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Auckland Airport Customs

Los Angeles...
2 posts
2 reviews
Auckland Airport Customs

I am planning to fly from Tahiti to Auckland Airport and land at 6:55am. My question is, how long does it typically takes American citizens to get through customs? The time constraint is that I'd like to catch a connecting flight to Nelson Airport that leaves at 8:55am. I read online that you should give yourself at least 3 hours between flights but the 8:55am flight is the last one of the day. Is this possible or am I overextending myself?

Christchurch, New...
Destination Expert
for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
Level Contributor
39,715 posts
443 reviews
1. Re: Auckland Airport Customs

This is a tricky one as early AM is a very busy time as so many overnight flights arrive at this time. As a NZer I go through the electronic gate in about 20 min, most of which is waiting for my bag but when I accompany Chinese tour groups we usually get through in under an hour.

The biggest problem is the chance of a long flight being delayed. After arrival at the International Terminal you can check-in for your domestic flight but must walk or bus to the domestic terminal.

If AirNZ recommends 3 hours it suggests that 2 hours is too tight.

Whangarei, Northland
Level Contributor
2,648 posts
70 reviews
2. Re: Auckland Airport Customs

I would agree with Zhuhai...

It might be possible, but certainly no guarantee you would get through in time.

In general you would need roughly an hour to get through customs & MAF (but this could be longer at very busy times), then you need 10-15 to get to the domestic terminal.

Why is 8.55am the last flight from Auckland to Nelson ? - there should be several more flights than that on any given day.....or were you meaning PM ??

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
Level Contributor
30,093 posts
93 reviews
3. Re: Auckland Airport Customs

Welcome to the forum C :)

Air NZ has 8 to 11 direct flights Auckland to Nelson every day of the week.

Which airline are you flying into Auckland with and which airline are flying to Nelson with? If both are Air NZ then I would chance it.

Wellington, NZ
Destination Expert
for Wellington
Level Contributor
2,360 posts
7 reviews
4. Re: Auckland Airport Customs

If you're not travelling on a single ticket, you need 30 minutes to check in for the Nelson flight. Personally, I think you will be fine. Just don't bring in any food or other no-no items.

There are a few flights from Auckland to Nelson - during a work day the last one leaves at 9pm. Not all of the flights are direct though as some of the flights go through Wellington. If you are worried, grab a later flight or get it flex so you can change it if you need to.

Wellington, New...
Destination Expert
for Wellington, Bay of Islands
Level Contributor
10,281 posts
226 reviews
5. Re: Auckland Airport Customs

if you are coming in via Air New Zealand and transferring to an Air New Zealand flight to Nelson speak with the airline. They are the best ones to advise you. make sure taht any comments they give you are confirmed in writing so that should they advise that the timings are fine and you get delayed then you may have grounds for compensation for a later flight. If you have nothing in writing then reduced chances of any compensation. The fact that you have 90 mins to clear customs and immigration leaving 30 mins to check in for the domestiv flight would I feel give you plenty of time especially as you can check in for your domestic flight at the international airport providing of course you are travelling Air New Zealand.

Los Angeles...
2 posts
2 reviews
6. Re: Auckland Airport Customs

Thanks for all the help! My original search on Kayak only came up with flights in the morning. I looked again (this time on the Air New Zealand website) and it looks like there are a bunch available throughout the day. I'll be sure to contact Air New Zealand before I book our morning flight and make sure that we're covered in case of a flight delay. Thank you again!

7. Re: Auckland Airport Customs

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