Air New Zealand – NZ104 – Sydney to Auckland – Economy (Part 1)
Date: 12 April 2013
Flight time: 2 hrs 24 mins
Flight rating: 5 planes out of 5
|Man vs. Wild star Bear Grylls featured in the airline’s safety video.|
e-Travel Blackboard was invited to experience the delights of Niue Island courtesy of Air New Zealand and Niue Tourism. This is part one of four flight reviews travelling Sydney-Auckland-Niue-Auckland-Sydney.
Arriving at Sydney airport I was expecting it to be busy and was surprised that there were no long queues. In fact I was wondering if I was at the right check-in bay? Thankfully an Air New Zealand representative greeted me directing me to a circle of self-service check-in kiosks. Being a first time Air New Zealand flyer I admitted to the rep that I hadn’t used their terminals before and he helped me through the simple check-in process.
He explained you scan your passport to bring up your booking, use the touch screen to answer a few security questions. Next check your seating then print your boarding pass and baggage tag. Easy! I was ushered across to the bag drop for an ID check and bag tag scan then I was on my way. That's why it was so quiet. Self service kiosks are faster!
Air New Zealand's luggage allowance depends on the fare type you paid. ‘The Works’ (my fare type using the Tasman & Pacific rules) included one piece of checked luggage (max 23 kg), one piece of cabin baggage (up to 7kg) plus one small handbag (or manbag), laptop or your duty free goods. Check Air New Zealand's website for the other fare types ‘Grabaseat™, ‘Grabaseat and bag’ or ‘Works Deluxe’ fares which have different rules.
The fun began even before we took-off. The airline’s safety video stared Man vs. Wild adventurer Bear Grylls which got my full attention. In a successful bid for my eye-balls the survival expert amusingly demonstrated the safety instructions, including jumping into a raging river complete with inflated life jacket, which was innovative, fun and did its job.
Again depending on your fare type you may or may not have access to Air New Zealand’s 'KiaOra' in-seat entertainment system. I could view all the on-demand movies, TV programmes, music and games. It's so user friendly, one of the best systems I've seen and it works.
Even more impressive 'KiaOra' is gate-to-gate meaning I could start a movie as soon as I boarded, halted momentarily for the Bear Grylls announcement, maximising playtime until arrival at the destination gate. Plan it right and you may not miss the end of your favourite movie.
Meal and beverage options
Airline food is great when you're hungry. I was and I welcomed the hot meal but it was a new experience! Why weren't others around me served a meal? 'The Works" and ‘Works Deluxe’ fares include a seat, bag, meal and drinks but at Air New Zealand one size doesn’t fit all. A friendly flight attendant explained that when you book you have a choice to include a meal or not. ‘Grabaseat™ and ‘Grabaseat and bag’ passengers get complimentary coffee, tea or water and a sweet on landing. (Using the entertainment screen you can purchase snacks and drinks from the in-flight 'Bites Menu' paying via credit card or buying pre-paid vouchers at the airport). Since I was hungry the chicken dish was hot, filling and the 'Steinlager Pure' refreshing.
e-Travel Blackboard Tip
Music buffs check out KiaOra's audio feature 'My Playlist' which allows you to create and listen to your own compilation of music tracks. Very cool!
How to book
Book Air New Zealand flights online Australia, New Zealand or contact your local travel agent.
For information about Niue visit the Niue Tourism website.
Allways Dive Expeditions, Adventure World, Omniche Holidays or booking.com.
About Niue Flights
Air New Zealand operates a weekly Saturday service Auckland to Niue crossing the dateline arriving Niue Friday. An additional fortnightly service was introduced on the 16th April 2013 ex Auckland on a Wednesday arriving Niue Tuesday. With the introduction of this second flight travellers can now visit Niue for 4, 7, 10 or 14 days compared to 7 or 14 in the past.
Return flights depart Niue Friday each week arriving Auckland Saturday or fortnightly on a Tuesday arriving Wednesday.
Connection times may require Australian passengers to overnight in Auckland outbound to Niue. Same day connections may be available for some cities on the return journey.
Air New Zealand operates an A320 service with approx 170 all-economy seats for the 3 hour journey.