Max Bania flies from the UK to the USA to watch the All Blacks lose to Ireland.

The plane:


American Airlines

Boeing 767-300, the aging warhorse of transatlantic travel. This plane has crossed the pond more times than I've had hot dinners.


Class: Economy. Aside from the nostalgia factor of flying on a 30-year-old plane, the only upside to the 767 is the 2-3-2 seating configuration which means you don't have to clamber over as many strangers to reach the aisle.

Price: A return ticket six months ahead of time starts at $1150.

Flight time: Eight hours and 42 minutes with favourable winds.

My seat: 37A, a window seat near the back with adequate leg room.

Fellow passengers: Lots of Ireland rugby fans on their way to Chicago for the All Blacks game. There are a few black jerseys too.

How full: Just about full to its 218-seat capacity.

Entertainment: It might be just about impossible to fathom in the year 2016, but there basically isn't any. No personal electronic screens, no power sockets and certainly no wi-fi. I pass the time by reading a book and wondering which of the flight attendants would be Trump voters, but in this day and age there seems little point even getting on a plane if you can't take a photo of the wing mid-flight and upload it to social media with some wonderfully modest and inventive caption like "how's YOUR Tuesday going? #squadgoals".

The service: Very friendly and indeed humorous. The reputation of US carriers for sullen stewards seems unfounded here; plus they're very liberal with the drinks trolley.


Food and drink: The gold standard of cattle-class cuisine: chicken and mash with steamed green beans, a bread roll, a lettuce and carrot salad, crackers and a chilled apple slice. Washed down with a palate-cleansing Budweiser.

The toilets: The kind of tight and intimidating spaces only Beauden Barrett can negotiate comfortably.

Luggage: 23kg in the hold. I only brought a small bag on board and was grateful as the overhead bins were small.

The airport experience: Chicago O'Hare is an absolute dream compared to LAX and I was through the airport and on a train into town within half an hour. The flight departed from Heathrow Terminal 3, however, which has the ambience of a barn.

Would I fly this again? Not until American kicks its 767 fleet to touch. There is plenty to admire about the 1980s — prawn cocktails, mullets, consistently-successful New Zealand cricket teams — but long-haul planes with primitive entertainment systems aren't one of them.