Domestic and international travellers are facing an anxious Christmas Eve with some flight delays.

Passengers travelling from Auckland to Wellington with Jetstar have been left frustrated after a four-hour delay was put on their midday flight to the capital.

A flight to Palmerston North was cancelled, while a flight to Christchurch has been delayed three hours until 7.15pm today.

While the passengers are expected to arrive today, the delays affected their connecting flights.


One woman emailed the Herald saying there were several delays involving the company's planes.

"Jetstar have flight delays today of all days, making holiday-goers late between Wellington and Auckland, people are missing connections to other flights and buses and having to get very expensive flights on Air New Zealand.

"I am for one an unhappy traveller and due to needing to get back to Auckland and also very broke. Merry Xmas to all but not Jetstar!!!!!!"

Passengers heading on flight JQ261 from Auckland to Wellington at 3.10pm were getting increasingly frustrated due to the continued delays and lack of communication.

"We are waiting for our 3.10 flight to leave, the departure board showed 4.10, now it's 5.20 and still no one has had the courtesy from Jetstar to front at the gate lounge to tell us what's happening," Jayne Huggard said. "Absolutely no customer service!! Appalling."

Huggard, who is travelling with husband Peter to enjoy a family Christmas, said the flight was now scheduled to leave at 6.30pm.

"It looks like we will miss the special Christmas Eve time hanging the stockings with our two grandchildren."

Another passenger, Simon, said the flight had now been delayed a third time until 6.30pm. It meant the missing of a wider family function at 6pm.


"Jetstar not saying anything. Passenger areas overcrowded in hot stuffy conditions ... We are flying to Wellington to be with family. They have delayed the flight further till 6.30pm. Feel very sorry for the staff at the gate. The flight boards are updated before the staff are told."

He said the passengers were trying to hold it together but it was proving difficult for parents with babies or young kids.

The husband of another traveller was facing an anxious wait for his wife, tweeting he was concerned she would not make her connecting flight in time.

A Jetstar spokesman apologised to its customers for the disruption which he said was due to "crewing and technical issues".

"A series of crewing and technical issues have affected the Jetstar New Zealand network today, resulting in a cancellation of an Auckland-Palmerston service and rolling delays for flights between Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

"The seriousness of the technical issue meant that replacement parts for the aircraft had to be flown in, but our engineers on the ground are currently doing their best to get the aircraft on its way once again."

The spokesman said the airline empathised with customers who were hoping to get home to their families or travelling with their loved ones for Christmas.

"Safety is always our number priority, as our teams on the ground are working extra hard to get our customers to their destinations.

"We once again apologise to our customers affected by the disruptions."

Internationally, the Auckland Airport website shows a Virgin Airlines connecting flight from Sydney has been delayed, as was a Qantas flight from Sydney and an Air New Zealand flight from Sydney.

An Auckland Airport spokesperson was not aware of any major issues and said Christmas Eve was one of their busiest days of the year.

There was an issue with an x-ray machine about midday today but the backlog of travellers was cleared by about 2pm.

An Air New Zealand flight from Adelaide had been rescheduled, as had a flight from Incheon in Korea.

Grace Caunter told the Herald that her father was on his way home to New Zealand from Europe, via South Korea.

"He had a successful flight on KLM [Royal Dutch Airlines] from Europe and was supposed to connect to his next flight in Seoul to arrive in Auckland at 8.15 this morning. His flight has been delayed several times and was then rescheduled.

"He is now expected to be home at 3.15am on Christmas Day. This was obviously not the ideal result I was hoping for but at least he is coming home and hopefully mum will take us to the airport to pick him up tomorrow dark but early!."

An Air NZ spokeswoman said the Adelaide flight was late leaving New Zealand, so it was now running late coming back across the Ditch.

There were no other major delays or disruptions for their network.