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Current as of 30/05/17 09:00AM NZST
Corazon Miller is a NZ Herald reporter

Flight Check: Auckland to the Sunshine Coast on Air NZ

Corazon Miller flies Auckland to the Sunshine Coast on Air NZ’s NZ769.
An Air New Zealand Airbus A320. Photo / Mark Mitchell
An Air New Zealand Airbus A320. Photo / Mark Mitchell

The plane: The Airbus A320 - Air New Zealand's smallest international configuration used for crossing the Tasman and other short-haul flights out of New Zealand.

Class: Economy seat with "The Works", including a piece of luggage up to 23kg, in-flight entertainment, a meal and drinks.

Price: Booked about two weeks out from the flight for $669 return.

Flight time: 3hr 40m.

My seat: 7D.

Fellow passengers: A large group in the 60+ age bracket, some on holiday, others visiting relatives, with a small handful of young families, couples and solo travellers.

How full: At a rough guess, just over half - there were quite a few empty rows.

Entertainment: I had use of the standard Economy Class headphones that need to be angled just right or you barely hear a thing. My entertainment system appeared to have some sort of glitch and kept freezing while I tried to watch The Intern, starring Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway. I managed to get a quarter of the way through before I gave up and decided to sleep instead.

The service: Friendly and courteous staff.

Food and drink: I went for the standard breakfast muesli, yoghurt and fruit. Nothing fancy, but edible.

The toilets: The usual tiny toilet and basin you get on an A320

Luggage: There's a 23kg checked-in allowance. I managed to sneak in three small bags as carry-on - my laptop bag, a DSLR camera bag and a small handbag.

The airport experience: The worst I've had in years, despite having checked in online and leaving my home in central Auckland three hours before departure, I still managed to get to the gate only a mere 10 minutes before boarding began. The nightmare began at the Park 'n' Fly facility I often frequent, where I had an unusually long wait before being taken to Auckland Airport's International departure area.

Once there I found a lengthy queue for the kiosks to just print off my bag tag, followed by another lengthy queue at bag drop. I'd only just reached the top of that second queue when I was told by airport staff to move to the back of yet another queue for no apparent reason.

In total it took me about an hour to check in my luggage and clear security screening.

The post-security shopping experience managed to cheer me up as I splurged on a couple of my favourite make-up brands.

Would I fly this again? Sure - though I'd probably not check-in online again as it certainly didn't seem to save me any time.

- NZ Herald

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