A Travellerspoint blog

New Zealand

Arrive home

The American Airlines flight to Auckland [Auckland-travel-guide-1139106] turned me around in terms of my perception of the airline. The ground staff and crew were pleasant (rather than nasty as seen on previous flights).

They served a generous meal about 30 minutes after take off; it was what I call a Qantas-style meal with a bit hot portion and forgoing the salad/appetiser. The dessert was a branded Lily O’Brien chocolate mousse which was heavenly.

There was a wide selection of soft drinks, red/white wind and spirits (including Bailey’s for after).
As I settled in for my rest, I realised the recline was very generous for cattle class. Pity the seat width was typical narrow Dreamliner spec.

About 7-8h into the flight they served a hot ratatouille pirozhki (they didn’t call it that) followed by ice cream. This was shown on the menu but I missed it. I did pick one pirozhki from the galley and even in a barely warm state, it was delicious.

I managed to get two lots of 3h dozing before the crew served a generous breakfast 1h15 prior to landing. They efficiently completed the service and then finished collecting-in 35 minutes prior to landing. Impressive! I always thought most airlines do the second meal too early and that eats into good sleeping time.

We landed in Auckland at 0630, about 50 minutes early. We had to be parked remotely and waited on board for landing cards to be distributed (they were not loaded in LA). Then with a medical incident, we had to wait a little longer before we were bussed to the terminal.

Miserly Auckland International Airport Limited has upgraded their buses. They are now second hand local street buses rather than used Japanese street buses complete with signage in Japanese! CIQ was quick today and we were out in the fairly nice spring morning waiting for our ride from Kim’s friend Rodger.

Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Flying flat

View 2016 Borneo, Europe, Iceland & Canada on alexchan's travel map.

With a 1930 departure to Kuala Lumpur, I headed to the airport before 1600 expecting to be in the midst of the rush hour. Fortunately it didn’t take too long.

At the airport, I walked straight to the Premium queue for check-in. There was one person already at the desk who was having problems. He had bought a ticket AKL-KUL-MNL but wanted to get off at KUL (forgetting MNL) then use a separate ticket to ICN. That wasn’t allowed, as with most regular airlines, but with AirAsia the fares are somewhat additive so it shouldn’t have been disallowed.

I got to the front quickly enough and had my bags checked all the way to Kuching, went airside and relaxed in the lounge for about 1h30 before boarding the flight to Gold Coast.

At that time of day, I ate my meal and read all the way till landing. Seated in row 1 of the aircraft, I exited first and went through security screening and was a the boarding gate in five minutes. We reboarded pretty promptly in time for the 1h15 turnaround.

The second sector took off from Gold Coast around midnight NZ time. I had planned on having my included meal for breakfast but I was hungry enough to eat it before popping a sleeping pill, then making full use of the inclined flatbed (about same price as economy on other airlines). Flying flat, I slept soundly till about 30 minutes before landing!

Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

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