Shandelle Battersby flies NZ417 to the capital.

The plane:

A brand-new A320, making its first journey to the capital. It was so new, in fact, it had only flown four sectors previously. It definitely had a new smell, and it might have been my imagination, but the cabin lighting seemed brighter. The female pilot was excited and so was cabin crew manager Andre, who told us we were heading to "the best city in the world".

Price: From $53 one way.

Entertainment: The quiz has a few new snazzy graphics. Please Air New Zealand, hurry up with your next safety video. I beg you.


Fellow passengers: Mostly business travellers, mid-morning on a Tuesday.

Food and drink? A cookie or corn chips, with tea, coffee or water.

My seat: 21C. The flight was filled to the gunnels.

On time: To the minute, despite the vicious southerly that caused a bit of turbulence as we approached the Wellington runway. Despite it being the first really bitter day of the year I saw plenty of Wellingtonians in T-shirts, as I burrowed into my giant puffer jacket and swore about the weather.

Flight time: In the air for 48 minutes, with a total flight time of about an hour

The airport experience: I've landed at Wellington Airport dozens and dozens of times and was completely thrown when I emerged from the airbridge to find the airport gates turned on their head. Somehow I'd missed that they're doing renovations and the top floor was unrecognisable until I got to the central food and beverage area. If you have time, check out the fancy new bathrooms which have Dyson Airblade taps - water and hand-dryer in one.

Would I fly this again? Any opportunity I get.