Shandelle Battersby books a seat on JQ257 for a last-minute trip to the capital

The flight:

I fly up and down this country a lot. At least once a month. And sometimes I even pay for it. When it comes to which airline I fly, it is completely price-dependent because, to be honest, both can be hit and miss. It paid off on this occasion, though only just.

We landed with one hell of a bump, but at least we landed. I heard someone say the Air New Zealand plane ahead of us took two attempts to get down. When I got into the shuttle van to the rental car, a passenger from the Air New Zealand flight was still using his sick bag because it had been such a rough landing. I felt sorry for the poor fellow.

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The plane: An A320, which was in fairly good condition. The seat: 7D in the aisle. It was fine — I even got a bit of shut-eye.

Fellow passengers: A lot of sporty types travelling for various tournaments. There were a bunch of older men en route to a football tourney, and big groups of young hockey players.

On time: A few minutes' late leaving, which meant five minutes late landing, which somehow transpired into a mammoth wait for the bags from the Air New Zealand flight to get on and off the carousel before the Jetstar ones finally appeared. Someone checked in a tray of tennis balls! I am not joking. Then, on the way home later that night, the plane departed and landed early. Go figure.

Food and drinks: I always wonder how many people actually buy food on these flights — a lady across and up from me demolished some sort of greasy burger that was definitely not on the menu.

Entertainment: Not to plug members of the NZME family, but the Great Together 2017 podcast with Radio Hauraki's Matt Heath, Jeremy Wells and guests is very entertaining and got me through the hour-long flight and then some.

Service: Very friendly.

Toilets: I try and avoid toilets on all planes, especially smaller aircraft.

Airport experience: I do love it when the parking at the terminal comes at a reasonable price, and so it was on this day — just $40. And if you don't think that's reasonable, then bear in mind that it's about $40 cheaper than a one-way cab from the city.

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Would I fly this again? See above for price point. Heck yes. At $190 for two flights booked last minute, you can't really complain.

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