A woman who left her glasses on a plane has had to pay $135 to get them back because she mistakenly clicked on the wrong website.
The 47-year-old social work student was shocked at the cost of returning the spectacles and a book from Auckland Airport to her home in Christchurch.
She paid $29.99 to fill in an online form reporting that she had left the items in the seat pocket on a flight from Christchurch to Auckland on Saturday night.
An Air NZ spokeswoman said the airline did not charge to report lost property on its website, but the woman mistakenly clicked on to an independent site, Instafile, which charges $29.99 to file a lost property claim with an airline.
Air NZ emailed her on Monday, when she was on her way back to Christchurch, saying the items had been found and advising that she could either collect them from Auckland Airport or arrange a courier, giving her a phone number for a courier company Pack and Send.
Pack and Send's Pakuranga branch, which answered on the phone number when the Herald rang today, said it charged Schoneveld $105, comprising:
• A $40 pickup fee from Auckland Airport "because it's an hour round trip for us".
• $30 for wrapping.
• $35 for delivering the lost items to Schoneveld's home in Christchurch.
The company said the charge for wrapping depended on the size and nature of the items.
"If it's an artwork that needs to be packed, and you have to make a custom box and bubble wrap. that would be $60. It takes half an hour to an hour," it said.
The charge is less if the item fits in a standard-sized box, and there is no wrapping charge if the lost item is a suitcase or a bag which just needs to be shrinkwrapped.
The woman said she realised later that her son would be passing through Auckland Airport this week on his way to Fiji, and she then emailed Air NZ again asking if her son could pick up her glasses and the book.
"But unbeknown to me at the time Pack and Send had already picked up my glasses and had them in its storeroom," she said.
"I felt sick because I thought to get them back I'm going to have to now pay $105.
"They were the ones recommended to me and I was completely shocked."
She said the charge was "not fair to people that can't afford it".
"It just seems exorbitant to me," she said.
However Air NZ said it did not charge any fees for reporting lost items.
"If a customer leaves an item on the aircraft, they should fill out a lost property form on our website. There is no charge for this," it said.
"If their item is found, we will get in touch to let them know they can collect it from the airport where it was found.
"Alternatively, customers are able to arrange for a prepaid courier bag with a courier of their choice to be sent to us and we will send the item back to them in the bag."
Another courier company, NZ Post, said it would have charged about $40 to deliver a small item from Auckland to Christchurch overnight, or $25 within two or three days, but it added: "We require items to be fit for transport when entering our network, which is wrapped and addressed."
Asked whether NZ Post would have gone to the airport to pick up and wrap an item, the company said: "Routinely we wouldn't do that, but as it's Christmas we would have tried to make something work."
But the woman said Air NZ should offer to wrap lost items itself and send them back to their owners.
"I would have thought they would have a service where they would put items in a bag and send them off, rather than going through another courier that is going to charge $105 for it," she said.
She said she clicked on to the Instafile website through Air NZ.
"I had to go on to Air NZ's website because when I rang up they suggested going on the website, and it must have been a link that I clicked on from there," she said.
"Maybe I made a mistake when I went on the Air NZ website, it just looked like something to click on, it was costing me to register."