Tina Trenkner-Meade flies JQ285 to the South Island.

The plane:

An Airbus A320.

On time: Pushed back right at 2.10pm.

Cost: $258 return, booked just over a week in advance.


My seat: The good news: It's an aisle seat - thanks Jetstar for not pre-selecting a middle seat. The not-so-great news: Someone left behind a smushed Skittle before I arrived. Ew.

Fellow passengers: Weekenders, possibly commuters. I was surprised at the lack of backpackers — there was only one and I would expect more on any New Zealand route.

How full: Very, a handful of one-off empties toward the back.

Entertainment: None. Writer Adam Gopnik kept me company, courtesy of Auckland Libraries.

The service: Very courteous, tapping me before the drink cart went past so my limbs wouldn't get hit.

Food and drink: Available for a fee. The Pie Face pie-and-sausage-roll combo looked tempting.

The toilets: Two at the back.

Luggage: Above and in the seat in front. Room enough for my duffle and a shoulder bag.

The airport experience: This gate was no frills with a few vending machines. There's a Shaky Isles cafe upstairs.

Would I fly this again? Sure. Flying into Dunedin and driving to Queenstown in a rental car was cheaper than flying return from Auckland to Queenstown.