Departing Auckland at midnight and after saying I”ll have only the smoked salmon and go to sleep, I am then tempted with the thought of some cheese with the delicious New Zealand wine. And I can”t say no when the hostess offers ice cream . . . . I may as well have coffee and watch a movie and get really tired.
After having to seek instruction on how to use the inflight entertainment remote, I see the wonderful Meryl Streep in the Julia Childs story, “Julie and Julia”. In this movie, I see once again how people use “stream of consciousness” with keys clacking away and thoughts being posted to a daily blog on a computer screen – like Carrie Bradshaw in “Sex and the City”. If you could only see my fingers tapping away right now!
Air New Zealand in Business Class is terrific on many fronts with a glaring exception being the way they dress their cabin crew – that is of course unless you like all those drab, muted colours of the green spectrum – their uniforms combine fern green and bottle green, all wrapped up with long dark green aprons.
One poor young stewardess out of Sydney walked down the aisle looking like she”d just come in to the kitchen from hanging washing on the line, the only thing missing were two pre-school kids hanging off her skirt and screaming for attention. The way she looked with no make-up and straggly hair, I couldn”t have asked the poor girl for a thing.
As for the men, for cabin service, they take off their ties and roll up the cuffs of their business shirts and don a long apron. What a casual lot! The Turners and Victor, who leave next week on Etihad, might be pleased to know that I saw the whole Etihad crew waiting to board their flight at Sydney airport. Wonderful style and groomng – you could even call it glamourous.
The groomed and lipsticked Air New Zealand “concierge” lady on board explained that the boys were given latitude to express themselves with their uniforms, but assured me that ties will be back with a uniform re-vamp next year to coincide with the delivery of new aircraft. (I tend to believe she is a lady with some influence too. When breakfast was being served, I noticed that all the stewardesses were featuring “lipstick and rouge” galore.)
The herringbone layout of the cabin to accommodate lay-flat beds is a bit confronting at first – like going to Mass at St Canice”s where the congregation sit across from each other and stare (well that”s what they did when Father Steve first moved the pews like choir stalls). The bed was roomy and comfortable (moreso if I slept on my left side). I slept very well, fully stretched out for hours under my duna before waking for a smoothie and a simply delicious omelette.
Will I go this way again? I heard the calls at Sydney Airport for Qantas and United flights non-stop to Los Angeles as I waited to board my little plane for the first hop to Auckland to join the trans-Pacific 747, and thought Aaagh! How many hours before I”ll arrive? I dismissed all that and settled back to enjoy lambshanks and a delicious couple of glasses of New Zealand Merlot before falling asleep. And I could sleep knowing that the “price was right”. When I booked the ticket, Qantas fare was double Air New Zealand. Good enough reason?
Between flights, I really enjoyed the Chinese foot massage in the the Lounge at Auckland Airport and I had time to check my Gmail. Arriving in the afternoon in LA, there was no people in the queue for immigration and even with the hoopla of declaring my gumnut Christmas wreath for Edmundo, I was out and in a taxi on my way to Beverly Hills within 30 minutes.