It’s been a long time between Air New Zealand flights for this frequent traveller who has been schooled mostly on the carrier’s unique safety videos, and the experience, while free from All Blacks, puppets and Betty White, was a pleasant one.
With no online check-in facility, I resigned myself to a queue at Sydney International Airport…and queue I did. Twice.
The first queue saw me attempt to traverse the sometimes terrifying world of the Self Check-in Kiosk (cue scary music). If the kiosk is working (two weren’t), the level of experience/confidence of your fellow travellers will ultimately determine how fast (or slow) the queue will move. Our very long queue moved quite quickly, but there were some disgruntled passengers who claimed no such queues existed “when people checked us in”.
However, once eventually at the kiosk the actual process was easy enough to navigate and staff was on hand to help people through.
I got to the airport at 7.30am and was through a near empty Immigration by 8.00am. I was advised to get to the gate earlier than the scheduled boarding time (8.20am) as we were being shuttled to our craft, but a delay with the gate’s previous occupants caused a slight delay and a gate change for us.
Once on board I settled into my comfy seat and had a play with the entertainment options. After scrolling through only some of the 93 pages of albums, six pages of movies and nine pages of television programme, I was able to start watching a film while still at the gate. If the flight had been longer, I would have been able to make use of the playlist functionality (which enables you to store your entertainment selections while scrolling through the extensive options).
As I was booked for The Works package, I had a meal included in my package. The vegan breakfast option included a sweet Naked muesli bar, fruit salad and a hot meal of veggie sausage, spinach, baked beans and a roasted tomato.
Other meal options were a hot breakfast of scrambled eggs and chicken sausage or a continental breakfast of muffin, fruit and muesli.
The service was impeccable and even though I was squirrelled away in a window seat, flight attendants were on hand to ask me if I needed something rather than my having to ask for it. My only issue was that they were so busy meeting the needs of everyone that I didn’t have enough time to check out they’re awesome Trelise Cooper designed uniforms.
The view of Mount Cook peaking through the clouds was certainly worth climbing over my seatmates when I needed to stretch my legs. Window seat, hurrah!
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Date: 18 November 2013
Craft: A320-200 in 3-3 configuration
Included in The Works
Image courtesy of Air New Zealand.
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