Helen van Berkel flies aboard Air New Zealand’s flight NZ548 from Christchurch to Auckland.


An A320-200. There are 30 in the airline's stable.

Class: Economy.

Price: Air New Zealand's website shows Wednesday flights ranging from $169-$499.


On time: Ten minutes late - passengers from the inward flight were getting off as we sat waiting to get on. But we arrived on time.

My seat: 14C.

Fellow passengers: 90 per cent Chinese families and couples.

How full: 99 per cent.

Entertainment: Watching your neighbour checking stock prices in China on his tablet.

The toilet: As soon as the seatbelt light was off, I was off to check the loos - and gave the poor hostess a heart attack as she ate her dinner, still strapped in her seat. But the loo flushed and Antipodes-brand push soap and hot and cold water were provided - although the sink may not have been cleaned between flights.

The service: A cup of tea and cheese and crackers delivered with admirable politeness, especially after our earlier encounter.

Luggage: 23kg.

The airport experience: Christchurch is a small airport but odd signposting still ensured I managed to get lost.

Would I fly this again: Yes.