A flying day trip to Wellington from Christchurch
I originally intended on staying in Wellington but I booked the flight in the wrong direction! No problem, with flights overall so cheap I decided to be based in Christchurch and make a day trip to the New Zealand capital. Ended up a bit of fun, with a great sunny day in Wellington and had my first close encounter with a nearly empty plane.
Virgin Blue to Wellington
On the way up flew Virgin Blue’s NZ domestic service under the Pacific Blue brand. This was the extra flight I had to book and was the cheapest on offer. I paid 49 NZD at fairly short notice.I had heard was the service was okay but their loadings had been terrible. On check-in I requested an exit row and was happily given one, so off to a good start.
Flight DJ3185, departing 11:45. 189 miles over 45 minutes. All economy 737-800, registration ZK-PBA. I had seat 15C.
On boarding had one of those “where is everyone?” moments. Turns out the plane was virtually empty. A grandmother sat at the window adjacent me. Another person was opposite us. A few rows up front there were a couple people and I counted maybe a dozen passengers scattered across the 15 rows behind us. So boarding took less than a minute. Service was minimal but NZ crew were happy. Short flight landed with a humorous announcement asking us to tell your friends, in hope of more customers.
Some time in Wellington City
A took the city airport bus into town and spent a few hours within the city centre. The bus is operated by the city so cheap and has information onboard. It also is quick as buses can exclusively use the original single lane tunnel that goes under Mt. Victoria.
Only had the afternoon on the ground so tried to make the most of it. I enjoyed the relative calmness of the city and the Museum of New Zealand which is highly worth a visit.
Unfortunately it wasn’t long before it was time to head back to the Airport.
Wellington back to Christchurch on Jetstar and the domestic QantasClub
Later than afternoon I had my originally booked flight going the opposite direction. Another Jetstar flight. This one was a little busier. Asked again for an exit row at check-in and while the agent seemed surprised at the request he was obliging.
Seat 13D on a Jetstar A320, VH-VQR. Again all Y layout. Departing 4pm with a 50 minute flight time.
After checkin proceeded to the Wellington domestic Qantas Club. Similar to Auckland, this moderately large lounge was virtually empty. I was completely alone for the first half of my visit. It is scheduled to be shut down permanently soon, with the withdrawal of Qantas NZ some time ago. A good opportunity to take some photos and the lounge agent was quite talkative and positive even if he was soon to be unemployed 🙁 he even helped take a couple photos.
The flight itself was far less interesting, with little to write about!