Trapped passengers in Queenstown have been given temporary rest before the travel window closes.
Hundreds of people were trying to get back, and there were fears they would be trapped if the window closed in the middle of the night.
Air New Zealand immediately launched additional flights, but due to the unique setup of the landing in Queenstown, which became an injury.
On Thursday afternoon, the Prime Minister announced that the initial 48-hour travel window would be extended to 24 hours by midnight on Friday for flights from Queenstown and on the Coke Strait ferry.
Janine Fenlon, a resident of New Plymouth, and her partner were vacationing in Wanaka when news of the lockdown and 48-hour travel window came.
He spent a few hours on hold with Air New Zealand, trying to figure out how they were going home.
“It wasn’t just any flights. We had booked flights for Sunday. The options that were offered to us,” Fenlon said.
“There was no option to get out of Queen Stone, so we were offered flights out of Anwar Kargil or Christchurch.”
The decision was made and the flights were booked, they started their long journey home on Wednesday morning.
“We got in the car at about 4:45 in the morning, and we got to Christchurch, got there at about 30 4.30 in the evening. Our flight from Christchurch Airport was at 6pm. So the flight left on time when we arrived in Auckland and Then there’s the delay in Auckland. Luckily for us, they took a plane for us so we could board the flight.
He got home at about 11:11 – it took him 12 instead of four hours.
But Fenlon said he was grateful for their help, the beautiful drive after Oraki Mount Cook, and finally being safe at home.
Palmerston North Nurse Carrie Highstead arrived in Queen Stown a few days ago to enjoy the pre-medical conference venues.
“I arrived on Tuesday and did some things and then you know, we had announcements and I knew the conference would be canceled at that point. Just stay until Saturday. [to] Just keep my flight [and] There is no need to rearrange anything. I’ll be fine here. I have Airbnb and I have food. “
That all changed when news came through the 48-hour travel window.
After many phone refreshes and a few calls, she was able to book a flight from Queen Town, exhausted and home, but calmed down by Thursday afternoon.
More time for travelers.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gave passengers a little room to breathe this afternoon – extending the travel window for another 24 hours.
“We will check with them again because we have heard that there is a high demand. The problem, as you know about Queenstown, is that due to the special runway and airport situation there are some pilots who Capable of getting in and out of the airport, “Arden said.
“And it limits the number of flights they can bring, but I know Air New Zealand is working hard to increase its capacity.”
Air New Zealand said it believed enough seats would be available to help those stranded in Queen Town get home.
The airline will operate a total of seven services from Queen Stown to Auckland or Wellington with an additional 700 seats.
InterSelander was adding more planes on Thursday nights and Fridays, asking anyone who needed to make a reservation to visit their website or call their call center.
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What he said – stay strong.