In August, I was moving to Buenos Aires from Hong Kong. I had a big suitcase and a 50L backpack. We were going to fly to Sydney on a double-decker plane. I had never flown on such a plane. I was really excited.
At Hong Kong Airport
When we checked in, I asked if we could sit on the second deck. The check-in staff made some calls and all the seats were taken. After that, we started to check in our bags. I noticed that my 50L backpack was gone. No way someone had stolen it, cuz there were tons of people waiting to check-in behind us. Then I remembered, I put my backpack on the luggage belt while we were checking in. My backpack wasn’t there anymore, also it didn’t have a tag. They said they will call me when they found my backpack before boarding, but they never did. ( I stayed in Auckland for a week. Day 5 in Auckland, I finally got my backpack back!)
At Auckland Airport
After 2 flights of a total 12ish hours of travelling. We landed in Auckland. We had to go through immigration first. When I gave my passport to the officer, he looked at it and asked his supervisor to come over to his desk. They told me to sit down and wait. Afterwards, the immigration supervisor asked me if I had checked-in luggage. I said yes and she told me to pick up my luggage with another officer. The whole time, the officer was holding on to my passport.
I got my suitcase and we went to a bag search area. Noticed the people who were getting searched are Chinese. (I heard they speak Chinese) The officer asked me some questions. Took some photos of my high school graduation certificate and other documents. I think they thought I wanted to work and live in New Zealand or I’m a drug smuggler.
After going through my whole suitcase and put my suitcase through an X-ray. I went to an office. This was basically an interrogation. They asked me why am I in NZ, have I been to Australia, how much money do I have (had to show my bank statement).
After a long 4 hours, they stamped my passport and let me go. I don’t know what that was about. I believed that either they were racial profiling or I fit the description of a drug smuggler (single young lady travelling) or they thought I want to stay in NZ illegally. They never asked me for my outbound flight. If they had checked, they would know I will not stay in NZ for long. My outbound flight was Auckland to Buenos Aires via Air New Zealand.
*This was my experience with the immigration in New Zealand. This didn’t change the way I see New Zealand. It is a beautiful country and has incredible nature. I enjoyed Auckland a lot.
Thank you for reading.