Jubt Avery flies aboard Air New Zealand flight NZ5234.
The plane: An ATR72.
Price: $49 one way.
On time: 19 hours late, meaning we were treated to a second night in New Plymouth.
My seat: 4B, an aisle seat.
Fellow passengers: Because of low cloud and multiple cancelled flights, New Plymouth airport was chokka with uptight Auckland businessmen and harried solo mums clamouring for available seats on the proverbial last train out of town.
How full: Pretty sure all the tickets were sold, but the plane was about 60 per cent full as Air New Zealand first cancelled the flight then reinstated it at short notice, so many of the stranded travellers didn't have time to get back to the airport.
Entertainment: Travellers' own. At a scheduled 49 minutes, the flight is barely long enough to fire up the iPad.
Food and drink: Treat yourself to complimentary coffee, tea or water. There's a free biscuit, too.
The toilets: Clean, but with a mystifying tap mechanism that needed no fewer than four signs explaining how the sensor taps work.
Luggage: Carry-on bags only.
The airport experience: A charming regional airport with 60 minutes free parking and Ponsonby-worthy espresso. Fans of weatherman, plane enthusiast and entertainment Renaissance man Jim Hickey can drop into his aeronautical-themed Airspresso Cafe, where a "Boeing burger" will set you back a hair-raising $15.90. There was no sign of Hickey's infamous onscreen brainfart the "come burger".
Would I fly this again? It certainly beats the drive.