16-hour Air New Zealand flight to nowhere caps a ‘wild’ trip

Garrett Gardner

Editor’s Be aware: Signal up for Unlocking the Earth, CNN Travel’s weekly publication. Get news about locations opening, inspiration for foreseeable future adventures, additionally the most recent in aviation, foodstuff and drink, where to stay and other vacation developments.


It’s the things of nightmares. You are seeking to get somewhere, you have prepped and prepared and you are doing your greatest and still you conclusion up ideal back exactly where you started.

That is about what transpired to recurrent flyer Bryan Gottlieb and his fellow Air New Zealand passengers on Thursday when their planned journey from Auckland to New York’s John F. Kennedy Global Airport was disrupted by an electrical outage at the airport.

JFK’s Terminal 1 was shut and some of the flights scheduled to land there experienced to be diverted. Some international flights landed at other airports: Newark, Washington Dulles, Boston Logan.

Gottlieb’s flight, ANZ2, turned all over mid-flight and landed back in Auckland, much more than 16 several hours soon after departing the identical airport. Flight tracking website FlightAware logs a complete flying time of 16 hours and 25 minutes, with the plane turning back roughly halfway by way of its scheduled journey.

“I was sleeping rather soundly, and I woke up with the emotion that I would definitely be landing in JFK soon,” Gottlieb said in a concept to CNN Vacation. Then “the passenger following to me tapped me on the shoulder and stated ‘did you know we’re nearly again in Auckland?’”

Gottlieb reported his fellow passenger gave him the information two or three hours ahead of the airplane was set to land. An announcement about the diversion didn’t come until the flight was nearly back again in New Zealand, he said, while “you could see our route on the tracker, and term had unfold all over.”

He explained when the pilot manufactured the announcement, “he acknowledged that portion of the conclusion was based mostly on timetable effectiveness for the airline, and that the absence of crew at an airport in the vicinity of JFK would have induced the airline further delays.”

The travellers were not satisfied.

“Everyone on that plane would have substantially favored to be in any airport in the US, to say nothing of Newark or LaGuardia proper in the exact same basic place,” stated Gottlieb, a sport designer who was headed house from a five-week function journey to be part of the tail finish of his brother’s bachelor bash journey.

Air New Zealand explained Thursday in a statement to CNN Vacation that “diverting to a further US port would have intended the plane would remain on the floor for a number of times, impacting a quantity of other scheduled products and services and shoppers.”

At the time, the flight was however en route back again to Auckland, and the airline said its group was prepared to aid its prospects with rebooking on the subsequent offered company.

“We apologise for the inconvenience and thank our clients for their tolerance and comprehending,” the statement explained. CNN reached out to the airline for a lot more information on Friday but did not immediately listen to again.

Gottlieb, who lives in New York, put in eight several hours at the airport in Auckland waiting for his future flight out to Los Angeles, in which he was set to hook up to JFK. Air New Zealand offered him with $100 well worth of meal vouchers, but he did not have any luck acquiring his way into a loyalty club lounge to freshen up in Auckland. He hadn’t listened to about other payment at the time he communicated with CNN.

The diverted flight was Gottlieb’s next endeavor at having house. His initial flight back again to the States on Monday was canceled due to the devastating cyclone that struck New Zealand this week. His wife’s programs to join him for the very last two weeks of his continue to be have been foiled when her flight was canceled because of to airport flooding in Auckland at the finish of January.

With the 16-hour Auckland to Auckland delay, he skipped the bachelor party entirely. As significantly as trips go, “it was a wild one for absolutely sure!”

Gottlieb is disappointed with the airline’s reaction “at a company level” and stated their selection to reroute to Auckland was “about their base line, not the strategies of their travellers.”

But the airline workers was quite useful.

“This is undoubtedly the worst vacation encounter I’ve ever experienced, but eventually, these matters do happen, and I normally test to keep in brain that none of the persons I’m interacting with experienced anything to do with the choices that delayed me — they are all just executing their very best and they ended up legitimately variety.”

And New Zealand is 1 of Gottlieb’s most loved places.

“The folks and region are both equally wonderful. I sure do would like it was a small closer although.”

Next Post

Travel Tips for Paris with Kids: Always Worth a Trip

How many times have you been to Paris? Never, five times, more? What about experiencing Paris with kids? No matter how often you travel to Paris, this diverse city shows itself from a different side with every visit. Whether you find the city of more than 2 million inhabitants on […]
Travel Tips for Paris with Kids: Always Worth a Trip