For many New Zealanders, our next visit to the airport - whether it's to fly or to greet or farewell loved ones - will be the first visit to the airport in a long time.
In that time things have changed, and then changed again. And then again.
When the trans-Tasman travel bubble opens on Monday, airports may not be as restricted as you're expecting - for example, friends and family are allowed in even if they're not flying, and duty free is back on sale.
On that note, a reminder that you can bring up to three bottles of spirits or liqueur into Aotearoa when you return, or up to 4.5L of beer or wine. If you want to take duty free into Australia, you can bring in a maximum of 2.25L.
If you're heading to Auckland Airport soon, here's what you need to know:
- Friends and family are welcome at the airport – all terminals are open again to everyone
- Read the COVID-19 website for the latest information on quarantine-free travel
- Re-check what you can and can't take through Aviation Security screening - it's been a while, so remember to ditch the water bottle
- Duty free is available at both arrivals and departures but retail and food and beverage options may be limited on day one
- Take care and follow signs and directions as you drive through the precinct roadworks
- Car parks, including valet parking and Park & Ride, the inter-terminal bus, SkyBus, taxis, ride-share, and public transport will all be operating at the international terminal
- Most importantly, relax and enjoy quarantine-free travel
There will also be a number of new services operating out of the airport, too. Air New Zealand's direct service to Hobart will begin on April 22, and from Monday Qantas will launch a new direct service between Auckland and the Gold Coast.
A new seasonal service flying between Auckland and Cairns is also not far off, starting June 5.
While the excitement of international travel is returning to Auckland Airport, its Chief Executive Adrian Littlewood warns travellers to come ready for changes.
"Just like what happened after 9/11, managing COVID-19 means there are new processes in place including the need for New Zealanders travelling to Australia to complete a travel declaration at least 72 hours before departure and some health checks on arrival back into New Zealand," says Littlewood.
Monday will be a day of high emotion, Littlewood says, not just for those people waiting to see loved ones again after more than a year apart, but for the teams at the airport that have worked hard to make quarantine-free travel a reality.