Winston Aldworth flies aboard Fiji Airways FJ411, from Auckland to Nadi.

The plane:

A Boeing 737-800.

Class: Economy.


My seat: 25A. I generally don't go for the window seats, as I like to wander around.

Time: We were a little late rolling out as the plane had been delayed on the way in. She's typically a 2hr 45m flight, meaning you're back in Auckland before 1pm and, if you're unlucky, back at your workplace at around 2pm.

Fellow passengers: Flying midweek, we had a heap of friends and relatives, along with a fair smattering of tourists trucking home. Seated in the aisle seat of my row, a garrulous young backpacker from Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was striking up so much friendly banter with random passengers, I wondered if he was fishing for a lift from the airport.

How full: To the very brim. So full, in fact, that a friend who works for the airline missed out on getting the flight home. Which — though it was a drag for her — should be a comforting thought for customers.

Service: Alfred is in charge today. "Smoking," he intones during the safety briefing. "Let's not go there." Well said, sir!

Food and drink: Coffee to die for ... no, sorry, I read my notes wrong. I meant to say: "Coffee that will make you wish you'd died."

The breakfast meal was a knockabout short-haul cracker: scrambled eggs, a sausage of dubious origin, a glorious slick of sweet baked beans and puffy, artery-hating croquettes.

Just the ticket for an early flight!


Toilets: Unusually busy for a short haul.

Airport experience: We were there a month or so before the new Fiji Airways lounge had opened, so passed our time in the old lounge. I'm keen to get back up there soon to check out the new one. Pro tip: if you're planning on picking up some of the Pure Fiji products on your holiday, there's a great stock in the duty-free shop.