Now that was strange. We flew from Tauranga to Wellington. Arriving at the airport here, Rebecca and I both had passports ready but at the check-in counter, we just gave our names and were handed tickets. No ID asked for. As for our bags, the woman asked, “Do your bags weigh less than 23 kilos?” “Yes,” we answered and she heaved them onto the belt.
On to the gate area, which in Tauranga is several steps away. No security, no screening, no putting your carry-on stuff on a conveyor belt, no doing that shoeless prisoner of war shuffle while trying to hold your belt-less pants up with one hand, no metal wands or fondling, no TSA employee pulling you out of line because of two ounces of shampoo or a nail file. No one checked or cared. Nothing. In fact there is no separate area for passengers, just a door leading from the terminal directly out onto the tarmac. Oh, yes, there was a placard with pictures of things you couldn’t bring on the plane including car batteries.
They announced the boarding of the plane and we walked out and boarded. Again, no ID required.
On the flight down, we starred out the window passing snow-covered mountains.
“Just like Colorado,” Rebecca said.
Except each mountain, large or small, had a flattened top with a dipped concave center.
“I think those are volcanoes, “ I answered.
I guess as is a tradition on Air New Zealand domestic flights, they allow a child to pass out candy (lollies) before the flight lands. So now we had some five-year old carrying a bowl of candies down the aisle of the aircraft handing them out to the passengers. I certainly couldn’t see this happening in the United States.
Our landing in Wellington, which is known for its strong winds, thankfully was uneventful. The flight attendant, however, switched roles, donning a brightly colored yellow jacket and directed us outside across the runway to the terminal. I imagine after finishing that, she would refuel the plane.
On the return flight, same thing except this time we checked ourselves in at a kiosk. Again no ID was required and no security. Apparently this is the way it goes for domestic flights. One person told us they weren’t going to use their ticket so they just gave it to someone else. No problem.
This time, on the flight back, two even smaller girls handed out the lollies.
Rebecca had lost the ticket for parking our car in Tauranga. No worries. When did you park your car? Two days ago. Here you go.
Some things are really easy here.
Photo: Mt Ruapehu crater lake with Mt Ngauruhoe behind, New Zealand | New …www.newzealandphoto.info1000 × 625Search by image Mt Ruapehu crater lake with Mt Ngauruhoe behind, New Zealand