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Old Sep 10, 08, 1:13 am   #1
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Regional C *A RTW & (hopefully) finishing flying every route (100+) for an airline

Index to my trip reports

If you like this report, you may be interested in some of my other trip reports.
  1. AKL-YYZ with NZ/AC in F & C - my first trip report
  2. Europe to Iceland & return on Icelandair (FI) - somewhere different
  3. Some FTers DO the Inaugural Worlds Longest Flight SIN-EWR vv 28 June 2004 - 2 long flights back to back
  4. 7 Crazy Days - includes an almost inaugural flight
  5. Champagne and figure eights on ice - Antarctica flightseeing
  6. a Lit.tle sPRinG.Ly JoUrney (BUDding KiwiS Can zig-ZAG around Europe) - mostly central and eastern Europe
  7. Big DO DOs - or a Kiwi Flyer's Month of Madness - lots of flights
  8. Another Manic Month for Kiwi - again lots of flights
  9. Mini Tour of NZ - over 100 domestic flights in New Zealand covering all domestic routes (ongoing)
  10. Across the Globe in 5 Continents - criss-crossing the globe
  11. Auckland to National Park by Train - train in New Zealand's North Island
  12. Across the Globe in 5 Continents Again - criss-crossing the globe, but this time mainly on One World
  13. A Warm Embrace of the Tropics - short trips to the tropical South Pacific
  14. Singapore (SQ) new first and business class, plus a medley of 12 F & C SQ flights - name says it all really
  15. Across the Globe in 4 Continents - around the world on star alliance, including some unusual flights
  16. Queensland And Northern Territory Aerial Sampler - a sampling of Qantas flights, domestic and international, in economy and business (ongoing)
  17. Around the World in Under 60 Hours - around the world in a weekend
  18. The Heat is On - another longhaul economy trip in under 60 hours - what a contrast, Asia and Qantas' new first class lounges
  19. Fast on the ground and in the air - it must be Shanghai – a flying visit to Shanghai + Maglev
  20. It's a Fine Line Between Pleasure & Pain: 4 wacky weeks 2 RTW C, inaugural longhaul Y – mostly One World
  21. Back and forth across the Pacific on a variety of airlines in a selection of classes - 16 crossings of the Pacific plus some other related flights
  22. It isn't every day that you witness a hijacking attempt + NZ's forgotten 4th island - a visit to Chatham Islands coincides with New Zealand's first hijacking attempt
  23. There and back - first day Air NZ flies to Coolangatta (Gold Coast)
  24. A Run Around (part of) The Axis of Evil: A Perfect *A RTW in C? - Axis of Evil 0 US Immigration 1
  25. Wellington to Auckland by train - self-explanatory title
  26. A mad couple of days flying, including domestic international flights - a double longhaul inaugural, domestic international shuttle and domestic leg of an international flight
  27. Regional C *A RTW & (hopefully) finishing flying every route (100+) for an airline - featuring new QF First on A380 special flight, "you have to get off now", and 105th different current route with NZ
  28. One World Revolutions - Around Mostly the Southern Hemisphere - mostly Southern Hemisphere and mostly on One World on a mix of products
  29. Cris-cros the Med & the Globe on Emirates, Qantas & Star Alliance in mix of F/C/Y+/Y – starting with EK First on A380 and ending with Qantas economy, with a lot of travel mostly on *A in between
  30. An FTer flies to a Do (or Why take the nonstop when you can fly 10 flights instead?) - combining an FT Do with an aerial tour of northern Queensland
  31. The Ultimate Qantas Flight - short report on the ultimate flight
  32. Premium Flying Across the Ditch (Between New Zealand and Australia) - experiencing the forward cabins on Trans-Tasman flights (ongoing)
  33. 5 Boeings Straight to the Airbus Do - FTer feasts in first, business & economy - my journey to & from the *A / Airbus Mega Do
  34. NZ route oddities & One World turns by night (redeye special) - an odd collection of flight routes & schedules around the world
  35. From my first low cost redeye to a first class trifecta - an insane fortnight - some firsts of all types
  36. G'day, kia orana - it's another inaugural flight in Air New Zealand business class - a day & night tripping around the South Pacific on Air NZ
  37. A Feast of First Class Flying on British Airways, Qantas and Emirates - long distance in style
  38. A Weekend of Old and New - Lufthansa first & business, Air New Zealand business - a quick longhaul trip featuring some old and new products
  39. Star Alliance tres primo, and tres biz - a trio of first and business on Star Alliance
  40. A few flights to end 2011 - a quick trip around the world + more
  41. Five Continents in 3 Days and Some Other Mad Trips in 2012 - a selection of my 2012 travels


Index to this trip report
  1. Introduction
  2. Something new
  3. Fly every route
  4. Auckland to Wellington on NZ 737 in economy space+
  5. Wellington to Nadi on NZ A320 in economy
  6. Nadi to Christchurch on NZ A320 in economy
  7. Transit in Christchurch
  8. Christchurch to Auckland on NZ 737 in economy space+
  9. Christchurch to Auckland on NZ 777 in business
  10. Visas
  11. Auckland to Okiwi on Fly My Sky Britten Norman Islander BN-2B in couch
  12. Okiwi to Claris on Fly My Sky Britten Norman Islander BN-2B in couch
  13. Claris to Auckland on Fly My Sky Britten Norman Islander BN-2B in couch
  14. Pre-trip checks
  15. Auckland to Auckland on Qantas A380 in first
  16. New Qantas IFE
  17. Qantas new First class
  18. Qantas new Business class
  19. Qantas new Premium Economy class
  20. Qantas new Economy class
  21. Prelude
  22. Auckland to Sydney on Air New Zealand 767-300 in business class
  23. Auckland to Sydney business class menu
  24. Sydney to Singapore on Singapore Airlines 747-400 in business class
  25. Sydney to Singapore business class menu
  26. Singapore to Male on Singapore Airlines 777-200 in regional business class
  27. Singapore to Male business class menu
  28. Transit in Male
  29. Male to Singapore on Singapore Airlines 777-200 in regional business class
  30. Male to Singapore business class menu
  31. Singapore to Kathmandu on Silkair A320 in business class
  32. Transit in Kathmandu
  33. Kathmandu to Singapore on Silkair A320 in business class
  34. Singapore to Dili on Silkair A320 in business class
  35. Dili to Singapore on Silkair A320 in business class
  36. Singapore to Cairo on Singapore Airlines 777-200ER in business class
  37. Singapore to Cairo business class menu
  38. Cairo
  39. Cairo to Frankfurt on Lufthansa A300-600 in business class
  40. Cairo to Frankfurt business class menu
  41. Algeria transit visa question
  42. Frankfurt to Algiers on Lufthansa 737-500 in business class
  43. Frankfurt to Algiers business class menu
  44. Transit in Algiers
  45. Algiers to Frankfurt on Lufthansa 737-500 in business class
  46. Frankfurt to Ljubljana on Adria A320 in business class
  47. Ljubljana to Pristina on Adria A320 in business class
  48. Pristina to Vienna on Austrian Airlines A320-200 in business class
  49. Pristina to Vienna business class menu
  50. Vienna to Frankfurt on Lufthansa A320-200 in business class
  51. Vienna to Frankfurt business class menu
  52. Frankfurt
  53. Frankfurt to Khartoum on Lufthansa A300-600 in business class
  54. Frankfurt to Khartoum business class menu
  55. Khartoum to Addis Ababa on Lufthansa A300-600 in business class
  56. Khartoum to Addis Ababa business class menu
  57. Transit in Addis Ababa
  58. Addis Ababa to Khartoum on Lufthansa A300-600 in business class
  59. Addis Ababa to Khartoum business class menu
  60. Khartoum to Frankfurt on Lufthansa A300-600 in business class
  61. Khartoum to Frankfurt business class menu
  62. Frankfurt to London on Lufthansa 737-300 in business class
  63. Transit in London Heathrow
  64. London Heathrow to Los Angeles on Air New Zealand 777-200ER in business class
  65. London Heathrow to Los Angeles business class menu
  66. Los Angeles to Auckland on Air New Zealand 777-200ER in business class
  67. Los Angeles to Auckland business class menu
  68. Auckland to Christchurch on Air New Zealand 737 in economy space+
  69. Christchurch to Dunedin on Air New Zealand ATR 72-500 in economy
  70. Dunedin to Melbourne on Air New Zealand A320 in economy space+
  71. Melbourne to Auckland on Air New Zealand A320 in business
  72. Melbourne to Auckland business class menu


Latest summary
  • GCM map, a google map of Great Barrier Island flights and google map of approximate flightpath of Qantas A380
  • 56,088 flown miles (incl approx 400 miles for QF A380)
  • 38 flights
  • 8 a/c types
    • 737
    • A320
    • 777
    • Britten Norman Islander BN-2B
    • A380
    • 767
    • 747
    • A300
  • 8 airlines
    • Air New Zealand
    • Fly My Sky
    • Qantas
    • Singapore Airlines
    • Silkair
    • Lufthansa
    • Adria
    • Austrian Airlines
  • 17 countries
    • New Zealand
    • Fiji
    • Australia
    • Singapore
    • Maldives
    • Nepal
    • Timor Leste
    • Egypt
    • Germany
    • Algeria
    • Slovenia
    • Kosovo
    • Austria
    • Sudan
    • Ethiopia
    • United Kingdom
    • USA
  • personal firsts and other trivia
    • shortest flight, 6 miles not many minutes
    • first A380 flight
    • first flight in Qantas new first class
    • 9th airline flown in/out of Sydney, equal 3rd most for me
    • pass 750,000 flown miles on Singapore Airlines/Silkair, the most for me
    • 41st destination on Singapore Airlines/Silkair, 2nd most for me
    • flown Lufthansa to all European Star Alliance hubs except for IST, MAD and LIS (LHR CPH ARN HEL MUC FRA LJU ZAG WAW ZRH VIE BCN)
    • pass 750k airline status miles (or equivalent) since 1 January 2008
    • flown 100th Air New Zealand flight of 2008
    • flown 105th and final current Air NZ route (plus several discontinued routes)

As at post #174
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Last edited by Kiwi Flyer; Jan 18, 14 at 9:38 pm.. Reason: Updated index of my TRs
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Old Sep 10, 08, 1:50 am   #2
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INTRODUCTION

As is often the case, when the opportunity arose for a brief break, I was thinking of another dash around the world stopping briefly in a few countries I have yet to visit. As time goes by this is getting harder and harder to achieve. While there are more countries I have not visited than countries that I have visited (just barely), many of the more accessible ones (easy connections, little or no visa issues, high frequency of flights, etc) I have already visited.

So the planning for the trip was trickier than normal. Matters were complicated by my tight schedule and a short window of opportunity to arrange necessary visas - for I have had ongoing frequent international travel lately.

Those who've read some of my previous reports will be aware I'm not content to just have one complicated ticket on the go, but I also have other tickets inter-woven into my travel itinerary. Some are for convenient side-trips, while others are in the pursuit of another travel goal of mine - to fly every route of an airline.

As I write this I have no idea if it will all work out. All I know is the schedule is ambitious/optimistic (even by my standards), for some reasons which will become apparent as this report unfolds, as well as some other reasons which will hopefully never see the light of day.

More later.
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Old Sep 10, 08, 5:36 pm   #3
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SOMETHING NEW

I aim to learn something new every day.

Today I discovered that the domestic Air NZ Manage Domestic Booking tool (bottom left of the homepage) which allows you to select/change seats on domestic flights, also allows you to select/change seats on international flights. I'm interested to see if it works, because until now I'd been under the impression the only way to select seats on Air NZ international flights was through the travel agent the booking was made with, or by calling Air NZ.
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Last edited by Kiwi Flyer; Sep 10, 08 at 9:04 pm..
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Old Sep 10, 08, 8:08 pm   #4
 
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Originally Posted by Kiwi Flyer View Post
SOMETHING NEW

I aim to learn something new every day.

Today I discovered that the domestic Air NZ Manage Domestic Booking tool (bottom left of the homepage) which allows you to select/change seats on domestic flights, also allows you to select/change seats on international flights. I'm interested to see if it works, because until now I'd been under the impression the only way to select seats on Air NZ flights was through the travel agent the booking was made with, or by calling Air NZ.
Indeed KF you are correct. I tried it today for a NZ135 flight to Brisbane. Gives a seatmap of 777 and exactly the same seat select format as domestic seat selection. It retained my original seat selection via Air NZ call centre as well which is good to see.
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Old Sep 11, 08, 12:28 am   #5
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A link to discussion on NZ forum. Amazingly I stumbled across this new feature some hours before it was launched. I did the same thing last year with the latest multi-city booking tool on the NZ website.
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Old Sep 11, 08, 6:01 am   #6
 
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Go already, man!

One of the nice things of living on the other side of the world from KiwiFlyer is that I can have morning coffee and read his trip reports. Elation soon turned into disappointment when seeing new posts in this TR only to learn about seat assignment crapola!

So get on the plane already, ok?

Your #1 fan (probably) in Central America.
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Old Sep 11, 08, 4:16 pm   #7
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FLY EVERY ROUTE

A couple of weeks ago I posted about some crazy travel ideas I have, one of which is to fly every Air New Zealand route (currently 107 routes). A few days later I posted I had flown every domestic route.

This idea started a couple of years ago, when I was bored on a longhaul flight and looking at the route map in the back of the Kia Ora magazine (onboard all Air NZ flights). I realised I'd flown to almost all current Air New Zealand destinations, and had flown a high proportion of their current routes.

While I'd long been trying new destinations and routes I decided to step it up a gear and more actively seek out unflown ones on Air NZ, with an aim of flying them all. At the time I thought it might take a year. It has taken much longer than that, as new routes get added (the conversion of about a dozen trans-tasman routes from low cost subsidiary Freedom Air back to mainline has added several months to the "job") and the realities of inconvenient schedules have had to be dealt with.

At last, I'm now in sight of achieving this goal. Recently I thought I was just a few flights away until I was informed of a seasonal route that I'd overlooked. So instead of completing the job of flying all Air NZ routes in time for the Kiwi Mainland Do Two I will have one current route left unflown. I have of course since booked that flight when it's season resumes shortly afterwards.

This goal has gotten me into some trouble with immigration & customs. Somehow having 6 trans-tasman flights in 4 days is suspicious I've enjoyed some inaugural flights for the last couple of new longhaul routes - Auckland to Vancouver and Auckland to Beijing to Auckland (double inaugural). I've spent a lot of time flying around this corner of the world, mostly in economy. So far I've had no major problems with flights but a few minor ones - a few fog delays of some hours, narrowly missing an airport closure due to a snow storm, broken IFE, a trayful of smoothies in my lap I've also had some good luck with op-ups, rebooking on earlier flights with fees waived, equipment upgrades (a longhaul seat in place of shorthaul) and downgrades (losing a business seat on an all economy flight).

It's been a blast, but I am tiring of this pursuit and thinking about other goals. Hopefully the remaining 3 routes get flown without a hitch and I will move on.
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Old Sep 11, 08, 8:12 pm   #8
 
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[It's been a blast, but I am tiring of this pursuit and thinking about other goals. Hopefully the remaining 3 routes get flown without a hitch and I will move on.
No Kiwi Flyer cannot be serious!
Oh what about ferries and trains in NZ, you have covered some of them....
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Old Sep 13, 08, 4:20 pm   #9
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AUCKLAND to WELLINGTON (AKL-WLG) on Air New Zealand 737-300 in economy class (space+ zone)

I met up with serfty as planned at the airport and we headed through security together into the Qantas Club (since serfty had no access to the Koru Club while I had access to both lounges). As I wasn't the first person through the WTMD today, I did not get the "random" wanding. We chatted a while, and confirmed the suspicion that the latest changes to the Qantas website on the red-edeal page did not work on the Qantas Club computers (software version too old) Why is it that airlines don't think to upgrade their lounge computers at the same time as their websites to ensure they are usable in their own lounge? Air NZ has had similar issues in the past.

After a while serfty's flight was called for boarding and I headed landside then back through security in the Air New Zealand portion of the domestic terminal for the Koru Club. One of my favourite agents was on duty so we had a nice wee chat. I grabbed some fruit for breakfast - the hot offering today was unappealing baked beans and dried up scrambled eggs. Still, the cold breakfast options are always good in the Koru Club - muesli, cereal, fruits, juice and toast. I had enough time to check my emails, airfare websites and FT, and grab a copy of the newspaper to read later.

Boarding was called late in the lounge, as usual. There was plenty of room in the overhead bins for my little carry on and I found I was in luck - despite a very full flight I managed to score an empty middle seat yet again. For those who haven't flown Air New Zealand domestic recently, or don't read the Air NZ forum on FT, space+ is the forward zone in economy on 737, A320 and 767 (only 737 has been completed) with approx 35" of legroom. As I posted on my blog recently, this is better than the longhaul seats and is available on flights as short as 45 minutes.

Being a weekend flight, the offering onboard was a choice of casava crisps or lollies (pineapple lumps and jetplanes). No banana chips this time. Drinks are tea, coffee and water. I read part of the paper, and watched the kiwi trivia quiz which plays on the bulkhead and overhead monitors. I think I zoned out for a while as before I realised what was happening we had touched down at Wellington.
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Last edited by Kiwi Flyer; Sep 13, 08 at 4:28 pm..
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Old Sep 13, 08, 4:33 pm   #10
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WELLINGTON to NADI (WLG-NAN) on Air New Zealand A320 in economy class

I checked in for my onward flights. Air NZ does not yet have on line check in for international flights. However as I was checking in fairly early and Air NZ only had one international flight from Wellington this afternoon, there were no queues and I was quickly given 2 boarding passes. I had retained the seats I'd selected online a couple of days prior - so the new functionality passed the first test.

A quick stop by Travelex to pay the $25 departure fee. The clerk at first did not believe the boarding pass was correct as she thought there was no direct flight to Nadi.

Then, I headed up to the Qantas Club with blackcloud to pleasantly while away the time until immigration opened up.
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Old Sep 13, 08, 9:30 pm   #11
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A quick stop by Travelex to pay the $25 departure fee.
Something I really love about NZ airports. Hopefully all of them will build this into the ticket price in the future.
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Old Sep 14, 08, 12:46 pm   #12
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AKL has the international departure fee included in the ticketing now (and also added an international arrival fee).

At the others normally the NZ Gold/Koru/Business class check in is happy to deal with the departure fee (cash or credit card), but for some unknown reason I've never been able to do so at WLG or DUD.
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Old Sep 16, 08, 12:52 pm   #13
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WELLINGTON to NADI (WLG-NAN) on Air New Zealand A320 in economy class continued

On the way out of the Qantas Club we had a brief chat with sixties chick, then a short wait at immigration and I went straight to the NZ international lounge. There, I was warmly welcomed back on sight (no need to show my boarding pass or card ) and advised the middle seat had again been blocked for me. I quickly checked my email on a lounge computer in the couple of minutes before boarding. This took longer than I expected due to the computer rebooting itself for system updates just after I'd logged in Given the lounge is only open for a few hours a day, why can't these updates be scheduled for a time that won't inconvenience passengers?

As a result I was last to leave the lounge, but didn't hold up boarding as I joined a queue of 2 in the airbridge. Perfect timing.

I was looking forward to the flight. The online seat selection map indicated I had space+ seating (plus AVOD IFE) when I selected my seat a couple of days before, and earlier in the day it was still showing as space+. Unfortunately, it was soon apparent as a non-refurbished a/c. I made a mental note that while the refurbishment programme is underway, the online seat maps may not be reliable. Instead of something new I'd get to watch Death Defying Acts yet again, with less legroom

The meal was offered less than an hour into the flight. It was a choice of crumbed chicken or a lamb pasta bake. Both with a little salad and a small cake, hot and cold drinks, soft or alcoholic (hic).

I was tired after a hectic week and little sleep the previous night and so I dozed off at the end of the movie. We landed in the warm tropical Fiji night.
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Old Sep 16, 08, 1:06 pm   #14
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I am looking forward to seeing where Kiwi Flyer ends up next.

Maybe there should be a thread on FT entitled "Where is Kiwi ???"
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Old Sep 16, 08, 2:21 pm   #15
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NADI to CHRISTCHURCH (NAN-CHC) on Air New Zealand A320 in economy class

With a short connection I rushed down the airbridge and walked to transit. Security asked me to get the boarding pass reissued at the desk, as they did also for a number of passengers connecting from Sydney to Los Angeles on Air Pacific. This took several minutes and I got handed a new identical boarding pass.

That was good enough to get me through security. I headed downstairs to the Air NZ lounge and grabbed a towel at reception to use the shower. This is very basic and would have done the job nicely but for a total lack of ventilation - meaning the heat and humidity were terrible. So much for a refreshing shower

There is no computer and the lounge was rather full, with just a few spare seats. Air NZ has two departures tonight. I headed out to have a look at the duty free while waiting for boarding. The prices were higher than I expected, and much higher than for example in Rarotonga, so I did not end up buying anything.

By the time I reached the upper level boarding had started. The load was very light and they were soon making a final call. Back onboard I saw I'd gotten an empty row. We pushed back early and an early pa announcement was made reassuring passengers the score in the Bledisloe Cup and Tri Nations decider (against Australia) would be announced as soon as it was known.

The movie was Second Hand Wedding which was quite good. I hadn't seen it before having previously carefully avoided it in the AVOD selection on 777 flights in the expectation I'd see it this flight. Ah it is good that Air NZ publishes the monthly IFE listings both online and in the Kia Ora magazine.

This time the meal was served well into the flight, which I thought was odd given many passengers wanted to sleep. By the time dinner was served I'd already had several glasses of the Saint Clair sauvignon blanc (from business class) and was ready for another bite (especially after the less than palatable meal on the flight over). The offering was fish cake (when oh when will they get rid of this tray of foulness) or a herb crusted chicken. Again a small salad and cake, plus drinks.

I dozed for a bit, but did not get much sleep, and chatted a while with one of the FAs. Each pa announcing the score was either met with stunned silence (and the odd loud groan) or cheers and clapping. As we descended to Christchurch, some half an hour early, the final score was given. A narrow pulsating win to the All Blacks. Dang - wish I'd seen that game.

A brief stop at duty free before immigration. A few questions there, and again at customs, and I was through landside far earlier than I expected.

106 Air NZ routes down, 1 to go. As that last route is seasonal, completing the "task" will go on hold for a short while. But that just gives me time for a few more trips.
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