Travel tips: How to get through Auckland Airport as quick and stress-free as possible

The experts share their tips on how to deal with pre-flight chaos.
The experts share their tips on how to deal with pre-flight chaos. Photo credit: Getty

If your summer holiday plans include transiting through Auckland Airport, the team there has come up with a list of tricks to help the process run as smooth, quick and stress free as possible.

The first of 10 of the airport's busiest days is already behind us, but the terminals are only going to get busier from here on in. In the year of COVID-19, the busiest days for domestic travel at Auckland Airport have moved from early December to closer to Christmas, with travellers more likely to fly for leisure than business.

Auckland Airport's busiest days: 

  1. Friday, December 4, 2020
  2. Friday, December 11, 2020
  3. Friday, December 18, 2020
  4. Friday, January 29, 2021
  5. Thursday, December 24, 2020
  6. Sunday, December 27, 2020
  7. Sunday, December 6, 2020
  8. Sunday, December 13, 2020
  9. Friday, January 22, 2021
  10. Sunday, December 20, 2020

Anna Cassels-Brown, general manager operations, suspects the change reflects a shift in the habits of business travellers.

"In previous years, business travellers would be wrapping up their work year with trips right through the first week of December. This year's biggest days are Fridays and they seem more likely to be leisure focussed as Aucklanders are doing their flying closer to Christmas and into the New Year," Cassels-Brown said.

Tips for travelling this summer: 

  • Don't fly if you're feeling unwell.
  • Allow plenty of space between yourself and others inside the terminal.
  • Passengers must wear a mask on board the aircraft, and while it's not mandatory, it's recommended everyone wear a mask when inside the terminal.
  • Dispose of your mask in a rubbish bin.
  • Wash or sanitise your hands frequently.
  • Scan one of the NZ COVID Tracer app QR codes displayed around the terminal.
  • When you're heading to the airport, allow plenty of time for a relaxed start to your holiday.

While Auckland Airport's busiest days last Christmas saw more than 40,000 customers pass through the international terminal, this year's busiest days for international are expected to peak at just over 3000.

"Many of those pre-COVID-19 international customers would have gone on to catch domestic flights," Cassels-Brown said. 

"But the demand from Kiwis wanting to fly domestically has remained strong, which we're taking as a sign that the public is confident about air travel.

Auckland Airport was the first airport in New Zealand to receive the Airport Health Accreditation, an endorsement of health and safety measures introduced during the pandemic, from Airports Council International. 

As for where Aucklanders are travelling too, Wellington is the most popular destination, followed by Christchurch, Queenstown, Dunedin and Nelson.