Passengers left to sleep in cold corridor while hidden lounge for NZ elites gets $1.2m upgrade

Auckland airport apology cold comfort for transit passengers

Passengers left to sleep in cold corridor while hidden lounge for NZ elites gets $1.2m upgrade
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Auckland airport has come under fire after transit passengers were left on the floor in a cold corridor for hours after being denied entry into a departure lounge with seats.

The airport has since apologised to the travellers who had arrived on an overnight flight, saying an area will be prepared from today for such passengers who had flown in before the departing lounge is officially opened at 5am.

The New Zealand Herald reported:

General manager operations at Auckland Airport, Anna Cassels-Brown, told RNZ's Morning Report that a gate lounge in the arrivals pathway is being readied as airport management and Aviation Security work to come up with a permanent solution.

"What I really want to say is how sorry I am for these customers because the key thing is this is absolutely not a level of service that we want to provide.

Meanwhile, it has been revealed the New Zealand government is splashing out on a $1.2m upgrade to a hidden airport lounge for the country's elite.

Newshub reported that the secretive airport lounge cost NZ taxpayers $392,000 to operate the lounge in the 2021/22 financial year, with 178 people using it.

Newshub can reveal the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) has budgeted $1.193 million for "improvements" to the Kauri Lounge, an area where Prime Ministers, Royal Family members and other high-ranking dignitaries can have "calm and privacy" before or after flights.

The lounge is designed to 'allow VIPs to avoid queues to get immigration and customs clearance and in some circumstances bypass security checks'.



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