A planeload of passengers were left stranded and perplexed at Auckland airport after their Qatar Airways flight failed to arrive on Sunday.
Four days later they are finally en route to Doha but none the wiser as to what happened.
QR915 to Doha was scheduled to take off from Auckland at 6.15pm on Sunday, May 15.
However, those waiting were provided no plane, "no information" and three nights in hotel rooms.
By Tuesday night passengers said they had still been given zero information about what happened. A supplied customer service number was not returning calls and passengers were given piecemeal bits of information via their hotels and check-in desk.
With little warning, on Monday night some passengers were told to check out and be ready to take a coach transfer. This bus did not take them to the airport but to another hotel.
Passenger Jeff Howell took to Twitter to say that he still had no information from the airline, only that there was a new bus booked for 2pm.
The plane had arrived 10 hours late on Sunday as QR914 from Adelaide. This plane was later grounded for repairs at Auckland Airport.
The 777-300ER plane was one of those drafted onto the route from Doha to Auckland with a stopover in South Australia. This plane is reportedly still out of service and remains in Auckland.
The carrier grounded its 17-hour ultra-long haul Auckland to Doha route during the pandemic without a restart date. An ongoing legal dispute with Airbus over their A350s sees their long-haul options limited, as 22 aircraft remain grounded.
At the time the airline said these concerns were over safety issues and it would not be using the Airbus aircraft:
"Qatar Airways' number one priority remains the safety of its passengers and crew. For this reason, all affected aircraft remain grounded, and we are unable to accept delivery of further aircraft tendered for delivery by Airbus."
Some passengers were rebooked onto a new service to Doha which departed at 6.30pm last night.
The airline's country manager for New Zealand Christopher Paykel said that "Qatar Airways regrets the disruption" and that they were making arrangements for remaining travellers.
"Passengers were provided with hotel accommodation and meal reimbursement while we made alternative flight arrangements. Majority of the affected passengers departed Auckland on 18 May, and we are working closely with the remaining passengers for alternative flight options."
The original 15 May service was grounded at Auckland Airport due to aircraft wing damage sustained from a bird strike incident, he told the Herald.
Some of the passengers say that they did not receive communications from the Network Disruption Unit until the morning of Wednesday 18 May, four days after the incident, with a note saying their travel was "delayed due to extraordinary circumstances".
The affected travellers said they are writing a joint letter of grievance to the airline.
One passenger who was able to fly on the Wednesday said "people are very angry at the shocking lack of communication from Qatar Airways".