Taking the Plane to New Zealand.
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- Read the post
- 1The Ultimate Plane Trip.
- 2When Should I Book Plane Tickets?
- 3How About Flying in an A380 Airbus?
- 4How to Improve Comfort on Board?
- 5How About the Stopovers?
- 6How to Fight Jetlag?
The Ultimate Plane Trip.
At more than 18,000 km from Europe, the flight to New Zealand is one of the longest in the world. To the 24 hours spent in the air, one must add a stopover and all the airport formalities, for a total of nearly 28 hours before landing in Auckland !
If you consider the return trip, then you will have virtually gone around the globe.
That is why those who have lived this experience are often pride to mention it, even if they exaggerate the difficulty of it.
Because a trip to the other side of the planet cannot be reduced to a simple matter of fatigue.
The mere prospect of boarding a gigantic Airbus A380 to travel to the country of the Lord of the Rings is extraordinary in itself.
It is, however, true to that the journey can be tiring if poorly planned.
It can even be exhausting if you are traveling with young children to monitor constantly. In these circumstances, the question of a long stopover worth asking, whether it is set in Singapore or Dubai.
It is still necessary to know which airline is the best, and how to book tickets at the lowest prices.
Because it is obvious that all seats on boards are not equal, and the ability to sleep to arrive in better shape depends mainly on a few tips I discovered over time and that I'm going to share with you.
Please note that this article does not address the issues of customs and biosecurity checks. I invite you to consult ourspecial guide dedicated to the formalities for more details.
When Should I Book Plane Tickets?
Booking plane tickets to New Zealand six months in advance usually allows to get better rates. From Europe it is difficult to get a price less than $1830 for a round trip between Paris and Auckland, for example.
And contrary to popular belief, it is best NOT to use the services of a dedicated travel agency. There are so many free comparators, there is no need to add another paying intermediary in the transaction. Just be sure to book your seats early in the week.
Because the Fridays and especially weekends are synonyms of strong demand and rising prices.
It is recommended comparing prices and booking on different computers. Your interest on a particular flight can be tracked by the airline, and the price will increase magically when you decide to buy your tickets.
Note that the $25 airport tax to be paid when leaving New Zealand at Christchurch airport was abolished long ago in 2008 ... This is a perfect example of bad advice as one can still find in outdated paper guides!
It goes without saying that with the high cost of tickets imply to subscribe to a solidcancellation insurance. Do not forget to read our article about customs formalities and the best way to prepare your suitcases, then only you'll be ready for the big day.
How About Flying in an A380 Airbus?
It's sometimes difficult to imagine that such a large aircraft can fly through the air. The Airbus A380 also surprises its passengers with a slow take-off feeling. But this model is undoubtedly the most comfortable to travel to New Zealand.
The carrier has two decks connected by an internal staircase.
If you have the opportunity to choose your seat, I recommend you opt for the upper deck where the atmosphere is usually more relaxed.
Most airline companies fortunately grant us a few extra centimeters for the legs.
The seats are also a bit wider than usual (do not expect a miracle in economy class however).
Each seat possesses an individual screen that lets you watch recent movies and listening to music with the headphones distributed after takeoff.
The presence of a USB port even allows to see pictures or even better: to charge a smartphone or a tablet!
The A380 is deemed to be a silent plane, and his cabin has definitely better soundproofing than any other commercial aircraft.
But the aircraft remains noisy, especially if you are traveling seated near the wings.
So many people pretend that the best seats are near the emergency exits.
But if these seats certainly offer more legroom, the presence of nearby toilets is the source of a permanent hubbub, not to mention the smells ...
Whatever one can say, comfort in economy class remains insufficient for such a long flight! In order to successfully rest or sleep, you must know a few more tricks.
How to Improve Comfort on Board?
Finding sleep during a long-haul flight is essential to reduce the travel fatigue. But to increase your chances to achieve this, you should invest in some accessories.
To be really isolated from the ambient noise, you can't just use traditional ear plugs.
I recommend wearing on of the new headphone model equipped with a noise-canceling system. You should as well invest in a pillow specially designed for plane flights.
Before putting your eye mask, you should put your seatbelt fastened in evidence, so the flight crew won't have to wake you up in case of turbulence.
It is necessary in any case to bring a good sweater, because fresh air conditioning is your best enemy when you need to feel warm and comfortable.
You can request an extra blanket anytime if you are feeling cold, so do not hesitate.
It is recommended removing your shoes and to wear compression stockings. Prolonged immobility (especially if you spend a part of the flight asleep) requires a bit of exercise (like walking in the alleys from time to time) to facilitate the blood circulation.
In reality, the best seats are the ones near the alleys and not near the windows. Get up regularly to avoid cramps. Singapore Airlines even offers a small area with fruit juices and water glasses. Under these conditions, it is possible to spend several hours standing (which helps to relax the muscles).
Instead of drinking coffee or tea you should prefer pure water to fight against dehydration. And do not follow the usual bad advice claiming that alcohol consumption facilitates sleep. It is far better to practice relaxation and do some stretching!
As for sleeping pills, they are suitable to sleep in a bed, not in a chair where they facilitate the emergence of muscle soreness. In contrast, drugs against airsickness is recommended if you suffer from nausea or dizziness. Prefer in this case the seats near the wings, which are less affected by the turbulence.
How About the Stopovers?
Often seen as a waste of time, the stopover may nevertheless extend the holidays if you have a reasonable extra time, and mostly if you're not afraid to miss your next flight.
Although Dubai is connected to the airport by a fast aerial train, it is necessary to have a half day before seriously considering a city break. Luxury Shopping lovers will enjoy themselves if they can afford to buy. Others will simply admire the skyscrapers and perhaps plan a short visit to the beach.
Far more interesting, the stopover in Singapore deserves more attention and you should even plan your schedule to get more time on location (if you can afford the extra cost of course).
The subway (MRT) connects the airport to the city center in less than 30 minutes, and you can get a temporary 24 hours' tourist visa if you come from most European countries.
Even with a few hours to spend, you will have enough time for a nice walk in Little India or Chinatown.
You should pick up a subway map and follow the main streets to be sure not to miss your next plane. If you had never visited an Asian city before, this is a great experience.
However, there is a better option to visit Singapore in a short time! You can join the free Hop-On Hop-Off bus. The two-hour circuit departs from the airport and allows to discover the main touristic areas of the city. Some stops give you enough to taste the local food or buy some souvenirs from a street shop.
Wherever you plan your stopover, you should withdraw some cash in local currency in an airport ATM, especially if you intend to buy souvenirs or have dinner. Your little escapade in the city adds an extra tiredness, but it will increase your chances to find sleep during the next flight.
You must not forget that it is strictly forbidden to eat in the Singapore subway, or you'll be exposed to a severe fine. Such measure partly explains the impeccable cleanliness of the transport network.
How to Fight Jetlag?
Congratulations, you have finally reached the land of the kiwis, exhausted but excited to start your holidays. All the fatigue accumulated during the journey will dissipate gradually, but you should avoid pulling the string too much during the first few days.
The jet lag is caused by disorientation that results from a time zone change.
If you've never experienced it, you can compare the jetlag to a day of work preceded by a sleepless night. The fatigue experienced is both physical and nervous.
If you managed to get some sleep during the flight, and if you have been drinking lots of water while avoiding alcohol, then the symptoms should be less pronounced.
It is now important to resume to normal schedules and to eat healthy (no junk food for god sake!) to help the body to recover.
If it is still daylight when you arrive, I recommend you to stay up until the early evening before sinking into sleep. However, if you arrive in the evening, you should go to bed without even unpacking your luggage!
It is also important not to drive during your first day in New Zealand.
Driving on the left of the road (if you are not used to it) after an exhausting flight is the worst idea you could have.
This is instead a great opportunity to visit Auckland on foot, because a good walk will help you to restore your energy.
If you follow my advice, your flight should happen in good conditions.
Furthermore, the outward flight is not the most difficult, and the return flight seems usually longer to most people, as it lacks the pleasure of novelty. One more reason to enjoy a stopover.
Anyway, after such an experience, any 8 hour flight will seem to be a cakewalk.
I let you continue the discussion with our friend Ben the Kiwi. He is unbeatable about the A380 and his smart tips can facilitate your future journey to his homeland.
Questions & Answers.
What can I do for you? I often fly between New Zealand and Europe and am a great fan of the Airbus A380!
- All topics ... 27 answers in total
- Health and Comfort 8 answers
- Stopover in Singapore 6 answers
- Choose your Seat on Board 5 answers
- Tickets Booking 4 answers
- Travel Time 4 answers
Health and Comfort
- What is the best way to find sleep?
Each passenger has his own method. My method consists in practicing a regular sporting activity during the days preceding the start, with soft stretching.
- What are the symptoms of phlebitis?
As a general rule, pain can be felt in a single leg or in a single foot, but there are exceptions. Dizziness and difficulty breathing are other frequent symptoms. Notify a hostess and do not panic: the flight attendants are trained for this eventuality.
- Should we wear stockings even if we are young?
Blood circulation problems can occur at any age. There is no shame in that.
- Is it cold on the plane cabin?
The air conditioning is quite cool. This is not a problem at the beginning of the journey, but the more time you spend immobile, the more the body struggles to warm up. It is therefore necessary to wear a good wool sweater and/or a blanket.
- How to fight against dehydration?
Drinking plenty of water and avoiding tea, coffee and especially alcoholic beverages.
- Why is it necessary to remove contact lenses in the airplane?
This is not mandatory, but the dry air can easily cause irritation.
- How to reduce the effects of air sickness?
Avoiding the rotations of the head, which should preferably be kept slightly leaning backwards.
- How many meals are served on board?
On a long flight, the meals (perhaps too many) rhythm the journey. Between dinner, lunch and snacks, you do not risk dying of hunger. On Singapore Airline flights, you can even ask for small snacks, or serve yourself directly in a space provided for that purpose.
Stopover in Singapore
- Is it necessary to withdraw money to visit Singapore?
To visit the city on its own, or to pay for the snacks at the airport, you must withdraw Singapore dollars (SGD) from ATMs or exchange offices before your departure.
- How to register for the Singapore Bus Tour?
Start by requesting a 24-hour temporary visa at the airport's immigration department. Then register with the offices of "Free Singapore Tours" in Terminals 2 or 3.
- How long does the Singapore bus tour last?
The visit lasts about 2 hours, which means that you need a stopover of at least 4 to 5 hours so as not to run the risk of missing the next plane.
- Where is the bus timetables for Singapore?
Departures are at 9 am, 11:30 am, 2:30 pm and 4 pm. You must register at least one hour in advance to hope to have a place.City Tours schedule
- Which district to visit in Singapore?
For a total change of scenery, I suggest Little India, Chinatown and the colonial area with amazing views of Marina Bay Sands.
- Should we extend the stopover at Singapore?
If you can afford it, try to plan two full days to visit the city. Be careful, the heat and the humidity are stifling during the summer months, so pack a swimsuit in your suitcase.
Choose your Seat on Board
- I have long legs, is that a problem?
The legroom is a little bigger on long-haul flights, but it's still insufficient if you measure more than 1.90m. In this case, prefer the seats in the corridor so that you can get up more often.
- What are the seats with reduced noise?
The best places are at the front of the plane, but they are reserved for premium or business classes. For the rest, it is better to avoid being on the level of the wings where the reactors are.
- Can one choose his seat in the plane?
By booking the seats far in advance, it is indeed possible to choose its place or at least its preference (corridor or porthole).
- What is the best floor of an Airbus A380?
The upstairs cabin has a more intimate atmosphere. The low number of seats also makes it possible to be served faster by the crew.
- Can I charge my smartphone or tablet on board?
Some airlines like Air Singapore provide USB ports for each passenger seat. The voltage is low, but sufficient to recharge a small device like a phone or a tablet.
- Which companies serve New Zealand?
The most famous companies are Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Korean Air, Cathay Pacific, Qantas or Malaysia Airlines.
- What are the country's international airports?
Auckland and Christchurch host flights from all over the world. Wellington, Queenstown or Rotorua are served by domestic flights or from Australia.
- How to avoid IP tracking from airline companies?
The only effective way is to search and purchase tickets on different computers.
- Do we pay a tax when leaving the country?
The tax in question has been removed since a long time, but some obsolete websites claim that it still exists. This is no longer the case, I can assure you.
- Are there any direct flights to New Zealand?
No, aircraft do not have sufficient fuel reserves for such a journey.
- How long does it take to get to New Zealand?
The flight length is approximately 24 hours, but it takes about 28 hours in total with the formalities of the airport and the obligatory stopover.
- How long is the flight from Singapore to Auckland?
It takes about 8 hours of flight.
- Do the plane fly over Australia?
Yes, but it is necessary that the flight take place during day time to enjoy the landscapes.
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