Air New Zealand Under Investigation for Passengers' 25-Hour Bus Ride from Hell; Bomb Threat Turns Plane Around
By Reissa Su | May 2, 2014 4:39 PM EST
Air New Zealand's 40-minute flight between Christchurch and Nelson had transformed into a 25-hour bus ride when the airline was forced to cancel several flights due to bad weather. Passengers had no choice but to spend the night on board three buses.
Roads were impassable with slips. One bus was forced to stop at Kaikoura and find accommodation at 1 am. One of the passengers in the bus was Rachel Thomas who said the bus driver had "ignored" obvious signs that they could not go through the road.
She said the bus had to drive on the other side of the road and around bends because there was surface flooding. Thomas could see lots of cars pull over with their roofs up.
Sarah Williams, Regional Airlines general manager, said Air New Zealand will be under investigation to determine if it did anything wrong. She said the 25-hour trip was "rather exhausting" for people and passengers should not have experienced it.
Thomas said it was never their intention to put their customers through a "long and daunting journey." Since the incident, Air New Zealand passengers were refunded for their tickets and received $250 as compensation.
Bomb threat forces Air NZ plane to turn back
Meanwhile, a passenger from an Air New Zealand flight to Napier spoke to Hawke's Bay Today about an incident in which the plane was forced to return to Auckland on May 1 after a bomb threat. The 15-year-old teen who asked the paper not to be named, said there were 40 passengers aboard and knew nothing about why the plane made the sharp turn.
She said the plane was about half an hour into the flight when she heard cabin crew announce that they were turning back to Auckland. The teen passenger said the air crew member was looking "distressed" and she noticed the plane was flying low than usual.
It was not until the plane landed in Auckland airport that passengers were informed about the threat. When the plane landed, passengers were told to grab their luggage and move out of the plane quickly.
She thought the plane was going to explode. She thought one of the crew or the captain said a bomb threat was made. The teen left her passport in a hurry but she was thankful someone had grabbed it on the way out.
According to spokesperson for Air New Zealand, a woman who arrived late at the airport for the same flight had reportedly made a "non-specific verbal threat involving the flight" to ground staff. Officials said the plane was already in the air when the threat was made so it was requested to head back to Auckland as a safety precaution.
Aviation security checked the plane thoroughly after it was vacated and found no evidence of a bomb. A woman, 57, was arrested by police and charged under the Civil Aviation Act for communicating false information.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Still The World Champions: Team USA Overpowers Serbia, 129-92 To Win 2014 FIBA World Cup [PHOTOS]
- Pope Francis: World War III Has Started On Piecemeal
- After Win Over Maidana, Mayweather Says He Is Prepared To Negotiate A Fight With Pacquiao
- From Fat To Fit: Celebrities Who Were Overweight Before They Became The Beauties That They Are
Join the Conversation
- Google Release Roundup: Nexus 5 2014, Nexus 6, Nexus 8 and Android L Killer Features
- Samsung Attacks iPhone 6 Plus Through New Galaxy Note 4 Commercial: Apple Claims Imitating Galaxy Note Phablets
- Pregnant Kate Middleton May Call Off Malta Trip Due To Sickness: Royal Couple Will Move To Anmer Hall Residence
- iPhone 6 And IPhone 6 Plus Sold Out, New Stocks To Arrive In October
- Moto G (Gen 2) vs. Xiaomi Redmi 1S—Specifications, Features And Price Showdown
- Nexus 6, 8 Release Dates Imminent as Moto X Pre-Order Begins & Nexus 7 Deals Ramp Up
- iPhone 6 And iPhone 6 Plus Shipping Has Begun, Expected To Reach Customers’ Doorstep On Sept 19 Launch Date