More flights are canceled across New Zealand after severe weather. (File photo)
The devastation of school holidays continues, with a further 10 flights to and from Auckland Airport canceled at 8am on Wednesday.
Six arrivals and four departures were listed as canceled on Auckland’s domestic board.
Flights affected on Wednesday were to and from Napier, Nelson, Rotorua, the Bay of Islands, Blenheim, Whitianga and Wellington.
Flight cancellations rose during the July school holidays after airlines were hit by wild weather and staff illness.
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Australian holidaymaker Vincent Vandevusse, 59, was on his way to Queenstown with his son last week when his flight was delayed overnight and then cancelled.
He tried the call center and got a two hour wait.
“I’ve traveled in third world countries and I’ve never had a situation like this where you’re just left in the dark.
“Every time we tried to get help. It came to a dead end,” he said.
Air New Zealand put them in a hotel after the flight was delayed and arranged for taxi tickets. But when it was canceled the next day, Vandevusse and his son were left in the dark, he said.
“We went to a backpackers for the night. In the end my partner in Hobart tried numerous phone lines and booked us a flight for Saturday.”
Vandevusse would like to see more information provided to travelers when flights are cancelled.
“The text message was shocking. It’s just linked to a phone number you can’t reach and an app that says the flight has been cancelled. We had no way out,” he said.
Vandevusse has asked Air NZ for a refund, but has not yet received a response.
Air NZ was unable to comment on the deadline.
Vandevusse is not the only traveler with this story.
Dozens of readers have written to stuff frustrated over the past week with call center cancellations and long wait times.
“We were on our way to Wellington for our 20th wedding anniversary – we had booked tickets from Auckland to Wellington. I frantically tried to book when it was cancelled,” said one person.
“Everyone was messing around. We ended up paying three times as much to get there.”
Air New Zealand chief customer officer Leanne Geraghty previously said wild weather and crew illness were part of the reason for the delays.
Those conditions, coupled with “the busiest travel period” since pre-Covid, made for the perfect storm for the airline, she said.
The MetService has severe weather warnings and Tuesday afternoon warnings.
The latest cancellations follow severe weather in the South Island earlier this week, which cut power with gusts of wind up to 190 km/h.
On Tuesday, an Air NZ spokesperson confirmed that the airline’s canceled flights were due to intense weather.