Passengers who had already boarded a last-minute cancelled Qantas flight destined for Sydney were forced to camp on the aircraft due to the flooding of Auckland Airport.
Roughly 200 passengers who were seated on Qantas flight QF148 from 6:15pm were told the flight had been cancelled due to the flooding of the airport’s tarmac.
Adding to their woes, Qantas told passengers that they would be unable to re-enter the terminal due to obvious safety concerns, meaning they would need to wait on the plane.
Staff were also reportedly worried that not all of the plane’s toilets were working, according to passenger Mark Andrews, who spoke with Radio New Zealand. Despite this, he confirmed that the onboard ‘vibes’ were positive.
However, several passengers took to social media to express their discontent with the situation.
@Qantas Lastnight at Auckland Airport I was stuck on a plane with my 10 year old. We were told to leave. And we’re promised food and blankets from your ground staff. Yet we got nothing. So after sleeping in the airport I now have a very distraught child.
Thanks Qantas. ??
— Tony Parish (@tonyparish) January 27, 2023
@Qantas Stayed onboard QF148 last night @ Auckland and now finally released into the terminal with no idea what we are doing, do we collect our baggage? Not a single Qantas staff and no comms from @Qantas. Can you let us know what’s happening!
— _O_ (@GreatGreat90) January 27, 2023
Staff on board the aircraft provided passengers with food and allowed them to stand and walk along the airbridge to stretch their legs. The lights on the plane were also dimmed, and business-class passengers were offered complimentary champagne.
After six and a half hours, passengers were allowed to enter the terminal.
The flooding that hit Auckland was declared a state of emergency, with the water filling homes, roads and of course the airport.
Australian Aviation has reached out to both Qantas and Auckland Airport for comment on the situation and the safety procedures they have to follow in events such as this.
QF148 was far from the only flight interrupted, with the airport closing meaning several flights were cancelled.
One Air NZ flight had a shaky landing due to the weather, which led to it crashing into the runway lights.
Turbulent weather and heavy rain affected Air NZ flight NZ124 as it went to land from its trip from Melbourne to Auckland, causing it to lose “directional control.”
New Zealand’s Transport Accident Investigation Commission has said nobody onboard the Boeing 777 was harmed. An investigation into the incident is now underway.