Sunday, October 11, 2009
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
11/10/09 Day 1 Briz-Auckland-?

In the cab right on 6 .15am and we're on our way. Walk into the terminal and the queue seems a little long considering there’s only two early flights.

An announcement comes over the pa - "for all those waiting to check in for Air New Zealand flights 802 and 132...". What he told us was that the Air NZ computer system had failed worldwide five minutes before we walked in the door. They would have to check us in manually and they were working out how to do it. The crowd was remarkably calm and stayed that way for the entire two hours it took us (and everyone else) to check in our bag - to Auckland, not Raro - and then in another queue for over 30 minutes to get our seat allocation.

Couldn’t get duty free because we’d be in transit in Auckland and it would be over the 100ml limit (what we'd be wanting to buy would be way more than 100ml). We watched the flight departure time get pushed further and further out. From 8.30 it eventually blew out to an expected 10.45. We were finally in our seats at just after 10.30 but due to issues getting the flight plan faxed to Auckland and then getting it back with an approved stamp, we didn’t take off until 11.30, a bit later than 8.30.

The flight to Auckland was scheduled to take 3:50 hours and we left Brizvegas after 2.30pm Auckland time. Our flight to Rarotonga was departing at 4.30 so we knew we’d be spending a night in Auckland.

Someone from Qantas needs to fly Air NZ one day and learn what service should be.   Everyone was quietly (amazingly) pissed off and that crew did their darndest to make everyone happy.   They did a great job. The funniest part of the flight was the meal service.

By the time service started it was well after 1pm Briz time. Many people were in the same boat (plane?) as us. They’d headed to the airport without a coffee or any brekkie and were bloody starving. ’Lunch’ was a choice of hot cakes with bacon, or cereal and yoghurt! That’s what they’d been expecting to serve at maybe 9.30 so they had no option. It was all done with biggest of smiles on the crews’ faces. Accompanied by soothing Steinlager Pures, they were the best hot cakes either of us had ever eaten.
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I love that you are both such good sports!