Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Public access changes introduced at Auckland Airport international terminal

Auckland Airport have introduced temporary passport checks at the doors of the international terminal in order to help manage social distancing in public spaces.

From 10am today, only travellers with a valid passport will be able to access the international terminal.

Two hours free carparking has been made available to make it easier for people wanting to pick up or drop off their friends and family.

General manager operations Anna Cassels-Brown says the temporary passport checks were part of ongoing efforts by government agencies and the airport to help ensure social distances are maintained in high traffic areas of the terminal.

“These are extremely challenging times and we are focussed on continuing our airport operations so people can return home as well as offering our full support to border agencies and the Ministry of Health (MOH) in protecting New Zealand against the spread of COVID-19,” she says.

“The terminal has been extremely busy over the last couple of days and as much as possible we need to make Auckland Airport a safe place for people to travel through, which is why we are doing everything we can to support social distancing between travellers.”

Passport checks will be carried out by security staff, with support provided by police.

“We understand some people may still want to welcome and farewell family and friends. To make it easy for people to do that, we have introduced free carparking in our main car park for the first two hours. People will still be able to meet and farewell loved ones and friends without needing to come inside the international terminal building," says Anna.

Auckland Airport staff are following MOH guidelines within the terminal and are reminding travellers through a range of measures, including roving staff and PA announcements every eight minutes, to maintain a physical distance (“social distancing”) between themselves as they wait in arrival and departure areas.

“We are asking people to please be mindful of the social distancing protocols recommended by the Government when queuing in order to help slow the spread of COVID-19,” says Anna.

With increasingly strict border restrictions now in place across the world, Auckland Airport is offering advice to international travellers in New Zealand who are wanting to secure tickets home.

Scott Tasker, Auckland Airport’s general manager aeronautical commercial, said most airlines have call centres which operate 24 hours a day, however many are dealing with significantly increased demand with long call waiting times. Travellers may find it easier to secure tickets home by visiting airline websites and using the passenger self-service options to retrieve bookings and make changes.

“If people have travel insurance, use the insurer’s emergency assistance phone number to make contact with them to seek advice on getting a flight. New Zealand-based travel agents are also working hard to help travellers find available seats with airlines that are still operating,” says Scott.

“If all other options are exhausted, travellers should contact their country’s embassy, High Commission or consulate for assistance.

“If people do secure a new flight, it’s important they check the border restrictions that might be in place for their return journey. It’s great to see that Australia has said that many passengers flying out of New Zealand can now transit via Australia until 12:00pm Australian Eastern Time on Tuesday, March 24 (except for those who have been in China, Iran, Italy or the Republic of Korea in the last 14 days).”

Auckland Airport continues to ask that travellers do not come to the airport to try and purchase tickets or make changes to existing bookings.

“Unfortunately, many international airlines do not have ticket offices at the airport, and those that do are experiencing high demand. We recommend that travellers contact their original booking travel agent or airlines directly to make changes to existing tickets,” says Scott.

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