Flight Check: Auckland to Christchurch on Air New Zealand

Jacinda Ardern gets a security wake up aboard NZ501 from Auckland to Christchurch.
An Air NZ Airbus A320. Photo / Mark Mitchell
An Air NZ Airbus A320. Photo / Mark Mitchell

The plane: Airbus A320, the one with the pink lighting that makes you feel like you're in a 90s disco.

Class: Generic.

On time: Initially. After a passenger received a security threat to their mobile phone, not so much. An hour extra on the ground in total which, if you take into account the full sweep of the plane they had to do, seemed pretty efficient to me. The flow-on effect though, was arriving late for a school visit, and having 200 young people forced to spend their lunch break listening to a politician. Timaru Girls - I apologise!

My seat: 5A. Window seat so no one will notice me drool if I fall asleep involuntarily.

Price: You can get on this for $63 one way.

Fellow passengers: Weary-looking business folk. Understandable given it was a 7am flight, which in Auckland traffic terms means they probably left for the airport the night before. Everyone was very good humoured, nonetheless.

How full: Almost completely. Couldn't quite tell if everyone decided to join us post the security breach, though.

The service: Amazing. In how many countries would the pilot politely ask you to get off their plane, and then come and speak to every passenger waiting at the gate to explain the delay, and apologise? Brilliant.

Food and drink: Coffee, tea, rice snacks, biscuits.

Toilets: Didn't check them, but very glad a sniffer dog and security personal did.

The airport experience: Excellent. Especially the proximity of coffee and bathrooms to our gate.

Would I fly this again? Who wouldn't? Service with a smile, even in the face of security based adversity. Thanks for being brilliant, Air New Zealand.

- NZ Herald

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