Passengers on a Jetstar flight from Rarotonga to Auckland this morning face a two-week wait for their luggage after it was left on the tarmac to save weight.

More than 40 people are understood to have had their bags left in Rarotonga, while eight passengers stayed on the island rather than fly home.

Jetstar has apologised but said the plane had to lighten the load so it could carry extra fuel due to forecast weather conditions.

A passenger told the Herald some luggage had to be left in Rarotonga to lessen the weight and ease back on the fuel consumption of the aircraft.


"They left some people too, to deal with weight," the woman, who did not want to be named, said.

"It's not just my luggage - maybe half the cabin, maybe a little less than that. But definitely over 40 [people] in the queue waiting to deal with luggage issues.''

The woman said those affected had to wait at Auckland Airport's international terminal for more than an hour after they arrived at 5am to find out what was happening with their luggage.

"I was told it could take up to two weeks to get my bag. No undies for me for the next week,'' she joked.

"I'm okay about it, mostly. Standing around for well over an hour, waiting for your questions to be answered was the biggest inconvenience.

"Though it would be a lot worse if I was in Raro and they left my bags here for two weeks - then definitely no undies.''

A Jetstar spokeswoman confirmed that forecast weather conditions meant the plane needed to carry extra fuel, which meant the extra weight needed to be lost elsewhere.

"Eight passengers volunteered to stay in Rarotonga. We have arranged accommodation for these passengers and rebooked them on an alternative service.

"A number of bags were also offloaded to assist with weight requirements and these will be delivered to passengers as soon as possible.

"We know that baggage delays are inconvenient for our customers and we regret any inconvenience this delay has caused."