The plane:

The Travel Editor (one of the Herald's resident plane nerds) informs me it was an A320.

Class: We're all Economy on these little domestic hauls.

My seat: 15E.


The price: One-way fares start from $83.

Flight time: We were a little delayed in take off due to a no-show passenger whose bag had been checked in and loaded on to the plane. This led to a game of "the passenger or the bag", where the mystery flyer was in a race against airline staff to arrive before they located his bag. He didn't turn up in time, they found his bag and neither made it to Queenstown.

Entertainment: The interminable Air New Zealand quiz. I don't know why I hate it so much. Maybe because I always get the answers wrong.

The service: Cheeky and friendly thanks to the boisterous energy of head steward Patrick.

Food and drink: Patrick let me have both the pretzels and a Cookie Time cookie with my coffee. How luxurious. Despite it being an evening flight, however, there was no wine available.

Fellow passengers: I was flanked on one side by a guy who made a lot of thinking noises while doing his crossword in the Herald (had to refrain from suggesting he turn to p10 to read an excellent article by me) and by a young guy who took forever to even open his cookie and pretzels, which was annoying because mine were gone in 60 seconds.

Airport experience: My bag tag didn't print and there was a hold-up at the baggage-drop point, which was ultimately fine but made me worry that my bag was going to be on the conveyor too late and would miss the flight. These fears turned out to be unfounded.

The bottom line: The evening view of the Remarkables on landing was a bonus.