Air New Zealand reveals how early Kiwis need to get to the airport this busy holiday season

Aotearoa is gearing up for an extremely busy holiday season so AM talked with Air New Zealand's chief operating officer Alex Marren for expert advice on making it onto your flight on time and in one piece.  

More than 1 million New Zealanders will take domestic flights this holiday season, with an additional 700,000 flying internationally.   

Friday, December 22 is set to be the busiest day, and Marren said "we're expecting over 50,000 customers to be travelling that day".   

She also said the days around the 22nd "will still be very busy".  

AM co-host Ryan Bridge asked Marren how early people need to be at the airport to account for the massive increase in people flying.   

"If you're travelling internationally, we highly recommend at least three hours prior to departure," she said.   

She also recommended people give themselves more time to get to the airport as traffic will be worse than usual.   

For domestic flights, she said people should be there at least one hour prior to departure.   

Marren's other travel tips included checking in before getting to the airport, which people can do up to 24 hours prior to their departure time online or through Air New Zealand's app.   

She said people should "check the rules using our travel alert page for baggage allowances".  

"A lot of customers love to bring their sporting equipment this time of year so if you have surfboards or golf clubs or bicycles give yourself some extra time because we do that through the oversized check-in area."  

She said that, compared to the last few years post-COVID, this will be the busiest season.  

They will have extra staff on hand to deal with the influx of people.   

She said the airports expected to be busiest are Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, and Queenstown, alongside "very busy traffic going over to Australia".  

Bridge asked if there was anything that caused annoyance for staff and slowed things down that people should avoid and Marren emphasised "just be ready".  

"Have your baggage ready to go and have name tags on your bags," she said.  

"It's surprising how many people are not ready," co-host Melissa Chan-Green said.   

Marren also reminded people to remember their passports but made clear you only need a driver's licence on hand to fly domestically.