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AKL Airport reveals busiest day to fly this summer and how to prepare

Sarah Pollok,
Publish Date
Thu, 21 Dec 2023, 3:03PM
 Photo / Alex Burton
Photo / Alex Burton

AKL Airport reveals busiest day to fly this summer and how to prepare

Sarah Pollok,
Publish Date
Thu, 21 Dec 2023, 3:03PM

If you’re flying into or out of Auckland on Friday, December 22, good luck. 

This is expected to be the busiest day at Auckland Airport’s domestic and international terminals this summer, with 17,900 people expected to catch international flights. 

Like 2022, the Friday before Christmas will be the busiest day. Unlike 2022, instead of being at around 70 per cent capacity compared to pre-Covid, Auckland Airport will be at 93 per cent, said chief customer officer Scott Tasker. 

What will be the busiest days at Auckland Airport? 

December 22 has been identified as being likely to be the busiest day during the summer holidays, but other days are worth noting. 

International departures are forecast to be busiest on December 22, December 23 and January 7, and arrivals will peak on December 22, January 7 and December 21. 

In the domestic terminal, departures will likely be busiest on December 22, 15 and 21, while arrivals’ busiest days are forecast to be December 14, 15 and 27. 

How will Auckland Airport deal with the holiday surge? 

According to Tasker, the airport’s front-line operational team has 72 new employees joining as part of a summer workforce. The Auckland Airport ambassadors have also been reinstated just in time for the silly season. 

“We’ll have a significant visible presence of Auckland Airport team members and volunteers walking the floor and assisting customers, making sure every journey is a great one,” Tasker said. 

Auckland Airport chief customer officer Scott Tasker.Auckland Airport chief customer officer Scott Tasker. 

The airport has also worked closely with airlines and Government agencies to ensure things go as smoothly as possible during the holidays. 

“Operating an airport is definitely a team sport. Auckland Airport takes care of the airfield and terminals, with the airlines and their baggage handling teams and Government border agencies managing processes within the terminals,” he said. 

“We each have a different role to play, but together we are focused on making sure travellers arrive and depart as efficiently and easily as possible.” 

Fortunately for arriving travellers, the median time it takes to clear Customs and immigration, baggage claim and biosecurity screening is 27 minutes. This is 24 per cent faster than earlier in the year. 

Advice for arriving passengers 

-Complete the NZ Travel Declaration online ahead of your international flight to New Zealand. 

-Ensure bags don’t contain fruit or other items prohibited by biosecurity such as meat, plants or seeds. 

-Those collecting passengers should use the two wait zones, located just a few minutes’ drive from either terminal, which offer 30 minutes of free parking. 

Advice for departing passengers 

-Head to the airport earlier than usual, as there may be more traffic and people at the check-in points. 

-Book parking in advance to get the best deal and secure a car park. 

-Double-check you have the correct items in your carry-on bag and luggage. 

-At security screening, get your laptop out of its case, empty your pockets and listen to instructions from staff. 

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