Hey guys, i just returned from my awesome, and long awaited trip to Fiji. I just want to say that Fiji is such a beautiful place!! The mainland, is quite scungy, though the outer Islands are just fantastic, and very untouched!! It is everything a postcard looks like.
Moving on, here are my flights on AirNZ!! And i would like to point out, things have changed alot since i last travelled them in 1999.
Aircraft: 767-300ER Regostration: ZK-NCK
Destination: Nadi, Fiji
Flight No.: NZ50
Flight Time: 2hrs 50mins
Speed: 766Km/h Distance: 2158Km
My sister, her husband and I arrived at the airport about 2hrs prior to take-off. We were very lucky in this fact as about 5mins afterwards the swarm of people came.
There were only 2 check-in counters open for 2 flights...AKL-NAN-LAX and AKL-RAR-LAX, all leaving around the same time. I was quite annoyed at this, and i am sure other passengers would of been, as it led to LONG lines. I was waiting in line for 30mins total, and even after i left, they still didnot open another check-in counter. Quite slack i thought!! And LAX is meant to be a premium route!!
The staff were generally friendly, though the man who checked me in perked up when i made a conversation with him and smiled alot, he seemed very distracted and away from his work. He worked very slowly, and was quite rude with others at times. The other check-in agent who was a women who looked of Rarotongan decent (my nationality..woohoo) was very nice, and perky, maybe its in our blood??
The Cabin crews arrived momentarily and were dressed well...Hair and make-up all nice and perfect, looking conservative, and no outrageous Lipsticks (cough QANTAS)...
I visited Whitcoulles, and saw alot of QANTAS flight attendants who thought there shit didnt stink, and looked at everyone like "WE ARE SPECIAL"...i hope they didnt look at the passengers like that on there flight to LAX. Man 12.30 hours with them...ARGH!!
We then went to McD's, where my other sister meet us, i then proceeded to fill out my form for customs. Man they are annoying, does anyone else find them annoying?? They ask you the same question over and over again!!
What can i say, exactly the same, with the exception of 2 extras who had those wandy things..LOL...dont even know the name...
All the customs and security agents were in very high spirits, all laughing with passengers, and asking how they were and where they were going. Quite a nice thing actually, i was getting sick of the same old drury people there!! They really put a downer on you!! I passed through without a hitch, and actually went through the cabin crew line in customs...damn i feel special!!...i bumped into the QANTAS flight attendants again who just pushed past!! HOOOOOOOOO...and the pax is valued, get off it!! Even though they are not on-board they should still act like they are!! They are ambassadors for there airline! GOD!!
There were quite alot of people sitting down waiting to board, i thought our flight was full, but boy i thought wrong!! There were 3 AirNZ agents standing around waiting for word to board, one lady made the announcements and the other 2 loaded the data into the computer.
We were called for boarding at around 1830.
First thing i have noticed that is different at AirNZ, The agents address you by name instead of "sir"...i thought that was a very nice touch. It shows that they pay attention to your name. The agents say "Have a pleasant flight Mr Skeens".
I walked down the long gangway, and there stood 3 Flight Attendants in the very very nice AirNZ uniform. There were 2 Men and a lady. They all wore big massive smiles. The Lady, Sheeree politely took my boarding pass and welcomed me on-board...second difference, they address you by name at the door aswell..."Good evening Mr Skeens, please take the left aisle and your seat is the 4th row down." followed by a big white toothy smile.
As i walked onboard i saw two attendants preparing wine and OJ for the J class passengers. The two men at the door, Ian and our Purser, gave a big smile and welcomed me on-board. The Purser (I couldn't get his name, he was German, and his name was very hard to look/read at...LOL...) bowed his head to every passenger that boarded...he must of had a very sore neck at the end!!
On the plane:
Business class (J) was HUGE!! i got a photo so hopefully it will get accepted and look good!
I then proceeded to my seat which was very nice, coloured blue with little white specks on it. Placed on my seat was a blanket (real warm) coloured greens, reds, blues and yellows and a pillow..a nice shade of blue. In the seat pocket there was my headseat (another change, they have changed, and conceal the noise...well i could not hear anothing but the movie/audio when i had them on) and the normal panorama magazine, the Skyshop manual/book and the safety Card which went missing at the end of the flight...I think it gathered feet and went straight to a yellow and blue billabong bag.
I was told that the 767-300ER only had 32" pitch, but in actual fact they had 33-34" i was told!! And you could feel it! It was just great. So much room!!
It looks like that AirNZ really look after the 767-300ER aircrafts as they were in awesome condition...the walls looked WHITE!! not cream like most, and the seat fabric was real clean, floor clean, no stains, and the windows were free of scratches and cleaned!! Though i must admitt that on the seat infront of me the fabric was pulling away from the seems!! Though not a biggy!
Time off runway:
I was really surprised that we pushed back so early.
The Purser welcomed us on-board and showed us the safety demo. It was quite amusing, as they have changed yet another thing, flight Attendants stand all around the cabin and do like Charlies Angel's stances when "Nik Ion" (grrr....) states "Flight Attendants are now showing your closest Emergency exit. Please take a good look." The Asian (Japanese) flight attendant got down in the stance and pointed like she was holding a gun. She got a few giggles!!...hehehe...
straight after this, they came through the cabin checked the seatbelts, foot-rests, and all baggage was stowed, and then the purser told them to sit down in there seats for take-off. Again, another change. The Flight Attendants took there seats very early prior to take-off. We had only just started to taxi from Gate 1 to runway 23, and people at AKL will know that is about a 10min taxi. They were seated for about 8mins of the taxi.
Anyways, i have to say that the 767 is a very Quite aircraft inside! I didnt even hear it start up...but then again i was in seat 11K.
Anyways, we moved down the taxiway at a nice speed, and seeing a Qantas 747-200 (QF43) depart for SYD rocked the plane abit. We reached the end of the runway, and then we held for a 747-400 UA jet to land from MEL!! Man what a sight i must say! It burnt rubber big time!!
Shortly after, we were in our seats from the engines and looking curiously out the window for the takeoff...we were then up in the air shortly there after...
The views of Auckland were spectacular. The Airshow was not on, but on the screen was the AirNZ logo.
Shortly after our turn to head towards NAN the seatbelt sign turned off, around 5mins after takeoff this occurred and then the Airshow turned on, with the Cabin crews preparing and getting passengers extra cushions and blankets and just making them comfortable.
While some Flight Attendants were doing this the others were getting the special and Kiddie meals. I found it quite weird, and another revised/changed thing, the special/kiddie meals came out about 4mins after the seatbelt sign had switched off, and drinks were not offered to these passengers. They had to wait till the other Pacific class passengers got there meals. They were all brought out by hand.
Thereafter a menu was passed out and we had the choice of Lamb done in a sort of gravy, fish fillets crumbed with potato and parsley or a light meal which consisted of fruits, crackers and a bread roll.
I choose the Fish which was absolutely devine!! It had 2 fish fillets which were indeed crumbed, it was accompanied by Potatos sprinkled in parsley, with a bread roll, strawberry cake, and cheese with crackers!! Most delicious!! the cart came passed about 2 mins later, and i choose an Apple juice to accompany my meal.
Straight after the very smiley Flight Attendant passed (Andrea) the drinks trolley came passed. It is actually quite interesting, they bring up the drinks trolley about 10mins after the seatbelt sign has come off and place it at the front of the pacific class cabin. Then about 5mins after that the meals come up.
Two flight attendants worked the Meal cart and 1 worked the Drinks cart.
I have noticed that the crews at AirNZ are very relaxed and yet they still manage to remain professional!! They are always smiling, and continuously make you feel very welcome!! It is very personalised i have found, and if you are talking to them directly they get down on one knee (very different, they used to just bend down over you).
By this time i was most impressed with AirNZ, and they were starting to really get passed Korean Air in the best airline i have ever flown!!
About 30mins into the flight the in-flight entertainment started. The movie was "Musketeers"...but i had a problem with my volume on my headset, it was real loud, and i could not put them on my ears.
I rang the bell and they came within about 3mins. At first it was Ian, and he tried to help me, but he could not fix it aswell. He then offered me to sit in one of the empty seats in the back of the cabin. He then went off after apologising about 100 times.
He must of talked to the purser, cause then the Purser came along, and tried to help out. My seat buddy then relised it was also happening on hers. He then also offered us the back seats, but i refused. He then told us that he would be making an announcement in just one moment and he will be back to check if the volume worked then. He took down our numbers on our seats, and then sure enough, He came over the speaker.."Excuse me ladies and gentlemen, i shall be resetting the cabins audio and visual entertainment in just one moment, so can you please remove your earphones from your ears, as a sharp sound will sound through them. Thank you."
And sure enough after about 4-5mins the volume worked and he came back and asked if everything was alright. I said yes and thanked him.
I had already missed about 10mins of the movie so i didnot watch it, and i could not be bothered listing to music so instead i started to talk to my seat buddy, who actually worked for the New Zealand government!!
The trays were left on our tables for about half the flight, and i thought that was quite slack. They should get cleared away straight after everyone has finished, and everyone had along time ago. There was also no second drinks service. Only a continuous up and down the aisle move from the Flight Attendants offering Red/white wine and Tea or coffee. The flight attendants were continously in the cabins talking away to passengers.
I went to the back and started talking to Andrea. The crew on board the flight were to stay in Fiji for 2 days, and then operate a early morning flight back to New Zealand on Tuesday. They did get spending money, and they got to stay in the Sheraton while there!! She said they get nothing but the best!
AirNZ have also brought in what QANTAS have, flags of the nationality they speak on there name badge!! Andrea could speak Japanese and she told me she does around 3 trips to Japan a month.
After a qick chat, i headed back to my seat, and Decent had commenced (2051). The Flight Attendants came around, collected trash, and the head phones, got kids to hand out the lollies, and got everyone to prepare for landing.
It was quite turbulent on the way down, though i loved it!!
The cabin crews, again, took there seats early, about 10mins before landing, and then all the lights in the cabin turned off, except the no smoking and fasten seatbelt sign. It was awesome as you could see much better.
On descent you could see the lightning in the distant. I was thinking to myself.."I came to Fiji to escape bad weather, not come to it!"
We touched down nicely (2204), and man the reverse thurst on the 767 is powerful. You can really feel yourself slow down FAST!! We had loads of time to spare
The Purser made an announcement welcoming us, told us the temperature and asked us to please stay seated in our seats till the seatbelt sign had come off. He then thanked us and hoped we had enjoyed our flight!
I throughly had!!
Another change (In 1999 when i last flew AirNZ, the cabin crew moved about the cabin upon landing...this time they stayed seated. They never got out until the seatbelt sign came off!!)..when did this come into effect?? It looked like it has been there for along time!!
Upon debaording we were stopped, as water was getting into the aircraft, and they were scared it would do something. After this, i waited, and then got my photo taken with two of the Flight Attendants onboard, Andrea and a Chinese Gal. I then took a photo of the cabins and walked out, thanking the Crew for a real good flight. They wished me a good stay in fiji, and thanked me for choosing AirNZ.
Word of advice...
Donot expect much from Nadi airport, it is real crap! The agents and customs officers were just plain rude! I found this out when i got off the plane!! It was seriously bad. I found also alot to be Fijian Indians and not the indiginous Fijian People! Also keep off the mainland when there, go to an outer island. The staff are much friendlier, and are real fun to be around!!
So there it is!! I hope you enjoyed it!! Ask me if ya want to know anything! Ill tell ya! Sure thing!
Five stars are the highest, one is the lowest...
*****...Simply great, loads of smiles, friendly, relaxed, everything you could of asked for!
*****...My god, it melted in your mouth!! The Food was the best i have tasted!!
****....The collection of meals really let them down. They should of come around abit more.
*****...Awesome! Real good!!
Audio/Video:,/i>****....Umm, just that the movie was not that great, tough the audio channels were great! So many to choose from!! Even though my volume was stuffed, the crew really got top marks for what they did for myself and my seat partner!!
OverAll: 9.99/10...One of the best flights i have ever had with AirNZ!!
It is great to see that even in these tough times for the company, they still retain there world class service!!
All the best to Ya, I am proud to have you as my national carrier!!
AirNZ: The Worlds Warmest Welcome!!
It surely is!!
If ya want the return, just give us a shout!