Substandard airport food a bad first impression

By Jim Eagles

Last month's blog about the quality - or lack of it - at New Zealand airports obviously struck a chord with readers.

There has been an avalanche of responses, most complaining about what is on offer at Auckland's domestic and international terminals, many praising the food available at regional airports.

For more reader responses and to leave your own comment, click here.

Here's a selection of the views expressed:

My wife and I read your article about Auckland Airport food and we share your concern that the standard is inadequate. We returned to New Zealand after travelling through airports in Italy, Spain and Britain and felt that our home standards were absolutely inferior to airports elsewhere in terms of service, value for money and overall food quality. We live in New Plymouth and therefore have to pass through both terminals at Auckland and the standard at domestic is worse than international. We had to catch an early morning international flight and with the mandatory early check in we were amazed to find no food outlets available.

Perhaps this situation has now changed. Our local airport at New Plymouth has a very good standard of food.
Judy and John Angell

I seem to remember that the sushi bar upstairs at Auckland's International terminal was quite good but I can't remember the prices. Personally I think the best thing Auckland airport did was put a McDonald's in. I may dislike McDonald's, but I've always said it's far cheaper and more consistent in quality than other food outlets, and as you say, you're not going to have to mortgage the house to pay for it.
Diana Clement, Devonport

I tend to agree with your article that Auckland airport food is not the best. But there's a new kid on the block, Sumo Salads, and they are absolutely delicious. Nelson airport food is great.
Rosemary Casbolt

I couldn't agree more with your comments on Auckland airport food. I find nothing appetising while waiting for domestic flights. Huge wraps of lettuce, coconut sized muffins and factory made sandwiches in plastic containers. What's wrong with nice little scones covered with butter or muffins of a snack size? I always look around, become pissed off and then turn to McDonald's. Wellington is similar. Some airports do not have snacks, viz Timaru. New Plymouth and Palmy are quite good.
Don Wilkes

The very best thing about Invercargill airport is the toasted cheesy rolls from their wonderful cafe. They are to die for - possibly via heart attack as they are very calorific - and they are cheap too at around $2.50. The service there is second to none. Beats overpriced Auckland airport any day.
Tash Edlin

I took my daughter and partner to the international terminal early on Boxing Day morning and as they felt like breakfast before their flight we went to McDonald's. The floor was dirty and our shoes stuck to the floor as we walked. The chairs were different styles and mismatched around the tables, it had a stale smell to it and the whole restaurant looked like it needed a good scrub and spruce up. McDonald's has built its brand around consistency of product and a (usually) clean environment but this restaurant was very poorly presented and a most unfortunate reflection on the airport.
Carol Walker, Pukekohe

I have had miserable experiences with the food at Auckland International Airport. Last year I was waiting to fly out with my father and we both got Indian dishes. The naan bread fell apart from being dry and crispy (burnt on the bottom) and the butter chicken was congealed with chewy chicken and it cost a fortune. At another stage I got a sandwich which was the most expensive sandwich I have had. It took 15 minutes to get it and contained lots of lettuce. I have found the best option is to go to McDonald's, not because the standard of food is better but because the fare is consistent and the cost is decent.
Kylie Horomia

It was good to read your article on Auckland airport food. If you decide to start a petition against poor food, service and high prices let us know and we will sign up. What you said is too true. We are based in Rotorua so fly out of Rotorua airport. There is only one snack bar run by a well known Rotorua businessman. The service is good and the food tasty. I agree with you that other regional airports such as Blenheim and Queenstown also have good places to eat without breaking the bank.
Richard & Siobhan Hunt

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