Winston Aldworth flies Business Class on QF145, from Sydney to Auckland.
The plane: A lovely Airbus A330-300. Qantas introduced them on this route last year, and they are a considerable step up from the 737s the Flying Roo otherwise operates in these skies.
My seat: 2K. This is the real deal for a premium place to park your tush on the transtasman haul.
With a 73" pitch and 23" width, these Business Class seats obviously trump the Qantas 737s, and they offer more space and a greater sense of privacy than you'll find in the premium cabin on the Air New Zealand 787s and 777s — where you'll get better pitch (79" or more), but you're in the out-of-vogue herringbone layout.
Price: Return Business Class fares start from $1779.
Flight time: Our departure was bumped twice — which was fine by me as I'd ghosted into the astonishingly lovely Qantas First Class lounge as a guest of a friend who was flying to Hong Kong.
Morning flights from Oz back to Auckland are annoying — you've had to get up early to make the flight, yet with the time difference, it's still well into the Kiwi evening when you've landed.
How full: Of the 28 Business Class suites, I count just three that are empty. When I go for my royal stroll ("And what do you do?"), I find it's a similar story back in Economy Class, with maybe 10 empty seats among the 269 available. It's rare to find empty spots on a plane in one of the world's most competitive bits of airspace.
The service: Top people.
Food and drink: Lunch service saw me slurp down a fabulous sesame and soy poached chicken with soba noodles. Then — still feeling chickeny — I hit a big bowl of chicken and corn soup. Yum.
Luggage: Qantas Business Class passengers get two pieces of up to 32kg each. Which would be more than all the shoes and clothes I own.
The toilets: Compact and clean.
The entertainment: I never like to commit to a full movie on the transtasman haul — it doesn't leave enough time for fun plane-nerd things like walking around, counting passengers and noting the cleanliness of the toilets. But, over the excellent lunch, I whizzed through the Flight of the Conchords' latest London show. They're pretty damn good.
Final word: These planes are a wonderful addition to the transtasman game. I hope to do it all again soon.