Flight check: Fiji to the Marshall Islands on Our Airline

By Tristram Clayton

TV3's Tristram Clayton flies ON016 from Nadi, Fiji, to Majuro, Marshall Islands, to meet El Salvadorian castaway Jose Alvarenga.

An Our Airline Boeing 737-300. Photo / Creative Commons image by Wikimedia user YSSYguy
An Our Airline Boeing 737-300. Photo / Creative Commons image by Wikimedia user YSSYguy

The plane: A 737-300 - Our Airline has only two planes, so I've already flown on half its fleet.

Class: Just the one class, but the front few rows are a bit more spacious.

Price: $1200 - but it was very much a last-minute booking. I was already in the taxi to the airport when it was confirmed.

On time? Yes. No "Island time" here.

My seat: Great. Somehow I managed to get 3F, which had heaps of leg room. Useful when you've got legs as long as mine.

Fellow passengers: An unusual mix of expat Marshallese, Fijians and a handful of tourists.

How full? About three-quarters full - which was a little surprising considering there is only one flight every two weeks.

Entertainment: None. Zilch. Nada. When was the last time you flew in a plane that didn't even have an old-school drop-down screen?

The service: Friendly and relaxed. We even got a visit from the pilot, who came back to tell us we couldn't attach our go-pro camera to his front windscreen.

Food and drink: Macaroni cheese or chicken curry. I had the curry. It was tasty. But no alcohol? Not cool.

The toilets: I absent-mindedly made the normally fatal mistake of going in barefoot - but to my surprise the place was spotless.

Luggage: To avoid excess luggage charges we, to put it bluntly, took the p**s. Fortunately the 30kg (at least) we took on board wasn't a problem.

The airport experience: Nadi can be a bit hit or miss - but we had a smooth run which included a surprisingly tasty airport pie for breakfast.

Would I fly this again? No alcohol and no screens sucks big-time, right? But as this was a work trip (and only a four-hour flight) I actually managed to get a lot of work done. So "yes" if it was a work-trip.

The other reason I'd do this trip again would be for the incredible landing in the Marshall Islands. The airport is the widest point of this extraordinary all-atoll country - so when you're lined up to land you have water on both sides and can't see any land until just moments before you touch down.

- NZ Herald

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