Matchmaking flight

Air New Zealand Matchmaking Party – kisses all around

Last night, acting, looking, and in a few cases smelling like a bunch of junior high kids embarking on their first prom, about a hundred of the Americans who flew to Auckland on Air New Zealand’s Matchmaking Flight joined 150 nattily-dressed Kiwis for the Great Matchmaking Party.  As billed, it was a night of inter-hemisphere mingling, complete with dating games and dance performances, including a repeat of this choreographed dance the flight crew performed in the holding gate at LAX airport.

Were matches made?  You bet. Were lives changed? Time will tell… but at least everyone has a great story.

Air New Zealand Match Making Party

More on Air New Zealand’s Matchmaking Flight

Greetings from Auckland!  Today many of the 111 folks who flew on Air New Zealand’s Matchmaking Flight from Los Angeles will spend the day prepping and primping for tonight’s gala party.

Air New Zealand bag

Not just a party, but a get-all-dressed-up Matchmaking Ball, where folks who took the 13 hour flight over from the U.S. will get to meet and mingle with 100 or so locals – Kiwis – who have been following the “find the one” festivities from afar.

AIR NEW ZEALAND fancy meeting you

One person who won’t be at the party is 87 year-old Irma Adams. She was one of the 100 or so “regular” passengers who showed up for her Tuesday night LAX – Auckland flight who didn’t know that the back cabin of the airplane was going to be party central. Rather than get irritated, as some other passengers did, she got busy.  Delighted at the prospect of a party and tickled at the idea that there was matchmaking going on, she crashed the pre-flight party and the on-board festivities.


I couldn’t keep my eye on Irma throughout the entire flight. But on touch-down, Irma told me she’d had the time of her life. And she coquettishly denied that she was the one who’d made a date with one of the pilots.

But I did notice one of the flight attendants slip Irma a bottle of champagne – with a wink – as she got off the plane.

Air New Zealand’s matchmaker flight touches down in Auckland

Just wanted to share a few photos from Air New Zealand’s matchmaking flight from Los Angeles to Auckland, which left LAX last night about 10:30 and arrived in a rainy Auckland this morning around 7:30 am.

First surprise: not everyone was 21 years old.  Folks who signed up for the flight appeared to range in age from 20 to 60.

Second surprise:  the crew!  During a send-off party in the gate area, which included a practice round of speed-dating, passengers were treated to a choreographed dance performance by the entire crew of the airplane. Including the pilots.   The song? Beyoncé’s Single Ladies (Put a ring on it).


Hi-jinx continued on-board, with meet-your-neighbor party games and the unpacking of the goodie bags, which included lip balm, perfume and tiny panties, modeled here by two, um, creative and enthusiastic passengers.

ANZ pantie gals

More later…including the story of the 87-year old who crashed the party.

Air New Zealand’s Matchmaking Flight

Air New Zealand, the folks who brought us those cheeky and now-classic, nearly-naked commercials (see a sample below), will be sending a planeload of folks from Los Angeles to Auckland tonight, October 13th, on a 12-hour matchmaking flight.

As’s (very happily married, thank-you) Well Mannered Traveler, I get to tag along to see if sky-high speed-dating makes any sense or if it’s just an excuse to party on a plane.

ScreenHunter_03 Oct. 12 23.02

According to Nick, the reservations agent who answered my call to Air NZ today, the  LA – Auckland flight is sold out and there are folks in Auckland hoping everyone doesn’t get paired up on the flight over so there’s some mystery left at the sold-out matchmaking flight party planned in Auckland.

What do you think? Does a matchmaking flight make any sense?  If the flight is more than 12 hours long, can we really call it speed-dating?  And what tips do you have to share with folks who are giving this a try?