Nicholas Jones flies aboard NZ105 from Auckland to Sydney.
Busy but very quick thanks to automated kiosks and bag drop. There were enough staff around to help the mostly-older customers who can't navigate the technology. Automation continues through Customs.
The plane: A B787-9 Dreamliner.
Class: The "seat + bag" option for Economy.
Price: It was more than $500 for the one flight, booked a couple of days beforehand.
On time: Take-off delayed but we made up the time and land as scheduled.
My seat: 40K, by the window overlooking the right wing.
Fellow passengers: Wednesday afternoon provides a mix of business travellers, Kiwis with sleeve tatts and tourists with American accents starting the next leg of their trip Downunder.
How full: There were a few spare seats down the back.
Entertainment: Television is free but, disappointingly, movies are not included in some fares — including mine. I could have used some of my Airpoints dollars to pay $10 and watch Blade Runner II.
The service: Apart from a cup of water at the start, I didn't really have any interaction with the cabin crew.
Food and drink: My ticket only entitles me to tea, coffee and water. Only the latter is offered — which really brought home to me how crucial meals are to mentally break-up a flight.
The toilets: Clean and no queues throughout the flight.
Luggage: The "seat + bag" gets you a carry-on bag up to 7kg and checked luggage up to 23kg in the hold. Which is probably about right for a short work trip.
Would I fly this again? Air New Zealand has lost some of its lustre as it seeks to extract more dollars for add-ons like meals and entertainment.