Lounge Review: Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge (New Zealand)

When I traveled from Auckland to Singapore via Singapore Airlines on Suites back in November 2016, I had access to the relatively new Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge. This Air New Zealand flagship lounge which opened in late 2015 features a clean and modern design with various seating zones and configurations that will cater to different travellers. Eligible passengers who also hold a Star Alliance Gold status may access this lounge as well - since I held the Star Alliance Gold status from Turkish Airlines, I was able to bring a guest (who was traveling on the same flight as I was) into the lounge as well. 

Main Area Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge (New Zealand)

Main Area
Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge (New Zealand)

Since I was traveling in Suites, my boarding pass had an "Express Lane" sticker attached to it - meaning to say I could use one of the designated lanes for faster clearance. Ironically, my friend who was traveling in Economy went through the custom checks and immigration a lot faster than I did though so obviously YMMV. I headed straight to the Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge and was told that since I was going to be traveling in Suites (or First Class), I could bring a guest in without even using my Star Alliance Gold benefit.

Outdoor Terrace (Covered) Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge (New Zealand)

Outdoor Terrace (Covered)
Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge (New Zealand)

The lounge was pretty crowded when I got there (perhaps it has to do with the fact that SQ286 was a A380-800) so I decided to head straight to the bar counter for a glass of Champagne (at 11:00AM in the morning) before proceeding to the covered outdoor terrace. It is worth noting that the terrace is fully air-conditioned so you are actually not sitting in the heat - I think there is even a fireplace in the winter here! 

Runway View Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge (New Zealand)

Runway View
Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge (New Zealand)

The outdoor terrace also offers a pretty expansive view of the runway so aviation-lovers should definitely aim to head out to get a seat by the window. There didn't seem to be many flights out of Auckland that morning so my time-lapse video was actually pretty lame (the truth is, I don't know where I kept it anyway). 

Selection of Hot and Cold Food during Breakfast Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge (New Zealand)

Selection of Hot and Cold Food during Breakfast
Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge (New Zealand)

Since I made a terrible mistake in overeating while I was at The Private Room in Changi Airport prior to my flight, I made a conscious effort this time to minimise food intake at the Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge. In any case, it was a breakfast meal period and we all know they are generally less impressive. During my visit, there was a selection of hot food items (photo below!), salads, pastries, rolls, sandwiches and fruits at the buffet counter. 

Drink Selection Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge (New Zealand)

Drink Selection
Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge (New Zealand)

Obviously, there was also a decent selection of drinks (including alcoholic ones) at a separate station. Try the nation's favourite beverage while you are there - in case you were wondering, L&P stands for Lemon & Paeroa. I opted for just Champagne (which I got from the bar) since it was way too early to start drinking spirits (even for me!). 

Champagne Breakfast Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge (New Zealand)

Champagne Breakfast
Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge (New Zealand)

Complimentary WiFi is provided at the Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge but you do need a password (which you can get from the entrance) to access it. It was reasonably fast for internet surfing and getting work done which is always crucial in an airport lounge. The only thing to note about sitting outside is that the power sockets are slightly lacking in comparison to what you get in the main area but if you are flying on Singapore Airlines, you can charge it on the plane anyway. 

Outdoor Terrace (Covered) Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge (New Zealand)

Outdoor Terrace (Covered)
Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge (New Zealand)

I really like the new Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge - I visited the one back in 2015 (before the opening of the new lounge) when I was in Auckland and I thought it was pretty generic. The outdoor terrace with plenty of natural lighting is a welcome addition to the Auckland (there is nothing more depressing than dark airport lounges) Airport and the different seat configuration and areas are truly a a breath of fresh air.