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A Warm Embrace of the Tropics

A Warm Embrace of the Tropics

Old Nov 24, 06, 3:00 pm
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A Warm Embrace of the Tropics

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 4:04 pm Reason: Updated index of my TRs
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Old Nov 24, 06, 3:59 pm
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How do you say Niue?

Earlier this year Air New Zealand launched flights to the small island nation of Niue. For those unsure where Niue is located I've included the map below plus a link to the relevant Google Map.


Oh yeah Niue is pronounced new-ay or new-way.

The start of Air New Zealand's flights has made Niue more accessible. Previously the only ways to get to Niue were by boat, by charter flight and, until last year, by commercial flight on Polynesian Airlines from Samoa. The new flights connects the Niuean people living in New Zealand (mainly Auckland) with their country - indeed more Niueans live in Auckland than on the island!

Naturally with improved access to the island, I had to go there and booked a special fare. The flight is only once a week and so I ended up booking as a turnaround, despite wanting to stay longer - I just didn't have the time. A proper look will have to wait for another trip.

Loads on this new flight seem to be light - the most discounted category of non-sale fare was still available for purchase right until hours before departure.

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

A few months ago the flights were leaving AKL in the wee hours of the morning due to a 3-week power outage on the island preventing flights from landing safely in darkness. To think we feel hard done by to lose air-con for just an hour or so - makes you realise just how lucky we are. Anyway I was grateful that the flights are back to their normal schedule leaving AKL late at night, arriving in IUE (Niue's airport at Alofi) in the middle of the night and returning to AKL by early morning. Why you might ask given they both have middle of the night departures? It is because AKL airport virtually shuts down when the last flight to the US departs, leaving few amenities for passengers on any later flights.

So it was after work that I found myself heading out to the airport for the all-night turnaround trip to IUE - it isn't that unusual for an FTer right? Traffic was particularly heavy, as normal on Friday evening but perhaps added to by the U2 concert on tonight. So I found myself reading all of the posts to date of jacob_m's latest report on an enviable trip, which I had printed out to read on the flights. Doh.

Despite the best efforts of the traffic I managed to arrive at the sweet spot for evening departures - too late for check in for the early evening flights, and a bit early for the latest departures, meaning no queues. Nonetheless I still made use of Air NZ's premium check in facility to check in, pay my departure fee ($25 payable in cash - saves using the machines outside the bank or queueing at the bank to pay) and clear immigration.

But first I have to check in. Being the only passenger using the premium check in at the moment the agent has time for a brief chat and joke about my craziness. Without prompting she changes my pre-selected seats to give me an entire row of 3 seats each way ^. No upgrades are possible for this flight uses the 737-300 aircraft which is fitted out in all economy, as it is mainly used for domestic main trunk flights.

Looking back, the last time I flew on an NZ 737 internationally it probably would have been a 737-200 across the Tasman to Australia. Tonight I head northeast instead of west, and this will be the fourth different NZ aircraft type I have flown to the South Pacific Islands - the others being 747-400, A320 and 767-300. Nothing like variety!

Formalities completed I head up the escalator bypassing the main immigration lines, through security and up to the lounge (via several twists and turns and up another escalator thanks to the terrible design of the international terminal). As the lounge bouncer scans my boarding pass I take a peek at the flight listing on her desk - each flight has notes about how many NZ gold elite, *G, and koru club pax; as well as any needing special attention (eg wheelchairs). It seems I'm the only elite pax on my flight tonight - a stark contrast to many of my main trunk domestic or hub to hub international flights which seem to be full of elites.

I notice a few changes in the lounge but mainly concentrate on getting a bite to eat (nice curry), having a drink (nice red wine - oops did I really have that much already?) and seeing Australia make a strong start of demolishing England in the first Ashes test. I also take the chance to have a shower before the lounge gets too full from passengers on the 2 late NZ flights to London - one via Los Angeles and the other via Hong Kong. It was lucky I did go when I did since I grabbed the last shower - I can't recall seeing them all in use before.

The flight was called later than I expected (already showing closed on the monitors which are notoriously unreliable, at least in the international terminal), followed moments later by final call. Ah good - they waited until boarding nearly complete before calling me then? Alas no. By the time I had wended my way to gate 2 (just a few metres away from the lounge) boarding had not even started, and furthermore there were no gate agents in attendance! Boarding did start a few minutes later and was slow - certainly much slower than on domestic flights. A combination of more carry-on baggage and more families of infrequent flyers chatting and sorting out who will sit by the window, who gets to sit by dad, who gets to sit across the aisle by themselves, etc. So we are about 30 minutes late by the time doors close.

The taxi is quick and we are soon heading into the darkness of the midnight sky, but first doing a lazy turn over the bright lights of the city before heading out into the Pacific Ocean.

Dinner is served straight away. We have a choice of crumbed chicken fillets or lamb pie, both with potato salad, alcoholic (cans of beer and mini bottles of wine - quite reasonable quality for economy without being stunning) and non-alcoholic drinks, and kapiti ice cream (fig and honey). Sorry mad_atta, I failed to get the names of the wines, there were 2 reds and 2 whites to choose from, plus Lindaeur sparkling wine. After my efforts in the lounge I imbibed only minimally.

Once dinner was cleared away I made good use of the 3 seats, for I had 6 blankets and 3 pillows with which to make a nest (and that is without asking for any extras - perhaps a case of mistaken identity?). I managed to get a comfy position and lightly dozed and sometimes watched the IFE. The movie was The Devil Wears Prada, followed by Will & Grace, The Simpsons, and The Family.

Throughout the flight there were problems with the cabin temperature which fluctuated between quite hot and rather cold. The crew came through many times with drinks and water ^

Last edited by Kiwi Flyer; Apr 1, 16 at 4:05 pm
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Old Nov 24, 06, 4:32 pm
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There were no lights to be seen as we approached the airport. I have no idea if this is because we were coming in from the sea (we might have, I simply don't know) or if just a reflection that most folk are asleep in the wee hours of the morning. During the flight we crossed the international date line so it was another Friday for me.

We landed and slowed to a halt right at the very end of the runway, turned and taxiied to the terminal. As we taxiied the announcements got a lot of laughs when mention was made of passengers clearing customs and connecting to domestic flights - for Niue has only 1 airport and this flight is the only scheduled service each week.

Descending the stairs I noticed the humid slightly sweet tropical air instantly. There was a light breeze and so, while warm, it wasn't as hot as I expected.

With so few flights they are not really prepared for crazies like me who turnaround, but they were all very helpful. The immigration officer had a departure card ready for me to fill out and stamped both arrival and departure stamps at once. I got a fright when a huge moth was pointed out to me right beside my feet. Wings outstretched it was as big as my hand and colourful also! So far so good. No checked bags to collect so drop off the customs form with minimal questions and head through to find the way to the departure gate next door. Ummm the security station is locked. I head back inside and get requestioned by customs and after some discussion they said security would be opened for me. It took a while for them to get organised, meanwhile I am standing around dazed and confused. Eventually the security is opened and I get my carryon screened. As with past experiences on other islands, they hand me a new boarding pass which is on old printer paper and handwritten. The seat is the same one I had before being moved to have a row to myself. We'll soon see what this means.

Now back airside. The airport is sparsely appointed. There are no shops whatsoever - there can't be too many international airports you can say that about! Not only that but no drinks machine, no water fountain. There are toilets but either everyone here are giants or there was a mistake in the construction There is also a choice of small waiting room inside, or the open air outside. I choose outside as have most of the passengers.

I wasn't sure whether or not I would need to pay the departure tax. It seems they are okay to waive for transit, but the boarding pass still gets stamped. I had cash in NZ$ for the right amount ($25) ready in case it was needed - thinking, rightly, that they would not have an ATM, eft-pos or even credit card facilities here.

It is nice seeing the activity around the aircraft and on the apron. Much of this is hidden at larger airports with views obscured by airbridges, jutting out bits of the terminal and hidden roadways.

Eventually the bags are all loaded and boarding commences. I hang around until quite late - to maximise the stretching of my legs. I decide, rightly or wrongly, that the hand-written boarding pass is in error. So I head to my seat, only to find there is another passenger in the window seat. At least the middle seat is empty. However, I then get asked to move to a different 3rd seat for "balance reasons". Huh? I realise the load is light with less than half full, but surely not that light. The only time I have before encountered balance reasons for specific seating has been in much smaller aircraft than a 737. So no lying down on the way back, but at least a bit of space around me and no-one in the seat in front to recline into my space.

We take off into the night once more. Breakfast is served shortly thereafter. A choice of muesli or a quiche, plus muffin and fruit salad. The usual drinks selections.

Movie is Click, followed by the same tv programmes as on the way over. Again the cabin temperature fluctuates a bit.

I managed to get a little bit of sleep before waking up to see the apricot hues of the sunrise, with a surprisingly sharp edge to the shadow of nights edge. We get the usual views over Hauraki Gulf and the twin harbours that occurs with flights arriving from the northeast. The flight is nicely timed to be after the 3 longhaul arrivals from LAX plus Perth, Santiago and Buenos Aires; and also after the early flights depart to Australia. So the approach is quick.

Some of the Australia flights must be late pushing back since all the gates are full and 6 aircraft scattered around the international terminal on remote stands, our aircraft being the 7th. There are 3 buses ready which is more than enough for our flight and so with only a 5 minute delay I arrive back at AKL. The immigration queues are not as bad as I'd feared - evidentally the longhaul flights were on time or early thus giving time to process most passengers from the widebodies. Naturally I get a few questions at immigration about the short trip. I satisfied the officer and so no secondary for me this time. Agriculture xray queues are also short, with most of the longhaul passengers still collecting their bags off one of several carousels in use.

While it is disappointing not to have time for a proper visit at the moment, I am glad I took the flight. For who knows, maybe by the time I can spare a week the flight will not be operating? In the meantime I can always plan for the next trip, and the next, and ...
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Old Nov 25, 06, 2:22 pm
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Cool report! Yes, traffic was a nightmare Friday night, not helped by those bloody electronic information signs telling U2 concertgoers to take the Ellerslie exit, thereby slowing the traffic flow down as everyone slowed to read it.

Originally Posted by Kiwi Flyer
followed moments later by final call. Ah good - they waited until boarding nearly complete before calling me then? Alas no. By the time I had wended my way to gate 2 (just a few metres away from the lounge) boarding had not even started, and furthermore there were no gate agents in attendance!
fyi, "final call" on the new Auckland Airport system means that everyone should be in the (enclosed) gate lounge. "Gate closing" now means what used to be, and what still is in any other civilised airport, "final call". Does this make sense? Of course not, but remember who (what) we're talking about here.
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Old Nov 25, 06, 2:27 pm
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Originally Posted by B-HXB
fyi, "final call" on the new Auckland Airport system means that everyone should be in the (enclosed) gate lounge. "Gate closing" now means what used to be, and what still is in any other civilised airport, "final call". Does this make sense? Of course not, but remember who (what) we're talking about here.
Actually the monitors had already showed gate closed (they seem to run on automatic according to the scheduled time and only get updated for delays if they are long delays), the "final call" I refer to was done over the PA in the lounge.
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Old Nov 26, 06, 6:42 pm
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more Kiwi Flyer madness, always a joy to read

No worries about the onboard wine selection... it seems to be pretty standard for the Y-class shorthaul internationals, generally Montana miniatures plus occasionally one Aussie option for the reds. I think I may have seen Nobilo sav blanc on occasion as well... I live for the day that they might see fit to put some Villa Maria products on board, they are constantly winning trophies at the AirNZ wine awards but seldom seem to appear on AirNZ itself.
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Old Dec 3, 06, 12:38 pm
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Viva Vanuatu

Another day, another early start to get to the airport. At least I wasn't on one of the early flights to Australia so I had the luxury of a sleep in until 4:30am. Not much traffic, but we seemed to hit every red light between the city and airport, thus taking 45 minutes instead of the normal 25-30 minutes (at this time of day - much longer is needed later due to traffic).

I head to the premium check in where I see the same agent who checked me in for Niue is on duty so I head to her counter (there being no pax at this time I had the choice of several counters). It seems I managed to hit the sweet spot again for check in, after the rush for all the early flights to australia and before the other pacific and asia flights.

We have a wee chat and again she moves me from the computer pre-allocated seat way down the back to the front of economy (non-bulkhead as I requested) and I get a seat blocked beside me. Even better my elite upgrade has cleared for the return (I used one of the 2 complimentary elite status upgrade vouchers having long since given up on using them on the longhaul flights that I take with NZ). So for very low price (much less than my recent domestic tickets) I get relative comfort both ways on this medium haul flight. Yay.

I pay the departure tax, quickly clear immigration and make my way to the lounge. After being welcomed back I head inside and grab a much needed coffee. There is a spread of hot and cold breakfast foods on offer. I catch up on some emails including working on yet another itinerary with my TA. The expected boarding time comes and goes. As usual the flight monitors advance through the statuses to gate closed as if the flight is leaving on time. Eventually there is an announcement that the flight will be called in 10 minutes. Great for letting us know - saves leaving the lounge too early.

After a while I mosey on down to the gate - we have the closest one to the lounge, but thanks to the terminal layout it is a 5 minute walk away. Sure enough, boarding hasn't yet commenced but it isn't a long wait. The flight looks to be about half full - no wonder NZ was selling on such a heavy discount through the grab a seat sale so recently. (Incidentally I had planned to take these flights and had booked flexible fares even before the sale - the sale was a nice bonus to save me a lot of money by cancelling and rebooking.)
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Old Dec 3, 06, 12:39 pm
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I don't have a complete row to myself, although there are some empty rows further back I could move to if I want.

The A320 economy seats are a bit roomier than the 737 so I don't bother moving. We push back only a few minutes late, the boarding being completed in 10 minutes. Once airborne breakfast is served. A choice of french toast or scrambled egg + sausage potato and tomato. For some reason the FA forgets to offer me a bread roll but it doesn't matter since I am not that hungry having eaten in the lounge. Coffee juice and water to hydrate (or the choice of beer, or wine including Lindaeur sparkling wine).

The flight over the Pacific Ocean is uneventful. We get a few bumps crossing a jetstream about 2/3 of the way over, the crew take an age to clear away breakfast trays (2 hours from serving until finally being cleared away) and I manage to catch up on reading some reports I needed to review.

After 3 hours we descend through scattered light cloud getting reasonable views of Vanuatu's islands through the tropical haze. We descend seemingly inches above the forest to land at Port Vila's airport right on time. A small light shower is peppering one end of the runway while the terminal area is dry. By the time the steps are brought to the a/c and we deplane, the shower has reached us so get a few spots walking across the tarmac in the humid morning.

The terminal is of modest size and reminds me of that at Noumea. There are only 2 immigration officers - one for Vanuatans and one for everyone else, and being island pace it takes a while to process the handful of people in front of me. The officer seems bemused I am here for such a short time but is happy to stamp a full page at my request and I am quickly through customs also. A few paces brings me to the check in counters, where there is a big queue even at the business/elite line. I wondered if there was a lounge here (airport seemed to be substantial enough to have a small lounge) but decided against queueing to get an invitation, for the turnaround is short (perhaps 15 minutes until boarding) and the half of the ceiling fans that are working are providing some comfort.

So I proceed to immigration, fill in the form and duly get stamped out. It takes the officer a while to locate the entry stamp - there are too many stamps in my nearly full passport!

Through security I take a look at the duty free and souvenir shops, and note there is indeed a lounge with a big sign on the door proclaiming that no entry will be permitted without an invite - no matter what your boarding pass or frequent flyer program status card. Oh well.

Boarding starts late - even after the scheduled departure. I am glad that when I booked, on a separate ticket, some further flights today I chose the second one after I was due to arrive back at Auckland, not the first.

As with many other pacific islands, they do not accept my boarding pass issued in Auckland and the agent heads off to check in to see if it is okay and get a replacement one. Standing here in front of the open door I realise it is more pleasant outside than inside - the fans aren't really helping much.
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Old Dec 3, 06, 12:39 pm
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I settle into my new seat for the return. Business class is very empty - 2 pilots from the flight over, myself and 2 other paying pax. Economy is slightly fuller than the flight over, maybe 2/3 full.

The cabin crew are really chatty and so the pre-departure drink only arrives moments before the safety video is played. Glad I chose water to gulp down.

We taxi and take off with very short roll. There are great views of the islands on both sides, in between the scattered cloud. It takes a while to get the dvd players set up (they first took meal and drink orders, handed out arrival cards for NZ, served drinks and vege crisps) and so mindful of the short flight I chose a short movie. The pilot behind me doesn't choose as wisely and misses the last few minutes when his player is collected on final approach to Auckland.
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Old Dec 3, 06, 12:40 pm
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Lunch Menu VLI to AKL

Starter

Rice paper prawn roll with sweet chilli and coriander dipping sauce.

Main Course

Poulet fish with dill cream sauce in pastry crust, steamed gourmet potatoes and seasonal vegetables

Peppered beef fillet steak with baked potato, roasted pumpkin and green courgettes

Wok tossed chicken in oyster sauce with Asian greens and hokkein noodles

Dessert

Mango cheesecake with tropical fruit coulis

Cheese

A selection of fine cheese

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

--

Breakfast Menu AKL to VLI

Beverages

Start your day with a fruit smoothie, your choice of juice, freshly brewed or decaffeinated Gravity coffee, tea, herbal tea or hot chocolate

Continental Selection

Fruit selection with assorted cereals and yoghurts

Croissants, muffins, wholemeal and fruit toast with fruit conserve

Hot Options

Bacon omelette with roasted tomato relish and chives, breakfast potatoes and veal sausage

Creamy scrambled eggs with spinach potato cake, smoked chicken bacon and vine ripened tomato

Ricotta griddle cake with caramelised cinnamon bananas, apple cranberry compote and manuka honey and apple syrup

--

mad_atta here are some of the wines carried.

Economy - mixture or Montana and Jacobs Creek, 2 whites, 2 reds, plus Lindauer sparkling wine

Business - Red Rock merlot, Fiddlers Green pinot noir, Veuve Clicquot champagne, White Rock, Crossroads, Fonseca port
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Old Dec 3, 06, 12:41 pm
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Reading the menus I was glad to have chosen to upgrade the return flight and not the way out. When I put in the request both flights appeared likely to be upgradeable. The other factor for me was pyschological - it is nice to know the next flight will be in comfort instead of spending it thinking about the next flight in discomfort.

As you may guess from the previous post I had fun sampling the wines on offer and it gave the FA a chance to educate herself a bit too. (When I asked what was available the answer was red or white but she couldn't remember names or styles, oh dear!)

After the dvd had finished and I returned the player I looked out the window to see we were just passing by Cape Reinga, the northernmost tip of mainland NZ. While there was plenty of cloud it was all to the west of the Northland Peninsula. The flights from asia often pass by the west coast of Northland and often there is extensive cloud so I appreciate the view (most of the other pacific island flights come from further east and thus cross over the tip of Coromandel Peninsula rather than Northland.

From this height the few kilometers between the vast sand expanse of Ninety Mile Beach in the west and the harbours on the east appears tiny. We have great views the entire length and breadth, passing over Bay of Islands and Whangarei and retracing my path from the previous day. This time we are flying much higher and slightly to the east of yesterday's flight path. Again I see the golf, plus the sprawl of Auckland spread across the isthmus.

We haven't made up any time en route and so pull up to the gate half an hour late. Again I am lucky to get the closest gate to immigration. I rush to make my next flight. Upstairs NZ & Aussie queue looks long so I take a chance with downstairs - unlike the previous time I did this to find an even larger queue this time there are officers waiting for pax. Yay. Despite some scepticism of the officer I seem to answer the questions correctly and avoid secondary this time. There is no queue at xray either so I am soon through and rapidly walking across to domestic terminal.

I wish NZ had a more frequent service to some of these islands which would make taking a break there much more easy, although given the loads I understand why there isn't.
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Old Dec 3, 06, 11:00 pm
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Excellant Report - as always from out New Zealand travelling guru! Well done!
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Old Dec 3, 06, 11:40 pm
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Originally Posted by Kiwi Flyer View Post
mad_atta here are some of the wines carried.

Economy - mixture or Montana and Jacobs Creek, 2 whites, 2 reds, plus Lindauer sparkling wine

Business - Red Rock merlot, Fiddlers Green pinot noir, Veuve Clicquot champagne, White Rock, Crossroads, Fonseca port
thank you sir

Hmmmm... Veuve gets the thumbs up, and I've had the Red Rock on a trans-Tasman flight in J and that was good too. Am not really familiar with the others though - what was your considered opinion after some serious inflight sampling?
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Old Dec 3, 06, 11:43 pm
  #14  
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The merlot and pinot noir were okay without being stunning. I rather liked the port. I didn't try the whites - after it is a shortish flight and took a few glasses of each of the others to properly assess them
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Old Dec 4, 06, 4:34 am
  #15  
 
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Another very nice trip report Kiwi Flyer!! ^

Are there any Pacific islands you haven't visited yet? I think I have seen quite a few mentioned in your trip reports.
New Caledonia and Tonga before I think, and now Vanuatu and Niue.

Any favourite island btw? Anyone you can recommend for future *A Pacific award tickets?

Originally Posted by Kiwi Flyer View Post
Business - Red Rock merlot, Fiddlers Green pinot noir, Veuve Clicquot champagne, White Rock, Crossroads, Fonseca port
Thanks for posting that! I remember they had a Merlot and a Pinot noir, but since they don't offer a wine list I never got the names.
I thought the pinot noir was quite good.
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