Preparing for your journey
For a stress-free journey, it’s important to prepare for your flight in advance. We’ve covered everything you need to know below to help make your journey as smooth as possible.
Make sure you arrive at the airport early. Give yourself plenty of time to get here, especially if you’re crossing town at peak travel times. Once you get to the airport you’ll need time to check in and, if your flight departs from Gates 16 - 34, to go through security screening and immigration. For more specific information about check-in times, please contact your airline directly.
Our top priority is for you to have a safe journey. If you’re departing from Gates 16 - 34 you must go through a security screening process. To help you get through security without being delayed, please:
- Remove any clothing or footwear that has a high metal content and place into an X-ray tray
- Remove outer clothing such as jackets and place into an X-ray tray
- Empty pockets of all items, particularly anything that contains metal and place into an X-ray tray
- Remove laptops and other large devices from your bag and place into an X-ray tray.
For international flights you should also:
- Present your powders, liquids, aerosols and gels in a sealed 20cm by 20cm bag
- Present your prescription and non-prescription medicine in a separate plastic bag, and if needed, supporting information from a registered medical practitioner
- Present any food or supplements for a medical diet (and supporting information from a registered medical practitioner) in a separate plastic bag.
For more information, please visit the Aviation Security Service website.
The number of bags and weight of each item you can take on your flight is set by your airline. If you're not sure what your luggage limit is, make sure to check with your airline before you arrive at the airport.
Check what you can take in your carry-on or hand luggage before you fly. Certain items are restricted or prohibited, including weapons, dangerous goods, powders, liquids, aerosols, gels and others. Find out what you can and can’t take on board on the Aviation Security Service website.
Need help with luggage storage or wrapping? Find out more here.
Powders, liquids, aerosols and gels
If you’re travelling on an international flight you can only take a restricted amount of liquids, aerosols, gel-like substances and powder in your carry-on luggage.
- Apply only to carry-on luggage for international flights
- Do not apply to domestic flights
- Do not apply to checked luggage for international flights
- Volume limits apply to a single passenger.
All restrictions are strictly applied. Aviation Security officers have the final say if there is any doubt about what items can be carried on board.
Liquids, aerosols and gel restrictions
- All liquids, aerosols, or gels must be packaged in individual containers of 100ml or less. This restriction applies to the size of the container and not its content. For example, if a container is larger than 100ml and the content is less than 100ml, the item will still be prohibited.
- The total number of containers that are 100ml or less must not exceed one volumetric litre.
- Passengers should present all liquids, aerosols, and gels in a single re-sealable 20cm by 20cm (one volumetric litre) plastic bag. Any excess will not be allowed onto the aircraft.
The total volume of inorganic powders must not exceed 350ml or 350g.
If you have more than 350ml/350g of inorganic powder it must go in your checked luggage.
Some items are exempt from the 350ml/350g limit. This includes items such as baby powder or formula for those travelling with a young child, cremated human remains, therapeutic products and medicines that are exempt from these restrictions. Any exempted powder will still be inspected.
Powders do not need to be put in a resealable plastic bag.
What is powder?
Powder is defined as fine dry particles produced by the grinding, crushing, or disintegration of a solid substance (for example, flour, sugar, ground coffee, spices, powdered milk, baby formula or cosmetics). Powders may also be presented in clumpy, grain, or compressed material forms.
Inorganic powder means a powder or a similar granular substance that contains no living matter and has not been made from living matter. Examples include things like:
- Salt scrub
- Bath bombs
- Some talcum powders
- Some powdered deodorant
- Certain foot powders
- Some cosmetics (both compressed and loose powders)
- Some powdered detergent and cleaning products.
Inorganic powder can also be found in unexpected items, like:
- The fill/stuffing of some toys and souvenirs
- Body powders (e.g. talcum powder, foot powders and powdered deodorants)
- Laundry powders and other powdered cleansers
- Dietary supplements (e.g. minerals or vitamins).
For more information, visit the Aviation Security Service website.
Batteries and power banks
Some types of batteries can't be taken onto planes because there are risks of them exploding, catching fire, leaking acid or caustic chemicals, harming people and property.
Portable power banks are not permitted in checked luggage. Please place them in your carry-on luggage.
To find out more, visit the Aviation Security Service website.
Passports and Visas
New Zealanders travelling overseas may need a visa to enter certain countries. For some countries, your passport will need to be valid for at least six months. Always check your destination country's entry requirements before your travel, and give yourself enough time to renew your passport and/or apply for a visa at the relevant embassy or consulate.
If you have question about visa requirements, including transit visas, for visiting New Zealand please visit the Immigration New Zealand website.
Duty free allowances
You can pre-order your duty free items from Aelia Duty Free and collect them when you depart or arrive back at Christchurch Airport.
If you're leaving New Zealand with duty free purchases, make sure you meet the Customs allowances for each of your travel destinations. Check with Aelia Duty Free if you’re unsure about duty free allowances.
We have a range of comfortable airline lounges here at Christchurch Airport. Find out more about what’s available here.
There are no sleeping facilities at the airport terminal. If you're in the terminal late at night or very early in the morning, our staff may ask to see your flight details.
You can spend a few hours at the airport overnight if:
- At least one of your travel bookings is a flight AND
- You can prove you arrived into Christchurch after 10.30pm by commercial transport (plane, coach, rental car, campervan) AND
- You will depart from the airport via booked commercial transport (plane, coach, rental car, campervan) by 8.00am.
If you have documentation to prove your arrangements above, you're welcome to sit in a chair for a few hours. You will be expected to comply with all requests and instructions from airport staff while you are with us.
You will not be permitted to sit at the airport overnight if:
- You did not arrive at the airport on commercial transport (plane, coach, rental car, campervan) after 10.30pm EVEN IF you can prove you are booked to leave on a flight or by coach, rental car or campervan before 8am the next morning.
Instead, you are welcome to book accommodation near the airport. There’s a number of options, including Novotel which is right outside International Arrivals, Sudima Airport Hotel which is 5 minutes’ walk from the terminal, and Jucy Snooze which is 10 minutes’ walk from the terminal. For help booking, visit the Airport i-SITE located in International Arrivals.
Airport check-in opens at 3.30am.
This gives you plenty of time to check-in for the first international departures. We recommend confirming your check-in details with your airline the night before catching an early morning flight.
For advice on travel warnings, visas and consular services, please visit the Smart Travel website.