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Current as of 21/06/18 04:20PM NZST
Aviation, tourism and energy writer for the Business Herald

Auckland Airport squeeze: The top 10 busiest days start from now

Auckland Airport's top 10 busiest days start today - with close to an average of 40,000 passengers expected to surge through the international terminal.

The airport company has repeated warnings to passengers on international flights during the summer peak to allow an extra 30 minutes for their journey through the terminal building.

This past week has been busy but a spokeswoman said there have been no reports of major hold-ups and there were signs passengers had taken heed of warnings to turn up early.

Road layouts approaching the airport have been changed, with bus services boosted and bus lanes added. Inside the international terminal there are new Aviation Security counters which allow for faster processing, expanded public departure lounge space and bigger duty free areas.

New gates are further from where passengers enter the terminal.

This year the airport is expecting international passenger numbers to be 6 per cent higher than last summer. It was expecting an average of around 37,500 passengers to use the international terminal on each of our 10 busiest days.

Domestic travel is also peaking over summer.

Air New Zealand will operate 2.2 million seats across its domestic network over the peak December-January period, 90,000 more than the same period last year.

The airline said last month it would add more than 180 extra flights between December 21 and December 31 to get travellers to and from their destinations.

The busiest flying days are expected to be Thursday, December 21 through to Christmas Eve with passenger numbers peaking on Friday 22 December when Air New Zealand will operate more than 45,000 seats across about 530 domestic flights.

Chief strategy networks and alliances officer Nick Judd has urged domestic customers booked to travel during this busy period to consider taking out travel insurance.

The airport says among all domestic airlines, the busiest time was in November, February and March.

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The airport issued advice for passengers, saying they could play their part to help keep things moving at the international terminal this summer by:

• Booking a car park online, well ahead of their day of travel to maximise their choice
of location and to secure a better deal;

• Allowing 30 minutes extra for their journeys through the international terminal
building;

• Ensuring their hand luggage meets airline requirements;

• Completing their international departure card before reaching Customs;

• Ensuring any liquid, aerosol and gel containers in their hand luggage are not larger than 100ml, and are all placed in one resealable, transparent plastic bag (20cm x 20cm or smaller) and put in an easily accessible location;

• Following airline advice for recommended check-in times for passengers travelling to North America, due to additional security requirements for these flights;

• Asking the person who is picking them up to park in The Wait Zone, until they receive a text or phone call saying they are ready for collection;

• Checking the Auckland Airport website and app for the latest flight and travel information.

- NZ Herald

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