Air New Zealand Business Class Lounge Auckland (AKL) Review
Air New Zealand runs a massive business class lounge for their premium passengers at Auckland International Airport. How well does the Air New Zealand Business Class Lounge treat passengers? When I arrived at the lounge at 7.30 AM, I had no idea that I had just hit the busiest time of day with many domestic and international departures just about to happen. The enormous lounge was packed! I had a hard time finding a seat and there must have been at least 250 seats in the lounge. I later realized that Air New Zealand allows access for business class, Star Alliance status holders and premium economy passenger to the lounge, which certainly adds up to a lot of people. Breakfast is usually the toughest time to provide a great food selection on a budget for any lounge. The Air New Zealand Business Class Lounge has a 'made-to-order' egg bar that had long lines but seemed to make some delicious egg dishes. There were also a number of carbs, granola, and yogurt choices provided. None struck me as high quality, though. Besides a coffee machine, the lounge features a barista coffee bar. The coolest feature is that you can order (and customize) your coffee on an iPad. Given the local coffee addiction (and that of Australians) it would take 15-20 minutes until my order was up. The coffee I got was pretty terrible though; the coffee maker likely would have made much better. I returned a few days later for my next flight and found the evening selection equally low-quality, with beef cheek, fried root vegetables and cauliflower gratin. I just did not feel the dishes made any sense. The stir-fried squid also had no taste to it. There were three different white and red wines plus champagne and about a dozen different beers. Clearly, the lounge wanted to make sure that you had plenty of drinking options. At 8 PM, the lounge was as crowded as in the morning and the guests seemed hell-bent on drinking and eating as much as they could. The enormous cheese buffet was out every time I went back to check. In sum, the lounge is a decent business class lounge and ticks all the necessary boxes but does not excite at all. It's horribly crowded most of the time and the Internet is also rather slow.