Auckland Airport: Top tips on how to fly through it as fast as possible

Auckland International Airport's new departures area.
Auckland International Airport's new departures area. Photo credit: Getty Images

As Christmas fast approaches, many Aucklanders are ready to jump on a plane and get out of the city.

There's just one thing between you and holiday bliss - Auckland International Airport.

Done correctly, getting through the terminal can be a relatively chilled experience - but if you've not planned ahead, you may be adding unnecessary stress to your holiday break.

Auckland Airport's general manager of operations, Anna Cassels-Brown, says this summer is predicted to be the airport's busiest in history, with international travellers merging with locals moving around Aotearoa over the holidays.

"This year will be at least 10 percent busier than last summer, so it's important to be prepared for that," she says.

"Even with the changes we've made, there's still a need for travellers to be prepared if they're coming to the airport on the festive season's key dates."

Ms Cassels-Brown has five tips for Newshub Travellers heading through Auckland Airport this Christmas:

1: It will be busy, so plan your trip with spare time built in - at least 30 minutes extra to get to the terminal and complete departure processes.

2: Book your parking ahead of time or, if you can, take public transport to the terminal.

3: If you're picking someone up from the airport, make use of the Wait Zones - these can be found by following the pink signs. The airport has increased the free parking period to 45 minutes for summer, so you can get there in plenty of time.

Auckland Airport's Park and Fly.
Auckland Airport's Park and Fly. Photo credit: Auckland International Airport

If there is traffic congestion when dropping people off, drivers can use the Drop & Ride service to avoid driving around the terminal itself. Located in the Park & Ride on Verissimo Drive, it allows you to drop off your traveller who can then take one of the buses that run to the terminal every 15 minutes.

4: If in doubt, ask. The airport has extra staff on over summer hoping to help ease your journey.

5: Download the Auckland Airport app and add flight details so you can see travel time to the airport at a glance. It will also give you the estimated queue time at Aviation Security.

The noise and speed of an airport can also be a trigger for those who can get anxious or stressed.

Ms Cassels-Brown says the airport has 80 customer hosts who are there to help you, should you need it.

"If you are feeling under pressure, or are unsure where to go or what to do if you're running late, just ask. We are here to help," she says.

If you've not departed out of Auckland's international terminal in the last few months, then you'll want to get through processing as early as possible. A completely revamped departures area has been unveiled with new shops, restaurants and bars.

Some travellers have even said it's better than using an airport lounge.

Finally, here are some dates to keep in mind. They're the busiest days for Auckland Airport over the next couple of months.


  1. January 18
  2. December 23
  3. December 26
  4. January 3
  5. December 20
  6. January 4
  7. January 5
  8. December 21
  9. January 6
  10. December 22

Around 40,000 passengers are expected on these dates - that's up from the usual 32,000 per day.