Today I did two things on a plane I have never done before:
1) Board without a boarding pass
2) Take my suitcase on as hand luggage
I had an 11 a.m. flight to Auckland and got there at just after 10.45 a.m. to be told the flight was closed. I turned on the charm but got told that once the pilot has the manifest they can not change that. I then tried more charm, and subtly mentioned I do have gold elite flight status, and that in the past some flexibility has been shown. Still looking bad. I then pull out the last desperate plea that I have a TV interview in Auckland at 1245 pm and will miss it if I can’t get on the flight, and don’t even mind if the suitcase comes later.
A quick phone call eventuates and I am told to run to Gate 17 and I can board if there in a couple of minutes and to take luggage with me, and not to worry about a boarding pass to save time. I scare assorted travellers by sprinting through airport and the nice boarding staff do not hassle me too much as I try to board with no pass and a suitcase.
Anyway huge thanks to the Air NZ staff for their flexibility and assistance.