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AKL-YYZ with NZ/AC in F & C

AKL-YYZ with NZ/AC in F & C

Old Jan 5, 04, 10:53 am
  #1  
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AKL-YYZ with NZ/AC in F & C

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
  42. Sky Team madness - 14 weeks, 200k miles, 5 continents, CI brand new business – mostly Sky Team
  43. Off to Star megado on Oneworld - mostly business incl brand new AA 787
  44. A Glutton for Punishment: red eye, new world's longest flight & more, in comfort?

Last edited by Kiwi Flyer; Apr 1, 16 at 4:14 pm Reason: update index to my TRs
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Old Jan 5, 04, 10:55 am
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Hi

This is my very first trip report and very first F experience. So apologies in advance if I gush Thanks to skiadcock and mad_atta for prompting me to write it up.

I had booked AKL-YYZ in C with NZ/AC and requested upgrades to F for AKL-LAX and vv using 2 free NZ upgrade coupons. IMHO the best possible use of these on NZ.

The itinerary:
AKL-LAX on NZ4 a/c 747-400 dep 1850 arr 0945
LAX-YYZ on AC791 (NZ4792) a/c A320-100 dep 1300 arr 2035
YYZ-LAX on AC792 (NZ4791) a/c A320-100 dep 0900 arr 1133
LAX-AKL on NZ3 a/c 747-400 dep 1335 arr 2320

Arrived at AKL early with light traffic en route. The upgrade hadn’t been confirmed so was a bit apprehensive – in a good way Went to the premier check-in (for biz, first and * Gold). Felt strange using First check-in instead of the biz.

At first it didn’t look too good – biz boarding pass, although she quickly noticed the upgrade request and rang through to check. It was good news “congratulations” and tear up the boarding pass. A new one printed and I am in 2J. A second boarding pass for the AC flight – first one checking in for that one, no surprises there Paid the departure tax, and bags tagged to YYZ. No wait at the premier immigration officer and very brief delay at screening. Then after a quick stop at duty free it’s off to the lounge.

NZ4 AKL-LAX

A nice welcome back and please enjoy our first section. NZ’s F lounge at AKL is much quieter than the biz and * Gold one next door. Food, drink and reading material seemed similar although I wasn’t paying too much attention to be honest. Popped next door to check my email. Didn’t spend much time though as wanted to get back to the lounge All too soon the flight was called and time to go.

A short walk down to the end of the pier where US bound flights depart. There was a QF flight leaving too – another 747. So of course chaos at the re-screening. Was pleased to hear QF pax being told to wait for NZ pax Straight through and onto the plane. The GA said “welcome Mr Flyer”, as usual. Only one boarding ramp. But nice to turn left! Was shown to my seat.

Before I’d even had a chance to put my carry on away the ISD introduced himself and made me feel special. A couple of glasses of Mumm’s champagne and some nibbles for pre-flight while I got used to the seat etc. Wider than biz class, the usual NZ comfort (nice soft thick cushions), goes flatter than biz seat although not totally flat (and as others have mentioned the leg rest doesn’t come up to vertical), wider armrests. Manual seat adjustment! Plenty of space with only 12 seats. About 8 pax, no one in 2K. Biz and econ were full.

About 20 VOD titles, but unfortunately I’d seen all the ones I was interested in. Otherwise IFE the same as biz – ie 8 movie channels each with 2 cycles and about 10 audio channels. There were plenty of LOTR tie-ins, with the trailer for ROTK, a making of doco and a CNN review of the making of.

After taking off roughly on time we had another drink and snack – warm nuts! Here is the NZ F menu:

DINNER

Appetiser
Tasting plate of Malborough smoked salmon, seared tuna with caponata salad, and marinated king prawn on linguini.

Warmed crumbed artichoke hearts filled with five cheese gnocchi, served on romesco sauce with mizuna salad and sherry vinaigrette

Soup
Sweet corn, chilli and basil soup

Mains
Pan seared beef tenderloin with duxelle, horseradish and parsley brioche crust, rosemary and garlic potatoes, shallots and green beans

Bacon wrapped chicken medallions filled with basil and sage pesto, served on tomato herb risotto with rocket and freshly shaved parmesan

Herb marinated New Zealand snapper with grilled scallops, baby leeks, scalloped potatoes with celeriac and lemon beurre blanc

Vegetarian choice
Roasted pumpkin, red pepper and sweet potato timbale served with fennel and salad greens on roasted red pepper and thyme sauce

Salad
Freshly tossed salad offered with your choice of aioli dressing or extra-virgin olive oil and red wine vinaigrette. You may choose this either as a side salad to accompany your main selection or as a separate course.

Desserts
Chocolate raspberry macaroon tart with raspberry coulis and vanilla king ice cream

Kapiti fig and honey ice cream and boysenberry ice cream log with spiced fig, pear and ginger compote

Cheese and fruit
A selection of fine New Zealand cheese and seasonal fruit

Beverages
Freshly brewed or decaffeinated coffee, tea, herbal tea and hot chocolate. Artificial sweetener available

Light refreshment
A selection of light refreshments, cold snacks, sandwiches and fruit is available at any time throughout the flight.


BREAKFAST

Beverages
Your selection of juice, fruit smoothie, freshly brewed or decaffeinated coffee, tea, herbal tea and hot chocolate. Artificial sweetener available

Appetiser
Fresh fruit selection with assorted cereals and organic yoghurt

Mains
Three egg tomato omelette filled with fresh tomato concasse and chives, served with asparagus and Lyonnaise potatoes

Poached eggs with hollandaise sauce, English muffin, grilled ham and Roma tomatoes

Creamy scrambled eggs with seared salmon, wilted spinach and toasted brioche

Field mushroom ragout with Roma tomatoes and grilled Canadian bacon

Bakery selection
Warm croissants, muffins, white and wholemeal toast and assorted conserves


BEVERAGES

Aperitifs
Lustrau Fino Sherry
Vermouth sweet or dry
Campari

Spirits
Glenfiddich Malt Whisky
Chivas Regal Whisky
Jack Daniel’s Black Label
Wild Turkey Bourbon
Tanqueray Gin
Absolut Vodka
Hennessy XO
Ron Bacardi Superior
Appleton Estate Rum

Port and Liquers
Taylors 20 year Tawny Port
Cointreau
Drambuie
Tia Maria
Grand Marnier
Baileys Irish Cream

Beer
A selection of beer featuring Steinlager, Export Gold, Heineken and low alcohol lager

Soft Drinks
Orange juice, tomato juice, cola, lemonade, tonic water, ginger ale and a choice of diabetic drinks are available

White Wine
Montana Res Barrique Fermented Chardonnay 2001 Marlborough New Zealand
Mt Pleasant Lovedale Semillon 1997 NSW Australia
Palliser Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Martinborough New Zealand
Framingham Dry Riesling 2001 Marlborough New Zealand

Red Wine
Mills Reef Elspeth Cabernet Merlot 2000 Hawkes Bay New Zealand
Nevis Bluff Pinot Noir 2001 Central Otago New Zealand
Limestone Ridge 1998

Dessert Wine
Forrest Estate Botrytised Riesling 2002 Martinborough New Zealand

Champagne
Moet et Chandon Dom Perignon 1995


Not on the menu, but also the usual selection of rolls – whole grain, whole meal, plain, garlic bread.

Edited to note that the drinks list appears to be incomplete. Definitely had some nice Cloudy Bay which isnt above

Noticed the toilets were nicer – unless I imagined it, roomier, and also better amenities. The amenity kit itself is only marginally better than biz class kit. Although I found the eyeshades far superior.

Thoroughly enjoyed the meals. The FAs were super attentive. A nice touch was the individual water bottle, although they still kept the glass fill throughout the night. Had the best sleep ever for this routing – wonder if this is because of the seat, the eyeshade or too much to drink

Arrived at LAX a little early. No major turbulence in the tropics for a change. Off downstairs to pick up the bags for re-screening. Seemed quieter than other times I’d been through LAX since 911. Bag was about tenth on the belt and quick through security – only 15 minutes. Bag rechecked and pop outside to get to departures upstairs. Passing the AC check in and very glad to have the boarding pass in hand – queues out the door and a hand written sign saying computers down. I wonder if flight will be delayed. At re-screening enjoyed slipping through quickly in the priority queue. The main queue seemed to be fairly slow. This time had to take my shoes off (why is it that the same pair of shoes sometimes is fine and sometimes you have to take off?).

AC791 LAX-YYZ

Skipped the duty free and go upstairs to the NZ lounge on advice of FTers on the AC forum. The NZ lounge at LAX was okay, but far short of those in Australia/NZ. F is just marked out as certain seats within the lounge. Food fairly limited, although this may be because it was quiet – the next NZ flight being a few hours away. Wines mainly Montana (Brancott). A few internet machines and an okay shower (though with low water pressure). Being a bit curious I headed next door to the AC lounge with 15 minutes to go to boarding. Not as nice, much busier and no toilets/shower.

Boarding for AC was an absolute zoo. Gate area packed with several flights leaving together. The AC GAs struggled and failed to keep order with a big rush on the first call for Exec First class, Super Elites and * Golds. I took my seat 1A. The flight seemed to be full and we left about 30 minutes late. While taxiing I counted 5 QF 747s, 3 NZ 747s and 1 NZ 767 (2 of the NZ a/c had a LOTR design)!

The AC flight was far inferior to NZ biz (and various others), about the same as NZ econ international (pre Tasman Express). Seat had okay width but very hard and uncomfortable with limited recline and leg rest extension. Still, a look back at econ convinced me that would be far worse. Food and drink very ordinary. No pre-flight drink or snack, cold nuts after take-off and an ordinary main meal. No menus.

Limited IFE and FAs gave poor service. Maybe I’ve been spoiled with NZ, SQ and QF!

Veered away from downtown Chicago and Detroit, but conversely had a couple of loops over downtown Toronto on approach. Arrival over half an hour late. Waited a long time for the bags.

Part 2 coming soon!
Part 2
Apologies for breaking this up but having trouble posting as one.
--

AC792 YYZ-LAX

Arrived at the terminal early. Large queues at econ check-in and the quick check-in machines. No wait for me at the premier check in. Again the upgrade had not been confirmed so it was nice to get a boarding pass with 1A on NZ for LAX-AKL 1K this time for the AC flight.

Really long lines at US immigration. There was a separate line for US citizens which moved ten times faster than the other two lines. Pretty soon passengers on several flights nearing departure were pulled out to the priority queue and no one else moved. This in turn meant others were looking like missing their flights and they too were being pulled out. After 30 minutes of slow movement and 30 minutes of no movement in the other queues I was beginning to wonder if the < 2 hours I’d allowed would be enough. Finally I get to the officer. Then there was a hold up due to LAX immigration not collecting the green card and showing up on the computer as already being in the US! Eventually he accepted I wasn’t a threat and so through I go. Check the bags in and off to find the lounge. Whether I was too tired from the early start or not but I went past the MLL lounge a few times before finding it Given the huge queues outside I was surprised to find the MLL fairly empty. Just enough time to check emails and grab a coffee and time to board.

Again a full flight. Unfortunately the same quality food, drinks, IFE, service as coming over. Boarding closed ten minutes before departure time so looked like no delays. However we then spent more than an hour while the FAs counted and recounted the passengers before finally deciding the numbers were correct. I don’t know why it was so hard given there were no empty seats. Anyway after take off the captain apologised for the :”unneccessary delayed departure” which I thought was good. Otherwise an uneventful flight and we arrived only 30 minutes late. Again quite a few QF and NZ a/c on the apron.

NZ3 LAX-AKL

Having the bags checked by US immigration at YYZ there was no need to collect and recheck so straight upstairs to the NZ lounge. Much fuller this time, in fact very few seats spare and no chance to use the internet computers. The ISD for NZ3 went around the lounge and introduced himself. A nice touch.

All too soon it was time to board. Food, drinks, service, seats, IFE all good again. This time only 6 in F, and again an empty seat next to me.

Here is the NZ F menu:

DINNER

Appetiser
Blue crab cakes with vine ripened tomato, fennel and paprika aioli

Baked goat cheese with almond and apricot in the filo. Melon and kiwifruit vinaigrette

Soup
Tortilla soup

Mains
Pan seared New Zealand lamb cutlets with almond saffron rice cake and spinach flan with mild curry cilantro mint sauce

Sauteed john dory with crab and caviar. Chardonnay watercress tomato sauce

Chilled salad of white hickory, smoked breast of chicken with tropical fruit and Californian field salad. Passion fruit lime vinaigrette

Vegetarian choice
Wild mushroom ravioli with grilled fennel, aromatic vegetables and tomato saffron broth

Salad
Freshly tossed salad offered with your choice of Roquefort dressing or extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette. You may choose this either as a side salad to accompany your main selection or as a separate course.

Desserts
Apricot pistachio Bavarian cream

Organic ice cream selection with fresh berries

Cheese and fruit
A selection of fine New Zealand cheese and seasonal fruit

Beverages
Freshly brewed or decaffeinated coffee, tea, herbal tea and hot chocolate. Artificial sweetener available

Light refreshment
A selection of light refreshments, cold snacks, sandwiches and fruit is available at any time throughout the flight.


SUPPER

Beverages
Freshly brewed or decaffeinated coffee, tea, herbal tea and hot chocolate. Artificial sweetener available

Appetiser
Fresh fruit plate with papya, mango and strawberry

Mains
Mild chilli paprika marinated chicken breast with tomato and avocado quesadilla. Roasted green tomato cilantro sauce

Sauteed striped sea bass with shrimp in crispy oriental noodle, sweet and sour star anis sauce

Warmed focaccia sandwich with with grilled ham, fontina cheese and marinated chargrilled vegetables

Vegetarian Choice
East vegetarian Rice paper egg-roll, tofu vegetable satay and steamed siew mai. Soy peanut chilli lime dipping sauce

Dessert
Orange currant bread with plum mousse and port wine poached apple

Cheese and fruit
A selection of fine New Zealand cheese and seasonal fruit


BEVERAGES

Aperitifs
Lustrau Fino Sherry
Vermouth sweet or dry
Campari

Spirits
Glenfiddich Malt Whisky
Chivas Regal Whisky
Jack Daniel’s Black Label
Wild Turkey Bourbon
Tanqueray Gin
Absolut Vodka
Hennessy XO
Ron Bacardi Superior
Appleton Estate Rum

Port and Liquers
Taylors 20 year Tawny Port
Cointreau
Drambuie
Tia Maria
Grand Marnier
Baileys Irish Cream

Beer
A selection of beer featuring Steinlager, Export Gold, Heineken and low alcohol lager

Soft Drinks
Orange juice, tomato juice, cola, lemonade, tonic water, ginger ale and a choice of diabetic drinks are available

White Wine
Montana Res Barrique Fermented Chardonnay 2001 Marlborough New Zealand
Mt Pleasant Lovedale Semillon 1997 NSW Australia
Palliser Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Martinborough New Zealand
Framingham Dry Riesling 2001 Marlborough New Zealand

Red Wine
Mills Reef Elspeth Cabernet Merlot 2000 Hawkes Bay New Zealand
Nevis Bluff Pinot Noir 2001 Central Otago New Zealand
Limestone Ridge 1998

Dessert Wine
Forrest Estate Botrytised Riesling 2002 Martinborough New Zealand

Champagne
Moet et Chandon Dom Perignon 1995


Not on the menu, but also the usual selection of rolls – whole grain, whole meal, plain, garlic bread.

Very bumpy soon after take off for several hours. I, and the other F passengers, managed to lose several glasses worth of drink over ourselves and the carpet – fortunately not red wine! The FAs were superb and came by extra frequently to top up since we couldn’t manage a full glass! Decided to be brave and asked for soup and managed to not spill any.

While I didn’t want to sleep too much given the late evening arrival and wanting to savour the F experience, I did end up napping for a short while.

All too soon it was over. Stopped by duty free again to get the express immigration at AKL. At this arrival time it is only a short bonus, but a force of habit with me after several very long waits with several 747s arriving at once. Still there were 2 or 3 arrivals just before NZ3 so worth while. Once again the bags seemed to take a while to come (although not as bad as at LAX). Looks like much of the flight has priority tags on the bags. It always seems to be a lottery at AKL as they don’t have levels of priority – sometimes you can get the bags before FAs or 10 passengers even make it down. Not this time though. Anyway very quick exit through quarantine to end the trip.

Hope this trip report is okay and of use. I certainly enjoyed the F experience and thought it well worth the upgrade. Just realised how long this has taken me to type out while avoiding doing some other things

Last edited by Kiwi Flyer; Apr 1, 16 at 4:14 pm
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Old Jan 5, 04, 10:57 am
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And lastly ...
--

A comparison of NZ F vs C

Based on various long and medium haul NZ flights in C - mainly 747 (upper deck of course) and 767 a/c, and the two F flights above.

Lounge at AKL similar quality but F much much quieter and nicer bathroom, at LAX only difference is “special” chairs. Internet computers available.

Boarding F, C and * Gold all at the same time. Greeting by GA and FA the same. More attention by the ISD, although also welcomes C passengers.

Pre-flight no snack in C, also better champagne in F.

Seats more width and better recline in F. Of course very ample leg room in F – no worries getting up from a window seat and wandering around even if someone is in the aisle seat. Both classes have very comfortable seats which I miss on most other airlines I have flown. Wider armrests in F. If anything the F seats seemed to be older than the C seats!

IFE much the same. While F has VOD the selection on my two flights werent of interest to me.

Service both very good. F comes out ahead due to less passengers per FA so slightly faster service and more attentive.

Food while C is very good (no menu on me unfortunately), F comes out ahead. Both allow snacks etc on demand.

Drinks very similar in C and F, with F naturally slightly better quality where there is a difference. I haven’t encountered the individual water bottle in C before, but have never had a problem getting a big bottle when I ask.

Amenities again very similar but F has much better eyeshade.

Toilet better (roomier?) and absolutely no waiting for me in F. 6 or 8 passengers for 2 toilets vs 22(?) for 2 toilets upper deck.

Luggage higher limit for F although no help for me (as * Gold get the same piece limit to and from US). At LAX the F tags seemed to make a difference, but at AKL all priority bags are mixed together.

Misc F deplanes first (of course) then C. In both classes the FA will hang up coats and help with bags in the locker (or the cupboard if it doesn’t fit the locker). Unlike some other airlines doesn’t require boarding stub to go with the coat. Locker seemed bigger in F, although of course only upper deck has the side bin.

Can’t think of anything else at the moment, but feel free to ask and I’ll try to answer if I can.


Cheers

[This message has been edited by Kiwi Flyer (edited Jan 18, 2004).]
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Old Jan 5, 04, 11:45 am
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Awesome report ~ one of the best of the year so far!
Thanks!
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Old Jan 5, 04, 12:50 pm
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Thanks so much for the trip report! Looking forward to flying in F on Wed eve.

------------------
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Old Jan 5, 04, 5:30 pm
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Great report, Kiwi Flyer, and nice to hear you had a positive experience of NZ F. I was thinking that Dom Perignon aside, the wine list seemed a bit low-rent (in fact it seemed identical to business class), but by the sound of it there were other wines on offer. Do you remember any of the other wines beside Cloudy Bay?

The menus sound pretty good - any specific comments on the dishes you chose?
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Old Jan 5, 04, 6:29 pm
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It's refreshing to hear that service is not dead - at least in NZ's world. Your AC experience sounds alot like my YYZ-LAS J class flights, largely uninspired service and just OK food. I wish our airline would try harder. Thanks for the report.
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Old Jan 5, 04, 8:20 pm
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As I will be taking NZ1 from LHR-LAX this Sunday in first I will be reporting as well on this segment. Thanks so much for a wonderful report. The menu sounds fantastic
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Old May 16, 04, 5:07 am
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Taupo tipped me to this thread, so thanks to him and to you, KiwiFlyer, for this report. I am doing this in the reverse direction in about 12-hours, catching AC793 in J and NZ5 in F. Look forward to meeting you in SYD next weekend where we can compare notes.
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Old May 16, 04, 1:10 pm
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Have a great flight
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Old May 16, 04, 7:21 pm
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Originally Posted by Kiwi Flyer
All too soon it was over. Stopped by duty free again to get the express immigration at AKL. At this arrival time it is only a short bonus, but a force of habit with me after several very long waits with several 747s arriving at once.
What does "express immigration" mean?

Will
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Old May 16, 04, 7:30 pm
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AKL airport has a scheme cooked up with the duty free shops. If you buy duty free on arrival (or carrying the right bag of duty free which could be purchased elsewhere - DFS or Galleria ), and are kiwi or aussie passport holder, then you can use express lane immigration when it is open.

As some times of the day there are several long haul flights arriving at the same time this can save quite a wait, even if you are one of the first off the plane. Of course if it is really busy then you may still have to queue for the xray machines after collecting baggage - no express lane there.

However, lately all my arrivals the express lane has been closed. Now by coincidence immigration has been reasonably quiet each time (for me at least as am a fast walker), so I dont know if it is due to arrival time (for instance past experience was it is closed for the early arriving flights 5-6am) or it has been closed down. I have some flights back at different times coming up, or others may be able to help on whether it is closed now or not.

Update: Of the last 2 times through the express lane has been open once and closed the other time. Both times were moderately busy but not as busy as it can be - around 2/3 arrivals in short time.

Last edited by Kiwi Flyer; Jun 1, 04 at 12:55 am Reason: Update
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Old May 17, 04, 10:28 pm
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What else needs to be said? Nothing really...this is one outstanding report... :-:
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