Sophie Ryan flies aboard Air New Zealand’s NZ245 from Auckland to Bali.
Boeing 787-9, aka the Dreamliner.
Seat: 55C near the back of the plane.
Price: One-way fares start from $498.
How full: “Very full,” according to staff. The direct flights from Auckland to Bali end this month and holidaymakers are making the most of the direct trip while they can. The service will restart mid-June next year.
Time: We got there in 8hr 39m. Enough time for three movies and a bit of a rest.
Fellow passengers: Holidaymakers who had a general atmosphere of starting the party as soon as they could. From the older couple beside me who were frequently embracing and kissing in their seats, to the two young brothers across the aisle who excitedly told me all about the swimming pool waiting for them in Bali.
Food and drink: Two meals were served: a lunch and a dinner service and the kitchen was available for snacks in between. The food was light curries with basmati rice, warm rolls, salads and the nice touch of a Kapiti lemon shortcake ice cream tub for dessert.
Entertainment: A great selection of movies and TV available, as always. But chatting and playing games with the two boys sitting across from me was good fun, too. I watched the very funny movie The Breaker-Upperers and embarrassed myself by snorting with laughter.
Service: Very good, but with the very full flight and a general sense that everyone was starting their holiday the minute the wheels lifted off, the crew seemed rushed off their feet.
Toilets: Clean and tidy.
Airport experience: The construction at Auckland International Airport seems to be going on forever. Touching down at Denpasar the queues for passport checks were very long and tedious and we waited about half an hour for bags to arrive on the carousel.
Would I fly again? Absolutely. The direct flight makes the increasingly popular holiday destination a lot more accessible and the Dreamliner experience is comfortable.
Unfortunately the direct return flight was cancelled because of engineering troubles.
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