NZ Herald - Vaimoana Mase

Auckland Airport has apologised to transit passengers who had to sleep and sit in a cold corridor for hours after not being allowed into a departure lounge with seats.

General manager operations at Auckland Airport, Anna Cassels-Brown, told RNZ's Morning Report that a gate lounge in the arrivals pathway is being readied as airport management and Aviation Security work to come up with a permanent solution.

"What I really want to say is how sorry I am for these customers because the key thing is this is absolutely not a level of service that we want to provide.

The apology comes after the Herald broke the story that more than 100 passengers arriving on a flight from Samoa were forced to sit and sleep on the floor of a cold corridor at the Auckland International Airport after being refused entry into a lounge with seats.

Transit passengers are required to be screened again before being allowed into the departure lounge areas.

Auckland Airport said yesterday that a dedicated transit screening point is operated by Aviation Security from 90 minutes before the first departing flight of the day until 11pm.

Although there has been an arrangement for AVSEC to screen passengers outside those hours, it was dependent on its ability to redeploy staff to that area, Auckland Airport said.

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