Christchurch International Airport is equipped with three lounges: two Air New Zealand lounges (domestic and international) and the independent Manaia Lounge in the international terminal.
Prior to getting on a flight to Brisbane (which ended up being a bit more “eventful” than I anticipated), I had a chance to visit the Manaia Lounge which I’ll be reviewing below.
Are you interested in trying business or first class for the price of economy?
If so, you might want to check out Four Ways to Try Business Class Without Breaking the Bank - a free guide that I put together detailing some of the ways I was able to do so - and experiment with some of the methods mentioned in it.
Location, Opening Hours & Access
The Manaia Lounge is located on the main departures level of Christchurch’s international terminal. More precisely, it can be found just across from gate 29.
Its open between 4:30AM and 6:30AM, and 11:30AM and 5:30PM every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. And, between 4:30AM and 6:30AM, and 11:30AM and 9:00PM every Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.
Besides being accessible to oneworld status holders and business and first class passengers, it’s can also be entered by Priority Pass (limited to a 3-hour stay), Lounge Key, and Dragon Pass members. If you don’t qualify to enter the lounge for free, you can also pay 40 NZD (about 27 USD) at the lounge’s reception to get access.
Just past the lounge’s door, there was a small reception area with the reception desk on the right side. Past that, there was the lounge itself which – while being in the same large room – consisted of several distinct areas.
On the right side, there was the dining area with about a dozen tables with chairs and benches, and there were two power outlet-equipped communal tables with stools.
Across from that was the main lounging area which continued all the way to the very back of the lounge. Most of the seating in the area consisted of individual sofa chairs with a couple of larger sofas thrown in.
The arrangement didn’t just feature simple rows of chairs like other similar lounges, but also a couple of “living room-like” arrangements. Combined with nice curtains and wall art, it felt quite cozy.
Finally, in the back of the lounge – behind the dining area – there was a smaller seating area with a TV and a couple of rows of sofa chairs.
Separately from that, reading materials could be found in several places in the lounge, and there was a pair of computers for guests to use in the dining area.
Food and Drinks
All of the food and drinks in the Manaia Lounge could be found in the buffet area near the lounge’s entrance.
There were apple, orange, and tomato juices in pitchers, and canned sodas. There was also a coffee machine and a selection of Twinings teas. Finally, there was a selection of wine and bottled beer.
Snacks available in the lounge included cookies and peanuts, whole fruits (apples and oranges), and muffins.
As for the rest of the buffet, given that I visited the lounge just as it had opened, there was a selection of breakfast items. There were yogurts and compotes, as well as a selection of bread and cereals.
Then, there was a (limited) selection of cold cuts that included one type of ham and one type of cheese. Finally, there were also hot breakfast items which included scrambled eggs and sausages.
Manaia Lounge Christchurch Summary
The lounge offered a pleasant place to wait for my flight’s departure. The seating was comfortable and the lounge was quiet given that I visited it early in the morning and it was empty.
That said, if you cannot access it for free either with your business class ticket, status or Priority Pass Prestige membership, I would not recommend paying the fee to enter the lounge.
The food in the lounge was nothing to write home about, but more than that, the terminal itself – just outside the lounge – offers plenty of comfort as well with its sofas, charging stations, and so on.