Air New Zealand is starting a downtown Queenstown bag drop trial next week in a scheme that could be rolled out to more locations.

Travellers flying on the airline's domestic and international services will be able to use the downtown check-in on their day of travel as part of a three-month trial at a pop-up site.

Downtown bag drops are used in other centres overseas, such as Hong Kong and Las Vegas, to take the pressure off check-in at airports and make it more convenient for travellers.

The Queenstown site will be open seven days a week in Earl St, opposite the Novotel Hotel, from 8am to 2pm from next Wednesday, November 20.


For the first two and half weeks it will be free but from Monday, December 9 a charge of $15 per booking will apply with customers able to pay by card at the site for the remainder of the trial.

Bags are dropped and then securely transported by the airline's trial partner, Sydney-based OACIS (Off Airport Check In Solutions) to the airport and straight into the baggage system.

Air New Zealand general manager customer experience Nikki Goodman says the airline will look at the possibility of introducing a similar concept in other locations.

"We know it can be a chore having to plan your final day in your destination around what to do with your luggage. This new check-in and bag drop service in downtown Queenstown is designed to give customers the option to leave their luggage in a central and secure location so they can have the freedom to continue their holiday before heading straight to the airport and flight departure gate."

She said allowing customers to drop their bags will also mean an easier journey to the airport, especially for groups and families.

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OACIS chief executive Matt Lee said the company had operated successfully in Australia for almost two years.

One trial with Virgin Australia in Sydney at the Overseas Passenger Terminal allowed disembarking cruise passengers check-in their luggage at the harbour, to collect it on the other side of their flights.


And today Emirates opened check-in and bag drop counters located at Port Rashid, Dubai to allow passengers who are disembarking from their cruise ships to check in for their onward Emirates flight at the same facility.

In the Queenstown trial passengers with excess, oversized and special baggage such as strollers, along with wheelchair passengers are able to use the service.

The airline says customers were encouraged to use the Air New Zealand app to check-in prior to dropping their bags at the site if they wish.