Review: Air New Zealand Q300, Auckland – Blenheim


Our efforts to taste some New Zealand wines in the Marlborough Wine Region had us requiring a short internal flight from the Auckland on the North Island of New Zealand to Blenheim in the South Island of New Zealand. We went with flag carrier Air New Zealand for this flight, which provided straightforward service on a new Q300 trubo prop aircraft.

This post is one chapter on our trip to Fiji, New Zealand and French Polynesia. This trip was redeemed through Alaska Mileage Plan and AAdvantage frequent flier programs and enhanced through Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Review: Air New Zealand Q300, Auckland – Blenheim

We left the compact Air New Zealand Auckland Regional Lounge at about fifteen minutes before our flight. We boarded our flight through an outdoor walkway. As with other regional Air New Zealand flights, there was no formal security check or screening. There was also a posted ban on photography so there are no airside photographs.

Boarding Our Air New Zealand Regional Flight
Air New Zealand
Operated by Air Nelson / New Zealand Link
Economy Class (L) – single class of service
AKL-BHE (Auckland – Blenheim)
NZ 8209
June 8, 2017
Booked: Bombardier Q300
Flown: Bombardier Q300
Departure: 3:30 PM
Arrival: 5:00 PM

On Board Air New Zealand:

Our rollies fit underneath the cabin seat and we settled into Seat 2A and 2B. Surprisingly the gate check feature for your cabin rolling suitcase that is common everywhere else in the world is signed as being limited to Top Tier Air New Zealand Koru Club members.

Air New Zealand Q300 Seats

We had a quick departure from Auckland Airport and a flight straight south towards Blenheim, passing along the western coast line of the North Island of New Zealand.

Views from the Wing Departing Auckland

Food and Beverage:

We were quite full from our earlier lounge visit. Fortunately, there was still more to come. On this short ninety minute flight, there was a water service, followed by a cookie service, followed by a coffee and tea service.

Air New Zealand Regional: A Water Service
A Salted Chocolate Cookie and a Kia Ora In Flight Magazine

We had a beautiful descent into Blenheim Woodbourne Airport. The Woodbourne Airport is shared with rhe Royal Air Force New Zealand Woodbourne Base. The civilian side of the Woodbourne airport is a double gate building with landings to the apron.

Sunset Colors on New Zealands’ mountains on Approach to Woodbourne Blenheim Airport

We deplaned from our Air New Zealand Q300 aircraft into crisp and fresh New Zealand air. It was a very short walk into the terminal building at Woodbourne, Blenheim.

Disembarking at Blenheim
Our Air New Zealand Q300 at Blenheim
Views from the Woodbourne Airport

I went to get the rental car and MrsWT73 had a chuckle when they loaded the checked bags onto a tractor, then promptly drove the tractor right into the terminal for people to collect their bags from.

Baggage Claim Arriving by Tractor and Trailer

My Thoughts on Air New Zealand Regional Service:

It was a pretty straight forward uneventful Air New Zealand flight without any form of meal service available, punctuated with a luggage tractor ride at the end. We had a comfortable ride and Air New Zealand offered us both a water service, a cookie and a coffee and tea service; something more than reasonable for a regional flight.

If you regularly travel on Air New Zealand Regional flights, do they meet your local travel needs ?

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