My wife and I returned to Wellington from Sydney last Tuesday night. It was an interesting experience.
Our Air New Zealand flight was late boarding. We then sat on the ground in Sydney for what seemed to be an interminable length of time while the captain advised us that, because of the 1.30am curfew at Wellington airport, the flight may have to be diverted to Auckland. This announcement was met by a number of gasps from passengers.
We eventually took off and arrived in Wellington with six minutes to spare.
The aircraft had been previously delayed by about an hour and a half departing from Wellington, making its arrival in Sydney too late to meet our scheduled departure.
What was really interesting was the reason given for the delay. Apparently the aircraft had been taxiing in Wellington when it was noted that there was insufficient wind for take-off at the loaded weight. The aircraft had to return to the terminal to offload some cargo before it could depart.
This is the first time I have heard of a flight being delayed in Wellington because of insufficient wind!
Also, no points to Air NZ for not loading the aircraft in accordance with the prevailing conditions. Alan Peck, Lower Hutt