Two Queenstown-bound Qantas flights from Australia were bounced around three South Island airports before being forced to land in Auckland last Saturday.
Bad weather and two big rugby games conspired against 350 passengers flying into the resort from Brisbane and Sydney.
Both Boeing 737s tried landing at Queenstown Airport from the Frankton Arm end but pulled out at the last moment due to crosswinds and rain on the runway.
Rather than aborted landings, they were “go-rounds”, a Qantas spokesperson says.
The planes then flew on to Christchurch to refuel.
It’s understood there was no thought given to offloading the passengers in Christchurch as accommodation was chocker for the All Blacks-Wallabies Test that night.
The weather in Queenstown was still bad so the planes instead flew to Dunedin – but again there was no room at the inn.
“They were trying to get as close to the end destination as possible but then they were told there was no accommodation in Dunedin,” the Qantas spokesperson says.
Mountain Scene also understands there were no buses available to ferry the passengers to Queenstown because all spare coaches had been taken up by Otago rugby supporters travelling to the Ranfurly Shield game in Invercargill.
The jets then flew virtually the length of the country to overnight the passengers in Auckland.