A false alarm cleared Auckland International Airport's terminal on Friday.
Three Auckland fire crews were called to the terminal about 11.30am but stood down shortly after.
Fairfax political reporter Stacey Kirk said "a couple of hundred people were outside, interestingly most had their bags with them".
Kirk, who was queuing for her flight to Europe when the alarm activated, said despite being told to leave their bags, people grabbed them and hurried out.
"Now there's a real logjam of people trying to get back in".
A Fire Service spokesman said a smoke alarm was accidentally activated in the terminal.