axio
Posts: 186
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2006 10:44 am

The Late Night Domestic Flight

Mon Feb 19, 2007 5:07 am

I'm afraid this trip report, my first, will not be an aviation fanatics dream. Registration numbers are unknown, I forget the name of the flight crew, and I certainly can't be specific about the route flown.

What was unusual for me was taking a domestic night flight in New Zealand. International flights in darkness tend to be dull affairs - an aluminum limbo crossing time-zones at such an altitude that only huge cities can be seen from their illumination, and that is of course only if you are one of the few on board to have a window seat.

This flight, NZ8344, only runs Friday nights. It is for all intents and purposes a repositioning flight. The aircraft type is one of Air New Zealand's spacious new Dash8-Q300s. My wife and I were seated behind the engines, port-side, row 11.

Firstly, the atmosphere is different to a daytime flight. Both terminal staff and flight crew are more relaxed, knowing their day is almost done. And the passengers are hardly 'well-attired', more the t-shirt and shorts variety, not necessarily loud, but certainly spirited. And everything ran more-or-less to time.

Secondly, in accordance with 'requirements', the cabin lights are extinguished for the first and last five minutes of flight. This is simply magic. In light winds, taking off to the west, the city of Palmerston North illuminated the cabin from our window-side. During the ascent, small settlements and individual houses continue to provide sporadic visual entertainment.

When the cabin lights returned, the windows become black portals, and only the larger places stand out from the darkness. Thankfully our cabin crew (singular), Anna, maintained the atmosphere with her radiance and charm. And so, for the next 45 minutes, at altitude, it would again be like one of those international flights, in aerial limbo.

As you can imagine we were most thrilled when the cabin was darkened again, for this time the hulking metropolis of Auckland shone as far as the eye could see, glowing under the wings; and to ice the optical cake, there were small and silent fireworks being released near Onehunga Harbour.

You must forgive me, I am as much a romantic as an enthusiast, and my first domestic night flight was quite a sensation. The weather was crystal clear, the cities beautiful, and it was the most relaxing way to end a week.

ax

p.s. oh, and thank you Air NZ, because in addition to being a stunning ride, it only cost $39.  Smile
Time for a new viewing deck at AKL!
 
AlexPorter
Posts: 1655
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2006 11:10 am

RE: The Late Night Domestic Flight

Wed Feb 21, 2007 12:34 pm

My flight home for thanksgiving this year was like that. It was a late Sun Country flight, from PHX-MSP, but wasn't quite a red-eye. It was something like 10 PM to 2 AM. People generally stayed awake for the flight, mainly because the people on board, despite being from the MSP area, were used to Phoenix time, which was an hour earlier. Also, since thanksgiving tends to be held at places like parents' houses and grandparents' houses, the passengers were relatively young and used to being up late. Still, the cabin was generally dimmed, but with lots of reading lights on, giving it a really warm feeling. The crew still conducted a full cabin service with a cookie and hot sandwich. People were chatting and making (temporary) friends. It was a very nice atmosphere on that flight. I love those evening, but non-overnight flights like that.

Red-eyes also have their own kind of charm, simply for how quiet and dark everything is except for the standard rush of wind on the outside and the engines.
Last Flight: SCX701 MSP-PHX B738 8Jan2008
 
bimmerkid19
Posts: 284
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 4:43 pm

RE: The Late Night Domestic Flight

Thu Feb 22, 2007 2:47 pm

I'll be getting on a International Red Eye on 13-March from IAD to FRA on a Lufthansa 747  Smile Red eyes are great!
Last flights: LH 3738 MUC - ZRH , LH 3749 ZRH - MUC . Upcoming: EK 50 MUC - DXB 3-aug. and EK 322 DXB - ICN 7- Aug.
 
deltairlines
Posts: 6877
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 4:47 am

RE: The Late Night Domestic Flight

Thu Feb 22, 2007 4:08 pm

Like late-night flights within the same timezone...I've probably taken Delta's 11 p.m. departure from ATL to GSO about 6 times in the last 4-5 months or so - let's me have a full day at my destination and still gets me in to GSO that night.

Red-eyes...well, let's just saw unless I'm in an international business or first class seat, I'm not taking that flight (and domestic first is not enough...can't sleep in those seats).
 
bimmerkid19
Posts: 284
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 4:43 pm

RE: The Late Night Domestic Flight

Wed Jun 13, 2007 4:23 am

Quoting DeltAirlines (Reply 3):
Red-eyes...well, let's just saw unless I'm in an international business or first class seat, I'm not taking that flight

depends on what airline you fly. fly on Emirates, then you will think otherwise.. look at all the trip reports of emirates.
Last flights: LH 3738 MUC - ZRH , LH 3749 ZRH - MUC . Upcoming: EK 50 MUC - DXB 3-aug. and EK 322 DXB - ICN 7- Aug.
 
UN_B732
Posts: 3529
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2001 12:57 am

RE: The Late Night Domestic Flight

Thu Jun 14, 2007 5:46 pm

Whenever I fly late night commuter flights, I agree it's a special atmosphere -- even if half the pax do wind up fallling asleep until landing  Smile
-A
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