Please note that this report also includes the ZQN-AKL leg.
After 2 days in Queenstown, it was time to head to Melbourne. The Super Shuttle picked us up from the hotel at 10.30am to catch our 12pm flight.
There are several flight options to get to Melbourne from Queenstown. The only real premium options were Emirates or Air NZ out of Auckland. I had flown Emirates before and I had never really flown on Air NZ in J. When choosing the NZ flight, I chose the 3.30pm flight as it was on a Dreamliner. Score! Two birds with one stone. Yes, I had to pay a little more but I took one for the FT team. :D
Did the self serve check-in, bag tag and drop off - very efficient. After that, we made our way to the gate area for security and wait for our departure. There is really nothing much to see at the airport as it is small.
Flight pulling in from Christchurch
Our flight arrived from Auckland and 30 minutes later, we were ready for boarding.
Our flight departed approx 20 minutes late and this cut down the connection time from our flight to Melbourne.
Lined up for take off.
Bye bye Queenstown.
Had the same drink/snack service. 1.5 hours later, we were back in Auckland.
At this point, we had 1h 20 minutes till our departure. Bags took a while to come outside and we just missed the terminal shuttle leaving us no choice but to run between the terminals with our bags. With an hour left, we just made it to the premium check in lounge. Right before we walked in, I heard an announcement indicating last call for check-in to Melbourne - just in time! And what a classy premium check in experience it was …. self check-in, bag tag and drop off. Face palm.
We then took the elevator up one floor and went through private immigration for premium passengers. Once we passed through security, we made our way to the lounge to quickly freshen up. The lounge was busy today.
View from the lounge. I flew her in 2013 - pretty bird.
As we finished freshening up, an announcement was made that the Melbourne flight was ready for boarding. Good timing.
Pics as were walking to our remote gate.
Counted 3 EK whaletjets today.
Made it to our gate and got on the bus to take us to our bird.
Pulling up to our bird.
Walked onboard and made our way to our seats. Business class was full today and we were the last two to board. As we got into our seats, the flight attendant greeted us by our names - well I guess she knew who we were! :)
Put my stuff down and started snapping away.
Was offered a PDB and went with the champagne.
Bottle of water was placed in an odd spot.
Lining up for take off.
Bye bye New Zealand.
More champagne and nuts.
Drinks cart coming around.
Followed by our meal. Awesome salmon appetizer with garlic bread to start with.
Followed by the Malabar Prawn Curry.
2.5 hours flying time went by quickly and we were in Melbourne.
Pulled up besides another EK whalejet.
Air New Zealand
Air New Zealand International Business Class Koru Club Lounge
Auckland - AKL
Melbourne - MEL
It was an enjoyable flight. The service provided by the cabin crew was top notch and very friendly. One of crew was making conversation with Mrs.I about our trip and she wished us a happy anniversary. This type of service was consistent throughout our flight and even on the local flights between Auckland and Queenstown.
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