Used: 2008

I am not picky about airlines. I’ll take whatever is cheapest. I have flown on some weeeird ones (Kuwit Airways from JFK to LHR for $500, plus I got all 3 seats to myself because like no one likes to sit by the window? Score!), some rumored nice ones (Virgin Atlantic, meh), stopping twice on a cross country trip (Southwest from LAX to BDL, stopping in Texas and BWI), mean ones (Czech Air, where apparently listening to a CD player (this was 2000) will fuck up the air control) and nice ones (AirNZ, VirginAmerica, Frontier Air). But my new favorite airline is Emirates. And lucky me, they fly AKL to SYD! My first time flying them, I found a sweet deal at STA [edited 1/9/2014: I just got an email from digital agency in Sydney asking me to remove the link to STA! So weird, I have never gotten anything like that before. Whatever! No skin off my back.] and but booked it at Flight Centre [edited 3/15/2014: I just got an email from digital agency in Sydney asking me to remove the link to Flight Centre!] because they say they’ll beat any ones price and I needed a visa as well and I just wanted to do it all at once. SCORE! Emirates was great. Little menu when you board, hand towel, leg rests for everyone and a fantastic selection of music, movies and TV! The worst part is, that the flight is only 3 hours! My NZ visa was expiring in a month and when I checked in to return to NZ, the lady reminded me, but they let me on because my visa didn’t need proof of outgoing ticket. As soon as I arrived back in AKL, I booked my outgoing ticket back to SYD for the following month on Emirates again. Did it at Flight Centre again and this time, the guy didn’t want to book me on a one-way because they aren’t really allowed to do that with American Passports. He wrote a novel in the notes about my visa and that I said I don’t need a round trip and he was not responsible for me, etc, etc. Once again, Emirates rocked with the exception of baggage allowance! It’s an international route, but they fly with domestic rules when sending bags through. Since I was “moving” I had so much stuff, so I wore all my sweaters and threw out all my shampoo (just like old times) and I still end up paying like $60 to get my bags on. Annoying. I arrive and didn’t get questioned at all at immigration, as usual.

Not going to Australia

A few months roll by and I am thinking of going back to NZ for the summer hols because Australia just goes a little nuts and nuts in NZ is like so much calmer then anywhere else. I actively look for more Emirates tickets, but they just aren’t cheap. I find a decent one on Qantas (blah) from BRI to AKL and then a few weeks later I find a great one on AirNZ from CHC to SYD. So I am set! When I go to check in at the Qantas counter, the man asks for my outgoing ticket and since I have never entered New Zealand as a “tourist” I was shocked. I didn’t have the paperwork because it was an e-ticket and I didn’t want to pay for the print outs. I tell him I do have a return ticket on AirNZ (which is why he questioned it, it wasn’t a return on Qantas! Kind of funny when I thought about it) but he needs proof, so I freak a little and go to the AirNZ counter and have a nice chat with the guy there and he prints out proof of my ticket (always NZ, always easy!) and I can now check in, minus waiting in line. Hooray! The counter guy said I have to show this to immigration in NZ if they ask, and I keep it with my passport so not to loose it. Of course, I totally forget and in cleaning out my pockets later, I find the paper and realize that immigration never asked for it. Shocking! AirNZ back to SYD the following month was fab as it was my first international flight with them. Nice, new plane! Though my heart is still with Emirates, if it’s going my way, AirNZ was a great 2nd choice.