Airline: Pacific Blue
Aircraft: B738, ZK-PBF
STD: 1.15pm, ATD: 1.10pm
ETA: 2.15pm, ATA: 2pm
Photo © Jerry Pang
Once on-board, we found our seats and one of the FA’s came by and put his walking stick into the overhead bin. A few minutes later the rest of the pax started to board and by the endless amount of pax boarding, this looked like a fairly full flight. Boarding was completed early, cross checks were done and we pushed back 5 minutes. While the Safety briefing was being done, the head FA was announcing it in a funny yet professional way over the PA system. The B738s always seem to have a bigger angle of attack for take offs, as we seemed to launch into the clear blue skys more faster then the B733s. Once the seatbelt sign was removed, the FA’s started their inflight work, and the head FA announced over the PA system what would be happening, and said some of the things that could be purchased from the snack cart. I spent most of the flight reading the Virgin Blue in-flight mag, which provided for some interesting reading. The flight was a very smooth flight with no turbulance. While descending into AKL, the final rubbish collections happened and the head FA took the chance to announce the usual DJ stuff, which was about their rewards programme and rental car deals. Once we arrived at the terminal, the usual announcement came about not turning on your cellphones intill well inside the terminal due to re-fueling. While de-boarding I counted around 168 pax on board. Once all the other pax had gone, one of the FA’s helped Grandad to disembark down the stairs. Once at the baggage claim, the area was jammed packed with passengers and the bags were just starting to come out on the belt. Once half the pax had gone, our two bags and Grandads wheel chair finally came out. I quickly noticed something didn’t look right with the wheel chair, the foot rests were missing! Once at the DJ counters I informed them, and they called the manager on duty who was at the aircraft seeing it off. Once he arrived, I explained what happened and he inspected the wheel chair, and he made a few radio calls, he came back to inform us that it couldn’t be found, and he then looked at the wheel chairs that were owned by Menzies Aviation, but none of their foot rests would fit. He gave me his contact number, and I gave him my contact number, and he helped me get over to the Budget Rent a Car office, where both he and an NZ lady helped me. By now it was 2.50pm. After getting all the paper work completed at the car office, the NZ lady helped me load the car and we were one our way to Kerikeri, but only after we get through all the bumper to bumper traffic leading to SH1.
While in the Bay of Islands, I got several calls from DJ providing updates.
Once Monday arrived, it was time to start the journey home. After a nice drive back to AKL, it was back to the DJ check-in counters. After again being given a whole row to ourselves with the middle seat blocked off, I asked for the person who I spoke to on Thursday. He was busy seeing off the 3.15pm WLG flight, so we waited for a few minutes for him to arrive. Once he arrived, he was again very helpful and went of to get the paper work so we could make a claim for the cost of a replacement wheelchair. After handing us the paperwork, he sat down with us and we talked for around 15-20 mins. After he went back to his office, I noticed my cousin and his girl friend about the enter the DJ check-in line for the same flight to WLG as us. I told him our seat numbers, so he could try and get a seat around us. He came back a few minutes later and sat down beside us, and we talked for around 15 minutes before another family member arrived to catch up with us. At 3.40pm it was time to depart for security. Secuirty was a bit quicker this time, but Grandad still had his fun with the Avsec officer. Once at the gate, the agent informed me that we would be boarding the aircraft in a few minutes. Quickly the agent scanned our boarding pass and we entered the tarmac to board. While Grandad went around the other side to enter via the lift, I boarded via the front door.
Airline: Pacific Blue
Aircraft: B738, ZK-PBJ
STD: 4.15pm, ATD: 4.15pm
ETA: 5.15pm, ATA: 5.10pm
Photo © Jonathan Rankin
Once we both had our seats, one of the young FA’s came to have a chat with us. We all joked for around 10 minutes. Push back was ontime and we headed off for the runway. Take off was over South Auckland. A few minutes after take off turbulance started, and we were getting throwen about quite a bit for several minutes. Apart from this, the flight was normal, intill we started the approach into WLG, and we started to get throwen about. Landing was hard and the brakes were slammed on. Once at the terminal. One of the FA’s helped Granded into his wheel chair and I then pushed him up the bridge. Behind me I could hear a lady giving the FA abuse for holding up the line, and the pax didn’t think it was right that the FA helped a disabled person while other pax were waiting.
Overall, DJ and their staff were very wonderful and helpful. Everyone who I came in contact with were very nice and helped heaps. The AKL manager always keeped in contact over the missing wheel chair piece which was nice, would hate to see the phone bill after that! Everyone in WLG, AKL and in the air went totally out of their way to make everything easy. Recently DJ has been getting a bad name in the media, but IMHO the way DJ’s staff handled everything was totally professional, and basically makes everything in the papers look like lies! DJ’s loads on both flights were very full, with around 10-20 seats empty on both flights. DJ has to be hurting NZ on the main trunk with their fares and loads. Special thanks must be given also to the NZ employee who helped heaps at the Budget office. It was nice to see an NZ employee helping a DJ passenger