Stephanie Holmes is the Herald's Deputy Travel Editor.

Flight check: Auckland to Sydney on Air New Zealand

Stephanie Holmes flies NZ105 to Australia.

An Air NZ 767-300. Photo / Daniel Chodusov
An Air NZ 767-300. Photo / Daniel Chodusov

The Plane: Air NZ 767-300. After travelling on the newer planes, going back to a 767 is really quite jarring. The seats seem tiny and the entertainment system is limited. But perhaps I've just been spoilt.

Class: The Works — seat, plus checked bag, full movies and TV selection (although there are far fewer movies to choose from than on the 777), a meal and drinks.

Price: The Works fares start from $305 one way.

Check-in experience: It's always so smooth checking in with Air New Zealand, especially when using the Air NZ app, which is excellent.

Flight time: 3 hours 6 minutes.

On time: Yes. A few bumps along the way and a bit of a heavy landing, though.

Seat: 26J, in the second part of the Economy cabin.

Fellow passengers: As it was a Saturday evening flight, there were a lot of Australians returning home, and a few Kiwis off to visit family. I sat next to a lovely Auckland girl on the way to visit her Sydney-based sister. Across the aisle was large family of mum, grandma and six children. The kids didn't pay much attention to standard airline rules, like staying seated on take off and landing but they mostly behaved once they got the entertainment system going ...

Entertainment: Even though I had full access to all movies and TV shows on offer, there wasn't a great deal that appealed. Things took a turn for the worse when two of the six kids decided to sing Adele's Send My Love to Your New Lover, very loudly, over and over again. Their mum feigned sleep. I have had "send my love to your new love-ah-ahhhh, tree duh fna fnaaaa" stuck in my head on a loop for weeks since.

Service: Carmel, the cabin crew manager, was efficient but slightly intimidating. But she ran a tight ship and the other crew were delightful.

Food and drink: Hmm. I ordered a vegan meal and I'm sorry to say it was below average. Mushy rice, soggy spinach, and a tofu curry. The curry itself was quite tasty but among lumps of pumpkin and carrot, there were only two cubes of tofu, and alone cashew nut. I know it must be difficult to cater to the plethora of dietary requirements out there these days, but I was distinctly underwhelmed.

Toilets: Fine.

Luggage: 23kg checked baggage, 7kg hand luggage.

Airport experience: Auckland airport was pretty busy, but everything ran smoothly. I had a delicious almond/banana/cinnamon smoothie at the Shaky Isles cafe, which I was glad of when my vegan meal turned up.

Would I fly again: Yes, of course. But not with those Adele-loving girls, if I can help it.

- NZ Herald

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