Introduction: New Years In The Maldives, Summer In New Zealand
Review: Etihad Airways Lounge New York JFK
Review: Etihad First Class A380 New York To Abu Dhabi
Review: Etihad Airways Arrivals Lounge Abu Dhabi
Review: Etihad Business Class A340 Abu Dhabi To Male
Review: Returning To The Park Hyatt Maldives
This Is What A $570 Per Person New Year’s Eve Hotel Gala Is Like
Review: Etihad First Class A380 Abu Dhabi To Sydney
Review: Park Hyatt Sydney
Review: Qantas Business Class 737 Sydney To Auckland
Review: Hilton Auckland
Review: Air New Zealand Lounge Auckland
Review: Hilton Queenstown
Review: American First Class 777-300ER Sydney To Los Angeles
After a couple of nights in Auckland, our Air New Zealand flight from Auckland to Queenstown was departing at 2:15PM. We got to the airport at around 12:30PM, which was plenty early. At Auckland Airport, the domestic and international terminals aren’t connected.
The domestic terminal was quite crowded, though still easy to navigate.
We used one of the kiosks to get our boarding passes for the flight to Queenstown.
From there we cleared security, which was a breeze. I find that to consistently be the case for domestic terminals both in Australia and New Zealand.
We followed the signage to the Air NZ Domestic Lounge, which we had access to on account of my Star Alliance Gold status through Copa Airlines.
The lounge was located right near the top of the escalator, which is the main airside concourse level.
The exterior of the lounge was sleek, similar to the black-and-white paint scheme on some of Air New Zealand’s planes.
We were admitted upon having our boarding passes scanned, without even having to show my Star Alliance Gold card.
The lounge itself was rather crowded, though I guess that’s to be expected on a Friday afternoon. The crowd seemed mostly leisure, as opposed to the usual suited business travelers you’ll often see in airport lounges.
The lounge was a decent size with a variety of seating options.
There were traditional lounging chairs, high-top tables, dining tables, communal tables, etc.
Back near the entrance was the dining area, which featured cafe-style seating and a buffet.
For a domestic lounge the food spread was extremely impressive, possibly the most impressive of any domestic lounge I’ve seen anywhere.
The buffet had fresh fruit and all kinds of sweets, including cookies, scones, muffins, brownies, etc.
There was also a station with gluten free sweets.
Then there were several types of salad.
There was also soup with a couple of types of bread.
Then there were hot dishes which actually looked appetizing, which is rare for an airline lounge.
There was a soda fountain, as well as tomato, apple, and orange juice.
Then there was self serve beer and wine, including sparkling wine.
There was also a self serve coffee machine, which is possibly the dumbest feature of the lounge…
…because the lounge has a legit barista on staff. The ordering system is cool as well. There’s an iPad where you can specify exactly what kind of beverage you want and how you want it (double shot, milk preference, etc.), and then an estimated pick-up time is provided (usually about five minutes after placing your order).
I ordered a double shot cappuccino with “trim” milk, which was perfect.
At around 1:40PM we headed to the departure gate for our flight to Queenstown, where boarding commenced within a few minutes.
Air New Zealand domestic lounge bottom line
Are New Zealand’s domestic lounges are incredible. While the decor wasn’t cutting edge and the lounge was crowded, the food and beverage selection was great, and they even had made to order espresso drinks. Star Alliance Gold goes a long way on flights within New Zealand. For what it’s worth, domestic lounges in Australia are also consistently great, so this seems to be pretty consistent “down under.”
What do you consider to be the best “domestic” lounges in the world?