Air New Zealand is warning passengers to consider taking out domestic travel insurance and turn up early during the summer peak during which it will put on 90,000 more seats.

Some passengers and crew missed flights last summer after congestion at Auckland Airport and although the airline hopes it will not be as bad this year, passengers are still advised to turn up early.

Tristram Clayton talks to NZ Herald aviation reporter, Grant Bradley on the increase in domestic and international travellers and the squeeze it's put on Auckland Airport.

''It's still wise to double check your itinerary and leave plenty of time not just to get to the airport, but also to process through security and arrive at your boarding gate in plenty of time," said chief strategy networks and alliances officer, Nick Judd.

The airport has said it has new road layouts and there are controls over the number of vehicles that can enter the airport area. New processing areas for international passengers should also alleviate delays.


Air New Zealand will operate 2.2 million seats across its domestic network over the peak December-January period, 90,000 more than the same period last year.

Air New Zealand has added more than 180 extra flights between December 21 and 31 to get holidaymakers to and from their destinations.

The busiest flying days are expected to be Thursday, December 21 through to Christmas Eve with passenger numbers peaking on Friday, December 22, when Air New Zealand will provide more than 45,000 seats across about 530 domestic flights.

Judd asked domestic customers booked to travel during this busy period to consider taking out travel insurance.

"Many of our customers have big plans for memorable summer holidays and our operational teams are absolutely geared up to get them to where they need to be, but every year events outside our control such as bad weather mean travellers' plans go awry,'' he said.

Most customers took out insurance for overseas trips, but that was often forgotten for domestic journeys.

The same went for major sporting and concert events this summer.

''For example, Air New Zealand is operating 60 extra one-way flights to get Ed Sheeran fans from Auckland to Dunedin in March, 2018. We know that customers will have made a significant investment in show tickets, flights and accommodation.''

Judd said extra time should be allowed not just to get to the airport, but also to process through security and arrive at boarding gates in plenty of time.