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Across the Globe in 5 Continents

Across the Globe in 5 Continents

Old Apr 9, 06, 7:17 pm
  #1  
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Across the Globe in 5 Continents

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 4:07 pm Reason: Updated index of my TRs
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Old Apr 9, 06, 8:27 pm
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IN THE BEGINNING

Yes it's time again. Every Easter the last several years I have travelled, and going further back, I have travelled most Easters. Past trips include northern Europe, Scandanavia, and Iceland. Last year was a RTW including parts of eastern Europe.

With the dates fitting well for work, Easter and public holidays, I decided on another RTW. This is the story of that trip, plus some travel in the days immediately beforehand.

================

AN ISLAND IN THE SUN

After a particularly busy period at work I finally had some free time, and so with a sale underway I decided to do a quick trip to one of the south pacific islands I had yet to visit - Tonga. Tonga is just a few hours flying from Auckland and with regular flights is easily reached. My original plan was to spend a couple of days there and get off the main island to one of the more beautiful islands. However, the airline schedule and my work conspired against me. I almost cancelled but decided to stick with a turnaround and save a proper visit for another time. At the very least I could collect some useful info for a later visit.

I left early for the airport, mindful of the announced major delays due to the roadworks on Mangere Bridge between city and airport. However, despite reports on a previous weekend of multi-hour snarl ups, the traffic was reasonably light and so arrived at the airport in plenty of time.

I headed straight to the separate premium check in area that Air New Zealand has for its premium and elite pax, where I had a 15 minute wait to be checked in. Only a couple of check in staff for a modest volume of pax at this hour, but the ones at the counters both seemed to have issues needing sorting out. Later some more check in staff arrived, but my luck there was no better than with supermarket roulette - the other lines moved faster. Never mind, while 15 minutes is the longest I have ever waited in the AKL premium check in area it still is nothing compared with other airport queues. The check in staff, as with all front line Air New Zealand staff, have the new Zambezi uniforms. There has been mixed reviews and comments in the media, and my first impressions were hardly overwhelming.

After receiving the boarding pass I paid the departure tax (yes New Zealand really is in the stone age in requiring departure tax to be paid at the airport, but at least premium pax can pay at check-in - see AKL airport thread for more info).

Then quickly through immigration and up the escalator bypassing the main immigration queues to security. It doesn't take long and I'm arriving at the very nice Air New Zealand lounge. Since the last time I was here the reception area has been changed with the big desk removed and replaced by a couple of maitre'd stations. While it may look snazzier, I dont think it is very practical as staff and pax alike have no space to put things down. I made a mental note for when I leave the lounge, that the peppermints have been moved from the front desk to the inside desk.

I still was disappointed to reconfirm that the international lounge, with 8 different beers and 5 different wines, had much less beer varieties than the main domestic Koru Clubs (see mini tour of NZ or the summer series - AKL WLG CHC and DUD), and still no Macs Gold. Regulars of the NZ and QF forum (what is it with antipodeans and obsession with beer?) will know it's a bugbear of mine - despite the odd report from other FTers finding Macs Gold in the international lounges it has been a long time between (these) drinks for me.

Enough of this wittering. For those interested in the lounge there is plenty of information on other threads in FT. It really is a nice lounge and today isnt too full.

Last edited by Kiwi Flyer; Apr 1, 16 at 4:07 pm
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Old Apr 9, 06, 9:11 pm
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AN ISLAND IN THE SUN continued

Today's flight is on an Air New Zealand 767. Unusually for me, I notice the aircraft registration as the last 2 letters remind me of someone's initials. We push back roughly on time despite a very late boarding - the flight is so lightly loaded that boarding takes very little time and there is almost no time between the announcements for pax with families or needing assistance to board, business class and *gold pax, and the general boarding call.

The service onboard is excellant (as I've come to expect). It's a very relaxing flight of a few hours which I while away catching up on some papers and watching. I'll post a menu when I have a chance. The food is quite good and the wines are excellent. Sorry mad_atta but once I found the Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc there was no further sampling, other than to try out the desert wine which had changed to Canterbury House (I think???) - somewhat less overpowering and not quite as sweet as the De Bortoli that used to be stocked.

The view on final approach to Nuku'Alofa (TBU) was stunning. Coming in initially over startling clear water, then right over the length of the main island with other smaller islands in the distance, past the plantations to land seemingly in the middle of one. As with other pacific island airports, and other quiet airports elsewhere, there is no taxiway with just a large turning circle at the end of the runway. There are no aircraft on the tarmac at either the international or domestic terminals. We deplane by steps of course and make our way through the warm embrace of the tropical sun.

Despite a sign over the departure gate for transits, all pax must go to immigration. This caused some confusion with many questions on the forms not relevant for transits but soon enough I was through baggage claim and customs and made it landside where a large crowd was milling. In this short time a flight arrived from Nadi, Fiji, and so there were families meeting 2 flight arrivals and dropping off 2 flight departures.

I had enough time to collect some info that will help for a later trip, and then proceeded to the door to immigration. Here I was told my boarding pass (issued in Auckland) was no good - it will need to be reissued It was perhaps due to the different paper/cardboard being used? Anyway, reissue took no time at all with a small detour to get a departure tax exemption stamped on the boarding pass and quickly through immigration (strangely no forms for leaving the country).

Airside the terminal is fairly basic with 1 duty free shop selling booze and cigarettes, one selling a very limited range of souvenirs, and a small cafe. There is no aircon, a full room of pax and a hot steamy day and so immediately I regretted not staying landside as long as possible.

Boarding is quite orderly and takes somewhat longer as the flight is much fuller going back. The aircraft seems positively freezing compared with outside and in the terminal and I wonder if I should ask for a blanket!

We take off a little late but make good time en route. Another nice meal and fantastic service and we arrive back at Auckland. I was stunned to find immigration and agriculture check totally empty other than the officers.

The trip back from the airport to city required the detour through Manukau due to the roadworks. It took maybe 10 minutes longer than normal and I'd be interested to know how it compares in peak hour as a viable alternative route (though I suspect will be worse then judging by how clogged the Southern Motorway becomes after 3pm weekdays).

So ends a nice day out - a refreshing break, some miles, and a chance to work through some papers in comfort.
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Old Apr 9, 06, 11:46 pm
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Looking forward to future installments.

I hope you get to spend some more time on the ground on your other destinations
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Old Apr 10, 06, 6:56 am
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Originally Posted by Kiwi Flyer
[b]The service onboard is excellant (as I've come to expect). It's a very relaxing flight of a few hours which I while away catching up on some papers and watching. I'll post a menu when I have a chance. The food is quite good and the wines are excellent. Sorry mad_atta but once I found the Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc there was no further sampling, other than to try out the desert wine which had changed to Canterbury House (I think???) - somewhat less overpowering and not quite as sweet as the De Bortoli that used to be stocked.
Oh well, I'll forgive you this once, Kiwi Flyer, but don't let it happen again. Wither Hills s/b is indeed a very decent drop. Did you happen to notice whether they were serving real (French) champagne or the kiwi stuff? I've noticed that on some Tasman runs they seem to serve one in one direction and the other in the other.

As for the dessert wine, I'm a big fan of the De Bortoli. That vanished a little while ago - I think last time I flew NZ J they had Alpha Domus? Still very drinkable.

Looking forward to more... (of your report, and dessert wine )
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Old Apr 10, 06, 12:21 pm
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IIRC it was Veuve Clicquot NV Champagne.

Last edited by Kiwi Flyer; Apr 10, 06 at 12:53 pm
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Old Apr 10, 06, 12:29 pm
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Menu AKL-TBU

LUNCH

Starter

Peppered tuna with pickled vegetable salad, king prawn on saffron aioli and salmon pate with wasabi caviar.

Main course

Spicy lamb wrap with capsicum, rocket, hummus and caponata in a soft flour tortilla.

Crispy skinned snapper with soft herb couscous, cream tarragon sauce, orange and pink grapefruit citrus salsa.

Basil and fate filled chicken thigh, kumara and thyme mash, broccolini and spiced black Doris plum sauce.

Dessert

Gourmet double chocolate and golden kiwifruit ice cream.

Cheese

A selection of fine New Zealand cheese.

Beverages

Freshly brewed or decaffeinated coffee, tea, herbal tea or hot chocolate.


Menu TBU-AKL

LUNCH

Starter

Pan seared miso prawns on frisee with ginger, daikon and sweet pepper salad and miso wasabi dressing.

Main course

Karengo crusted snapper with New Zealand olive oil potato mash, vine ripened tomato, wilted spinach, rocket, and verjuice and lime sauce.

Beef fillet steak with speck and horseradish butter, mushrooms, roasted parsnips, courgette and potato.

Smoked chicken and cranberry wrap with rocket and brie, served with potato, cranberry and horopito salad.

Dessert

Wild berry meringue tart.

Cheese

A selection of fine New Zealand cheese.

Beverages

Freshly brewed or decaffeinated coffee, tea, herbal tea or hot chocolate.


BEVERAGES

Spirits

Glenfiddich Malt Whisky
Chivas Regal Blended Whisky
Jack Daniel's Black Label
Gordons Gin
42 Below Vodka
Courvoisier VSOP
Captain Morgan Rum
Ron Bacardi Superior

Port and Liqueurs

Portuguese Port
Grand Marnier
Baileys Irish Cream

Beer

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

Soft Drinks

Mineral water, orange juice, apple juice, tomato juice, cola, lemonade, tonic water, ginger ale and a choice of diabetic drinks are available.
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Old Apr 10, 06, 12:52 pm
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Menu AKL-PER

MAIN MEAL

Starter

Peppered tuna with pickled vegetable salad, king prawn on saffron aioli and salmon pate with wasabi caviar.

Main course

Lemon and oregano rubbed loin of lamb on kawakawa gratin potatoes, leek and spinach with honey, oregano olive oil dressing and macadamia nuts.

Crispy skinned snapper with soft herb couscous, cream tarragon sauce, orange and pink grapefruit citrus salsa.

Basil and fate filled chicken thigh, kumara and thyme mash, broccolini and spiced black Doris plum sauce.

Dessert

Wild berry meringue tart.

Gourmet ice cream dessert of double chocolate and golden kiwifruit ice cream.

Cheese

A selection of fine New Zealand cheese.

Beverages

Freshly brewed or decaffeinated Gravity coffee, tea, herbal tea or hot chocolate.


LIGHT MEAL

Starter

Fresh fruit salad of melon, kiwifruit and tropical papaya.

Main course

Smoked chicken and cranberry wrap with rocket and brie, served with potato, cranberry and horopito salad.

Toasted salmon, basil pesto and tomato baguette with fennel, salted capers, capsicum and piri piri sauce.

Dessert

Freshly baked blueberry friand and orange syrup tea cakes.

Beverages

Freshly brewed or decaffeinated Gravity coffee, tea, herbal tea or hot chocolate.


BEVERAGES

Spirits

Glenfiddich Malt Whisky
Chivas Regal Blended Whisky
Jack Daniel's Black Label
Gordons Gin
42 Below Vodka
Courvoisier VSOP
Captain Morgan Rum
Ron Bacardi Superior

Port and Liqueurs

Portuguese Port
Grand Marnier
Baileys Irish Cream

Beer

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

Soft Drinks

Mineral water, orange juice, apple juice, tomato juice, cola, lemonade, tonic water, ginger ale and a choice of diabetic drinks are available.[/QUOTE]

42 Below Cocktails

Falling Water
A cool delicious re-hydrating combination of lemonade, sliced cucumber and 42 Below Feijoa Vodka served over ice.

Backyard Bellini
A crisp refreshing aperitif of apple juice and 42 Below Feijoa Vodka topped with Champagne and a dash of elderflower cordial.
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Old Apr 10, 06, 3:27 pm
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Another great trip report Kiwi Flyer!!! ^
Can't wait to read the rest...

Would you mind giving some hints on what to look forward to??
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Old Apr 10, 06, 4:23 pm
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You know one of the upcoming flights, that it is 5 continents, and probably can guess it is *A. That's enough to start with.

I'll post the next instalment today or tomorrow.
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Old Apr 10, 06, 7:27 pm
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THE HEAT IS ON

A few days later and it was time to head back to the airport for the flight to Perth, Western Australia. Ironically there are no places in WA mentioned in the song I've Been Everywhere. While I have seen quite a bit of Australia over the years, I have only visited Western Australia a few times so a great chance to see "the Real Australia" as the tourism board promotes the state.

On the way to the check in area at AKL airport I noticed that there is a new way to pay the annoying NZ departure tax - namely machines outside the downstairs BNZ branches accepting mastercard, visa and NZ issued ATM cards. However I dont bother since I can pay at premium check in which is just as convenient for me.

For the second time in succession there is a queue with pax at check in having some issues being sorted out. The one in front of me has transferred from another flight but for some reason wasn't checked through and now isnt allowed to check in since the US flights check in only opens 3 hours prior to departure (as written on a sign by the premium check in entrance). Its currently a few hours more than that before their flight. I think they wanted to check in and then do some sightseeing.

This takes a few minutes to sort out and then I am quickly checked in and through to the lounge again.
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Old Apr 11, 06, 6:42 am
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Originally Posted by Kiwi Flyer
Freshly brewed or decaffeinated Gravity coffee, tea, herbal tea or hot chocolate.
Hmmmmmmm.... does this mean that they finally have real (versus instant) decaffeinated coffee? Or is it just sloppily written copy? The fact that NZ decaf coffee is instant has been one of my gripes about NZ J for many years.

Those 42 Below cocktails sound rather good, especially the 'Backyard Bellini'. Though how anything containing alcohol can legitimately be described as 'rehydrating' is beyond me...
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Old Apr 11, 06, 2:51 pm
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THE HEAT IS ON continued

Boarding is called and I head out to the gate. I notice we have the same aircraft from the other day. The flight is quite full but we leave on time. The taxi is slow due to the maintenance on the main runway - the secondary runway (which normally serves as taxiway) is being used instead. Flying time is longer than usual owing to very strong headwinds (ground speed not much over 700 km/h much of the way), and we have enough time for both movie cycles and a complete repeat of the first cycle also. The flight path took us south of Hobart and then northwest across the Great Australian Bight.

As posted above, there is a strong similarity in the menu from the previous two flights. We arrive late, but as Perth doesnt see too many international flights immigration, customs and agriculture screening don't take long.

Parmelia Hilton had a great special rate which I couldn't pass up - and this will help my requalification effort too. For the first time I can recall there is no complimentary wine, however there is a nice room upgrade to a suite.

The next day I take the train to the port of Freemantle, like Auckland a former home to the America's Cup. I while away the warm morning wandering around looking at the old town and the markets, before heading to the jazz & blues festival which coincidentally is on today. The afternoon is hot and sunny - a reminder that summer isn't quite ready to give way to autumn. Later, on the way back to the airport I decided I had just enough time for some shopping and even a haircut.

Back at the international terminal and there are lots of passengers milling around. Oh dear the monitors show a significantly delayed flight with expected departure pushed back 9 1/2 hours. It turns out there was a mechanical issue, and since Air New Zealand's fleet is very well utilised that means delay. In all my hundreds of flights I have been fortunate to rarely have major flight delays, with the worst cases weather related.

I have some more flights the next day, scheduled a few hours after the red eye was supposed to arrive. So when I reach the counter I ask my options. The expected arrival time is late enough that I cannot be shifted to later flights that day. The nice agent puts some notes into my record and advises someone will call when I get back to Auckland.

They aren't checking in anyone, but instead issuing hotel and taxi vouchers to spend the night at the Sheraton. I've stayed there before so I know its a nice enough hotel. So an hour after leaving the city for the airport and I'm on my way back to the city. I'm sure it must have taken considerably longer for those without status flying economy.

Even though dinner is included I decide to flag it, prefering instead to take a walk and get to bed early. The wake up call is due at OMG o'clock and I'm not looking forward to it. The shrill of the wake up call does its job. Bleary eyed I check the clock - grrr its early. A note slid under the door explains Air NZ set a group wake up call (makes sense) and booked a bus and cancelled the taxi vouchers. There was a lame excuse about traffic concerns - come on there's hardly going to be any at 3:30 am. After freshening up and checking out, it turns out the bus isnt big enough for everyone so a lucky few stragglers get to go by taxi after all.

Back at the airport, check in is quick but immigration hasn't yet opened. There's a stampede when immigration opens and so a long queue forms. This isnt helped by one of the two officers having problems with her computer. Once through security I browse the duty free and reconfirm prices are better in New Zealand (at least for booze). Air NZ uses the Qantas lounge for *Gold, Koru Club and business class passengers (the Qantas agent who did the checking in forgot to mention this but I know from past experience); however it hasn't yet opened. When it opens 20 minutes later I enter and grab a much needed coffee or three.

The inbound flight arrives even later than expected, probably due to the strong headwinds again, and so boarding is late. Shortly after announcing boarding in the lounge, I'm paged for late boarding. While I appreciate they want a fast turnaround, there was no need for this call as there was still a huge queue in the airbridge when I arrived at the gate.

I notice once again I'm in the same aircraft(!) and of course the same crew who flew over. With the strong tailwinds the flight is very quick - a little over 5 hours compared with close to 8 hours on the way over. The flight path took us south of Adelaide and over Melbourne.

A breakfast is served not long after take off. Sorry no menus handed out due to catering being completely different. I missed the usual fruit selection and plain yoghurt for example.

From memory there was a strawberry smoothie; some fruit (pineapple, melon, watermelon); fruit yoghurt, croissant or blueberry muffin; choice of omlette, mixed grill or fish; tea, coffee, juice or water. There was no snack offered later in the flight.

So I arrived back at Auckland about the time I expected, but without the 2 extra flights elsewhere. Immigration, customs and agriculture check went fairly quick and I was landside within 10 minutes.
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Old Apr 11, 06, 2:53 pm
  #14  
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Summary to date

Map

4 flights
9,133 flown miles
1 continent - Australia
3 countries - Tonga, NZ, Australia
1 aircraft type - 767 (actually just 1 aircraft!)
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Old Apr 11, 06, 4:11 pm
  #15  
 
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Originally Posted by Kiwi Flyer
1 aircraft type - 767 (actually just 1 aircraft!)
That's pretty amazing! The closest I've come to that as 3/4 segments of an intercontinental trip on the same bird
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