By , Kate Schneider
Published October 10, 2018
A passenger has launched a ridiculous rant against Air New Zealand after she was rejected from their airport lounge.
The woman told the New Zealand Herald she felt like a “second-class citizen” after she was denied access to the premium Koru Lounge at Auckland International Airport.
The unnamed flyer, who was travelling with a teenager, complained that she had been “dumped” from the lounge without being asked if that was OK.
After she complained about the incident, the airline sent her a letter with an explanation — and an apology — but this still wasn’t enough to quell the outrage.
“No apology can make up for the dictatorial nature of that,” the furious woman said.
Now, she said she will investigate whether a breach in her membership terms had occurred.
The Koru Lounge costs $232($163 USD) to join and there’s an additional annual fee of $573($404 USD). Those that become members for a five-year period pay $2,323($1,639 USD).
But here’s the kicker to the situation — she was actually taken to another airport lounge, called Strata. It’s open to all passengers — for a price of course. Some even prefer it to the Koru.
So what was the big deal, really?
The airport said peak travel periods have posed a logistical issue with the lounge and that it is
“Working together with Air New Zealand on different short and long-term lounge solutions at the international terminal”.
The airline is working on notifying in advance those passengers who will be missing out of the Koru Lounge, instead of them showing up only to be met with disappointment.
Another passenger also spoke out about being bumped from the lounge, telling NewsTalkZB: “I’m disappointed that after paying a substantial amount of money for my membership, and in light of the fact I’m almost always travelling for business, the facilities I pay for may not be available for use.
“I’d be interested to know their selection criteria for who is actually given entry to the Koru Lounge — and who gets bumped to the Strata Lounge.”
However, other flyers have said the lounge is disappointing, anyway.
“More often than not the lounges are full to overflowing and it’s hard to find seats let alone have any peace and quiet. Quite frankly they sometimes resemble a packed food hall in a suburban shopping center,” one passenger said.