Tired and frustrated domestic air travellers were stuck at Auckland Airport yesterday for up to six hours after thick fog grounded flights.
The heavy blanket of fog, which stopped flights arriving and departing, did not start to clear until after 1pm and it took hours for airlines to handle the backlog.
Two friends had been trying to get back to Napier since 6am and by 11.30am they were about to be scheduled.
Tai Rewita, 30, said she and her friend had arrived from Sydney at 1am and were scheduled to fly home to Napier at 6.45am but their flight was grounded, as was their second flight.
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She was in the queue to book a third flight which she hoped would be late enough in the day for the fog to lift.
"It's not that we're angry, but we're definitely frustrated. You've got to put safety first, though."
Ms Rewita said Air New Zealand needed to have more staff on during such times because the lack of help added to the chaos and frustration.
Sarah Abbott, of St Lukes, and her two daughters Olivia, 9, and younger sister Nicole, decided to spend the day at the terminal after their flight to Wellington was delayed.
A group of 15 from Basketball Otago who had been competing in Auckland were also meant to be flying to Wellington but were turned around because of the earthquake. Air NZ put them up in a hotel overnight.
At least 50 flights were disrupted by the fog but normal service had resumed by last night.