A show cut short and another postponed has sent tens of thousands of Sir Elton John's Kiwi fans into a spin, and airlines and hotels scrambling to appease them.

But so far there is no word of whether the tour promoter will come to the party for fans who missed a third of Sunday's Auckland show, when the 72-year-old global superstar left the stage in tears after nearly collapsing.

Sir Elton is scheduled to play his second Auckland show at Mt Smart Stadium this evening, after postponing it from Tuesday on doctor's orders to allow an extra day to recover from "walking pneumonia".

As a result, Air New Zealand said it had introduced "special fare flexibility" to allow those affected to reschedule by a day without cost, or keep the fare as credit for 12 months.


Jetstar soon followed suit, announcing anyone with a ticket for the rescheduled gig could move their flight free of charge.

But earlier, a fan, Lorraine, said she and her husband had initially been informed by Jetstar they had to cover the cost of rescheduling their return flights from Wellington themselves, which was about $900.

Instead, they forfeited the return flights and purchased two new ones for about $300, but also had to pay for an extra night's accommodation and take another day off work.

"There will be a lot of people who had to change flights yesterday ... and paid that extra money. They should have [announced it] straight away."

Sir Elton John had to end his Sunday show after hammering out 16 of the 25 songs on his setlist. Photo / David Watson
Sir Elton John had to end his Sunday show after hammering out 16 of the 25 songs on his setlist. Photo / David Watson

Some fans also faced challenges changing accommodation bookings.

Hamilton woman Susan Wood said after Tuesday's show was changed to Wednesday, Auckland's Copthorne Hotel told her she could not change her $300 booking, and Wednesday night was completely full.

She and her friend decided to forfeit the booking and drive back on Wednesday after the show, but shortly after the Herald contacted the hotel chain, Wood received a phone call from the manager informing her she'd receive $300 in credit.

"I was a bit surprised at their initial reaction, they were so closed. So it was nice to have them phone me directly, I just wish they had been like that from the start and hope they do the same for others in the same position."


On Sunday, medical staff rushed on stage to give Sir Elton oxygen on stage as he told them he felt dizzy. He eventually had to end the show after hammering out 16 of the 25 songs on his set list.

"I played and sang my heart out, until my voice could sing no more," he said later to fans, thanking them for their support and saying he was upset that he could not complete the show.

Concert promoter Michael Chugg said those who attended the performance would not get a refund for the shortened performance as Sir Elton "played over two hours".

But Consumer NZ's head of research Jessica Wilson told Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking this morning that as fans only saw about two thirds of the promised set list, they could be in for a partial refund.

Elton John performs at Mt Smart Stadium. Photo / David Watson
Elton John performs at Mt Smart Stadium. Photo / David Watson

"It is a contract. People have bought tickets to an event, the advertiser promised a full Elton John concert, and they only got part of it, they could get a partial refund. People should only pay for what they receive."

A publicist for the tour told the Herald Sir Elton had been resting since Sunday's show. Doctors were confident he would recover in time and all remaining shows were going ahead.

According to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, walking pneumonia is not as serious as general pneumonia, and is an infection caused by a type of "atypical" bacteria, that commonly causes mild infections of the respiratory system.

Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ medical director Dr Stuart Jones said walking pneumonia was not a term generally used in hospitals, rather used to describe milder forms of community-acquired pneumonia - it is quite a non-specific diagnosis and is at a level that does not require hospitalisation."

Jones said it was difficult to say how long one could take to recover without knowing the extent of Sir Elton's condition, but in cases of pneumonia people generally took one to two weeks to recover, and often even longer.

"One day does seem a short time."

The best prevention was practising good hand hygiene, and maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle.

However, older people were more susceptible, and after touring since September 2018 it was likely stress could be a factor in the superstar's condition.

"With constant stress on your body you are more likely to pick these sorts of infections up and take longer to recover," Jones said.

The forecast for Auckland on Wednesday is for another humid day, with cloudy periods, a high of 27C and chance afternoon shower before clearing in the evening.