Excitement turned to tears for a young girl from Twizel who arrived in Auckland with family today to see Canadian heartthrob Shawn Mendes in concert.
After a bumpy flight from Christchurch, 9-year-old Aliyah Taylor and family members arrived at their pre-booked and pre-paid accommodation at Waldorf Apartments in the central city to find it had been double-booked.
With the city virtually booked out for the U2 and Shawn Mendes concerts this weekend, the family group could not afford to pay $2000 for a hotel and ended up catching a bus 24km to Coatesville to stay with a cousin.
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"It was my niece's first trip away. She was crying. She was super upset with all the s... going on.
"The poor wee girl is just gutted. She has been video calling me on a weekly basis talking about Shawn Mendes and how excited she was. It's just a massive bubble burst," Aliyah's aunt Raelene Matthews said.
Matthews and her partner Tina Smith, from Rangiora, and Aliyah and her mother Kelly Taylor, from Twizel, turned up at their apartment accommodation at Beach Rd, a short walk from Spark Arena where Shawn Mendes is performing tomorrow night.
The group made their booking for three nights through Holiday Homes to stay at Urban Estates in June.
When they arrived about midday, Matthews said Urban Estates general manager Ceri Wyndham-Jones said there was no record of the booking. The group were at Waldorf Apartments for four hours going back and forth with Wyndham-Jones and Holiday Homes trying to sort things out and find alternative accommodation.
There was accommodation available but the $2000 cost was too much for the family group, who saved hard for the trip to Auckland, including accommodation, which cost $690.
Matthews said neither Urban Estates or Holiday Homes would admit fault, sort out alternative accommodation and appeared to blame each other.
"This is disgusting. We are all upset and worried and stranded in the city," she said.
Wyndham-Jones told the Herald there had been a double booking, saying it was unfortunate, we were "highly apologetic" and offered the group an upgrade at no extra cost from Sunday.
He said he spent about two hours trying to find alternative accommodation, but all he could come up with was something in Meadowbank.
Wyndham-Jones said as soon as accommodation was booked with Booking.com and Airbnb it came up straight away on Urban Estate's calendar.
"With Holiday Houses that doesn't happen ... it doesn't link up with our calendar. There was something missing between Holiday Houses and ourselves," he said.
In two and a half years there had only been three double bookings and each time the guests had been offered an upgrade, Wyndham-Jones said.
"This time it was entirely unfortunate because U2 are in town. We did try our best," he said.
The Herald is seeking comment from Holiday Houses.