VH-BZF From Australia, joined Oct 1999, 838 posts, RR: 0 Posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 3489 times:
I flew to Auckland the other day for business on Qantas (yes, I refuse to fly the other airline for reasons well known!!!) & on arrival Auckland was so crowded with other international carriers (Emirates alone had 3 aircraft on the ground!), that we were put on standoff/a hard stand away from the terminal & then had to wait 15-20 minutes for the handling agent (ANZ - grrrr!) to place steps in position for us to disembark into busses. The QF crew told me that this was common & happened virtually every day at this time. I flew in on QF33, arrival at lunchtime. A B767-300 VH-OGD.
I also spoke with with one of the handling agents & He told me that AKL airport were adding some additional hard stands & eventually would add another concourse with aerobridges. Even He stated that they were really about 12-18 months behind when it should have been done!
Admittedly, AKL has suffered a rapid expansion of growth with airlines adding extra flights & new arrivals like Emirates. However they really need to forward plan a bit I feel, because passengers get frustrated quickly. The terminal was also VERY crowded.
Take heart though AKL, I heard the other day that Melbourne is also starting to suffer from the sheer weight of so many extra frequencies & so planning is now well underway for major expansion there in time for the A380 & the 2006 Commonwealth Games.
Apart from that, AKL is not a bad airport! Good shopping too!
Cheers - BZF
Ansett Australia - (was) One of the worlds great airlines!
TBCITDG From Australia, joined Jan 2004, 921 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 3257 times:
It really seems that they cannot handle too many aircraft at the sae time. I have on numerous occassions departed AKL early in the morning, or late in the evening only to find the lines for "departure tax" and " immigration" very very long.
I do not understand how and airoprt that knows, that there are Qantas flights to the USA, MEL, SYD. Aerolineas flight to EZE. ANZ flights to OZ and the Pacific, plus all the other carriers could be handeled by 3 immigration agents at departure!!!! Not good enough.
The frustrating thing is that when you try to approach someone regarding your departing flight, they simply tell you to get back in line. This also reflects badly on the airline you take because the plane leaves late !!
Another major downside to this airport is arrival. Try to avoid flights at noon. Major delays trying to clear customs.
As the bussiest airport in New Zealand, surely it is time to improve services! Especially with all the new carriers that are landing at AKL!!
B777337 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 3131 times:
I had a similar experience at AKL on Jan 16th 2003. I arrived by TG flight in the afternoon. It took more than an hour to clear the immigrations and about half an hour to clear the customs. It reminded of Bombay airport during peak hours.
PUDFW From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 121 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 3069 times:
I have been to AKL twice and never had a problem getting through customs fast, although i arrived both times in the early morning from flights via LAX and HNL. Although I could see where one could run into problems trying to get into that airport at busy times.
I am glad to hear they are expanding it, there is a serious lack of gate space at that airport and it seems to me that travel to New Zealand has increased a good deal in the last few years, perhaps due to the LOTR movies?
I thought AKL was a nice airport, although some areas were a little worn out. I miss the approach into AKL as it ranks number 1 in my book of places I have been to.
Anyway glad to see more traffic coming into New Zealand, i love the Kiwis
ZK-NBT From New Zealand, joined Oct 2000, 5332 posts, RR: 11
Reply 7, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 2970 times:
Yes you are certainly right there, AKL is very busy at peak times!
I came back from SYD to AKL on a QF 743 a few months ago and it seemed to take ages to clear customs/immigration like almost an hour and the only other flight within about 30mins was a LA 343 that arrived about 20 mins earlier.
Plans are definatly underway to expand though, 2 more hardstands recently opened and alot of Earthworks to the Western side of the International terminal are underway now. I agree though this work is probably about 2 years behind what it should have been though.
Recent airline movements at AKL are
Emirates 3x daily 773, 345
Asiana 4x weekly 772
Royal Brunei 4x weekly 763
United left unfortunatly, hope to see them back sometime in the future though.
NZ and QF added quite a few extra flights mainly to LAX.
Several other carriers added extra flights over the summer period aswell, AR, KE, CX. TG and SQ will add more flights later in the year (Winter) aswell and more than likely other carriers will aswell next summer.
Aerorobnz From Rwanda, joined Feb 2001, 7190 posts, RR: 13
Reply 8, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2873 times:
being a local from AKL I know how bad it usually is here. Most of the problem stems from the landside design of the airport as that doesn't flow, and they have put in too many shops instead of essential stuff, and the check in should be on the first floor. I went through Immigration at 13.45 for my flight EK405 at 16.05 hoping to have time to sit & watch the planes airside. I didn't get through for ages, and only had about 20min before boarding (which was at around 15.35 or so.). I was certainly glad not to have been on anything that was departing earlier cos I certainly would have missed it. On the other hand I was through to arrivals within about 25min of getting off the plane. That was including about 10 minutes trying to find my eftpos card to check my cash in the ATM machine.
I hope when I depart for London soon that I won't have too many problems at AKL. but I fear I will as I'll be departing peak time.
B-HXB From New Zealand, joined Jan 2001, 745 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (10 years 7 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 2743 times:
Auckland is seriously seriously behind infrastructure-wise in almost every aspect of airport operations. Check-in, departures passport control, gate space, concourse flow, arrivals passport control, baggage claim, MAF screening and the Meet&Greet public arrivals hall are consistently equally awful. Thankfully a project will begin this year to separate arriving and departing passenger flow although I expect there will be even more disruption while they try to work out what to do!
I also agree that the staff there are consistently the worst I have encountered anywhere in the world. They seem to fall into two categories: elderly ladies who don't seem to have a clue what's going on or rude surly agents who have absolutely no interest in displaying any semblance of politeness or assistance.
Making people wait for an hour plus not only in the terminal but on the plane waiting for facilities to get them off the aircraft into the building is downright appalling. Even more ludicrous is their "Operation Summer" and their constant propaganda claiming that everything is hunky dory.
It is my sincere wish that some media organisation will pick up this story and run with it guns blazing, to reveal just how ill-served Auckland, and consequently New Zealand, is by the management of AIAL who seem to be under the impression they are running a shopping mall rather than an airport.
Tupozure From New Zealand, joined Dec 2003, 65 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (10 years 7 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 2611 times:
Weren't they considering another airport in Auckland, they could build a more suitable airport for international services and focus on short-haul international and domestic at the old airport.
What happened to suggestions of the new international airport??
Aerokiwi From New Zealand, joined Jul 2000, 2714 posts, RR: 4
Reply 16, posted (10 years 7 months 5 days ago) and read 2390 times:
I agree that Auckland needs another pier finger and greatly expanded immigration and customs area. I think one in between the current pier and the Qantas NZ domestic terminal would fit well, perhaps catering solely to Australian traffic.
But with regards to the comments about the staff - the "old ladies" are actually volunteers and yes, the y can get a wee bit confused and give the wrong info, so they probably need more training or reassignment to other areas.
When I worked for AIAL management was almost entirely focused on turning the airport into a mall. That's all they ever talked about. And they've done that quite successfully. But I think they better get their arses into gear and build some extensions pretty soon.
However, as an employee for the company, myself and my coworkers always did our utmost to help passengers and the general public. It got embarrassing the number of times we were told how friendly we were compared to other major airports. If a customer was in trouble, or just stressed out, we'd stick with them until all was sorted. I don't know if that's how it is today, with it being an entirely commercial culture there now.
But yes, AIAL have to expand the terminal and quickly. And when will the shabby domestic terminals be replaced??!! What a joke they are!
Flying-Tiger From Germany, joined Aug 1999, 4161 posts, RR: 36
Reply 17, posted (10 years 7 months 5 days ago) and read 2363 times:
I just recently too the SQ B777 to SIN - and going through immigration and check-in were a nightmare. Takes ages. Besides, getting to the airport from Downtown with public transport is a laugh, nothing else. Even though the TranzMetro is anything but good, they should think about connecting the airport to their southern line.