Jetstar has opened a pay-per-use lounge at Auckland Airport's domestic terminal.

Passengers travelling on Jetstar's domestic network can purchase entry to the Akarana Lounge to enjoy free food and beverages, as well as big-screen entertainment and business facilities including workstation areas, free Wi-Fi access and computer terminals. If booked online the charge is $9.99 a person or $15 for those who pay at the door.

An airline spokeswoman said it was not a departure from its budget model but rather in keeping with it - offering extra services for those who wanted to pay more. The airline has carried almost one million passengers since starting domestic flying last June, with close to 20 per cent of them business travellers.

The spokeswoman said the lounge was pitched at leisure travellers as well and children were welcome. Jetstar opened a pay-per-use lounge last June on the Gold Coast, and based on that experience it did not expect patrons to settle in for hours to eat and drink.

The Akarana Lounge has been built in much of the former Qantas business lounge. The rest of the area has been transformed into public seating, nearly doubling the size of the gate area that had been congested at peak times.

Jetstar executive manager commercial David Koczkar said further customer initiatives would be rolled out across the domestic network including high levels of self-service at check-in and the introduction of SMS boarding passes.

"We believe this model will be well supported by the New Zealand travelling public, who are seeking a convenient, comfortable and hassle-free travel experience."

LOUNGING AROUND
HOW MUCH?
Introductory online price $9.99, $15 at the door.

ON THE MENU
Complimentary drinks (beer ranging from VB to Heineken, Riverlands wine) and food including breakfast cereals, soup, savouries, muffins and cookies.

WORK SPACE
Free Wi-Fi access, meeting room.