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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Trip report:: 3 flight, 3 types

3 flights, 3 types descending in size flight to flight
Friday 15-April-2010
DJ82 BNE-CHC ZK-PBM 737-8FE Seat: 20A

Push back was smooth and a few minutes early, then we had a short taxi before departure from 01 followed by a right hand turn before flying down to CHC, where with a nice westerly tail wind we arrived early after a roughly 2hr 40min flight.

We had a good crew, all female who made the flight pleasant even keeping the 3yr old ranga kid in front of me placated.  He also responded well to them, sitting down and doing his belt up when they told him to.

The legroom was fine for a 3hr flight but the buy on board wasn’t too flash.  Those of you who follow this blog will know that I have commented about the “new” Luke Managan inspired menu, and now that I’ve tried it, I can review it.

I chose the Roast Beef, semi dried tomato, rocket & horseradish Panini, along with water, and the Jim beam & pepsi.  Once again I’ll say it, I am very disappointed they got rid of the premixed cans of Jim Beam & Cola, and replaced it with a 50ml bottle of Jim Beam at $7 with the mixer separate at 43 and now Pepsi.  The water was only 300ml so was exorbitant at $3, and the Panini was disappointing, it was $10 and the bread wasn’t fresh and was slightly stale. It also had very little taste and over all I wasn’t impressed.
Overall the flight wasn’t too bad, I’m just disappointed in the “new” buy on board menu that the Virgin Group has chosen to go with.  I know all the airlines are going with celebrity chef’s but sorry Luke Mangan hasn’t created food to be proud of.

Saturday 16-April-2010
NZ5018 CHC-WLG ZK-MCY ATR 72-500 Seat: 09A

I was really looking forward to this flight as it was to be my 1st in an ATR, and I looked forward to ticking another of NZs types off my list.  I had booked this flight specifically to get the ATR over the other flights where I would’ve been in a 733.

I was dropped at the airport and walked the whole way through the new terminal to get to Air New Zealand check in which is still in the old terminal, of course most of this was past the new Air New Zealand check in area.  Once I got there and had checked in, tagged my bag and got it onto the belt and off, I went to head to the gate.  Looking at my boarding pass I realise I was on gate 47, which is a new gate in the new terminal.

I headed back the way I had come, and found the new domestic area (Gates 43-52)  It is a very impressive looking building, and the furniture that Air New Zealand have put in there is contemporary and works well.

Boarding for the flight was orderly, even if it was at the same time as a Q300 for Nelson was also boarding.  You go from the lounge, through the “boarding gate” then walk down a long long tunnel area outside until you reach your individual gate, before walking out across the tarmac to your aircraft.

Boarding was orderly and I quickly found my seat and settled in.  09A is at the rear end of the wing, affording great views of the flaps, and the underside of the wing.  The outboard actuator?? (can someone tell me if this is the correct name) had the flap settings painted on it, so we departed with flaps 15 and landed with flaps 30.
I was a bit disappointed with the leg room on the ATR and was very cramped.  The service on the flight was as expected for a short NZ domestic sector.  A water run then a tea and coffee run, and finally a run with the air new Zealand lollies.

We had a bit of a hold with a left hand orbit over the Blenheim/Rarangi area before heading up and landing into the north, despite the co-pilot telling us earlier there was a southerly blowing and we’d be landing from the north.  There was no wind and we had a smooth landing, very disappointing considering some of the fun landings Wellington can throw up.

Saturday 16-April-2010
NZ2495 WLG-BHE ZK-EAH B1900D Seat: 05A

The Wellington weather as well as the Blenheim weather had been rubbish all day and as a result the flight was late.  We were scheduled to depart Wellington at 1810 we finally left around 1925/1930ish.  The flight was as expected for a short 25min leg, slightly cramped with all my bags under the seat but hey it is the shortest flight in the NZ network so who cares.

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