The last of 227 Air New Zealand passengers stranded for three days in Hawaii are on their way home this morning after an engine fault was fixed overnight.
The airline has "unreservedly" apologised for the delay and paid each passenger $1000 in cash or Airpoints Dollars for the inconvenience.
The passengers included businessman Sam Morgan, who tweeted the airline should have kept passengers more up to date through a website or Twitter feed.
Why can't @flyairnz just keep a webpage or twitter feed updated so the 227 stranded are informed about buses, hotels, etc. No ownership.
— Sam Morgan (@samfromwgtn) July 28, 2014
Another was New Zealand Herald editor in chief Tim Murphy, who told his followers he arrived back in Auckland just before midnight on an Hawaiian Airlines flight to find his airport parking bill had blown out by $50 to $200.
Air NZ passengers likely to spend 2nd night in Honolulu after aborted takeoff. Capt tells crowd at airport unlikely 767 can fly tonight. 1/2
— Tim Murphy (@tmurphyNZH) July 28, 2014
Carrie Hurihanganui, general manager customer experience, admitted the service was below par and that compensation was made because of “the difficulty we’ve experienced in adequately communicating with customers and the fact we have repeatedly let them down” during the lengthy disruption.
Half of the passengers caught in the delay, which occurred on Sunday night, arrived in Auckland last night.
“Due to an unfortunate combination of events this group of passengers has travelled to Honolulu Airport on three occasions expecting to fly, however, on each occasion the aircraft has been unable to depart because of a series of evolving engineering issues,” Ms Hurihanganui says.
“A part was required and we attempted to source a replacement within the US, however, despite assurances, the right part was not supplied.”
The part was finally flown up to Honolulu from Auckland yesterday.
The original flight, renamed NZ6889, was scheduled to depart at 7.30am Honolulu time (5.30am NZT) and is due to arrive at 2pm in Auckland.
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