Winston Aldworth crosses the Tasman on Air New Zealand NZ703.
The plane: A sweet A320, parked up on a crisp Auckland morning last Wednesday for passengers to board at Gate 15, where the Emirates A380s ply their trade in the afternoon. She's dwarfed by the long gangway we wander down to reach her.
My seat: 4D.
Service: Matthew, Komal, Jeremy and Brooke are cheerful and efficient. People like this are one of the airline's best assets.
Class: There's no Business Class seats on this A320. I'm flying on an Economy Class ticket with a Preferred Seat option added on for an extra $10. This means I get to pick an aisle seat and I get a meal. Happily, I've managed to bag a seat with an empty spot next to me.
Price: You can get aboard for $199 one way.
On time: We're about 10 minutes late taking off. But, fizzing along at mach 0.78, we make up the time over the Tasman and get in at about the scheduled 3hr 35min.
How full: There are 125 passengers on board, with capacity for 168.
Entertainment: I'm packing my own set of noise-reducing headphones and that's a good thing, because the headphones that with your Economy Class seat really are hopeless. With so many airlines (rightly) making a song and dance about their fabulous inflight entertainment options, it can't be long before they're kitting out all passengers - in all classes - with good noise-reducing headphones. I watched Sleeping Dogs. (DC10s! Kingswood utes! And Sam Neill, in denim flares, angry at the world!) Then, having watched New Zealand's greatest tale of political dystopia, I settled in to watch our greatest ever mystery thriller: Springboks v All Blacks, 2015. The mystery being this: How, in the blessed name of Pinetree, did Lima Sopoaga not get named in the squad for the World Cup? As the Sean Bean meme might once have said: "One does not simply name a debutant first five-eighth to play Der Bokke at Ellis Park and expect him to boss the game." Yet we did, and he bossed the game - and still missed selection for the World Cup. A mystery, non?
Food and drink: The bacon and eggs are very good. The coffee, not so.
Luggage: One 23kg bag in the hold.
Toilets: The loo at the front of the cabin has a curved roof, making things pretty cramped - don't stand up too quickly. In the toilet down the back, there's more headspace.
Airport experience: A slick morning run. From taxi drop-off to choosing bottles of grog in duty-free took me about 20 minutes. There was a bit of a queue for dropping off luggage - a couple of weeks ago, Air New Zealand gave me a sneak peak at the biometric scanners that will streamline this process. They will be terrific.
Would I fly this again: Undoubtedly.