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AUGUST 2006 : Origin Pacific Airways suspends operations

Origin Pacific - by Sarah McLaughlin
31 March 2006

I need to extol the wonderful service I continue to receive from Origin Pacific. I flew CHC-WLG via NSN. Had two bags, one weighing 23kg and another weighing 17kg. I knew they would be overweight, policy on my e- ticket said 15kg limit, but the girl at check-in took my 23kg bag and waived all extra charges! I repeatedly tried to pay but she said it was fine, but that I would need to pay for the second one. Like I'm going to say no to that! Flight took off exactly on time, J41 aircraft which was completely full. Must endlessly praise the flight attendant - she had to work in a cramped, noisy, full aircraft and she did it all with a smile on her face. Extremely professional and empathetic - saw me bringing on a heavy backpack as my carry-on (didn't want to get it checked as it contained my laptop) and offered to store it next to her seat as it wouldn't fit under mine. Absolutely fantastic! Stop in Nelson was quick and painless, FA welcomed me back personally as I boarded and little hop over the Strait was wonderful. Thank you Origin for a continuously improving, very high level of service. I am won over and will use you whenever I can!

Origin Pacific - by Frances Thomas
2 October 2005

I always fly Origin Pacific. Find the staff really friendly and I too have had overweight luggage allowed through without any extra cost or hassles. Absolutely love the student stand-by fares - they save me a lot getting back home over the semester breaks from uni ($70 from between wellington and hamilton instead of $90+ with Air NZ. It makes all the difference to a student like me).

Origin Pacific - by Sarah McLaughlin

23 August 2005

Flew Origin Pacific WLG to CHC this morning on a J31 aircraft. I had apprehensions about this because it's a TINY plane and I'm not good with small aircraft, however I had heard great things about Origin so thought I'd give them a shot (and for $69 how could I not?!). The check in was a bit weird, the other airlines gave notice on the boards when to check in but there was still no sign from Origin for my flight half an hour before it was due to take-off. I enquired if the check in was open for Christchurch and the girl at the counter informed me that yup, it was. Think it would be better if they said it was open as they did with their other flights to Blenheim and Nelson but anyway, no problems there. Boarded the tiny plane, nearly tripped on the step in the middle and could barely fit my bag in front of me as I was right at the front of the plane behind the pilots. This was actually quite reassuring for me as I could see what they were doing. The flight itself was surprisingly smooth, I was expecting to be thrown about the sky thanks to the Wellington northerly! But it was great, the hour that it took to get to Christchurch whizzed by and we took off and landed exactly on time - fantastic! I don't understand why people whinge about the walk from the tarmac at Christchurch, it was great to stretch my legs after the slight cramping in the plane, and it's not MILES. It took maybe three minutes if that! Sturdy little planes, noisy but you get used to it, and friendly crew both in the air and on the ground. Be prepared though, if you're on the J31 there's no FAs or inflight refreshments so BYO if you need them! Would have no hesitations to fly with them again!

Origin Pacific - by Susan Newlove

17 August 2005

Auckland - New Plymouth. Decided to fly on their 'student standby' fare, which is NZ$60 one way for this route (usually from NZ$80). Absolutely no problems checking in - seemless boarding. Remember that these are tiny planes - about 7 rows, with one seat on one side, and two on the other. It means you can have a rough ride if it's windy. The pilot & co-pilot, who greet you onboard, are friendly & professional. It's a quick flight, obviously with no onboard service, but a really nice cheap way to get from A to B and an alternative to Air NZ. Love the idea of student standby and they have great repositioning flight deals as well.

Origin Pacific - by Peter Lewis

9 March 2005

We booked and paid for return flights Auckland - Napier - Auckland, and received our tickets. Two weeks before our departure we had a phone call from Origin Pacific to tell us that our 4pm Friday departure had now been rescheduled to 7pm. This was no good to us, as we had a theatre booking in Napier at 8pm . 'Thats fine', they said , 'we will give you a refund'. Which hardly solves the problem. We had to rebook to fly down Air New Zealand at twice the fare - all the cheaper seats had by then been sold. Our return flight from Napier was due to leave at 3pm Sunday, so we were at the airport and checked in soon after 2pm. About half an hour later we were told that the flight was delayed, and at 4pm were told that the flight had now been cancelled. A telephone call to the Origin Pacific booking office revealed that they couldn't care less about the fact that we needed to be back in Auckland ready for work the following morning. Finally, we managed to get seats on an Air New Zealand flight that left Napier at 7pm. Personally, we would never book or attempt to travel by Origin Pacaific again. They are totally unreliable, and do not appear to have any consideration at all for their clients.

Origin Pacific - by Susan Newlove

1 March 2005

New Plymouth-Auckland. My first ever Origin Pacific experience and it was all good. First of all the price - I paid $76 two days before I flew, which was about a third of the price that Air NZ was asking for. Check in was a breeze, very friendly check in guy who allowed my 24 kg bag on because the flight wasn't very full (a very 'she'll be right' attitude - love it). They have a 15kg luggage allowance normally so I was preparing to pay extra (it's $5 per kg over the limit and they can put your bag on the next flight if they want). The flight had come up from Nelson and Origin Pacific only fly once a day from NP to Auckland. Very small plane - I think it sat about 20. Boarding was quick, with a quick safety talk from the co- pilot (no in flight service) and we were off. A really quick flight to Auckland, luggage was through in a jiffy and I was on my way. Looking forward to flying Origin again, great little airline.

Origin Pacific - by Simon Wilson

20 February 2005

I recently flew 7 sectors on Origin Pacific. The airline was dumped by Qantas NZ and has since cut out it's larger Dash 8 and ATR 72 aircraft. Cabin service on the J41 is now only water (no service on J31/J32). Due to headwinds on a flight from WLG-HLZ, my suitcase had to be left behind. However, I was well over the 15kg allowance so I didn't really mind. Unfortunately, the next flight was the following day. However, the ground crew were excellent in dealing with this problem and handed out $20 vouchers to those affected. For short flights, not a problem given the fares, and a quicker way to get your baggage than off a 737. Note that some flights involve a stop or even two or three. More routes have been dropped, DUD being the latest.

Origin Pacific - by Jack Clark

9 June 2004

I have traveled Origin Pacific many a time and will always continue to do so. Origin have great customer service a nice change from the "snobbish" attitudes of AirNZ and Qantas. People complain about the walk at CHC airport I have no problem walking for a couple of minutes when I am saving money on my airfare and also helping out the little guy in this industry. I will always fly and recommend Origin over AirNZ and Qantas.

Origin Pacific - by Mike Granger

9 June 2004

I've read the comments above and I guess it surprises me. I was a commuter airline pilot about 15 years ago and I flew planes on these same sectors that were far smaller and not as well organised as Origin. Last week I sat in a J31 and flew between Christchurch and Nelson return and I was impressed with every aspect. Some comments refer to the long walk at Christchurch. you obviously have not flown out of Auckland. check out the walk to the Whangarei or Tauranga Saabs of Air New Zealand. you could be forgiven if you thought that you were walking that sector. Heathrow use buses between terminals. Sure there may be some improvements required but IF Origin were not here tomorrow do you know what Air NZ will do with the fares? Support the competition and maybe we could see bigger aircraft on those sectors.

Origin Pacific - by O Mitchell

9 January 2004

I must say my recent trip on Origin Pacific was my first trip. Christchurch to Dunedin on their JS41. Those that complain abotu the 5 mile hike to the terminal at CHC are right, it's not good. Far too long and beware of crossing petrol tankers at the terminal gates. The aircraft was very cramped, not much legroom and very skinny seats. The flight itself was remarkably uneventful and boring, the sole cabin attendant looked thrilled not to be in Tahiti (sarcasm) and the service was not very good, tho the check-in staff at CHC were very nice and most helpful.  We hit very severe turbulence on approach to DUD without any warning from the pilots, of which I was somewhat accustomed to from other airlines, and the plane was pitching and yawing rather violently. We had no word at all from the flight deck after we got through the ten mins of turbulence and I was left feeling rather shaken and not too well cared for by the crew. A simple "We're sorry about that folks, hope everyone is ok" would have been enough recognition, but alas it never came. The near sideways landing was a welcome relief. Unfortunately as I write this, I am looking at my return ticket for Monday and not looking forward to another Origin flight. I am flying on my airpoints otherwise I would have taken my preferred carrier, AirNZ, but oh well, at least I know not to fly Origin again, and certainly wouldn't be recommending them anytime soon.

Origin Pacific - by Michael Lewis

16 December 2003

Christchurch/Wellington : Check in staff very friendly, long walk from terminal to aircraft, J41 aircraft are very small without much room very narrow seating, also very noisy aircraft to fly in if seated near the engines. Service frnm the sole cabin crew member very good. These smaller aircraft can provide a rough ride esp coming into Wellington airport. Overall the flight was okay and would use Origin Pacific again - if they offer the cheapest flight on the day I am travelling.

Origin Pacific - by Patrik Frank

2 December 2003

I have been flying with Origin Pacific a few times in the past month (8 single sectors) and I must say I am truly impressed by the friendliness of their staff. They are doing a great job. Unfortunately I didn't get any inflight service on 5 out of 8 flights because they don't offer any service on their Jetstream 31s. As for the the service on the Jetstream 41s it isn't exactly great but it certainly is way better than Air NZ's "being there is everything"-service. You can actually get enough food to get you through for a few hours, which is a lot more than the single tiny biscuit you get with Air NZ. And as I said, staff is awesome, very friendly, helpful and just a pleasure to be around (this is true for cabin crew, pilots and ground staff alike!). The only drawback about Origin Pacific are their aircraft. Those BAe Jetstreams are just way to small. There's not even space for a Laptop in the cabin if the flight is full. Plus the Jetstream 31s don't allow for any inflight service at all. Their only advantage is that you can actually watch the pilots at work if you're lucky enough to be seated on 1B.

Origin Pacific - by Jordan Simeon

22 September 2003

I recently flew the CHC-DUD route on origin and was relatively impressed with the service. Check in was a little slow and I was disappointed with the long walk through a sparsely covered walkway to the departure lounge. Once onboard the service was pretty straightforward  -water, coffee, tea and cheese and crackers or biscuits were offered. The  one flight attendant on our little 20 seater was very polite and cheerful.

Origin Pacific - by Rob Clark

2 May 2003

I worked for Origin in Wellington and now work for Qantas in Los Angeles. Considering the state of the airlines in America, Kiwis should be pleased with the balance of service, schedules, prices and overall competition between Air NZ and Origin/Qantas! Origin and Qantas are so different (Qantas has been flying for 75 years - Origin 6) that there are bound to be conflicts and occasional ill- communication. Yet I was always pretty impressed with what Origin achieves despite Air NZ's best efforts. The owners and senior management have a wealth of experience and a real customer service focus.

Origin Pacific - by P Heath

24 February 2003

Origin Pacific act purely as an agent for Qantas in Dunedin they are not able to book QF passengers nor allocate them seats they can not even look up there bookings in a computer system ,they rely solely on information sent to them by Qantas. They are unable to contact passengers that have booked with Qantas and that responsibility lies totally with Qantas to advise there clients. With regard to the queues at CHC I wonder if H Marsh realises that the Qantas check in is carried out by Air New Zealand staff it might explain the delays ?


Origin Pacific - by Harriot Marsh

17 February 2003

In response to comments made by P Heath, if you read carefully you would realise that the 10 minute delay was a minute part of what went wrong that day. My actual gripe was the fact that we were not contacted about the change to the Origin schedule that particular day! Now it may not have been a major problem if we were not travelling with a 5 year old. And as for the food comment, what I meant was, if you dont mind missing out on a meal with Air NZ, then you are better off flying with them. Now I am all for the "little" guy and believe that Origin are fairly professional, but that particular day was not what I would consider acceptable. Now we could blame a myriad of people including the QF ticketing agents and reservation staff. But for me at the end of the day it falls back on Origin. If Origin staff cannot allocate seats onto QF aircraft, then when will they be able to? Its a pain when you travel with children especially. And have you seen the queues recently at CHC airport? If Origin are going to fly as a link service for QF in NZ then both airlines need to sort out some kind of memorandum of understanding that does not let either side down. I have recently flown with Origin on a day trip to CHC and it was a normal run of the mill flight. This is what I expect. Although I didn't have a connecting flight to worry about. I can only say that I have heard 2 or 3 other people I know have a moan about QF and Origin in Dunedin. For me personally it was a bad start to a long day. These might be small bumps that need to be ironed out of the service delivery but it needs to happen sooner rather than later and hopefully websites like this one can assist.

Origin Pacific - by P Heath

29 January 2003

Response to H Marsh - Qantas should have contacted you as the schedule was changed back in October. As for your boarding pass Origin are not able to allocate seats on the Qantas flights and are only allowed to tag your bags, and obviously you have not travelled Air NZ Express yet as your meal is a small biscuit only with juice water and tea or coffee not different to Origin Pacific. Sounds like your only problem with Origin Pacific is a 10 min delay on the flight from Dunedin. Give the competition a fair go or go back to Air NZ and pay the price of a monopoly.

Origin Pacific - by H Marsh

3 January 2003

I know Origin are doing their best but I had an absolute horrific experience with then recently. I booked with QANTAS Dunedin-Auckland-Dunedin. The ticketing agent told me that we would have to fly Origin for the first sector there and last sector home (DUD-CHC-DUD). I was okay with that. Yesterday morning we drove to Dunedin airport to catch our 0730 flight to CHC. We arrived to an empty, non staffed terminal building. The only life at DUD airport was the Air NZ check in staff and Air NZ pax. I waited for 20 more minutes and decided to ring QF. Well the QF agent was not at all helpful and proceeded to tell me that our flight had been cancelled and rescheduled to 1400hrs! I could not believe this. She then went on to say that they had tried to get hold of me at home to tell me the changes! This is untrue as my younger sister was house sitting for us and never recieved that phone call. So we went back at 1400 and the plane left 10 mins behind schedule. The flight attendant was lovely - I take my hat off to her for working inside a BAe Jetstream41 cabin! It is a very pokey plane and I feel sorry for passengers who are tall and/or large build. The flight was non-eventful until we landed and had to do a 5 mile walk from the aircraft to the gate and eventually inside the arrivals hall at CHC. Then an announcement for all PX travelling onto AKL from DUD needed to re-check in! The luggage was tagged but we were not given a boarding pass straight through from staff in Dunedin! I lined up for 25 mins. I got our passes and we go onto the QF 737. The cabin crew were quite young - and very rude to some Asian people on board. The meal was okay and service acceptable. But origin - well if you dont mind missing out on a meal - stick to Air NZ!!! 



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