Louise Taylor flies NZ53 from Fiji to NZ

The plane:

A Boeing B777-300 — a long-haul worker doing short-haul shrift.

Class: You know the 1 per cent who rule the world? Well, I was sitting among the other 99 per cent.


Price: My work paid $927 return for a Works ticket (meaning I got movies, meal and drinks).

Check-in experience: The Air New Zealand staffer at the check-in desk was valiantly trying to sort it out so that I could be seated with my colleague (we were returning home from a business trip). He wanted an aisle seat; I wanted a window.

"Don't sweat it," I reassured her. "We're not going to talk to each other anyway."

Flight time: We departed four minutes early. The scheduled 3hr 10m flight arrived 20 minutes early.

My seat: I was in 46A — a window seat behind the bit with the extra legroom and all the babies. Baby count: three screamers.

Fellow passengers: Holidaymakers. My colleague and I were the only people going home without tans.

How full: Full to bursting.

Entertainment: A bunch of Lions' rugby supporters asked to hand out the lollies. Usually this is a gig reserved for the kids. Great to see them spreading their tourism cash throughout the region.

The service: They got the 'Air NZ vibe' just right. The couple next to me were cheekily asked to "hurry up with your cuddling — some of us have work to do".

Food and drink: Lamb casserole with big chunks of lamb, chickpeas, rice and spinach. Caramel slice from Pandoro. Yum.

The toilets: No problems here.

The airport experience: Nadi has a great new extension to its terminal. A huge improvement on the cramped and hot predecessor. Back in Auckland — like going back in time — we had to travel by bus from the plane to the terminal.

The bottom line: It was great. No one — except the hostee — talked to me for three hours.