Auckland Airport packed as families reunite on Christmas

While many today spent time with family and friends, others had to either catch a flight or wait for their nearest and dearest to fly into the country.

Auckland Airport was one of the busiest places in the country as whanau made it home for the holidays.

Kiwis flocked to the airport with gifts and even their own snacks because flights don't always run on time.

"The plane was delayed. Yes we're a little bit early but we'd rather be early than too late," one person revealed.

But the long wait times are soon forgotten when excitement gives way to pure joy as families reunite. 

George Scott was here with his family to welcome his girlfriend Mattie into the country and they pulled out all the stops. 

"My partner, she's a marine biologist coming for Christmas with the family. It's her first time in New Zealand," Scott said.

He's pulled out all the stops with the whole family dressed up to meet her at the airport. 

His mum Mary was in the lobster costume because you don't get a second chance to make a first impression.

"I'm super excited to meet her," Mary said. 

The airport arrivals hall is no place for the hard of heart. 

"My youngest daughter I haven't seen her in nearly five years and my eldest daughter it's been almost two," one person revealed. 

Pro-boxer Junior Fa had an entourage on arrival after his fight in Saudi Arabia. It's by far the best present his mum Edith received today.  

"We're so happy he was able to make it home on Christmas Day," she said.

On the other side of the terminal, the check-ins were packed. 

With one traveller heading home to Perth.

Coming together could well be the perfect cure for jet-lagged travellers.