24 Apr 2014

Trapped passengers offered refund

8:47 pm on 24 April 2014

Air New Zealand has offered refunds to passengers forced to spend a night on a bus when their flights were cancelled during a severe storm last week.

An Air New Zealand passenger, Oliver Sutherland, was put on a bus after his flight from Christchurch to Nelson was cancelled on 17 April.

Mr Sutherland says he and fellow passengers, a number of whom were elderly, spent a nervous night trapped between two slips north of Kaikoura on a bus with no toilet and no radio to call for help.

He said diggers finally arrived in the morning and cleared the slip, allowing the bus to return to Christchurch, 22 hours after it first left the city's airport.

Air New Zealand said on Thursday it offered passengers the option of rebooking on later flights or travel to Nelson by bus or shuttle.

It said the drivers did check road conditions before leaving but the weather around the Kaikoura region deteriorated throughout the evening, closing the road.