Auckland Airport's newly-opened international Emperor Lounge is available for a fee to all passengers crossing the Tasman or Pacific from Auckland.
That's a win for frequent flyers flying economy class outside their usual airline, who don't have lounge access, and for occasional business travellers who don't have the status needed to get into their airline's lounge.
"The lounge is used by international airlines that don’t have a dedicated on-site lounge but who want to offer this service to their business class passengers," an airport spokesperson confirmed to Australian Business Traveller. "Malaysia Airlines, for example, currently uses the lounge for their premium customers."
Located after security in the international terminal, the lounge is available to any passenger travelling on an international flight -- but that rules out spending time in the international terminal after a connection and then heading over to the domestic side of the airport.
If it looks suspiciously like a spruced up version of the old Emirates lounge, you're right. Emirates' facility has moved to an expanded home within the lounge area, and the airport has given the old lounge a lick of paint and some new furniture -- though it's still as windowless as ever.
Access to the lounge is NZ$49 when prebooked -- but your maximum stay is three hours before your flight.
Wifi, Internet stations and Sky TV are all included, and showers are also available for use. On offer are booze -- wine, beer and spirits -- as well as soft drinks, tea and coffee. Light meals and snacks are also available, with all food Halal-certified.
And why the name? If you peer closely at the lounge's logo (or click to enlarge the image below), you'll spot that the design that you might originally have thought involved propellers is actually four Emperor Penguins foot-to-foot.
About John Walton
Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.