Tony Potter flies NZ6 Auckland to Los Angeles.

The plane:

Boeing 777-300

Class: Economy


Price: $659.

Flight time: 11h 56m. Push-back was delayed by three-and-a-half hours, thanks to what Auckland Airport called a "power incident". Apparently 40 passengers had not been body scanned but since they didn't know which 40, everyone (not just those on NZ6) had to be re-scanned. It wasn't exactly Dunkirk, but it got a lot of people who didn't know each other from Adam, chatting away. With us, it was a honeymoon couple going to LA, Vegas and New York. Do hope they decided to hire the open-top Mustang for LA-Vegas, rather than travel at 30,000ft.

My Seat: 57G

Fellow passengers: Mostly Kiwi holiday-makers.

How full: Chocka.

Entertainment: I can't stand in-flight movies or the music they offer, but I do watch the little plane wending its way across the mighty Pacific. So it was half a dozen Herald Sudoku, some cryptic crosswords, an iPhone with 25 playlists and great headphones to help eliminate the hum from Messrs General and Electric.

The service: Typical Air Kiwi - friendly, efficient, non-obsequious.

Food and drink: Dinner was a surprisingly tasty Cape Malay chicken curry. On hearing I liked the icecream, the lovely lady immediately plonked two more tubs on my tray.
Breakfast was scrambled eggs - awful scrambled eggs.

Toilets: Spotless.

Luggage: Under the theory go light, return heavy, two almost empty suitcases, one inside the other, plus a carry-on bag weighing 7kg.

Airport experience: Arrival was more than three hours overdue, so they parked the plane several miles from Tom Bradley International. We walked a long way, and got on one of those low-slung, seatless shuttle buses for a 15-minute tour of LAX. Which was great - I have never driven alongside big aircraft taxiing (a Thomas Cook Airbus 330) or been so close to one landing - an American Airlines thing with the hugely cash-strapped outfit's new tail logo, which cost millions and replaced a perfectly fine old one. Which just goes to show that some people who run airlines, shouldn't run airlines. It was great because I'm an aircraft nut and it more than made up for Auckland International's appalling absence of a place to watch the big beauties land and take off. When will they rectify that disgrace?

The bottom line: Interesting, but spare me the "power incident" next time.