Flying Domestically in New Zealand and a Visit to the Koru Lounge at AKL

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If you’ve ever traveled domestically in New Zealand, there’s a good chance you flew Air New Zealand or Jetstar. Unlike in the States where you’ve got lots of choices when it comes to booking flights, here you’re pretty much limited to these two airlines. Sometimes you might not have any choice at all as some smaller airports only offer scheduled flights with one airline.

When deciding which airline to fly, there are a few things you should know.

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Jetstar is the Spirit Airlines of New Zealand. Once you book your ticket, prepare for the upsell. It costs about $5 to pick your seat each way and even the water on the plane will set you back a cool $4.  You’ll also have to pay for any checked luggage so if you’re planning on more than a carry-on, pay the fee when you book your flight. Prices skyrocket at the airport.

Jetstar is good if you’re on a budget and planning on traveling light.

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Air New Zealand lives up to it’s ranking by TripAdvisor as the second best airline in the World. They consistently offer excellent customer service, show a surprisingly entertaining in-flight safety briefing video, and often go the extra mile, even passing out hard candies on your flight’s descent.

As you fly Air New Zealand, you accrue Airpoints and Status Points. Airpoints can be cashed in as credit towards purchasing flights at a 1:1 ratio. The Status Points rewards system is broken into three tiers: Silver, Gold, and Elite status. They all come with various perks from Koru Lounge access to priority check-in. You can read more about the perks here.

On a recent work trip, my boss tagged me in on her guest pass so I was able to spend some time in Auckland’s Koru Lounge. We were on our way back to Christchurch after a really long day and it was so nice to sit down, grab a bite, and sip on some wine.

There was no shortage of food options, with everything ranging from hot mains to little cookies to snack on. Barrista’s will even make you a fresh coffee after you’ve placed an order through their tablet. There’s also a fridge full of chilled wine and beer and spirits were available at the barista counter.

Depending on which gate you’re flying out of, you may have to go through airport security to get to your flight. Getting through security in New Zealand takes no time at all and you can easily get to the airport thirty minutes before your flight without stressing (if you’re not checking a bag). Once you’re up in the air, the pilot will have you touching down at your destination before your coffee’s even gone cold.

Happy travels, my friends!


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