fellow opposite the aisle changed into the aisle seat on my row to give him and his wife more room.
Soon afterwards, it was soon announced that the meal would be a choice of Beef Stroganoff Pie or Polenta coated chicken – I went for the pie.
Is this the reason?
At 4:25pm (AEST)the pilot gave us a flight/weather update. We were expected to land at 5:15pm Sydney time, although we would experience some turbulence due to the wet weather around Sydney. Just prior to the final approach, the pilot told everyone who had moved seat during the flight to return to their allocated seat – not many people moved and certainly not the chap in my row.
We touched down on runway 16R at 5:21pm and were at the gate at 5:30pm. The pilot was right – there was quite a bit of turbulence around the airport, but not so much that I was worried about crashing or anything.
My first around-the-world flight finished as it started – with rain in Sydney.
Miles flown: 25,552
Hours in flight: 54 (approx)
Aircraft: Boeing: 747-400; 777-300; 757-200; 737-300
Airbus: A320-200; A330-200
Airports SYD, SIN, CDG, ZRH, JKF, LAX, AKL, CHC
Akhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2332 posts, RR: 53 Reply 3, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 5877 times:
Hi there VHSMM,
Great insight TR with NZ! Thank your for sharing! NZ seems to have a decent Y product between Australia and New Zealand. I thought that they only offered BOB on this segment.
By the way, I like the Google Earth like map screen very much!
Quoting VHSMM (Thread starter): The biggest queue at Christchurch airport was the queue to pay the $25 airport departure charge. I can’t understand why this charge isn’t included on the e-ticket with all the other taxes and charges – the rest of the world can do it, so why can’t Christchurch – is it a make-work programme?
CHC is not the only place where you have to pay the departure tax seperately. In Indonesia and Thailand, you will experience the same thing.
VHSMM From Australia, joined Jul 2008, 131 posts, RR: 0 Reply 6, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 5223 times:
Quoting Cabinboy (Reply 5): yeah what was the sticker on the fa all about?? pic is a little blurry
As I understand it from all the way across "The Ditch", Air New Zealand established a company called ZEAL 320 LTD, a low cost labour-hire company, to provide cabin services on trans-Tasman and intra-pacific flights that use the Airbus A320s. As is it low cost, the cabin crew get paid less than Air New Zealand employed staff.
Around Eater, the A320 staff were planning to strike for the same pay and conditions as Air New Zealand employed staff - but they postponed that industrial action (I think) and wore the stickers instead.