Enough time between flights?

Feb 17th, 2004, 09:34 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 67
Enough time between flights?

Arriving Auckland from San Francisco in July at 5:30 a.m. Is 3 hours enough time before flight to Christchurch at 8:25 a.m. for luggage retrieval, customs and immigration, get to domestic terminal, check-in, get to gate, etc.? I know security is a bit tighter nowadays (don't know what lines are like at AKL) and I also need to take into account possible late arrival and not having to be in a mad rush. Just those basics; I won't need a meal or coffee break. There is a later flight at 9:45 a.m. Should I take that one instead? I usually allot plenty of time between flights to be safe, then end up with a bit too much time to kill. Thanks in advance.
sfgrace is offline  
Feb 17th, 2004, 10:14 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 609
You should have enough time to clear formalities at Auckland Immigration. If you are travelling with kids or have a disability they fast track you through immigration. Even going the long way is not that long. You are usually landside (clear of customs, immigration and Ministry of Agricuture and fisheries inspection) within 45 minutes.

I mention the Ministry of Ag and Fish as New Zealand is VERY strict with the importation of foodstuffs. This is to protect the environment from introduced pests given that NZ is an agricultural based economy. As a result I would check if I were you that yor are not carrying any plant, meat, honey or vegetable products with you. My brother forgot he had an apple in his bag when returning from Oz and he received the on the spot fine of $200.

Once you are landside there is a free transfer bus that will take you to the domestic terminal. It leaves every 15 minutes.

Once in the domestic terminal checkin is pretty quick (if you have not made you domestic connection at the desk in the international terminal)

There is every chance that you will be inside the domestic terminal sipping a latte fully booked through to Christchurch with 1 to 1 1/2 hours of landing.

BTW before you go through Immigration at Auckland you can still do some duty free shopping if you want upon landing. There are about 30 stores to choose from and some of the cheapest duty free prices with the most generous allowances I know of.

Hope this helps

Steve
Kiwi_acct is offline  
Feb 17th, 2004, 11:23 PM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 67
Steve, thank you. Yes, that helps a lot. I'm not disabled, but will have 13-year-old son with me. I just wish you didn't mention those duty-free shops. I think I'll wait until we fly home to check them out as I'll be rarin' to see NZ upon arrival. In my travels since 9/11, I've waited in some horrendous security lines (constant removal and putting back of tickets and ID, take off shoes and outerwear, x-ray and sometimes manual inspection of bags, etc., etc.), but I'm talking U.S. travel. This will be my first international flight since then. I remember going through customs rather quickly in Sydney, but that was pre-9/11 and these are very different times. I do remember surrendering a sandwich or something that was in my pocket in Sydney, but since I wasn't trying to hide anything, the official just tossed it and didn't fine me. I'll be extra careful this time. I guess I was concerned about flight check-in in the domestic terminal at AKL. Upon arrival at the airport for a simple interisland flight in Hawaii last year, we were in the security line for 1 hour! Well, if you really think I'm safe time-wise, then I'll go with the earlier flight as I hate to sit around and wait some more after sitting around and waiting during a 12-hour flight! Thanks again. Grace
sfgrace is offline  
Feb 18th, 2004, 03:28 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 609
Grace

Things certainly have changed since 9/11. Even here in New Zealand they have had to step up security.

The Air New Zealand domestic terminal recently changed the layout of the boarding area you have to go through before you go to your gate. It is here that you go through the metal detector and put your hand baggage through the xray. I have been pulled out of the queue a couple of times and have had to take off my shoes I was wearing boots with thick soles and metal eyehoops for the laces - I don't wear these through security anymore. On one (potentailly) embarrasing time I had to remove my belt - very close to being free entertainment for the other boarding passengers.

However in saying this the longest time, even with the belt episode, it has taken me to clear domestic security and get through to the gate has been about four minutes. The design of the terminal and the relatively low volume of passengers, is such that the line for security screening is usually no longer than 10-20 people (unless a sports teams go in ahead of you or suchlike). Bearing also in mind that once your bags are checked through that plane won't be leaving without you in a hurry as they can't take off with unaccompanied baggage on board.

Something else with New Zealand security is that while they are very professional they also (mainly) attempt to be friendly and do smile.

Once again I hope this helps and I am sure you will have a great time in NZ.

Steve
Kiwi_acct is offline  
Feb 18th, 2004, 09:35 PM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 67
I am SURE I will, too, and thanks again. Grace
sfgrace is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:22 PM.