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NZ/AA: CNS-AKL-LAX-DFW-IAD In Y (pics)  
User currently offlineFlyPNS1 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 6485 posts, RR: 24
Posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 10538 times:

Last year, I had an amazing three week vacation along the East Coast of Australia. My vacation ended in beautiful Cairns where after much fun, it was time to head home. I’m only doing the return part of my vacation because I didn’t take many pictures while flying to Australia, so I figured I would just focus on the return trip where I took a few pics.

Air New Zealand Flight 772
CNS-AKL
A320 Seat: 12F Pacific Class

I arrived at the CNS international terminal about 2 and half hours before my flight. This proved to be way too much time for an airport like CNS, but since it was an international flight I didn’t want to take any chances. The international terminal at CNS was nice, but quite empty. There were about 5 people in line at the NZ check-in desk, so it only took about 5 minutes to check my bag through to LAX. I then meandered my way over to security which again had about two people in line.

NZ Check-In at CNS
http://i980.photobucket.com/albums/ae284/Doug531/Australia364.jpg

http://i980.photobucket.com/albums/ae284/Doug531/Australia365.jpg


I think security at CNS must have been bored because they decided to harass me a little about my deodorant that I had in my carry-on luggage. It was a solid stick deodorant and I had never had a problem in any other airport, but for whatever reason security lectured me that it shouldn’t have been in my carry-on. After the brief lecture, they decided to let me go with my deodorant which was nice since it was going to be quite a while before I could shower again.

CNS has a nice little shopping area with the usual duty free and tourist stuff. I didn’t buy anything as I had plenty of souvenirs. The only thing I did buy was a soda and that was partially just to burn off some of the extra Australian coin I had left over. Unfortunately, CNS is not exactly an exciting place to do any plane spotting. The most interesting thing was the CX flight to BNE and HKG which judging by the number of people boarding seemed pretty full. It was weird to see places like Port Moresby and Tabubil on the departure screens…pretty exotic locales compared to most of the flying I do in the U.S.

Lot's of codeshares:
http://i980.photobucket.com/albums/ae284/Doug531/Australia369.jpg

http://i980.photobucket.com/albums/ae284/Doug531/Australia368.jpg

Just as the CX plane left, my NZ A320 arrived and pulled into the gate. They turned the plane quickly and soon it was time to board. Boarding went by quickly and I took my seat 12F. The plane was almost completely full, but we got out on time and taxied out to runway 15. Takeoff seemed fast and we climbed over Cairns. The first 1+ hours of the flight hugged the Australian coast and I looked down upon the coast I had traveled along during my three week vacation.

http://i980.photobucket.com/albums/ae284/Doug531/Australia371.jpg

Finally, the flight turned more easterly to make the Trans-Tasman crossing and lunch was served. I don’t remember the other choice, but I had the roast beef with humus and cous-cous. For dessert, there was a brownie. For a four hour flight, it was a nice lunch though it was a little small. The roast beef was relatively tender and the cous-cous and hummus were tasty. The beverage service was a little slow in coming, but overall service on NZ was quite good. I had already learned this from my flights (LAX-AKL-SYD) three weeks earlier and NZ remained consistently good throughout.

http://i980.photobucket.com/albums/ae284/Doug531/Australia374.jpg

The path ahead
http://i980.photobucket.com/albums/ae284/Doug531/Australia377.jpg

I spent most of the remaining flight watching NZ’s excellent IFE system. It’s a great system with an amazing selection. I watched an episode of The Office (American version), the Simpson’s and the movie “The Proposal” starring Sandra Bullock. It’s an ok movie, but I mainly just watched it to see Sandra Bullock, though Bette White was pretty funny too.

Beautiful Queensland coastline
http://i980.photobucket.com/albums/ae284/Doug531/Australia379.jpg

Always addictive moving map
http://i980.photobucket.com/albums/ae284/Doug531/Australia383.jpg

Lunch time
http://i980.photobucket.com/albums/ae284/Doug531/Australia386.jpg

Almost to AKL
http://i980.photobucket.com/albums/ae284/Doug531/Australia394.jpg

The New Zealand coast
http://i980.photobucket.com/albums/ae284/Doug531/Australia395.jpg

Our approach into AKL seemed fast as we came in over the bay and landed on 5R. We taxied in to gate 8(?). After disembarking, came a somewhat long walk down the glass corridor where those of us in transit went through another security check. This security check seemed very loose which is somewhat logical as all of us had already been through security leaving our origination airport. I did have to laugh a little as the almost powder blue uniforms of the security folks seemed like something from the 1970’s, but they were friendly and efficient so no complaints.

I had about a 3 and a half hour layover in AKL, so a little time to kill. I was hungry for dinner so I ate at the Burger King which was nothing too exciting. I also took a stroll down to gates 15/16 which are quite a walk for a smaller airport. And to my surprise what did I see but an EK A380.

http://i980.photobucket.com/albums/ae284/Doug531/Australia402.jpg

http://i980.photobucket.com/albums/ae284/Doug531/Australia403.jpg

Busy times at AKL
http://i980.photobucket.com/albums/ae284/Doug531/Australia408.jpg

Air New Zealand Flight 2
AKL-LAX
B744 Seat 42A Pacific Class

Our flight started boarding from Gate 10 around 8:45pm for our 9:30pm departure. It was a full flight and I had some doubts if we’d get out on time given how full. We were a little late, but the flight attendants did a nice job getting everyone settled.

Our venerable 744 rumbled down the runway for the 11 hour flight to LAX. About an hour after takeoff, dinner was served. Again, I don’t remember the other choices, but I had the roasted chicken with potatoes and green beans, a salad, roll and cheese and crackers. For dessert, there was an ice cream cup with raspberry white chocolate ice cream. The meal was ok, but the chicken was quite rubbery (not uncommon for airline chicken). The ice cream was delicious and certainly the best part of the meal. The FA’s did a full drinks run and then came back through multiple times filling up wine glasses. I don’t even know what wine I had (it was white), but didn’t really care. I just wanted something to relax me.

I will say that the seats on the 744 are both good and bad. On the plus side, legroom is pretty good and they have better than average recline. On the down side, the seats are pretty hard and my butt was hurting after a while....maybe I just need more junk in my trunk for cushioning. Either way, for a while I used my pillow as a butt cushion.

The forward cabin in Pacific class.
http://i980.photobucket.com/albums/ae284/Doug531/Australia413.jpg

Dinner
http://i980.photobucket.com/albums/ae284/Doug531/Australia415.jpg

Where are we??
http://i980.photobucket.com/albums/ae284/Doug531/Australia418.jpg

http://i980.photobucket.com/albums/ae284/Doug531/CrossingtheEquator.jpg

Since it was dark and there was not much to see, it was time to once again enjoy the IFE. I watched “The Hangover” which was hilarious and then spent a little time playing the classic videogame Tetris. Like many a.netters, I was also transfixed at time by the moving map display. I must admit that the music that NZ plays during the moving map is quite hypnotizing. Finally, at some point after crossing the equator, I fell asleep for a while.

After a few hours of sleep, I was awoken as they lit the cabin for the breakfast service. I chose the pancakes option which was good. Along with the pancakes came a fruit cup, cup of peach yogurt and orange juice. It was a very nice breakfast served by the always friendly and attentive NZ flight attendants.

Mmmmm....breakfast
http://i980.photobucket.com/albums/ae284/Doug531/Australia419.jpg

Welcome to California
http://i980.photobucket.com/albums/ae284/Doug531/Australia423.jpg

We arrived into LAX on-time at about 2:30pm local time. Of course, for me and everyone else, we had gone back in time a bit, but surprisingly I didn’t feel too jetlagged. We disembarked at LAX with them separating those who were entering the U.S. from those continuing on NZ to LHR. Since I was not going to LHR, I headed towards customs/immigration. The customs/immigration process went quite smoothly as lines were very short. I picked up my luggage and was on the curb picking up my hotel shuttle within barely a half hour of arriving.

I took the shuttle to the nearby Sheraton. It’s an ok hotel (not bad for the $80 I paid using Hotwire), though not a lot of good food choices nearby. I ended up just doing room service and going to bed early as I had a 6am flight the next day.


American Airlines 2410
LAX-DFW
S80 Seat 17A

Since I had used frequent flyer miles for the domestic portion of my trip, I wasn’t able to find any availability on AA’s nonstop LAX-IAD flight; this meant a connection through DFW instead. I arrived at Terminal 4 at about 4:45am for my 6am flight. The check-in line was short, so I dumped by bag off and headed up to security. Security lines were also surprisingly short…I guess nobody really likes these 6am flights. After security, I headed down to the Burger King (which did have a bit of a line) to get some French Toast sticks. I love French Toast sticks even though I know they are terrible for you.

Boarding started around 5:30am and everyone got on our trusty “Super 80.” It was a Monday morning flight, so I would say half the plane was consultants and other business folks heading east. It wasn’t a particularly remarkable flight and I didn’t take many pictures as I was also a little tired. The FA’s provided their usual cold, but efficient service. After flying NZ, I knew AA just wouldn’t compare well. The flight went by fast, but of course no IFE. I dozed off for a while and also read a book.

My Super 80 awaits in the early morning hours
http://i980.photobucket.com/albums/ae284/Doug531/Australia429.jpg

Everything's big in Texas
http://i980.photobucket.com/albums/ae284/Doug531/Australia437.jpg

Soon, we were approaching the center of the AA universe, DFW. We arrived at C32, though it took a while to taxi there as we landed on the other side of the air field. As before in AKL, I had a long layover in DFW of about 3 hours (the price you sometimes pay for using frequent flyer miles). Unlike in AKL, there’s plenty of room to walk in DFW though I think AKL has more interesting spotting. I took the train around and walked through terminals A, B, and D before returning to C where my flight to IAD would depart from. I also picked up lunch in DFW though it was just a sandwich.

This guy is headed for Hawaii
http://i980.photobucket.com/albums/ae284/Doug531/Australia442.jpg

A little something colorful in DFW
http://i980.photobucket.com/albums/ae284/Doug531/Australia444.jpg

The sad empty satellite terminal in E
http://i980.photobucket.com/albums/ae284/Doug531/Australia447.jpg

My chariot awaits
http://i980.photobucket.com/albums/ae284/Doug531/Australia448.jpg

American Airlines 1720
DFW-IAD
S80 Seat 16A

We were a little late on this flight as it was quite full and they had to gate check some luggage as the overhead bins were full. After getting everyone on board and pushing back from our gate, it appeared our APU had died. They couldn’t get the engines started so they tugged us back into the gate. The pilot came on and to let us know they were looking for a “charge cart.” This took about a half hour until finally they got the engines started. In total, we were about 45 minutes late, though we made some time up in the air.

As before, this was another unremarkable flight. FA’s made one pass through for beverages and food sale and then disappeared….pretty typical for AA coach service.

Finally, we began our approach into IAD where the sun was starting to set. It felt like the entire day had disappeared and all I had done was fly LAX-DFW-IAD. We landed on runway 19R and taxied to B73. I hopped on the people mover nearby and headed back to the historic main terminal to pick up my luggage.

Look who pulled alongside us as we taxied out...you're a long ways from home
http://i980.photobucket.com/albums/ae284/Doug531/Australia449.jpg

Goodbye Texas...it was a nice 3 hours.
http://i980.photobucket.com/albums/ae284/Doug531/Australia451.jpg

The sleepy Potomac River
http://i980.photobucket.com/albums/ae284/Doug531/Australia452.jpg

Tower at IAD
http://i980.photobucket.com/albums/ae284/Doug531/Australia459.jpg

Overall, it was a good trip though I was sad to leave Australia. Air New Zealand has a great product and really seems to take pride in their service. AA was ok, but nothing special as is usually the case.

9 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineEC001 From France, joined Jan 2009, 94 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 10449 times:

Hi there FlyPNS1!

First of all I wanted to thank you for this well documented TR, as well for the great pictures!

The meals in the Pacific class seemed great!

cheers,

orian


User currently offlineLukeyboy95 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 1084 posts, RR: 32
Reply 2, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 10317 times:

Cool report buddy...
AirNz looks very solid indeed - good product. Where you on holiday in Cairns? Nice idea to route yourself via AkL...

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Thread starter):
I don’t even know what wine I had (it was white), but didn’t really care. I just wanted something to relax me.

Most likely a lovely New Zealand sauvignon blanc. My mother litterly swears by Oyster Bay Sauv Blanc to calm her down after a stressful teaching....

Many thanks
Henry



Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
User currently offlineStarAlliance38 From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 1445 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 10119 times:

Very cool read. You CNS-AKL flight looks great. I didn't think that there would be enough time to serve a meal and watch a movie!


Roar, lion, roar
User currently offlineNethkt From Thailand, joined Apr 2001, 1044 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 10023 times:

Nice report for ANZ!
It's definitely a long way from CNS to IAD! Like half of the world and airlines really make it different! I hope ANZ did a good job to you  Smile

Thanks again.
nethkt



Let's just blame it on yields.
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8430 posts, RR: 55
Reply 5, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 9782 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi PNS1,

Nice report & pictures, thanks for posting, did enjoy.

ANZ sure seem like a decent carrier if travelling economy, seems confirm what we read about them.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Thread starter):
Unfortunately, CNS is not exactly an exciting place to do any plane spotting

- Indeed true!

Regards

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333,342
User currently offlineAA767400 From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 2300 posts, RR: 26
Reply 6, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 9481 times:

Nice trip report.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Thread starter):
As before, this was another unremarkable flight. FA’s made one pass through for beverages and food sale and then disappeared….pretty typical for AA coach service.

This I hear a lot about AA and other American carriers, however I don't understand what people are expecting the FAs to do? AA gives them one or two beverage carts for an M80 Y galley, and there is no meal. AA offers a substandard BOB product that no one wants to buy, and company policy is that flights under 3 hours have only one beverage run, anything after 3 hours then it is required for them to do a second run.

The FAs are not to blame for AA not offering what passengers want. They don't have the tools, and when working 4-5 legs a day do you think they are going to go above and beyond by doing a second beverage run on a two hour flight? Mind you, if it is more than 3 hours and they don't do another drink run then they are not following company procedure and are being lazy. Rude behavior I am not advocating. However there are 18,000 AA FAs, and you are bond to get the good the bad and the ugly.

AA does not care about it's Y passengers, its been proven time and time again. You can write an email and complain about how there was no service, and AA will just tell you here is 1000 bonus miles and pat you on the back and send you on your way. They don't care.



"The low fares airline."
User currently offlineFlyPNS1 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 6485 posts, RR: 24
Reply 7, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 9136 times:



Quoting Lukeyboy95 (Reply 2):
Where you on holiday in Cairns? Nice idea to route yourself via AkL...

Yes, I had been on a 3 week tour of Eastern Australia. We finished in Cairns with scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef and the Skyrail into the Kuranda Rainforest.

Routing through AKL is nice because the CNS-AKL flight doesn't leave till 11:30am, so you don't have to get up early. If you go through BNE/SYD, you have to catch a 5:30/6:00am QF flight....ugh.

Quoting StarAlliance38 (Reply 3):
I didn't think that there would be enough time to serve a meal and watch a movie!

CNS-AKL is about a four hour flight, so plenty of time for lunch and a movie.

Quoting AA767400 (Reply 6):
The FAs are not to blame for AA not offering what passengers want.

I'm not really blaming the FA's as I know that's AA's policy. Unfortunately, the FA's do take the blame for poor policy.


User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4738 posts, RR: 26
Reply 8, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 8264 times:

http://i980.photobucket.com/albums/ae284/Doug531/Australia383.jpg
Thanks for the memories. I used to live in Rockhampton and I have seen ALL the towns along the coast between there and Cairns. Add on to that, I have also been to ALL the coastal towns southwards from Rocky covering everything between Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and finally ending in Adelaide. Wow... sometimes I don't even realise myself how much of the coast I have seen. I love it, it is a beautiful country and I will be doing the Great Ocean Road drive again in 2 weeks between Adelaide and Melbourne (I was there last in Jun 09).  Smile



Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineAsuflyer05 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2371 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 8260 times:



Quoting FlyPNS1 (Thread starter):
http://i980.photobucket.com/albums/ae284/Doug531/Australia365.jpg

I slept in a chair just up that elevator after landing from Guam and while waiting for my flight to SYD. Nice Trip Report!


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