Review: Air New Zealand Lounge – Auckland Domestic Lounge, Auckland International Airport, New Zealand


Air New Zealand is a founding member of Star Alliance; the world’s largest airline network. Air New Zealand is the flag carrier of the country of New Zealand. As a country situated in one of the corners of the Pacific Ocean, and set against a background of New Zealand hospitality, we were keen to test out their Air New Zealand Lounges on our Air New Zealand domestic flight to New Zealand wine country.

This post is one chapter on our trip to Fiji, New Zealand and French Polynesia. This trip was redeemed through Alaska Mileage Plan and AAdvantage frequent flier programs and enhanced through Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Review: Air New Zealand Business Lounge – Auckland Domestic Lounge, Auckland International Airport, New Zealand.

We arrived into Auckland International Airport at the International Terminal after coming off an excellent Fiji Airways Business Class Nadi – Auckland flight. We were headed onwards on a domestic Air New Zealand Auckland – Blenheim flight which departed from the Auckland International Airport Domestic Terminal Buidling.

The two airport terminal buildings are not joined and are located about ten minutes apart via a walk or by taking a bus. We opted for the walk, which meandered through parking lots and around several corners. The route is easily marked with a solid green line. The walkway was not covered, so if it happens to be raining, I would recommend taking the bus or otherwise, you’d be drenched. Thankfully, the green line was winter sunny today as we headed over.

Setting out from the Auckland International Terminal
Walking the Green Line to the Auckland Domestic Terminal
Arriving to the Auckland Domestic Terminal

Checking Into Air New Zealand:

We checked in at the Air New Zealand Premium Check in and had our checked bags tagged to Blenheim. A friendly agent processed our bags but didn’t provide us with much supplemental information about the lounge location.

Air New Zealand Domestic Check In
Air New Zealand Bag Drop
Air New Zealand Premium Check In

Locating the Air New Zealand Auckland Domestic Lounge:

At the time of our visit, Air New Zealand operated two Air New Zealand domestic lounges; the larger Air New Zealand Auckland Domestic Lounge, and the smaller Air New Zealand Regional Domestic Lounge.

We initially wandered over to the smaller Air New Zealand Regional Lounge, which is located just off of the Air New Zealand premium check in hall. However, we then recognized that it was the smaller of the two available lounges. We left this lounge and headed over to the Air New Zealand Domestic Lounge. We had to unnecessarily pass through a security check for this, but it was well worth it.

The Air New Zealand Domestic Lounge is located up one level from the regular concourse on the secure side of the airport. It’s worth noting that not all Air New Zealand domestic flights require passing through a security screening checkpoint. However, accessing this particular lounge does require a screening.

Air New Zealand Auckland Domestic Lounge
Map Courtesy of Auckland Airport

Once we had arrived to the correct floor, the lounge was easy to locate thanks to the contemporary Air New Zealand design and colour schemes.

Locating the Escalator to the Upper Floor
The Entry to the Air New Zealand Auckland Domestic Lounge

Accessing the Air New Zealand Auckland Domestic Lounge:

The access entitlements for the Air New Zealand Auckland Lounge are similar to Star Alliance lounge access policies.

Air New Zealand allows for access for Air New Zealand Airpoints™ Elite, Gold, Elite Partner and Koru members departing on an Air New Zealand flight (no more than four hours prior to flight departure).

Your guest must enter the lounge at the same time as you and be departing on an Air New Zealand domestic operated flight. Air New Zealand Airpoints Elite members can bring up to three guests. Airpoints Gold, Elite Partner and Koru members can bring in one guest. Guest access is subject to space on the day. 

Up to a maximum of three children, accompanying the member, aged between 3 and 17 years (inclusive) are permitted on a complimentary basis, subject to space availability, and must be supervised at all times.

Children aged 2 years and under travelling with an Airpoints Elite, Gold, Elite Partner or Koru members, may access our Air New Zealand Lounges on a complimentary basis subject to space availability.

The Star Alliance Lounge Access policy also applies for this lounge.

  • International First Class Customers (same day departing flight, with one guest permitted, travelling on the same flight)
  • International Business Class Customers (same day departing flight, no guests permitted)
  • Domestic Business Class (restrictions apply for United Airlines in the USA, no guests permitted)
  • Star Alliance Gold customers travelling in any class of travel (one guest permitted)

Today’s access was courtesy of an Air Canada Aeroplan Star Gold Card, for travel on an economy class ticket (single cabin of service) for our Air New Zealand Auckland – Blenheim flight.

Inside the Air New Zealand Auckland Domestic Lounge:

One we were admitted access, we entered into the lounge. It was a really busy place on arrival. We eventually found some chairs near the window and had to shift around a few times prior to getting an ideal seat. It was fair to say that this was the busiest lounge of the trip.

The decor of the Air New Zealand lounge was among the more contemporary of airline lounges that I have had the opportunity to visit. The lounge offered a combination of traditional lounge chair seating, and communal tables. It was also marked with some of the more contemporary light fixtures more at home in a fashionable dining restaurant instead of an airline lounge.

The Air New Zealand Auckland Domestic Lounge – Main Seating
The Air New Zealand Auckland Domestic Lounge Seating Zone
Air New Zealand Auckland Domestic Lounge Seating
Even the Side Corners were Busy
Contemporary Communal Tables

Food and Beverage:

The Air New Zealand Auckland Lounge offered an impressive array of food selection that offset the lack of seating. We’ve had great success at Air New Zealand Lounges with the food that they offer, including at the Star Alliance Business Lounge Los Angeles which is also managed and run by Air New Zealand. The lounge offered lots of food options: various types of salads, cheese, sandwiches with the crusts cut off. We easily replaced a meal by dining in the lounge. Jerk Chicken Wings? Yes please!

Air New Zealand Food Stations
Lounge Breakfast Pastries

There were also six different wines available for self pour. The quality of the food was also pretty good as everything was tasty and full of flavour. I remain a firm believer that Air New Zealand runs the best lounges in Star Alliance. Now that’s a proper fine fridge!

A Fridge Packed with New Zealand Wine Goodness
New Zealand Micro Brew Mac’s Beers and Kirin Lager Beer

Towards the back of the lounge was an area of tables and chairs for dining or working. While it was less popular than the lounge chairs, it still remained a very busy place.

A Dining Zone Marked the Back of the Air New Zealand Lounge
Coffee Tables and Upright Tables Marked Space in the Auckland Domestic Lounge

Australians and New Zealanders take their coffee seriously. Consistent with lounge offerings in the Australian Pacific Region, the lounge also featured a barista coffee maker with ordering via an iPad app on the counter.

A Working Coffee Barista Bar
A Coffee Barista Bar with Funky Light Accents
iPad Coffee Ordering
A Lovely Morning Cappuccino in Proper Mugs and Saucers

We enjoyed a long layover while we awaited our connecting flight to Blenheim. With Air New Zealand’s excellent catering and food supply, the layover went by quite comfortably and quickly.

The Bottom Line: The Air New Zealand Auckland Domestic Lounge

The Air New Zealand Auckland Domestic Lounge was an impressive domestic lounge for Air New Zealands’ flag carrier. The lounge was well featured with lounge seating and a great food and beverage catering selection. Although it was a little challenging to find a place to sit, once we did it was a very comfortable stay.

If you had the opportunity to visit the Air New Zealand Auckland Lounge, how to you find it compares to other flagship lounges around the world ?

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