Tejas Lamb flies aboard Air New Zealand's flight NZ8047, from Nelson to Christchurch.

The plane

: ZK-NEE, DeHavilland Dash-8 Q300. These aircraft, along with the ATR72s, make up Air New Zealand's regional fleet.

Class: There's only one — Economy.


Price: $97.

Flight time: 50 minutes, which was the scheduled time. However, we were delayed by 40 minutes.

My seat: 2C, the second row on the aisle. This is a good seat as you can see out of the window but have direct aisle access. The Q300 layout is a 2-2 formation, so you can get views from both windows.

Passengers: There was a group of 20 American tourists who missed their connecting flight to Queenstown due to the delay. They were rebooked on to a later flight.

How full: About 90 per cent full.

Entertainment: Just the wonderful views out the window while heading south. The weather was a bit turbulent on the way out and quite cloudy on descent to Christchurch.

The service: Great. The flight attendant, Amy, was very good. During the safety announcement, a few people were chatting and she stopped and waited to get their attention. We were impressed that she could recite the announcements off by heart, demonstrating her experience and professionalism.

Food: The complimentary biscuit along with water was appreciated. There were no hot drinks served on the flight but there were lollies!


Luggage: We could take one 23kg bag per person, which is quite generous given the small aircraft.

Airport experience: Nelson Airport's new terminal is amazing. It is a very open, stylish space with many seating areas. The shape is very simple, a square with two levels. The first level is the main place to check in, the bag-drop and a few cafes around the perimeter. The mezzanine floor has the Air NZ Regional lounge and a couple of conference rooms. The lounge was very good, spacious and very relaxing. With all the delays to our flight, it was comfortable to sit somewhere warm. The manager, Helen, was very welcoming, explaining the next stage of developments for the airport.

Would you fly again: Definitely. This is the second time we have taken this flight and it is a fast way to get to the Garden City.