How long is AKL arrivals process?

Old Apr 26, 18, 10:38 am
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How long is AKL arrivals process?

Hi, trying to advise someone on AKL arrivals, but my memory is not great ...

Any advice on how long it takes from stepping off a plane at AKL (international arrival, at noon, in July) to get through passport control, collect checked baggage, and get through biosecurity/customs?

NZ citizen, but no current NZ passport, so travelling on a UK passport. Are there any advantages to having a current NZ passport in hand? I vaguely recall from my last visit that there is a single line for NZ passport and NZ citizen with foreign passport?

Also, for the return, what will be the journey time (traffic) from Auckland Hilton to AKL leaving around 11am on a weekday?

Thanks.
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Old Apr 26, 18, 10:41 am
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45-60 minutes for arrival processing and aircraft disembarking total and probably the same to get to the airport from the Hilton
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Old Apr 26, 18, 10:50 am
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Originally Posted by kiwicyclo View Post
45-60 minutes for arrival processing and aircraft disembarking total and probably the same to get to the airport from the Hilton
Thanks for the quick reply.

Any speedup for having NZ passport in hand, or was my memory right about the lane being shared with NZ citizens with foreign passport anyway?

Is the queueing mostly at passport control, or mostly at biosecurity, or both?
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Old Apr 26, 18, 10:56 am
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Originally Posted by manord View Post
Thanks for the quick reply.

Any speedup for having NZ passport in hand, or was my memory right about the lane being shared with NZ citizens with foreign passport anyway?

Is the queueing mostly at passport control, or mostly at biosecurity, or both?
IIRC if you're an NZ citizen you can use the NZ/AUS lane regardless of what passport you're travelling on - they don't really check anyway and quite often the lanes comingle.

I usually take the NZ/AUS 'something to declare' lane because it's usually way shorter than the green lane, and when you say you have some sweets from the US they wave you straight through.

YMMV, of course.
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Old Apr 26, 18, 11:10 am
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Originally Posted by samyoull View Post
IIRC if you're an NZ citizen you can use the NZ/AUS lane regardless of what passport you're travelling on - they don't really check anyway and quite often the lanes comingle.

I usually take the NZ/AUS 'something to declare' lane because it's usually way shorter than the green lane, and when you say you have some sweets from the US they wave you straight through.

YMMV, of course.
I like the idea of deliberately carrying a chocolate bar as a queue buster :-) [and can always eat it quickly if the queue is short!]

Last edited by manord; May 1, 18 at 3:22 am
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Old Apr 26, 18, 2:18 pm
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Originally Posted by samyoull View Post
IIRC if you're an NZ citizen you can use the NZ/AUS lane regardless of what passport you're travelling on - they don't really check anyway and quite often the lanes comingle.

I usually take the NZ/AUS 'something to declare' lane because it's usually way shorter than the green lane, and when you say you have some sweets from the US they wave you straight through.

YMMV, of course.
NZ citizen passport, usually carrying commercial packaged sweets, always sent to X-ray - and I am always wondering if its due to my brown skin (and when partner with me he is Filipino)

we were even cautioned when carrying a brand new unused tent, and advised that we should have declared it as and could be fined for not doing so as it's a biosecurity risk - even though the declaration form only refers to used equipment

45-60mins seems safe bet when travelling with luggage

YMMV :-)
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Old Apr 26, 18, 2:54 pm
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Originally Posted by jeffrocowboy View Post
NZ citizen passport, usually carrying commercial packaged sweets, always sent to X-ray - and I am always wondering if its due to my brown skin (and when partner with me he is Filipino)
If your partner is a Filipino national then he isn't eligible to use Green Lane, so that probably explains x-ray then. As for the other times I have to say it might be bad luck. My experience as a non-white NZer is that more often than not I am sent to Green Lane, but there are still the odd instances where others around me are sent to Green Lane but I am sent to x-ray. Really depends on the risk assessment officer you get I think.
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Old Apr 26, 18, 3:05 pm
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Originally Posted by manord View Post
...Any advice on how long it takes from stepping off a plane at AKL (international arrival, at noon, in July) to get through passport control, collect checked baggage, and get through biosecurity/customs?

NZ citizen, but no current NZ passport, so travelling on a UK passport. Are there any advantages to having a current NZ passport in hand? I vaguely recall from my last visit that there is a single line for NZ passport and NZ citizen with foreign passport?
You can use a UK passport in Smartgate (immigration) when entering. The NZ/Au immigration line has gone with Smartgate.
Smartgate at Australia & NZ immigration Click to open the wiki

For customs/bio security everyone is in the same (slowish) line.

I am a NZ citizen travelling on an Au passport. An NZ passport gives no advantage over other eligible e-passports. But most of recent experience has been entering at WLG & CHC.
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Old Apr 26, 18, 3:24 pm
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Originally Posted by jeffrocowboy View Post
NZ citizen passport, usually carrying commercial packaged sweets, always sent to X-ray - and I am always wondering if its due to my brown skin (and when partner with me he is Filipino)

we were even cautioned when carrying a brand new unused tent, and advised that we should have declared it as and could be fined for not doing so as it's a biosecurity risk - even though the declaration form only refers to used equipment

45-60mins seems safe bet when travelling with luggage

YMMV :-)
Yeah I'm a young NZ European male usually travelling carry on only - most experience through AKL.

In CHC in March everyone was in the same lane and it was an 80 minute ordeal to get through Customs/Biosecurity.
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Old Apr 26, 18, 3:27 pm
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Originally Posted by Mwenenzi View Post
For customs/bio security everyone is in the same (slowish) line.

I am a NZ citizen travelling on an Au passport. An NZ passport gives no advantage over other eligible e-passports. But most of recent experience has been entering at WLG & CHC.
AKL customs and biosecurity has three lanes...
  • NZ/AU Nothing to Declare (green)
  • NZ/AU Goods to Declare (yellow)
  • All other passports (red)
I've pretty much always find the yellow lane to be the fastest since they implemented this last year, but as I said before, YMMV.
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Old Apr 26, 18, 3:30 pm
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Originally Posted by samyoull View Post
..In CHC in March everyone was in the same lane and it was an 80 minute ordeal to get through Customs/Biosecurity.
So on the, or at the same time , as the EK A380 SYD-CHC?
At CHC that's the only time I have seem delays. But not 80 minutes.
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Old Apr 26, 18, 3:32 pm
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Since the question is not about any specific airline, the thread is being moved to the Destination forum for Oceania (Australia, New Zealand & the South Pacific).

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Old Apr 26, 18, 3:43 pm
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It varies on the time of day but in my experience early morning is fine (got in at 0545 and was outside within 10min of walking off the plane). Late evening/midnight can be atrocious.
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Old Apr 26, 18, 5:30 pm
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Originally Posted by Mwenenzi View Post
So on the, or at the same time , as the EK A380 SYD-CHC?
At CHC that's the only time I have seem delays. But not 80 minutes.
Yep, we arrived from MEL just after the 380, I think. Wasn't pleasant.
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Old Apr 26, 18, 6:17 pm
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Originally Posted by manord View Post
NZ citizen, but no current NZ passport, so travelling on a UK passport. Are there any advantages to having a current NZ passport in hand? I vaguely recall from my last visit that there is a single line for NZ passport and NZ citizen with foreign passport?
Strictly speaking:
You will need an endorsement of your New Zealand citizenship in your foreign passport. An endorsement is a record that allows a New Zealand citizen to enter New Zealand as a citizen although they are travelling on a foreign passport.
https://www.immigration.govt.nz/new-...y-old-passport

The main disadvantage of traveling on a non-NZ passport without an endorsement is that you would, by default, be processed according to entry requirements of the other country. If there for a brief period, not likely to be significant. But if there for a longer period or to work, might cause additional processing (to be clear, not saying you'd be refused entry, but could materially impact processing time).
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