Helen van Berkel flies on Virgin flight 92, Apia to Auckland.

The plane:

A 737-800.

Class: Economy.

Seats: 19A and 19B of a three-and-three configuration. The woman in our row promptly put on headphones and was thankfully quiet the entire flight.


On time: Yes. It's scheduled for 3h 50m.

Fellow passengers: Mostly islanders, some Kiwis and a few Germans. One had taken a nasty tumble but seemed completely unperturbed by two still-bleeding knees.

Entertainment: The woman in front of us was texting her boss about why she was late to work - by a day. She would type in a lie, consider it, reject it, then try another one. That amused us until we had to switch off our electronic devices. There were no screens and we were happy to bliss out on a night flight anyway.

Toilets: Too tired and hungry to move.

Airport experience: Apia Airport has the air of an open-air market but with fewer food stalls. Most were closed for our 10pm flight. We'd delayed dinner to "eat at the airport", so we had no choice but to buy a stodgy toasted sandwich once we'd got through Customs, such as that was (I signed my daughter's departure card, to the surprise of no one). We had a seat-only flight so we were starving by the time we landed. I caved and ordered daughter a pie (at 2am!) , which should have cost $10 but we weren't charged.

Would I fly again: Yes, but on a flight this late I'd make sure we ate first.