A forced stopover at Bali was too close for comfort for a number of stranded Air New Zealand passengers.

More than 200 passengers were stuck in Bali earlier this week due to a faulty cooling pump on an Air NZ plane, though about 60 chose to travel on alternative services to get home.

But 180 remained waiting for a replacement part to be brought in and fitted before they could fly home. The plane arrived back in New Zealand about 9.30am today (SUBS: SEPT 16).

One of the passengers told the Herald she had heard a number of passengers had been asked to share rooms with strangers at a hotel where they were put up during the delay.

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Last night, in an email to the Herald, Air NZ senior external communications consultant, group communications, Kelly Kilgour, said: "As you know, Air New Zealand flight NZ246 from Denpasar, Bali to Auckland on 13 September was delayed due to an engineering issue which required us to accommodate customers while the problem was resolved.

"Unfortunately it has come to our attention that, without our knowledge, a very small number of customers were asked by the management of one of the three hotels we utilised during this delay to share rooms.

"This is never our expectation in these situations and was not in line with our arrangement with the hotel. We are extremely disappointed the hotel management took this action. We have provided clear feedback to the hotel involved.

"We have been in touch with customers impacted by this delay and sincerely apologise for the inconvenience."