'Bring a book': 16 hours of 'boredom' for Air New Zealand passengers

Passengers were compensated after their flight didn't go to plan

Air New Zealand passengers were transported back to the 20th century when their flight was void of the aviation industry's most beloved travel companion.

Last Friday a routine flight was scheduled to depart at 7pm (local time) from Chicago O'Hare International and fly through the night to Auckland, however, passengers were left scrambling just before takeoff.

The NZ27 flight did not offer any inflight entertainment for the entirety of the 16-hour flight.

Black Auckland airport sign which reads: 'Welcome to Auckland'.
Air New Zealand passengers were relieved to finally land in Auckland without any inflight entertainment during a 16-hour journey. Source: Getty

Passengers were informed only 90 minutes before their scheduled departure time via email.

The email explained that due to a 'minor technical issue', no inflight entertainment would be available. Passengers were advised to buy a book or turn to personal devices in an attempt to curb their boredom during their long-haul flight over the Pacific.

An inflight entertainment console is shown with a hand selecting to watch TV show 'Friends'.
The airline boasts a wide range of film, games and music but the system broke down ahead of a flight from the US. Source: Air New Zealand

Airline offers compensation to passengers

Yahoo News Australia reached out to Air New Zealand regarding the matter and they explained passengers were compensated for the inconvenience caused. Each passenger was offered NZ$60 worth of Airpoints.

The spokesperson clarified that Air New Zealand's Airpoints operate on a dollar by dollar basis, meaning one Airpoints dollar is equivalent to one New Zealand dollar, however, they cannot be exchanged for cash. Instead, they can be spent on Air New Zealand services.

On the Air New Zealand website, the airline promises passengers can 'enjoy hours of entertainment with the latest blockbuster films, music, [and] multi-player games' during flights, so the notification caused a sudden change of plan for paying travellers.

Customer dissatisfaction with Air New Zealand seems to be on the rise, with the airline plummeting 10 spots on the Skytrax World Airline Awards last year and landing firmly at 30th on the list. Flight disruptions and customer disappointment contributed to the airline falling 10 ranking places from the previous year.

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