Mark Taylor flies from Palmerston North to Auckland on Air New Zealand's flight NZ5122.

The plane

: An ATR72.

Class: The only option, Economy.


Price: My weekend in Manawatu cost just $176 return.

Flight time: 1hr 10m.

My seat: In the middle of the plane, 9C.

Fellow passengers: Sixty-seven of Manawatu's finest — it was a full aircraft.

The flight : Boarding such a small plane is refreshingly quick; in a matter of minutes the plane was loaded, the safety briefing had started and we were taxiing to the runaway. The pilot informed us there