Stacey Hunt flies from Vancouver to Auckland with Air Canada.

The plane:


Class: Economy.


Seat: 27G.

Flight time: 13 hours 15 minutes.

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How full: With the coronavirus pandemic really kicking in and the self-isolation announcement from NZ only 24 hours earlier, the flight was exceptionally empty. There were approximately 20 passengers in my section, meaning rows of seats to ourselves.

Rows of empty seats as the coronavirus impacts travel. Photo / Stacey Hunt
Rows of empty seats as the coronavirus impacts travel. Photo / Stacey Hunt


Full selection of movies, including all the latest award season hits. Plenty to keep you entertained, however the selection of TV shows was disappointing. Being a night flight with ample space, movies were abandoned in favour of a full eight hours' sleep.

The service: Excellent, despite what must have been an extremely anxious time for staff. They were attentive but allowed everyone to sleep for hours without disruption.

Food and drink: Although you're normally offered the "chicken or the beef", due to the surplus of food we were offered the "chicken and the beef". Or a double helping of pancakes for breakfast. An overnight snack was also left on our trays.

The toilets: Standard plane toilets but clean throughout, possibly helped by lack of passengers.


The airport experience: An eerie experience that made me feel I was in a post-apocalyptic movie. Vancouver airport was virtually empty, with multiple stores closed. Conversation was entirely devoted to self-isolation and some would-be tourists who had missed the news left the airport upon learning this.

Auckland Airport lacked the usual warm welcome home as the comforting bird noises were replaced by a self-isolation announcement on repeat. The health officials were helpful and the additional health form to fill in was no hassle. Despite no e-passport gates, the empty seats meant I sped through customs.

The bottom line: I hope this service can survive the current climate and I look forward to flying it again.