New Zealand: Windy Wellington Makes First Impression (or How I got on NZ TV!)

A call went out of the PA system in Dunedin: There was a windstorm in Wellington; anyone who didn’t want to fly today would be allowed to reschedule. There would be no guarantee that the plane would arrive at its scheduled designation.

I thought about it briefly, but I had a hotel booked, and we had our Weta Workshop tour on Dec. 5th. We didn’t absolutely have to be in Wellington. Jenya loved Dunedin. There was just something about the town that got to her. Maybe it was the penguins. Still, the hotel weighed heavily on my mind, and the weather may or may not be better tomorrow. We got on the flight.

The pilot came on and told us about the weather. If we couldn’t make it into Wellington, we would head over to Palmerston North. If that option wasn’t available, we would go on to Auckland. The flight went smoothly enough until about two-thirds of the way through.

The pilot said the situation hadn’t changed. We would still try to land, but if we heard the engines revving and there was a sudden skyward tilt, that would just be normal. It would be a missed landing, but no one should get worried about it. The fasten seatbelt sign was lit.

We hit pockets of turbulence and the girl in front of us was treating it like an attraction at Disneyland. Her mom – not so much. The plane jerked enough to keep me from reading, but we landed safely.

We went down to the baggage claim area, and the TV news interviewed me about the flight! I looked the live cast up online, and I made it on the news. “Well, we hit the ground, and everyone clapped and was like ‘Yay! We’re here.’” (Make an account with the website and you can see me at about the 3:50 mark. This is the 6 o’clock newscast!)  Today, the New Zealand News (Channel Three) Tomorrow, a part with Flight of the Conchords (affiliate link) and an interview with Stephen Colbert, the Newest Zealander!