FeaturesAir New Zealand Auckland International Lounge Highlights
AccessComplimentary for passengers flying Business or First Class on Star Alliance flights departing Auckland, Air New Zealand Business Class passengers, Airpoints Elite, Gold, Elite Partner and Koru members
Amenities Kids' lounge, showers, business zone
Food and Beverage Buffet with food theater
The GET.com Verdict Good place to refuel and relax before a flight

After three glorious summer weeks of exploring Auckland and Queenstown in the South Island in January 2018, it was time to say goodbye to volcanic cones, sheep and jandals, and take the flight from Auckland to Singapore. We redeemed a total of six Suites First Class tickets on Singapore Airlines (Singapore Airlines A380 Suites First Class SIN-AKL review here) using miles earned from some of the best credit cards. Staff at the Suites check-in desk at the Auckland International Airport still remembered us being there with Grace's parents a few days ago as they boarded the same flight back.

Singapore Airlines Suites First Class Check-in at Auckland International Airport

After checking in our luggage and getting the gleaming golden Suites boarding passes, Grace, Ram, Ran and I went through security and immigration, then walked past The Loop Duty Free and other stores...

Auckland International Airport Duty Free

... before heading up the escalator (to level one of the international terminal) toward the Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge.

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge Signage

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge Entrance

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge Review

Opened in September 2015 following a NZ$14 million overhaul, Air New Zealand's flagship lounge in New Zealand is huge at a whopping 2100 square meters with seating for 375 guests. In contrast, its flagship lounge in Australia (Sydney) has an area of 1450 square meters. The lounge is open from 4:30am until the last departure.

We showed our Suites boarding passes at the lounge's reception and then proceeded into the lounge.

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge


Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge Access

Access to Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge is pretty broad; certainly not as exclusive as the Singapore Airlines Private Room Lounge in Singapore's Changi Airport.

Passengers flying Business or First Class on Star Alliance flights, or Business on Air New Zealand departing Auckland can access the Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge, as well as Star Alliance Gold, Airpoints Elite, Gold and Koru members. Airpoints, by the way, is Air New Zealand's loyalty programme.

Partner airlines include Aerolineas Argentinas, Air China, Cathay Pacific, Etihad Airways, Singapore Airlines, United, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia. Eligible travelers in transit can also access the Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge.

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge - Screen showing departure times


Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge Amenities

Near the entrance is a cool-looking kids' lounge where we ate and relaxed with the kids before the flight.

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge Kids' Lounge

The kids' lounge is modelled like a Kiwi tree house, and has a split-level small mezzanine above. The interior decor is unlike that of a typical kids' club in a resort. Instead of having outlandish bright colors everywhere, the carpet and walls are mostly covered in black and dark gray tones to evoke a calm and modern feel, and the glass panels are tinted black. The pink chairs in the TV room and the colorful stairs leading up to the mezzanine brightened up the kids' lounge.

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge Kids' Lounge

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge Kids' Lounge

Air NZ Auckland Lounge Kids' Lounge Staircase

Air NZ Auckland Lounge Kids TV Room

Air NZ Auckland Lounge Kids TV Room

Air NZ Auckland Lounge Kids mezzanine level

Air NZ Auckland Lounge Kids Lounge- Ranefer on the mezzanine

Having a nice kids' lounge is such a brilliant concept that more airport lounges should consider incorporating when thinking of a redesign as having a dedicated room offers more privacy to families with kids and at the same time helps to maintain a different ambience in the main communal hall.

Even though the lounge was crowded at the time we were there, the place didn't feel cramped as there were supposedly 24 different styles of seating in many zones.

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge

There was a section of the lounge which felt particularly relaxing as it's situated away from the dining area.

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge - Daybeds await tired bodies

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge

A unique aspect of the Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge is that it has a covered 'outdoor terrace' overlooking the runway. A standout feature is the vertical garden wall which cheered up the otherwise dull-looking terrace. There's also a fireplace which I guess will be much used during the cold months.

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge - Covered terrace with vertical garden

Most of the terrace's ceiling is covered with retractable roofing which was closed even though we were there in the middle of summer. The flooring inside the terrace could have been made nicer.

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge Terrace

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge Terrace

There is a business zone where you can work on your laptops and charge your devices from one of the more than 300 powerpoints and more than 300 USB outlets.

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge Business Zone

There are also toilets and showers with towels and hairdryers for those who need a pre-flight shower.

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge - Corridor leading to the toilets

The shower rooms and toilets were all spotlessly clean.

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge - Toilet with shower

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge Shower

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge Shower Room

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge Shower - Plastic-wrapped bath towels

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge Shower Room

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge Shower - Clothing hooks on the wall


Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge Food and Beverage

The Air NZ Auckland International Lounge offers a small selection of hot buffet meal options, as well as a 'food theater' where the lounge's resident chefs would whip up daily specials.

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge Buffet and Food Theater

It was around lunch time, so we were all feeling quite hungry. I had to make sure we only had small bites at the lounge as I knew there would be a 10-course lunch waiting for us in the Singapore Airlines Suites on the A380.

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge Buffet Section

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge Food Theater

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge - Smoked tomato and white bean soup, with bread rolls

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge Food

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge Food

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge Food

I walked over to see what the chefs were cooking at the food theater. They were preparing mini sliders cooked on the spot.

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge - Resident chefs preparing freshly made food at the food theater

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge Food Theater

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge Food Theater - Chefs at work

I got a couple of sliders for the boys and myself. They were tasty and of a good snacking size.

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge Food

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge Snacks - Cookies, pretzels and bhuja mix

There is a long island table in the middle of the dining section and there you'll find appetizers, sandwiches, wraps, fruit salad, cheese, crackers and small pots of desserts.

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge Buffet Table

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge Buffet - Wraps and sandwiches

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge Buffet - Sandwiches and fruit salad

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge Buffet Desserts

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge Buffet - Cheese, crackers and fig relish

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge Buffet Appetizers

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge Dining Area

To the right of the food table, there is a self-serve bar where you can help yourself to soft drinks, three different types of water (chilled filtered, sparkling or hot) from a cool-looking dispenser tap, a selection of fruit juices and champagnes.

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge - Coffee machine

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge - Screen on the coffee machine

Tea-lovers have the choice of four different types of tea from Twinings.

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge Tea

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge - Soft drinks and fruit juices

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge - New Zealand wines

Beneath the counter tops are chillers stocked with New Zealand and other imported wines and beers. Anticipating champagne overload onboard the SIA Suites, we stuck to plain 'ol water.

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge - Beer and wine chiller

Near the back of the lounge, you'll find a bar that serves barista-made coffee, premium New Zealand wines and cocktails.

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge Bar

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge Bar

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge Bar

You can order your coffee using the iPad placed on the bar table or via the Air Zealand app.

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge Bar Order iPad

There is complimentary wifi in the Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge. It was pretty fast; there was no problem surfing the web or sending emails.

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge Wifi

Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge Magazine Rack


Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge: The GET.com Verdict

The Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge surpassed my expectations. It was bold in having 24 different seating styles spread out over a huge area. I applaud the design team for having the foresight to cater to different demographics of travelers, which include families with kids who fly Business or First Class. Dining at the lounge was given bonus points for having a show kitchen that whipped up quite a decent snack. There could have been more varied hot meal options, but other than that, it was all good.

Pedro Pla is co-founder of GET.com. He has been around the globe several times and considers collecting air miles and points from credit cards to be a hobby, if not, an obsession. Email: p@get.com.