Airline Review: AIR New Zealand Regional Flight – Wellington to Tauranga

www.misopeckish.comThere could be a number of you who are thinking of travelling to New Zealand (NZ) and wondering what it is like flying AirNZ on the regional routes within NZ.  So I thought I would give a quick overview of what to expect.

For all AirNZ domestic (including regional flights), trans Tasman flights and international short haul flights there are four ticket option to choose from.  Seat only, Seat and Bag, Flexi Time, Fully Flexi (where the later two gives you the seat and bag, but allows you to change the time  of your flights).

AirNZ offers online check-in for AirNZ airpoints members (AirNZ’s own frequent flyer members) 24 hours prior to flight departure.  Though I  have not tried this option, I cannot comment how this process works as I tend to check in at the airport.   But it is a good option if you intend to arrive just in time to board your flight without having to forfeit your flight.

Fast Bag tags are offered to AIRNZ G and Koru club members allowing them to drop their bags off on a trolley just before the board the plane as overhead storage within the plane is limited, thus allowing you to bring a bag no heavier than 15kg.

The usual tea, coffee and water is offered and a a small biscuit.  Depending on the type of aircraft you fly in, space can be limited which can get fairly cramped.  Luckily the plane was not full so I was able to spill out to the row behind me.

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If you sit on the left side of the plane you will get to see Mt Ruapehu and Mt Tongariro (volcanos located in Central North Island) which can be quite stunning when they are capped with snow.

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Seating is segregated where frequent flyers (Star Gold and Koru Club members) have priority seat selection where they can choose to sit at the front of the plane, while non frequent flyers sit at the back half of the plane.   If the flight is not full like the one I flew on recently, the seats in the middle section of the plane were not occupied.

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As we start to descend the tradition of air hostess handing out  the all famous AirNZ lollies continue.

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Verdict

Not the most comfortable plane.  And as AirNZ becomes more like a budget airline, expect to pay more for the extras, such as bags. flexible tickets, seat selection etc.  The Captain does inform you of the weather at the destination city as well as the estimated arrival time.

The biscuit served on regional flights differ to those offered on the main trunk routes, which tends not to very appealing.

Seating:  Seat configuration is 2×2. Row 1 and 10 are Exit isle seats.

Flight time: 1 hour

I flew AIRNZ Q300.

Air flies from Wellington to Tauranga daily, with more flights during the week day.  For actual times, please visit AirNZ’s website as noted below.

www.airnz.co.nz

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