Air New Zealand has given its stranded passengers NZ$1,000 or US$850 as compensation for enduring a three-night flight delay. Passengers aboard Flight NZ9 were due to leave late July 26 from Honolulu to Auckland when airline officials announced it was experiencing mechanical problems.
The 227 passengers scheduled to fly out of Hawaii had no choice but to wait for their plane to be fixed. Air New Zealand had announced the aircraft was unable to leave because of a faulty engine sensor. When passengers went back to Honolulu Airport for the second time, officials told them the same story. Reports said passengers had boarded the plane three times, only to be told to get off. Others could no longer wait and switched airlines for a flight to Auckland.
Air New Zealand Flight NZ9 finally left for Auckland on the morning of July 29. The airline company has issued a public apology and promised to compensate every passenger with cash or equivalent in a rewards programme for the delay.
In a statement, Air NZ General Manager of Customer Experience Carrie Hurihanganui said the airline was willing to compensate each customer in addition to its "unreserved apology." The airline has expressed its deep regret due to the lengthy disruption and for letting customers down.
Air NZ spokesperson Kelly Kilgour added that the aircraft bound for Auckland had problems with the engine indicator which gave out false readings. She explained a supplier had sent the airline a wrong replacement part. The correct one finally made it to Hawaii on July 29.
New Zealand Herald's editor-in-chief Tim Murphy was among the stranded passengers. He tweeted on Twitter that he felt like "Tom Hanks living in the terminal" due to the constant queuing. By the time Murphy arrived in Auckland, he tweeted that his parking bill had increased from $50 to $200.
The airline has also announced it will take care of the costs incurred by their passengers because of the delayed flight.