Forget loading up your plate with those cheese and chives sandwiches.

And as for swiping a complimentary beer from the fridge, forget it.

From today, many of Air New Zealand's Koru Lounges open for the first time since the level 4 lockdown began in late March, but restaurant table service rules will apply and, for now, it's soft drinks only.

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Patrons in the Wellington and Christchurch domestic lounges will need to take a seat and wait to be served with a selection of packaged snacks.

So, again, tough luck if you were hoping to heap a plate with lamb stew and couscous for dinner before flying home after a tough day at the corporate coalface.

Auckland travellers to main centres will dip out completely - the airport's domestic lounge is still under refurbishment and the temporary barn won't be open - although the spanking new lounge for regional flights will be taking Koru Club members, along with nine other regional airport lounges at Hamilton, Tauranga, Napier, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Nelson, Queenstown, Dunedin and Invercargill.

"Customers will be required to be seated once they enter the lounge and there'll be table service with packaged snacks on offer, as well as beverages," Air New Zealand's general manager of customer experience, Nikki Goodman said in a statement issued early this morning to the delight of business travellers who can now at least face the rigours of a post-covid world with the prospect of a decent coffee beforehand.

"We know those travelling will be looking forward to once again being able to order a flat white before they fly and in lounges with a barista," gushed Goodman. "Customers will be given the choice of ordering through the Air New Zealand app, or through their server."

Also: while the numbers of flying travellers is not anywhere near what it was, it may pay to be in quick.

The 100 person maximum rule will apply in those lounges large enough to take that many.

Fear not, however, the beer and wine will be back in the next few weeks. Life as we knew it is returning!