Linda Meads flies Air New Zealand NZ452 from Wellington to Auckland.

The plane:

An A320 as usually flies the route, but we were lucky enough to score one that services Air New Zealand's short-haul international routes. As such, it had entertainment screens on the seatback. Oh the joy. Luckily I always carry headphones, as the cabin crew were not handing them out.

Class: The usual back half of the aircraft.


Price: Return Seat + Bag flights booked at very late notice were $611.

Flight time: In the air for 45 minutes. We were slightly late leaving the capital on what was a beautifully sunny but windy (yeah, I know) Sunday afternoon but made up the time en route to Auckland, landing one minute behind schedule. As we made our descent into Mangere there were a few lurches and drops I normally only feel flying in the other direction.

My seat: 25F — love those window seats. However, there weren't any spectacular views of the Central Plateau today — just a pretty blanket of cloud.

Fellow passengers: Always such a mixed bag. Commuters, families, solo travellers and tourists.

How full: Chocka.

Entertainment:f No Air New Zealand quiz to be found here. Instead I managed to get in an episode of Travel Man (Richard Ayoade in Hong Kong with actor Jon Hamm for 48 hours — very good) and a bit of The Handmaid's Tale.

Food and drink: I was surprised to hear the drinks menu described in forensic detail — Dilmah English Breakfast tea or Moccona coffee. This was accompanied by an excellent Cookie Time ginger biscuit or corn chips.

The toilets: Too busy watching telly.


The airport experience: Wellington Airport was like Grand Central Station. There is so much to
do there these days you can easily pass an hour or so.

Would I fly this again? In about three weeks ...