VH-BZF
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Auckland Struggles To Cope With Traffic!

Sat Feb 14, 2004 9:26 am

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!
 
ETStar
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RE: Auckland Struggles To Cope With Traffic!

Sat Feb 14, 2004 9:34 am

Were all three Emirates aircraft there on regular service? So they offer 3 flights a day or was there an overlap between arriving and departing aircraft?

[Edited 2004-02-14 01:34:34]
 
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BNE
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RE: Auckland Struggles To Cope With Traffic!

Sat Feb 14, 2004 9:59 am

All the 3 Emirates flights, one each from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne all arrive between 1:40pm and 3:00pm every day.

I arrived from Brisbane on the Emirates flight from BNE 3 weeks ago and Auckland airport was full.

I wish they could knock down all the terminals and start again, I didn't like any of the 3 Auckland terminals.


Why fly non stop when you can connect
 
VH-BZF
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RE: Auckland Struggles To Cope With Traffic!

Sat Feb 14, 2004 11:18 am

Yes as BNE stated, they are all scheduled flights, the continuation of their Australian services from DXB. There was 2 B777's (at least 1 -300) and the A340-500 from DXB-SYD.

As I stated previously, AKL is struggling to cope right now! Not good for a major airport!

Cheers - BZF
Ansett Australia - (was) One of the worlds great airlines!
 
TBCITDG
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RE: Auckland Struggles To Cope With Traffic!

Sat Feb 14, 2004 4:00 pm

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
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RE: Auckland Struggles To Cope With Traffic!

Sun Feb 15, 2004 12:13 am

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
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RE: Auckland Struggles To Cope With Traffic!

Sun Feb 15, 2004 3:52 am

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
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RE: Auckland Struggles To Cope With Traffic!

Sun Feb 15, 2004 1:37 pm

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.
 
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aerorobnz
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RE: Auckland Struggles To Cope With Traffic!

Sun Feb 15, 2004 7:38 pm

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.
Flown to 120 Airports in 44 Countries on 73 Operators. Visited 55 Countries and counting. Wanderlust is like Syphilis, once you have the itch it's too late for treatment.
 
B-HXB
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RE: Auckland Struggles To Cope With Traffic!

Wed Feb 18, 2004 4:23 pm

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.
 
ZK-NBT
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RE: Auckland Struggles To Cope With Traffic!

Wed Feb 18, 2004 5:08 pm

Ah B-HXB nice to see you haven't changed to much.

You are probably right on many of your complaints.

I haven't flown at peak time really but at 1700ish it was slow with only 2 immigration counters operating, and we were the only aircraft other than LA which was in quite a while before us.

Oh well I can't really speak from my own experinces so I will leave it at that, I do agree though it must be chaos at peak times, I have seen aircraft wait for close to 30mins for a gate!
 
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aerorobnz
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RE: Auckland Struggles To Cope With Traffic!

Wed Feb 18, 2004 6:52 pm

I'm hopefully skipping most of the rush by taking SQ282 out, otherwise I'm stuck with Thai..
Flown to 120 Airports in 44 Countries on 73 Operators. Visited 55 Countries and counting. Wanderlust is like Syphilis, once you have the itch it's too late for treatment.
 
tupozure
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RE: Auckland Struggles To Cope With Traffic!

Wed Feb 18, 2004 7:06 pm

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??
 
NZ767
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RE: Auckland Struggles To Cope With Traffic!

Thu Feb 19, 2004 5:13 am

Whenuapai Air Base to the northwest of the city will be closing down in five years.

Some business interests are pushing for the base to be turned into a domestic/short haul civilian airport as an alternative to AKL although there is some opposition from locals.

Maybe this wouldn't be such a bad idea as it's amazing how a bit of real competition can improve things.

Ironically, Whenuapai originally Auckland's first international airport prior to AKL opening in 1965.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
 
767er
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RE: Auckland Struggles To Cope With Traffic!

Thu Feb 19, 2004 6:16 am

Folks,

If you fly into AKL at a peak period you should buy some duty free. You can then use the fast track Immigration desk!!!!

I agree though.....AKL can be a nightmare at times and those queues for check in can be a nightmare. Luckily I usually check in at WLG when going via AKL.
Aircraft flown:F27,Viscount. EMB120, SAAB340, ATR70, 737-200.737-300,DC8, DC10,747-100,747-200,747-300,747-400, A320, A3
 
QF744
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RE: Auckland Struggles To Cope With Traffic!

Thu Feb 19, 2004 7:52 am

767er,

i'm flying in to AK L on NZ 118 on 5th March.... think i may take the duty free run, but don't think there will be any congestion as it arrives at 8.40pm...

off to HNL on NZ 10 the following day around midday, so hopefully wont be too busy...

with pacific blue still looking at AKL alternatives, i can't imagine there would be any room at that airport in any case - guess we'll see a lot of DJ out of CHC and WLG for a while...

also, anyone know how Virgin can use DJ for both VBlue and PBlue???
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE UPPER DECK
 
aerokiwi
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RE: Auckland Struggles To Cope With Traffic!

Thu Feb 19, 2004 12:01 pm

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
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RE: Auckland Struggles To Cope With Traffic!

Thu Feb 19, 2004 12:22 pm

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.

Regards
Flying-Tiger
http://fly.to/rorders
Flown: A319/320/321,A332/3,A380,AT4,AT7,B732/3/4/5/7/8,B742/4,B762/763,B772,CR2,CR7,ER4,E70,E75,F50/70,M11,L15,S20
 
behramjee
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RE: Auckland Struggles To Cope With Traffic!

Thu Feb 19, 2004 6:55 pm

How well does EK do out of AKL for getting pax flying to India-UK and Europe-Africa? Are their yields and loads good out of AKL?

Also doesnt EK have a 4th PER-AKL flight too in addition to the 3 daily from MEL-BNE and SYD???
 
brutie
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RE: Auckland Struggles To Cope With Traffic!

Tue Feb 24, 2004 10:17 am

Here's a story in today's (Feb 24th) NZ Herald which may be of interest

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?thesection=news&thesubsection=&storyID=3550870

As far as the int'l terminal goes I think it's too little too late. As for the NZ domestic terminal not being upgraded for years, well that's a disgrace - it's an embarrassment!
 
TBCITDG
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RE: Auckland Struggles To Cope With Traffic!

Tue Feb 24, 2004 10:26 am

I wonder with the face lift that AKL is about to receive, wether the NZD$25 departure tax will be lifted to $30 !!!!
 
Motorhussy
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RE: Auckland Struggles To Cope With Traffic!

Tue Feb 24, 2004 7:23 pm

come visit the south pacific
 
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aerorobnz
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RE: Auckland Struggles To Cope With Traffic!

Tue Feb 24, 2004 7:46 pm

Behramjee,
EK is doing pretty well out of AKL to Africa and the lesser accessed points in Europe like Milan. Not as well as SQ & others cos of transfers/connections tho.
Flown to 120 Airports in 44 Countries on 73 Operators. Visited 55 Countries and counting. Wanderlust is like Syphilis, once you have the itch it's too late for treatment.
 
brutie
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RE: Auckland Struggles To Cope With Traffic!

Wed Feb 25, 2004 6:19 am

Thanks MH, I thought it would hyperlink automatically  Smile