Is Air New Zealand Koru Club Worth It? (2024 Update)

Air New Zealand’s Koru Club is an annual membership with several benefits. But is it worth it?

In 2024, an individual Air New Zealand Koru membership costs $694 NZD for one year. However, new members are subject to an additional joining fee of $255 NZD.

At that high price, it’s no wonder many potential Air New Zealand Koru members ask whether the membership is worthwhile.

In my experience, Koru Membership is only worth it if you fly Air New Zealand economy 8+ times annually.

If you travel business or first class with Air New Zealand, you’ll get all the benefits of a Koru Membership and more. As such, joining Koru isn’t worth it.

Meanwhile, if you fly 8+ times per year but with other airlines, you won’t be able to use the Koru benefits. Koru Member benefits only apply when flying with Air New Zealand, with a few minor exceptions. So again, the Koru Membership isn’t worth it.

Air New Zealand Koru Member Benefits

Air New Zealand Koru members enjoy several exclusive benefits. These include:

This sounds like a lot of benefits. However, only a few of these are likely to apply to your travel needs. You’ll need to factor in this when deciding if the Air New Zealand Koru membership is suitable for you.

Airport Lounge Access

The most significant benefit of being an Air New Zealand Koru member is airport lounge access.

Koru members can access Air New Zealand Lounges and selected partner lounges at overseas airports.

However, despite being a Koru member, you can only access these lounges when departing: (click to open toggle)
  • On an Air New Zealand Flight. With a flight number starting with ‘NZ’ and a ticket number starting with ‘086’.
  • On an Air New Zealand Flight. With a flight number starting with ‘NZ’ operated by Air China from Auckland to Beijing.
  • On an Air New Zealand Flight. With a flight number starting with ‘NZ’ operated by Air China from Beijing to Auckland.
  • On an Air New Zealand codeshare. Flight numbers NZ4990 – 4999 operated by Cathay Pacific.
  • On an Air New Zealand flight with flight numbers NZ80 – 87 operated by Air New Zealand.
  • With an Air New Zealand ticket number starting with 086
  • On a Singapore Airlines flight. With Air New Zealand flight number (starting with ‘NZ’) and ticket number (starting with ‘086’)
  • On an Air New Zealand-operated flight. With an Air New Zealand flight number (starting with ‘NZ’) and ticket number (starting with ‘086’)
  • On a Singapore Airlines operated flight. With Air New Zealand flight number (starting with ‘NZ’) and ticket number (starting with ‘086’)
  • On an Air New Zealand operated flight. With an Air New Zealand flight number (starting with ‘NZ’) and ticket number (starting with ‘086’)
  • On a United operated flight. With an Air New Zealand flight number (starting with ‘NZ’) and ticket number (starting with ‘086’)
  • On an Air New Zealand operated flight. With a United flight number (starting with ‘UA’) and ticket number (starting with ‘016’)

It’s also worth noting that only some airports covered by the flights in the list above have a Koru lounge. In this case, you’ll be redirected to the approved lounge where applicable.

Koru lounges are exclusively for Koru members, business class, and first-class passengers. This means you can not buy entry into a Koru lounge. The exception is if you are a Koru member buying entry for guests you travel with.

This also means that this Koru member benefit is redundant if you regularly fly business or first class.

Since you can not buy entry into a Koru lounge, it’s hard to compare the value of this Koru membership benefit. The closest thing I can compare the benefit to is regular airport lounge access.

However, I want to be clear. In the vast majority of cases, the overall experience of a Koru Lounge is far superior to that of a ‘regular’ airport lounge.

With that being said, if you compare the Koru membership airport lounge benefit to a Priority Pass, how does it stack up?

There are three levels of Priority Pass. However, for argument’s sake, I’m comparing Koru to the highest level, the Prestige, at $469 USD (750 NZD).

Koru MembershipPriority Pass
Price$694 NZD for one year (+ $255 NZD joining fee for new members).$469 USD (750 NZD) for one year.
Number of Lounges33 (8 Air New Zealand Lounges & 25 Partner Lounges)1,300 airport lounges in 600 cities across 148 countries.
Airline of TravelAir New Zealand (or operated)Any
Class of TravelAny Any
Extra Guests1 Free. Plus, three children aged between 3 and 17 years and any children aged 2 and under travelling with you.$35 USD (58 NZD)

Complimentary Frequent Flyer Seating

Frequent flyer seating is often located towards the front of economy cabins. This includes Space+ zones on domestic jet services and international A320 services.

These seats are dependent from the paid seating options:

  • Preferred
  • Exit Row
  • Economy Stretch zone.

Koru members also have complimentary access to any unsold paid seating listed above.

Additional Checked Baggage

As a Koru Member, you will receive one complimentary piece of checked baggage (up to 23kg). However, this only applies if your fare includes checked luggage and the three piece checked baggage policy still applies.

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One Comment

  1. Cherie Turnbull says:

    I joined Koru so it would be easier when travelling. One reason was priority check in as I am an older traveller and like to think I can get help when needed. I have found when travelling domestically from Auckland regional there is no priority check in and no one willing to help. In fact I have found the staff there quite disinterested. Very disappointing.