Linda Meads flies aboard Qantas flight QF146 going from Auckland to Sydney.

The plane:

An Airbus A330 in reasonable condition.

Price: About $265 for a one-way Economy Class fare, booked through Expedia via Emirates. Fares are all inclusive so you don't have to pay extra for food, luggage and entertainment, which is great.


Flight time: 3hr 35m, and despite being 11 minutes late departing we were 41 minutes early landing into Sydney's Kingsford Smith Airport. Go figure.

My seat: 37K by the window. The configuration is 2-4-2.

Fellow passengers: A bit of excitement while waiting to board when the entire Chiefs Super Rugby team turned up at the gate. I hoped my seatmate was not one of the tight five but I didn't have to worry as the players and their coaching crew all filed past me to the back of the aircraft. Next time you're feeling uncomfortable in a plane, spare a thought for the big man, Brodie Retallick, who has to squeeze his whopping 2.04m frame into a cattle-class seat.

How full: Entirely. Especially Rettalick's seat.

Entertainment: A good selection including a Flight of the Conchords special filmed last year at the London Apollo.

The service: Great. I did laugh when I heard one of the cabin crew ask who the Chiefs were.

Food and drink: A choice of three mains — my chicken salad was okay. The food selection at Auckland International Airport is so good now that you almost don't need to eat on the plane.

Luggage: My ticket allowed for up to 25kg.


Would I fly this again? Absolutely — it was cheap despite being booked quite late, and I love the all-inclusive price. Plus, if it's good enough for the mighty Chiefs, it's good enough for me. Now, if only they'd win a few games ...