Api Talemaitoga flies NZ677 from Auckland to Otago

The Plane:

Airbus A320 — the workhorse of the Air New Zealand domestic and Pacific fleet.

Class: Standard.


My seat: 5A.

Price: $199. This was a Flexifare which included two checked-in cases.

On time: Air New Zealand had sent a text earlier saying there was a 20-minute delay and it departed on time at the new departure time. There were many delays to other flights due to the bad weather in the central part of the country that day.

How full: Chocka.

Fellow passengers: I recognised many fellow health professionals who were also heading for the annual conference in Dunedin. Lots of other business and academic-types who were either going to University meetings in Dunedin or they had been in Auckland for a few days' work and heading back home.

Entertainment: The great safety video with Katie Holmes and Cuba Gooding Jr was shown. It is good how Air New Zealand keeps on innovating with its flight safety messages before the flight. In-flight, the great NZ Trivia Quiz was being shown on the overhead monitors. Sadly, I was too busy trying to reduce the number of slides in my Powerpoint presentation for the next day to be able to participate in the quiz.

Service: Koru hour service at its best. A very friendly and chatty crew.

Food and Drink: Villa Maria pinot noir (didn't notice the year) and a packet of cassava crisps were fine.

Airport experience: The Koru Lounge at the Auckland domestic terminal was standing room only. Several delayed flights that day had worsened the situation and initially we stood alongside a bench by the window for 20 minutes until two flights departed and several seats became available.

Would I fly it again? Absolutely. The direct flight to Dunedin is a very convenient way to get south after a busy work day in Auckland.