Dean Buchanan flies from Honolulu to Auckland with Air NZ.

The plane:

Air New Zealand 777-200.

Class: Economy.

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Price: $600.

Flight time: Ours was a scheduled 8hr 30m, and we were on time with no delays.

My seat: 52A.

Fellow passengers: Mainly happy, suntanned, relaxed Kiwis heading home.

How full: Quite, but spare seats if you wanted to move.

Entertainment: Great system, average movie selection.

The service: Excellent and attentive. "Another bloody Mary?" — why, thank you!

Food and drink: Okay.

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The toilets: Good.

Luggage: Two checked bags — full!

The airport experience: Seamless and quick.

The bottomline: An excellent Monday morning flight out of Honolulu. A 7.20am check-in time (for a 9.30am take off) means a good night's sleep, no traffic to the airport and a relaxed check-in. Air NZ uses the United lounge in Honolulu which is okay. Don't leave your shopping to the last minute, as many of the airport shops don't open until 9am. Maholo!