Flight Check: Air New Zealand NZ499

Photo / File
Photo / File

Grant Bradley flies on Air New Zealand NZ499 Auckland to Wellington - 'The Nightrider'

The plane
Boeing 737-300. The long-serving workhorse of Air NZ's domestic fleet.

Class
Just the one - economy.

Price
$29 plus credit card surcharge.

On time?
Early - we pushed back just before the scheduled 10pm departure time and were off the plane at our destination just before 11pm.

My seat
12F, prime emergency exit row with ample leg room. Luck-of-the-draw allocation at automatic check-in, for which I didn't pay a fee.

Fellow passengers
Very much leisure, visiting friends and relatives market, not a suit in sight.

How full?
Almost chokka. About half a dozen of 133 seats empty.

Entertainment
Old school. There was a bumper Hobbit-themed in-flight magazine and a few screens that folded down from above the seats which showed the clever Hobbit-themed safety video. Air New Zealand's new safety video is at least watchable, unlike anything featuring Richard Simmons.

The service
Three attendants didn't have a lot to do. Some useful advice about the next day's Hobbit premiere when we landed.

Food and drink
As was explained, the airline wants to keep Nightrider fares down, so refreshments are limited to just a boiled sweet before landing.

The toilets
Fine.

Luggage
Hand luggage included in my fare, but 7kg weight limit strictly enforced.

Would I fly this again?
At that price, absolutely.

Grant Bradley paid for his own ticket.

- NZ Herald

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