Flight check: Auckland to Cairns on Qantas

By Tash McGill

Tash McGill flies Qantas QF322 (or tries to) from New Zealand to Australia.
A cancelled 6am flight got things off to a bad start. Photo / Thinkstock
A cancelled 6am flight got things off to a bad start. Photo / Thinkstock

The route: Auckland to Sydney, onwards to Cairns. It became Auckland to Brisbane on QF124, on to Cairns.

The plane: An Airbus Industrie A340, operated by LAN Airlines.

Class: Economy.

Price: Someone else paid, but around the $450 mark.

On time: Here's where it all gets tricky. LAN Airlines cancelled my 6am flight, resulting in a call from Qantas at 11.30pm. While it took a 45-minute conversation to get rescheduled to meet my appointments in Cairns, they rerouted me through Brisbane and I arrived only 40 minutes later than originally scheduled.

My seat: 22F. Nothing else needs to be said.

Fellow passengers: Another Kiwi heading back into the mines. The rest an assortment of business and tourist travellers, from the briefcases and loud shirts.

How full? Packed.

Entertainment: Average movie selection, most of which I'd seen and, disappointingly, no in-flight magazine. Thankfully I never travel sans-paperback.

Food and drink: Cereal and yoghurt, frustratingly difficult to open in pressurised cabins. Expect messiness.

The toilet: Average, and busy for most of the flight.

Luggage: Surprisingly for Qantas, they didn't weigh my carry-on. Wouldn't have mattered.

The airport experience: I had a Qantas Club pass, which I was grateful for on a long layover in Brisbane, but the quality doesn't compare to Air New Zealand in my opinion, not even in their home country. I'm not a fan of split-level service for first class vs the rest of us, and if you say you provide wireless, it should be slightly faster than chiselling my email in stone.

Would I fly this again? If someone else was picking up the tab, yes. On my tab? No way.

- NZ Herald

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