Phil Taylor flies aboard Air Vanuatu from Auckland to Port Vila.

The plane:

Air Vanuatu, Boeing 737-800, a cabin with three seats on either side.

Class: Economy.

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Price: We paid $982 for Auckland-Vanuatu return.

Flight time: 3h 45m, no delays.

My seat: Basic but comfortable, good leg room. The plane appeared to be configured as Economy but with a small area at the front designated as Business Class.

Fellow passengers: Mostly holidaymakers plus returning Vanuatu locals.

How full: About 95 per cent.

Entertainment: No screens in the seats. Movies available via airline app. Passengers used their devices, read, or slept.

The service: Efficient and friendly despite being busy.

Food and drink: Beef or fish. I had fish, the neighbour had beef. Drinks complimentary. No complaints from either of us.

The toilets: Just the two down the back for Economy and one up the front for Business Class. A bit of a queue. The toilet was basic but clean three-quarters of the way through the journey.

Luggage: Spacious overhead lockers.

The airport experience: Smooth and friendly at the Auckland end despite confiscating my sunblock which I'd forgotten to put in stored luggage. Flight home left late and the Vanuatu airport departure lounge was bursting with passengers for two international departures.

The bottom line: An efficient and friendly no-frills flight. Only downside was loud engine noise which made announcements hard to hear.