Denise Stephens flies from Tokyo Narita to Melbourne on Qantas QF80.
An Airbus A330-300.
Airport experience: There was a queue at check-in but once that was completed, it was only 10 minutes to get through security and immigration to the departure area. Narita has plenty of duty-free and luxury brand shops, but I was more interested in finding the shower rooms after a hot sticky day in Tokyo. Just under $15 buys use of a shower room equipped with towels, toiletries and hairdryer for half an hour, plus a bottle of mineral water, and it's well worth the money.
On time : Departure was delayed by 15 minutes due to a passenger failing to board, but we made up this time during the flight. We were unable to disembark the plane immediately on arrival because Australian Quarantine Inspection officers came on board, something I haven't seen since the days when they walked down the aisles with cans of insect spray. It turned out that a couple seated in front of me had a live potted plant, which the AQIS officers promptly confiscated. After a 10-minute delay we were able to disembark.
Class : Economy.
The seat : 58K, by the window, with one seat between me and the aisle.
Price : $863 for Wellington to Tokyo return.
Flight time : 10hr, 30m.
Fellow passengers : Some people on business, but a high number of tourists either returning from Japan, or heading to Australia.
Flight check: Auckland to Singapore with Singapore Airlines
Flight check: Sydney to Ho Chi Minh City with Vietnam Airlines
How full : All seats in Economy were occupied.
Food and drink : Pretty good. There were three choices for the evening meal, and I enjoyed the pork with honey spiced jus, green beans, carrots, and potato mash. A snack of fresh fruit and a muffin was served before arrival into Melbourne.
Entertainment : As it was an overnight flight, I was more interested in sleeping, however there was a good assortment of movies and music available.
Service : Between the no-show passenger and the crew having to buckle-up for a spot of turbulence just outside Tokyo, meal service was very delayed. My meal was served two hours after scheduled departure time. Apart from this, service was excellent.
Toilets : Clean and functional.
Luggage : The allowance depends on class, but for Economy it's one checked bag up to 30kg, and a 7kg carry-on.
Final word : The crew handled the inconvenience caused by other passengers very well, and kept us informed. The service and facilities made for a comfortable flight, and I would take this flight again.