Review: Air New Zealand Lounge Auckland

Filed Under: Air New Zealand

After a couple of nights in Auckland, our Air New Zealand flight from Auckland to Queenstown was departing at 2:15PM. We got to the airport at around 12:30PM, which was plenty early. At Auckland Airport, the domestic and international terminals aren’t connected.

The domestic terminal was quite crowded, though still easy to navigate.

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Auckland Airport domestic check-in area

We used one of the kiosks to get our boarding passes for the flight to Queenstown.

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Auckland Airport domestic check-in area

From there we cleared security, which was a breeze. I find that to consistently be the case for domestic terminals both in Australia and New Zealand.

We followed the signage to the Air NZ Domestic Lounge, which we had access to on account of my Star Alliance Gold status through Copa Airlines.

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Auckland Airport domestic terminal

The lounge was located right near the top of the escalator, which is the main airside concourse level.

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Auckland Airport domestic terminal

The exterior of the lounge was sleek, similar to the black-and-white paint scheme on some of Air New Zealand’s planes.

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Air New Zealand Lounge entrance Auckland Airport

We were admitted upon having our boarding passes scanned, without even having to show my Star Alliance Gold card. While we received access thanks to my status, there are some other options in Auckland for those with a credit card with lounge access.

The lounge itself was rather crowded, though I guess that’s to be expected on a Friday afternoon. The crowd seemed mostly leisure, as opposed to the usual suited business travelers you’ll often see in airport lounges.

The lounge was a decent size with a variety of seating options.

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Air New Zealand Lounge seating Auckland Airport

There were traditional lounging chairs, high-top tables, dining tables, communal tables, etc.

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Air New Zealand Lounge seating Auckland Airport

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Air New Zealand Lounge seating Auckland Airport

Back near the entrance was the dining area, which featured cafe-style seating and a buffet.

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Air New Zealand Lounge dining area Auckland Airport

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Air New Zealand Lounge dining area Auckland Airport

For a domestic lounge the food spread was extremely impressive, possibly the most impressive of any domestic lounge I’ve seen anywhere.

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Air New Zealand Lounge buffet Auckland Airport

The buffet had fresh fruit and all kinds of sweets, including cookies, scones, muffins, brownies, etc.

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Air New Zealand Lounge fresh fruit Auckland Airport

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Air New Zealand Lounge cookies & snacks Auckland Airport

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Air New Zealand Lounge sweets Auckland Airport

There was also a station with gluten free sweets.

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Air New Zealand Lounge gluten free snacks Auckland Airport

Then there were several types of salad.

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Air New Zealand Lounge salads Auckland Airport

There was also soup with a couple of types of bread.

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Air New Zealand Lounge soup Auckland Airport

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Air New Zealand Lounge fresh bread Auckland Airport

Then there were hot dishes which actually looked appetizing, which is rare for an airline lounge.

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Air New Zealand Lounge hot buffet Auckland Airport

There was a soda fountain, as well as tomato, apple, and orange juice.

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Air New Zealand Lounge soft drinks & juice Auckland Airport

Then there was self serve beer and wine, including sparkling wine.

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Air New Zealand Lounge self serve drinks Auckland Airport

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Air New Zealand Lounge self serve drinks Auckland Airport

There was also a self serve coffee machine, which is possibly the dumbest feature of the lounge…

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Air New Zealand Lounge coffee machine Auckland Airport

…because the lounge has a legit barista on staff. The ordering system is cool as well. There’s an iPad where you can specify exactly what kind of beverage you want and how you want it (double shot, milk preference, etc.), and then an estimated pick-up time is provided (usually about five minutes after placing your order).

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Air New Zealand Lounge espresso bar Auckland Airport

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Air New Zealand Lounge espresso bar Auckland Airport

I ordered a double shot cappuccino with “trim” milk, which was perfect.

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Air New Zealand Lounge cappuccino Auckland Airport

At around 1:40PM we headed to the departure gate for our flight to Queenstown, where boarding commenced within a few minutes.

Air New Zealand domestic lounge bottom line

Are New Zealand’s domestic lounges are incredible. While the decor wasn’t cutting edge and the lounge was crowded, the food and beverage selection was great, and they even had made to order espresso drinks. Star Alliance Gold goes a long way on flights within New Zealand. For what it’s worth, domestic lounges in Australia are also consistently great, so this seems to be pretty consistent “down under.”

What do you consider to be the best “domestic” lounges in the world?

  1. I love Air NZ…
    Hope you had permission to post the pictures you took of the other passengers. Some of them might have protected identity etc…etc…
    If I had been in one of the pictures I would have been furious.

  2. Great overall lounge in AKL Domestic. If you get the chance the AKL/SYD/BNE International lounges have been refurbished so have the same (or better) F&B as the AKL Domestic lounge but a really nice new decor. The coffee ordering system is great – saves so much time by ordering on the iPad and leaving the baristas to just make coffee rather than write down orders as well. If you have the Air New Zealand phone app and use the mobile BP to gain access to any NZ lounge with a barista, you can also place a coffee order from the app anytime after you enter the lounge as well as save your favourite coffee’s for even quicker ordering via the app.

  3. You should fly air new Zealand premium economy at some point for a review, their hard product in premium economy is better than Emirates business class on the 777 so hey why not try?

  4. @Meta – Nope. lucky’s posted before about why he doesn’t blur out people’s faces in the photos he posts.

  5. Lucky, how long are you in Queenstown? We’re in our way there now. Arrive on the 5th. Leaving lax in an hour

  6. Perth Qantas Business Lounge wins for me, a cut above the Qantas Club lounges, but then I started business flying using NZ lounges and regarded them to be the “norm”. Lounges in the US are glorified sitting places which largely reflect the curious Soviet style ownership/management practice of local authorities owning US airports, and airlines owning terminals, which seems to result in a very mixed result in terms of standards. Even in Europe, most lounges that are substandard compared to NZ and Qantas domestic lounges.

  7. Quote:cinti lingus ” Im curious to know, do you mr slappig obtain consent from the passengers in the photo’s which you take. I would seek legal opinion if my face appeared in your random photos!”

    In New Zealand it is perfectly legal to take an photo of people within an public place, without needing permission.

  8. @cinti lingus
    Pictures taken in public areas do not require a consent from those people who appear in the pictures. For example, if you take photos at a baseball game, at a concert or a lounge, you dont need to obtain any consent. Also, the correct plural form of photo is photos not photo’s.

  9. @cinti lingus. People in public areas generally have no right to privacy in most countries so they have to accept that their faces will appear on photographs. If one tried to use a person’s image specifically to sell something or took a photograph of a person say leaving a hospital where they were receiving treatment, then it might be open to debate whether that was an misuse of their image/invasion of privacy. Otherwise, if you appear as a randomer in a photograph, you just have to deal with it. On the other hand, if the lounge has a policy against photography, then a valid complaint to the lounge operator could be made.

  10. Lucky, didn’t you say that one of your domestic NZ flights was the roughest flight you’ve ever been on? I was looking forward to the trip report for that one!

  11. @ Jordan — It was indeed for the last 20 minutes, though there’s not much else to report about the flight.

  12. Did you check out the room at the far end of the lounge with the automatic sliding glass doors? They have a “wall” of real plants in there between the windows and the ceiling of the room retracts to open air on sunny days. Take a look next time.

  13. Even in the relative outposts like Dunedin, the lounge absolutely shames the Korean first class lounge in JFK

  14. The domestic and international terminals are connected, just grab your bags and follow the white line. Outside.

    You should have seen NZ’s tin shed terminals in the 1960s/70s (sparrows in the former aircraft factory Wellington domestic terminal were legendary. As was the walk in horizontal rain to the aircraft steps. Things have improved.

    As to security, what security? I have never seen a scanner in a NZ domestic terminal. Quick boarding pass scan, and straight onto the aircraft. In the provincial airports, airside, is the plane’s side of a wire fence.

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