An Overloaded Plane

Monday 20 February, 2012 – Auckland, New Zealand

“FJ021 to Nadi has been cancelled”….

Courteney and I were standing at the check-in counter at Auckland International Airport in preparation for our flight to Suva on Air Pacific. I’ve never flown Air Pacific before, so this was first impressions for me. As the lady at the counter handed me back my passport, and boarding pass, there appeared to be a problem with Courteney’s ticket. “Your ticket has been re-issued and used under a different name. A Dwayne someone”. Well… that’s handy, so here we were standing at the counter while Air Pacific tried to figure out why Courteney’s ticket had been used by someone else (me blatantly refusing to go without her), the pilot of the plane was having a casual conversation with someone next to us. “I’m not taking more than X passengers on this plane (referring to the stranded passengers from flight 021 to Nadi), it’s overloading”. How reassuring!

Eventually everything is sorted with Air Pacific, and Courteney is allowed through to the gate to board. With our flight having been delayed by three hours, every other passenger received a $10 compensation voucher to use at the foodcourt while waiting to board..however ours seemed to go astray while our ticket issues were being sorted, so we paid for our Burger King (everyone else had sushi..that’s how we roll).

Once on the plane I finally relaxed (well, as much as you can when you’re terrified of flying). Air Pacific’s not too bad for an LCC airline – they even give you a snack and unlimited alcohol. The flight went fast and it wasn’t long before we were landing in Suva.

Suva Airport (Nausori Airport) is actually not in Suva itself, which was slightly disappointing as I was looking forward to getting a look to see if Suva really is just a bigger version of Nadi. However, we jumped into our un-airconditioned transfer bus and we were off (about an hour later – Fiji Time).

Off we went on Fiji’s best highway (I felt like I was going to be sick), and being three hours late due to the flight delay, we stopped in the first wee town for food. Ili, the manager from our first resort, Naigani, hopped of the bus into a little dark shop with a couple of Indians slumped outside the door, and came back out with a box full of fried chicken and chips… not 100% sure on the black marks on the chicken, I gobbled up the chips and left the chicken behind (some were brave enough to even eat the skin).

After a long, hot transfer, we finally arrived at the jetty ready to board our jet boat to Naigani Island, for our first day in paradise.

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