Homeward bound - 20,000 international travellers took flight yesterday, about 25,000 expected to fly today

30 January 2023

Travellers are asked to wait for flight confirmation before coming to Auckland Airport’s international terminal

  • As the Auckland Airport community works around the clock to get people home, only travellers with an international flight booked and scheduled are asked to come to the international terminal
  • Travellers are much better to get in touch with airlines or their travel agency via phone or online to reschedule flights, rather than seeking to rebook in person at the international terminal. Airline representation outside confirmed check-in times can be very limited
  • Meeters and Farewellers: If you are picking up family and friends, we would appreciate you making use of our Wait Zones and pick-up/drop-off area for farewells, rather than coming inside the terminal
  • Auckland Airport’s volunteer army continues to pull out all the stops to get travellers home

Auckland Airport is asking that only international travellers who are scheduled to fly that day to come to the terminal.

With airline schedules disrupted after a 37-hour international travel closure, Auckland Airport is experiencing high volumes of people inside its international terminal as travellers seek to re-book cancelled flights.

“We know travellers caught up in the consequences of this natural disaster with disrupted international flights are weary and very keen to get where they need to be,” said Carrie Hurihanganui, Auckland Airport Chief Executive.

We appreciate it’s taking time for some people to reschedule their flights, and the frustration and distress delays to travel can cause. Our goal remains to get people home as soon as possible, but the reality is there is huge backlog of flights to get through following the impact of severe flooding. It’s really busy at the terminal and it’s going to take time for normal international flight operations to fully get back up to speed.

“If possible, it would be really helpful if travellers could wait until they have their flight booked and scheduled for travel that day before coming to the international terminal, and for meeters and farewellers to use our wait zone, or pickup/drop off area for farewells.

“These steps will reduce congestion in the terminal and help us focus on the job of getting people home as soon as possible.”

Yesterday more than 20,000 travellers started their journeys home, aboard 41 international flight departures and 39 international flight arrivals. Today, around 25,000 international travellers are expected to arrive or depart Auckland Airport on 61 inbound and 61 outbound flights.

A volunteer army of more than 100 Auckland Airport staff continue to support travellers and stranded passengers – so far providing more than 2300 hot meals, handing out 700+ blankets, thousands of bottles of water, as well as providing nappies and baby food where needed. A group of 30 travellers spent the night at Auckland Airport marae, following the 30 travellers who slept in the wharenui Saturday night. The airport’s customer team also supported the 80 people who slept in the terminal overnight.

“For those people who have no choice but to spend the night in the international terminal, we are trying to make it as comfortable as possible for you with blankets, snacks and water. We know it’s not perfect, but we are doing everything we can to make it a little more bearable.

“My heartful thanks goes to our Auckland Airport volunteer army, many of whom have given up their long weekend holidays and prioritised the welfare of travellers above challenges some of them have faced with flooding damage at their own properties,” she said.

Key advice for travellers

  • Only travellers with an international flight booked and scheduled are asked to come to the international terminal
  • Travellers are best to contact their airline or check airline apps or websites to reschedule flights
  • Normal flight operations may be disrupted for several days as operations gradually return to normal. The terminal is busy so please allow extra time for check-in.
  • Air New Zealand advises customers to check the arrival and departures page on their website or their Air NZ app for updated departure times.
  • Domestic terminal operations continue as normal.

Meeters and farewellers:

  • If you are picking up family and friends, please assist us by using our Wait Zones rather than coming inside the terminal
  • Please use the terminal’s pick-up/drop-off area for farewells
  • If it is necessary to provide some assistance or a hug to arriving or departing passengers, please follow the parking signs to park at Car Park E and D and use the large, covered walkway directly opposite the terminal.


For further information, please contact:


Libby Middlebrook

Head of Communications

+6421 989 908 [email protected]