Stacey Hunt flies from Vancouver to Auckland with Air Canada.
The plane: 787-8
Flight time: 13 hours 15 minutes.
• Flight Check: Los Angeles to Auckland with Air New Zealand
• Flight check: Flying from Sydney, Australia to Wellington with Qantas
• Flight check: Houston to Auckland with Air New Zealand and Joseph Parker
• Air New Zealand's Auckland to Sydney service reviewed - flight check
How full: With the coronavirus pandemic really kicking in and the self-isolation announcement from NZ only 24 hours earlier, the flight was exceptionally empty. There were approximately 20 passengers in my section, meaning rows of seats to ourselves.
Entertainment: Full selection of movies, including all the latest award season hits. Plenty to keep you entertained, however the selection of TV shows was disappointing. Being a night flight with ample space, movies were abandoned in favour of a full eight hours' sleep.
The service: Excellent, despite what must have been an extremely anxious time for staff. They were attentive but allowed everyone to sleep for hours without disruption.
Food and drink: Although you're normally offered the "chicken or the beef", due to the surplus of food we were offered the "chicken and the beef". Or a double helping of pancakes for breakfast. An overnight snack was also left on our trays.
The toilets: Standard plane toilets but clean throughout, possibly helped by lack of passengers.
The airport experience: An eerie experience that made me feel I was in a post-apocalyptic movie. Vancouver airport was virtually empty, with multiple stores closed. Conversation was entirely devoted to self-isolation and some would-be tourists who had missed the news left the airport upon learning this.
Auckland Airport lacked the usual warm welcome home as the comforting bird noises were replaced by a self-isolation announcement on repeat. The health officials were helpful and the additional health form to fill in was no hassle. Despite no e-passport gates, the empty seats meant I sped through customs.
The bottom line: I hope this service can survive the current climate and I look forward to flying it again.