vio From Canada, joined Feb 2004, 1350 posts, RR: 9 Posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 8260 times:
After a lengthy absence from the Trip Reports forum, I return with a three part report that outlines a trip that I’ve been dreaming about doing for the past three years. I remember having a few beers with my father and talking about his dream of sailing from Vancouver to Brisbane, Australia and while discussing the feasibility of it, we started looking at a theoretical route that he may take. While doing that, I came across the Cook Islands. I must admit that I never gave too much thought of what exactly lies between North America and Australia, generally thinking “Well there’s Hawaii, Fiji and lots of other little islands in the South Pacific.” Rarely was I interested to look into their location, let alone reading into their history, political status or economy.
Slowly, I became more and more interested, especially in Tahiti and The Cook Islands. After playing around with the idea of visiting French Polynesia, I quickly realized that it’s a bit out of my price range, so I focused more and more on the “Cooks”. My then girlfriend and I started to seriously discuss a trip there, but there were still other obligations in terms of visiting family in Europe, so spending money on a South Pacific vacation was not at the top of our priorities.
In December 2011, I asked her to marry me and (lucky for me) she accepted. We started looking into a wedding date & location. After different ideas, including a destination wedding, we decided to be thoughtful of our relatives and have a wedding in Canada, since most of my family and friends are in Windsor, Ontario chose to have it there and the wedding date set for June 9 2012. We decided to have our honeymoon somewhere special, and without hesitation we quickly decided to go to The Cook Islands, more specifically, Rarotonga.
At first I thought I would have to fly through Auckland, New Zealand, but to my surprise Air New Zealand has a weekly flight direct from Los Angeles to Avarua, the capital, located on the largest island Rartonga. So finally our dream vacation was a reality. Since her and I have been living in Winnipeg for the past 18 months, we also had to get to Windsor. Well that’s a pretty straight forward process, since we have very little choice. It was either Air Canada to Windsor, via Toronto or direct flight with WestJet to London, Ontario (200 km Northeast) of Windsor and then have someone pick us up. I don’t like to complicate things, especially since the price difference wasn’t worth the hassle, so we booked Air Canada/AC Jazz.
As you can imagine, the weeks leading to the wedding were a little hectic and I didn’t really have time to think too much about the honeymoon. Besides, the wedding was our primary concern. We wanted to make sure that all our guests, some of which were travelling from Toronto, Montreal,Chicago, Calgary, Vancouver and even Brisbane, Australia (my little sister) would be taken care of and would have a great time.
So below you can see the “route” we took for these 5 flights:
Flight 01: Date: Thursday June 7 2012 Airline: Air Canada Flight No: : AC 258 Aircraft: : Airbus A319-114 (cn695) Registration: : C-FYKW Departure: : Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson Int. Airport (YWG/CYWG) (6:45) Arrival: : Toronto Lester B. Pearson Int. Airport (YYZ/CYYZ) (10:05) Flight Time : 2h 20m
We woke up quite early on the day of our departure. We had to be there at least an hour prior to departure. After ensuring that our house we left in order, and a few “double/triple checks” on my behalf we finally were able to relax a bit and enjoy our taxi ride to the airport. Since it was so early in the morning, we were one of the first people to check in for our flight to Toronto. My fiancé’s primary concern was her wedding dress which we brought with us from Winnipeg. We checked a large suitcase, a mountaineering backpack and we each had a carry on with us… as large as the airline would allow it. Security check in was a breeze and in no time we were at our gate, fairly early though. We boarded quickly and after a long taxi to runway 18, we took off towards the South, then a left turn on-course toward Toronto.
The external departure area at Winnipeg James Armstrong Int’l Airport looks quite empty at this early hour.
Check in area of the newly opened terminal at YWG:
Gabriela, on our way to the gate:
Empty departure area:
Local operators that one will find quite common in Winnipeg:
Our aircraft at the gate:
Taxiing to the active runway:
Rolling down runway 18:
Canadian Forces’ 17 Wing hangars:
St. James area of Winnipeg:
Climb-out from Winnipeg:
The flight to Toronto was non-eventful. The service seemed fine and since both of us were tired, we didn’t feel like doing much, so I just took photos and Gabriela tried to sleep. With a few exceptions, the entire flight was free of clouds, so I was able to get a good view and take some photos of our arrival / landing into Toronto. We came from the Northwest and pretty much joined flew East until passing Pearson, then right turn to join the ILS for runway 23. The taxi was rather long all the way to Terminal 1, but I didn’t mind. YYZ is the first airport in Canada that I flew into and it has a special place in my heart. I always love going by it, flying into it or spending time at it. That’s hard to say about too many other airports. I guess you can call me a little sentimental…
Descent into the Toronto area:
Flight 02: Date: Thursday June 7 2012 Airline: Air Canada Jazz Flight No: : AC 7753 Aircraft: : De Havilland Canada DHC-8-102 (cn171) Registration: : C-FPON Departure: : Toronto Lester B. Pearson Int. Airport (YYZ/CYYZ) (12:20) Arrival: : Windsor Airport (YQG/CYQG) (13:26) Flight Time : 1h 5m
We had quite a bit of time to kill, so we had a light breakfast and coffee from Canadian famous Tim Hortons and then made our way to the “regional” departure area on the ground floor of Terminal one. I was excited to see the new Air Canada Express painted Dash 8-400Q, but I knew I wasn’t too lucky to fly with one. Our aircraft to Windsor today, was a good old Dash 8-100. After passing the time looking at planes, talking to Gabriela and hoping to see some of my of my colleagues from Winnipeg who moved on to fly at Jazz we were finally ready to board. The boarding process was fast and we walked all the way to the end of the concourse and then exited outside, where I was able to snap some clear shots of the heavies around Terminal 1 & 3.
Toronto Pearson Terminal 1: DSC_1523 by Capt_Vio, on Flickr
The flight to Windsor was pretty quick, about an hour and 10 minutes, but most of the time I was busy with pictures / admiring the Souther Ontario scenery with all the beautiful lakes and rivers. We flew over Hamilton, near Waterloo, London and South of Sarnia, and started our descent into Windsor somewhere over Lake St. Clair. We intercepted the ILS for runway 25, which brought us right over the neighborhood where I grew up and started loving aviation by watch Air Ontario and Canadian Regional Dash 8 / ATRs land. I was also able to spot the house I grew up in. The service on Air Canada Jazz was pretty good, considering the length of the leg. DSC_1553 by Capt_Vio, on Flickr
The house I grew up in, somewhere over the small city of Windsor, Ontario. Everytime I would hear a plane on approach, I would run outside or to the window to see it: DSC_1636 by Capt_Vio, on Flickr
The house I grew up in, and if you look to the North, passed the river, you can see Detroit. This is one of the few places in Canada, where you will find USA if you go North. DSC_1639 by Capt_Vio, on Flickr
After collecting our bags, we were created by family members. We spent the Thursday and Friday catching up with family and friends that we haven’t seen in years. I was also excited to see my little sister who would arrive later that day into Detroit, after three exhausting flights from Brisbane, Australia (via SYD & LAX). I haven’t seen her since January 2009, since she’s been a student in Australia for the past 4 years, just about to finish med school. She managed to arrange school schedule so she can attend my wedding. I was super excited. Friday was also a pretty busy day doing the final touches for the wedding, including church rehearsals with our wedding party.
The wedding was a great success, something like my “Big Fat Greek Wedding”, except we called it “My Big Fat Romanian Wedding”, but overall the same idea . After getting married at the local Romanian Church, we had a great reception and everyone partied until the early morning hours of the day. A few close friends & family ended up staying with us until 4:00am when finally decided to call it “a day”… and what a day it was. I was extremely happy to marry the girl of my dreams and looking forward not only to a great honeymoon, but a lifetime sharing every moment with her.
My wife and I walking out of the church after being married: DSC_1658ca by Capt_Vio, on Flickr
Even though we arrived at 4:00am from the wedding, we didn’t have much time to rest. By the time we got any sleep it was already daylight outside and even then, we must’ve had a couple of hours only. Guests started coming over for the traditional “morning after the wedding party” which already started at 9:00am in our backyard. Close friends and family came and we had beers, a ton of food that was left over from the wedding, including cabbage rolls and we ended up spending most of the morning laughing and having a great time. Unfortunately it was time for us (Gabriela and I) to head to the airport, because we had tickets booked for our honeymoon to the Cook Islands. I must say, that even though I was extremely excited to go on this trip with my wife, I was a little disappointed we weren’t able to spend a few more days with my family, especially my sister which I missed so much.
Flight 03: Date: Sunday June 10 2012 Airline: Air Canada Jazz Flight No: : AC 7754 Aircraft: : De Havilland Canada DHC-8-102 (cn199) Registration: : C-FGRM Departure: : Windsor Airport (YQG/CYQG) (13:50) Arrival: : Toronto Lester B. Pearson Int. Airport (YYZ/CYYZ) (14:45) Flight Time : 1h 5m
Considering how small Windsor is, it took us less than 10 minutes to drive from my parents’ house to the Windsor Airport. We quickly checked in and we were issued boarding passes for the first two flights, Windsor-Toronto and Toronto-Los Angeles. The Air Canada Jazz agent said she could not give us boarding passes for the Los-Angeles to Rarotonga leg and that we would have to get either in Toronto or from the Air New Zealand counter at LAX. She was quite surprised we were going that far and was extremely nice, wishing us a (sincere) nice trip and honeymoon.
Once we got through security we finally relaxed and switched to “VACATION MODE”. The crazy preparations and “stress” with the wedding was behind us and now we were both looking forward to a dream vacation, even though we were nothing short of exhausted, having slept so little, not to mention the early morning beers I had with “Nashu” (our wedding Godfather), my dad and everyone else who decided to be crazy enough and start partying again.
Familiar Dash 8 that would take us to Toronto: DSC_1664 by Capt_Vio, on Flickr
My wife boarding this Dash 8 that has seen better days. I think it’s ready for a fresh AC Express paint, eh? DSC_1669 by Capt_Vio, on Flickr
Take off from YQG – Windsor Airport DSC_1673 by Capt_Vio, on Flickr
The flight from Windsor was non-eventful. Pretty much the same route, except this time we landed on runway 24R I believe. After landing in Toronto, our bird receives a walk-around from the F/O, a good guy I met that used to fly for Perimeter in Winnipeg. I can’t remember his name, but we saw each other often while he was here and we recognized each other right away. I’m glad to see him move on and he said he was very happy at Jazz. Good luck to him… DSC_1788 by Capt_Vio, on Flickr
Once in Toronto we collected all our bags and went through US Customs (preclearance). Basically for us Canadians, we see US Customs here in Canada and once we arrive in US we don’t have to worry about the long ass lines that are formed when some 4 747s land at once from Asia (I have a story about that one in Part 3 of this report). The customs officer in Toronto was an extremely dull, yet hilarious guy, something along the lines of Ben Stein. My wife and I had to try really hard not to laugh, because he seemed to be a great mood and making jokes (with Ben Stein’s monotone voice)… I always try to be polite and to the point with customs officials.
Once through US Customs, we still had two hours to wait, so we had a quick bite to eat, drank some beer and watched some football (Euro 2012 was on). I spent the rest of the time plane spotting and my wife was way too much into her new book.
Superior decisions reduce the need for superior skills.
Flight 04: Date: Sunday June 10 2012 Airline: Air Canada Flight No: : AC 793 Aircraft: : Airbus A321-211 Registration: : Unknown Departure: : Toronto Lester B. Pearson Int. Airport (YYZ/CYYZ) (17:45) Arrival: : Los Angeles International Airport (KLAX/LAX) (19:55) Flight Time : 5h 10m
We boarded about 20 minutes late and the flight to LAX was packed. We were started to get really tired by now. After boarding, the A321 taxied to runway 23 and soon we were up and away, heading SouthWest toward the Los Angeles. DSC_1849 by Capt_Vio, on Flickr
The flight from Toronto to LAX felt crowded and hot. Both Gabriela and I were tired and I wasn’t very happy that the flight attendants blocked me for over and hour because they started their drink service. They could’ve moved toward the center of the aircraft and let me go sit down, but chose instead to ignore me staying at the back of the plane. Poor service on this flight to LAX and it’s too bad, because I like Air Canada and I generally had good experience with them, especially with flight crews, but these bunch were far below average in their dealing with customers. Oh well… I did eventually get back to my seat and managed to sleep for a couple of hours. We finally started to descend into LAX when it was already dusk and getting dark outside. Gabriela had the window seat this time, but I did manage to get a few night shots with my iPhone. Unfortunately it’s better than my Nikon D50 for pics at night, since I didn’t have a tripod with me (as a carry on). Once we arrived in LA, we taxied to Terminal 2 and it just so happened that the Air Canada A321 parked exactly besides the Air New Zealand 767 that would take us to Rarotonga.
Okay, what exactly happened here? I don’t remember doing that “loop / hold”, but then again I was sleeping. Could it be the Air Canada “MAP” was not working properly? IMG_3046 by Capt_Vio, on Flickr
Approach into LAX… Gabi has never been to LA before and she was extremely impressed with the amount of “build up” around mentro LA area IMG_3064 by Capt_Vio, on Flickr
Flight 05: Date: Sunday June 10 2012 Airline: Air New Zealand Flight No: : ANZ 19 Aircraft: : Boeing 767-319ER Registration: : Unknown Departure: : Los Angeles International Airport (KLAX/LAX) (23:15) Arrival: : Avarua – Rarotonga International Airport (RAR/NCRG) Flight Time : 9h 50m
Once in LAX, we shared a very small pizza, had a drink and browsed around the shopping area of Terminal 2, more specifically the duty-free that seemed extremely expensive. We were told that Rarotonga had a duty free as well, so we opted not to buy anything until we reached to Cook Islands. One thing that struck me right away was the fact that there were very few people at the boarding area. I seemed that there were less than 100 people there, and considering we were flying a 767, that wasn’t a very big load factor. While waiting there we struck up a conversation with a young couple from Poland who were on their honeymoon as well and were going to Rarotonga as well. They were very cool and we ended up being friends in Rarotonga and hanging out with them quite a bit. Boarding was quick, due to the insanely low amount of people, but I wasn’t complaining. W had the first two seats on the right side of the economy class. None of the 3 seats in the middle isle were taken and both Gabriela and I made use of them and managed to get 6 hours of sleep.
Finally, my boarding pass to Rarotonga, Cook Islands: IMG_3084 by Capt_Vio, on Flickr
The flight to Rarotonga was great. On top of the fact that we managed to get a good rest, the crew and atmosphere onboard was amazing and the safety video was a riot to watch. Even though there wasn’t much to see outside the window, there were plenty of things to do in the 4 hours I was awake. The food on Air New Zealand was fantastic, both the dinner and the breakfast, not to mention the “beer suggestions” I had from the crew. Great on them!!! The entertainment system is pretty good on their 767s, except that the movie choices were not very good. I think Air Canada’s product is a bit better than this when it comes to diversity and choice. Otherwise, everything was top-notch.
Like I said, after 6 hours of sleeping on the 3 middle seats, I woke up and it was just in time for breakfast. We were getting closer to our destination, but still no sign of daylight. This would end up being the case even for the landing, which was quite a bummer, because I was hoping to catch a glimpse of the island as we approached it.
This is the 3D view of the Island of Rarotonga. You can see the airport on the North-West side of the island. We flew West of the island and came in landing on runway 08. There was hardly a glimpse of lights, until on very very short final: Rarotonga 3D by Capt_Vio, on Flickr
After a fantastic flight across the Pacific, we landed on the small and beautiful island of Rarotonga. The “island feeling” was already very much apparent. I thanked the pilots and the flight crew for their impeccable service and de-boarded via the front stairs. We made our way into the small terminal, being welcomed by a big sign “Kia Orana Welcome to the Cook Islands”.
After buying some rum at the duty-free, we made our way through customs and got the much anticipated stamp in our passports. Since my wife was travelling on a Romanian Passport and I on a Canadian, the customs official was a bit confused that we were married but a short explanation resulted in a smile and “Enjoy your stay on our beautiful island”. Daylight started to creep in as we were collecting our bags and we made our way outside the terminal, where an official from our “resort” was waiting for us to drive us to our accommodations.
The tail of our 767 and the control tower of Rarotonga International Airport: IMG_3156 by Capt_Vio, on Flickr
Since we got a great rest on the flight from LAX, we were quite active on our first day there, despite the fact that we arrived at 6:15 in the morning. The day was filled with some essential “musts”, such as changing our currency to New Zealand Dollars (official currency of the Cook Islands) and renting a scooter. Bus service in Rarotonga is quite expensive so it was cheaper to rent the scooter, despite having to get my Cook Islands Driver’s license. The next 3.5 days were spent in Rarotonga, exploring the beautiful island that is 32 km in circumference (the road… ), snorkeling, meeting with our Polish friends from Warsaw and meeting new people, both locals and tourists alike.
Our bungalow, which would be our home for 9 days: DSC_2011 by Capt_Vio, on Flickr
Doing my “driving test” in Avarua, the capital of the Cook Islands, the largest town on the island of Raroatonga: IMG_3161 by Capt_Vio, on Flickr
We spent a few nights partying with other tourists from Switzerland, Germany, US, Australia, UK and of course, lots of Kiwis… Gabi having fun with my beer. She stuck with girly drinks, seldom drinking beer… oh well… more for me…. IMG_3222 by Capt_Vio, on Flickr
The first 4 days were full of adventure and we were busy every day. We decided to buy tickets to Aitutaki, an island North of Rarotonga, which holds the world’s most beautiful lagoon. We booked two tickets on Air Rarotonga, for $109 NZD / person, each way. That worked to about $370 Canadian Dollars I believe for both of us, to fly Air Rarotonga… an airline I’ve been waiting to fly on for a very long time. That’s coming up in part 2 of this report.
Aeri28 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 689 posts, RR: 0 Reply 3, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 7478 times:
Thanks for this very detailed report. You can never be too detailed nor have too many photos. As someone who has flown LAX to PPT several times, I love the feeling of taking a photo of your plane on the ground and it never ceases to wow me that you are landing basically on a little spec of land in the big Pacific Ocean. I have a friend who visited Raro about ten years ago, but her ANZ routing was LAX-HNL-RAR on a 747. Obviously they dont do that anymore...
akhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2421 posts, RR: 53 Reply 13, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 5412 times:
First of all, congratulation with your wedding! How sweet of you to share this memorable event of your life with us. I wish you and your wife Gabriela loads of love and happiness together.
Quoting vio (Thread starter): That’s hard to say about too many other airports. I guess you can call me a little sentimental…
I have the same feeling with my hometown airport of Semarang.
Quoting vio (Thread starter): I think this is Kitchener / Waterloo Airport. Can anyone confirm this?
Yes, it is Kitchener / Waterloo Airport.
Quoting vio (Thread starter): The house I grew up in, somewhere over the small city of Windsor, Ontario. Everytime I would hear a plane on approach, I would run outside or to the window to see it:
Sweet! It reminds me of my own experience of looking out of my bedroom’s window everytime a plane overflew my house.
Quoting vio (Thread starter): She managed to arrange school schedule so she can attend my wedding. I was super excited. Friday was also a pretty busy day doing the final touches for the wedding, including church rehearsals with our wedding party.
Quoting vio (Thread starter): I was a little disappointed we weren’t able to spend a few more days with my family, especially my sister which I missed so much.
You and your wife should go to Brisbane to visit your beloved sister.
Quoting vio (Thread starter): My wife boarding this Dash 8 that has seen better days.
Look! No one bothered you taking this exciting picture!
Quoting vio (Thread starter): Downtown Toronto & its iconic CN Tower (Canadian National Tower)
I should visit Toronto one day.
Quoting vio (Thread starter): The customs officer in Toronto was an extremely dull, yet hilarious guy, something along the lines of Ben Stein. My wife and I had to try really hard not to laugh, because he seemed to be a great mood and making jokes (with Ben Stein’s monotone voice)… I always try to be polite and to the point with customs officials.
Good on you. Look what you get in return if you respect officials.
Quoting vio (Thread starter): While waiting there we struck up a conversation with a young couple from Poland who were on their honeymoon as well and were going to Rarotonga as well. They were very cool and we ended up being friends in Rarotonga and hanging out with them quite a bit.
Such encounter makes a honeymoon trip even more meaningful, doesn't it?
Mortyman From Norway, joined Aug 2006, 3435 posts, RR: 1 Reply 15, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 5237 times:
Congratulations to you both and thank you for this trip report. Always nice to see reports from the Cook islands. It's a wonderful place with kind people. I have been there twice and love the fact that it's not too developed commercially.
Quoting Aeri28 (Reply 3): 747. Obviously they dont do that anymore...
From what I understand, an Air New Zealand B777 300 wich is longer than a B747 400 was just on Rarotonga. However it was because of the holidays. Normally it's the B767 300
NZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6083 posts, RR: 40 Reply 17, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 4953 times:
Great report! Thanks for sharing. And congrats on your marriage.
Many of us would love to get on a Dash 8-100! And there you are wishing you were on the Q400!
Quoting vio (Thread starter): I wasn’t very happy that the flight attendants blocked me for over and hour because they started their drink service. They could’ve moved toward the center of the aircraft and let me go sit down, but chose instead to ignore me staying at the back of the plane. Poor service on this flight to LAX and it’s too bad, because I like Air Canada and I generally had good experience with them, especially with flight crews, but these bunch were far below average in their dealing with customers.
That's pretty poor. It must feel like a prison of some sort as you can't really go anywhere else!
Quoting vio (Thread starter): I seemed that there were less than 100 people there, and considering we were flying a 767, that wasn’t a very big load factor.
There is a possibility that if Air New Zealand wasn't subsidised for this flight by the Cook Island Govt, it may not be in existence. A lot of their exports head to LAX apparently and they feel as though it's a vital link. So I wouldn't expect load factors to be that high for this flight.
Quoting vio (Thread starter): The food on Air New Zealand was fantastic, both the dinner and the breakfast, not to mention the “beer suggestions” I had from the crew. Great on them!!! The entertainment system is pretty good on their 767s, except that the movie choices were not very good
Good to know your experience on Air New Zealand was good! But I tell you now that if you do come all the way to NZ next time, you'll find plenty more beers which are much better than Export Gold
About the IFE - I'm sure they could fit more content onto those things. Seeing that the 763s do a lot of long haul flights (HNL, RAR/LAX, KIX, NRT, PVG, DPS, PER), it makes sense to load more content onto the planes.. Oh well.
Quoting vio (Thread starter): Doing my “driving test” in Avarua, the capital of the Cook Islands, the largest town on the island of Raroatonga:
Haha, I wonder if my NZ driving licence is valid there or if I can get a souvenir too!
CaptainRed From Germany, joined Oct 2010, 647 posts, RR: 21 Reply 18, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 4799 times:
what an awesome report here, enjoyed it very much. First of all congratulations to you and Gabriela for the marriage
Some nice flights as well, for sure interesting to fly on the old Dash8 with Jazz. It is a nice plane and gives some nice photo opportunities with the lowered gear. Air NZ also with great service it seems, the food you had looked very good.
And finally some wonderful pictures of the Cook Island, really a nice place for a honeymoon it seems. Looks like you had a great time there
NDiesel From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 66 posts, RR: 0 Reply 19, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 4684 times:
Congratulations on your wedding!!
Reading your report reminds me why I love to travel so much. One day you're boarding a plane in LAX. A few hours later you're onboard the same plane landing on a remote island somewhere far out in the Pacific Ocean. It really does give you some awesome perspectives!
All the luck to the both of you - can't wait to read the following parts of your report!
Delta MD-11 JFK-CDG - Upon sunrise I fell in love with Aviation
777ER From New Zealand, joined Dec 2003, 11651 posts, RR: 17 Reply 20, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 4435 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW FORUM MODERATOR
Excellent report. Amazing pictures of RAR. Certainly is a destination I would like to go to.
I went to DPS last week with NZ on the B763 and the new interiors on the B763 fleet certainly make the aircraft feel nicer but I thought the movie selection was poor. NZs long haul meal service certainly does set a bench mark in terms of presentation and quality. Just a pity about the short haul Australian (east coast flights) and flights to the Pacific Islands to/from AKL.
vio From Canada, joined Feb 2004, 1350 posts, RR: 9 Reply 21, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 4098 times:
First of all, thank you each and every one of you for the wishes and kind words on our marriage. Much appreciated
Quoting B747forever (Reply 10): That breakfast on NZ looks very good. Carriers flying transatlantic could learn a thing or two.
Yes, I was also surprised to see a warm breakfast. The Trans atlantic flights are a hit and miss. Some offer great food, some not so much. I think the best food I've ever had on a trans-oceanic flight was YVR-ICN on Air Canada. The dinner (beef) was absolutely amazing.
Wow, thanks for the info. I tried to look it up, but no luck. May I ask how you got that info? Is there a "history" page on Flight Aware or some sorts?
Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 11): Yeah, the LAX-RAR is a strange one--unexpected if you ask me, and I'm not surprised the load could be better.
Indeed it is, but if you think about the political "status" of The Cook Islands and its relation with New Zealand, it makes sense, besides, the flight was continuing on to Auckland. The load back was more than 90% from what I remember, and most of them were from RAR to LAX.
Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 12): I was there in 2005 and actually walked the whole way around Rarotonga.. took about 8 hours. The terminal or at least the entry in Aitutaki airport looks new since when I was there.
Omg, really? That must've been awesome. I like to do bike touring (pedal bike) and I find that going 20km/h you take in a lot more of the nature and surroundings than you would if you went 50km'/h or 100 in a scooter or car. I bet walking gives you a brand new perspective on things.
Did you do a trip report on that? I remember seeing a couple of TRs from AIT and indeed the terminal looked a bit different.
Quoting akhmad (Reply 13): Such encounter makes a honeymoon trip even more meaningful, doesn't it?
Absolutely. It's always nice to meet new people
Quoting akhmad (Reply 13): Both choices look delicious! Gabriela the healthy and you the hearty one
Well it probably should've been the other way around. I need to shed a few kgs.... (LOL)
Quoting akhmad (Reply 13): Local brewery? I always look forward to sampling it every time I visit a foreign country. Way to go, Vio
Yes and the beer was amazing. No preservatives or artificial flavours added.
Quoting Mortyman (Reply 15): From what I understand, an Air New Zealand B777 300 wich is longer than a B747 400 was just on Rarotonga. However it was because of the holidays. Normally it's the B767 300
I was actually surprised as well to see such a large aircraft on regular service there, but considering how many Kiwis I met in RAR, it makes sense. They were all escaping the "brutal winter" of New Zealand (-1C to +9C from what I gather... LOL)
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 17): Many of us would love to get on a Dash 8-100! And there you are wishing you were on the Q400!
Yeah, true that, but I guess I fly so often on Turboprops that I'm not so fond of them. The main thing is the noise, so the Q400 is a lot quieter than that -100 or -300
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 17): There is a possibility that if Air New Zealand wasn't subsidised for this flight by the Cook Island Govt, it may not be in existence. A lot of their exports head to LAX apparently and they feel as though it's a vital link. So I wouldn't expect load factors to be that high for this flight.
I was thinking the same thing.
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 17): Good to know your experience on Air New Zealand was good! But I tell you now that if you do come all the way to NZ next time, you'll find plenty more beers which are much better than Export Gold
I bet that's true. I actually liked Steinlager better than Export Gold. You know how it is though. Beer always seems to taste better at 35,000 feet
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 17): About the IFE - I'm sure they could fit more content onto those things
YES! The only complaint about Air New Zealand. I did like the "Air show though" Very cool
Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 18): Some nice flights as well, for sure interesting to fly on the old Dash8 with Jazz.
She's a workhorse, but like I said above, I do it way too often.
Quoting NDiesel (Reply 19): One day you're boarding a plane in LAX. A few hours later you're onboard the same plane landing on a remote island somewhere far out in the Pacific Ocean.
Isn't that amazing? I always say that to my wife. People complain about air travel that it's a "nightmare"... Screw that I say... We board a plane, watch some movies, eat, drink and take a quick nap and in 8 hours we're in a different continent. Maybe they liked the old way better, when it took 2 months to cross the Atlantic and you had a 50-50% of making it alive....
Quoting 777ER (Reply 20): NZs long haul meal service certainly does set a bench mark in terms of presentation and quality. Just a pity about the short haul Australian (east coast flights) and flights to the Pacific Islands to/from AKL.
That's the standard everywhere it seems. The "short haul" service leaves a lot to be desired. I personally would pay extra $20 per ticket to have a nice warm meal, regardless of flight time (well, above 2 hrs that's for sure)
Thanks again for the comments everyone!!!! I should get my @$$ in gear and finish up my part 3 of the report.
Superior decisions reduce the need for superior skills.
B7474 From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 253 posts, RR: 0 Reply 22, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 3991 times:
Very nice trip report enjoyed it well , going to check out the next part as well , congrats on your wedding, I remember my experience with Air Canada my IFE didn't work good thing the flight was only for an 1 hr and 15 min from YYZ- EWR
AirPacific747 From Denmark, joined May 2008, 2193 posts, RR: 22 Reply 24, posted (1 year 5 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 3818 times:
Quoting vio (Reply 21): Did you do a trip report on that? I remember seeing a couple of TRs from AIT and indeed the terminal looked a bit different.
Sorry I meant Rarotonga, not Aitutaki.. Aitutaki looked almost the same based on your pictures.. yes in fact I did write a trip report.. the flight attendant on your flight and the pilots could be the same as the ones that were there back in 2005 when I flew with them They look a bit familiar to me but I am not entirely sure.
I can't find my own trip report from back then.. it may have been deleted.. it was called something like 'Once in a lifetime RAR-AIT'