Wynne Gray flew from Auckland to Port Vila in Vanuatu on Air Vanuatu NF51.

The plane:

A fairly new Boeing 737-800.

Class: Economy. Very comfortable, enough room and plenty of overhead luggage space.


Price: I paid about $800 return in peak school holidays.

Flight time: We were delayed an hour because of the late arrival of the aircraft but made up time on the 3hr 15m flight.

My seat: 11F.

Fellow passengers: A mix of families, couples and locals returning home

How full: Fairly full flight on a Sunday evening with many cutting it fine to resume work the next morning.

Entertainment: Free Wi-Fi to download the film and music packages on smart phones, iPads or laptops and the Island Spirit in-flight magazine.

The service: A very cheerful and relaxed crew throughout the flight.

Food and drink: A neat salad to start then the beef curry hit the right note washed down with a glass of Australian red, all included in the price.


The toilets: At the rear of the plane apparently but didn't need them.

Luggage: Allowed check-in luggage of 30kg but nowhere near that with a wardrobe of T-shirts and shorts for the temps in the mid-20s. Carry-on 7kg allowed.

The airport experience: Auckland gets more streamlined with every visit and Bauerfield International in Vila was very relaxed. Passport stamped for a month's stay if necessary, luggage waiting, then transported to our villa.

The bottomline: Flights to and from this delightful getaway were smooth enough but both were delayed, you guess, because of issues at earlier stops.