Following Mauricio’s post on the good and bad points of travel I thought that I’d add my 2 cents worth with regards to Qantas. Upon leaving Wellington this afternoon I arrived at the airport to discover that not only did the regular check-in queue have a massive line, the business/Qantas club queue had one too. Honestly, given I pay a premium for being a Qantas club member I was a bit frustrated that I have to queue!
Thinking that my time was better spent eating and talking to Meg I decided that given I had an hour or so to kill that I would go up to the Qantas club lounge. Of course this involved being given the 3rd degree at the gates because I hadn’t checked in….
Later, upon arriving in Auckland and proceeding to the International terminal I was pleasantly surprised to discover a dedicated business/Qantas club check-in lounge. There, they not only check you in, they also pre-clear you for immigration. Going upstairs to immigration and there is a 30 minute queue, luckily pre-clearance means you get to go through the same fast track lane as the airline staff!!!! Big thumbs up to Auckland airport – it was almost worth the $25 departure tax that they wack you with (why isn’t this tax included in the ticket like most other taxes?)
Update: After I made this post I left the Qantas club in Auckland and proceeded to the gate where I discovered a 500m (I kid you not) line for, you guessed it, another security check point. For all flights going to the US passengers now need to submit to a second security check where laptops have to be removed from bags, you walk through the metal detectors and are then wanded, and basically any fluids are confiscated. This whole process ended up delaying the flight by 30mins or so.
On the plus side, upon arriving at LAX and collecting, then rechecking, my baggage I went to the Alaska lounge. They accepted my Qantas club membership and best of all they have FREE WIRELESS (why this isn’t the standard amoungst airport lounges I don’t know)