Luckily for me, Chris is a gold card member of BA this means we get invited into the Cathay Pacific 1st class lounge - result!
The lounge is all peace, quiet and good will to all, plus free Ginger ale so I count my blessing and gratefully sit down.
Making the transfer in Hong Kong is smooth and easy, not bags, no hassle - just a 4 hour wait and a fabulous sun set over the airport.
The flight to Auckland is another matter. It's not the turbulence, although that's not great, it's the drunk and abusive bloke in the seat opposite. I do the 'I'm not noticing this' act, which is harder than you would think when he starts punching the plane and shouting and I watch out of the corner of my eye as a very petite Chinese stewardess tries to restrain him. Very quickly there are more stewardesses and a large man from the flight deck, and before you know it Chris and me and two women travellers have been moved to different seats where we are all able to settle down for the rest of night.
It's a pretty bumpy landing in the grey rain at Auckland but it's good to get off the plane at last and as we collect up our belongings and troop wearily along the gangway I see four police men waiting by the plane door.
It's wet, wet, wet an grey, grey, grey an dreek n drear, for all the world looking like a summers day in Scotland.
And for those of us (myself included) who've moaned about the passport control entering the USA, well! Try New Zealand, as well as a slow, slow passport control there is an even slower bio-security check. We join a very long queue, watch the pretty sniffer dogs, fill in a form declaring you have no plant stuff, no meats, no bone, shells, dirty boots, animal medicine! . . . . and after what seems an age, like a cork from a shaken bottle we're out in the so very welcome fresh air and rain, jumping into a taxi and heading to downtown Auckland.
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