Disgruntled Jetstar customers say they were told by airline staff they could doss down outside an airport terminal after a flight was cancelled leaving them unexpectedly stranded in Queenstown overnight.
Passengers on board a late afternoon flight from the southern tourist town to Auckland were made to wait three hours for confirmation the flight was delayed and that they would have to wait until today for a new flight out.
Auckland couple Umut and Sarah Aydin said when the cancellation notice came through passengers were told the airline would provide accommodation or they could find their own lodgings and be reimbursed, Fairfax Media reported
Mr Aydin, who chose to have his accommodation organised by the airline, said he was concerned the bulk of 174 passengers who left to find accommodation were not aware they would only be reimbursed up to $150 in a town where a night at a hotel easily topped $400 for a last minute booking.
Mr Aydin said Jetstar staff appeared to be unfamiliar with the company's cancellation policies and requested guidance from Australia.
Some passengers even asked if they could stay in the airport overnight but were told it would close at 8pm, he said.
When Mr Aydin suggested they stay outside the airport, a Jetstar representative replied it was not her problem if they chose to do so.
He planned to lay a complaint against the staff member.
A Jetstar spokesman said the company sincerely apologised for the cancellation and passengers who organised their own accommodation would be reimbursed some costs incurred by the delay in travel.
This included accommodation costs of $150 per room and $30 for meals and other expenses, as well as transport to and from the airport.