We got to the airport at about 0830 for this 1130 flight and checked in straight away,we were given window seats as requested and got 40J+K.Whilst our bags disappeared on their way to our aircraft we did a little tour of the international terminal-which didn't take long.We got through customs pretty quickly and then had a couple of hours for exploring the departures hall,my partner did some shopping while I made my way around the gates photographing the aircraft.By 1045 it was time to start boarding and we took our place in the queue,once on the aircraft I found that row 40 is where the wings are attatched to the fuselage so there was no window.Fortunately the plane was not full so I figured we would be able to move somewhere better
after take off.
Departure was pretty much on time and we took off from runway 06 followed by a left banking to head us in the direction of New Zealand.Once we levelled out a little I found seats 60H/J/K to be empty so we moved there and now had something to look at.It didn't last too long though as the view was obscured by cloud for all but the first half hour of the flight.The F/A's came round with lunch-I can't remember what it was but it was good enough to eat! Of course within seconds
of having a hot drink poured out for me we encountered some bad turbulence-so bad in fact that the F/A's had to retake their seats for about ten minutes (and this was halfway through the meal service!) the weather outside was bad,it seemed like we were flying over a big storm but it eventually calmed down so that the dinner service could be completed.The movie was 'The fast and the furious' which we had already seen on the way over from London,I ignored it and carried on looking out of the window.Descent commenced at 1610 Kiwi time (2 hours ahead of Sydney) and about 8 minutes before touchdown we broke through the clouds to see the Tasman Sea once more.A minute or two later I got my first glimpse of New Zealand as the pilot applied the speedbrakes to slow us down.We came in over Manukau Bay and gently glided onto the runway
I was quite surprised at how small AKL is,I was expecting something a little larger-but then you
have to bear in mind that although NZ is the same size as the UK it has only a fraction of the population.I took some pictures in the terminal and then went to get my luggage and go through customs.It was a pretty good flight once we got the seats sorted out and I look forward to doing it again soon.
This was nowhere near as good as the outward flight,not least because it was at 0625,we got to
the airport at 0445 this time and were checked in by an agent who didn't seem to know what she was talking about.She said she had given us window seats when she had actually given us in the middle of the cabin-nowhere near a window.She also told us we couldn't have a window seat for our onward flight from Sydney to Singapore because they were all booked already-even though the plane wasn't leaving Sydney for another 9 hours.Anyway we went upstairs to go through security which was another big queue to negotiate but we eventually got through to the departures area.No photography this time because it was still dark,but at around 0545 our boarding call came
so we went to the gate.This is where we got a pleasant surprise when we saw our plane was an
Air Canada 767-I had been on AC before but it was a Tristar back in the eighties on a Singapore-London flight.we boarded and took our seats to find that the crew were all from Air Canada,although the magazines etc were from Qantas.We took off at 0632 towards the Pacific but soon turned around to get us on track for Sydney.I had hoped to move into one the empty window seats as the flight was not full,but there was an announcement before the seat belt light went out
to say that we had to stay in our assigned seats and could not move around at all.I presume that AC only allows it's experienced staff to do the Qantas work because all our F/A's seemed old and neither good looking or particulalry pleasant mannered.We got a meal,although it wasn't served with any enthusiasm-the cabin crew in general seemed to have plenty of time for
each other but very little time for the passengers.For some reason they didn't serve breakfast untill were less than an hour from Sydney,and the meal service was once again interupted by turbulence,consequently the meal trays weren't fully cleared untill about ten minutes before we landed which was a few minutes early at 0745 on runway 06.
The meal itself was nice,the movie is one that I don't remember,the staff in AKL were poor,the cabin crew were awful and I really would not want to book a flight with AC if this is anything to go by.