A passenger on a flight from Auckland to Christchurch last Thursday says the lack of spare seats was an unwelcome surprise.
William Howard was travelling south on an Air New Zealand flight to visit a friend in Christchurch, but he says every row he could see was taken up, and no passengers were able to distance from each other.
On the airline's website, it says they will be allocating seating to allow an empty seat between customers travelling alone, although families will be able to stay together.
A picture taken by Mr Howard shows that the allocated free space in his row had been taken up by a person.
He spoke with reporter Mackenzie Smith about the flight.