Air New Zealand reviews services after COVID cases in Auckland

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August 12, 2020
Air New Zealand
Photo: Steve Creedy

Air New Zealand has moved quickly to review its services after the Prime Minister’s announcement that the Auckland Region will enter COVID-19 Alert Level 3.

The Level 3 is from 12.00pm Wednesday, August 12, for a period of at least three days, while the rest of New Zealand will move to Alert Level 2.

The move comes after four cases of COVID-19 were discovered in one family after over 100 days of no community spread cases in New Zealand. It is not known at this time where the family contracted COVID-19.

From 12.00pm today, Air New Zealand’s Auckland lounges and valet parking will close.

For the duration of the change in alert levels, Air New Zealand will also be taking extra precautions to keep people safe. Its front of house employees and domestic cabin crew will wear masks and gloves, and pilots will wear masks when interacting with customers or walking through the terminal.

SEE: AirlineRatings in global first launches airline incident ratings. 

Customers on flights departing from Auckland will be also be required to wear masks. Customers are welcome to bring their own, or these will be provided by the airline on board.

The below outlines changes customers can expect to see:

  • Customers on flights departing Auckland will be required to wear masks. They are welcome to bring their own, or these will be provided by the airline. It is also recommended customers travelling from other ports wear masks, however, this will not be a requirement
  • Air New Zealand Auckland-based front of house employees and domestic cabin crew will wear masks and gloves, and pilots will wear masks when interacting with customers or moving through the terminal
  • Customers are encouraged to check-in for their flight via the Air New Zealand app and allow extra time to process through check-in and security
  • For those checking in at larger airports, every second self-service kiosk will be operating to support social distancing. There will also be floor markers for queuing at check-in counters, service desks, bag drops and departure gates, and fewer customers will be boarded and disembarked at a time
  • Inflight, seating will be allocated to allow an empty seat between customers travelling alone from Thursday through to Sunday. The airline will aim to keep families and some travelling companions together, so there may be some people sitting together with no additional space between them
  • Food and beverage services on all domestic flights will not be available to minimise contact between customers and cabin crew. Customers should let cabin crew know if they would like a cup of water
  • The inflight magazine Kia Ora will be removed from seat pockets and Air New Zealand lollies won’t be handed out inflight across the domestic network
  • Air New Zealand’s Auckland lounges and valet parking will close at midday
  • Unaccompanied Minors with an existing booking will be able to travel. The airline is not accepting new bookings for Unaccompanied Minors at this time

Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran says the airline is requiring all customers travelling out of Auckland to wear masks.

“Customers are welcome to bring their own masks, otherwise these will be provided by the airline once on board. We’re also encouraging customers travelling from other ports to consider wearing a mask, however, this is not compulsory.

“We’re working through our schedule at the moment and making sure we can continue to move people with social distancing requirements in place out of Auckland. There is currently no change to our international services.

“We’d appreciate it if customers could exercise patience as everyone adjusts to the change in alert levels. We’d also advise allowing a little more time to navigate through the airport, as social distancing requirements will make things a little slower. Customers should not travel if they are unwell or have COVID-19 symptoms – flights can be changed free of charge if needed.”

The airline said that customers who hold a ticket for a domestic flight within New Zealand and are scheduled to depart before 11.59 PM Sunday 16 August may opt to hold their fare in credit and can do this via the airline’s online booking tool.

Customers who are unable to manage their booking online and no longer wish to travel do not need to contact Air New Zealand immediately or prior to their flight’s departure and can be assisted at a later date to find an alternative flight option or be provided with a credit note.

The airline says that its contact centre and social media team are currently experiencing very high demand. Air New Zealand is grateful to customers for their patience while it works through these changes.

For the latest information, customers can check the Air New Zealand Covid-19 Hub and travel alerts page.