We had to leave our hotel at 6.30am this morning so I set the alarm for 6.00am.
At 4.45am I was prodding and poking Jase saying “hey, are you awake yet?!!!!” Excited like a kiddie at Christmas I was, especially after a wonderful sleep in the most fantastic bed at the Pullman.
Jase was not quite so enthused about his wake up from me as it had taken him a long time to get to sleep but hey, you get that on big jobs!
Our regular Corporate Cab driver picked us up and drove us into the airport. We checked in at the Premium Room after which you go in a lift up to the departures lounge. Our passports were scanned and we then joined the masses to go through the bag checks. It was soooo busy at the airport today, like Christmas time!
The airport is going through renovations and everything was topsy turvy which threw me for a bit until I worked out where everything was.
We sat in the Koru Club and had breakfast waiting for our boarding call at 8.30am. The time came and went and then the flight was boarded however we were advised to just stay put.
The flight was then offloaded…. problem with the engine and the pilot refused to fly the plane saying it was far too risky. He even got on the loudspeaker and explained it to the passengers down there.
The engineers are working on it and then doing engine tests but it keeps failing. They are doing another test shortly and then we may get to depart but I’m not holding my breath…. it’s now midday…. I should be poolside with a mocktail in hand by now.
A further few hours have passed…. it’s 4.15pm… the test flights failed and we are now waiting for a plane to arrive from Hong Kong. We’ve passed the time chatting to the group around us, who are all in the same position, eating, taking turns going for a walk, and then repeating the above. The cameraderie in the lounge is great.
We’ve watched passengers come and go, staff on their shifts come and go and planes come and go. My phone died so I had to go buy a new charger for it so the game of Solitaire could continue…. oh and another pencil for a sudoku book I brought to help pass the time.
Rumours are rife that the plane coming in has 100 seats less than the original and that people will be offloaded in the next hour or so. That will suck.
I feel so sorry for those passengers downstairs with kiddies who dont have access to the lounge…. what a day for them. And also for the group going to an Indian wedding that was due to start tonight… a small comfort is that the celebrations continue for 3 days.
We met some great people and I even walked away with a job offer as a sales and marketing rep for boutique resorts in the South Island. The kiwi who owns the company has moved to the US with her American hubby and needs someone down here. They also deal with the Cook Islands and Fiji so it’s tempting!
At 6.15pm we got the call we’d been waiting for…. the plane is here and it’s ready to board!
We were off like fire crackers! Our plane was a 777-200. It was so nice to fly in something other than an A320.
We’d decided to give Premium Economy a crack and I have to say, I loved it. You’re still sitting comfortably next to your companion, whereas business class caters more towards privacy.
The seats reclined enough to stretch and be comfortable, and we were each given a big comfy pillow, a bottle of water and a hot towel before departure. Theres also a leg rest that comes up so although you’re not in a flat bed, I think I could probably sleep in it.
The tv’s are a bit bigger, the entertainment system being the same as economy class. The meals were really tasty! I thought it was going to be the same as economy but it’s got a lot more pizazz.
I had NZ snapper for my main and it was absolutely delicious! Panna cotta for dessert which Jase said was lovely (I can’t have dairy) and fresh breads and olive oil on the side…. yummmm!
I was a bit anxious during the flight so never fully relaxed unfortunately. I hate night flights, I have to see where I’m going. But I managed it and here we are in Nadi finally…. what a day!
Nadi Airport has had a revamp and is looking pretty spiffy. Customs was quick and painless and I had to laugh handing in our declaration forms as we told them we had food but they didn’t even ask to look at it. Now that wouldn’t happen in NZ or Aussie!
The Tanoa minivan was there to meet us, and after waiting about 15 minutes the driver said he’d take us over to the hotel and then go back and get the stragglers. We were pretty relieved as we were both hitting the wall by then.
We got to the Tanoa and were shown to our room. It’s way down one end and so peaceful and quiet. The hotel is operating at 100% capacity as it’s close to the airport, cheap, clean and friendly.
My family always stayed here a night on our trips to Fiji when we were kids. Back then it was called the Travelodge. It’s still the same and I’d recommend it without hesitation for a quick stopover. It also has a Japanese restaurant these days so I was rather gutted I missed the opportunity to go there for dinner.
Tomorrow is another day of travelling but then we will finally be at our destination….
Bring it ON!
Time for sleep now….
Our broken plane. Apparently the fuel line to the engine has to work for it to be able to fly….
Koru Club almost at full capacity
The Premium Economy Cabin