Raratonga Airport Passenger Reviews and Raratonga Airport Traveller Reports
RARATONGA AIRPORT customer review : 30 October 2012 by N Drew (Australia)|
Rating : 4/10
Personally, Rarotonga airport, like most of the Cook Islands is a little over-rated. Had to stand for 30 minutes
in a queue to check in on a concrete floor while we waited for the check in desks to open which they did 10
minutes past their advertised time. After checking in we were told we had to pay a $55 departure tax which I
was told is not part of the airline ticket price. Customs and immigration not that helpful and my wife had to
give up some perfume we had just bought or they would not clear us. Limited shopping there but the toilets
were clean. Blaring music non stop which made it hard to hear the announcements so at times you were
doubting you were at the right gate. Not overly impressed.
RARATONGA AIRPORT customer review : 14 July 2012 by Don Moir (Australia)|
Rating : 9/10
Raro continues to provide the friendly and low-key facilities I so enjoyed years ago (visited 2000, and as
commented on here in 2004), however there's a whole new terminal building that, with a whole four shops
and a cafe at departure, is positively massive compared to what went before. It's been nicely done and they
have continued the live music for welcoming and departing, with custom songs depending on where your
place is going (eg. 'Pub with No Beer' for the flight to Sydney). The cafe does a good coffee and there's
enough seats to cope with a plane-full. The staff here actually care about their customers and that's what
makes it such a pleasant experience compared to almost any other faceless, oversized airport with security
gone mad as there is almost everywhere else. Thoroughly recommended.
RARATONGA AIRPORT review : 7 April
2009 : by Anthony Gibbons
Customer Rating : 3/5
Half the terminal has been demolished to make way for the new terminal under construction. Bit
of a shock on arrival but should be fabulous when finished. Befitting a gorgeous island such
as Rarotonga. Previously RAR didn't separate Arrivals and departures - bit of a problem for
the once weekly flight to/from LA. No airbridges in the new terminal planned from the
renderings I could see. So still a bit of a problem to/ from aircraft when a tropical downpour
arrives as it want to do. Reason being this is such a tiny aerodrome with short runway of
approx 2300m ( just enough for a 777). Accordingly turnaround and parking area for aircraft
precludes a fixed airbridge. New departure area will still have the outside garden area so
you can have one last look over the airfield to the beautiful mountain peaks before boarding.
On another note, duty free no longer the stupendous bargain it once was. Still pretty good
compared to many big airports around the world. Happy to see such a new terminal being built
but also a shame that Raro is geting all grown up! Hope the new terminal can retains its
RARATONGA AIRPORT review : 27 June 2008 : by Neil Ramsay
Customer Rating : 5/5
Small airport by international standards. Immigration and customs smiling and welcoming. Departure
easy with only one aircraft. $30 departure tax has to be paid and quite rigorous security procedure
but done with typical Cook Islands good nature. Walk from terminal to aircraft across tarmac
necessary. Could be a wet one in a tropical downpour.
Rarotonga Airport by Noella Ross
9 October 2007 Customer Rating :
Having just arrived back from Rarotonga memories are still fresh and I can truly say: "I love it!"
From the moment of our arrival in the middle of the night when we stepped off the plane and into the
arrivals terminal, I knew this place was special. As we queued for Immigration, Customs and baggage,
we were welcomed in song and ukelele by a Cook Islander perched on a stool in a little grass gazebo,
and with the smiles and friendliness of the officials (all at around 5 am!), what better Welcome could
be given. The shuttle/bus drivers in their colourful shirts presented us with fresh leis made from
Gardenias and took over the shifting of our luggage to the bus trailer. Farewell at the Airport 8 days
later, again around 3-4.30 a.m., we were treated with respect and friendliness along with efficiency.
Collecting our boarding passes, we were able to buy cappuccino coffee and a locally-baked treat and
sit in a outdoor garden area under grass umbrellas, in the balmy warmth. We were farwelled by the
singer with the ukelele as we walked from the departure gate to board the plane, a friendly wave being
our last memory. The Airport seems to embody the goodwill and naturalness that we had found during
our stay on this paradise island. The airport may be small and not 5-star compared to World
international airports, but its ambience and personality make it 5-star in my books!
Rarotonga Airport by Janice Schmidt
27 October 2006 Customer Rating : n/a
Problem: Security personnel are behind the times. When I departed the
Cook Islands on 21 October 2006 for the United States I had small
amounts of toiletries as approved by www.TSA.gov that were confiscated.
Many other travelers had the same experience. Of course I was unable
to convince the authorities otherwise. There were no signs posted and
the PA system is poor making announcements difficult to understand if an
announcement was made.
Rarotonga Airport by N Fitzgearl
25 January 2005
My favorite airport in the world, and I've been to dozens. As others have said, it's relaxed,
quiet, simple to take care of business there and the employees know what they're doing. And the
fastest baggage claim I've ever experienced. It's the quickest int'l airport to get in and out.
While it doesn't have PPT's opulence, it has the most spotless airport bathrooms I've ever seen.
The whole place is functional and easy and that's all I require from an airport.
Rarotonga Airport by Don Moir
9 June 2004
Ah, there's not many places you can enjoy an outdoor departure lounge! The airport in Rarotonga
echoes most of life in the Cooks - relaxed, friendly and simple. Positively Heathrowian compared to
Aitutaki 'airport', but hey that's still the joy in places like that. Fantastic islands, lovely
people and great service.
Rarotonga Airport by Craig Meyers
10 December 2003
Travelled to Rarotonga last year. The airport is small which is not a problem when arriving as
arrival procedures are fairly efficient and straightforward. Luggage pick-up and customs did not
take more than 10 minutes. Tour operators are very efficient with hotel transfers and minimize your
time at the airport.
Departures, however, are a problem in the small airport. Although check-in was relatively painless,
it was raining and because the flight was a 767 I had to stand in line in the rain as there was not
room for everyone in the check-in building. The process through customs was, once again,
and painless. The departure lounge is not large enough to accommodate 200+ passengers. As it was
raining that evening most people opted to wait indoors making it very warm and
Overall, not a bad little airport considering how much time one actually spends there. A larger
departure lounge would make the waiting more bearable
Rarotonga Airport by M Devor
1 December 2003
Lovely outdoor airport. Small and easy to handle. It is a different world from Auckland, where most
Even though the Cooks are an overseas NZ territory, one passes through full customs and immigration
checks at both ends and pays the dear departure tax, on both ends. This surprised me. I was even
sent to secondary inspection at 'Raro' for my chocolates, but she then waved me on. Staff are
friendly and courteous.
They play music and give a good, welcoming reception to the one arriving plane, then the airport
Kind of amusing. ANZ actually has a Business Class lounge, but it is small and cramped and so I
preferred to remain outdoors and enjoy the Island's beauty one last time. Some advice: rent the car
at the airport. We rented at the hotel and then took the bus. The problem is the one bus departs the
airport in connection with the one flight, then returns in the same manner. Standing room only and
check in at the hotel took forever.
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