At the airport – your pre-flight check list

Air NZ – at Christchurch International Airport

Travelling? Here’s your pre-flight check list to make the sharing of such confined spaces means we need to be considerate – and we want our fellow-travellers to be respectful too.

It starts at home – before you left home or hotel you put comfortable clothes on and soft socks to wear during the flight and then, items you will need during the flight have been put in a little bag (for inside your carry –on) for at your seat – notebook, pen,  e-reader/ paperback, moisturiser, lip balm for instance.

Of course before you approach the check-in desk you will have your passport/photo ID, and tickets handy and, of course, you will only have the number of bags you are allowed on the flight and they will be the weight permitted.

Once you have your boarding pass, now is the time for a pre-boarding check and some reminders about how to be a considerate passenger. I’m sure you follow these ideas, so pass this blog on so the people you have to travel with are pleasant to sit beside too!

Head to the lounge in plenty of time – you don’t want to start your flight flustered by racing against the clock.

And, before you get to the security checkstep aside, let others go past and  . . .

  • Take your laptop out of your carry-on bag
  • Coat off
  • Everything out of your pockets
  • No prohibited items (depends on airline/country) but no knives, scissors, inflammable items
  • No ‘funny’ jokes  about  terrorism, bombs, hi-jacking, or explosives

Once in the lounge:

  • Board in the sequence you’re called: they do that for a reason!
  • Have your in-flight needs handy so you don’t hold up others in the aisle as you rummage for your e-reader or MP3 player before you put your bag in the overhead locker and finally take your seat.

Now, sit back and enjoy your flight – and I hope you sit next to someone as considerate as you are!

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Flying with Richie McCaw in a historic DC3

Not many can go flying with Richie McCaw; New Zealand’s much loved and admired All Blacks captain – I did!

However you can still fly in the historic ZK-AMY DC3 as I did, just without the benefit of a rugby hero companion as a fellow passenger.

Southern DC3 is committed to preserving this last plane in flying condition and as the trusts chair David Horsburgh (and AIR NZ airbus captain) said, “it’s thanks to passengers who help this happen” he continues, “its also the only plane where passengers can still go onto the flight-deck.”

This ‘old girl’ is only one of two still flying in New Zealand and interestingly, ZK-AMY was built by women and I’m told it has the same wing-size as a 737. The captain says it’s a “very soft ride’ almost like a “magic carpet”.

In this age of electronics they can fly this plane ‘with no instruments” , pretty good for a plane who is celebrating its 76th anniversary this month (December 2011) thirty years after the Wright brothers (and NZs Richard Pearse) first flew.

Richie (who is the patron of the Southern DC3) tells me the day before he had been gliding “one of the only places I can be alone”. Despite that he was very gracious with people who wanted his autograph or (like me) his photo.

But, back to the plane trip which left from Christchurch International Aiport: It was like a magic carpet, real curtains, great seats and walking up the aisle it felt like I was walking uphill and the views were fabulous as it flies so low. Only 3 weeks after the September 4th (7.1) earthquake it was good to fly over my city. The view will be very different now after the smaller, but more damaging February one.

The next flight with Southern DC3  is 11th December 2011. For more information about the DC3 Dakota see here – and enjoy these photos from my flight.

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