Had booked this flight months before. Return flight was NZ125 on Boeing 787-9 departing at AKL Departure :15:15 MEL Arrival: 17:20. A month and half before the flight, it was cancelled. Had to change the car parking, car hire. Had chose NZ125 for the Boeing 787-9 and to avoid the evening rush at Melbourne. Wasn't to happen, got the same aircraft which had flew to Christchurch.
Checked the flight details
Arriving at the Auckland Airport
Arrived early. Had check-in the flight before coming to airport. After dropping the rental car, walked to the checkin area.
LATAM Check-in area
Check-in was through self-check kiosk for this flight. Had weighted the bag earlier , knew it was underweight. Went to self-check kiosk, scanned the passport, answered the usual questions, boarding pass and baggage tags were printed. Took the bag to drop-bag where bag was weighed and scanned.
Departure area is upstairs at Auckland. All passengers have to fill the departure Immigration forms . Went to the food court for some meal before boarding as had booked seat + bag. Auckland Airport is undergoing construction, the viewing gallery was closed. With nothing else to do, decided to head for immigration.
Immigration and Security
Immigration had self-check or through officer. Was directed to join the queue for the immigration officer, when my passport is smart gate compliant. Took sometime for the processing to complete, while in queue was asked about destination and nationality. While the smart gate was quicker.
Security queue was short but lacked trays, had to wait to get tray. Took about 10-15 mins.
Duty Free area
Long walk to gate
Gate number is not displayed until an hour before boarding commences. Not sure if its done to avoid crowding near gate or to keep people shopping.
Smaller food court with limited food options. Spent the last few NZ$, had coffee and sandwich. Coffee was terrible. Chucked it after couple of sips.
Walking to towards gate area. Not knowing the gate number.
Flight would depart from gate 2
Walked towards the gate, which is accessible taking the escalator down.
Air New Zealand ZK-OJO operating NZ 729 to Melbourne
Announcement was made that the flight was delayed by 15 minutes. Waited for boarding to be called.
Boarding commenced shortly, long queue had formed. It was a full flight. Passport and boarding pass was checked. Being one of the first few to board, didn't have to wait long to be on board the aircraft. On board, boarding pass was checked and directed to seat. Being a all economy flight Airbus A320. seating is 3-3.
Flight being full the overhead bins were full with passengers having to put bags under seat.
Latam on the way to Santiago
Kia Ora [Hello]
Air New Zealand ZK-OJB
Ready for pushback and taxi
Pushback commenced after passengers had boarded.
Taxi and takeoff
After a long taxi to runway 23L, departed Auckland. Watch video for taxi and departure.
Seat pocket material
Air New Zealand A320R Safety Card
Australian immigration form
Australian immigration forms were distributed. Completed soon as was prepared with pen and passport details.
Flying over the Tasman sea, seat belt sign came on. hit a few minor bumps along the way. Cockpit crew announced they had avoided the weather flying higher.
Tea /Coffee and Water
Cabin commenced shortly after the sign was turned off. Tea/coffee was available. Meals were provided to passengers who had opted for "The Works" or Buy on Board [BOB] .
Had my fill earlier before boarding, skipped the meal.
Inflight Entertainment [IFE]
Air New Zealand fleet information
Checked the Air New Zealand fleet information. Below are the details.
Reaching the Australian shores
Lights were dimmed after the cabin service.
Checked movies available on payment.
Reached South East of Victoria
Arrived at Gate 5
Full flight details
Having arrived into evening peak, long queue was formed at self-check kiosk to fill smart gate details. Skipped the smart gate and went to immigration officer. No questions asked passport was scanned and handed back.
Baggage took 10-15 mins to arrive.
Quarantine and Exit
Long queue was formed at Quarantine check, as had nothing to declare. Was allowed to pass through the exit. Took about an hour after landing to exit the airport.
As was exiting the terminal, saw the long term car park bus at the kerb, rushed to get on board. Once on board settled till the arriving at the bus stop. Found my car. Felt good to be back in the comfort of own vehicle after driving small car during the trip. Headed to exit and on to Tullamarine Freeway.
Hope you enjoyed the trip, Thanks for reading.
End of trip
Air New Zealand
Auckland - AKL
Melbourne - MEL
Air New Zealand flight was satisfactory, as had booked seat and bag. Crew were friendly, cabin was clean. Entertainment and food was buy on board. Wasn't expecting much as it was pay as you go service.
Auckland Airport was a long walk through duty free to gate, immigration could have been faster if had used to the smartgate. security check was slowed due to lack of trays. Food options were few as airport undergoing construction.
At Melbourne Airport, had long queues at self-check kiosk. immigration was quick, bags came slow. Quarantine queues were long. Overall experience could have been better.
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