Stephanie Holmes flies FJ410 Auckland to Nadi.


Boeing 737-800. It felt like an older member of the Fiji Airways fleet, but maybe that's just the 737, compared with the 777s and A380s I've been fortunate to fly over the past year.

Class: Economy. On this plane there are only eight Business Class seats and it looked like they were all full as we boarded.

Price: Return tickets go for $622.


Luggage: 23kg of checked luggage and 7kg of hand luggage. As my partner Nathan and I were visiting for only two nights, we got everything into one case weighing less than 14kg. That's a record for me.

Check-in: Smooth. The airport was relatively busy, but the Fiji Airways check-in had only a short queue and the ground staff member who checked us in was fast and efficient.

Flight time: 2 hours 33 minutes, which seems remarkably fast. And is just another reason why you could quite legitimately visit Fiji for a weekend away.

On time: Yes.

Seat: 29A - a window seat just behind the wing, giving a good view of the Fiji Airways logo on the wingtip. Nathan was wedged into 29B, the middle seat, next to a young Fijian man. The seat width is just 17 inches (43cm), which made for an uncomfortable flight for him. Me? I leant against the window and had a lovely half-hour nap.

Fellow passengers: Mostly Fijians returning home, with a bunch of Kiwi and international holidaymakers thrown in for good measure. It was a mostly full flight, with only the odd spare seat . I suppose the time of day - 1.50pm on a Friday - isn't the most popular time for holidaymakers, who are likely to get an early-morning flight to make the most of their trip. For us, it was a great time to fly - an easy drive to Auckland airport, with hardly any traffic congestion.

Food & drink: My pre-ordered vegetarian meal was filling and quite tasty - a tomato, spinach and pumpkin lasagne with carrots and courgettes, a bread roll on the side and - somewhat strangely - a packet of peanuts and raisins for dessert. Nathan's chicken curry was "fine", and his Mrs Higgins chocolate fudge brownie appeared to go down a treat.

There was only one meal option for the meat eaters, which made for a speedy service.

The bar service only offered beer, wine and soft drinks - no spirit.

Entertainment: It's been a long time since I've been on an international flight that didn't have a personal TV screen, and it was a bit of a shock (perhaps I've just been spoilt?). The drop-down screens played The Big Year, a not-very-good Steve Martin/Jack Black/Owen Wilson/Angelica Huston comedy about bird-watching. No wonder I fell asleep.

Toilets: Fine, nothing to write home about.

Service: Mostly great, although one cabin crew member was a little terse with some of the non-English speaking passengers, getting quite shirty when they didn't move their bags completely under the seat in front.

Would I fly again: Yes. It was a good service and felt good to support Fiji's national carrier when breezing into the country for a weekend away.