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Bad Weather & Other Bad Luck: Touring New Zealand  
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6816 posts, RR: 77
Posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 16028 times:




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


Background about the Round-the-World Trip
A round-the-world trip had been on my wish list for many years and last summer I finally decided to go. Originally, my plan for October 2010 was to visit a good friend in Brisbane again after a break of four years. While searching for flight options, I realized that a visit to Brisbane would be a great opportunity to create a round-the-world trip. RTW packages by the large alliances didn't attract me due to numerous restrictions and the limited choice of airlines. I found it much more interesting to combine all kinds of airlines without someone restricting anything.

As usual, my focus was on new carriers and new types - and my intensive searches turned out to be successful. First of all, I booked the long-haul flights, followed by a few connecting flights. Finally, I added some more side trip flights. Final routing: Munich-Bangkok-Brisbane-Melbourne-Albury-Sydney-Auckland-Christchurch-Dunedin-Wellington-Auckland-San Francisco-Munich. The itinerary included 12 flights, 7 new airlines, 5 new airports and 3 new types. I would leave on 2 October and return 11 days later, after flying 26345 miles (42398 kilometers).

Parts I, II and III can be found here:
Thai Fails To Impress: MUC-BKK-BNE On 744 & 777
Detours To Sydney: Wildlife, Tiger, REX & QFLink
Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200

Planning Details - Part IV
What would a visit to New Zealand be without an extended domestic side trip? After I had booked the flights to and from New Zealand, I started searching for interesting domestic options. The plan was to get at least two new airlines - and additionally, I tried to include Queenstown (ZQN) after reading a fabulous trip report by my friend Nicholas alias NZ107 (which you can find here). I didn't want to take any unnecessary risks, so I ruled out flying Jetstar to or from Queenstown (see Nicholas' report). Pacific Blue, a new airline for me, didn't fly to Queenstown on the desired day, so only Air New Zealand was left. Now I tried to combine an AKL-ZQN flight on NZ with two other sectors involving Air New Zealand Link and Pacific Blue.

However, I found out that fares on Air New Zealand were very expensive. I checked NZ's (German) website and numerous other travel sites, but couldn't find acceptable fares to and from Queenstown. So I skipped the Queenstown plan and started searching for alternatives. Finally, I decided to fly Auckland-Christchurch-Wellington-Auckland on Pacific Blue, Air New Zealand Link (Mount Cook Airline, another new carrier for me) and Air New Zealand.

After booking a reasonably priced Pacific Blue AKL-CHC flight (Boeing 737-800), I suddenly found out that Air New Zealand's domestic fares cost only half as much on the airline's local website as on the German version! So even flights from Auckland to Queenstown were still available at a reasonable price. However, the Pacific Blue flight was not refundable, so it wouldn't have made sense to change my plans. Anyway, I finally found an interesting and reasonably priced Christchurch-Dunedin-Wellington-Auckland connection on Air New Zealand Link (Mount Cook ATR 72-500 twice) and Air New Zealand (Boeing 737-300), all together in one booking. I had also tried to include an Air Nelson DHC-8-300 flight, but you cannot get anything. Anyway, I would get two new airlines and also fly all the way down to Dunedin, located in the very south of the South Island.

Only a few weeks later, Pacific Blue announced that it would cease all domestic operations by mid-October. I was glad to find out that the Auckland-Christchurch route would still be served on 11 October, so I didn't have to find an alternative. However, if I had booked another domestic route on Pacific Blue - as originally planned – I probably would have had a problem. Btw - while the booking process on Air New Zealand's website was faultless, I couldn't complete the reservation on Pacific Blue’s website. I always got an odd error message - allegedly, my credit card number was too long. I booked that flight on Expedia in the end.





Monday, 11 October 2010
Auckland (AKL) - Christchurch (CHC)
Pacific Blue DJ3096
Scheduled times: 09:35-11:00
Actual times: 09:58-11:21
Flight duration: 01:10 (hrs)
Distance: 463 miles
Economy Class, seat 11C

Boeing 737-8FE
ZK-PBF (s/n 1462), named "Tapu’itea"
First delivered to Virgin Blue as VH-VOR in 03/2004


1st flight on ZK-PBF
17th 737-800 flight
27th 737NG flight
51st 737 flight
106th airline



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Photo © Jonathan Rankin
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Photo © Norbert Genci



Former appearance as VH-VOR:


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Photo © Craig Boyes
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Photo © Andrew Hunt - AirTeamImages



Early in the morning, more than two hours before departure, I took the hotel shuttle to the domestic terminal. I went straight to a Pacific Blue check-in kiosk and entered my data. Then I couldn't believe what I saw: Only few seats were still available - neither window seats nor any seats in the back. Not a good start at all, I would have loved to see the country's landscape on every flight. So I picked 11C which was an aisle seat - still better than a middle seat.

I had been quite impressed by the international terminal, so I was a bit surprised when I arrived at my domestic gate area which was old and small. I could even feel the wind blowing in that porous building...not to say shack.  thumbsdown  At least it felt a bit warmer near the heaters:



Viewing options were limited, too:



There was plenty of time left, so I walked to the other side of the domestic terminal which is much more modern and much nicer. I took a seat and enjoyed quite good views of the parallel runways and numerous parking positions.



My plane was delayed by 20 minutes, so I could stay in the modern terminal area some more time. I logged a total of 28 new registrations at AKL on that morning which was quite good. Finally, my aircraft arrived and I was glad that it was ZK-PBF, a kind of special plane, usually flying for Pacific Blue's subsidiary Polynesian Blue:



Nice perspective:



Despite its different livery, ZK-PBF is operated by Pacific Blue, along with nine other 737-800s:



After the plane's arrival, I returned to my gate where it had become very crowded. That part of the terminal really needs to be replaced. What I found quite remarkable was that both a jet bridge and the rear stairs were used for boarding (depending on the row number):



Very friendly flight attendants welcomed me at the door. They had flowers in their hair, apparently a special Polynesian Blue feature.  thumbsup 

The plane was equipped with comfortable old-style leather seats:



No PTVs on this bird:



Legroom was absolutely sufficient:



An elderly couple who had sat down next to me soon seemed to be a bit surprised that I took so many pictures. Later, after landing, when I they let them pass during disembarking, I quickly explained my intention.

After boarding had been completed, the purser explained that the flight to Auckland had been delayed due to strong winds and hail at Wellington. Well, I was hoping that I wouldn't be further affected by the weather later in the day...

ZK-PBF left the gate 23 minutes late and soon climbed out after a powerful takeoff roll. I had planned to have breakfast on the plane, so I had a look at the buy-on-board menu:









I decided to try a sandwich or a wrap, but the flight attendant told me that all these items weren't available on domestic flights. This was quite disappointing!  thumbsdown  So I ordered a black tea (NZD 3) and a chocolate muffin (NZD 4) which tasted okay:



After the flight attendants had finished their service, I used the chance to take a cabin picture. The flight was packed:


Exactly 1 hour and 10 minutes after takeoff, we touched down at Christchurch International Airport and arrived at the gate 21 minutes late.




Monday, 11 October 2010
Christchurch (CHC) - Dunedin (DUD)
Air New Zealand Link NZ5053, operated by Mount Cook Airline
Scheduled times: 13:30-14:30
Actual times: 14:29-15:28
Flight duration: 00:54 (hrs)
Distance: 204 miles
Economy Class, seat 13D

ATR 72-500
ZK-MCA (MSN 597)
Delivered in 10/1999


1st flight on ZK-MCA
4th ATR 72-500 flight
7th ATR 72 flight
9th ATR flight
107th airline



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Photo © Hugh M
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Photo © James Eden



After disembarking, I went straight to an Air New Zealand check-in kiosk and printed all three boarding passes for the remaining flights of the day. All seat numbers were exactly the ones which I had reserved at the time of booking. Then I took the chance and asked an ANZ agent a question about the seat reservation on my upcoming AKL-SFO-MUC flights. While I was waiting, some dust and small grains came down from the low ceiling - the agent didn't seem to be surprised: "Oh, I guess we had another earthquake", she calmly said. Well, I hadn't felt anything, so who knows.

My flight to Dunedin showed up with a slight delay on the departures screen, but the transfer time there would be more than two hours, so this was no reason for concern. I noticed that many other flights were delayed, too. The weather hadn't become better yet. Anyway, I went to the observation deck, but the wind was almost blowing me away. It had started raining, too, so I couldn't even take a single picture. I took a seat in a waiting area inside and logged a few registrations. Unfortunately, it wasn't very busy.

Some time later, I noticed that the delays were becoming worse - departure times were being postponed permanently. My flight NZ5053 was affected, too, and I was getting a bit nervous. I continued walking back and forth in the crowded gate area and soon read on the departures screen that NZ5053 would depart almost an hour behind schedule.  Embarrassment

The gate area used for turboprop aircraft was quite small and many passengers waiting for various flights were hanging around, partly blocking the way for arriving passengers. Finally, my flight number appeared on the gate screen and boarding commenced shortly afterwards. I was really relieved! Btw - you don't have to pass security control if you board a turboprop flight at Christchurch, just like at Albury.

ZK-MCA, Mount Cook Airline's first of 11 ATR 72-500s, would operate the short flight to Dunedin:



After a friendly welcome from the flight attendant, I discovered a lady occupying my seat – this was the third time in three days. We found out that 13D had been assigned twice, but a flight attendant who had meanwhile joined us asked the lady to let me take the seat. Apparently, the lady had received her boarding pass at Singapore - but I don't know why the flight attendant immediately classified her seat assignment as incorrect. Anyway, I had already reserved my seat at the time of booking, so I didn't care.

The old-style leather seats were comfortable...



...and I couldn't complain about legroom either:


Most seats were taken, including the aisle seat next to me. My neighbor was a young man who had arrived from Singapore earlier today, as I could read off a boarding pass. Unfortunately, he had a really bad breath, so I couldn't just sit back and relax...  Embarrassment

Two sister ships were parked next to us:



The purser informed us that the delay had been a result of the aircraft's late arrival...but she didn't say a word about the bad weather. We left the parking position 59 minutes behind schedule and soon climbed out:



First glimpse of the Southern Alps:



Ten minutes after takeoff, the flight attendants served tea, coffee, water and tasty macaroon cookies:


Later in the flight, the flight attendants also offered mint candies...the right thing for my seat neighbor!  Wink

I was facing the sun, so views weren't perfect, but still enjoyable:







Approach to Dunedin:





We touched down after 54 minutes and stopped at the parking position 58 minutes behind schedule.



Parked next to us was an Air Nelson DHC-8-300. Would have been nice to continue the domestic trip on this bird:



Of course I still needed to take a cabin picture:



Goodbye, ZK-MCA:




Rebooking!
Despite the delay, there was no reason to hurry. My flight to Wellington wouldn't leave earlier than 16:45, more than an hour away. However, I didn't feel relaxed any more after having a look at the departures screen: My flight would depart 50 minutes late - which meant that the transfer time at Wellington would shrink to 20 minutes!  Embarrassment
I immediately went to the check-in hall and asked an agent whether I would still be able to catch my connecting flight at Wellington. "Yes, you will make it. The flight to Wellington will be shorter today", she said. Well, now I was hoping that the delay wouldn't become worse...

Then I returned to the gate area, bought something to eat and took a seat. Views from the gate area are quite good:





Just after I had finished eating, I heard my name being called, among some others. According to the announcement, all these Wellington-bound passengers should immediately go to an Air New Zealand counter...now it was clear that I wouldn't be able to make the connection.  Embarrassment

Five minutes later, the agent who I had talked to earlier told me that I would be rebooked to a later flight due to ongoing delays. I was assuming that she meant a later Wellington-Auckland flight - but when I asked for further details she said: "It will be a nonstop flight." Dunedin-Auckland? That meant I would lose one flight and - not to forget - all my reserved window seats what I didn't like at all. I told her that I had booked the multi-stop itinerary on purpose, but she replied that she could only offer me a rebooking to that DUD-AKL nonstop flight - at least for the same day. An alternative routing via Wellington would involve an overnight stay at Dunedin.  Embarrassment

Well, of course I accepted the rebooking to the nonstop flight which would leave Dunedin at 18:00 and arrive at Auckland 19:40 - ironically, almost an hour earlier than my originally booked Wellington-Auckland flight. No doubt, I was disappointed, but losing just another Mount Cook ATR 72 flight and missing the opportunity to visit Wellington Airport was better than an unplanned overnight stay at Dunedin or other trouble. At least I would still get an Air New Zealand Boeing 737-300 as originally planned. The agent quickly handed out the boarding pass, but I didn't like the assigned aisle seat (5D) in the front section. Neither window nor other aisle seats were available, but at least I could get a middle seat in the second last row (22E). So there would still be a slight chance to take a few landscape pictures...

Now I had almost two hours left until departure, so I walked around in the pretty airport building for a while. Dunedin location map:






Monday, 11 October 2010
Dunedin (DUD) - Auckland (AKL)
Air New Zealand NZ670
Scheduled times: 18:00-19:40
Actual times: 18:05-19:37
Flight duration: 01:22 (hrs)
Distance: 660 miles
Economy Class, seat 22E

Boeing 737-3U3
ZK-NGE (s/n 2969)
Built in 12/1997, first delivered to Winair as N931WA in 10/1998


1st flight on ZK-NGE
14th 737-300 flight
25th 737 Classic flight
52nd 737 flight



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Photo © Jan Heistermann
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Photo © Darren Howie - Vortex Aviation Photography



Former appearance as N931WA:


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Photo © Oliver Brunke



The ATR 72 which I was supposed to take to Wellington arrived more than an hour late, so it would have been absolutely impossible to make my connection. It was a good decision by Air New Zealand to rebook all connecting passengers to the nonstop flight. The 737-300 from Auckland, registered ZK-NGE, arrived on time:



Unfortunately, the good old "Pacific Wave" was already missing on that bird:


The plane made its first flight in December 1997, but Garuda Indonesia never took delivery. It wasn't until December of 1998 that Winair added the aircraft to its fleet. Finally, in March 1999, the plane was transferred to Air New Zealand.

This time, as a jet passenger, I had to pass a security checkpoint. View from the gate:



As soon as boarding commenced, I stepped on board so that I could undisturbedly take pictures. The flight attendants had offered a friendly welcome, definitely a good start.

The plane was equipped with decent slimline seats...





...and legroom was sufficient:


However, being squeezed in the middle seat is not a pleasure, especially if the neighbor is a tall and athletic guy. The aisle seat was taken by an older lady, so at least she did not reduce my space even further.

NZ's 737-300s are also equipped with fold-out screens:


Unfortunately, an airshow was not available.

What I really liked was the "Crazy about Rugby" safety video - awesome! That's how you create attention!  thumbsup 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9f1awn9vBZE

Beautiful evening scenery:



We left the gate almost on time and soon climbed out after a powerful takeoff run. I asked the guy next to me whether I could take some pictures and he kindly agreed:



Nice view of Dunedin:



Shortly after takeoff, the purser announced that there would be a choice of three different kinds of snacks. I decided to try the "cheese platter", but that wasn't available any more when the flight attendants arrived at my row. So I ordered the "bagel bites" with tomato hummus dip which weren't bad:



I soon started chatting with my seat neighbor who turned out to be an Australian on a business trip. As a frequent flyer, he knew a lot about aviation, but he was quite surprised when I told him about the purpose of my trip, my hobby in general and Airliners.net.

The obligatory cabin picture:



We touched down at Auckland after 1 hour and 22 minutes and arrived at the gate slightly ahead of schedule - how unusual that was!  Wink

One more picture of ZK-NGE:


Some 20 minutes after landing, I took the shuttle back to the Jet Park Hotel and spent a relaxed evening after an eventful day trip. Story to be continued...



Conclusion
All three airlines offered a decent product with clean cabins, comfortable seating and friendly staff. Air New Zealand and its subsidiary Mount Cook Airline serve free drinks and snacks which is certainly nice. NZ even provides inflight entertainment, but that’s not essential on these short routes. The question is whether that slightly better product justifies the generally higher fares compared to low cost carriers, or better said, the last remaining one which is Jetstar. Who knows why Pacific Blue failed to succeed in the domestic market. I cannot really complain about my Auckland-Christchurch flight.

No doubt, I was dogged by bad luck, but the problems could have been much more serious. One has to praise Air New Zealand for taking good care of all connecting passengers and rebooking them automatically. Well, I lost one flight, but it was the least important one. Most importantly, I could add two new airlines and also got the NZ 737-300, just as planned. Another positive aspect was that I suddenly ended up on the longest domestic route. Of course I would have loved to pass through Wellington Airport, too, but whatever. Postponed is not abandoned - my plan is to visit Wellington and Queenstown during my next trip to New Zealand, whenever that may be.


Best Regards,
PlaneHunter



P.S.: Just in case you missed them - my previous trip reports:
Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Detours To Sydney: Wildlife, Tiger, REX & QFLink
Thai Fails To Impress: MUC-BKK-BNE On 744 & 777
Painful Delay & My 100th Airline: AF A380, VO F100
Fifth Freedom Tidbit: Kuwait Airways A300-600
Ship Vs. Plane: Porto Santo Line & Sata Air Açores
Awesome Approach, Splendid Scenery: LIS, FNC & TAP
Guernsey, Ash Cloud Alarm & Mostly Empty SQ 77Ws
Totally Thrilling: Scenic Flight On Lufthansa A380
Cirrus D38, Adria CRJ & Captain Niki Lauda On Duty
Monarch Hot Meal, E195 & More: PMI-ALC-MAN-MUC
Premium Meal & Palma Spotting: MUC-PMI, DE 757-300
The Dead Slow Transfer: PEK-MUC On Air China A332
Cancellation Brings Joy: HKG-PEK on Dragonair A330
A380 Cacophony, 777 Star Livery: DXB-SIN-HKG on SQ
The Next 5* Carrier? MUC-MCT-DXB, Oman Air A330
Turkey For 1.5 Hrs: Daytrip To AYT On Sky Airlines
CO Scores Again: ATL-IAH-EWR-FRA On ERJ, 752 & 764
Riding The Ultra Long-Haul Twin: Delta 777-200LR
Pacific Coast Jaunt: 3 Carriers, E120, E140 & Fog
The Ultimate 737: LHR-IAH-PDX On CO 777 & 739ER
Bye Bye, Hell! TRD-OSL-TXL-NUE - DY/AB/HE DH4
My Trip To Hell: NUE-CPH-OSL-TRD On Cimber & SAS
SFO-YUL-FRA: Map- & Sleepless On Air Canada's 77W
Sin City Gloss & Virgin America's Chic First Class
Seat Dilemma & Canyon Glamour: FRA To LAX, AC 763
On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330
Goodbye, Red Tails! DC-9-40/50 & Chicago Tour
Champagne & World Of Coke: Air France A340 To ATL
"Mission A380": Disappointing Legs On BA/BD/EI
Delights Of Doha, 773 & 77W: DOH-DXB-LHR On EK
A380 Really a Step Forward? LHR-DXB-DOH On EK
Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744
Taiwan Trio: TransAsia, UNI Air And The Taipei 101
"The Wings Of Taiwan": EVA Air A332, 744 Combi
SHA-SZX, Shanghai 757: Delayed By The Military
PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
Striking Newcomer: Berlin-Beijing On Hainan A330
Short & Splendid: MXP-MUC On Air Dolomiti's 146
3 Hours On Blue1: HEL-MXP On The MD-90
BCN-MAD-ZRH-MUC: UX Shuttle Meets Swiss Quality
MUC-MAD-BCN: Star MD-87 & The Pain Of Vueling
Low Fares, Lovely Island: AK & Best Of Langkawi
4 Stars Or 5 Stars? FRA-KUL-FRA, Malaysia 777s
First And Last Time? JFK-FCO-MUC, Alitalia 777
JFK For 1 Day: Transatlantic Hop On CSA's A310
Sardinian Sun, Shiny New 73Gs & Cramped Mad Dog
Top And Flop: KIX-HEL-MUC, Finnair A320 & MD-11
The 524-Seat Twin-jet: HND-ITM On ANA 777-300
Kobe For 1 Hour: 767-Quickie On ANA & Skymark
Rocketing To Tokyo: FUK-HND On JAL (ex-JAS) 777
Oddities & Okinawa: JTA 734 & JAL 744D(Domestic)
MUC To Nagoya: Finnair E170 & (Old) "New" A340
Mad Dog, A320 Tech Delay & Best Of Lanzarote
Canaries Prop-Hopping: Islas Airways & Naysa
Canaries And Confusion: LH CRJ900 & Spanair A321
Hubbing For 162 Miles: HOQ-FRA-STR Ret On IQ/EW/LH
BOS-JFK-AMS-MUC: SSSS-Check And KLM 777
ATL-PIT-JFK-BOS: FL B717, JetBlue E190 And Delays
MUC-AMS-MEM-ATL On NWA A332 And 40-year-old DC-9
FRA-BKK-FRA Via CMB: SriLankan A332 & A343
BNE-SIN-DXB-MUC On Emirates B772ER & B773
2 Hours In Paradise: Hamilton Island (JQ/DJ)
BNE-SYD-BNE: Domestic Run On QF’s Oldest B747-400
Testing Qantas: SYD-MEL-SYD-BNE (B738, B763, A332)
Going Down Under: MUC-DXB-SYD On EK A332 & A345
9/11 Review: Failed Trip To LAX - Fuel Dump Pics
Surprised By NIKI's Newest A320 & Screw-up By AB
Leisure Vs. Full Service: Condor & SN Brussels
"betterFly" On LH: Business Class For 99 Euro
Weekend Transatlantic Trip (2): US A321 & B762
Transatlantic For A Weekend (1): MUC-DCA On US


[Edited 2011-03-14 02:51:10]


Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
37 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineairpearl From Malaysia, joined May 2001, 952 posts, RR: 26
Reply 1, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks ago) and read 15729 times:

Hey PH

This is another fantastic installment - thanks for keeping us supplied with yet more interesting rides from down under   Sorry to see your travel plans affected - especially when those crucial window seats had already been snagged! - but glad to see it wasn't as bad as expected. You're right that it could have been worse, and with a tight RTW journey, one major delay could send the rest of one's itinerary falling like a house of cards!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I was glad that it was ZK-PBF, a kind of special plane, usually flying for Pacific Blue's subsidiary Polynesian Blue:

  

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
They had flowers in their hair, apparently a special Polynesian Blue feature.   

This is great. The name Polynesia evokes such powerful and exotic images - it's good to see even an LCC bearing the name trying to keep up the image.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The plane was equipped with comfortable old-style leather seats:

Looks very good!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
While I was waiting, some dust and small grains came down from the low ceiling - the agent didn't seem to be surprised: "Oh, I guess we had another earthquake", she calmly said. Well, I hadn't felt anything, so who knows.

In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake last month, this sound really scary!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Unfortunately, he had a really bad breath, so I couldn't just sit back and relax...

Hahaha. And there's no excuse, is there... doesn't SQ provide amenity kits even in Y class?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
What I really liked was the "Crazy about Rugby" safety video - awesome! That's how you create attention!

One of the coolest things about NZ really - endears not only the airline but the entire country to those of us who don't live there, I think.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Postponed is not abandoned - my plan is to visit Wellington and Queenstown during my next trip to New Zealand, whenever that may be.

I am very sure - I haven't met anyone yet who's visited New Zealand and not said they're planning to return at a later date.

Thanks again for this PH and I look forward to your long haul next!

Cheers
airpearl


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6816 posts, RR: 77
Reply 2, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks ago) and read 15662 times:

Quoting airpearl (Reply 1):
This is another fantastic installment - thanks for keeping us supplied with yet more interesting rides from down under

Hi Airpearl, many thanks for your kind words!

Quoting airpearl (Reply 1):
You're right that it could have been worse, and with a tight RTW journey, one major delay could send the rest of one's itinerary falling like a house of cards!

No doubt, it could have been much worse. There are numerous reasons why airports must be closed in these days.

I my special case, an overnight stay at DUD alone wouldn't have screwed up everything because the long-haul flight was scheduled to depart in the evening on the next day. And it was an NZ flight, too.

Quoting airpearl (Reply 1):
This is great. The name Polynesia evokes such powerful and exotic images - it's good to see even an LCC bearing the name trying to keep up the image.

Interestingly, Polynesian Blue is even 49% owned by the Samoan government.

Quoting airpearl (Reply 1):
In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake last month, this sound really scary!

Yes indeed.

Quoting airpearl (Reply 1):
Hahaha. And there's no excuse, is there... doesn't SQ provide amenity kits even in Y class?

It does, but people need to use it...or at least chew some gum.

Quoting airpearl (Reply 1):
One of the coolest things about NZ really - endears not only the airline but the entire country to those of us who don't live there, I think.

Yes, I'm sure that video is really popular in the country.

Quoting airpearl (Reply 1):
I am very sure - I haven't met anyone yet who's visited New Zealand and not said they're planning to return at a later date.

It has a magical attraction...

Quoting airpearl (Reply 1):
Thanks again for this PH and I look forward to your long haul next!

That will be online shortly after my upcoming vacation in the UAE.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineluxair747SP From Germany, joined May 2010, 508 posts, RR: 18
Reply 3, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 15493 times:

Hi PH,
thank you for this very nice domestic New Zealand TR.
Your pictures of the flights and also of the landscape are stunning.
The service on all flights looked okay, but its a shame not to get to WLG, quite a unique airport.
The New Zealand site of NZ always has cheap fares, and even more cheaper are they on the special sale site, which can be found at www.grabaseat.co.nz .
Thank you again for sharing some NZ experience.
Looking forward to the transpacific part
Cheers Johannes


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6816 posts, RR: 77
Reply 4, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 15450 times:

Quoting luxair747SP (Reply 3):
thank you for this very nice domestic New Zealand TR.
Your pictures of the flights and also of the landscape are stunning.

Many thanks for your feedback, Johannes! I'm glad you liked it.

Quoting luxair747SP (Reply 3):
The service on all flights looked okay, but its a shame not to get to WLG, quite a unique airport.

Yes, I really need to go there next time.

Quoting luxair747SP (Reply 3):
The New Zealand site of NZ always has cheap fares, and even more cheaper are they on the special sale site, which can be found at www.grabaseat.co.nz .

I'll keep that in mind, thanks!

Quoting luxair747SP (Reply 3):
Looking forward to the transpacific part

Part V will be the last part, so it will include both the transpacific and transatlantic sectors.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineglobetraveller From Germany, joined Apr 2008, 379 posts, RR: 20
Reply 5, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 15252 times:

Another great instalment in your wonderful Trip Report series.

Sorry to hear that everything did not go quite as planned.

Keep them coming!

All the best,

Globetraveller


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6816 posts, RR: 77
Reply 6, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 15229 times:

Quoting globetraveller (Reply 5):
Another great instalment in your wonderful Trip Report series.

Hi Globetraveller, thanks so much, good to hear from you!

Quoting globetraveller (Reply 5):
Sorry to hear that everything did not go quite as planned.

Well, there many things which can go wrong, at any time. That's part of the hobby.

Quoting globetraveller (Reply 5):
Keep them coming!

Numerous reports to come in the next weeks and months, including a long-haul J Class report.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1663 posts, RR: 53
Reply 7, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 14968 times:

Another great plane-hunting side trip to your RTW trek   .. Superb pictures and detail as always!

There is no worse feeling than not making it for those specific flights that you want, but of course, as Airpearl rightfully said, it is better than those delays rippling accross the rest of the itinerary  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
allegedly, my credit card number was too long. I booked that flight on Expedia in the end.

How funny! Aren't credit card numbers standard?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
you don't have to pass security control if you board a turboprop flight at Christchurch, just like at Albury.

I wonder why that is!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The purser informed us that the delay had been a result of the aircraft's late arrival

Airlines seriously need to be a little more creative here! Is this some standard IATA generic response that all airlines resort to using or something?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Views from the gate area are quite good:

Beautiful view!


Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to the next!

Cheers,
Roni



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6816 posts, RR: 77
Reply 8, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 14933 times:

Quoting ronerone (Reply 7):
Another great plane-hunting side trip to your RTW trek .. Superb pictures and detail as always!

Hi Roni, thanks a lot! Good to hear you liked it.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 7):
There is no worse feeling than not making it for those specific flights that you want, but of course, as Airpearl rightfully said, it is better than those delays rippling accross the rest of the itinerary

  

Quoting ronerone (Reply 7):
How funny! Aren't credit card numbers standard?

That's what I thought, too. Believe me, I tried it more than once. Very odd, never happened anywhere else.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 7):
Airlines seriously need to be a little more creative here! Is this some standard IATA generic response that all airlines resort to using or something?

Yes, I agree. Some airlines are different, but usually you get to hear the same stuff.


PH

[Edited 2011-03-14 11:09:33]


Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2477 posts, RR: 53
Reply 9, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 14907 times:

Hi PH,

You keep me hooked on your NZ round trip. Really amazing how you put together your itinerary. Too bad that you missed out WLG. Well, it gives you a reason to return.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
While I was waiting, some dust and small grains came down from the low ceiling - the agent didn't seem to be surprised: "Oh, I guess we had another earthquake", she calmly said. Well, I hadn't felt anything, so who knows.

Ouch, not really a pleasant idea. Especially when Christchurch was hit by another stronger earthquake couple months later.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Btw - you don't have to pass security control if you board a turboprop flight at Christchurch, just like at Albury.

It sounds like flying domestic in NZ will bring back the romance of flying.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Unfortunately, he had a really bad breath, so I couldn't just sit back and relax...

Awful!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The agent quickly handed out the boarding pass, but I didn't like the assigned aisle seat (5D) in the front section. Neither window nor other aisle seats were available, but at least I could get a middle seat in the second last row (22E). So there would still be a slight chance to take a few landscape pictures...
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
especially if the neighbor is a tall and athletic guy

Aren't you tall and athletic yourself?   
At least, you were blessed with the considerate neighbour.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 6):
including a long-haul J Class report.

I am eagerly waiting for this one!

Thanks for sharing with us. Looking forward to your next installment.

Cheers,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlineairbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4269 posts, RR: 51
Reply 10, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 14873 times:

Hi, PH!

That is a nice report once again, some great pictures also. Nice landscapes, good to see you managed to get some descent views.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Then I couldn't believe what I saw: Only few seats were still available - neither window seats nor any seats in the back. Not a good start at all, I would have loved to see the country's landscape on every flight.

Really bad luck. No online check-in available? Or pre-paid seat selection on the website?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
my aircraft arrived and I was glad that it was ZK-PBF, a kind of special plane, usually flying for Pacific Blue's subsidiary Polynesian Blue:

Nice catch!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Unfortunately, he had a really bad breath, so I couldn't just sit back and relax...

Again no luck. Apparently SQ (I assume?) or NZ don't offer toothbrushes on their longhaul flights?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The agent quickly handed out the boarding pass, but I didn't like the assigned aisle seat (5D) in the front section. Neither window nor other aisle seats were available, but at least I could get a middle seat in the second last row (22E). So there would still be a slight chance to take a few landscape pictures...

Oh no. Did you specifically ask maybe to re-change another passenger? Since you were a kind of 'victim' also by the rebooking going on etc. Anyway, you managed some nice images.

It's interesting to see the dropdown screens on the classic 733, interior is good looking, it seems NZ is looking after their birds very well.

Regards
Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6816 posts, RR: 77
Reply 11, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 14868 times:

Quoting akhmad (Reply 9):
You keep me hooked on your NZ round trip. Really amazing how you put together your itinerary.

Hi Suryo, thanks for your comments, I'm glad you enjoyed reading!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 9):
Too bad that you missed out WLG. Well, it gives you a reason to return.

And there are many more reasons. It's a nice country.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 9):
It sounds like flying domestic in NZ will bring back the romance of flying.

Yes, it's so much more relaxed there than in Europe or the United States.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 9):
Aren't you tall and athletic yourself?

Not really.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 9):
I am eagerly waiting for this one!

Two others to be posted first...


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6816 posts, RR: 77
Reply 12, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 14857 times:

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 10):
That is a nice report once again, some great pictures also. Nice landscapes, good to see you managed to get some descent views.

Many thanks, Eric! We were posting at the same time.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 10):
Really bad luck. No online check-in available? Or pre-paid seat selection on the website?

Yes, both options were available, but I thought I would still get a window seat without.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 10):
Apparently SQ (I assume?)

It was SQ.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 10):
Did you specifically ask maybe to re-change another passenger? Since you were a kind of 'victim' also by the rebooking going on etc. Anyway, you managed some nice images.

No, I didn't ask. I'm not sure whether I would have been successful.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 10):
It's interesting to see the dropdown screens on the classic 733, interior is good looking, it seems NZ is looking after their birds very well.

Yes, I guess these birds belong to the most attractive 733s in service.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From Germany, joined Sep 2003, 5170 posts, RR: 55
Reply 13, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 14584 times:

Hi, PH,

another good read, well done.

The weather around you´re pictures really look´s not that bad.
Shame that you lost the indirect connection, but anyway you made the day, that´s for sure first important
on such trips.

Something in this direction will be coming up from my travels soon.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)



Next: Capital travel on schedule!.
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6816 posts, RR: 77
Reply 14, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 14565 times:

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 13):
another good read, well done.

Hi Markus, thanks for your feedback!

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 13):
The weather around you´re pictures really look´s not that bad.

Yes, the weather was fine at AKL and DUD, but obviously quite bad at WLG.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 13):
Something in this direction will be coming up from my travels soon.

That sounds very interesting!


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1942 posts, RR: 24
Reply 15, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 14402 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hey, Planehunter!

Good to read about your continued journey in New Zealand! Great to get some good views of the countryside, and especially Dunedin! It looks beautiful! Reminds me of Northern England a bit ...

Quoting akhmad (Reply 9):
It sounds like flying domestic in NZ will bring back the romance of flying.

I agree! Everything I read about flying in NZ seems to be so calm, and relaxed! Nice to catch a ride on a classic 737 too ..

Thanks for sharing!

Matthew


User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6577 posts, RR: 55
Reply 16, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 14135 times:

Hi PlaneHunter!

Fantastic continuation of your RTW trip! Too bad you missed a flight but good of NZ to be proactive to rebook you so that you did not misconnect. Flight seems to be okay service wise but they are short so can't expect too much. NZ looks very nice; I would love to visit some day.

Looking forward to your trip back from AKL to MUC. !

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineaflyingkiwi From New Zealand, joined Nov 2010, 515 posts, RR: 3
Reply 17, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 14064 times:

Hi PH,

Very nice to see the continuation of your RTW series and of course it's even better when it's about your own backyard 
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I suddenly found out that Air New Zealand's domestic fares cost only half as much on the airline's local website as on the German version! So even flights from Auckland to Queenstown were still available at a reasonable price.

That's a shame, I guess practically every airline finds a way to nickle & dime you.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Not a good start at all, I would have loved to see the country's landscape on every flight. So I picked 11C which was an aisle seat

Another disappointment. When I flew DJ about a year ago, I also found that there weren't many seats left though luckily there were a couple of window seats available.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
o I was a bit surprised when I arrived at my domestic gate area which was old and small. I could even feel the wind blowing in that porous building...not to say shack.    At least it felt a bit warmer near the heaters:

Yeah, the AKL domestic terminal isn't exactly the most modern terminal. I would like to see a new terminal built sometime but I doubt that it will be happening for a while.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
After the plane's arrival, I returned to my gate where it had become very crowded. That part of the terminal really needs to be replaced.

The LCC gate area is really cramped and can't really handle 2 planes at once. The situation has gotten a little bit better now that DJ have left the NZ domestic market but it's still not the most pleasurable place. Another reason that a new domestic terminal should be built.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Very friendly flight attendants welcomed me at the door. They had flowers in their hair, apparently a special Polynesian Blue feature.

Very nice, it's good to see that Polynesian Blue trying to keep it's image.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
ZK-MCA (MSN 597)

Flew this plane between CHC-WLG back in January this year.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Anyway, I went to the observation deck, but the wind was almost blowing me away. It had started raining, too, so I couldn't even take a single picture.

That's a shame as the observation deck is a lovely place to while away a couple of hours when the weather is co-operating.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Five minutes later, the agent who I had talked to earlier told me that I would be rebooked to a later flight due to ongoing delays. I was assuming that she meant a later Wellington-Auckland flight - but when I asked for further details she said: "It will be a nonstop flight." Dunedin-Auckland?

Good job by NZ for rebooking you though it's a shame it had to come at the expense of going to Wellington. In my opinion WLG probably has the best domestic terminal in NZ and it also has some very nice views on approach.

Looking forward to your next TR.

Regards,
aflyingkiwi


User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 31
Reply 18, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 14042 times:

Hi PH,

Wow, you really are trying to catch up with you reports, aren't you?  

Anyway a very nice read about some of the not so frequently covered carriers and routes. Shame about your rebooking, but I guess it is better to at least get back instead of missing your long haul connection and all the associated problems that would bring with it!

I like the seats on Pacific (or Polynesian) Blue, didn't really expect something like that!

NZ is a very beautiful country, a shame about the weather, though.

The feature offered by NZ where you basically check in (with seat assignment) for your domestic flight already by the time of booking is a bit of a mixed bag. It is nice if you are booking early enough - it should guarantee a window seat. But in the case of irrops, rebookings or equipment changes bad things usually happen as last minute (re-)bookings will usually end up in the bad seats - an aisle one if you are lucky, but a middle seat if you are not - just like you learned the hard way!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
While I was waiting, some dust and small grains came down from the low ceiling - the agent didn't seem to be surprised: "Oh, I guess we had another earthquake", she calmly said. Well, I hadn't felt anything, so who knows.

Now that's quite an oneliner! I guess they are used to them.


User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6432 posts, RR: 39
Reply 19, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 14009 times:

Hi PH,

Another excellent report, showcasing basically what I've been flying on my entire life  

It was great to see that you caught Pacific Blue serving NZ domestic routes just before they gave in and ceased the domestic operations. They won't be coming back, so long as this alliance with NZ holds out at least anyway.

It's such a shame that you missed out on ZQN.. I always try to check the airline's website of the country that I'm flying from/to or even their home webpage just to make sure about that. It's absurd to see how much of a difference there was and a shame you couldn't change it after you booked the DJ flight.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I had been quite impressed by the international terminal, so I was a bit surprised when I arrived at my domestic gate area which was old and small. I could even feel the wind blowing in that porous building...not to say shack

It was built to become a cargo terminal, hence the ugliness and all. Air NZ has done well to try and transform the check in area though..

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I took a seat and enjoyed quite good views of the parallel runways

Although both of them are suitable to become runways, only one is ever in use.. Unless of course there's work being carried out on the main runway. I think they've reverted to calling it a taxiway now because apparently pilots got confused..

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
No PTVs on this bird:

None of the Pacific Blue fleet has PTVs; only domestic Australian Virgin Blue planes do.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I was facing the sun, so views weren't perfect, but still enjoyable:

Much better than looking out at the ocean for the entire flight!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Views from the gate area are quite good:

That's one thing I like about Dunedin (and to some extent Wellington too) Airport. Great views out towards the lush green paddocks behind it!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The agent quickly handed out the boarding pass, but I didn't like the assigned aisle seat (5D) in the front section. Neither window nor other aisle seats were available, but at least I could get a middle seat in the second last row (22E). So there would still be a slight chance to take a few landscape pictures...

Next time, just take the front section seats! There's far more legroom up there as it's reserved for Koru Club/*G passengers.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Unfortunately, an airshow was not available.

It's something I wish they would display on every second screen.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Nice view of Dunedin

Wow, I don't think I've ever seen a better picture of Dunedin on take off or landing!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
One more picture of ZK-NGE

I've never used the stairs before in AKL to my knowledge for any jet flight..

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Postponed is not abandoned - my plan is to visit Wellington and Queenstown during my next trip to New Zealand, whenever that may be.

Most definitely!

Quoting luxair747SP (Reply 3):
The New Zealand site of NZ always has cheap fares, and even more cheaper are they on the special sale site, which can be found at www.grabaseat.co.nz .

Though with holidays set, it's extremely hard to get the timing right. You're much better off securing the seat and booking like normal!

Quoting 767747 (Reply 15):
Nice to catch a ride on a classic 737 too ..

Starting to get rare down here.. There are 2 or 3 A320s now on the domestic routes and the 733s are slowly being phased out.


Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to the journey home.

Cheers,
Nicholas



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineoa260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27027 posts, RR: 58
Reply 20, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 13969 times:

Hey great report   Always wanted to go to NZ and fly NZ . Love the look of the smaller AC in NZ livery also . Some nice pictures. Shame you got delayed but still you have to take it on the chin and dont let it spoil your trip overall.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Unfortunately, he had a really bad breath, so I couldn't just sit back and relax...  

Gross ! My worst nightmare .... shame you didnt have some chewing gum and you could eat one and poitely offer your seat mate some lol...

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The plane was equipped with decent slimline seats...

I love those seats they look nice .

Look forward to the next adventure.

Philip  


User currently offlineaklrno From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 944 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 13959 times:

PH: To add to what NZ107 said I recommend visiting Queenstown not just for the town itself but for the amazing approach through the canyons.

When you get to Wellington, take a look at the control tower. I don't know of many airports where the tower is not on contiguous airport property. The tower is a block or two back from the boundary fence in a residential neighborhood, It looks like someone put a very nice solarium on top of some house.

When at AKL the best strategy to avoid to horrid waiting rooms is to stay in the remodeled domestic areas near the shops and food court. Pick up something to eat there either at Wishbone or the Japanese place. Most domestic New Zealand flights are very short (usually 90 minutes or less) so I never plan to eat onboard. Its cheaper and better at Wishbone.

For non-jet domestic flights there is no security, so you don't have to leave the nice updated area until 10 minutes before boarding. Even going through security you don't need much more. I used to just monitor the security line while munching sushi before my *Gold card arrived. The Koru lounge has modest food in Auckland, complete meals in Wellington.

Auckland domestic is a tiny airport, much less than one would expect for a city of 1.5 million. It is half the size of RNO!

The only really good news is that they make a ton of money out of that pitiful building. I'm a shareholder! I think the plan was to replace that building after the second runway was built, but that is now on hold.


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6816 posts, RR: 77
Reply 22, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 13942 times:

Quoting 767747 (Reply 15):
Good to read about your continued journey in New Zealand! Great to get some good views of the countryside, and especially Dunedin! It looks beautiful! Reminds me of Northern England a bit ...

Hi Matthew, thanks for your comments!

Quoting 767747 (Reply 15):
I agree! Everything I read about flying in NZ seems to be so calm, and relaxed! Nice to catch a ride on a classic 737 too ..

Flying within Australia is similar, but not as relaxed as in NZ.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 16):
Fantastic continuation of your RTW trip!

Many thanks, Lars!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 16):
Too bad you missed a flight but good of NZ to be proactive to rebook you so that you did not misconnect.

I'm wondering what certain other airlines would have done.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 16):
Looking forward to your trip back from AKL to MUC. !

I'll continue working on that after returning from the UAE.

Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 17):
Very nice to see the continuation of your RTW series and of course it's even better when it's about your own backyard

Thanks, aflyingkiwi, good to hear you liked it.

Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 17):
That's a shame, I guess practically every airline finds a way to nickle & dime you.

  

Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 17):
The LCC gate area is really cramped and can't really handle 2 planes at once. The situation has gotten a little bit better now that DJ have left the NZ domestic market but it's still not the most pleasurable place. Another reason that a new domestic terminal should be built.

Interesting. Doesn't that make things difficult for Jetstar, too?

Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 17):
Flew this plane between CHC-WLG back in January this year.

Nice.

Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 17):
In my opinion WLG probably has the best domestic terminal in NZ and it also has some very nice views on approach.

Sounds very interesting!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 18):
Anyway a very nice read about some of the not so frequently covered carriers and routes.

Hi FlyingFinn, thanks for your comments!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 18):
Wow, you really are trying to catch up with you reports, aren't you?

Yes, but there's still lots of work ahead...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 18):
Shame about your rebooking, but I guess it is better to at least get back instead of missing your long haul connection and all the associated problems that would bring with it!

I guess I would have been able to catch my (NZ) long-haul flight even after an overnight stay at DUD. However, it would have been quite inconvenient.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 18):
Now that's quite an oneliner! I guess they are used to them.

That attitude has probably changed a bit after the recent earthquake at CHC. But what can they do?

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 19):
Another excellent report, showcasing basically what I've been flying on my entire life

Many thanks, Nicholas!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 19):
It was great to see that you caught Pacific Blue serving NZ domestic routes just before they gave in and ceased the domestic operations.

That was luck, no doubt.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 19):
It's such a shame that you missed out on ZQN.. I always try to check the airline's website of the country that I'm flying from/to or even their home webpage just to make sure about that. It's absurd to see how much of a difference there was and a shame you couldn't change it after you booked the DJ flight.

Yes, I had never seen anything similar before.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 19):

Although both of them are suitable to become runways, only one is ever in use.. Unless of course there's work being carried out on the main runway. I think they've reverted to calling it a taxiway now because apparently pilots got confused..

Intresting, didn't know that!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 19):
None of the Pacific Blue fleet has PTVs; only domestic Australian Virgin Blue planes do.

That's odd - it would make sense to offer those on the relatively long trans-Tasman sectors. What about the VH-registered Virgin Blue planes operating for Pacific Blue?

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 19):
Much better than looking out at the ocean for the entire flight!

  

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 19):
Next time, just take the front section seats! There's far more legroom up there as it's reserved for Koru Club/*G passengers.

I will keep that in mind.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 19):
Wow, I don't think I've ever seen a better picture of Dunedin on take off or landing!

Thanks!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 19):

Starting to get rare down here.. There are 2 or 3 A320s now on the domestic routes and the 733s are slowly being phased out.

Is an airshow available on the domestic A320s' foldout screens?

Quoting oa260 (Reply 20):
Hey great report Always wanted to go to NZ and fly NZ . Love the look of the smaller AC in NZ livery also . Some nice pictures.

Hi Phil, thanks for your comments!

Quoting oa260 (Reply 20):
Gross ! My worst nightmare ....

And it's even worse if it happens on a long-haul flight...

Quoting aklrno (Reply 21):
PH: To add to what NZ107 said I recommend visiting Queenstown not just for the town itself but for the amazing approach through the canyons.

When you get to Wellington, take a look at the control tower. I don't know of many airports where the tower is not on contiguous airport property. The tower is a block or two back from the boundary fence in a residential neighborhood, It looks like someone put a very nice solarium on top of some house.

When at AKL the best strategy to avoid to horrid waiting rooms is to stay in the remodeled domestic areas near the shops and food court. Pick up something to eat there either at Wishbone or the Japanese place. Most domestic New Zealand flights are very short (usually 90 minutes or less) so I never plan to eat onboard. Its cheaper and better at Wishbone.

For non-jet domestic flights there is no security, so you don't have to leave the nice updated area until 10 minutes before boarding. Even going through security you don't need much more. I used to just monitor the security line while munching sushi before my *Gold card arrived. The Koru lounge has modest food in Auckland, complete meals in Wellington.

Thanks a lot for the advice, aklrno!

Quoting aklrno (Reply 21):

The only really good news is that they make a ton of money out of that pitiful building. I'm a shareholder! I think the plan was to replace that building after the second runway was built, but that is now on hold.

Interesting. Hopefully these plans will be revived.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineflightsimboy From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 1282 posts, RR: 4
Reply 23, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 13601 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

I still can't believe all this is happening in a period of 11 days after leaving your home base!! Still in New Zealand, and I''m waiting for the last leg   (now that you told me what it was). The next leg should be quite interesting so I'll just be patient and wait!! Btw, great report about your New Zealand legs!

User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6432 posts, RR: 39
Reply 24, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 13537 times:

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 22):
That's odd - it would make sense to offer those on the relatively long trans-Tasman sectors. What about the VH-registered Virgin Blue planes operating for Pacific Blue?

Not too sure but there's probably more chance of them having PTVs seeing that they actually fly some domestic routes in their downtime between flying to DPS etc. But the TV network they use is Foxtel and maybe there's an exclusitivity contract/signal can't reach NZ or something..

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 22):
Is an airshow available on the domestic A320s' foldout screens?

Nope, I'm sure it'll remain like the 733s.


Cheers,
Nicholas



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
25 AlwaysOnAPlane : Hi PH. So the latest instalment goes not quite to plan, but good to hear all was worked out. Nice to see the NZ staff on the ball with the re-booking
26 zkncj : Not everyone would give up a seat with a 35" pitch for a middle seat with 30". Row 1-12 on NZ 733 have a 35" seat pitch.
27 Palmjet : Great to read your latest chapter PH. Shame all did not go to plan but you managed to get some nice new routes for your log. Very much enjoyed your pi
28 Post contains images abrelosojos : Thanks a lot for the continuation of your RTW installment ... I loved the title ... it is that of a great noir novel where the reader is forewarned of
29 ba319-131 : Great installment PH, thanks for sharing! - At least this is not a longhaul sector! - imagine........... - I'm not sure why they dropped this, I thoug
30 NZ107 : They said 'it didn't fit in with their brand' or something along the lines of that. This dates back to 08 when they were apparently looking to replac
31 zkncj : DJ only flew AKL-CHC twice a day, with both flights being off peak, there first services couldn't get you to CHC before 9.30am. Where as NZ has aroun
32 PlaneHunter : Many thanks for your feedback! The last part should be online within ten days. Alright, thanks for that. Many thanks, Lee! Yes, always nice to meet s
33 Post contains images aerocabin : Hi PlaneHunter, Great report on domestic routes in New Zealand! What an amazing trip in such a short time! I never flew DJ over the short period that
34 MSS658 : Hi PH Seems that I did not had the chance yet to reply to this TR. Another very nice done TR. Sorry to hear about the bad luck you had on the DUN-WEL-
35 PlaneHunter : Hi aerocabin, thanks a lot for your feedback! And it was really enjoyable one, next time I need to go in the other direction! I hope that, too. I pre
36 Post contains images parton87 : Hello PH! Thanks for the nice story of your adventures "down under" Sorry for the late response, I most have missed it when you posted it-sorry for th
37 Post contains images PlaneHunter : Hi Robert, thanks for your feedback! Better late than never! Yes, just too bad that NZ has abandoned the waves. PH
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