Seating, signage and snacks: Upgrades to Auckland Airport’s domestic terminal uplift the customer experience

14 June 2024

  • Extra seating space added beyond security
  • Improvements to food court include more seating and new operators serving up fresh menu options
  • New signage and wayfinding assistance
  • Bathroom upgrades completed.

Changes are being revealed at Auckland Airport’s domestic terminal with a series of tweaks aimed at making for comfortable travel through New Zealand’s busiest domestic terminal.

From bathrooms to seated areas, updated amenities will become available for travellers ahead of the upcoming school holidays.

Scott Tasker, Chief Customer Officer at Auckland Airport, said the upgrades were important for ensuring travellers continued to have pleasant domestic journeys while a new domestic terminal was constructed.

“We’re underway with delivering the domestic jet terminal integrated into the international terminal, but travellers will be using the current domestic terminal for a few more years. That experience should be as easy and pleasant as possible within the constraints of what is a nearly 60-year-old terminal building.

“We’re also using some of the domestic terminal projects as an opportunity to test some of the fittings and finishes destined for the new terminal but on a smaller scale. With tens of thousands of people travelling through our airport terminals around the clock it’s important the materials used in facilities like the bathrooms are not only cost effective and look smart but are robust enough to stand up to that level of wear and tear.”

A makeover of domestic terminal bathrooms has now almost finished, with existing bathroom facilities renovated, adding a second parent room, separate accessible toilet facilities plus three new gender-neutral toilets. An upgrade and expansion to the bathrooms closest to the regional airline connections was completed at the end of 2023.

“We’re also refreshing the terminal’s signage and wayfinding to make the journey from the front door to the departure gate as easy to follow as possible.

“What we’re finding is people are going in through the nearest entrance then weaving through the terminal – often going backwards and forwards – to get to the right place. It’s not only frustrating for travellers, and potentially adding to pre-flight stress, it’s making for a busier domestic terminal than it should.”

Three zones – A, B and C – will replace the current convention of referring to the regional, domestic and Jetstar areas in the terminal, with signs made clearer and easier to see. Each of the terminal’s entrance doors will be highlighted with a portal structure and clearly labelled with the corresponding zone.

“Not only will you be directed to the closest entrance for your destination within the terminal, but it’ll make it easier to communicate a meeting point if you’re able to tell someone to meet you at the door to Zone A or beside Bag Drop C.

“It’s a simple solution to reduce some of the wayfinding quirks that have developed over time with the domestic terminal.”

Traveller amenities are getting a further upgrade with a gradual revamp of the ground floor food court to create an improved layout and new outlets serving a greater menu variety, including breakfast and healthy food options.

Beyond domestic security screening, the existing Hudsons cafe will be expanded with more space to sit and eat, and the menu will include cooked food alongside grab and go options.

Additional space opening across two levels adjacent to Hudsons will also add more seating options for travellers waiting airside for jet flights.

“Space is at a premium in the domestic terminal, particularly at busy times, but we’ve been able to reconfigure an airside area to open some extra dwell space. We’re expecting to have this area available to travellers from the first week of the school holidays,” Mr Tasker said.

“July school holidays are traditionally busy at Auckland Airport across both international and domestic terminals, so it will be good to have some of these changes in place for those heading away on winter holiday breaks.”


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