Air New Zealand Forgets To Renew Alcohol License For Lounge

Oops! The domestic Air New Zealand Koru lounge in Auckland can’t serve alcoholic drinks at the moment because it’s alcohol license isn’t up to date. According to the Australian site Traveller, the airline said on Tuesday that the mix-up was due to a “processing delay” with the lounge’s liquor license. However, the council of the City of Auckland is disputing that statement.

Air New Zealand 787
Air New Zeland is the flag carrier of New Zealand. Photo: Ladivaza9991 via Wikimedia

In speaking with Traveller, Auckland Council made it clear that there was no delay on its end saying:

“As part of Auckland Council’s alcohol license renewal policy, all applicants get a reminder letter one month before their license is due to expire…Unfortunately Air New Zealand did not contact council to renew their liquor licence for the Koru Lounge on time and it has expired. They have now been in contact and we are working with all our partner agencies to try and resolve this issue as soon as possible.” -Peter Knight, manager of alcohol licensing, Auckland council.

Air New Zealand Forgets To Renew Alcohol License For Lounge
The Air New Zealand domestic lounge at Auckland airport. Photo: Air New Zealand

Nonetheless, Air New Zealand’s social media team was able to poke fun at themselves with an amusing tweet about their “Christmas to-do list”:

Air New Zealand’s domestic lounge

The airline says that it will have the issue sorted “soon”. Until then, guests entering the lounge will have to go without alcohol. According to the lounge section of Air New Zealand’s website, the domestic lounge has the following amenities for travelers to enjoy:

  • Buffet meals, snacks, barista coffee (minus the usual bar).
  • Wifi, business desk, photocopier, printer and phone charging station.
  • Magazines, TV and Kid’s room.
  • Toilets, shower, towels and hairdryers.

The lounge is located at Auckland Airport’s Domestic Terminal on the first floor, near departure gate 33. At a size of 1346m2, the lounge claims to have seating for 350 guests.

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Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand and its airport is the main hub for Air NZ operations. Photo: PXHere

This particular lounge is not for everyone. In fact, access is limited to Airpoints Elite, Gold, Elite Partner and Koru members who are departing on an Air New Zealand flight. Airpoints Elite members can bring up to three guests while Airpoints Gold, Elite Partner and Koru members can only bring in one guest.


Humans make mistakes and humans (we assume) are operating this particular lounge. On the grand scheme of things, this probably won’t damage the lounge’s reputation much – especially due to its witty twitter post response. This little mix-up should be forgotten by the time January rolls around.

While lounge guests in many parts of the world are accustomed to complimentary alcohol, domestic passengers traveling on Air New Zealand will just have to pretend they’re at a lounge in Kuwait or Saudi Arabia, where there is a strict no-alcohol policy in place.

Are you accustomed to enjoying a pre-flight alcoholic beverage before taking off? Let us know your pre-flight routine in the comments!

AIr New Zealand is introducing “economy stretch” on its widebody long haul flights across 2020. Photo: Simon_sees via Flickr