Is Air New Zealand Koru Club Worth Joining?

Air New Zealand is the flag carrier airline of New Zealand. Based in the city of Auckland, the airline operates 20 domestic routes and 31 international routes into 20 countries, including Australia and the Pacific Islands.

The airline also offers a membership club, the Koru Club, which provides passengers with access to various facilities in return for a fee.

The Air New Zealand Koru Club costs 255 NZD (joining fee) and 629 NZD for a one-year membership. The benefits of the Koru Club mean it’s only worth joining for those flying in economy (not business or first class) with Air New Zealand regularly who are not currently Elite or Gold AirPoints members.

The Air New Zealand Koru Club was named after a symbol in aboriginal New Zealand culture that symbolises prestige.

However, at such a high price, many are left wondering whether the benefits and level of prestige offered are worth joining.

Air New Zealand Koru Club Benefits

Whether the Koru Club is worth your investment will depend on four key things;

  • How frequently you fly with Air New Zealand and their partner airlines.
  • Whether you have the budget available to purchase the Koru Club membership.
  • Whether you are an existing Elite or Gold AirPoints member – the benefits are pretty much the same as the Koru Club.
  • Your choice of airline class – the benefits of the Koru Club only benefit those who would otherwise fly economy

To understand this further, we first need to look at the benefits of becoming an Air Newzealand Koru member. These include;

Airport Lounge Access

As a Koru Club member, you’ll have access to Air New Zealand lounges in airports around the world.

Guests flying with Air New Zealand out of an airport in which an Air New Zealand lounge is not available will instead be invited to a partner airline airport lounge where available.

A budget alternative to the Koru Club for those simply wanting to access the airport lounges is to purchase a Priority Pass.

While Priority Pass lounges are often less superior when compared to airline lounges, they still provide food, a bar, a private relaxation/waiting area and in some cases, showers and other facilities.

Air New Zealand Koru members are permitted to bring one guest into the Air New Zealand lounge with them prior to departure.

However, like you, your guest needs to be flying on an Air New Zealand ticketed and operated flight from the same airport terminal as you that day.

This rule excludes children under the age of 18. In this case, a maximum of three children is permitted to access the lounge with you on a complimentary basis, subject to availability.

If you’re flying as a couple or a family, you’ll therefore get better value for money from this part of the Koru Club membership when compared to solo travellers.

First-class and business-class passengers also have access to the Air New Zealand airport lounge. Therefore if you fly in either of those classes regularly, this benefit of the Koru Club membership is redundant.

Priority Check-In & Boarding

Koru Club members can also benefit from priority check-in on all Air New Zealand flights out of Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin airports.

However, you can also check-in directly at the airport lounge if you’re flying domestically with Air New Zealand and carry-on luggage only out of Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown airports.

Priority boarding is also available when flying on Air New Zealand operated flights, with an Air New Zealand ticket and flight number.

Given these benefits are limited to selected airports and the same benefits offered to Elite and Gold members of the Air New Zealand status tiers, we don’t believe this to be of great value. Especially if you already hold an Elite or Gold membership with Air New Zealand as a frequent flyer.

Priority Seating

Koru members have complimentary access to the frequent flyer seating area when travelling on Air New Zealand operated flights with an Air New Zealand ticket and flight number.

However, much like priority check-in and boarding, this privilege is also available to Airpoints Elite & Gold members, making it redundant for those who also have this status as Koru club members.

This seating is also redundant to those flying in business or first class as the priority seats are at the front of the Economy cabin.

Suppose you are flying economy and are currently not an Airpoints Elite or Gold member. In that case, you will benefit from this benefit as you’ll be in a more spacious seat and in a great position to exit the plane upon arrival at your destination.

Koru members can also select preferred or exit row seats as an additional benefit if any are still available 48 hours prior to departure.

To access the priority seating, you’ll need to ensure that you’re logged into your Airpoints account or have submitted your Airpoints number on the ‘Enter Passenger Details’ page.

Airline Baggage

Members of the Koru Club can also receive one additional complimentary piece of checked baggage up to 23kg in weight if the fare they are travelling on includes a checked bag.

There are several extensive terms and conditions to this particular benefit, such as the maximum of three pieces of luggage per passenger in total. Therefore it’s worth reading the fine print if you wish to benefit from this.

Again, this benefit is not suitable for those travelling in business or first class as they will have received additional airline baggage as part of their fare.

How To Join The Koru Club

If you’ve decided that the Koru Club is suitable for you, the easiest way to sign up is online. However, you’ll first need to join the Air New Zealand AirPoints programme.

Once you’re signed up, you’ll have the option to upgrade to become a Koru Club member. From there, you’ll need to select for how long you’d like to join.

Members signing up for and paying in advance for three or five years receive a discount compared to paying for a single year.

In addition to the annual fee, new members are also required to pay the joining fee. However, this can be avoided in future years, provided you renew your membership (for one, three or five years) before your existing membership expires.

Members paying for an Air New Zealand Club Koru membership for three or five years in advance benefit from a lower price per year and fix the price for the term.

Meanwhile, those paying annually pay more per year and may also be subject to more frequent increases in the annual pricing of the Koru Club membership.

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