Winston Aldworth flies Air New Zealand NZ124 from Melbourne to Auckland.

Plane:

A Boeing 777-200ER, but you'll mostly encounter A320s on this route. The A320s don't offer Premium Economy or Business Class.

Class: Premium economy

My seat: 29J. That's at the back of the Premium Economy section, so you might get some noise from the baby bassinets at the front of economy if you're out of luck. You're also near the toilets. Neither bothered me.

Advertisement

On time: On the whistle.

Food and drink: A cold beef salad with pumpkin and chickpeas and a nice glass of sauvignon blanc.

Service: Dazza is a good sort.

Entertainment: Blediscoe [sic] Cup. It's the match that finished 29-28 at Suncorp Stadium, with Malakai Fekitoa waiting until the 80th minute to remind the Wallabies of their utter inferiority. Is there some way we could get this video to play on the screens of all Australian passport holders on transtasman flights?

With clear skies on both the outgoing flight and the return, I was determined to get a sight of Taranaki and managed it both flights. It's a cracking mountain and, if you catch sight of it on a Melbourne-Auckland flight, is striking to see how far out to the west it lies.

How full: Business and Premium both full. A handful of seats in Economy.

Fellow passengers: I sat next to a friendly older Aussie bloke and chatted about the Aussie Open - both having caught a few games in Melbourne. "I love coming over to New Zealand. Love it."

Toilets: All in order.

Advertisement

Luggage: Standard allowance for Premium Economy is two pieces weighing up to 23kg each. For a weekend away, I'm a carry-on guy.

Airport experience: Flying out a couple of days before Australia Day, I noticed a video playing on screens about the airport celebrating the pending national celebration. They showed montages of happy Aussies of every creed and colour. Except indigenous ones. I watched the loop a couple of times and the original Australians were missing from this Australia Day picture. A pity.

Would I fly this again: Great town. Great tennis. Great flight.