Auckland, New Zealand

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Will Rickards said:
For work, I'll be in Auckland, New Zealand for training the week of May 30th.
Anybody live in those parts?

I'm virtual Will, so I could be anywhere. Sounds like a nice trip though. Maybe you'll have some pictures when you get back.
 

Pradeep

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Auckland is a nice city. They have a casino, and then a big tower to try and jump off when you lose the shirt on your back. (Actually the viewing room is enclosed so no leaping, big thick clear floor panels to give you a little vertigo).

Went to the casino there once, put down $5 bucks on 36, came up first spin, cashed me winnings and left for the nearest pub. My shooting friends were speechless :)
 

time

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I just came back from 9 long days working there on the worst installation I've ever had the misfortune to be involved with. I can't stand the place. :(

Seriously, unless you have Pradeep's luck, it holds no interest for anyone. It has terrible traffic jams for a relatively small city and would have to be the worst tourist destination in New Zealand. :p

Thirty-nine per cent of Auckland city's population were not born in New Zealand, and an increasing proportion of these people are from countries where English is not the native language.

Try Christchurch, Dundedin, Wellington or head for the mountains. :(
 

time

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Okay, it does have a publicly accessible tower. :)

Based on my aforementioned most recent trip:
  • Food quality was pretty good and fairly cheap from the places I tried.
  • Beer from the supermarket was amazingly cheap. I bought a six-pack of Grolsch for NZ$12, which included 12.5% GST and equates to US$8.80.
  • NZ beer is so-so. Good by American beer standards. The wine is okay to good.
  • Taxis (due to car and fuel prices) are a tad expensive.
That's a hell of a trip to undertake, Will. I hope your seating is reasonable. After only 3 hours on Emirates cattle-class, I had leg cramps the following day. :(
 

Pradeep

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Talking of beer in NZ, it was the only place I was ever asked for ID (apart from the USA nowadays, where some establishments ask anyone for ID - yes that includes grannies in their 60's-70s. Not much common-sense around here :)

Time: you definitely shouldn't try the 17 hour non-stop Singapore Airlines flight from SIN-JFK or Newark. Tho apparently they took out a lot of seats so the seat pitch is somewhat reasonable.
 

Will Rickards

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Everybody I tell keeps asking me how long the flight is.
I honestly don't know but will be making the arrangements this week.

I tried to convince my wife to come along.
Once in a lifetime opportunity and all that.
But she is 6 months pregnant and a stay at home mom with our 2.5 year old.
 

Pradeep

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If leaving from LAX then flight time to AKL is around 13 hours.

LAX-SYD is around 15 hours.

I don't know how much time you have for your training, but Orbitz has an intinery where you fly Qantas from LAX->SYD, arriving early morning, then fly SYD->AKL two days later (in the morning). On the return you go straight from AKL to LAX. So that would give you two days in Sydney to enjoy.

This option is about $200 more than the cheapest AirNZ flight direct to AKL and back, so maybe you could pay the difference if your company doesn't want to?

Do you have any frequent flyer status with an airline program?
 

Will Rickards

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No frequent flyer status as I've only flown maybe 4 times my entire life.
I'd be departing from Philadelphia, PA probably. Maybe they'll make me go up to newark international airport.
 

Pradeep

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Oooh, an international virgin. Make sure you sign up with whichever carrier you are flying with, you should net close to 20,000 miles for the trip.

From PHL you will prob get to LAX via Atlanta or Charlotte.

Enjoy the free booze on-board.
 

Will Rickards

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Well I arrived safe and sound and am visiting a rainy auckland new zealand.
The training is going well and ahead of schedule.
The other guy who was supposed to come down got turned away at LA.
 

LOST6200

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Will Rickards said:
No frequent flyer status as I've only flown maybe 4 times my entire life.

Wow, you are lucky to fly so infrequently! I fly a little more than average, maybe 10-12 trips/30-40K miles per year, and it not fun most of the time. LAX to Auckland can be rough, right up there with DC or JFK to Narita or my least favorite, JFK to Joburg.
 

Mercutio

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I've never been on a plane at all. I'm almost 30.


I've decided that I won't be getting on a plane. I went to pick someone up at the airport once upon a time and was strip searched for my trouble. I was wearing cotton shorts (no zipper), a cotton tshirt and a $3 pair of plastic flip flops (i.e. no metal anywhere), and I kept setting off their metal detector. There's no place in the world I want to go so badly I'd put up with that again.
 

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I just got off a plane on Sunday and prior to that I hadn't been on one in 10 years. The flight was fine and I might do it again some day.
 

i

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I think 5 years is the longest I've gone without flying. I visited Atlanta for the first time in my life last month, and flew via Independence Air. I'd never heard of them before, but I don't have any real complaints. (Except possibly their, "we're going to try and make this amusing," in-flight safety announcement.) Plus they were cheap. :)
 

LOST6200

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I just retunred from overseas a couple of days ago. Then there are trips in June and July in the US and a long one in August (three continents in two days). And there will probably be a few unplanned travels as well. :(
 

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I flew with Song. I had never heard of them but they are part of Delta. The plane was decent, and they also tried the amusing in-flight safety announcements. We had an LCD TV in every seat which included music and games. Some of the games had to be purchased along with pay-per-view movies. Otherwise, it offered plenty of entertainment for a Boeing 757.
 

i

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Handruin said:
I flew with Song. I had never heard of them but they are part of Delta. The plane was decent, and they also tried the amusing in-flight safety announcements. We had an LCD TV in every seat which included music and games. Some of the games had to be purchased along with pay-per-view movies. Otherwise, it offered plenty of entertainment for a Boeing 757.

Nice! I'm clueless ... how far a trip are we talking about for a Boeing 757 (i.e. where did you go?).

I've never heard of Song either. Yet another thing I'm apparently behind the times on ... airline companies.
 

i

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LOST6200 said:
I just retunred from overseas a couple of days ago. Then there are trips in June and July in the US and a long one in August (three continents in two days). And there will probably be a few unplanned travels as well. :(

LOST, you don't enjoy travelling much I take it? Although I have to say, 3 continents in 2 days sounds a little grueling.
 

LOST6200

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The long triop is a personal one, if I even make it.

The problem these days is that smaller and smaller planes are being used to reduce operating costs. Remeber when 747s were used from coast to coast and L1011s or DC-10s were used for the short 12200 mile flights? Flying for 1.5 hours in the POS Embraer is painful. Some routes on the tin can planes are even longer - they were previoulsy served by larger aircraft. People are treats like the sh*ts, so the number of traveklers and flights decreases further, leaving fewer options. As middel management loser, I must travel in the coack class. Only senor management and executtives travel business. If you fly to DCA, it is impossible to even use teh toilets within 30 minuten of takeoof or landing.
 

Handruin

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i said:
Handruin said:
I flew with Song. I had never heard of them but they are part of Delta. The plane was decent, and they also tried the amusing in-flight safety announcements. We had an LCD TV in every seat which included music and games. Some of the games had to be purchased along with pay-per-view movies. Otherwise, it offered plenty of entertainment for a Boeing 757.

Nice! I'm clueless ... how far a trip are we talking about for a Boeing 757 (i.e. where did you go?).

I've never heard of Song either. Yet another thing I'm apparently behind the times on ... airline companies.

My trip was about 1200 miles (Boston MA to Orlando FL) in the coach class. The plane wasn't that big, maybe 150-200 people? I'm also behind the times when it comes to airline companies. When we bought the tickets, I thought we were flying with Delta...then I saw the print-outs a few weeks later and it said Song...I had never even heard of them.

The TV/LCD units also provide flight information to show you where your plane is during the flight, including speed and altitude. I had never seen any of that before, but it's probably more common than I know of.

757200-PRO937.jpg
 

LOST6200

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Oh yeah, that reminds me. I have to lfy up there this summer too. I'd rather go on the Manchester, beacus Boston is always a PITA.
 

Handruin

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Boston has gotten better with the new tunnels, etc. Navigating the airport isn't that bad. Outside the airport can be a pain...we experienced that on our ride home when they closed the road we needed, and the detour sucked ass.
 

Howell

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I'm usually on a plane every 2-3 years. Last trip I took was last July to London.

I'm not above driving to Colorado either though. The last road trip I took was:

CHA->Memphis->DFW->Boise City, OK->Ft. Collins, CO
 

Pradeep

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Will Rickards said:
He was not a US citizen and didn't have a US passport.
So he needed a visa but didn't have one.

Ouch. At least the check-in guys noticed in LA and didn't put him on the plane, just for him to be sent back at Auckland. Did the travel agent just assume he had a US passport?
 
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