A pilot wearing a uniform is reassuring. A pilot with black eyeliner and matching nail polish is not.
However, that was what the passengers of Air New Zealand's "Metallica-themed flight" got – and more – yesterday as they left Christchurch for the heavy metal legends' Auckland concert.
"Bogan flight 666 is now boarding" should have been the departure call.
And the airport security metal detectors could not have been working as they should have been bleeping like crazy with the over 100 black-clad, gothic leather-wearing metal fans taking advantage of the $NZ1 ($A0.76) "grabaseat" deal to fly to the band's third New Zealand concert.
The party started a few hours before the flight, and featured an air-guitar performance by Louis Ewen, accompanied by metal tunes. It culminated in an air-guitar showdown between the pilots and the flight attendants.
Maybe I was the only one who checked the runway for evidence of a burnout after takeoff.
For those not in charge of the plane, there was a make-up artist on hand to apply extra shades of bogan.
I even saw a sniffer dog wearing a Death Magnetic bandanna.
For Andrea Grom, who started the successful Facebook campaign to get Metallica to Christchurch, the flight was an eye-opener.
"I've never ever flown before. I chose the best first flight ever. It was good, definitely a lot of fun."
Grom missed out on meeting the band in Christchurch.
However, Auckland promoter Delaunay Enterprises had made sure she and her partner would meet the band in Auckland before the show, Grom said.
"I can't wait. I thought I'd missed out, but then this happened ... and I'm actually going to get to meet them. I'm so happy right now."
The band will return to Australia next week for another series of concerts across the country.