Family of four ‘frustrated’ with Air New Zealand after luggage lost on New York to Auckland non-stop flight

A family of four is frustrated with Air New Zealand because they “haven’t been proactive” in helping them out after having issues following the airline’s first non-stop flight from New York to Auckland.

The 17-hour flight from the John F Kennedy International Airport landed at Auckland Airport at about 8:30 am on Monday.

Hadley Slade-Jones, his wife and 12-year-old twins were expecting to travel to New Zealand to be with their extended family after 15 years, but instead had the stress of trying to locate their luggage.

Slade-Jones told Newshub the check-in process for the flight at JFK airport worried him because he said it seemed like no one knew what they were doing.

“It was like they just plucked people off the street to check people in.”

He also said the people checking the bags in weren’t Air New Zealand staff members but were being supervised by them.

He added that one person tried to load a bag without a luggage tag and an Air New Zealand employee had to rush over and put one on.

After waiting an extra hour to board, Slade-Jones said the flight itself was very smooth sailing, however, when they arrived it was a different story.

He said he and several other passengers were waiting for an hour for their luggage before he decided to go to the baggage handling kiosk to ask what the hold-up was.

“There was no announcement made, they just made people wait,” he told Newshub.

Slade-Jones claimed there were at least “100 people in the queue”, not 40 or 50 as Air New Zealand had said in an earlier statement.

When the passengers found out their bags were nowhere to be found, Slade-Jones said the crew appeared to be shocked by the situation.

“It was like a surprise to everyone.”

Slade-Jones and his family had to travel to Hawke’s Bay with no clue where their luggage was.

“I had my father’s 80th last night and everyone else was in formal attire but my family were in T-shirts and jeans from Kmart,” he said.

He said he didn’t want to go out and buy expensive clothes as he didn’t know how much Air New Zealand would reimburse him.