Author Topic: Paradise Found: A "Holiday" to New Zealand in the Chariots of Kings  (Read 20152 times)

Online AJK

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Re: Paradise Found: A "Holiday" to New Zealand in the Chariots of Kings
« Reply #75 on: August 30, 2015, 04:29:21 PM »
Singapore Suites Class, SIN to AKL

We were headed to a SQuites flight that was more than twice the length of our first one at 9 hours.  If I recall correctly, they had security at each gate in SIN, so we went through security again.



DSC00375-001 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

DSC00376 by AJK DDF, on Flickr



After handing our BPs to the gate agent, we were escorted on board and I instantly knew that the service on the second SQuites leg was going to surpass even the fantastic service we got on the first flight, not to mention the fact that the load was on 3/10.



DSC00381 by AJK DDF, on Flickr



Once on board, I was pleasantly surprised to find that we had the opportunity to compare the old to the new, as we were flying on one of the refreshed birds for our trip to AKL.  In fact, I pointed this out to Mrs. AJK, and the purser on the flight, Kevin, overheard me and responded without missing a beat: "It may be a new plane, Mr. AJK, but it's still the same great signature Singapore service." [Addressing me by name before I uttered a word + witty response = Service star #1 and #2!]

And, boy, did he turn out to be right.

Personally, I loved the new look, and we headed to the exact same seats as we had on the first flight.



DSC00487 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

DSC00401 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

DSC00382 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

DSC00391 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

DSC00402 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

DSC00417 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

DSC00400 by AJK DDF, on Flickr



After taking a few photos and getting a pre-departure drink, we were handed our amenity kits and pajamas.  The amenity kits were some of the nicest I've ever gotten, which included a full bottle of Ferragamo cologne for men, and a full bottle of Ferragamo perfume for women.



DSC00397 by AJK DDF, on Flickr



The pajamas and linens were also very nice: custom-made from Givenchy.


DSC00432 by AJK DDF, on Flickr



Before giving handing us our pajamas, though, the FA took the slippers out of the pajamas bag, took the slippers out of their own bag, bent down, and neatly placed them on the floor so that when I was ready to take off my shoes, I could slip right into the slippers.  [Service star #3!]

After getting medium-sized pajamas, Mrs. AJK said to me nonchalantly, "You know, I'm thinking it may have been better if I got a 'small' instead of a medium, because I think it would fit better."  I suggested she simply ask for a smaller size the next time the FA came around.

Now, mind you, this was a conversation that took place between us alone, and we were sitting next to each other.  This was not her yelling across the cabin so that anyone in coach could also hear. And, no, there was no FA around that we could see.

No sooner did I finish my suggestion--and certainly neither of us pressed the call button--did an FA swing by and say "I heard you were in the market for small-sized pajamas? Perhaps these will do" and presented Mrs. AJK with a smaller set of pajamas. Wow. [Anticipating our needs before opening our mouths = Service Star #4!]

Nearly every interaction with this crew not involving the serving of food or drinks happened with the crew bending down so that they spoke to us face-to-face on our level as opposed to us looking up.  [Service star #5!]

After I changed into my pajamas, I headed back to my seat and the FA was waiting there with a hangar and said, "Please, allow me to hang up your clothes, Mr. AJK." And so she did. [Service star #6!]



DSC00481 by AJK DDF, on Flickr



Because the amenity kits were so nice, my wife wondered if she could have one for her sister.  This time she asked the FA, who immediately said, "Let me see what I can do for you." Now, we both expected and were prepared for a "no" considering this was far from what we were entitled to, but not three mins later the FA came back with a second female amenity kit.  [Service star #7!]

Shortly after take off, we were served the same Hermolis meals that we had gotten on the way in, which, as far as we were concerned, was fine by us, given how good they were. 

And we were delighted to see that we'd have a bit more time to enjoy this flight.



DSC00420 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

DSC00419 by AJK DDF, on Flickr



Once we finished our meals, the FA came up to us and asked, instead of displacing us while we were finishing eating, "if it would be OK if we just made your beds in the two seats in front of you." Why, yes, that would be perfectly fine. [Service star #8!]


DSC00433 by AJK DDF, on Flickr



We slept for about 5-6 hours, until we were about midway over the Tasman Sea (or about 90 mins out of AKL), and were offered breakfast which we gladly accepted.



DSC00457 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

DSC00452 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

DSC00454 by AJK DDF, on Flickr



Then I just had to take some more photos of the double-bed, which was truly insane considering we were FL380 somewhere between Australia and New Zealand:



DSC00461 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

DSC00478 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

DSC00472 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

DSC00479 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

[Anyone recognize the photo references above? :)  (Hint: Derek Low)]



After the captain announced our descent into AKL, we regretfully changed out of our pajamas, sad that this amazing flight had come to an end.  We were soon on the ground and deplaned off this monster bird.



DSC00498 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

DSC00492 by AJK DDF, on Flickr
2015: 116K bkd | 1.6M brnd | F: OZ,NH,AA,EK | J: UA,CA,TK,DL,TN,AF,VA | LIH,NRT,ROR,PEK,CNS,BOB,MEL,TLV & Pacific Hopper

Online AJK

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Re: Paradise Found: A "Holiday" to New Zealand in the Chariots of Kings
« Reply #76 on: August 30, 2015, 04:31:19 PM »
Thursday:

Air New Zealand Economy Class, AKL to CHC

We headed to customs, which after extensive research, we were able to sail through.  We picked up our bags, which we technically could have through checked all the way to CHC if it weren't for the last minute switch in SIN, and headed over to the domestic terminal, a 5-10 min walk.



DSC00505 by AJK DDF, on Flickr



We used the NZ domestic premium check-in, and after I inputted my creds and mentioned I was *A Gold, they allowed us each 2 bags, despite the fact that it the kiosk wanted to charge us like $150-200.  (This was an absolute breeze compared to the difficulty NZ gave us with baggage allowance on the way back, as will be explained later.)



DSC00504 by AJK DDF, on Flickr



We walked to our gate, and at about 1:45 PM we boarded, flew the 60-min uneventful flight to CHC and was off the plane at about 3:00 PM.



DSC00506 by AJK DDF, on Flickr



After grabbing a local SIM at a kiosk very close to baggage claim, I contacted the RV company with plenty of time to spare before the 4:00 PM cutoff and they let us know they'd be there to pick us up in about 20 mins.

Finally, we had arrived in CHC and were anxious to finally start the land-portion of our journey :)
2015: 116K bkd | 1.6M brnd | F: OZ,NH,AA,EK | J: UA,CA,TK,DL,TN,AF,VA | LIH,NRT,ROR,PEK,CNS,BOB,MEL,TLV & Pacific Hopper

Offline Yaalili

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Re: Paradise Found: A "Holiday" to New Zealand in the Chariots of Kings
« Reply #77 on: August 30, 2015, 04:34:05 PM »
Keep it coming AJK, well done.

Offline benjie1305

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Re: Paradise Found: A "Holiday" to New Zealand in the Chariots of Kings
« Reply #78 on: August 30, 2015, 05:43:45 PM »
Very nice!
Work hard, Play harder!

Online Moshe123

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Re: Paradise Found: A "Holiday" to New Zealand in the Chariots of Kings
« Reply #79 on: August 30, 2015, 05:59:31 PM »
Awesome!

Offline Chapshnell

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Re: Paradise Found: A "Holiday" to New Zealand in the Chariots of Kings
« Reply #80 on: August 30, 2015, 06:04:36 PM »
good stuff, thanks for the writeup & pics

Offline Marco Polo

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Re: Paradise Found: A "Holiday" to New Zealand in the Chariots of Kings
« Reply #81 on: August 30, 2015, 07:49:18 PM »
Great stuff as usual. Will we need to wait months before the next part of the TR?
Quaerite et Invenietis.

Online AJK

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You guys are relentless!  I do a bit each Sunday, and these things take forever to do. Much harder to do on the back end than live ;)
2015: 116K bkd | 1.6M brnd | F: OZ,NH,AA,EK | J: UA,CA,TK,DL,TN,AF,VA | LIH,NRT,ROR,PEK,CNS,BOB,MEL,TLV & Pacific Hopper

Offline Marco Polo

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You guys are relentless!  I do a bit each Sunday, and these things take forever to do. Much harder to do on the back end than live ;)
Maybe this will be your push to go live.
Quaerite et Invenietis.

Offline Yaalili

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Re: Paradise Found: A "Holiday" to New Zealand in the Chariots of Kings
« Reply #84 on: August 30, 2015, 08:28:26 PM »
Was NZ cheaper for you that Jetstar intra New Zealand flights? AFAIK you can redeem 4,500 Avios for any intra New Zealand flight, as long as it has a QF codeshare.

Offline ilherman

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Re: Paradise Found: A "Holiday" to New Zealand in the Chariots of Kings
« Reply #85 on: August 30, 2015, 09:24:02 PM »
Thanks! Makes me wanna do SQ R again. And on a longer route that JFK-FRA, which is SUCH a tease.

Others here should learn a lesson....

I don't expect everyone to be so professional  :P  but at least to write up something!

Did Gary ever mention in his TR that he met a mileage nerd in the private room?
You can say what you think when you think what you say.

Online AJK

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Maybe this will be your push to go live.

If I wanted to weasel out of a full-blown TR, perhaps :P

Was NZ cheaper for you that Jetstar intra New Zealand flights? AFAIK you can redeem 4,500 Avios for any intra New Zealand flight, as long as it has a QF codeshare.

Pretty sure that's not possible. You sure that still works?
2015: 116K bkd | 1.6M brnd | F: OZ,NH,AA,EK | J: UA,CA,TK,DL,TN,AF,VA | LIH,NRT,ROR,PEK,CNS,BOB,MEL,TLV & Pacific Hopper

Online AJK

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Re: Paradise Found: A "Holiday" to New Zealand in the Chariots of Kings
« Reply #87 on: August 30, 2015, 11:14:46 PM »
Thanks! Makes me wanna do SQ R again. And on a longer route that JFK-FRA, which is SUCH a tease.

Others here should learn a lesson....

I don't expect everyone to be so professional  :P  but at least to write up something!

Did Gary ever mention in his TR that he met a mileage nerd in the private room?

He did, though he didn't use that terminology, and he just assumed Mrs. AJK was a blog reader :P

Quote
Just before heading out of the lounge I ran into some blog readers and we chatted for a bit.
Source.
2015: 116K bkd | 1.6M brnd | F: OZ,NH,AA,EK | J: UA,CA,TK,DL,TN,AF,VA | LIH,NRT,ROR,PEK,CNS,BOB,MEL,TLV & Pacific Hopper

Offline srf60

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Just read the entire thread( yeh reread the older parts), awesome TR! Thanks for taking the time, hope will be able to follow if I would just have the time...........

Offline Yaalili

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Re: Paradise Found: A "Holiday" to New Zealand in the Chariots of Kings
« Reply #89 on: August 30, 2015, 11:36:59 PM »
Pretty sure that's not possible. You sure that still works?

Guess not anymore, I stand corrected.