New Zealand airports under the pump after floods wreak havoc

Dozens of suitcases in the airport floor

Travellers in New Zealand are reporting huge cues and widespread delays on services as the country begins to emerge from major flooding.

The Auckland domestic airport has hundreds of passengers in in line as airlines attempt to process a backlog of cancelled flights.

“Hundreds of people in bag drop queue,” an NZME employee told Herald Travel.

“An Air New Zealand rep checking bag tags of queued passengers said the baggage belts were overloaded with the volume of luggage they’re handling as they clear a backlog of travellers.”

The traveller said proceedings were paused after 40 minutes of waiting and were told they would prioritise people according to their departure time.

Due to widespread cancellations, flights are operating at full capacity, meaning airports are “incredibly busy,” head of Auckland airports, Air New Zealand, Andrew Leckie, told the NZ Herald.

“Our teams are working hard to re-accommodate thousands of customers who faced a disruption to their travel plans,” he said, before thanking customers for their patience and understanding.”

Legendary UK band ‘The Specials’ were caught up in the airport on February 16.

Auckland Airport warned delays and disruptions could last “several days” while airlines attempted to rebook passengers.

“Terminals may be busy as the Auckland Airport team and airlines work to get people where they need to be,” the airport said on Twitter.

“To help ease congestion, we ask customers not to arrive at the airport earlier than three hours for an international flight or two hours for domestic, check in online where possible, keep a close eye on our Air NZ app for updates including potential delays and listen to the airport PA for important updates like bag drop timings being adjusted,” Leckie said.

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